Iranian news agency picks up Onion article as fact
CHICAGO (AP) - A joke by the satirical newspaper The Onion appears to have gotten lost in translation.
An Iranian news agency picked up - as fact - a story from the paper about a supposed survey showing an overwhelming majority of rural white Americans would rather vote for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad than President Barack Obama. But it was made up, like everything in the just-for-laughs newspaper, which is headquartered in Chicago.
The English-language service of Iran's semi-official Fars news agency republished the story on Friday, several days after it appeared in The Onion.
The Iranian version copied the original word-for-word, even including a made-up quote from a fictional West Virginia resident who says he'd 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." Homosexual acts are punishable by death in Iran, and Mr Ahmadinejad famously said during a 2007 appearance at Columbia University that "in Iran we don't have homosexuals like in your country."