Chinese Official People’s Daily Reports as Serious the Onion’s Spoof Naming Kim Jong Un ‘Sexiest Man Alive’: Voice of the Chinese Communist Party Joins Legions of Others with No Sense of Humour
In an excellent example of enterprising hard spot news reporting, China’s Communist Party newspaper, not known for its keen reporting antenna for detecting humour, reported as hard news today U.S. satirical publication’s The Onion naming North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un as the “Sexiest Man Alive.”
That is correct.
Here is a screenshot of the online version of the People’s Daily English language from Tuesday November 27, which one would suspect has a limited lifespan prior to being removed.
The headline reads “U.S. website The Onion has named North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong Un as the “Sexiest Man Alive for the year 2012” and quotes the Onion in detail:
“With his devastatingly handsome, round face, his boyish charm, and his strong, sturdy frame, this Pyongyang-bred heartthrob is every woman’s dream come true. Blessed with an air of power that masks an unmistakable cute, cuddly side, Kim made this newspaper’s editorial board swoon with his impeccable fashion sense, chic short hairstyle, and, of course, that famous smile,” it said.
“He has that rare ability to somehow be completely adorable and completely macho at the same time,” said Marissa Blake-Zweiber, editor of The Onion Style and Entertainment.
The People’s Daily feature story then further digs itself into what will be an interesting hole to watch them extricate themselves from by documenting the newly crowned sex appeal Prince of the Planet with a 55 page section showing photographs of the world’s hottest male on horseback looking rugged and manly, Kim waving at a passing a military parade, Kim wearing sunglasses, and Kim inspecting stuff with new fetching lucky new bride.
Here is another screenshot of People’s Daily well sourced breaking news.
According to Shanghai list, thePeople’s Daily had no immediate comment. A man who answered the phone at the newspaper said he did not know anything about the report and requested queries be directed to their newsroom on Wednesday morning.
But to be fair to the keen newssense of the brilliant breaking news team of talent at the People’s Daily, the Korea Times English version made a similar mistake a few weeks ago. However, in the Korean language version of the paper, they did make clear that the Onion story was satire.
Here is a screenshot of the English Korea Times Story:
The Onion, for its part released a statement congratulating their Chinese colleagues for their coverage of the award.
The Voice of the Chinese Communist Party is in good company.
For other examples of people taking seriously the satirical reports from the Onion, see http://literallyunbelievable.org/ a website devoted entirely to people expressing outrage over Onion reports after taking them as serious at face value. Literally Unbelievable also has a Face Book page that regularly updates an alarming degree of the absence of a sense of humour globally.