It’s unfortunate that delicious watermelons are not currently among those species known to be native to Mars. Thankfully, neither are cops. So a story the New York Times published on Tuesday stating that, contrary to expectations, police had found watermelons on the Red Planet was sort of a mixed bag even if the story wasn’t bullshit, which it was.
The article, titled “Fields of Watermelons Found On Mars, Police Say”, was briefly published to the New York Times website at 2:19 p.m. ET, as shown in this archived version. Bylined by reporter “Joe Schmoe,” the story read:
Authorities say rise of fruit aliens is to blame for glut of outer space watermelons.
The FBI declined to comment onreports of watermelons raining down, but confirmed that kiwis have been intercepted. This story is terribly boring.
watermelon taste good, police say
Swiftly thereafter, the Times yanked the piece. Both the headline and text of the article currently read, “This article was published in error.”
What's happening at the NYT pic.twitter.com/Ff5L24zZNk
— Jon Christian (@Jon_Christian) June 8, 2021
It’s common for newsrooms to have a bunch of shit laying around dormant on the backend of their publishing systems, such as unfinished or abandoned articles, stubs (extremely short articles lacking details), obituaries of those not yet dead, sample layouts, and long-forgotten, usually unfunny in-jokes. Pretty much 100% of the time these posts, never intended to see the light of day, are never deleted, lingering for eternity in a sort of underworld data hellscape
For example, this is a draft currently saved on the Gizmodo backend:
These things get errantly published all the time, whether due to technical malfunctions, frantic button-mashing, or just plain incompetence. Barring some malicious party going to all the trouble of stealing New York Times web credentials and logging into the content management system just to publish… this, that’s probably what happened here. The world may never know, as the paper didn’t respond to Futurism’s request for comment.
NOTE TO EDITOR: shit
why did we write three hundrd words on ths