A correspondent for Pittsburgh Radio & TV Online was fired last night after editors discovered he had been fabricating stories.
The writer, who called himself “Lirpa Sloof,” posted stories with Pittsburgh, Youngstown and Erie datelines, all of which turned out to be completely made up.
“He was very prolific,” PBRTV Editor in Chief Eric O’Brien said. “And he made great pizza. That’s why I hired him.”
But when complaints began filtering into PBRTV‘s World News Headquarters north of Pittsburgh, editors were forced to factcheck a series of erroneous stories. They were traced to “Sloof.”
“We found his greasy fingerprints all over them,” O’Brien said.
Experts are calling it the worst journalistic hoax in Pittsburgh since WIIC-TV replaced its 11 p.m. news with “Charlie Chan” movies.
PBRTV correspondent Jason Togyer said the website is now examining the resumes of other recent hires, including I.M.A. Fraud and Seymour Butts.