All the Fake News That’s Fit to Reprint

In yet another case of a news organization being duped by The Onion, the New York Times printed a picture of a fake Tiger Beat magazine with President Barack Obama on the cover, even though the picture was straight out of The Onion and therefore totes fake.

As Joe Pompeo notes in a Yahoo! News blog, this is certainly not the first time this has happened:

Back in 2002, the Beijing Evening News fell for a gag about the U.S. Congress demanding a new Capitol building with a retractable dome. In 2009, two Bangladeshi newspapers were duped by The Onion’s spoof validating fringe conspiracy theories that the 1969 moon landing was a hoax. More recently, Fox Nation fell for the outlandish headline, “Frustrated Obama Sends Nation Rambling 75,000-Word E-Mail.”

But still, at least one question remains: What in the hell was the New York Times doing printing a picture of Tiger Beat Magazine? According to their redaction, the article it appeared in was “about how the original teen-girl tabloid has remained virtually unchanged since its inception in 1965.” So? Is this what waits for me behind that New York Times paywall? Fucking articles about Tiger Beat magazine – articles about Tiger Beat Magazine that aren’t even fact-checked. Christalmighty.

In related news, I’m currently working my way through The Onion’s Our Front Pages book. I highly recommend it.


Author: Joe McVeigh

I'm a linguist who researches email marketing. I also teach at the University of Jyväskylä in Finland. I write about language and linguistics on my blog, ...And Read All Over, and I write about language and marketing on my other blog, Email and Linguistics.

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