China’s People Daily, the Communist Party’s official mouthpiece, removed a story naming North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as 2012’s “Sexiest Man Alive.”
The People’s Daily ran a 55-page photo spread on its website Tuesday under the headline “North Korea’s top leader named The Onion’s Sexiest Man Alive for 2012” with quotes from the spoof report by satirical US website 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”.
“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” continued the original article, as quoted.
The People’s Daily has yet to make an official comment on the incident. An online editor for the site’s South Korean channel said Wednesday the photo spread will be taken down. “We have realized it is satirical,” he said, adding that he hoped it did not draw too much attention.
The Onion updated its own story with a postscript: “Please visit our friends at the People’s Daily in China, a proud Communist subsidiary of The Onion, Inc.”
Analysts said Chinese media face challenges meeting journalistic standards under tight censorship imposed by Beijing.