China’s official Communist Party newspaper treated a satirical article naming North Korean leader Kim Jong-un the “Sexiest Man Alive” as a genuine report. The report by the People’s Daily quotes The Onion, a humor newspaper, and includes a fifty-five image slideshow of Kim, from the People’s Daily Online:
U.S. website The Onion has named North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong Un as the “Sexiest Man Alive for the year 2012″.
“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.
Although the People’s Daily has been known to be a stern follower of the party line, the online version can print more controversial stories than its print version, The Washington Post adds:
The text of the slideshow stopped there, omitting past winners of the Onion’s sexiest man alive award, which include Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, convicted investor Bernard Madoff, Unabomber Ted Kaczynski and Mr. Zweibel himself.
It isn’t clear what the People’s Daily editors were thinking. They couldn’t be reached for comment late Tuesday.
To be fair, the People’s Daily website can be a saucier read than its staid print version. (Sample headline from Tuesday’s overseas print edition: “India Should Resist the Impulse to Engage in Trade Protectionism.”) It is operated by People.cn Co., a publicly listed company that is controlled by the People’s Daily but has its own profit and audience targets and
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