Most people recognize The Onion as the Peabody Award-winning satire machine that it is. Some people, however, don’t. Which is why we get a story like this every few months. Of course, it’s sometimes easy to mistake an Onion article for the real thing since the writers make sure to skew as close to their targets as possible. It also doesn’t hurt when real news outlets reprint the satirists’ work and decide not to let their readers know it’s a joke, as Fox Nation did today.
Yes, the Fox Nation editors were apparently so enamored with an Onion piece from today entitled “Frustrated Obama Sends Nation Rambling 75,000-Word E-Mail” that they reposted the first two paragraphs in their culture section with nary a sign as to its fictional nature. The only clue that this wasn’t real (besides a quick peek at your inbox to confirm that Barack Obama hasn’t been emailing you) was a link at the bottom instructing readers to go to TheOnion.com for the real story.
Go read the comments at the Fox Nation post to see how long it takes for them to figure out that The Onion is a satire site. And even then they still fall for it.
There are two possibilities here. Either the folks at Fox Nation are too dense to get the satire of The Onion, or they get it but know that their readers are so gullible and believe anything that they post that they would fall for it anyway. What do you think?