Too sexy for his shirt

Posted: November 30, 2012 at 4:37 a.m.

It may turn out that the editors of the English-language edition of the Chinese Communist Party’s mouthpiece, The People’s Daily, were only kidding when they ran a 55-image slideshow based on “Kim Jong Un Named The Onion’s Sexiest Man Alive for 2012.” But if it turns out that they weren’t, the explanation for how such an article ended up in China’s most important tribunal isn’t so hard to parse. In three distinct ways, The Onion’s satire was perfectly engineered to appeal to editorial biases—some might call them blind spots—at the English edition of The People’s Daily.

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Editorial, Pages 18 on 11/30/2012