he New York Post recently reported that Louisiana Congressman John Fleming was the latest person to be duped into thinking an Onion headline was real news. On his Facebook page, the Congressman posted a link to an Onion article from May 11, 2011 titled “Planned Parenthood Opens $8 Billion Abortionplex.” Fleming posted the link with the comment, “More On Planned Parenthood, Abortion on the Wholesale.”
Reading the Onion piece, it’s obvious that the Congressman didn’t actually read the article past the lede, because, like most Onion articles, it’s pretty obviously a joke. Here’s one of the passages from the piece:
“The remaining space is dedicated to amenities such as coffee shops, bars, dozens of restaurants and retail outlets, a three-story nightclub, and a 10-screen multiplex theater—features intended not only to help clients relax, but to foster a sense of community and make abortion more of a social event.”
But so common is the mistaking-Onion-articles-for-truth-on-Facebook phenomenon, that an entire blog, Literally Unbelievable, is dedicated to it. The Fleming post, which was taken down as soon as the Congressman was made aware he’d been duped, is viewable on their blog here.
Other Onion headlines that folks have posted on Facebook with comments expressing outrage include “Brain-Dead Teen, Only Capable of Rolling Eyes and Texting to be Euthanized,” “Did The Media Treat Michelle Bachman Unfairly Because She’s An Insane Woman?” and “US Finishes A Strong Second In Iraq War.”