In The Loop
Posted at 10:44 AM ET, 11/27/2012

Kim Jong Eun as ‘sexiest man alive’? Chinese news site falls for an Onion story on the supreme leader

Move over Ryan Gosling — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, accompanied by his wife, Ri Sol Ju, might be competition. (AP)
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.

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By  |  10:44 AM ET, 11/27/2012

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