Iran news agency apologizes for ‘Onion’ poll spoof goof

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Iran’s Fars News Agency has apologized to readers for running a spoof poll taken from the satirical American newspaper, “The Onion.” The satire item–run briefly as a straight news item on Fars Friday–cited a fake Gallup ‘poll’ claiming white American rural voters favor Iran’s lame-duck president Ahmadinejad over Obama.

“Unfortunately an incorrect item was released on our website on Friday which included a fake opinion poll on popularity rate of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and US President Barack Obama,” Fars News Agency’s editor in chief said in an apology note published on Fars’ English language-website Sunday. “The news item was extracted from the Satirical Magazine, The Onion, by mistake and it was taken down from our outlook in less two hours.”

“We offer our formal apologies for that mistake,” the editor’s apology continued, before noting that it’s not the only media outlet to have been “duped” by the Onion.

“On April 25, 2011, The New York Times admitted they made the mistake of treating a fake creation from The Onion as something legitimate,” it said.

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Israel embassy pokes fun at Iran news goof


When Iran’s Fars News Agency published a spoof article from the satirical US newspaper the Onion, claiming Ahmadinejad beat out Obama in a new Gallup poll of American rural voters, Israel’s mission in New York couldn’t resist making a bit of fun at the IRGC-linked news agency’s expense.

But the Israeli diplomats’ social media crew went way over the head of whatever poor, ink-stained Fars scribe unwittingly took as real the spoof poll (and apparently ripped it off wholesale). The diplomatic mission took to Twitter to notify Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei himself of the error:

No word yet on the results of the attempted Twitter diplomacy/editorial correction between the two arch enemy nations.

According to his latest stats, Iran’s Supreme Leader’s English language Twitter account @Khamenei_IR has acquired 6,101 followers, and has issued 3,069 tweets. But the Supreme Leader still, as earlier, follows nobody on Twitter.

Meantime, Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has departed New York for Iran, following what is likely to be his last US trip as Iran’s president, and apparently to contend with more political troubles at home. Among them, the news that his press aide Ali Akbar Javanfakr was jailed in Iran this week during his absence.