by Mike Masnick
Fri, Aug 3rd 2007 3:35pm
You may remember back in 2002, when the Beijing Evening News accidentally believed a story from The Onion and wrote up a whole article (apparently without a single fact check) about how Congress was threatening to move away from Washington DC unless they were given a new capitol building with a retractable dome. For a while, the paper denied that it had simply copied the story and not done any fact checking, until it realized that it was too difficult to deny. Then it issued a hilarious non-apology, basically blaming The Onion for purposely tricking the reporters in an effort to make money ("Some small American newspapers frequently fabricate offbeat news to trick people into noticing them, with the aim of making money. This is what the Onion does... According to congressional workers, the Onion is a publication that never ceases making up false reports."). It appears that there's still some sloppy reporting going on over in China. The English-language Xinhuanet has a story up about the discovery of two genes that may lead to multiple sclerosis. However, the image they used (which they've since taken down) to illustrate this finding happens to be an amusing drawing of an "x-ray" of beloved cartoon character Homer Simpson's head. Now, obviously, there have been a ton of promotional tie-ins with the new Simpson Movie, but somehow we doubt this was done on purpose. We can't wait to see if the news agency figures out a way to blame this one on the Simpsons as well.
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