This morning's Philadelphia Inquirer ran a piece by Gail Shister positing that Katie Couric would leave the CBS Evening News anchor chair after the 2008 election. It's a story full of hedges (the first two paragraphs contain a "may," a "possibly," and a "there's a growing feeling") and CBS News was quick to refute it.
This piece is beyond ridiculous — unfounded, gratuitous, utterly malicious and, most importantly, untrue, as stated unequivocally by CBS News President Sean McManus. It is incomprehensible how a major daily newspaper can base an entire article on unsourced rumor — including from a direct competitor — about what CBS News management is thinking, when those rumors were directly knocked down on the record at the highest levels. Is this where journalism has gone at the Inquirer?