A PR person is jerking one of my writers around.

We're trying to get comment for a story critical of a company. The PR person sent my writer a multi-paragraph statement "on background."

"On background" does not have a standard definition. It's a phrase used by people who like to pretend to be professional journalists.

So my writer inquired what "on background" means. The PR person said we can't publish the comment in any way.

So why the hell did you send it to us? What do you expect us to do with it?

This only comes up with PR people who work for companies with greater than $1 billion revenue, because that kind of cushion of money allows folks like those PR people to build a nice layer protecting themselves from reality.

You may well ask: Why don't we just use it anyway? The answer is that the statement is completely useless unless it's attributed to the company sending it, because it is bland corporate tapioca.
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