Sunday, September 30, 2012

Iranian Insanity

The Onion is satire as the piece below shows. Above is a screen shot from Al Jazeera .

" CHARLESTON, WV—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. “I like him better,” said West Virginia resident Dale Swiderski, who, along with 77 percent of rural Caucasian voters, confirmed he would much rather go to a baseball game or have a beer with Ahmadinejad, a man who has repeatedly denied the Holocaust and has had numerous political prisoners executed, than spend time with Obama. “He takes national defense seriously, and he’d never let some gay protesters tell him how to run his country like Obama does.” According to the same Gallup poll, 60 percent of rural whites said they at least respected that Ahmadinejad doesn’t try to hide the fact that he’s Muslim."

The full Al Jazeera article

" Iran's semi-official Fars news agency has apologised to its readers for republishing - as fact - a fake news article by the US satirical website the Onion.
Fars on Friday picked up the story about a supposed survey showing an overwhelming majority of rural white Americans would rather vote for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, than Barack Obama, the US president.
But the story was made up, like everything in the just-for-laughs newspaper, which is headquartered in Chicago.

Are we living on totally different planets ? Well yes. Nothing to argue about with regard to the stereotyped rural American other than to note it is a stereotype. That the stereotype is total fiction is actual the basis of the satire. What is ironic is that Fars are so ill informed that they ran with the story. That says a lot about Iran.  

The English-language service of Fars republished the story several days after it appeared in the Onion.
"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,"  the news agency’s editor in chief was quoted as saying on the Fars website.
"The news item was extracted from the satirical magazine, the Onion, by mistake and it was taken down from our outlook in less than two hours.

"Although it does not justify our mistake, we do believe that if a free opinion poll is conducted in the US, a majority of Americans would prefer anyone outside the US political system to President Barack Obama and American statesmen," he added.

Oh... really ? I guess that would be like the free opinion polls conducted in Iran. Or is Fars being satirical are they talking about  Obama  Ahmadinejad ? Sedition comes in many forms. I actually suspect that is not the case  and Fars will look like total idiots after the US election. Lets face it they are total idiots right now. 

'Other blunders'

The Fars apology article then continued by citing a number of blunders by other news outlets.
The Iranian version of the Onion article copied the original word-for-word, even including a made-up quote from a fictional West Virginia resident who said he would rather go to a baseball game with 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".

Oh dear....copied word for word. That sort of screws the other media outlets argument.  

Homosexual acts are punishable by death in Iran, and Ahmadinejad famously said during a 2007 appearance at Columbia University that "in Iran we don't have homosexuals like in your country".
The Iranian version of the article leaves out only the Onion's description of Ahmadinejad as "a man who has repeatedly denied the Holocaust and has had numerous political prisoners executed".
The story appeared to have been taken down by about mid-day, Chicago time.
The Onion reveled in the fact that it had been taken seriously.

Well not quite word for word I guess the editor had enough of a brain to know what would end up with him getting a bullet in the head. Yet he ran with the story and I struggle to believe that he could be so naive. 

Will Tracy, the editor of the Onion, put out a tongue-in-cheek statement that referred to Fars as "a subsidiary of The Onion" that has acted as the paper's Middle Eastern bureau since it was founded in the mid-1980s by Onion publisher T Herman Zweibel.

Why not it is comedy gold.

"The Onion freely shares content with Fars and commends the journalists at Iran's Finest News Source on their superb reportage,'' Tracy said in jest.

It is not the first time a foreign news outlet has been duped by the Onion.
In 2002, the Beijing Evening News, one of the Chinese capital's biggest newspapers, picked up a story from theOnion that claimed members of Congress were threatening to leave Washington unless the building housing them underwent a makeover that included more bathrooms and a retractable dome."

I guess what is worrying is that they can't distinguish between a genuine news story and a piss take even worse one published in a site known only for piss takes. Is it any wonder we have issues with the muslim world view when it is so out of touch with the west. 

Updated Have a read of Kiwipolitico.


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