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State-Run Chinese Paper Runs American Satire as Actual News



The Washington Post Co. agreed Monday to sell its newspaper for $250 million in cash to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

News traveled quickly as pundits and journalists gossiped back and forth about what the sale would mean for the future of journalism.

A couple of humor sites, including The Onion, got in on the action:

Screen grab.

However, at least one news organization didn't get some of the jokes about the sale.

China's state-run Xinhua news agency fell for a New Yorker Andy Borowitz article that “reported” Bezos had purchased the Washington Post accidentally by clicking on the wrong button.

"Amazon founder said the acquisition of the Washington Post" was because of "an unintentional mouse click,” a roughly translation of the Xinhua report reads.

Again, the Xinhua report is based on New Yorker humor columnist Andy Borowitz.

"Mr. Bezos said he had been oblivious to his online shopping error until earlier today, when he saw an unusual charge for two hundred and fifty million dollars on his American Express statement," the New Yorker author wrote in his column.

As of this writing, Xinhua editors still haven’t gotten the gag – the story is still on their site:

Screen grab.

It's worth noting that this isn’t even the first time that a Chinese newspaper has fallen for American satire.

Remember in November 2012 when the People’s Daily Online believed an Onion article claiming the U.S. had voted North Korean despot Kim Jung Un “sexiest man alive for 2012”?

Screen grab.

“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," the Onion article read.

"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 article adds.

After all of that, the Chinese paper still didn't pick up on the joke. Maybe something got lost in translation.

You can see a copy of the bogus Chinese report on Bezos here.


Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter

(H/T: The Atlantic Wire). Featured image


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