Iran’s semiofficial FARS news agency is not the first to be duped by The Onion — last week, it took seriously a story entitled “Gallup Poll: Rural Whites Prefer Ahmadinejad to Obama” — but it is the first to argue that even if the particular Onion story it ran wasn’t technically real, it was probably true anyway. In his apology/correction today, FARS’s president included this defense:
“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,” he added.
So, really, all FARS did was bypass the part where the poll was actually conducted and skip right to its results. In this cutthroat, scoop-obsessed media environment, that’s just good journalism.