The world laughs as Iran reposts fake news story

You can’t make this stuff up. Israel’s Embassy to the U.S. is mocking Iran on Twitter because its news agency ran a a satirical item from The Onion as real news.

The Onion, a Chicago-based publication, bills itself as “America’s Finest News Source” on its masthead, but one look at its content and it soon becomes apparent that something isn’t quite right. The Onion isn’t a hard news publication at all– it’s a satirical news publication.

Last Wednesday, The Onion ran a “story” which began, “According to the results of a Gallup poll released Monday, the overwhelming majority of rural white Americans said they would rather vote for Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad than U.S. president Barack Obama.”

It goes on to say that a staggering 77 percent of rural white Americans would prefer the Iranian president to our own. The piece is sprinkled with “quotes” such as, “He takes national defense seriously, and he’d never let some gay protesters tell him how to run his country like Obama does,” purporting to be from West Virginia residents.

Iran was ecstatic — so much so, in fact, that two days later Iran’s Fars News Agency reposted the story and ran it as its own, changing the dateline from Charleston, WV to Tehran.

According to Friday’s Forbes Magazine, when Voted Up asked the Gallup organization for a response, Gallup emailed back that it, “has no comment about the satirical material published on The Onion.”

But wait — it gets better. Israel’s Embassy to the U.S. got wind of Iran’s blunder and immediately tweeted the following message:

“Dear Iran (@khamenei_ir): @TheOnion is not a reliable source for US opinion. See Gallup: gallup.com/poll/116236/ir… pic.twitter.com/BV4jXYDg”

The Israeli Embassy has been retweeting the same message, which has been in turn retweeted by many of its 24,356 followers together with howls of laughter.

The day before Iran’s flap, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a more somber message to the United Nations regarding the necessity to establish and maintain a “red line” of defense against Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

 

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