Gray Flannel Dwarf

6/7/2002

Silly Beijingren

This is what happens when you live with your news filtered through one authoritarian organisation your whole life. What’s even funnier is that the original ‘story’ mentions Toronto as a “long shot”.
Beijing paper falls for gag in American tabloid

BEIJING, June 7 (Reuters) – Beijing’s most popular newspaper has unwittingly republished a bogus story about U.S. Congress threats to skip town for Memphis or Charlotte unless Washington builds them a new Capitol building with a retractable dome.

The source? America’s celebrated spoof tabloid, the Onion.

The Beijing Evening News, which claims a circulation of 1.25 million, translated portions of the Onion’s tall tale word-for-word in the international news page of its June 3 edition.

The reprinted version of the May 29 article, which parodies Congress as a Major League Baseball squad, also copied the Onion’s would-be blueprint for a new legislative home that resembles a ballpark.

“Don’t get us wrong: We love the drafty old building,” the Onion jestingly quoted House Speaker Dennis Hastert saying.

“But the hard reality is, it’s no longer suitable for a world-class legislative branch. The sight lines are bad, there aren’t enough concession stands or bathrooms, and the parking is miserable.”

The spoof from the brazen entertainment tabloid, which dubs itself “America’s finest news source,” apparently took in the Evening News.

“The story was written by one of our freelance writers,” an editor at the Evening News told Reuters on Friday. “His stuff has been pretty much reliable before.”

The editor said he had received other calls from readers about the article. “They were also suspicious of the contents.”

Told the story came from the Onion and was not true, the editor said, “We would first have to check that out. If it’s indeed fake, I’m sure there will be some form of correction.”


Tags: , — cswiii @ 3:30 pm

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