The theocratic regime in Iran earned global mockery last year when its state news agency fell for an article by the satirical newspaper The Onion, which claimed that a vast majority of rural whites in the U.S. would rather have a beer with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad than President Obama. It turns out, however, that apparatchiks in the Iranian press are not the only ones to have mistaken parody for hard news. The Washington Post today published a blog post by Suzi Parker that claimed Sarah Palin, the former vice presidential candidate, had joined the Qatari-based news channel Al Jazeera. Parker went on to rub Palin's face in it a bit, noting the delicious irony that Fox News, Palin's former employer, had dubbed Al Jazeera "an anti-American terror mouthpiece."
The only problem with Parker's analysis is that Palin never joined Al Jazeera, and the only source that ever claimed so was the satirical site the Daily Currant. A sample from the Daily Currant's "scoop":
"As you all know, I'm not a big fan of newspapers, journalists, news anchors and the liberal media in general," Palin said. "But I met with the folks at Al-JaJizzraa (sic) and they told me they reach millions of devoutly religious people who don't watch CBS or CNN. That tells me they don't have a liberal bias."
The Post has been forced to publish an embarrassing correction, which reads:
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post incorrectly reported that Sarah Palin had signed on as a contributor to the Al Jazeera America news network. The blogger cited a report on the Daily Currant Web site as the basis for that information without realizing that the piece was satirical.