The media is still getting trolled by these guys, despite them having been around for years:

“On Twitter early Wednesday, the North Korean government belittled the joint exercise as ‘demonstrating near total ignorance of ballistic science,’” The New York Times reported on its website a short time later.

The problem was, the North Korean government tweeted nothing of the sort. As numerous other outlets have learned the hard way, the DPRK News Service is not actually the DPRK’s news service.

In fact, the DPRK News Service, which first tweeted in July 2009, is the work of a West Coast data analyst and a North Carolina attorney who also blog at Popehat.com, a self-described “group complaint about law, liberty, and leisure” started in 2004 by former federal prosecutor Ken White. The pair, Derrick (data analyst) and Patrick (attorney), prefer not to reveal their last names publicly, going by, variously, Patrick Popehat, Derrick Popehat, Patrick Nonwhite, @NonWhiteHat, and @NinjaDerrick. They shared their thoughts on this latest episode with The Daily Beast, via email.

Derrick: “Our reactions to events such as this are initially congratulatory and then a bit incredulous. I firmly believe that if the NYT didn’t fire all their copy editors, this wouldn’t have happened. But seriously, one Google search reveals us instantly.

“To be honest, I have no idea why the media keeps falling for it at this point, outside of the obvious answer of ‘lack of fact-checking.’ Getting quoted in the media is very amusing, but it’s no longer the goal of the account and hasn’t been for nearly two years.

“My own personal goal isn’t to ‘get’ any publications; it’s to get into a flame war with a public figure (I have a list of targets). Now I feel like I’ve jinxed myself.