Saudi Media Miss Joke, Buy Obama Muslim Claim

Satirical column by Andy Borowitz reported as straight news
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 11, 2010 5:19 PM CST
President Obama speaks in Washington earlier this week.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – Sarcasm doesn't always translate well. When satirist Andy Borowitz wrote this column at the Huffington Post headlined "In Latest Compromise With GOP, Obama Agrees He Is a Muslim," the Saudi media utterly missed the joke. A respected newspaper, Al-Hayat, and website,, reported it as straight news, notes AFP.

"Obama doesn't mind coming out as a Muslim if that will satisfy the Republicans," read the newspaper's headline, while the website went with, "Obama: 'I'm ready to announce that I am a Muslim.'" If only they'd read to the bottom of Borowitz's column, the "quote" attributed to Julian Assange after his arrest—"I knew I shouldn't have signed up for Foursquare"—might have tipped them off that the whole thing was joke. Or maybe not.

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