Apple: At Least Tim Cook Doesn't React Like Hysterical Media Members

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- During times of tumult, most of us look for signs and symbols of consistency. We lean on rocks. Maybe it's a family elder. A Springsteen song. Or Mom and Dad. At times, particularly if you're romantically involved or have a family, you become that rock.

In a company, at least in my experience, employees look directly "above" them. The rank-and-file looks to their team leaders and managers to see if they're freaking out. Team leaders and managers check to see if directors have lost it. Directors to VPs and soon on. Ultimately, top-level executives, in many cases the CEO, set the tone.

Sadly, for whatever reason, investors and others crazily to mildly obsessed with companies and stocks rarely look for signs from the company. They take their cues from the media. The often hysterical media.

I told you about the extreme example: Betty's Liu's absolutely absurd Is there a product that can save Apple ( AAPL) brain sniffle. That's just one. There's plenty of similar stuff out there, innocuous items by themselves, but collectively creating a pervasive attitude.

You know, there's just this air in the air that something's horribly wrong at Apple. Who do you think deserves a lion's share of the responsibility for this? The media, yes. Or, maybe, to a lesser extent, the consumer of media. Have we become so cynical that we believe nothing that comes out of a company such as Apple, but we allow news and opinion outlets to influence our sentiment?

As if company representatives -- a guy like Tim Cook -- could not possibly be telling the truth, but Betty Liu's got your back.

I do my best to pay attention to everything -- or as much as possible -- and then weigh the good vs. the bad. For whatever reason, most others choose to ignore the good (or potentially good). Few people point to Tim Cook on Apple's conference call, reiterating the company's strategy about market share and revenue grabs. We cast off his slow, strong and steady wins the race demeanor at the recent Goldman Sachs conference in favor of tripe, such as . . .
  • Henry Blodget telling us that if rumor #632 on Apple -- a large-screen iPhone (another unfounded rumor, BTW) -- is true, the company is "hosed." Really, Henry? I guess a clunky Samsung clone is all that can "save" Apple. If Liu and Blodget had a love child (tongue firmly planted in check here), it would be Nancy Grace.
  • Or ... the less subtle type of stuff like Nigam Arora's non-story that Intel ( INTC) "beat Apple to the punch" on a living room-related announcement and, somehow, that matters.

    Arora, who I think is actually an AAPL bull, thinks the timing of an announcement is material. Did it really mean much when Apple, Nokia ( NOK), Microsoft ( MSFT), Amazon.com ( AMZN) and others jockeyed for position last year to introduce smartphones, tablets and such? We made a semi-big deal of it at the time, but, of course, that too, ended up noise dressed as little more than media fodder.

    Intel's "announcement," via All Things D, essentially gave us more color on the company's new division, Intel Media. I'm impressed, if only because the division's leader, Erik Huggers, comes off sharp as a tack.

    But, did anybody ever think that Apple has ZERO plans to do what Intel is doing? Maybe it's actually building a brand new television, completely separate from programming and the cable/satellite model? A television you hook into your new Intel set-top box just as you do your current Apple TV or Roku Player.

    Remember, don't let David Einhorn or even Tim Cook fool you -- Apple is not a software company; it's a hardware company. It wins because it builds beautiful hardware -- with top-notch design -- that provides the best user experience. Why bother getting into this mess of content negotiations when you can do a television -- a piece of hardware -- that is premium-priced and blows everything else away just like iPod did to the Walkman, iPhone did to the mobile phone and iPad did to the PC laptop?

    With all of this going on, there's zero chaos at Apple. They're not freaking out over there. You simply have media members -- and many of them are "members" all right -- trying to make something out of nothing. That's their gig. I get it. But it's detached from reality.

    We're nowhere near the point where we should associate words such as "save" and "hosed" with Apple's prospects or be concerned that it didn't sort of announce something sooner than somebody else. In fact, we shouldn't even waste our time entertaining such nonsense.

    Tim Cook and the rest of Apple doesn't. And that's really what matters. After all, through the hysteria, a relatively steady hand at Apple has been one of very few constants.

    -- Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.

    Rocco Pendola is TheStreet's Director of Social Media. Pendola's daily contributions to TheStreet frequently appear on CNBC and at various top online properties, such as Forbes.

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