Which news is worse: that the Sun-Times is adding Jenny McCarthy as a columnist or that Rupert Murdoch is kicking the tires of the Tribune? McCarthy will be just one more columnist among many (albeit the only one who was once a Playmate of the Year) and just a small step further along the primrose path through the wild side that the Sun-Times has been walking since—well, since Murdoch bought it back in 1984. (He sold it in ’86.)

Murdoch, on the other hand, would own the Tribune if that deal were to go through. Apparently, it’s nowhere near done. In fact, Murdoch’s News Corporation released a statement Saturday calling reports of preliminary talks “wholly inaccurate.” There’s no particular reason to believe this. As the talks were reported in the Tribune and LA Times, newspapers that still enjoy a reputation for credibility, there’s reason not to.

Even so, the News Corporation’s denial caused Tribune Company to flinch and backtrack. The story on the Tribune website Saturday evening said, “With Tribune Co. expected to emerge from bankruptcy soon, News Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch is looking to acquire two of its trophy properties: the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times.” According to the version of the same story in Sunday morning’s Tribune, “Murdoch is said to be looking to acquire . . .”

(Yes, said by the Tribune a few hours earlier.)