Ina Fried

Recent Posts by Ina Fried

Iran News Agency Apologizes for Taking The Onion Seriously

Iran’s news agency can take some comfort in the fact it isn’t the first to treat a story from The Onion as legitimate.

That said, the organization did look kind of silly crowing about a poll that showed Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as more popular than Barack Obama among rural Whites. The story was, in fact, pulled nearly verbatim from an Onion piece.

The Israeli embassy, in particular, had some fun at Iran’s expense, suggesting it might want to go with the real Gallup when looking for polling information.

The Iranian news organization Fars apologized Sunday for mistaking satire for fact, as noted by Al-Jazeera English.

“We offer our formal apologies for that mistake,” Fars said. However, it shot back that, “although it does not justify our mistake, we do believe that if a free opinion poll is conducted in the U.S., a majority of Americans would prefer anyone outside the U.S. political system to President Barack Obama and American statesmen.”

The article then offers up a list of other news organizations that have also mistaken an Onion piece for a factual one.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald