Media Let Down Investors

Journalists were watchdogs who didn't bark until after the stock market bubble burst, Jim Michaels told about 70 journalists Tuesday at a conference sponsored by Strong Funds in Menomonee Falls, Wis. "We've just come off the worst investment bubble in history that cost investors something like $3 trillion," said Michaels, who served as editor of Forbes magazine for 38 years and is still a vice president there. "The whole thing was a Ponzi scheme, yet during much of it, business journalists were cheerleaders for it. We in the media let our public down and helped the tremendous swindle of the public." Michaels said even his own publication got swept up in the bubble's allure. But he saved his most vicious criticism for cable TV, which Michaels believes took misinformed stock touting to new heights. Michaels suggested journalists use information from Wall Street analysts with caution and rely most heavily on "boring, eye-tearing going through documents."