Xinhua's foreign desk pulled Andy Borowitz's spoof story on the recent sale of The Washington Post to Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos – joking that the $250 million purchase was made by accident – and translated it with the headline "Amazon founder says he clicked on Washington Post by mistake."
The article also ran in the People's Daily Online, another Chinese publication which also didn't catch the irony. Borowitz's parody quotes Bezos as saying, "I guess I was just kind of browsing through their website and not paying close attention to what I was doing," and, "I keep telling them, I don't know how it got in my cart. I don't want it. It's like they're making it impossible to return it."
Xinhua has since posted a message that the article was a mistake.
As embarrassing as the mistake is, Xinhua should take solace in the fact it is not the only international publication to be duped by the New Yorker's brand of high brow humor. Last month, an Italian newsmagazine picked up a Borowitz Report that speculated Italian politician Silvio Berlusconi was considering a run for New York office. Even worse, that magazine was owned by a Berlusconi company.