Audit Notes: FT “News,” Overdrafts Over at BofA, No Marketwatchdog

There they go again.

The Financial Times has a scoop so big it thought it decided we media types couldn’t wait to read it in the paper or online—we needed a flash email.

So what’s the “exclusive” headline?

Pandit sees revival of Citi’s fortunes

You mean Vikram Pandit, Citi CEO, sees a revival of his company’s fortunes? Stop the presses, and put that story on the front page!

Here’s a piece of good news—one that the press had no small part in bringing about: Bank of America will end overdraft charges on its debit cards. It was already going to take a big cut in that revenue because of a new federal law, but this is the right thing to do.

And BofA’s heft will do good for once: It’s such a behemoth that other banks might have to follow:

“If Bank of America can forgo the fee income and do the right thing by their customers, this should be seen as a direct challenge to the other big banks to match and do the same,” said Mr. Eakes, who serves on a Bank of America advisory council, an unpaid position.

— Marketwatch’s assistant managing editor thinks the press is going overboard covering the Toyota story. So you have a carmaker, esteemed for its quality, whose cars short out, speed up, and kill people. The car company knows about this and covers it up, and is forced to own up to it in part by aggressive press coverage, and Steve Kerch thinks the press should pipe down?

If so, he’s going to have to get a better argument—one that specifically points to any story that’s over the top, something he doesn’t do. He does use a counterexample that makes no sense:

An accident here the other day claimed the lives of four women when their car slammed into a tree.

But since they were riding in a 2000 Pontiac Bonneville instead of a 2010 Toyota Prius these women didn’t rate the top slot on any national newscast — or much mention on any newscast at all — nor send people tweeting away in outrage nor stoke Internet chat room furor.

Kerch has no explanation for what happened and there’s no indication from him that there was any mechanical failure involved. Weird.

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Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum.