Do you know about Literally Unbelievable? It’s a blog that collects people’s blatant misinterpretations about The Onion over Facebook. That’s right: Enough people mistake Onion 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 Fleming 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 Onion itself: Editor Joe Randazzo released a statement saying, “We’re delighted to hear that Rep. Fleming is a regular reader of America’s Finest News Source and doesn’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.