Sporting a snazzy redesign and new corporate logos, "The Onion" announced today that it has been sold to the Chinese--specifically Yu Wan Mei Amalgamated Salvage Fisheries and Polymer Injection Group. The Publisher Emeritus T. Herman Zweibel made the announcement in an Op-Ed piece, explaining how the purchase was made:
"One of their representatives oozed and crawled from his dank hut to visit me in person at my bedside last week, and make known his superiors' desire to expand their clammy clutch into the Western world. After subjecting me to a good 20 minutes of infernal bowing and other assorted chinky-dinkery, he offered to pay me what I've been assured is an appropriately absurd parcel of riches to take this tiresome publication off my feeble hands for good."
Of course this is all fake, yet another elaborate prank pulled by the folks responsible for our daily does of satire. Other than the lead item "China Strong," TheOnion.com boasts stories today called "Nothing At All Happens To 28 Tibetan Protesters, Their Families," and "Potato-Faced Youngster Lauded For Memorizing Primitive 26-Character Alphabet." The lead opinion story asks Americans if they know any good state secrets, and the photo section shows idyllic landscapes with the caption "Clear American Sky A Constant Reminder Of Industrial Inferiority." The highlight, though, is the video below entitled "China's Andy Rooney Has Some Funny Opinions About How Great The Chinese Government Is."
The elaborate hoax fooled Gawker into publishing two stories about rumors of the sale, and CNET took it from there. Of course, in this media climate it is understandable that people believed the story, as few media outlets seem safe in this economy.