MSFT), Cisco ( CSCO) and Oracle ( ORCL) all pay a dividend. And now Apple has joined the parade. Who is the laggard? The New York Times was among many who didn't tell us. They prattled on about the self-evident: the dividend was a long time in coming, Steve Jobs was allergic to one and the stock went up on the announcement. But Google is not even mentioned. The Wall Street Journal, by contrast, does well to end its coverage on a note that points toward this unfolding future: "Google now is the richest nonfinancial U.S. company--with $44.63 billion in cash as of Dec. 31--without a dividend payment." Does this mean that Google will cave and pay? Of course not. But the drumbeat just grew a whole lot louder. You ignore it--as much of the media did--at your own peril.