The Wall Street Journal reported this morning (and thousands of others since then) in a front-page story that Microsoft is seeking new channels of opportunity for acquiring the search business of Yahoo. Redmond has reportedly been in talks with Time Warner and WSJ parent company News Corp., cooking up a deal that would see Yahoo’s constituent pieces scattered about like orphaned mice.

But such a scenario, which the Journal story characterized as cherry-picking Yahoo’s most valued asset, was not something Yahoo wanted, but was apparently what Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer had wanted all along.

It seems that during the period between April 15, when the original negotiations collapsed, and May 17, Yahoo executives—under pressure from shareholders—met with Ballmer at a law office in Palo Alto, Calif. It was there that the three discussed Yahoo’s readiness to be acquired for $33 per share, and where Ballmer’s true intentions were revealed. In a single stroke, Ballmer laid waste to four months of talks.

The story exposes Microsoft’s ridiculous cloak-and-dagger efforts to keep secret a meeting four weeks earlier, by sending Yang and other Yahoo executives to a back-alley rendezvous with a woman holding a red umbrella.

Has it occurred to anyone that this deal may never take place because Ballmer—a.k.a. Monkey Boy—is a complete buffoon? Since this fiasco began, Yahoo execs have taken to referring to Ballmer’s pursuit as a “crude solution to quell his obsessions with Google,” and that Ballmer’s plan was nothing more than his attempt at “filling his Internet hole.”

Ballmer’s latest stunt was to arrange, then cancel, a meeting with Yahoo Chairman Roy Bostock to discuss the deal anew. That meeting was supposed to have taken place this past Monday. Maybe Carl Ichan called back.