The Onion, on Zambia

Wired reports that a growing number of people are mistaking stories in The Onion for “real news” and reacting with predictable outrage, protest, etc.

Of course, it’s hard to know The Onion’s not reporting the “news” when they’re so often spot on, as with their recent Zambian coverage:

Zambia Tired Of Being Mentioned In ‘News Of The Weird’ Section

LUSAKA, ZAMBIA—Zambian president H.E. Levy P. Mwanawasa publicly chastised Reuters and 10 other news organizations Monday for featuring Zambia in their “news of the weird” sections. “Zambia has a rich cultural history well beyond the man who can swallow razor blades,” Mwanawasa said. “Either feature something about Zambia besides dodecatuplets, or don’t feature Zambia at all.” Interestingly, in addition to being the Zambian leader, Mwanawasa is also the proud owner of the world’s longest soda-can pull-tab chain.

(From this week’s news in brief.)

Commenting on the rash of Onion outrage in the Wired article, Chris Taylor, the San Francisco bureau chief for Time magazine, offers good advice for all media consumers: “Average readers do themselves no disservice if they’re skeptical about every news story they read,” he says, “fake or not.”

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