Chinese State Media falls for World's Sexiest Man Spoof by the Onion

And straight into the ‘you couldn’t make it up if you tried’ category comes the news that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un has topped a poll of international superstars who are hot to trot and been named World’s Sexiest Man. It may seem like the obvious choice as the so conventional Depps and Clooneys of this world pale into insignificance alongside this dazzlingly virile hunk of masculinity, and your humble author has certainly heaved the occasional longing sigh over his portly majesty, but apparently – one shudders here – it is all a hoax.

The online version of China's Communist party newspaper has featured a report by American satirists The Onion naming North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un as the sexiest man alive. The joke seems to have been lost in translation.

The People's Daily ran a 55-page photo spread on its website in a tribute to the leader, under the headline ‘North Korea's top leader named The Onion's Sexiest Man Alive for 2012’.

Quoting the Onion's spoof feature, 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."

The Onion went on to wax lyrical "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."Photos with the story include Kim on horseback squinting into the light, Kim waving towards a military parade, Kim wearing sunglasses and smiling, and touring a facility with his wife.” And The People’s Daily quoted all this verbatim without so much as a hint of irony.

The Onion’s deadpan brand of satire has caught the slightly too deadpan Chinese press out before. In 2002 the Beijing Evening News reported that the US Congress was threatening to leave Washington if they did not get a better building.

Still – he is pretty hot stuff ole Kim isn’t he

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