Two Saudi news agency were duped by a recent satirical Huffington Post story reporting that President Obama admitted he is a Muslim and agreed that his birthplace is "negotiable."
Last week, Andy Borowitz cross-posted a piece on his website and the Huffington Post meant to mock Obama for caving to Republican wishes regarding a tax rate compromise. In order to make his point, Borowitz penned a fake story saying that the president was also willing to admit he is a Muslim and negotiate his place of birth.
"In his latest effort to find common ground with Republicans in Congress, President Barack Obama said today that he was willing to agree that he is a Muslim," Borowitz writes. He then goes on to include a faux quote from the president and joke that incoming Speaker John Boehner is a "birther":
“The American people do not want to see us fighting in Washington,” Mr. Obama told reporters at the White House. “They want to see us working together to improve their lives, and Allah willing, we will.”
But Mr. Obama’s willingness to back down on his claim of being a Christian does not seem to have satisfied his Republican opposition, as GOP leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) today insisted that the President must also agree that he was born in Kenya.
While Mr. Obama did not immediately agree to Rep. Bohener’s [sic] demand, he hinted that yet another compromise might be in the offing: “My place of birth has been, and will always be, negotiable.”
White House sources indicated today that the President might be willing to meet the GOP halfway on his birthplace and say that he was born in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
But despite the ridiculous claims, Saudi news outlets Al-Hayat and Sabq.org reported the "admission" as fact. The AFP reports:
Both Al-Hayat, one of the Middle East's most influential newspapers, and Sabq, believed to be controlled by the Saudi interior ministry, apparently missed the joke.
"Obama doesn't mind coming out as a Muslim if that will satisfy the Republicans," the Al-Hayat headline said.
"Obama: 'I'm ready to announce that I am a Muslim,'" led Sabq.
Both repeated Borowitz's "quote" of Obama saying: "My place of birth has been, and will always be, negotiable."
Borowitz also satirized Bill Clinton's recent joint solo press conference at the White House in a piece called, "Clinton Refused to Leave White House."