Failing to get the joke, a major Chinese newspaper published a huge online tribute to North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un that had been foisted on the rest of the world by a satirical news site.
Citing an article posted by The Onion, The People's Daily ran the 55-page photo slideshow under the headline "North Korea's top leader named The Onion's Sexiest Man Alive for 2012" and quoted The Onion:
"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 photos included Jong-Un on horseback, peering through the scope of a rifle, pointing near a periscope, and staring at produce.
"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," the Daily went on, quoting The Onion.
The Onion article spoofed the recent People magazine list of sexiest men of 2012.
The jokesters updated their site after the Daily's post.
"For more coverage on The Onion's Sexiest Man Alive 2012, Kim Jong-Un, please visit our friends at the People's Daily in China, a proud Communist subsidiary of The Onion, Inc.," they wrote.
The Onion linked to the photo spread.
Satire doesn't easily translate across language barriers and this isn't the first time The Onion has been taken seriously overseas.
In September, Fars, a news agency in Iran, copied nearly verbatim an article from The Onion, headlined, "Gallup Poll: Rural Whites Prefer Ahmadinejad to Obama."
In January, Lim Hwee Hwa, a former member of Singapore's parliament, posted the article, "Obama Openly Asks Nation Why On Earth He Would Want To Serve For Another Term," to her Facebook page, with a comment about the challenges Obama faces.
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