Some People Don’t Understand That The Onion Is Parody

The blog Literally Unbelievable catalogs examples of people on Facebook who apparently think The Onion is a real news source.

Some examples:


Much, much more at the link.


FILED UNDER: Open Forum, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Chad S says:

    There was an anti-abortion activist who thought that an Onion op-ed about abortion was real and had a predictable freakout.

  2. Vast Variety says:

    The Iowa Republican once quoted a web site called the Black and Scarlet in an anti-gay attack article without realizing it is a parody of the Scarlet and Black news site ran by the Grinnell College in Grinnell Iowa. The college run’s both sites. The hilarious part of it is that the abbreviation for the Black and Scarlet, which is prominently posted on their site is…

    B & S.

    Scarlet and Black

  3. Kylopod says:

    One of the classic examples is the reaction to the Onion piece “Harry Potter Sparks Rise in Satanism Among Children.”

  4. Vast Variety says:

    Here is what I was talking about.

    I’m sure Raynard Kington is quite accomplished and well prepared to be Grinnell College’s president. To me it doesn’t matter what color he is, or that he prefers unnatural sex, yet that is what the Register chose to write about. Oh, the Register also missed that some students are questioning Kington’s qualifications…


  5. There are times one feels the need to go sit in the corner and quietly weep for democracy.

  6. John Peabody says:

    As my 14-year-old daughter would say, *tear*

  7. tom p says:

    There are times one feels the need to go sit in the corner and quietly weep for democracy

    .Cry me a river, I am dry.

  8. There are times one feels the need to go sit in the corner and quietly weep for democracy.

    “Democracy is the pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance” — H.L. Mencken

  9. Ben Wolf says:

    Mencken also said thar the common man was an inferior, that societies produce a handful of supermen who deserve to rule over all others. His diary revealed his belief in the innate superiority of whites over blacks, the greatness of the german state and his general dislike of jews.

    He was also a fan of child murderer groupie Ayn Rand. We won’t be taking him seriously any time soon.

  10. Eric Florack says:

    And we wonder why most Americans took years to gain the understanding that the supposed mainstream press is left-leaning?

  11. Ben Wolf says:


    Not everything, my partisan friend, needs to be linked to politics.