content-free
n. A message or communication that is big on style but lacking in substance.

Example Citations:
Still, Labour was losing steam. Blair was on edge. By the third week of the campaign, he seemed wary of deviating from his inordinately bland and content-free scripted remarks.
—Stryker McGuire, “How Tony Blair Won,” Newsweek, May 12, 1997

By 1992, Clinton was telling the country about how he stood up to that same daddy for slapping his mom around. Republicans, a little behind in the game, are trying to say, We feel your pain too. They’re finally cottoning on to the political value of the confessional culture. With their party intellectually adrift, the appeal of this style of content-free, Oprah-fied populism continues to grow for them.
—Jacob Weisberg, “Battered-Republican Syndrome,” Slate Magazine, March 23, 1997

Earliest Citation:
A DOE draft analysis paper on Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) withdrawal policy, prepared last week for Reagan Cabinet officials, recommends that future study efforts include consideration of incentives and deterrents to private stockpiling of oil. The draft, obtained by Inside DOE, was termed “content free” by one source, who said the draft is indicative of DOE’s caution in making firm recommendations to the Reagan administration.
—“DOE paper for Watt council recommends further study of private stockpiling,” Inside Energy/with Federal Lands, July 3, 1981

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