The whole point behind a correction, though, is twofold: to provide the correct information, and to resolve to try not to do it again. (For example, I am now fully awake.) This will become important shortly.
One of the more common ways of screwing up these days is to mistake an article from the Onion as real, and to use it as a legitimate source. As the Onion writes its articles in the style of actual news reports, sometimes an article looks real enough to fool someone. There's a site, called Literally Unbelievable, that fires up anytime someone is caught out by an Onion article.
Among the recent victims was Fars, the Iranian state news service. On Friday, Fars got fooled by the piece 'Gallup Poll: Rural Whites Prefer Ahmadinejad To Obama'. Which is embarrassing enough. But then Fars had to go and plagiarize the darned thing. That screenshot comes courtesy of the Onion (Fars had deleted the article), who twisted the knife by referring to Fars as one of their subsidiaries.
Remember that part about resolving not to do it again?
Fars, after being pointed and laughed at by the entire journalist population of Earth, has now managed to dig itself even deeper with its eventual correction.
Click on the link at 'referring' and the AP article attached will surrender this line at the end:
It's not the first time a foreign news outlet has been duped by The Onion. In 2002, the Beijing Evening News, one of the Chinese capital's biggest newspapers, picked up a story from The Onion that claimed members of Congress were threatening to leave Washington unless the building underwent a makeover that included more bathrooms and a retractable dome.
Now, let's go to the Fars correction, which turned into a long article about other news agencies' screwups (and yes, I recognize the irony in pointing that out):
In 2002, the Beijing Evening News, one of the Chinese capital's biggest newspapers, picked up a story from The Onion that claimed members of Congress were threatening to leave Washington unless the building underwent a makeover that included more bathrooms and a retractable dome.
If you notice the lack of the 'not the first time' part, don't worry. That popped up three paragraphs earlier. That's right. Fars- who you really shouldn't be counting on for quality news in the first place- has not only plagiarized an Onion article, they have then gone on to plagiarize the correction. Word for word. That is so bad it's actually kind of impressive. I've never seen that before.
Hopefully I won't see it again.