Breitbart.com was duped by a satirical article joking about economist Paul Krugman declaring bankruptcy, the second time in recent weeks the conservative site has run with an outrageous story before doing any basic fact checking.
The Paul Krugman bankruptcy story was pulled from Breitbart when other outlets began pointing out the blog had been tricked by a clearly satirical yarn, with no disclaimer that the false story had run or acknowledgement that the post was wholly erroneous. (Generally accepted media practice is to run a correction, not pretend the entire thing hadn’t happened.)
The link to the Krugman bankruptcy piece on Breitbart now redirects to a 404 page (truth not found!), but Media Matters managed to grab a screengrab of the embarrassing junior league error before the Breitbart team pulled the post.
To illustrate how easily detectable as satire the post about Paul Krugman’s bankruptcy was, here’s a snippet:
“The filing says that Krugman got into credit card trouble in 2004 after racking up $84,000 in a single month on his American Express black card in pursuit of rare Portuguese wines and 19th century English cloth… Rather than tighten his belt and pay the sums back, the pseudo-Keynesian economist decided to “stimulate” his way to a personal recovery by investing in expenses he hoped would one day boost his income.”
And Paul Krugman himself is gleefully cackling in schadenfreude over on his New York Times column “The Conscience Of A Liberal,” in which he explains he’s “an evil person,” and that his “scheming has paid off.”
Krugman says that on Friday, he learned of “a fake story making the rounds about [his] allegedly filing for personal bankruptcy;” but he “decided not to post anything about it” to “wait and see which right-wing media outlets would fall for the hoax.”
The highly-regarded economist then says that “Breitbart.com came through!”
“Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go give a lavishly paid speech to Friends of Hamas.”
The “Friends Of Hamas” joke makes reference to Breitbart’s last embarrassing mistake before the Paul Krugman bankruptcy post, in which writer Ben Shapiro alleged that Chuck Hagel had been paid to speak by a non-existent terrorist group joked about by another reporter — and when confronted with the faulty info, Shapiro refused to admit that the tale was faulty, citing unnamed sources that “confirmed” information another reporter admitting having made up due to the fact it sounded so thoroughly preposterous.