Paul Krugman Bankrupt? Boston.com, Breitbart Pick up Satirical Report

Monday, 11 Mar 2013 02:05 PM

By Michael Mullins

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New York Times columnist and Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman has not declared bankruptcy, despite Monday morning reports on Boston.com and Breitbart.com.

A "gotcha story" originating on left-leaning satirical website Dailycurrant.com claimed that Krugman declared personal bankruptcy. Taking it at face value, the two news outlets picked up the false story and ran with it.

". . . 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," the Daily Currant story said. "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."

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The fabricated piece even went as far as to include a quote from Krugman.

"They say always dress for the job you want," Krugman's quote went. "So I thought maybe if I showed up in $70,000 Alexander Amosu suits they would give me ownership of part of the company. If I had only been granted a sliver of the New York Times Co., I could have paid everything back."

Friends informed Krugman of the false story on Friday, and a Russian newspaper reporter even asked him about it.

On Monday, Krugman responded to the Daily Currant's story via his blog "The Conscience of a Liberal" on The New York Times' op-ed page.

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

Krugman is regarded by many on the right as a left-wing, Keynesian economist. Keynesian economics promotes active government intervention in the marketplace and monetary policy to ensure economic growth and stability.

Austria's Format online magazine was the first to aggregate the story, before Boston.com (part of the Boston Globe) and conservative website Breitbart.com.

Breitbart.com and Boston.com have removed the story from their websites.

This isn't the first time the Daily Currant has hoodwinked a major news source into reporting a fake story.

In February, Washington Post contributor Suzi Parker was duped into writing that former Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin accepted a position at the Al-Jazeera news network to reach millions of "devoutly religious people."

Both Palin and an Al-Jazeera spokesperson dispelled the false story, with the former governor taking to Twitter to mock The Post contributor.

"Hey @washingtonpost, I'm having coffee with Elvis this week. He works at the Mocha Moose in Wasilla. #suziparkerscoops #idiotmedia," she wrote.

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"WaPo & like-minded MSM entities, you're about as credible as, well, Barack Obama. Can't wait for tonight's SOTU to point out more examples," Palin wrote in another tweet.

Related stories:

Krugman: Markets Say Doomsayers Don’t Have a Clue

Krugman: Budget Deficit Problem 'Pretty Much' Solved

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