More than a month into Donald Trump’s presidency, it’s becoming increasingly hard to tell fact from fiction.
On Tuesday, Reference News, a newspaper published by Xinhua which translates foreign news articles, ran a story about how US President Donald Trump had ordered Kellyanne Conway and Sean Spicer to buy enough tin foil to cover every phone in the White House, and then carefully supervised while the duo performed the installation in the early morning. The article was quicly picked up by a number of other Chinese language media outlets.
For its source, Reference News cited the well-respected New Yorker, but apparently they were not familiar with the silly satire of writer and comedian Andy Borowitz behind the purposefully fake news Borowitz Report who published an article on the subject on March 4th:
“Wrap it tighter,” he was heard bellowing at Conway.
After the installation was complete, Trump ordered the Secret Service to check every room in the White House for signs of former President Barack Obama.
“He’s still here somewhere, I know it,” Trump reportedly muttered.
Well, it does sound plausible?
This actually isn’t the first time that Borowitz has managed to fool Chinese state media. Back in 2013, Xinhua faithfully translated and published another one of his satirical pieces which claimed that Jeff Bezos’s $250 million purchase of the Washington Post was the result of an unintentional mouse click.
But, perhaps the most memorable instance of Chinese state media failing to understand satire was when People’s Daily congratulated Kim Jong-un on being named the Sexist Man of the Year… by the Onion.
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