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Onion's Ahmadinejad Article Fools Iran News Agency 'Fars'

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The Onion has duped politicians, television personalities and even The New York Times.

Now it can add Fars, which the Associated Press describes as the Iranian "semi-official" news agency, to the list of those who've taken it for real news.

The news agency reported a recent Onion article, "Gallup Poll: Rural Whites Prefer Ahmadinejad To Obama," as official news.

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The Onion article is a short piece about a non-existent Gallup poll that found "the overwhelming majority of rural white Americans said they would rather vote for Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad than U.S. president Barack Obama."

It quotes a West Virginia man who who prefers Ahmadinejad to Obama, saying that the president of Iran "takes national defense seriously, and he’d never let some gay protesters tell him how to run his country like Obama does.”

As if reporting The Onion as news weren't embarrassing enough, Fars copied and pasted parts of the article, without even attributing it to The Onion. The dateline also says Tehran.

As Foreign Policy's Passport blog notes, this isn't the first time a state news outlet has mistakenly reported something from The Onion as news. The Beijing Evening News in 2002 picked up an Onion story about Congress threatening to leave the capital.

LOOK: Iran News Agency Reports Onion Story As News:
fars news iran onion

LOOK: 17 Times 'The Onion' Fooled People Who Should Know Better

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[H/T Elizabeth Flock]

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story indicated that Fars "copied and pasted the entire article." The news agency, in fact, left out certain parts of The Onion story.

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