Carl Icahn doesn't have to storm the gate after all -- he's been invited into the big house. Is Yahoo letting a fox into the chicken coop? Is this all about keeping your friends close and your enemies closer?
Or ... has Yahoo effectively inoculated itself against unpredictable sturm und drang by throwing Icahn and his 5% stake a bone?
Alot of propaganda is thrown around in ugly proxy wars, most of which can be safely ignored. Some of us can't afford to avert our eyes, and every once in a while we see some genuine comedy in them thar missives, like today's SEC filing by Yahoo.
I did a couple of appearances on MSNBC Saturday morning -- I was meant to do three, but the car they sent for me (I love saying that) was late. The subject was Friday's release of the iPhone 3G, which required me getting an iPhone 3G, which took more than six hours and which I chronicled on Twitter.
The talking head thing was all new to me, but the experience is not unfamiliar to the smallish crowd of local regulars: you are well dressed only from the waist up (one woman actually wore shorts) and you sit in the green room chatting amiably with each other, including your on-air adversary if you have one.
Every once in a while somebody comes in and says, "You're up" and you are led to a sound-proof room with a chair and a table and a light in your face (think: film noir police station interrogations). There is a camera pointed at your face, you are told by the control room the name of the person whom you will greet in the next few seconds as if you are old buds and then you answer questions posed by her as she anchors in the New York studio.
In the Green Room before and after the "hits" I talked politics (and the iPhone) with Peter Fenn, who had an intriguing, off-the-record theory on why Jim Webb took himself out of the Obama Veepstakes. Fenn also said, for the record and with a laugh, that he thought he and Pat Buchanan, his on-air foil for the day, were the only two people in the country who still believed Hillary had a shot at that gig.
I got a quick peek at Buchanan, who showed up with his wife, which is just plain lovely (they live in the nearby power center of McClean). I didn't get even a quick chance to re-introduce myself: I covered Buchanan in his 1992 New Hampshire primary upset for Reuters, which was one of the best reporting experiences I ever had.
For me, it was all very serendipitous, in a Tom Wolfe kind of way. But for the regular hands I'm sure it is all a big bore.
The depressed newspaper industry is old news of course but Alan Mutter, who blogs at Reflections of a Newsosaur, noticed a depressing pattern in the last report of "short" market activity: there were some pretty big bets that newspaper stocks would go down.