When you find yourself reading a worthless article in a major publication and wondering why, look for the word "obtained" in the copy.
Yesterday I was searching in vain for the beef in a New York Times article titled, "Carly Fiorina's Speaking Dos and Don'ts Detailed in Company Document." No insight in the lead, phony innuendo in the second graph. Utter inanity all the way down, about Fiorina's public speaking preferences when she was a CEO 15 years ago. We learn that Fiorina showed videos sometimes, and liked to read her speeches in 14 pt. Arial double-space.
I run a professional speechwriters association and I was bored reading this. Why was it in the paper?
Paragraph four gave it away, noting the source of all this trivia: a document "obtained by The New York Times from a former H.P. employee."
Ah yes, "obtained": It's the humble-brag of every reporter, who hopes the reader silently marvels at what shoe-leather must have been spent, what nerve required, what wile it took to weedle this damning document from a bristling fortress of institutional power.
Except, not every document that's obtained by The New York Times is the Pentagon Papers. Most are banal memos like this, containing non-information that, if it could not be claimed to have been "obtained" through derring-do, wouldn't be in the paper, or anywhere near it.