In a perfect world, Woodward’s comment would not warrant a flurry of web posts and blog write-ups nor require a competent assessment like Kornblut’s (nor for that matter a post of this nature from me). But I am glad she was here today to offer some journalistic skepticism and temper all the excitement that comes from the tantalizing equation of Obama+Clinton+Campaign=X Factor, even when the math isn’t quite there yet.

Still, diligent though Kornblut’s work is, anyone who’s been to high school knows rumors stick (and I am sure, Woodward would argue, always begin somewhere). It’s unlikely a well-written pushback piece like this is likely to mean the Woodward nugget won’t make the Sunday gabfests. Probably several times over the next two years. And definitely if there’s a book to be sold.

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Joel Meares is a former CJR assistant editor.