So simple and almost so good.The Business Press Maven was reading Investor's Business Daily by the light of a beach bonfire recently when he stumbled across a titillating line in a report on Google's ( GOOG) earnings: "Google's financial results have only disappointed Wall Street once -- in the fourth quarter of 2005 -- since the company went public two years ago." In an unprecedented move that journalism and business school students may study for generations to come, The Business Press Maven is going to hand out both his coveted "Nod of Approval" award and his "Back of the Hand" boobie prize to this one line. I'll give you a moment to catch your breath. Now that you have, here's why I turned Business Press Maven convention on its head. This line gets the "Nod of Approval" for a simple but important reason. Stories on earnings releases tend to be pretty boilerplate. Shake a business journalist awake at night, tell him who reported what and they'll be able to type up five hundred words in deep REM sleep. As you probably know, however, The Business Press Maven is constantly whining about how this paint-by-the-numbers reporting leaves investors unenlightened about historical perspective. And if historical perspective is not in a story about a quarterly earnings reports, the savvy investor should realize he or she is getting an incomplete look at what the numbers mean. Here, Investor's Business Daily went halfway. It told us that Google had only disappointed once, and even let us know when that was. Good work. Now ... why, if the publication did that, are the members of its news desk currently crying into their keyboards over the "Back of the Hand" that I gave them? Easy: The reporter did not give us what, in the end, qualifies a legitimate better-than-expected. To wit: did the company tweak numbers in the days and weeks leading up to the announcement? Yes or no? Are they managing expectations like a deranged stage parent (or, in my case, softball dad) so that they can appear to surpass them? Yes or no? Answer, plebe, answer!