Chinese media outlets missed the memo that comedian Andy Borowitz's articles for The New Yorker are purely satirical. This week, multiple Chinese publications — citing one of Borowitz's articles — reported a "frantic President Trump, holding court in a bathrobe, ordered his aides to wrap the White House telephones in tinfoil," The New York Times noted Wednesday.
That wasn't the only fictional tidbit that got picked up and passed around as fact. Headlines in reputable magazines read, "Trump turns White House upside down looking for signs of Obama: 'I know he's still here!'"
Readers were left either confused the state-run media was writing up jokes, or seriously worried about Trump after reading the reports. "This is illness," a user on microblogging site Weibo wrote, per The New York Times.
This isn't the first time Chinese media has mistaken satire for fact: In 2012, a Chinese newspaper reported The Onion had deemed North Korean leader Kim Jong Un "Sexiest Man Alive for 2012."