Former Maryland Gov. and Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley released a scathing open letter to Wall Street on Thursday, taking aim at “megabanks” and calling for major financial-industry reforms.
But there was one big problem: as Bloomberg reporter Phil Mattingly pointed out, the first footnote in the paper is a citation of an article in the satirical newspaper The Daily Currant.
The article, titled “Eric Holder takes $US77 million job with JP Morgan Chase,” satirizes the intimate relationship between the banking industry and government regulators.
The O’Malley campaign was quick to correct the error and respond.
O’Malley spokeswoman Lis Smith engaged with reporters talking about the mistake on Twitter, saying it shouldn’t take away from the substance of the policy paper.
The policy paper and a corresponding open letter are part of a larger push by O’Malley’s campaign to define the governor as a tough-on-Wall-Street populist crusader.
“Today, your — too-big-to-fail, too-big-to-manage, and too-big-to-jail — megabanks pose an enormous risk to the financial system, the economy, and American families,” O’Malley wrote. “They are so big and so interconnected with the entire financial system that the failure of one or more of them could cause the collapse of the entire US economy.”
Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton’s relationship with top Wall Street institutions has been seen by some liberals as a vulnerability. Though O’Malley has been touting his financial-reform agenda as he has ramped up his presidential campaign, some analysts say that he’s been outflanked by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), a longtime outspoken Wall Street critic.
O’Malley’s campaign is far from the first to be tricked by The Daily Currant, a site that manages to well mask the fact that it is satire. Some other past examples of satirical Daily Currant stories onto which mainstream publications have latched:
- In 2012, it published a satirical item purporting that Republican candidate Rick Santorum had accidentally joined Grindr, a gay dating website. It subsequently blew up across many sites.
- In 2013, some conservative blogs picked up a fake story about economist Paul Krugman declaring bankruptcy.
- After 2012 US Senate candidate Todd Akin’s infamous “legitimate rape” remarks, a story by the Currant went viral purporting that Akin believed “breast milk cures homosexuality.”
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