Speed Reads

The truth about jokes

The Onion accidentally breaks a real news story

Maybe the truth really is told in jokes. Last Tuesday — the day after six world powers struck a nuclear deal with Iran — the satirical newspaper The Onion published this headline: "U.S. Soothes Upset Netanyahu With Shipment Of Ballistic Missiles."

One day later, Israeli news source Haaretz printed an actual story with this notably similar headline: "After Iran Deal, Obama Offers Military Upgrade To Help Israel Swallow Bitter Iranian Deal." No, that was not a mistake. And yes, The Onion's joke actually was pretty darn close to a reality.

Turns out, President Obama offered "to begin immediate talks about upgrading the Israel Defense Forces' offensive and defensive capabilities" with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after the Iran deal went through, Haaretz reported. The Onion quotes a fake State Department spokesman as saying, "Bibi always gets a little cranky when he sees us talking to Iran, but a few dozen short-range surface-to-surface missiles usually cheer him right up."

In real life, Netanyahu turned down Obama's offer, as he did not want it to seem like Israel had accepted the Iran deal. The Pentagon clarified to reporters over the weekend that it would not be offering any weapons to Israel because of the Iran deal.

Regardless of the differing outcomes in the two tales, Haaretz couldn't get over the fact that The Onion scooped them. Becca Stanek