Krugman Bankruptcy Hoax Fools the Right-Wing Media

by
Owen Poindexter
A story about Paul Krugman filing for bankruptcy was just too delicious to fact-check for right-wing news outlet Breitbart.com.

Breitbart.com took down their false story about Paul Krugman filing for bankruptcy, but this screenshot lives on in infamy.

Breitbart.com, as well as Boston.com and an Australian news site all reported that liberal New York Times economist filed for bankruptcy. This would be an all too delicious news morsel for the right wing media…if it were true. But it’s not: the “news” came from spoof news website The Daily Currant. Krugman saw the story making the rounds, but decided to see if any right-wing news sources took the bait. He wasn’t disappointed. Krugman:

OK, I’m an evil person — and my scheming has paid off.

On Friday I started hearing from friends about a fake story making the rounds about my allegedly filing for personal bankruptcy; I even got asked about the story by a reporter from Russian television, who was very embarrassed when I told him it was fake. But I decided not to post anything about it; instead, I wanted to wait and see which right-wing media outlets would fall for the hoax.

And Breitbart.com came through!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go give a lavishly paid speech to Friends of Hamas.

Did you get that last joke? “Friends of Hamas” was the last big story to unintentionally fool the right-wing media. Breitbart.com, among others, ran with a story about Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel taking money from a group called “Friends of Hamas.” Turns out the “story” came from a joke made by a reporter that some people didn’t get. These are not isolated occurrences, but a regular feature from news outlets who won’t let a few facts get in the way of a few stories. Given the mistrust of the mainstream media that has been sewed into conservatives, it’s not surprising that Breitbart.com can keep reporting these stories with little loss to their reputation. It’s just kind of sad.

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