The New York Times and every other newspaper in the United States reports:

The official Chinese Communist Party newspaper People’s Daily reran a story from The Onion that they headlined:  “North Korea’s top leader named The Onion’s Sexiest Man Alive for 2012.” They did not realize it was satire.

Quoting The Onion’s spoof report, the Chinese newspaper wrote, “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,” the People’s Daily cited The Onion as saying.

There IS a serious point here. Satire that mocks authority obviously is not allowed in an authoritarian system. Having never seen satire, and instead receiving nothing but fawning praise themselves, the autocrats are incapable of recognizing satire. It’s very funny, but it’s also very sad.

HT Mari Kuraishi @mashenka

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