A cub reporter at one of Rupert Murdoch's Australian newspapers accidentally posted placeholder text announcing the publishing magnate's fourth marriage—in a "shotgun" ceremony, no less.
“Perth Now journalist Ashlee Mullany has married her long-term boyfriend and boss News Ltd. owner Rupert Murdoch in a shotgun wedding yesterday,” wrote reporter Nancy McDonald on the PerthNow website.
McDonald didn’t have inside gossip on Murdoch’s love life; she was just banging out some “dummy copy” while training to use the paper’s Fatwire content management system, according to an article in the West Australian.
But by some quirk of technology, the story went live on the Web along with a few other phony stories, according to the report.
"Cougar Delta Goodrem to give birth to younger boyfriend Nick Jonas’s baby, ” was the lead of another fake story that went live. “Speculation has surrounded the shock pregnancy as it is not sure who is the real baby daddy with Goodrem [who is] rumoured to have been sexually involved with both Jonas and McFadden at the same time.”
All of this would have been merely embarrassing, but things got worse when another News Corp. title picked up the phony celebrity gossip.
When they realized what had happened, the IT department spent the rest of the day scrubbing the story from the website, the paper reported. No word yet on whether Murdoch has had McDonald scrubbed from his payroll.