You’ve probably heard by now that Breitbart.com fell for a satirical story about Paul Krugman declaring bankruptcy. When called out for it, they deleted the story without comment. But as Charles Johnson points out, when the Washington Post fell for a story from the same satire site, the Breitbartians took enormous glee in hammering them for it — and for only posting a correction.
In a blog post snarkily titled “Sarah Palin’s plan to reach ‘millions of devoutly religious people’ through al-Jazeera,” Parker used the Web pages of the once-legendary Washington Post to spread the incredible news that Palin had joined Al-Jazeera. This news was then used by Parker as the basis for a piece of left-wing smuggery that ripped Palin for being so desperate to stay relevant.
There was only one problem: The story of Palin joining Al-Jazeera is, duh, 100% false. Parker fell for an “Onion”-style satire published at the parody website The Daily Currant…
But never one to let facts get in the way of a good Narrative, the “we-meant-to-do-that” Post merely added a correction, changed the headline to “Sarah Palin tries to stay relevant,” scrubbed the Al-Jazeera references (the original post can be read here), and still ripped Palin for, uhm, being so desperate to stay relevant.
If Parker had a shred of self-awareness, integrity, and dignity, she would have changed the headline to “Too Good To Check,” and under it posted an essay about how shallow, smug, bitterly angry partisanship can blind you to common sense.
But that would require having a soul to search.
I’m sure he will apply the same standard to the website he works for and hammer them for making the same mistake and then deleting the post without a correction or a comment at all, right? Right? I’m sure he’ll be criticizing his own bosses for their lack of self-awareness and integrity and pointing out that they fell for a fake story because it fit their narrative (or, as he put it, “Narrative” — I have no idea why he thinks that word should be capitalized), right? Yeah, I didn’t think so.
And Krugman’s response was pitch perfect:
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.
Well played, sir. Well played.