The Daily Currant makes another round of headlines with its satire. Weeks ago, it bamboozled the Washington Post into believing that Sarah Palin had signed on with Al Jazeera as a commentator.
Now it has hoaxed the journalism world into believing that Paul Krugman, that New York Times arbiter of sound economic policy, has gone belly up. “Paul Krugman declares personal bankruptcy,” notes the article, whose specifics carefully skirt the boundaries of the credible. Among the liabilities cited in the piece is $84,000 of credit-card charges “in a single month on his American Express black card in pursuit of rare Portuguese wines and 19th century English cloth.”
What foolish media outlets bought into this nonsense. Boston.com, for one: See the image below; it cites some Austrian outlet as the source of the news, which, in turn, relied on the Daily Currant “story.”
And then Breitbart.com picked it up, citing the normally quite reliable Boston.com. (Breitbart has now deleted it).
All of which raises the question: How did Boston.com, powered by the Boston Globe, glom on to this trash?
Brian McGrory, the Globe’s editor, explains that no editorial official at his paper ever made a decision to post the piece. “The story arrived deep within our site from a third party vendor who partners on some finance and market pages on our site,” says McGrory. It was never on the Boston.com homepage, says McGrory. “We never knew it was there till we heard about it from outside.” Since the posting went up, McGrory attests to having done “urgent work to get it the hell down,” something that appears to have happened, though not as quickly as McGrory would have liked. “The idea that we’d have a partner on our site is actually news to me,” says McGrory, who vows to “address our relationship with that vendor.”