The Corner

Iran’s Dan Rather Moment

The Fars News Agency, which is “independent” but closely tied to the Iranian government, mistakenly reported a satirical piece from the Onion last week that Americans would prefer to vote for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad over Barack Obama. Fars republished nearly the entire story, and claimed it as its own original content.

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 drink with Ahmadinejad than spend time with Obama.

The editor-in-chief of Fars’s English Service has since admitted their error, but he still has a Rather-esque moment when he claims that although the story is false, the underlying message is true:

FNA makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of its reports, however very occasionally mistakes do happen. 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.

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