It's practically poetic that the final speaker at this week's Newspaper Association of America conference was none other than Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) CEO Eric Schmidt.

New media darling Google has been painted -- unfairly -- as the enemy of the struggling print publishing business. It has gotten so bad that the media falsely assumed that an Associated Press content crackdown was directed at Google, when the paid search leader is actually a licensed AP partner.

The bigger crux rests in how Google populates its Google News aggregator site with headlines and an occasional line or two from third-party articles. However, those links lead directly to the official newspaper sites. Do newspapers really want to forgo billions of incoming clicks this year?

It's just a sorry case of old media pointing to a symptom and calling it the malady. You'd think a crack staff of reporters wouldn't misdiagnose the gravity of the situation. If the newspaper industry survives, it will be because companies like Google and Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) were able to successfully monetize the online page views for newspaper companies.

Briefly in the news
And now let's take a quick look at some of the other stories that shaped our week.

  • Pride can be a costly thing. The deal between IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: JAVA) apparently broke down, after Sun's boardroom balked at a lower buyout price. Didn't it learn anything from the Microhoo fiasco? If you're offered a buyout at a juicy premium and no one else wants in on the bidding, it's the suitor that calls the shots.
  • In a deal that is hopefully headed to a happier resolution, Pulte Homes (NYSE: PHM) announced that it would be buying Centex (NYSE: CTX) in a $1.3 billion deal. I'm no fan of the homebuilders, but I'm always a fan of consolidation. As bad as things may be right now for the real estate developers, streamlining costs, growing market share, and turning a rival into an ally are welcome sights.  
  • You've heard about General Motors (NYSE: GM) getting smaller, but did you see this coming? In 2012, the company will roll out the PUMA, a tiny Segway-esque car that is fit for city traffic. I guess that's one way to offset the stigma of making oversized SUVs and trucks that fell out of favor when oil prices spiked last year.

Until next week, I remain,
Rick Munarriz

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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz recommends windshield wiper fluid when trying to look back. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.