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Pandora Sucks (and Tim Westergren Kicks Dogs!)

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- I figured I would try a new technique.

Maybe if I beat others who "cover" Pandora (P) to the bottom of the barrel, if I apply absolutely no standard whatsoever to at least a portion of what I do, if I have no shame at all -- maybe then we'll hit a point where the articles people publish about Pandora can get no worse. Call it an attempt to put the notion of hitting bottom -- having no place to go but up -- in motion.

Because right when you think it can't get any worse, it does. A handful of scribes take the Pandora story to new and even more shameful depths.

Already this week we have seen Business Insider publish an eight-month old blog post passing it off as "today's" news. Then there was Greg Sandoval's Pandora hit job over at The Verge where he passed off Tim Westergren dining on a "truffle-infused Kobe beef burger" with investment bankers as somehow germane to the royalty conversation. Earlier in the same article, Sandoval passes off the inability of All Things D's Peter Kafka to conduct real reporting as a pockmark against Pandora. Of course, that's what they teach you in Journalism 101: Tweet the CTO of a public company to get answers to your most vexing questions.

This is where we are -- next these guys will pick through Westergren's garbage and produce smashed vinyl copies of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. They'll mark it as "EXCLUSIVE" or "BREAKING" and take pats on the back from the clique of colleagues and "industry sources" they work so feverishly not to piss off. Forget doing actual work to get the real story or find something closer to the truth; it's not about the reader, it's about the personal relationships they maintain that the general public couldn't care less about.

We have come to a point where not only in this story, but, sadly, in the broader scope, journalists routinely make something out of nothing and expect companies to spoon feed them information in lieu of doing actual journalism.

It's a pretty crappy day when I have to use relationships I have worked to establish to find out that Tim Westergren selected the "truffle-infused Kobe beef burger" off of the buffet at a reception hosted back around 2006. What bearing that has on the royalty dustup, I'll never know. And, newsflash to Sandoval, most urbanites can walk a few blocks from where they rest their heads to secure truffle-infused Kobe beef burgers and equivalent fare.

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