But there is one reporter who comes off looking pretty bad in this: CNBC’s Jim Goldman, who for weeks has been hawking Apple’s company line for weeks that Jobs is not sick. He got smacked around by Newsweek’s Dan Lyons, aka the former “Fake Steve Jobs” blogger, on his own network the other day, something the Guardian says got Lyons banned from CNBC.

Here’s the meat of what Lyons said on the air:

There’s two kinds of reporters that cover Apple, the kind who realize they’re getting snowed and getting bullied and getting blocked out and realize that a lot of what they’re being told is not true, and the other kind, who suck up in order to get access, and end up getting played and punked like your Valley bureau chief [Jim Goldman] has been played and punked by Apple.”

Sure, Lyons is being a jerk, but it’s hard to disagree with him here. He notes that CNBC’s former Silicon Valley bureau chief is now Apple’s head of PR, and it appears that Goldman has relied too much on his insider sources to the point of being blinded by the obvious: Jobs, the most important CEO in the world, was a sick man, his company was misleading its shareholders, and Goldman was helping them do it by categorically reporting that Jobs was fine.

Sometimes you trust your sources, and sometimes you get burned.

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 rc2538@columbia.edu.