When Apple announced that Steve Jobs was skipping Apple's final Macworld keynote on Dec. 16, CNBC's Jim Goldman assured everyone that it was "politics, not pancreas" behind his absence, according to "sources inside the company." They told him "that if Jobs for some reason was unable to perform any of his responsibilities as CEO because of health reasons, which would include the Macworld keynote" that "the board would let me know." His sources repeated the info two weeks later in response to word that Jobs' health was in fact rapidly declining. Jim declared: "Until Apple says something different, or I get my hands on something tangible and trustworthy, I'm taking the company at its word."
Goldman, you see, is too good for rumors: "Do I traffic in rumors to fill the void the company has created by not choosing to be more forthcoming about Jobs' health? Absolutely not."
Today, in response to the news that Jobs' health problems are more "complex" than he suspected and will be taking a "medical leave of absence" until June, Goldman said on CNBC that he's actually known for more than a week that Steve Jobs' health issues were more complicated than Jobs and Apple initially revealed a week ago.
His information from a pair of sources that "Steve Jobs is in a state of denial about his health circumstances as we speak," is by definition a rumor, even if it spills out of the mouth of someone who says he doesn't "traffic in rumors."
If his information supercedes mere rumor, why didn't he report it before, the same week he lauded Apple and Jobs for going "way beyond the call today with a personal note and a corresponding letter from Apple's board that should finally put these rumors to bed"? His information—apparently "tangible and trustworthy" enough to relay on air today—directly contradicts what Apple, Jobs and even Goldman himself told us earlier.
But for that matter, how do we know his new sources are any more reliable than his past ones? As it stands, it looks like he stopped listening to Smurfs and started listening to Burt & Ernie. Personally, I'm more of a Ninja Turtle guy, so when they give you a call, Jim, be sure to let us know. I trust them.
And, why is it so hard to apologize for being wrong?
UPDATE: Jim's written up his take on today's news. He's very skeptical of believing any company news now, and it contradicts the statements he made on air, such as the ones where he states he believes in what the company and his sources say, unless told otherwise. He's literally not willing to bet that Jobs will come back in June.