The People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party, appears to have been fooled by the Onion, a satirical U.S. newspaper and website. The People’s Daily, a very non-satirical paper with a self-reported circulation of 2.4 million readers, is trumpeting the Onion’s announcement that it has selected North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un as the “sexiest man alive” in 2012.
The People’s Daily report includes dozens of photos of steely-eyed Kim alongside quotes from the Onion’s clearly unserious declaration that “this Pyongyang-bred heartthrob is every woman’s dream come true.” The state-run newspaper reproduces almost the entire Onion article, apparently unaware that it’s a joke meant to mock, rather than celebrate, this Chinese ally.
China blog Beijing Cream refers to the Chinese outlet as a “lovable klutz” for this goof. “People’s Daily: once again proving there’s no need for satire when you are your own parody.” The Onion’s article lists past “sexiest man alive” winners as including Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad and “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski.