Boy, do the business media -- those gullible little devils -- fall for every faint little promise. We've seen it before: A company makes an announcement about what it plans to do, and the business media invariably interpret it as a given, already done. We've seen it happen with announcements of stock buybacks and job cuts. Now we're seeing it with oil production.Lame. But, somehow, totally predictable. For those of you who haven't been on planet Earth for the past few months, just know that the price of oil has declined a remarkable 50% since July. Oil prices, of course, effect almost every company going, especially the likes of Exxon ( XOM), Devon ( DVN), XTO ( XTO), Apache ( APA) and BP ( BP). Into this vortex walked OPEC oil producers yesterday. They announced a production cut. Actually, they announced plans to announce a production cut on Friday. It will be, possibly, the first of two production cuts. But even if the announcement comes to pass, it is a long-shot that a production cut of that order will actually come about. At this point, The Business Press Maven will have to tell you outright and up top, because the business media won't: OPEC's history of sticking to output cuts in a fast-declining market is abysmal. Really abysmal. OPEC member countries all have their own troubles, and so they cheat, producing more than promised, more than announced. Why? Their budgets have oil at close to $150 a barrel, which means that to maintain their projections, they have to sell twice as many barrels where the market is now, in the low $70s. Self-interest rules over the standing of the entire OPEC group. Members cheat and produce more than they say they will. Promises -- or, in this case, the promise to make a promise -- fall flatter than a pancake.