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Bartz "Boatloads of Money" Comment Blown Out of Proportion

Those little "gotcha" quotes are so alluring. It's like being able to snap off a fast remark at an opponent or to come up with a trenchant and pithy remark, with a little research subbed out to some intern replacing the need for native wit. Unfortunately, the gotcha is often taken out of context and puffed up into something that it wasn't. And that's what we're seeing in the ongoing reaction to the Microsoft-Yahoo search deal.

Many outlets have resuscitated the "boatloads of money" remark that Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz made in the May D7 conference. Even the Wall Street Journal's Kara Swisher mentioned it on Friday:

One of the reasons Wall Street investors have gone sour on Yahoo's stock since its online advertising and search deal with Microsoft was announced is due a much-repeated comment that CEO Carol Bartz made at the seventh D: All Things Digital conference in late May.
Just one little problem: the memory of many seems to have been reshaped, even when the video is widely available on the web: The only problem is that Swisher was asking Bartz specifically about Microsoft buying Yahoo, or at least its search division, and not some other deal. Call it a case of easy glee on the part of the journalists who didn't bother to add the context and wishful thinking on the part of the Street.

As I mentioned last week, Yahoo isn't doing too shabbily in the deal. And, anyway, if you really want a gotcha, why not go for something a bit more obvious and in context? I can't embed it, but I will point you a Fox Business video in which Bartz clearly says, "We can take on Microsoft and Google," although she did say that Yahoo could partner with someone. And about Yahoo search only having 20 percent share compared to Google? "It's really for people who are on our sites and find something that they want to look farther and they go to Yahoo Search," said Bartz.

And for those who prefer a little more satire in their video, you might find the following amusing: a Walt Mossberg puppet complaining about the deal, saying, "Why do I even bother to give my opinion if you're not going to take it?"

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