North Korea's Pillsbury Doughboy-faced Kim Jong Un the sexiest man alive? I think not. But that's what was posted on The Onion, and laughably picked up by China's People's Daily Online, where it published a 55 page (no less) slide show of the hunky Jong Un, and quoted The Onion:
"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. 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," it said.
"He has that rare ability to somehow be completely adorable and completely macho at the same time," said Marissa Blake-Zweiber, editor of The Onion Style and Entertainment.
So English isn't their first language, and it's a foreign news outlet, and it's not the first foreign news media to be gullible enough to fall for an Onion piece. Iran was duped twice- that we know of- buying into Facebook being a CIA front, and actually plagiarizing The Onion's piece on rural whites preferring Mahmoud Ahmadinejad over Barack Obama. Okay, so I had a friend who actually fell for the latter, as well, although he claims he knew it was a joke. But these stories are ludicrous at best. Anyone with any sense would wonder about the legitimacy of such a ridiculous story and poke around the web or the website itself. That's the first thing I do when I find something questionably stupid or unbelievable- like Kim Jong Un, of all people, being voted the sexiest man alive.
I'm not sure how long People's Daily will keep it up when they find out they were fooled, big time, but you can see a screen capture of the headline on HuffpoUK.
As a side note, I picked my favorite photo of the lot. The one with a smiling Jong Un and a family of mostly scared looking, unhappy people.
And the original Onion piece with an update:
UPDATE: For more coverage on The Onion's Sexiest Man Alive 2012, Kim Jong-Un, please visit our friends at the People's Daily in China, a proud Communist subsidiary of The Onion, Inc. Exemplary reportage, comrades.