Companies large and small seem to think that saying “we do not comment on media speculation” is some sort of high-minded position. That it is evidence of integrity and principle.
Here is what it actually is: Cobblers.
Not to mention almost certainly a lie in itself.
Companies comment on media speculation all of the time. Sometimes in an informal, I wouldn’t-go-there-if-I-were-you way, and sometimes in direct contradiction of the story.
It gets on the very last nerve of hacks, because a) we know full well said company comments on media speculation when it sees fit. And b) because it is rather rude about the work the journalist had done to land the story.
Saying “no comment” is fine. The “media speculation” bit is annoying.