Iran’s leading news agency FARS published a mock poll that claimed American rural white people favored Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad over president Barack Obama.
The joke poll was originally published by the popular spoof news outlet The Onion.
The FARS news agency claims it is Iran’s leading independent news agency, but others note its ties to government, according to Yahoo News.
Media blogger Jim Romenesko first alerted the larger news group of the big mistake.
FARS was either foolishly duped or intentionally published the fake article as factual. Regardless, FARS published most of the made-up poll that first appeared in the U.S. parody site.
The Onion quoted a fictitious Gallup Poll that noted “77 percent of rural Caucasian voters…would much rather go to a baseball game or have a beer with Ahmadinejad…than spend time with Obama.”
FARS began its article with that statement and even quoted a fictional person from the Onion piece – West Virginia resident Swiderski, saying of Ahmadinejad, “I like him better.”
Word of duping the Iranian agencies made its way through media sites and was also picked up by media blogger Jim Romenesko.
The Onion later made fun of FARS and added to the end of the article: “For more on this story: Please visit our Iranian subsidiary organization, Fars.”
The article was live on the FARS website early on Friday afternoon but was no longer available by 1:30 pm EST.
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