Bernstein Analyst Tries to Swift-Boat Us!

We were glad to learn that Bernstein Research media analyst Michael Nathanson is an avid SAI reader. We were also flattered to learn that he thinks we move News Corp.’s stock. We must confess, however, to being taken aback by other comments he made about us late last week.

Michael likened our recent coverage of News Corp, Fox Interactive Media, and MySpace to the 2004 “Swift Boat” campaign, in which John Kerry’s political opponents attempted to discredit his war record. Michael, a News Corp. bull, apparently views us as opponents. We’re not.

Michael’s report — “Is MySpace Getting Swift Boated?” (after jump) — doesn’t challenge any of our facts. But for the record, we stand by our reports that:

•  FIM missed its internal revenue targets in August and July.
•  Rupert Murdoch appears to have modestly reduced his outlook for MySpace and FIM in fiscal 2008.

Michael points out that a modest reduction in the outlook for MySpace and FIM should not torpedo News Corp’s stock. We haven’t offered an opinion about News Corp’s stock, but if we did, we might agree with him.

Michael also makes a broad observation about how much the business of information dissemination, company analysis, and investing has changed in the past few years:

This is the new world. It makes our job as equity analysts and investors more difficult and will likely drive increased stock volatility, particularly in the very short-term. It will also make the truth more valuable than ever.

We certainly agree with that.

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