A much hated card, now banned. It may be a little perverse to review a card that's now literally unplayable, but I'd like to offer a brief retrospective. A lot of people said Rumor Mill was badly designed. The argument ran like this: it's a very strong effect with no counter-play. It just shuts down the Corp, no questions asked. I think that's wrong for two reasons. Firstly, Rumor Mill was the counter play. It hated on a relatively small number of cards that happened to be very strong. Hate cards need to be above the curve against then strategies they target or they're worthless. Secondly, there were still options for the Corp. They could play their own current, or find a fast advance to kill it. That's counter play right there. Granted Rumor Mill guaranteed an access past Ash, Caprice or Marcus Batty but that's what never advance is for. There was even a hard counter of sorts, The News Now Hour.
The real problem with Rumor Mill was the context it was printed in. Starting with the Mumbad Cycle, and continuing on through Flashpoint and beyond, the strongest new Corp cards in Netrunner were notably skewed towards asset spam and away from glacier. Horrors like Museum of History, Mumbad City Hall, Mumba Temple and the bloody political assets started this trend, but they weren't the end of it, as deeply unfortunate cards like Friends in High Places and Estelle Moon attest.
Meanwhile, runners became richer and more efficient. The pack that Rumor Mill came in, for instance, upgraded Corroder to Paperclip and also afflicted the meta with Temüjin Contract, the most broken economy card ever printed (that's including Bloo Moose). Smoke and Şifr also both largely invalidated ice in their different ways. All this was bad news for glacier decks. What Rumor Mill did was turn off their last remaining advantage - defensive upgrades. It was a solid kick to the perineum of an already beleaguered archetype. Worst of all, it was the final piece in the Valencia Blackmail spam archetype. Now Val had no need to interact with glacier at all. She just said "no".
The combination of absurdly powerful Runner economy, anti-ice options, and a strong alternative Corp strategy in the form of asset spam, left glacier broken. Rumor Mill was the straw that broke the camel's back. And it was everywhere, because hey, turning off Jackson Howard was always gonna be good. In a different meta, losing the reliability of Ash, Caprice and Marcus might have prompted Corps to explore different options, such as Old Hollywood Grid, but as it was there was really no mood to try out downgraded versions of decks that were already falling behind.
I'd argue that a lot of this situation wasn't really Rumor Mill's fault. You'll note that this review has mentioned a lot of cards that are also now banned or restricted. That's where I'd lay the blame. Caprice and Jackson are now gone. Ash and Marcus are still with us, as is the sleeping giant Sandburg. I don't think it would be awful if Rumor Mill came back in some form to offer a counter to those cards. I realise I'm in a minority here. There's no arguing with the fact that it's strong, so maybe it should be on the restricted list, or reprinted in a weakened form.