Rumors as news.

A sacred Law of Journalese is that rumors must never be identified as rumors. Instead, they are disguised as unidentified sources’ theories, speculation, possibilities, or an observer’s views, with the observer being an anonymous taxi driver who said something smart-ass that the reporter agreed with, or, most likely, the reporter himself or herself.

The Associated Press broke the Law of No Rumors on June, 2, 2017, in a news story from London about Prime Minister Theresa May’s reshuffle of her cabinet. The AP reported: “But rumors swirled of plots to oust May.”

The story continued: “Some core colleagues rallied to her support. But others saw her political days were numbered.”

But nothing more about the rumors.

File under: Rumors swirl while copy editors sleep.

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