It's that time of year again. I don't mean Halloween or Christmas, though we are both scared and intending to separate the naughty from the nice. I mean that gross domestic product was reported yesterday.

The first GDP number is a very rough draft, subject to a pair of subsequent revisions. These revisions, which go up or down, are often substantial, traditionally adjusting by as much as 50%.

But do the business media, those misleading little devils, do the right thing and tell you that this first number is subject to big-time revision? Sometimes.

The Business Press Maven has beaten the business media about the head for this for a long time, going so far as to write an insulting limerick about misguided individual journalists. We have seen progress, so I backed off for a while.

But guess what? The problem got much worse, with even our own falling off the wagon. You can see here how I bit the hand that feeds me on the subject and lived to sing about it after, which had been making a habit of mentioning the coming revisions right up top, failed to do so altogether.

When the business media fail to mention the chance for revisions to the GDP and then go on to pontificate about the implications that the number has for retailers such as Wal-Mart ( WMT), technology companies such as Apple ( AAPL), big equipment makers such as Caterpillar ( CAT), ailing car companies such as General Motors ( GM) and Ford ( F) and the economy at large, you are apt not to realize that it could be revised up or down by a good measure, rendering all those conclusions moot.

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