Most rural Americans would vote for Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad over US President Barack Obama, Iran’s semi-official Fars News Agency claimed Friday, citing what it said were the results of a Gallup poll.
According to the Fars report, 77 percent of rural Caucasian American voters would rather spend time with Ahmadinejad than Obama, and would vote for the former in an election.
However, the Fars news agency gleaned its information from a real farce news agency: The Onion.
The Onion, a satirical, fake news outlet that describes itself as “America’s finest news source,” published the comedic and factually incorrect poll result on Monday.
According to The Onion’s report (paywall), a Gallup poll found that 60 percent of Americans “at least respected that Ahmadinejad doesn’t try to hide the fact that he’s Muslim.”
One fictional respondent told the paper that “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 prisoners executed, than spend time with Obama.”
The Fars news report copied the entire report verbatim, but omitted the remark about Holocaust denial and execution of political prisoners, and neglected to mention that the poll and Onion report were a comedic fabrication.
Fars has recently been criticized for publishing reports of questionable authenticity. In June it published “an interview” with Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi in which he claimed to seek a strategic alliance with Iran. Morsi’s office said later he had given no interview.