Aug. 16, 2020
LOS ANGELES–Fox Studios officials today confirmed that reclusive media tycoon Rupert Murdoch suffered accidental injuries during a Wednesday taping of the popular Iron Surgeon program. “Chairman Murdoch was injured when a laser-equipped remote incision and cauterization pistol accidentally discharged and struck him in the head while he was observing the taping from his dais,” explained Fox Spokeswoman Jessica Wrenkle. “We aren’t at liberty to discuss the incident in any more detail until official inquiries have concluded.”
The show, pitting surgeons from around the world against Murdoch’s own hand-picked ‘Iron Surgeons,’ including ‘Iron Surgeon Cardiovascular’ Dr. Theodore Lime, ‘Iron Surgeon Neurological’ Dr. Jennifer Frame, and ‘Iron Surgeon Orthopedic’ Dr. Laura Nimbu, challenges surgeons to complete death-defying procedures on patients using a surprise ‘theme instrument.’ A challenger, competing head-to-head against the Iron Surgeon of her choice, operates on three or four patients selected from a roster and is judged on “artistry, creativity, morbidity, and use of the theme instrument.” Recent theme instruments have included a spatula, a scalpel-shooting crossbow, and a bungee cord. Murdoch has guaranteed successful challengers “the people’s ovation and fame forever.”
Murdoch, rarely seen in public since dedicating much of his fortune to the building of ‘Surgery Stadium’ and the endowment of the program and its proprietary satellite network, routinely appeared on the show to interview contestants and to moderate the judges’ discussion. “He really loved the show,” notes frequent celebrity guest judge Gary Coleman. “Once the cameras were on he was full of witty quips, all totally unscripted. But I never really saw him off-camera. As soon as shooting would stop he’d call for his assistants and they’d drop this big, black sort of tarp over him and wheel him away.”
Witnesses to the Wednesday taping have indicated that the laser incision pistol that injured Murdoch was not the current theme instrument. “They were using this big helium tank,” explains one audience member. “The Iron Surgeon was doing a splenectomy. She’d inflated all these surgical gloves and tied them to the spleen. They lifted it up just like a hot air balloon. Just lifted it right up, right out of the patient. I guess it got too close to a stage light or something, but all of the sudden the spleen started shooting around the studio like a rocket. Then it hit a stagehand who was carrying some stuff and I heard Mr. Murdoch scream.”
Though members of Murdoch’s medical team were not available to comment, sources close to the family confirm that the laser caused significant ‘frontal lobe trauma,’ and that prospects of recovery were not strong.
“It really hurts to see him like this,” explains Sam Bill, Murdoch’s personal fingernail wrangler. “I went to see him to keep up the training of his nails and he didn’t even seem to recognize me. He was just sitting there, smiling, watching TV. I’ve known him for nine years and I’ve never seen him smile. It’s just so sad.”