Iran news agency picks up "Onion" story, tells Iranians rural Americans prefer Ahmadinejad to Obama
LONDON An Iranian news editor may be lamenting his or her own fact-checking practices this Friday.
The English-language website of the Fars news agency appears to have been duped by a spoof story by "The Onion", which claimed that a recent poll had found an "overwhelming majority of rural white Americans" would rather vote for Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad than President Obama.
The story only appeared on the English site of Fars - which, like all other Iranian news organizations, is controlled strictly by the Islamic cleric-led government. By Friday afternoon, the story was apparently pulled down and attempts to access it generated an error message.
It is possible that, due to the tight controls on the internet and news organizations in Iran (and the fact that the story has not yet appeared on the native Farsi language site) that most Iranians will never see the ill-conceived story by Fars.
Friday is the holy day in the Muslim world, so it is also possible that Fars' normal editor had the day off and a more junior member of staff made the apparent error.
If the editor in question is still working, it's worth noting, to their credit, that they appear not to have picked up a story on The Onion a couple days earlier, showing a green-glowing Ahmadinejad proclaiming to the United Nations that he was, himself, a nuclear weapon.
Popular on CBSNews.com
One year after Afghan massacre, villagers work with U.S. troops One year after U.S. Staff Sgt. Robert Bales was accused of slaughtering 16 Afghan civilians, the villagers in the town where the atrocity took place have joined the U.S. special forces stationed there to assist in the fight against the Taliban.
- 50th Paris Air Show 13 Photos
- Italy top court cites "erotic game" hypothesis in Knox case 84 Comments
- Widespread protests in Brazil 23 Photos
- Torrential rain devastates Northern India 15 Photos
- Egypt and Ethiopia try to roll back threats of war
- Protesters clash with Brazil police in Sao Paulo
- Hungary indicts 98-year-old for Nazi war crimes
- Basement living in China 6 Photos