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History fail: Paper runs WWI satire story as fact

The Local · 7 Jul 2014, 14:15

Published: 07 Jul 2014 14:15 GMT+02:00

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"War declared by all," is the shocking headline of the Onion piece, used by ABC in its Culture section on Saturday.

"This is the front page US newspaper the Onion ran on August 5th 1914," ABC wrote, explaining its use of the article and its intriguing graphic to illustrate a feature on the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.

But the Onion article — first published in 2006 and then reprinted in the book Our Dumb Century — is pure satire, as the subheadings suggest.

"Ottoman Empire almost declares war on itself," one of these reads.

"Nations struggle to remember allies," another states.

Story continues below…

The US-based Onion, founded in 1988, has spent over two decades mocking media conventions. Occasionally other media outlets have been fooled into running its stories as news.

In 2012, ABC itself reported on how Chinese government newspaper The People's Daily ran as fact another satirical Onion story which named North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as the world's sexiest man.

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