Last week I was talking about the repercussions against one Chinese citizen for their Twitter comment. The Chinese government apparently has very little sense of humor when it comes to such things as insulting them.
In the latest news, we may have proof that those in charge of the country actually have no sense of humor whatsoever. This time it involves an article put together by the satirical news source, The Onion. They did a piece on how North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was named the “Sexiest Man Alive” and Chinese publications picked it up and ran with it.
So sarcasm appears to be lost on those in charge of the state-run newspapers. They took the article seriously and even did their own pieces on Kim, some positive and others criticizing The Onion for their poor choice of sexy men.
Some examples of what The Onion had to say include mentioning that Kim has “…an air of power that masks an unmistakable cute, cuddly, side…” and “…impeccable fashion sense, chic short hairstyle…” With comments like this, how could you not know this was a joke?
I’m guessing it didn’t translate well, because it made the rounds through several Chinese news sources. It started out in the state-run Yangste.com and moved from there to another state-run paper, The Guangming Daily. At this point, it had officially become reality.
One publication, The People’s Daily, even ran a 55-page photo spread on Kim, no doubt showing him in all his cute and cuddly grandeur. It got to the point where The Onion posted a link from their site to The People’s Daily, thanking them for their coverage.
Those in charge of said publications must be kicking themselves in the butt, if they even have jobs at this point. The Onion, however, is quite happy that they managed to spread the good word of the sexy North Korean leader to the world’s most populous country. It isn’t the first time that Chinese news has fallen for The Onion’s jokes either. And if they don’t check their sources and make a note that The Onion is not real news, it likely won’t be the last.