But Apple makes clear that Jobs was directly involved in some instances of backdating.The investigation "found that CEO Steve Jobs was aware or recommended the selection of some favorable grant dates." The committee hastens to add that Jobs "did not receive or financially benefit from these grants or appreciate the accounting implications." In other words, he didn't recommend backdating his own option grants.A future without Jobs is simply too grim to contemplate.

Consumers adore him for liberating them from the tyranny of expensive CDs and crappy radio.

Creative types love Jobs for creating the i Mac, a hipper alternative to the blocky PC.

Just so, which midlevel investigator at the Securities and Exchange Commission would have the temerity to recommend to Chairman Christopher Cox that the agency haul the most successful Silicon Valley entrepreneur into court?

Which junior federal prosecutor will recommend indicting the guy who smashed the PC monopoly?

After accounting for forfeitures, Apple was forced to recognize stock-based compensation expense of $105 million on a pretax basis that it hadn't done so previously.

Apple has essentially blamed former chief financial officer Fred Anderson and former general counsel and board secretary Nancy Heinen, both of whom are no longer with the company.As Jack Shafer noted in 2005, even the press loves Jobs.Nobody—no board member, or analyst, or hedge-fund manager, or columnist—will step up to say that Jobs should go.He's a revered Hall of Famer who doesn't get whistled for fouls that send other pros to the bench. He is too popular—among investors, journalists, employees, analysts, and in the culture at large—for anyone to recommend that he be deposed. The scandals at Enron, World Com, Adelphia, and everywhere else ended the era of the rock-star CEO.But Jobs is the lone exception, as revered today as he ever was.News of the irregularities, which is expected to be revealed in a regulatory filing by Apple before the end of this week, will add to pressure that has been growing on one of Silicon Valley’s most highly-regarded companies since the middle of 2005.