Last week STAR Magazine took a blind shot in the dark, reporting that Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield are done because he didn’t get on a plane from Taiwan, where he’s been working on a Scorsese movie, to join her for award season. Click here for a refresher on my initial comments.

Yesterday three of the more reliable media outlets, compared to STAR at least, tracked the story. First it was PEOPLE. They went with their online report late in the day, at 5:15pm ET citing sources who claim that the two haven’t spent time together because Andrew is really intense about his work right now and it’s a difficult role to play. PEOPLE does not outright say that Emma and Andrew are over, only that they haven’t seen much of each other, with another source claiming that they’re just busy because of shooting schedules and that it’s not a permanent split.

Two hours later, at 7:01 pm ET, E! News comes on board. They too repeat that Emma and Andrew haven’t been in the same country because he’s filming overseas and they too cite sources who kind of sort of say that the two are on a break but who also can’t confirm that it’s a definitive romantic “break”.

Then, 45 minutes after that, US Weekly joins the party, with sources telling the magazine that Emma and Andrew haven’t been together because, again, he’s on location in Taiwan, and that they’ve been fighting. Apparently Andrew’s gotten pretty method into his part and in a “dark place mentally” for his art. Hilariously, US Weekly describes them as:

“Possible soon-to-be exes.”

I don’t even know what that means. But I do know a little about how competing media outlets react to these kinds of stories. To me, that’s what’s most interesting here.

PEOPLE spent a whole week thinking about whether or not STAR Magazine was shooting legit out of their asses. So they go first yesterday with a report that sounds the alarm without having to commit to a slamdunk story. Once PEOPLE goes live with their post, it sends E! and US Weekly into high alert. They’re compelled to follow up with their own versions. Their newsrooms pick up the phone, calling anyone they can to see if they can add a different dimension to the story, even though all of it is similarly vague. And that’s where we are now: a gossip pile-up.

So what’s really going on between Emma and Andrew? It doesn’t sound like PEOPLE, E!, or US Weekly know for sure. Nothing in their reports is definitive. Because these two keep their sh-t pretty tight. Andrew, for example, doesn’t even keep a publicist on staff so it’s not like he’s the type to pull PR shenanigans or plant leaks around his career. Emma’s never thirsted for that kind of sh-t either. So whoever’s talking on their behalf, if anyone is actually talking on their behalf, probably won’t stay in the circle for long. Wouldn’t it be amazing if it was Taylor Swift though?