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February 12, 2005

"Stories Too Good to Check"

In his weekly column, which should be called Sorry I'm Not Dave Barry, Gene Weingarten writes about "Stories Too Good to Check" -- STGTC, for short -- namely stories that sound fantastic but, in layman's lingo, are too good to be true.

I know what you're thinking: "That's the entire Washington Post, minus the classifieds."

Or: "That's the entire New York Times, including the classifieds."

As Weingarten explains:

An STGTC is invariably a crushing disappointment to the poor reporter who gets it. He winds up with raised hopes, a lot of work and, ultimately, no story. When I surveyed my colleagues at The Washington Post, many solemnly responded that they'd had plenty of STGTCs in their careers but that they'd managed to erase them from their memories, like the pain of childbirth. For others, the wounds are still raw.
And, of course, there's also Dan Rather and Mary Mapes.