Fooled by satire

by on September 30, 2012 at 12:41 pm in Current Affairs, Political Science | Permalink

An Iranian news agency has reported as fact an entirely fictitious survey carried on The Onion website earlier this week which claimed that most rural white Americans would vote for President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ahead of Barack Obama.

The English-language service of Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency republished the spoof story from the satirical website word-for-word.

It even went so far as to include a made-up quote from a fictional West Virginia resident it idendified as Dale Swidersk who claimed he would rather go to a baseball game with Mr Ahmadinejad because “he takes national defence seriously and he’d never let some gay protesters tell him how to run his country like Obama does”.

The story is here.

1 Rahul September 30, 2012 at 1:02 pm

Any sufficiently advanced satire is indistinguishable from fact?

2 Adrian Ratnapala October 1, 2012 at 12:57 am

That might be so. But what does that have to do with The Onion?

To be fair, some Onion pieces would pass for real if they appeared on CNN etc. This is not one of those pieces.

3 Dave Barnes October 1, 2012 at 12:41 pm
4 RR September 30, 2012 at 1:19 pm

What if such a survey was conducted and these results were really obtained? Maybe the news item is not so Fars-ical after all.

5 derek September 30, 2012 at 4:40 pm

I vaguely remember a group of people cheering Ahmadinejad. It wasn’t some gap toothed group of inbred, well maybe inbred.

6 derek September 30, 2012 at 9:55 pm

Couldn’t find the whole speech, but this is a section. Guess who really, outside of any satire, cheers for this guy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-sC26wpUGQ

7 Adrian Ratnapala October 1, 2012 at 1:01 am

On the video, I hear applause for Ahmadinejad’s questioner followed by derisive laughter at the answer.

8 tt September 30, 2012 at 1:42 pm

Fox will soon pick it up.

9 david j michel jr September 30, 2012 at 3:08 pm

msnbc rachel maddow,anderson cooper will say it is because of romneys tax return.

10 Yancey Ward October 1, 2012 at 12:18 am

Actually, based on recent evidence, it is far more likely that MSNBC and Paul Krugman will pick it up as fact, but don’t let me get in the way of your belief system.

11 brad_sk October 1, 2012 at 11:33 am

” based on recent evidence”…

Yep, evidence from an alternate bizzaro world.

12 JWatts October 1, 2012 at 11:51 am

“Yep, evidence from an alternate bizzaro world.”

I suspect he was referring to the column last week where Paul Krugman was fooled by a piece of satire and hastily wrote about it in his column:

“Paul Ryan Satire Piece in Politico Dupes Krugman
Memo to the media: Clearly mark political satire, especially if it makes Republicans look bad. Otherwise, you might fool a Nobel prize-winning New York Times columnist.

Columnist Paul Krugman and other commentators were apparently duped Wednesday after Politico ran a satire piece that included what — if true — would have been an inflammatory comment by Republican running mate Paul Ryan. ”

http://reason.com/24-7/2012/09/26/paul-ryan-satire-piece-in-politico-dupes

So that bizzaro world is pretty much the one we live in. And Krugman isn’t nearly as perceptive as he’d like his readers to believe. 😉

13 ThomasH September 30, 2012 at 1:47 pm

I sent the FARS story to a “conservative” friend who was “not surpirsed.”

14 Thor September 30, 2012 at 3:19 pm

Not surprised at what?

That FARS has no sense of humor or satire? That the Iranian press reads the foreign press for semi-positive stories to steal? (I say semi-positive because it’s not exactly a glowing endorsement of Ahmadinejad.)

Just asking.

15 david j michel jr September 30, 2012 at 3:10 pm

I ment to say that tea bagger (take it in the pooper) anderson cooper!

16 Robert September 30, 2012 at 3:14 pm

How do we know that the Irish Times story isn’t satire?

17 kebko September 30, 2012 at 6:06 pm

That’s nothing. Every news outlet in America ran a story that people were attacking our embassies because of a silly video. It was sourced back to our true leader in satirical news – the state department.

18 maguro September 30, 2012 at 7:27 pm

Oh yeah, those flyover rubes are just so dumb for not loving Obama as much as the smart set does.

19 Miley Cyrax September 30, 2012 at 11:20 pm

There is no Great Stagnation in the ability of the Onion to pass a Turing Test of sorts as legitimate news. Or maybe there’s been a gradual regression in the quality of mainstream news so that the Onion can get conflated with it.

20 Andrew' October 1, 2012 at 5:43 am

“Fars” news?

Anyway, isn’t the trippy thing about nationalism that the story could be accurate?

21 zbicyclist October 1, 2012 at 9:56 am

There are clearly areas of the country where Obama is very unpopular, but these are not areas fond of Iranian leadership, either. Judging from my relatives, one of their complaints about Obama is that he’s too soft on Iran.

That’s basically why the story works as humor.

I find it interesting that the Irish Times doesn’t need to spend time explaining to its readers that The Onion is a satirical newspaper.

22 Butal October 7, 2012 at 11:21 am

Miley I am totally agree with your thoughts.

23 Bootalbital October 23, 2012 at 6:52 am

I have to say that tea bagger (take it in the pooper) anderson cooper!

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