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Dublin: 19 °C Wednesday 23 July, 2014

Iran’s news agency: Sorry we mistook a story from The Onion for real news

Iran’s state news agency ran a story about an opinion poll which found Mahmoud Ahmadinjad was more popular than Barack Obama. Only problem? It was from The Onion.

Image: Screengrab via The Onion

IRAN’S STATE NEWS agency has apologised for mistaking a story from satirical site The Onion for a real news story.

FARS ran a story on Friday which reported on an opinion poll which said that the majority of rural white Americans said they would rather vote for Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad than Barack Obama.

However, the poll was actually a story on well-known US satirical website The Onion.

The Onion story quoted one respondent who said he would “much rather go to a baseball game or have a beer with Ahmadinejad, a man who has repeatedly denied the Holocaust and has had numerous political prisoner executed, than spend time with Obama”.

In a statement this afternoon a spokesperson said the agency makes “every effort to ensure the accuracy of its reports, however very occasionally mistakes do happen”. He said the agency offered its formal apologies for making the mistake.

The spokesperson added that while the mistake was not justified, there may have been some truth in The Onion story.

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

The spokesperson also pointed out that a number of other news outlets, including The New York Times and the Beijing Evening News, have run stories from The Onion in the past and treated them as real news stories.

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