Anatomy of a rumor: Apple’s Sept. 9 event E-mail Tweet Facebook Google Plus Linkedin Share icons by Philip Elmer-DeWitt @FortuneMagazine August 27, 2014, 5:54 PM EDT 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. Two 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 fortune.com/ped or subscribe via his RSS feed.