Just in case you were wondering if it was only the American sport media that never bothers to fact check:
As an ex-presidential consultant, a former adviser to the World Bank, a financial researcher for the United Nations and a professor in the US, Artur Baptista da Silva’s outspoken attacks on Portugal’s austerity cuts made the bespectacled 61-year-old one of the country’s leading media pundits last year.
The only problem was that Mr Baptista da Silva is none of the above. He turned out to be a convicted forger with fake credentials and, following his spectacular hoodwinking of Portuguese society, he could soon face fraud charges.
Blessed with such an impressive CV, Mr Baptista’s subsequent criticisms of the Lisbon government’s far-reaching austerity cuts, as well as dire warnings that the UN planned to take action against it, struck a deep chord with its financially beleaguered population.
According to the Spanish newspaper El País, his powerfully delivered comments at a debate at the International Club, a prestigious Lisbon cultural and social organisation last month, were greeted with thunderous applause and a part-standing ovation.
Then, in a double page interview in the weekly newspaper Expresso in mid-December, Mr Baptista da Silva continued to denounce the government’s policies. That was followed by an interview for the radio station TSF, appearances in high-profile television debates and well-publicised meetings with trade union leaders to advise them on economic policies.
Oh, you just knew he was going to be a damned Keynesian, didn’t you? Has anyone checked up on Paul Krugman lately? I mean really checked to make sure his blog isn’t being written by a perl script?
Frankly, it doesn’t surprise me that no one could tell he was a fake. A lot of economists seem to make stuff up as they go; a lot of attention is paid to those who reinforce popular but wrong-headed ideas; the media loves politicians who embrace big government and see it as the solution to all ….
Ok, seriously, has anyone checked on Paul Krugman?