Melville Stone was a publisher of the Chicago Daily News during the 1870’s. In his memoir, he related the following anecdote of a hoax pulled by the Chicago Daily News against its competitor.
The staff at the Daily News had a feeling that the Chicago Post and Mail, which was run by the McMullen brothers, was plagiarizing their news and scoops. To test their theory, the Daily News published a news about a famine in Serbia, wherein the mayor of Balgrade apparently said in Serbian, “Er us siht la Etsll iws nel lum cmeht.”, which translates, “The municipality cannot aid.”
As they anticipated, the afternoon edition of the Post and Mail also published the same story together with the Serbian quote. Stone immediately went to all the other Chicago papers to tell them about the hoax. He revealed that the quote was fake, and if you read it backward, it would read, “The McMullens will steal this sure.”
Stone remarked that after the revelation, the Post and Mail was highly lampooned by the other Chicago papers, and it never recovered from the humiliation. Around two years later, Post and Mail was acquired by the Daily News for a very small amount of money.