You need to login to do this. America a real pamphlet, or a parody of fervent 1950s “Red scare” tactics? Satire doesn’t stand a chance against reality anymore.
This can also happen to someone whose picture of the opposing position is such a grotesque caricature that it renders them unable to tell parody from reality. While Poe’s Law referred originally to religious fundamentalists, it can also equally apply to rigid atheism, dogmatic socialism or communism, excessive capitalism, extreme environmentalism, crazy feminism, hypersensitive correctness, or indeed, absolutely any other debate where controversy runs high and at least one position is particularly extreme, such as the infamous North Korean Twitter feed that got mistaken for the real thing. A similar notion was named “The Harry Golden Rule” by Calvin Trillin: “The Harry Golden Rule, properly stated, is that in present-day America it’s very difficult, when commenting on events of the day, to invent something so bizarre that it might not actually come to pass while your piece is still on the presses. Don’t Explain the Joke is one of the possible outcomes of this law. Compare Doublethink, Insult Backfire, Isn’t It Ironic?
NOTE: When adding an example, please cite a specific instance or instances of the relevant work being either mistaken for a parody or being analyzed to determine whether or not it is serious. In one Sid the Sexist strip, Sid managed to score a bird on Blind Date because she thought he was a comedian and only pretending to be a perverted Geordie stereotype. Roger Ebert noted that this is what actually torpedoed Leo and Max’s scam. Exploited and combined with Refuge in Audacity in the Honor Harrington book On Basilisk Station through the “big lie” theory.
Darrel Bristow-Bovey’s self-help satire I Moved Your Cheese complains about how hard it is to write a self-help satire: When it comes to the self-help genre, the line between satire and the real thing is drawn in water with a blunt pencil. Wodehouse’s short piece “How Kid Brady Broke Training”, Kid Brady, after reading a magazine, goes off meat and starts an all-fruit diet under the belief that it will make him a better fighter. He later meets the article’s author, who tells him that it was meant as satire, “ut so subtle and delicate is my humor that apparently the thing is misleading”. In Erasure by Percival Everett, an intellectual black author, sick and tired of his philosophical books being passed over for publication because they’re not suitably “Black,” writes a way, way over the top parody of thuggish ghetto-chic blaxploitation called My Paffology and has his agent send it out as a protest. Heartland War realize how ridiculous they were being.