(Image: Hardie Grant/Private Media)

Sometimes, very rarely, Scott Morrison admits he's lied, or at least that he was "wrong". But you have to be in exalted company to get an acknowledgment and apology.

The most prominent example was when the prime minister found himself in hot water with the media outlet devoted to supporting him, News Corp. Needled by Sky News' Andrew Clennell about the behaviour of his staff in response to the crisis over gender and workplace relations that engulfed his government earlier this year, an angry and rattled Morrison lashed out: "Right now, you would be aware that in your own organisation that there is a person who has had a complaint made against them for harassment of a woman in a women’s toilet and that matter is being pursued by your own HR department."

It was completely false -- a press gallery gossip-meets-Chinese whispers version of a workplace argument between two News Corp employees, with no harassment complaint and nothing to do with Sky News. News Corp immediately said Morrison's claims were untrue and no one was under investigation.