Monday, March 27, 2006

How's Your Hearing?

Last month, I blogged about "truthiness," the quality of preferring concepts or facts one wants to be true, rather than concepts or facts known to be true. I talked about how the tidal wave of celebrity disinformation, corporate scandals and political corruption seemed to be swamping the old-fashioned American values of honesty, truth and trust.

What I didn't address was the fact that, for truth to triumph over truthiness, we also have to be willing to hear the truth.

A perfect example is this story — which was covered in a recent Sunday New York Times — about a pharmaceutical security analyst, Michael Krensavage, who tried to tell the truth, as he saw it, and got an earful of invective from an angry investor, who attempted to bully Krensavage into revising his evaluation of a company's performance. (The analyst, an SVP with Raymond James & Associates, had cut Bentley Pharmaceuticals from "market perform" to "underperform," because its stock had outpaced the growth of its business.)

It's not just cranky shareholders who are outraged when truth wins out over truthiness. A few corporate executives have been known to freeze analysts out of conference calls, decline media interviews and pull advertising from offending print publications ... rather than address the underlying operational issues that have caused the problem being exposed. They're only delaying the inevitable, unhappy outcome.

To quote the great writer Han Suyin, "Truth, like surgery, may hurt, but it cures."

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Testing. Please reject my comment.


Wednesday, December 06, 2006 1:42:00 PM  

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