As the saying goes, you just can’t make this stuff up:
Luxury British department store Harrods launched a High Court action against Dow Jones, publisher of the Wall Street Journal, on Monday, accusing it of libel after it ran a story triggered by an April Fool’s hoax.
The piece, entitled “The Enron of Britain?” appeared in 2002 in one of the Wall Street Journal’s regular columns, four days after the paper was taken in by an April Fool announcement from Harrods’ owner Mohammed Al Fayed that the store was to be floated on the stock exchange.
The WSJ column said that should Harrods ever go public, “investors would be wise to question its every disclosure”. It was, in other words, a joke — even if the paper’s editors were likely dismayed to have been taken in by the loopy idea that people interested in buying shares in Harrods-on-Thames should contact Loof Lirpa (“April Fool”, backwards).