Iranian news agency apologizes over citing Onion story

A screenshot of the Fars News Agency's story apologizing for copying and posting a fabricated story. CBS News

No, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is not more popular among rural white Americans than President Barack Obama. Iran's semi-official Fars News Agency realizes that now.

Two days after it ran a report on its website saying as much, they apologized to their readers in an online posting. Fars admitted it had been duped by an article on the Onion, a satirical news website.

However, while admitting their error, the official apology also was quick to say that no less than the New York Times, the Beijing Evening News and U.S. Rep. John Fleming, R-La., had also at some point been duped by the Onion.

See? It can happen to anyone.

"Active and well-known media occasionally make mistakes, and no media is an exception to this rule," the apology reads.

The apology even takes this notion a step further, pointing to several factual errors or cursing blunders made by the likes of the BBC.

The Iranian religious autocracy takes the flow of information in the country very seriously, to the point where it has even jailed the Iranian president's press adviser, blocked access to YouTube, and locked up numerous human rights journalists. There has been no word yet over whether they Onion spoof landed anyone behind bars in Tehran.

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