Iranian news agency duped by Onion story on Obama poll

Iran's leading news agency published a mock poll that claimed rural whites in the U.S. favored Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad over president Barack Obama.

The mock poll was originally published on a popular U.S. media site, The Onion.

The FARS news agencywhich touts itself as Iran's leading independent news agency while others note its ties to governmentpublished much of the made-up poll that first appeared in the U.S. parody website.

The Onion site quoted a fictitious Gallup Poll that noted "77 percent of rural Caucasian voters...would much rather go to a baseball game or have a beer with Ahmadinejad...than spend time with Obama."

FARS led its story with that statement and even quoted someone from the Onion piece, West Virginia resident Swiderski, saying of Ahmadinejad, "I like him better."


Word of duping the Iranian agencies made its way through media sites and was also picked up by media blogger Jim Romenesko.

The Onion had a little fun with it, too, it seems, adding to the end of the article, "For more on this story: Please visit our Iranian subsidiary organization, Fars."

The story was live on the FARS website early on Friday afternoon but was no longer available by 1:30 p.m. ET. The link to FARS goes to an earlier screen grab of the story that had been on the FARS website.