First of all, if you’ve never read Literally Unbelievable and are in need of a self-confidence boost and a laugh, be sure to pay the blog a visit. It’s a Tumblr site dedicated to Facebook users who interpret satirical Onion stories as fact, often in a fit of belligerent incredulity. A recent entry features a wall post from Representative John Fleming, a Republican from Louisiana, who failed to realize that the Onion’s “Abortionplex” facility was, in fact, a joke.
The Representative linked to the story, commenting to his nearly 30,000 followers: “More on Planned Parenthood, abortion by the wholesale.” The post is now deleted, of course, but obviously immortalized elsewhere on the Internet.
The article claims the $8 billion Abortionplex is a “new state-of-the-art fetus-killing facility located in the nation’s heartland” that offers “quick, easy, in-and-out abortions to all women.” The satirical article also explains that the new abortion center features “amenities such as coffee shops, bars, dozens of restaurants and retail outlets, a three-story nightclub, and a 10-screen multiplex theater — features intended not only to help clients relax, but to foster a sense of community and make abortion more of a social event.”
A few minutes after Fleming posted the story to further the ongoing abortion discussion, a follower commented, “The Onion is satire. How exactly did you get elected?” Screenshots were captured, and the rest is history. Despite the onslaught of mocking headlines, Fleming doesn’t appear to have publicly responded.
Onion editor Joe Randazzo, however, has caught wind of the flub. “We’re delighted to hear that Rep. Fleming is a regular reader of America’s Finest News Source and doesn’t bother himself with the New York Times, Washington Post, the mediums of television and radio, or any other lesser journalism outlets,” he said in a statement, as reported by Politico. Hudson Hongo, the brains behind Literally Unbelievable, said he finds it “extremely satisfying to see a politician being made the rube by just the kind of sensationalism (in this case satiric), that they seem so adept at manufacturing these days.”