The Onion to China: Fooled you! Again!

Yet another national news agency falls prey to The Onion.

The satirical news site has once again fooled China with a less-than-true article–this one detailing one North Korean’s rise to international celebrity. NBC explained how editors in China are experiencing the “fool me twice” adage, after the Beijing Evening News published a story in 2002 from the prank website that claimed the United States Congress was threatening to leave Washington, D.C., and relocate to Charlotte, N.C., or Memphis, Tenn., if ‘its demands for a new, state-of-the-art facility are not met.’

So. Shame on them?

“That’s the hard lesson being learned Tuesday by China’s ruling Communist Party newspaper, The People’s Daily, after it ran a version of a story by American satirical news site, The Onion, that named North Korean supreme dictator, Kim Jong Un, as the “Sexiest Man Alive for the year of 2012.”

The government newspaper didn’t just proclaim Kim the winner of the dubious honor. It positively reveled in it.

‘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,’ quoted the newspaper from The Onion. ‘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.'”

The New York Times also took note, providing more details about the aftermath:

“For some reason, the editors in Beijing chose to omit the section of the Onion report which listed ‘prior ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ winners,’ including:

• 2011: Bashar al-Assad

• 2010: Bernie Madoff

• 2009: Charles and David Koch (co-winners)

• 2008: Ted Kaczynski

The Associated Press tried and failed to reach the editors of People’s Daily for comment late on Tuesday in Beijing.

The editors of The Onion, for their part, added an update to their report on Tuesday, reading: ‘For more coverage on The Onion’s Sexiest Man Alive 2012, Kim Jong-Un, please visit our friends at the People’s Daily in China, a proud Communist subsidiary of The Onion Inc. Exemplary reportage, comrades.'”


Read more on China, France, America and the world beyond in the latest edition of Carnet Atlantique.

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