1. Bill Stieg says:

    In 30 years in journalism, I’ve heard this term used with different shades of meaning. Most often it is used to describe an article or column that involved little or no reporting, as though the writer sat in a corner sucking his/her thumb, and this is what he/she came up with. I’ve also heard it used it to describe a boring, relatively pointless story. Another possibility: a story whose factual basis is questionable. But the first definition is the one I heard earliest, and most often since.

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