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Unread 10-01-2012, 11:15 AM   #1
RobinStarwing
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WTF Lost in Translation Somewhere in Timbuktu...

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CHICAGO (AP) A joke by the satirical newspaper The Onion appears to have gotten lost in translation.

An Iranian news agency picked up as fact a story from the paper about a supposed survey showing an overwhelming majority of rural white Americans would rather vote for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad than President Barack Obama. But it was made up, like everything in the just-for-laughs newspaper, which is headquartered in Chicago.

The English-language service of Iran's semiofficial Fars news agency republished the story Friday, several days after it appeared in The Onion.

The Iranian version copied the original word-for-word, even including a made-up quote from a fictional West Virginia resident who says he'd rather go to a baseball game with Ahmadinejad because "he takes national defense seriously, and he'd never let some gay protesters tell him how to run his country like Obama does."

Homosexual acts are punishable by death in Iran, and Ahmadinejad famously said during a 2007 appearance at Columbia University that "in Iran we don't have homosexuals like in your country."

The Iranian version of the article leaves out only The Onion's description of Ahmadinejad as "a man who has repeatedly denied the Holocaust and has had numerous political prisoners executed."

The article was featured prominently on the Fars website alongside its usual fare of stories about advances in Iranian military technology, condemnation of Israel and Iran's nuclear program. The story appeared to have been taken down by about mid-day, Chicago time.

Calls to Fars representatives were not answered Friday.

The Onion reveled in the fact that it had been taken seriously.
Onion editor Will Tracy put out a tongue-in-cheek statement that referred to Fars as "a subsidiary of The Onion" that has acted as the paper's Middle Eastern bureau since it was founded in the mid-1980s by Onion publisher T. Herman Zweibel.

"The Onion freely shares content with Fars and commends the journalists at Iran's Finest News Source on their superb reportage," Tracy said in jest.

It's not the first time a foreign news outlet has been duped by The Onion. In 2002, the Beijing Evening News, one of the Chinese capital's biggest newspapers, picked up a story from The Onion that claimed members of Congress were threatening to leave Washington unless the building underwent a makeover that included more bathrooms and a retractable dome.
I came to the conclusion with all the doom and gloom in the News section at NPF...we needed a touch of the ridiculous. Have fun!
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Unread 10-01-2012, 12:05 PM   #2
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rob this is mildly amusing and more than likely belongs in european vacationland

news is apparantly srsbzns land once again
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Unread 10-01-2012, 01:04 PM   #3
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You are wrong because this works fine on the basis that it is in fact news and also has an interesting general issue behind it. There really are quite a lot of examples of Onion articles being taken seriously and it raises the question what kind of importance background checks on stories have in journalism as a whole. It's one thing if Fred Phelps or Fox Nation fall for it but once you get fairly reputable papers like Corriere della Sera in the list, you gotta start to wonder.

"Lost in translation" can only explain so much because I'd imagine at some point during the regular background check on a story you'd say "where's it from" and then you either know what The Onion is or you take the five seconds to find out.
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Unread 10-01-2012, 02:07 PM   #4
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I am liking The Onion less and less. Between this (The article is essentially a giant "FUCK YOU!" to any gay people actually in Iran, telling them that we Americans think that their treatment is right, or at bare minimum is definitely making fun of their shitty situation/diminishing it), and the "HEY GUYS LOOK AT HOW STUPID AND EXTREMISTS ALL MUSLIMS ARE BECAUSE NO OTHER RELIGIONS MURDERED ANYONE OVER THIS OFFENSIVE IMAGE WE MADE" article that was essentially just Muslim-bashing, they really are just incredibly intolerant and huge jerks.
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Unread 10-01-2012, 02:32 PM   #5
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Do you work for a newspaper?
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Unread 10-01-2012, 02:55 PM   #6
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No, and why would that be relevant to The Onion recently treating minorities like crap?

Like, they murder people for being gay in Iran. Even if it's facetious, this article is (essentially) thumbs upping that behavior for the sake of making a joke. You shouldn't be making jokes that require people to murder gays.*

Even if you think the joke isn't in poor taste, the article is now printed in Iran. Gay people in Iran are now reading this. What's The Onion do? "THIS IS FUCKING HILARIOUS HOW GAY PEOPLE IN IRAN ARE READING ABOUT HOW FUNNY IT IS THAT THEY'RE BEING KILLED."

*Their "joke" boils down to: "Hey guys, it's funny that people complain about disliking Obama so much, it's like he's worse than a guy who murders people! That would be super funny to say! Who gives a fuck about the people being murdered, let's promote his platform as awesome and those people as stupid gays who everyone hates, but guys, we're doing it ironically!" It doesn't matter how satirical or ironic you're being, you're marginalizing and even ostracizing people who are currently being murdered, because you want to make an unfunny joke.
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I did a lot of posting on here as a teenager, and I was pretty awful. Even after I learned, grew up, and came to be on the right side of a lot of important issues, I was still angry, abrasive, and generally increased the amount of hate in the world, in pretty unacceptable ways. On the off chance that someone is taking a trip down memory lane looking through those old threads, I wanted to devote my signature to say directly to you, I'm sorry.

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Unread 10-02-2012, 12:10 AM   #7
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I'm pretty much pointing my finger everywhere, because I don't know where exactly it's supposed to go right now. I just know that something about this feels definitely wrong to do, especially to just laugh about it when the oppressed people in question are given the article as real news.

The joke requires making light of the murder of gay citizens, and I don't think they should be doing that.
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I did a lot of posting on here as a teenager, and I was pretty awful. Even after I learned, grew up, and came to be on the right side of a lot of important issues, I was still angry, abrasive, and generally increased the amount of hate in the world, in pretty unacceptable ways. On the off chance that someone is taking a trip down memory lane looking through those old threads, I wanted to devote my signature to say directly to you, I'm sorry.

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Unread 10-02-2012, 12:45 AM   #8
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Yes it does matter how ironic you're being, it's perfectly legitimate satire. Fuck get a thicker skin RPG. The joke isn't "haha Muslims" but "hahaha irrational hatred of Obama".
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Unread 10-02-2012, 12:54 AM   #9
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So, you're cool with the fact that they went, "Hahahaha that's hilarious" to the fact that the story got picked up in Iran, where these people being murdered live, and was reported to them as real news?

Like, imagine for a moment. These people are being murdered for being gay, and they see a news report, straight out of America, "They think that we're way better than them, and that it's great what's happening to gay people here." That is revolting and sickening.
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I did a lot of posting on here as a teenager, and I was pretty awful. Even after I learned, grew up, and came to be on the right side of a lot of important issues, I was still angry, abrasive, and generally increased the amount of hate in the world, in pretty unacceptable ways. On the off chance that someone is taking a trip down memory lane looking through those old threads, I wanted to devote my signature to say directly to you, I'm sorry.

Thank you for letting me be better, NPF.
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Unread 10-02-2012, 12:57 AM   #10
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Plus, I'm guessing you have no idea what the other article was, which was posted here as hilarious, where they had a picture that was meant to purposely offend most religions but Muslims, and they laughed going, "HEY, SEE HOW NOT INSANE WE ARE?! WE DIDN'T KILL PEOPLE FROM BEING OFFENDED." That was their entire joke, made to be in response to the killings over that video. That joke is LITERALLY, "Muslims are crazy extremists, we're so much better, isn't xenophobia funny?"
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I did a lot of posting on here as a teenager, and I was pretty awful. Even after I learned, grew up, and came to be on the right side of a lot of important issues, I was still angry, abrasive, and generally increased the amount of hate in the world, in pretty unacceptable ways. On the off chance that someone is taking a trip down memory lane looking through those old threads, I wanted to devote my signature to say directly to you, I'm sorry.

Thank you for letting me be better, NPF.
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