Iranian news agency reproduces The Onion article
Saturday, September 29, 2012
The Iranian news agency, yesterday reported an article from US satirical news website as fact. The article reports "a poll" suggesting "the overwhelming majority of rural white Americans" would prefer to vote for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the , as opposed to US Barack Obama. The Onion article reports "77 percent of rural voters" saying they would prefer to drink beer with Ahmadinejad or attend a baseball game with him.(FNA), an
Fictional West Virginia resident Dale Swiderski is reported by the Chicago, Illinois based website saying about Ahmadinejad: "I like him better". 'Swiderski' is also quoted as saying the Iranian President "takes national defense seriously, and he'd never let some gay protesters tell him how to run his country like Obama does."
In Iran, homosexuality is a criminal offence which can carry a penalty of or . Just over five years ago, when he participated in a debate at in New York, New York, Ahmadinejad stated "In Iran we don't have homosexuals like in your country".
The FNA copied The Onion's article verbatim and in its entirety, excluding part of a sentence saying Ahmadinejad was "a man who has repeatedlyand has had numerous political prisoners executed". However, the Iranian news service did not attribute The Onion as its source.
A link to the FNA article page redirects to an error message which reads: "Error For Your Request. Not Exist This Story."  However, The Onion included a link to a screenshot of the FNA's page on their original article, accompanied by a message telling readers to "visit our Iranian subsidiary organization" for more information on the story.
There are no reports of the article being republished in. The FNA has yet to comment on the incident. However, The Onion's editor Will Tracy humourously remarked their website "freely shares content with Fars and commends the journalists at Iran's Finest News Source on their superb reportage".
This is not the first time The Onion has caused the mistaken belief of their material being accurate. In a November 2007 interview with Wikinews, The Onion's Editorial Manager Chet Clem recounted an incident in which the Chinese newspaper, Clem said "their response was not to print a correction, but just to say that some newspapers in America make money by printing lies." In a separate incident, Christians forwarded a story on the Internet from The Onion saying children were converting to as a result of reading the book series.reproduced a story from The Onion created in 2002, copied entirely verbatim, headlined "Congress threatens to leave DC unless new capitol is built". When the error was highlighted to the
Bangladesh apologising over their publication of an article the validity of the , originally written by The Onion.also reported an instance of two newspapers in
- "The Onion: An interview with 'America's Finest News Source'" — Wikinews, November 25, 2007
- "Iranian President Ahmadinejad speaks at Columbia University" — Wikinews, September 25, 2007
- "Error for your request. Not exist this story." — , September 29, 2012 (date of access)
- "Search results for 'The Onion'" — , September 29, 2012 (date of access)
- Gallup Poll: Rural Whites Prefer Ahmadinejad To Obama" — , September 28, 2012 . "
- "The Onion spoofs Iran news agency on Obama-Ahmadinejad story" — , September 28, 2012
- Associated Press. "US voters back Ahmadinejad? Iranian news agency fooled by article in satirical paper The Onion" — , September 28, 2012
- "Gallup Poll: Rural Whites Prefer Ahmadinejad To Obama" — , September 24, 2012