'The Onion' or Real? Try To Guess Which Headlines Are Satire, and Which Are Actual News
In 2010, the Onion published an article about President Obama supposedly sending off a "rambling, 75,000 word email" to everybody in the country. As with everything the Onion publishes, it was satire — 75,000 words would be about 150 pages. But the satirical element was somehow lost on the good folks at Fox, who went ahead and republished the joke article as if it were actual news (the classy operation it is, Fox News reacted to the embarrassment not by publishing a correction, but by deleting the article and pretending it never existed).
While it's easy to make fun of Fox for this, it's not all that uncommon for people to mistake the Onion for actual, real-life news. Everybody from the New York Times to the People's Republic of China has done it. Sometimes, it simply leads to embarrassment and public shaming; other times, it results in the police getting involved. This is all a testament to the quality of the Onion's satire, the gullibility of humans, and — perhaps most importantly — the utter insanity of the world we live in.
Indeed, it’s getting harder and harder to tell what’s actually news and what’s from the Onion — so hard, in fact, that we bet you can’t tell the difference between the two, either.
Each of the following is either an actual headline from a recent news report or a headline from the Onion. Can you tell which is which? Answers are bellow each round, following an actual excerpt from the article.
ROUND 1: WHAT'S APPLEBEE'S?
Answer: The Applebee's chat app actually exists.
ROUND 2: GENDER SEGREGATION IN CONGRESS
Answer: As far as we know, Congress didn't actually do this. (Yet.)
ROUND 3: VENTURE CAPITALIST ROBOT?
Answer: The VC robot actually exists.
ROUND 4: LOST POWERBALLS?
"Right now, it’s looking like tonight’s record $500 million Powerball drawing could be canceled as embarrassed lottery officials have admitted: They lost the balls."
Answer: The lost Powerball snafu didn't actually happen.
ROUND 5: OBAMA DOESN'T LOVE BO?
"President Obama cannot seem to shake the mounting rumors that he does not love his dog, Bo. It started three weeks ago on right-wing message boards speculating on why President Obama was so rarely photographed with the Portuguese water dog given to the first family in 2009."
Answer: Everyone knows Obama loves Bo.
ROUND 6: RAY J SEX TAPE GIFT?
Answer: Ray J did indeed do this.
ROUND 7: DODGING INCOME INEQUALITY?
Answer: While a lot of politicians probably will avoid talking about income inequality, this is an Onion article.
ROUND 8: STUDENT AND TEACHER VYING FOR SAME JOB?
Answer: We wouldn't be surprised if something like that happened at some point, but this was satire.
ROUND 9: WHITE POLICE OFFICIAL?
Answer: Unfortunately, this one is real.