Fox News subsidiary Fox Nation posted an excerpt from a satirical Onion article in the "culture" section of its site on Friday. The only problem: They didn't tell anyone it was a joke.
As Mediaite notes, if you head on over to Fox Nation's Culture page, you'll see a bunch of real news articles: "Rush Outraged At Obama's Thanksgiving Proclamation," "Woman Wears Bikini to LAX," "Adam Lambert Smokes Pot on Stage." And then there's "Frustrated Obama Sends Nation Rambling 75,000-Word E-Mail":
Now, obviously, "real" is a relative term when it comes to this stuff. But each of the other stories on the site is based on things that actually happened. Obama actually does have a pastry chef! Peggy Noonan actually did say something stupid! Even the chain-letter "article" "A Thanksgiving Message to All 57 States" makes clear within the "article" itself that it's satire. The Onion link just excerpts the first two paragraphs and provides a link. Wild claims—"Obama's grandmother 'prays he converts to Islam'"—are sourced within the headlines themselves (the last time Fox Nation linked to the Onion, they sourced it the same way). Fox Nation is a news site. A shitty news site, yes—but a news site nonetheless.
Of course, Fox Nation—a conservative community/news aggregation site operated by Fox News—is not exactly, uh, a shining beacon of journalistic integrity. A few weeks ago, the site printed an excerpt of a USA Today article entitled "Obama Shares Dreams for His Kids in Book About 13 Americans" under the headline "Obama Praises Indian Chief Who Killed U.S. General." So maybe it's not surprising that they're a little bit reckless with their headlines. (Who isn't, sometimes?) But when you're dealing with a commenter base as consistently stupid as Fox Nation's, don't you have a responsibility to clearly specify what's satire and what's, you know, at least sort of real?
Here's a screen shot of the article: