So, the story goes like this: a wealthy, vicious member of the “1 percent” goes into a True Food Kitchen, he runs up a three-figure tab, leaves a 1 percent tip, and then writes “GET A REAL JOB” on the receipt.

Wow, what an awful person! Can this story get any worse? What? He was also a banker? We should have known!

Media Fooled by Phony 1% Tip Story Involving Greedy BankerHe also ordered a panda steak marinated in the shattered dreams of orphans.

A person supposedly working for the lousy-tipping “banker” took a photo of the receipt and posted it to a blog called “Future Ex-Banker.”

“Mention the ‘99 percent’ in my boss’ presence and feel his wrath,” the blogger wrote.

“So proudly does he wear his 1 percent badge of honor that he tips exactly 1 percent every time he feels the server doesn’t sufficiently bow down to his Holiness. Oh, and he always makes sure to include a ‘tip’ of his own,” the “banker’s” employee added.

Yahoo!, the Huffington Post, and a slew of other news sites ran the story and – surprise, surprise – it stoked the “class warfare” fires.

But after a little digging by CBS Los Angeles, it turns out the whole thing was a complete and total hoax. The incident never occurred and the photo that started it all is a fake:

Media Fooled by Phony 1% Tip Story Involving Greedy Banker[Pictured above: fake.]

Of course, we probably don’t need to point out the fact that the “banker” was a little too exact with that $1.33 tip. See, most people — especially those in the financial industry — would round 1.3354 (1 percent of $133.54) to 1.34, making the final total $134.88 as opposed to 134.87.

But, you know, a “banker” wouldn’t be bothered with those kind of details, right?

“The story was too good to be true,” writes Ed Morrissey of Hot Air. “There was only one thing wrong — it really was too good to be true.”

Indeed, according to CBS Los Angeles, “the receipt was changed and…the original receipt lists the meal as just over $30, with a 20 percent tip and no message aimed at the waitress.” Needless to say, original reports of the incident have since been corrected.

See the CBS investigative report:

Yep, as CBS Los Angeles discovered by actually talking to True Food Kitchen, it was just some lonely blogger looking to stoke a little “class warfare.” But that didn’t stop some of the biggest news outlets from picking up the story and contributing to the narrative.

Here’s the complete statement from True Food Kitchen (via the HuffPo):

We’re glad to respond to the news stories about a tipping incident at True Food Kitchen in Newport Beach.

Our first concern upon learning about this situation was our staff. We are very fortunate to have employees that are talented, bright, and undoubtedly, some of the best in the business.

However, we would like to report that there is misinformation circulating about this situation. The dining receipt that was originally posted on the blog, Future Ex Banker, and then republished by various websites, was, in fact, altered and exaggerated. We’d also like to assure people that the receipt was not posted and altered by anyone on behalf of True Food Kitchen. We respect our guests’ privacy and take it very seriously; we would never share personal information.

Some may think it odd that so many media outlets chose to publish the “Future Ex-Banker” blog posting without first confirming the story or at least calling the restaurant. But then again, as the saying goes, never let facts get in the way of a good story.