Did Paul Ryan really call his running mate "The Stench"? Does Romney call Ryan "Gilligan"? No. The only "stench" around Paul Ryan is probably coming from his socks after his P-90X routine.
Yesterday's try at satire from Politico's Roger Simon fooled a lot of people, including Paul Krugman, Lawrence O'Donnell, Gawker, Mediaite, and countless others via Twitter and other social media.
MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell reported on air that "Paul Ryan is desperately trying to avoid the stench of Romney. Yes, the stench. That is what Paul Ryan is calling Mitt Romney according to Politico."
Nobel Prize-winner Krugman, who has since realized his error, wrote “Can I say that even though I’m not exactly a fan of Mitt Romney’s, this is just bad behavior? You're supposed to wait until it's actually over before you do this kind of thing,” on his New York Times blog.
Now, most of the blog is struck out:
Keith Olberman could not resist repeating news of unrest in the Romney/Ryan campaign:
Memeorandum continued the meme:
Reddit progressives were all over the news:
Tommy Christopher of Mediaite wrote, "Simon’s anecdote has the recognizable (to the Beltway crowd) ring of truth that renders it canonical in political circles."
The first journalist to contact Paul Ryan's spokesperson Michael Steel to follow up on the truth of the story was not American. It was Toby Harnden, reporter for the UK's Daily Mail.
Simon's article included this note all along:
When I first heard this, I thought, "No way!" After reading 2 paragraphs of Simon's article, I recognized it was some type of joke. Does that make me smarter than Lawrence O'Donnell?