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Iran's News Agency Picks Up Onion Story

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the makes-them-cry dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 118

J053 writes "FARS, the Iranian news agency, ran a story about a Gallup poll which showed that '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 beer with Ahmadinejad.' Only problem was, it was a story from The Onion. Not only that, they took credit for it! The Onion responded by stating that 'Fars is a subsidiary and has been our Middle Eastern bureau since the mid 1980s.'"

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What's next? (5, Funny)

unix_core (943019) | about 2 years ago | (#41497263)

What's next? They're gonna steal fox news stories?

For sure! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41497269)

They are trying to be the most reliable news source in Iran, after all.

[end sarcasm]

Re:For sure! (2, Insightful)

SpzToid (869795) | about 2 years ago | (#41497437)

Most reliable? If you're talking about Fox News, I think you are referring to the 'fair and balanced' coverage Fox News frequently advertises. Fox isn't claiming to be any more 'reliable' for reporting news than FARS is claiming to be doing in Iran. (and If you want 'breaking news' try TMZ). If Fox were so serious about actually reporting news, they wouldn't fill all their prime-time, most-profitable hours with pundit shock-jocks like Bill O'Reilly, or Glen Beck.

Know your trademarks. Or psuedo-trademarks, or whatever. Better yet, try to understand the media industry that claims to be reporting news.

Re:For sure! (5, Insightful)

amck (34780) | about 2 years ago | (#41497453)

Most reliable? If you're talking about Fox News, I think you are referring to the 'fair and balanced' coverage Fox News frequently advertises. Fox isn't claiming to be any more 'reliable' for reporting news

If Fox News was reliably bad, you could simply take their headlines and invert them to find out the truth. In order to be completely useless it actually has to get things right occasionally.

Re:For sure! (5, Informative)

QQBoss (2527196) | about 2 years ago | (#41497561)

Errr, Glenn Beck hasn't worked for Fox News in over a year.

I live in China, don't watch Fox News (or any other American television channels), and even I am aware that Fox/NBC/CBS/ABC don't run straight news shows during prime time- they run them between 5 and 7 pm or 10 and 11:30 or so, depending on the time zone, because running news during their most profitable hours would put them out of business. So why is Fox News unserious for running commentary at the times when they can maximize profits with other programs just as their competitors do with Monday Night Football, Law & Order, The Simpsons, etc...?

Oh, wait, I misunderstand, you are comparing Fox News to MSNBC and CNN who run hard news with no shock-jocks during their prime time schedules like Hardball with Chris Matthews, The Rachel Maddow Show, PoliticsNation with Al Sharpton, Anderson Cooper 360, and Piers Morgan Tonight(*). Oh... wait... now I get it, you are saying that there is no serious news reported in the USA except for CNN Headline News! That's the ticket!

* I had to actually search for all those TV show names, if some of them aren't on the air anymore, my bad.

Re:For sure! (4, Funny)

Loosifur (954968) | about 2 years ago | (#41497687)

Careful, that sounded dangerously close to not jumping on the bandwagon.

Re:For sure! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41498875)

That is a Koan: What is the sound of not jumping on the bandwagon?

Re:For sure! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41499395)

After a new hours of Fox News i prefer jumping in front of the bandwagon...

Re:For sure! (-1, Troll)

reboot246 (623534) | about 2 years ago | (#41497865)

Few here will believe you. They're so biased against FoxNews (though few have actually watched it), that anything said in FoxNews' favor just flies over their little adolescent heads. They'd rather get their news from Jon Stewart (or worse, MTV).

Re:For sure! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41497951)

Few here will believe you. They're so biased against FoxNews (though few have actually watched it), that anything said in FoxNews' favor just flies over their little adolescent heads. They'd rather get their news from Jon Stewart (or worse, MTV).

People who get their news from the Daily Show are better informed than those who watch Fox News: http://publicmind.fdu.edu/2012/confirmed/ [fdu.edu] .

Re:For sure! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41498019)

Nothing reboot246 said argues that. He was just saying that there are many people whom are post-adolescent whom can't tell the difference between NEWS and making random shit up, and prefer the latter.

Re:For sure! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41498389)

The trouble is that most people mix up which of those two examples is doing the news and which is doing the "making shit up".

To the Poster above regarding "Fox News can do commentary because it's competing against L&O", that would be a fine argument if that's what they were making. The impression I have received from every viewing of Fox News is that everything they are showing at all time is news and factual and fair AND balanced. When generally it's none of the above.

Of course, you're right, the other stations are doing it too... and it's all terrible. That's why I get my news from Slashdot :|

Re:For sure! (4, Interesting)

jc42 (318812) | about 2 years ago | (#41500121)

The trouble is that most people mix up which of those two examples is doing the news and which is doing the "making shit up".

Yeah, an part of the fun is that both Fox and the Onion carefully maintain a public "face" as a serious news agency. OTOH, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert both repeatedly point out that they are professional comedians who work for Comedy Central. Part of their status of comedians is from stories like this one, in which people take their stories as fact despite their repeated disclaimers that they're comedians, not reporters. The Onion's and Fox's stories are also mistaken as straight news, although they have always been pure satire. There is a strong suspicion that the people at Fox aren't aware that they're writing satire. The people at The Onion are very conscious of this, and some of them have commented that the most difficult part of writing satire is that the Real World keeps producing extreme events that they wouldn't dared have written as satire.

Disclaimer: I have family ties to The Onion. My daughter was a staff reporter/photographer for them while she was a college student in Madison, and has lots of fun stories about the gang's inner workings. One of their favorite signs of "success" was someone repeating a story of theirs as fact. It seems they often do "fact checking", to verify that what they've written hasn't actually happened. I don't know whether they treat the folks at Fox as colleagues or subject matter. Maybe we should ask them. But they might take such a question as an opportunity for more satire. And on the third hand, if they say that they have friends working at Fox as satirical writers, we should probably assume that they've fact-checked and found it to be untrue, so it's proper "professional conduct" for them to report it as fact.

There's a lot of slippery logic involved in satire ...

Of course, you're right, the other stations are doing it too... and it's all terrible. That's why I get my news from Slashdot :|

And you're probably correct to do so. As with the Daily Show, the Colbert Report and The Onion, Slashdot can be taken as a good source of interesting news stories. You can then google them and find a number of sources that report the actual stories with various slants. This may well be why the pollsters have found that the people who follow Stewart and Colbert are among the best-informed voters. I wouldn't be surprised if a poll showed that /. readers are among the best-informed in tech subjects, but I wouldn't infer that it's because they get their information here. Everyone here knows about google, right? Right? Hmmm ....

Another similar source of good news stories/tipoffs is NPR's "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" program (which I'm right now hearing on the radio). They're basically a comedy show based on real news, but part of what they do it tell made-up stories, and challenge people to distinguish them from true stories. They've also had the fun of hearing their fake news stories repeated as fact. I don't think the pollsters have included them in their poll questions, but it wouldn't be surprising if their listeners would come up as among the best-informed. Their humor is similar to the Stewart/Colbert/Onion approach to news, though in a slightly different format, and they're likely to attract an audience that knows enough to appreciate their very topical humor.

Re:For sure! (1)

ravenshrike (808508) | about 2 years ago | (#41498549)

Make that C-Span and you might have a point.

Re:For sure! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41498581)

CNN....NOT any better, they got rid of Larry King it's all HOGwash.

Re:What's next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41497377)

Fars News Agency, where more Iranians get their news than from any other source.

There is something vaguely familiar about it.

Re:What's next? (4, Funny)

Stephan Schulz (948) | about 2 years ago | (#41497399)

What's next? They're gonna steal fox news stories?

Come on! Even a senile pygmy macaque can tell that Fox is all satire.

Re:What's next? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41497599)

You insensitive clod, I'm a senile pygmy who watches Fox News religiously and I resemble that.

Re:What's next? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41497663)

Seriously, several friends of mine from the UK actually thought Fox News was satire. They thought Fox and the Colbert Report were basically the same thing.

Re:What's next? (1)

ewanm89 (1052822) | about 2 years ago | (#41497701)

To those of us in the UK, it's that bad that it might as well be. Of course comedians also make jokes about being taken more seriously than news reporters and politicians...

Re:What's next? (4, Insightful)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 2 years ago | (#41498047)

Actually, it is true that many people take Steven Colbert and John Stewart more seriously since they are true comedians, who know that the best humor has a significant element of truth in it. You can watch it and see where the humor is while still getting real news. You can't really say the same about Fox.

Re:What's next? (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | about 2 years ago | (#41500199)

It's also helped by most politicians being complete jokes.

Re:What's next? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41498595)

Polls show those who watch John Stewart and Stephen Colbert are more properly and successfully informed than those who watch the rest of this political hocome. I myself enjoy a laugh or two while realizing we're all fucked.

Re:What's next? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41497863)

In the US it's the contrary. People think that Colbert is real.

Re:What's next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41498431)

Only those that don't watch him. It was funny when he was invited to give a speech at Bush's Correspondent Dinner. They obviously do not watch him.

Re:What's next? (5, Insightful)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | about 2 years ago | (#41497879)

A lot of what happens in the U.S. appears to be satire. I along with a lot of people got taken in by the Romney airplane window thing. We've heard so many odd things from senior politicians and candidates that it's really not easy to discern the poes from the nutters. The U.S. has elected officials wasting time trying to push creationism in to the science class, obsession with abstinence only education, and this odd idea that universal health care is synonymous with Bolshevism.

Not saying we're perfect though. We have homeopathy and other crazy shit coming out of our earholes. We have vaccine denialism, denial of climate change, people who function daily in a modern society while still believing that an invisible guy in the sky is listening to their heaven-sent words, and organic/natural products being fetishised.

We have a Daily Mail led army of middle aged white guys, simultaneously angry and despondent, because immigrants and queers are giving their houses cancer. Had a discussion the other night with a long-term Daily Mail reader, and it was a Gish gallop of nonsense and generalisations. Not a good sign when someone hurls vitriol at a group called "them", without taking the time to clarify membership of this group (i.e. "pakis"), it's pretty clear that the Mail is strong in them. Fun fact: The reason why crime is running out of control in the UK (despite statistics showing a long trend of decline), is that police recruitment is focussing too much on gays and women, and should instead only have tall straight men (presumably white) on the beat.

A lot of this stuff doesn't really surface in public debate. A politician in the UK claiming that pregnancy resulting from rape probably isn't legitimate rape would be retiring to spend time with the family. The UK is generally secular, and religion tends to be more a personal and understated thing, so a politician pushing to have Jewish myths taught as science would largely be dismissed as some kind of nutter. In the U.S. there seems to be more support available for the extreme views. I'm writing as an outside, so do please correct me if I'm wrong here.

Re:What's next? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41498057)

so a politician pushing to have Jewish myths taught as science would largely be dismissed as some kind of nutter.

Don't mistake those creationist nutjobs for having anything to do with Jewish people or mythology, beyond the general historical links between Christianity and Judaism. There is absolutely no relationship, and I have never heard anyone call them 'Jewish myths' before. And I actually know some people who are creationists (but otherwise fairly normal). Is that a British thing? It seems that the British media is generally somewhat anti-Semitic [honestreporting.com] . Jewish people in general are very pro-science.

Re:What's next? (1)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | about 2 years ago | (#41498937)

Very true, thanks for clarifying that. The scripture is common to them, but taken very differently. One of the things I like about Judaeism is the culture of examination of the texts. Kind of amusing though how they seem to spend a great deal of time finding loopholes.

Re:What's next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41499433)

Kind of amusing though how they seem to spend a great deal of time finding loopholes.

Some try to find loopholes, most of us look down upon such activity. I think it's a side effect of the 'culture of examination of the texts' as you phrased it. Acting on a loophole to avoid religious responsibilities, as opposed to a legitimate exception (i.e. pregnant women don't have to fast), seems contrary to the idea of following a religion.

Re:What's next? (2)

jc42 (318812) | about 2 years ago | (#41500301)

One of the things I like about Judaeism is the culture of examination of the texts. Kind of amusing though how they seem to spend a great deal of time finding loopholes.

This can work both ways. One of the more fun parts of the biblical dietary rules is that, while it's forbidden in general to eat invertebrates, there is a specific "loophole" listed in two places that allows eating Orthoptera (grasshoppers, locusts, etc.). What you do is ask someone who believes in such things whether they eat shrimp or crayfish or lobster. If they say they do, you ask if they eat grasshoppers or locusts or katydids. They'll probably look at you in disgust, and say "Of course not."

You then point out that they've violated biblical rules on both counts. This gives you ground to ridicule whatever other supposed biblical laws they may have been supporting. If they can't even get simple things like "shrimp forbidden; grasshoppers allowed" right, how credible can they be on anything else?

(Meanwhile, nutritionists have pointed out that insects are not just edible, but are a good source of easily-digested proteins. Humans don't eat them much, but this is probably mostly because they're rather small, and we're top-level predators adapted to catching much bigger game.)

Re:What's next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41498085)

"We have a Daily Mail led army of middle aged white guys"

You don't help make your point by engaging in mindless ageism, racism and sexism.

Re:What's next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41498117)

It's not ageist, racist, or sexist, if they really *are* middle-aged white guys. Which they (by and large) are.

Re:What's next? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41498513)

It's not ageist, racist, or sexist, if they really *are* middle-aged white guys. Which they (by and large) are.

I think it is ageist, racist and sexist if the intention is to present the age, race and sex of the people involved as important, rather than focusing on their views.

Re:What's next? (1)

green1 (322787) | about 2 years ago | (#41498923)

maybe I gave him too much credit, but as a white male approaching middle age, I took no offence, because I took it to be a subset of middle age white guys, and not all of us.

His comment was no more racist than commenting that people in the KKK tend to be white. it doesn't mean white people are bad, only that people in that bad organization tend to be white. We know what demographics in the UK and the US tend to fear "immigrants, gays, atheists, and women" and somehow it rarely intersects with those who fall in to those categories. That doesn't mean middle-aged white men are evil, it only means that that particular type of evil person tends to be in that category (there are many other evil categories to cover pretty much every other societal group too, so it's not just middle aged white people who are evil, there is evil pretty much everywhere)

Re:What's next? (1)

dontbgay (682790) | about 2 years ago | (#41498377)

Correct you? Nope... seems like you pretty much nailed it.

Re:What's next? (1)

sociocapitalist (2471722) | about 2 years ago | (#41497625)

What's next? They're gonna steal fox news stories?

Nah Onion stories are already more accurate why would they bother?

Re:What's next? (3, Informative)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 2 years ago | (#41497953)

At least the Onion is satire. The Sun (UK) printed a made up story about Japanese women being sold lambs made to look like poodles and wondering why they wouldn't eat dog food. Several other papers around the world picked it up and even the BBC repeated it.

Re:What's next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41498497)

Almost as funny as Israel scrambling its attack aircraft and helicopters to fend off - two of the stars forming Cassiopeia.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4077929,00.html

Some background (5, Informative)

mabedan (2741361) | about 2 years ago | (#41497273)

Fars news is owned by Iran's revolutionaty Guard, and is Iranian government's biggest propaganda tool. This website was among the many other government driven sources which anounced Ahmadinejad's "victory" 3 hours before the polls were over...

Re:Some background (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41497281)

anounced Ahmadinejad's "victory" 3 hours before the polls were over...

So it is similar to our fox news?

Re:Some background (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41497905)

Oh, snap!

Re:Some background (1)

Dachannien (617929) | about 2 years ago | (#41498187)

anounced Ahmadinejad's "victory" 3 hours before the polls were over...

So it is similar to our fox news?

Under the current administration, it's more like MSNBC.

Re:Some background (1)

shentino (1139071) | about 2 years ago | (#41498249)

Fox news can't put a gun to your head and threaten to shoot you if you don't vote right.

Re:Some background (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 2 years ago | (#41498489)

Shhhh! Don't give Rupert Murdoch and ideas.

Re:Some background (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 2 years ago | (#41498317)

Perhaps you missed it in 1994 when the polls closed and they went to woman-in-the-street Gwen Eiffel who immediately announced the Democrats were off to a strong evening...as the Republicans took control of the House for the first time in over 30,000 years.

Re:Some background (5, Funny)

unix_core (943019) | about 2 years ago | (#41497301)

Oh, I thought it was one of those non-propaganda Iranian news agencies ;)

Re:Some background (2)

mabedan (2741361) | about 2 years ago | (#41497325)

As a matter of fact, iranian press is not doing as bad as you might imagine. It's true that after Mr Khatami's presidency (iranian reformist), situation has gotten somewhat worse, but press has a relative freedom. They can't go all the way to criticise the supreme leader, but criticising the president, parlement, and countries politics is not a novelty.

Re:Some background (1)

Gavagai80 (1275204) | about 2 years ago | (#41497607)

Well, the parliament rips the president all the time so it's no surprise the press is allowed to. You can side with one faction of conservatives over another. Pro-reform newspapers have been systematically shut down though. I wouldn't call that relative freedom, except maybe compared to Saudi Arabia.

Lol, another moron (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 2 years ago | (#41497695)

It is true, the press in Iran can criticize the president and parliaments and their policies. They can criticize them for not being true enough to the revolutionary ideal. You can be as critical of anything you want in Iran, as long as the revolutionary guard agrees with your criticism.

Only a complete tool would think this is the same as freedom of the press.

Re:Some background (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 2 years ago | (#41497945)

As a matter of fact, iranian press is not doing as bad as you might imagine. It's true that after Mr Khatami's presidency (iranian reformist), situation has gotten somewhat worse, but press has a relative freedom. They can't go all the way to criticise the supreme leader, but criticising the president, parlement, and countries politics is not a novelty.

how about criticizing fars?
"not as bad as you might imagine". yeah right, it's pretty fucking bad.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a47ef9ec-0873-11e2-b37e-00144feabdc0.html#axzz27rIwLgAX [ft.com]

Re:Some background (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41497485)

So what's the difference between this and failing to even give other candidates air-time because they're simply "not presidential enough"?

Re:Some background (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41498175)

Fars news is owned by Iran's revolutionaty Guard, and is Iranian government's biggest propaganda tool. This website was among the many other government driven sources which anounced Ahmadinejad's "victory" 3 hours before the polls were over...

Exit polls can be very accurate :)

Regardless, one thing that most people don't know is that Ahmadinejad has very little actual power. He's just a figurehead who blathers on for the media. Iran might look like a democracy on paper, but the real power is held by the Iranian clergy.

Re:Some background (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#41499591)

Regardless, one thing that most people don't know is that Ahmadinejad has very little actual power. He's just a figurehead who blathers on for the media. Iran might look like a democracy on paper, but the real power is held by the Iranian clergy.

So, it's a lot like the US?

FARS didn't give credit (2)

blind biker (1066130) | about 2 years ago | (#41497291)

The agency in question is the Iranian state-controlled FARS news agency. What bothers me in this event is that FARS didn't mention the source of their (mis)information.

The Onion is having fun with credit though (3, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 2 years ago | (#41497785)

They have added a link saying "For more on this story: Please visit our Iranian subsidiary organization, Fars." with a link so a screen cap of the story on Fars.

I always love it when a real news organization gets punked by the Onion :).

Re:The Onion is having fun with credit though (1)

Jawnn (445279) | about 2 years ago | (#41499051)

They have added a link saying "For more on this story: Please visit our Iranian subsidiary organization, Fars." with a link so a screen cap of the story on Fars.

I always love it when a yet another fake news organization, run by incompetent partisan hacks gets punked by the Onion :).

TFTFY. By and large, "real" news organizations don't make mistakes like that.

Re:The Onion is having fun with credit though (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#41499601)

TFTFY. By and large, "real" news organizations don't make mistakes like that.

Those who do not understand history are doomed to repeat it [techcrunch.com] .

News for nerds... (1)

fufufang (2603203) | about 2 years ago | (#41497297)

Why is this not in the idle section?

Re:News for nerds... (4, Funny)

HairyNevus (992803) | about 2 years ago | (#41497395)

Something about an online news source, falling for a dupe. Seemed relevant to /. as a whole.

Re:News for nerds... (2)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 2 years ago | (#41498159)

Because there is a section called politics. Also, the story is about political propaganda via technology gone horribly wrong, and the Onion is a website, which as it turns out also involves technology. The better question is why did you think it was important enough to read and comment on, but then complain because you thought that it should be in the idle section?

Re:News for nerds... (1)

flimflammer (956759) | about 2 years ago | (#41498857)

Because it doesn't belong in idle.

FARS? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41497305)

Might as well start calling them FARCE.

Re:FARS? (1)

Smask (665604) | about 2 years ago | (#41497585)

Fars actually means farce in Sweden.

Re:FARS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41497697)

and it can mean two things in Denmark: forcemeat and also "dad's" like in "it is dad's birthday"

The Perfect Response. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41497361)

I mean, what better could they have said in response to that?

In unrelated news, readership for The Onion is up 0% for the middle eastern region after this story...

WHAT SAY WE ALL JUST GET TOGETHER AND (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41497371)

Bomb the Shit Out of Persia !!

Re:WHAT SAY WE ALL JUST GET TOGETHER AND (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41497939)

But then who buys Siemens and HTC if not Iran?

No sense of humor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41497401)

Ummmm...well...the culture being what it is, well,...what's next is: heads are gonna roll. There's no such thing as a sense of humor in the Qur'an...

Ho ho ho! (1, Flamebait)

Any Web Loco (555458) | about 2 years ago | (#41497427)

Those foolish Iranian's eh? What a bunch of clowns? Seriously - why is this news? Onion stories get accidentally picked up by news agencies all the time - is this news because it's the bad-guys du jour?

Re:Ho ho ho! (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 2 years ago | (#41498171)

Any Web Loco, eh? What a clown? Seriously - why is he posting? Stories get posted that aren't of interest to every single Slashdot reader all the rim - is he posting because he it the moron du jour?

The onion that will change the world (4, Informative)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | about 2 years ago | (#41497433)

It is good to see how onions can change the world.

BBC has this story about the onion story http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/19620411 [bbc.co.uk]

Peter Glazebrook talking about his amazing onion: 'I should think it could feed a thousand people. It would certainly do for a lot of hotdogs.'

It is good to see how onions can change the world, even Iran. ;)

Re:The onion that will change the world (1)

rapiddescent (572442) | about 2 years ago | (#41497523)

The BBC [bbc.co.uk] are hardly any better. Whilst the BBC for generations has had a good reputation - in Scotland, the BBC are showing themselves to be a state broadcaster and at every opportunity take the unionist cause [newsnetscotland.com] (which incidently is way off their charter). Over the last year, Scots have been subjected to TV shows about "how good it is to be British" and "why the UK is great for Scotland" which are not shown south of the border.

They have been cutting back coverage of the Scottish referendum for independence [newsnetscotland.com] and have been accused of dirty tricks and biased reporting [newsnetscotland.com] in the lead up to the 2014 referendum.

It's incredible since the BBC is also paid for by Scots (though a mandatory tax called the TV Licence [tvlicensing.co.uk] ). Scotland is hoping to be the first country to become independent without a drop of blood being spilt.

Re:The onion that will change the world (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41497619)

Canada, 1867.

Simple rule for bias (1, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 2 years ago | (#41497707)

There is a simple rule for determining if a news agency is biased or not. Do they agree with your point of view? Then they are unbiased. Do they disagree with your point of view? Then they are biased.

Check this for yourself, why do you think the BBC has changed? There are plenty of reports of them doing the states bidding decades before the cases you mention, like their reporting on the miners strikes.

So... why did you consider them unbiased before? Before they said what you wanted to hear? Could it be that this biased BBC is also biased on subjects where you agree with the tone of their reporting. Nah, of course not. That would mean you are biased too. And that could never be the case could it?

Re:Simple rule for bias (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 2 years ago | (#41497897)

That's just a silly "all truth is relative, so I can just pick the one I like" excuse. Some news agencies tell the truth, others tell lies. Some represent the facts fairly, some misrepresent them. Sure none of them live in a vacuum outside the cultural/socioeconomic/religious society they live in and journalists are also human beings with their own individual understanding of the world, but to say all bias is equal is like saying a person speeding and a serial child rape/murderer are both equally criminal. The most biased typically start with the conclusion "Obama/Bush is the worst president we've ever had" and find every shred of evidence to support it and ignore everything that contradicts it. Finding the facts to support a given conclusion is completely different than finding facts to make a conclusion, nobody is free of bias but some have an open mind and some don't.

Re:Simple rule for bias (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41498333)

There is a simple rule for determining if a news agency is biased or not. ...

An oversimplification. The key factor is whether the news organization is making an honest attempt to keep the reader fully informed so that they can make their own balanced judgement or whether the news organization is trying to manipulate the reader's viewpoint by being selective with the facts and not trying to make the news report a representative summary intended to benefit the reader's judgement.

All news reports are summaries/abstractions and therefore cannot be completely representative of the events but there are degrees of bias and the relativism you describe is only a small part of it.

Personally, I try to read informative stories from all sides. What turns me off is not so-called bias but any attempt to deceive through either ommision (leaving out important facts) or commission (making up facts).

Re:The onion that will change the world (1)

ibwolf (126465) | about 2 years ago | (#41497933)

Scotland is hoping to be the first country to become independent without a drop of blood being spilt.

You are at least 68 years too late on that count. Iceland won its independence from Denmark with zero bloodshed.

Re:The onion that will change the world (1)

zenyu (248067) | about 2 years ago | (#41498271)

You are at least 68 years too late on that count. Iceland won its independence from Denmark with zero bloodshed.

Your number is off a bit, I believe estimates of the number killed in World War II ranges between 50,000,000 to 78,000,000. Just because it was Hitler's tanks rolling over Denmark and not Icelandic ones doesn't it peaceful.

Funny, but not the way you might think (4, Interesting)

3seas (184403) | about 2 years ago | (#41497519)

As the world awakes to the games of the few... Hopefully this backfires in the way of enforcing the reality that the majority of the people on this planet are more alike than they are with the few in positions of command and control. When enough realize this, to few will participate in fabricated, expensive and damaging warfare. Adn we all know there are those few who thrive on what is not beneficial to the rest of us.

Re:Funny, but not the way you might think (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 2 years ago | (#41498337)

As long as they agree to continue participating in carving up complete command-and-control of each other, through violence or vote, there will continue to be conflict.

Best to reduce the power of government and let people pursue their own ends.

I suspect free people in a free society will, unfettered by dictatorship, freely choose to mod my love of freedom down as "trolling".

Re:Funny, but not the way you might think (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41500227)

Even though the Onion didn't ask for my opinion. I *might* actually agree with the article. Iran's leader gets smeared in western media and treated like a crazy madman but some of the things he said I actually agree with.

I know thanks to the internet and actually chatting with people from Iran on occasions in the past that the youth (I interacted with personally) are a lot like the people here in the west. Similar hopes and dreams. Similar angst towards parents, authority, religious and political leadership.

With a greater ability to connect and communicate with these far away places I think we'll collectively realize that we're more alike and the old war and propaganda game was always a bad deal for the people and only of benefit to a small group (political, financial, corporate, etc)

It seems like there's some people who'd like to start world war 3 but hopefully people are smart enough now to see it as a bad idea and it never really gets off the ground despite the propaganda efforts and a few agent provocateurs.

Insha'Allah? (4, Funny)

Penurious Penguin (2687307) | about 2 years ago | (#41497521)

Someday, they may be fooled by something far more absurd than The Onion, like CNN -- leaving their whole nation careening stupidly in everlasting confusion. In regards to FOX, I think we've been duped ourselves, mistaking a Persian onion for a crystal ball.

Revolutionary Guard: "Sir, we must expand our nuclear capabilities and wipe Israel off the map.

Ahmadinejad: "It's laminated you imbecile."

Revolutionary Guard: "Good point. About that uranium, sir."

Ahmadinejad: "Look, I'm sick of all this primitive uranium shit. The Americans have a giant bat named Bruce. Our uranium can't make bats that large. There's just no way. This, ...this bat, it viciously defends the Americans and has billions of dollars, so it will obviously help the Israelis too.

Revolutionary Guard: "You know, Ahmy, ..ever since we watched that Sam Bacile film together, I've been having doubts about this whole radical thing. Don't you ever think of just leaving this all behind and moving to Moldova?"

Ahmadinejad: "I've thought of it many times, but they speak Moldovan, and I really have great difficulty with it. I'm thinking more along the lines of Kalmykia. They have a great chess club there, and the Americans don't even know about it. Plus, Putin might be more inclined to visit us on holidays."

Revolutionary Guard: "A giant bat?"

FARS you say? (2)

officialkirill (2723541) | about 2 years ago | (#41497529)

Eeh, seems more like a FARCE

No surprise (1)

whoop (194) | about 2 years ago | (#41497575)

The same thing is going on here. "News" agencies see a story they like, and so they run with it without checking. Every election cycle it happens, and will continue to happen forever. No one is unbiased, Fox, Politico, TV networks.

Breaking News (0)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 2 years ago | (#41497577)

Area man gets furst psot!!!

The only source (1)

nickol (208154) | about 2 years ago | (#41497591)

Iranian news agency took a story from The Onion. Now we can read about this from The Onion (CNN has the screenshot, but no actual link). I think that fake news websites have a great future. You know, all that Zen technics: sit quietly and wait until the whole world will change according to the news you make.

Re:The only source (1)

alphatel (1450715) | about 2 years ago | (#41497903)

Iranian news agency took a story from The Onion. Now we can read about this from The Onion (CNN has the screenshot, but no actual link). I think that fake news websites have a great future. You know, all that Zen technics: sit quietly and wait until the whole world will change according to the news you make.

This was one that was easy to expose. Enough time and the people of Iran won't even be able to research to find that it was a complete farse and laugh at their fars. Instead they will have to simply accept that it is the truth. Or, probably lose their heads.

Well, it's the same here... (1, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | about 2 years ago | (#41497657)

...except that Fox News doesn't quote the Onion, but rather like the Onion, they make stuff up out of whole cloth, based on what they expect their viewers to believe.

They even went to court in Florida as an amicus to defend the practice.

--
BMO

Re:Well, it's the same here... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41497925)

I'd be more impressed if your hatred of Fox News wasn't based on the love of the taste of Jon Stewart's penis. Both the left and right are equally although differently idiotic. You remind me of the Christians that make fun of Muslims. You're both wrong.

Re:Well, it's the same here... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41498575)

You seem confused.

Jon Stewart is right-wing. Fox News, on the other hand, is out of touch with reality. There is a difference. America doesn't have a visible left-wing.

Re:Well, it's the same here... (1)

cellocgw (617879) | about 2 years ago | (#41498503)

except that Fox News doesn't quote the Onion, but rather like the Onion, they make stuff up out of whole cloth, based on what they expect their viewers to believe
Uh-oh: you believe that *TheOnion* expects its readers to believe their stories? The problem at hand is clearly deeper than we thought.

Re:Well, it's the same here... (1)

bmo (77928) | about 2 years ago | (#41499627)

The genius that is The Onion is that they write stories that are outrageous but utterly believable at some level.

I often call it "the journal of shit that hasn't happened yet, but will"

http://www.theonion.com/articles/bush-our-long-national-nightmare-of-peace-and-pros,464/ [theonion.com]

Read. Be sad.

--
BMO

The Onion have violated their parole condidtions (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 2 years ago | (#41497765)

Expect the editors to be arrested real soon.

Hopefully, they don't have any embassies anywhere in the Islamic World . . .

Being that they are being monitored by Iranian folks, they had better be careful about what they joke about in the future . . .

Appropriate fortune (0)

6031769 (829845) | about 2 years ago | (#41497851)

"Clay's Conclusion: Creativity is great, but plagiarism is faster."

Nice.

FARS hould use a more reliable source (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41497867)

Like CBC's "This is That" [www.cbc.ca] .

Happens elsewhere ... (2)

kbahey (102895) | about 2 years ago | (#41499377)

The largest Egyptian state owned newspaper, Al Ahram, published a spoof Kissinger quote as genuine [ahram.org.eg] .

Of course, it plays to the sentiments of some about the revolutions of the Arab Spring are really a foreign conspiracy for chaos and wars, yadda yadda.

They did not even apologize for it ...

Avg American doesn't care about Iranian-anything (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41500029)

The average American doesn't care about anything in Iran or most of the rest of the world unless there is some product that comes to us from there. I watch international news directly from news organizations inside those countries.

All news is biased. All of it. CNN is terrible because most Americans don't see the bias. Fox is terrible, but at least they are up-front with their biases. The major network news ABC, NBC, CBS are about sensationalizing everything, not reporting the news. It is entertainment more than anything else.

Read newspapers from around the world for a week. You'd be amazed at the crap put out and the bias against the USA. Often, that bias is deserved, but often it is not.

China and Iran and Japan have been caught lying to their people over and over. The USA government lies to people around the world constantly.

Every government seems to do this from what I can tell. Hopefully, the lies aren't too important, but when there is a war on, even mostly disinterested country governments seem to lie.

With all this lying going on, the average American simply doesn't care what is happening most places around the world.

Onion is still around?! (1)

Seumas (6865) | about 2 years ago | (#41501259)

I am always surprised when, every two or three years, someone sends me a link to a story on The Onion. Before even clicking the link, I just pause for a moment and think "wow, how the fuck is that site still around?". I mean, it's not the worst thing ever or anything, but it's kind of like CSI or LA Law or The Three Stooges. You only need to see a couple episodes to get the gist of it and it loses all its steam after that. In this case, you only needed to read The Onion for about two weeks in the late 90s and you sort of got all there was to get from it. Everything since then is just sort of . . . the same expected rehash. Occasionally worth a guffaw or two, but so few in-between that it's not worth the time it takes to stumble across them.

It's kind of like David Letterman. A witty and clever guy and occasionally you hear something about him, but you don't need to see his show to know what you're going to get with it -- and it's always going to be the same predictable shtick.

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