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Fear of the Press

5:50 PM -- A strange experience at LSI's analyst day this week left me wondering whether (a) other journalists have some form of x-ray vision or (b) I have a serious body odor problem. (See LSI Looks Ahead.)

As the event wound down, I attempted to get comment from some of the many financial analysts in attendance, but to no avail. Most politely declined my request, explaining that they would be roasted over a slow flame (or something similarly unpleasant) if they spoke to a member of the press. But I was transported back to kindergarten when introducing myself to a couple of guys who sat near me.

One analyst's anxious expression suggested I was about to steal his laptop (or his lunch money), while his companion quickly tore off his name-badge when I uttered the word "journalist." Both strenuously avoided eye contact, which made me wonder whether they thought my specs could see into their souls.

Tearing off your name-badge suggests a degree of paranoia Richard Nixon would be proud of. I know reporters are not universally popular, but the guy had not even opened his mouth, so what did he have to be afraid of? Maybe he has a phobia about short, prematurely balding English guys -- or something.

Strange days indeed.

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