Do you know about Literally Unbelievable? It’s a blog that collects people’s blatant misinterpretations about The OnionÂ over Facebook. That’s right: Enough people mistake OnionÂ articles and news reports for the truth that there is a corner of the internet devoted to their stupidity. Usually it’s average folks who put their feet in their respective mouths over social media, but every once in a while someone high-profile doesn’t read closely enough.
Today, Congressman John FlemingÂ linked to an Onion article titled “Planned Parenthood Opens $8 Billion Abortionplex” on his Facebook page. He may have 25,000 likes, but it took 8 derisive comments before his people yanked the status update. (That’s right, it’s now immortalized on blogs like Literally Unbelievable and anywhere else that managed to get a screenshot.) And Representative Fleming hasn’t addressed his gaffe, which only makes it worse.
Perhaps the party most amused by this is The OnionÂ itself: Editor Joe RandazzoÂ released a statement saying, “Weâ€™re delighted to hear that Rep. Fleming is a regular reader of Americaâ€™s Finest News Source and doesnâ€™t bother himself with The New York Times, Washington Post, the mediums of television and radio, or any other lesser journalism outlets.”
Congressman, I know you’re trying to appeal to a generation who got through high school by sourcing term papers via Wikipedia… but come on.