Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 5.27.06 PM

Anatomy of a rumor: Apple’s Sept. 9 event

If you're like me, you've probably read a lot of stories about what Apple will or won't announce on Sept. 9.

I've seen 135 stories about the date on Techmeme alone.

But when I try to I trace the Sept. 9 meme back to its source, I find only three reporters who claim any first-hand knowledge. And one of them -- Daring Fireball's John Gruber -- now says his post was just a joke.

Judging from the buzz on Techmeme, it seems to matter less what Gruber or 9to5Mac's Mark Gurman say. When re/Code's John Paczkowski reports that Apple is going to reveal something on such and such a date, the rest of the press climbs on board.

Three weeks ago it was a large-screen iPhone. This week it's a "wearable."

We'll find out soon enough.

Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter at @philiped. Read his Apple (aapl) coverage at or subscribe via his RSS feed.

All products and services featured are based solely on editorial selection. FORTUNE may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website.

Quotes delayed at least 15 minutes. Market data provided by Interactive Data. ETF and Mutual Fund data provided by Morningstar, Inc. Dow Jones Terms & Conditions: S&P Index data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Terms & Conditions. Powered and implemented by Interactive Data Managed Solutions