In the latest sign that The New Yorker's satirical Borowitz Report is gaining ground on The Onion, Andy Borowitz managed to fool China's state-run Xinhua news agency into thinking that Jeff Bezos bought The Washington Post because of one errant mouse click. "Amazon founder said the acquisition of the Washington Post" was due to "an unintentional mouse click" is the rough Google Translation of the Xinhua report, which says it gleaned this startling news from The New Yorker.
They aren't fully wrong. The report did appear in The New Yorker, but it was a story from the Borowitz Report—the magazine's high-brow satirical blog that specializes in skewering the morning's headlines (and, usually, making fun of right-wingers). "Mr. Bezos said he had been oblivious to his online shopping error until earlier today, when he saw an unusual charge for two hundred and fifty million dollars on his American Express statement," reads a portion of the story, which Xinhua apparently translated in full on its site.
The Xinhua story is still up today, which kind of makes this a major score for the Borowitz Report. Considering the onerous restrictions on press freedom in China, it's amazing how easily its official "journalists" have been fooled.
And while Borowitz's feat was grand, it's still not as good (in our humble opinion) as The Onion fooling China's People's Daily, a paper run by the country's ruling communist party, that Kim Jong-Un was deemed the sexiest man alive in 2012. That story lent itself an entertaining slideshow. Borowitz's not so much. But there's always next time.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.