Iranian News Agency Duped by Onion Story

It said rural whites prefer Ahmadinejad over Obama
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 28, 2012 12:19 PM CDT
Updated Sep 30, 2012 12:23 PM CDT
Iranian News Agency Duped by Onion Story
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad fieldsa question during a press conference in New York after addressing the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Sept. 26, 2012.   (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

When we saw this post from Iran's semi-official Fars News Agency, we were pretty confused. Gallup, the propaganda outlet reported, had released a poll showing that rural whites preferred Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Barack Obama—in part because "they at least respected that Ahmadinejad doesn't try to hide the fact that he's a Muslim." That sounded pretty unlikely, but Fars is rarely quite that farcical in its propaganda efforts.

Thankfully, the Atlantic Wire cracked the case, noticing that the post was an almost word-for-word copy of this Onion article from Monday, with just two changes: The dateline now reads "Tehran," and they omitted a phrase describing Ahmadinejad as "a man who has repeatedly denied the Holocaust and has had numerous political prisoners executed." Good catch, that. Including that line might have made Iran look bad or something. (Read more Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stories.)

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