Is this a joke? is a valid question approximately twelve times a day on the Internet every single day, but more so on April 1, when the answer is still usually "no." The online outrage machine got going and then stalled a bit this afternoon when the New York Daily News published an article called "Wolf Pack's Prey," affixed with today's date, but describing the notorious 1989 case of the Central Park jogger, most recently covered in a Ken Burns exposé. No, this is not an awful April Fools' Day joke.
"It was a test of the content management system with an advertorial about an upcoming documentary about the case," a source at the tabloid told the Observer. "It was up for five minutes and it's since been removed and the advertorial will run on April 10th."
The page was actually up for more like two hours, but a separate glitch (with some equally incongruous dummy text about Kate Upton) seems to confirm the idea that this was a tech problem, not a prank:
New York Daily News is having some sort of catastrophic CMS failure, so far as I can tell... twitter.com/Odd_Hack/statu…— Odd Hack (@Odd_Hack) April 1, 2013
All major announcements and test runs involving sensitive content should hereby be saved until tomorrow.
Update: A spokesperson explains, "The Daily News is working an historical package of coverage about the Central Park Five. A member of the paper's online staff inadvertently published an archived story about the case into our news feed. The link has been taken down."