Mickey Mouse is bound to be a victim of the credit crisis, or so says The Wall Street Journal. How does it know for sure?

Well, it doesn't.

In a WSJ article about Disney ( DIS) today -- " Headwind Threatens Disney Parks: Global Economic Slowdown Promises to Take a Toll on Next Year's Bookings" -- actual proof (such as hard booking information) is absent. Even well-founded intuition, which is far easier to come by, is nonexistent. There is no mention of troubling indicators, such as, say, an increase in promotional activity.

And yet there is that dire and scary sub-headline, which has all the subtlety of a finger in the eye.

The business media are always stepping over the line -- and usually at just the wrong time -- between too positive and too negative. They give voice to the madness of the panicked or elated crowd, even as they push it further in the direction it was going, and much of what The Business Press Maven has done in the past couple of years has involved waving big red flags about how the business media were too blindly positive.

And now? Well, such corrosively negative articles as this one are still infrequent, but the times, they just might be a-changin'.

Look at how this article reaches too far and contorts itself too much in order to conjure up doom for Disney. The first half of the lead is fair enough: "Walt Disney Co.'s theme-park and resort unit has coasted through months of mounting U.S. economic woes ..."

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