FORBES has just produced a fine example of hatchet-job journalism. It is aimed at BUSINESS WEEK, which on March 2, joined NEWSWEEK's June 2, 1997 issue as the most forthright Year 2000 warning of any conventional American magazine so far.
The article is about people who sell fear. Of course, there is no mention of the vastly more profiutable venture of selling optimism, especially business optimism. Without optimism, it is hard to sell advertising space.
For FORBES, there is only one side of any agument: upward markets. If you aren't bullish, you're a fraud, a fake, a shyster, a peddler of fear. For FORBES, there is only good news and temporary, marginal bad news.
Some faceless FORBES hack attacked Peter de Jager. Notice the word, "racket":
"Peter de Jager, Year 2000 speaker/consultant, Brampton, Ontario, Canada...is in the racket of the decade...this 2000 guru charges $4,000 to $5,000 (plus travel and hotel accommodations) for speaking on the upcoming computer problems the year 2000 will create...a technical glitch will cause computers to revert back to 1900, instead of advancing...will send banks and other date-heavy institutions into a tailspin...de Jager is cleaning up on this turn-of-the-century issue... has no fewer than 30 conferences scheduled in coming months...audio ($25) and videotape ($65) sales sweeten his annual take...he's sold about 1,500 videotapes internationally in two years...one wonders how he'll make a buck in 2001."
This kind of anti-capitalist clap-trap is typical of desperate little men who cannot answer an opponent, and who must invoke some high school sophomore's version of Karl Marx's cash nexus theory of history. Yet it appears in a magazine that parades the slogan, "capitalist tool."
Are all physicians frauds because they charge money to help people get well? Would this standard of motivational analysis be applied to any other profession that helps people solve their problems? Are we to believe that ts this faceless FORBES reporter is working for free?
This kind of trash journalism makes Geraldo Rivera look like a Pulitzer Prize candidate.
It is the end of the bull market . . . and maybe a lot more.
The critics have no answers. They just have rhetoric, and not very good rhetoric at that.