Looks like sarcasm is easily lost in translation — or easily ignored. The People’s Daily, the online version of the Communist Party of China’s official organ, lauded a story from the satirical news site that named North Korean dictator Kim Jun Eun 2012’s “Sexiest Man Alive.”
Not realizing that the Onion was being cheeky — or perhaps simply not caring — the People’s Daily ran a 55-page photo spread to accompany the story, which it quoted thusly: “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.”
No doubt the women of Beijing are swooning. After all, if you squint really, really hard, you might see a slight resemblance to George Clooney — in that they are both sentient humans.
It’s not the first time a foreign news outlet has fallen for an Onion spoof. An Iranian news agency last month reprinted an Onion news story about a poll that found most Americans would rather vote for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad than President Obama. The news site later apologized for getting duped — but insisted that Ahmadinejad could beat Obama in a popularity contest.