The Onion strikes again

The People’s Daily is not famous for satire, so presumably the Chinese Communist Party newspaper was serious when it picked up a story that Kim Jong Un, the North Korean dictator, had been named “the sexiest man alive for 2012”. It also ran an online tribute, with 55 photographs, to the “Pyongyang-bred heartthrob”. The Daily solemnly credited the story to The Onion, the website that describes itself as “American’s Finest News Source” and has a sense of humour that might not go down too well in Pyongyang.

There\’s a law about this isn\’t there? That no satire won\’t be taken seriously by someone?

6 thoughts on “The Onion strikes again”

  1. I think the “foreigners will always be considered to be stupid” law comes into play here as well.

    It’s likely that the big bossmen at China Daily had no idea this was a joke. But (following the lead of the China commentators I know), I’d stake very good money that at least some of the people involved in putting the piece together were completely and utterly taking the piss.

  2. “The Onion, the website that describes itself as “American’s Finest News Source”

    A sobering thought is that this could, very possibly, be true.

  3. john b, my first thought when I saw this was that it was an example of a political version of what they call in TV Tropes, “getting crap past the radar”. These days The Onion must have many Chinese readers, even if they are a small percentage of the population, they are a much higher percentage among the sort of people who write for the People’s Daily. If there’s trouble the big bossmen can always fire them, and the culprits will count themselves as having got off lightly compared to the old days.

    If one wants to credit the bossmen with their own helping of devilish oriental cunning, perhaps they themselves were not displeased to see an unreliable “ally” portrayed to their people in a way that would either provoke ridicule or irritation. It makes it all the easier to drop him when and if the time comes.

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