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A major media disfunctionality was created by The Onion magazine when an Iranian news agency Fars picked up an Onion ‘news story’ concerning a survey undertaken in southern U.S. states that found that rural rednecks preferred Ahmadinejad over Barack Obama.
The Persian news agency picked up the story as though it were a real even and republished it as the truth. Those familiar with The Onion will know that the entire newspaper is a spoof. The Iranians, however, are not used to this sort of tomfoolery and did not pick up the subtle irony that was there.
The article also mentioned that 77% of those interviewed would rather go to a baseball game or have a drink with Mr. Ahmadinejad.
The Onions reaction to the story was merely to add a subline to the article stating “For more information on this please contact the Iranian News Media Fars.”.
Author’s note: I wish to use the occurrence of this bizarre bit of journalism to point out exactly how damaging the proliferance of these types of news spoof type articles, books, websites and magazines have become and are a threat to we serious journalists.
Their blooming in the media world is like a fungus that is infecting not only true reportage but also soils the minds of the reading public who consume this nonsense. I feel it is time for the government and local officials to clamp down on this sort of silly news reporting that does no one any good and makes a mockery of true journalism. If we were…
Excuse me a moment, dear readers, my phone is ringing.
“Hello, rfreed here.
“Oh, hello Brian. How is Glossynews doing?”
“What in the world is wrong with you? You need don’t need to yell like that!”
“Well, I’m sorry you don’t like the article. I have a right to my opinion.”
“So what if satire is your bread and butter? I, for one, do not live on bread alone!”
“No, I do not own an ass and if I did it wouldn’t be dumb.”
“Look, Brian! This is my article and I will write it any way I please!”
“I never touched my mother and especially not like that! And if I had how would you know about it?”
“OK Brian, I’ll just send it to someone who will appreciate it. If you do use it you’ll be hearing from my lawyer!”
Anyway, folks, with that done with let’s band together and get rid of these disrespectful so-called comedy sites once and for all!