Ironically the same day the San Francisco Chronicle celebrates Apple’s 30th anniversary and devotes an article to “The man behind the Mac” Steve Jobs, The Register’ came out with this headline: “Jobs dumps Apple stock”.
Of course a juicy story like this hits Memeorandum , and here’s the first reaction from Forever Geek: “The question is why? Is Steve seeing something we’re not? Will the Intel-based Macintoshes be flukes? Is Apple’s future as a company bleak? I mean when the chief executive of a company seemingly on the rise sells a huge chunk of company shares, that doesn’t forebode anything good.”
It takes a real analyst, Michael Parekh to actually look up the facts rather than just shooting from the hip: “He (Jobs) did not sell any of his stake in the company. In order to meet his tax obligations on the 10M restricted shares, which vested this month, Jobs elected to net-share settle — essentially allowing Apple to withhold and pay to authorities the portion of the 10M shares that would meet his tax payment requirements”
Read the details on Michael’s blog, but here’s the conclusion: “Therefore, the net-share settlement will have the effect of a share repurchase by the company — essentially Apple reinvesting in itself, which will reduce the number of outstanding Apple shares on the market.”
So Jobs was paying his taxes in a manner that’s actually benefitial to Apple. Now, let’s place all this in the context of the ongoing “Responsible Media vs. Rogue Bloggers” debate: Ironically, it’s the professional media (can The Register be called that?) that did not bother to do any fact-checking (after all that may have ruined a juicy story), and it took a blogger to come out with the truth.
Some readers may also remember the Register vs. Scoble spat last year, when Andrew Orlowski ended up fabricating an email that Scoble never wrote and presented it as real. Apparently, this is a trick of sensationalist media: report first, true or not, never bother to follow up and publish the correction.
Isn’t it time we all dump not Apple, but the Register?
Update (3/26): Since I’ve shown an early Steve Jobs photo, here’s another early pic.. back then BillG was also a “popular hero”. It’s worth clicking on to get to the large image: the computer in the top right is … a Mac! (hat tip: Nick Starr)