5 Bogus Headlines About China (the Entire Media Fell For)
If you saw a headline titled "Man Sues His Wife Over Ugly Kids," most people would approach the article with a healthy dose of skepticism. But if you read the exact same headline with the adjective "Chinese" tacked to the front, then there's a good chance you'll see that shit splayed willy-nilly all over your Facebook wall. You see, during our ongoing journey into the heart of bullshit Internet journalism, we've noticed that there's literally no story that isn't somehow made more believable to the media if you set it in China, all thanks to the miracle of casual racism. Case in point: everything you're about to read!
"Chinese Man Painting Naked Slips and Gets Dick Stuck in Pipe for Two Days!"
Some headlines are works of art by themselves. This one is so perfect that we almost hate to ruin it (almost):
Laugh all you want, but you gotta admire his stamina.
According to Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, Metro, the Mirror, NY Daily News, and UPI, the 60-year-old man from Fujian province was painting naked because of the heat when he slipped, fell, and got his dick stuck on a pipe. He waited two days before calling for help because he was too ashamed and thought no one would believe his story ... since, you know, it's bullshit, and he probably doesn't exist.
You see, the story originated with a local Chinese website called fjsen.com, which at no point mentions that this man had any kind of excuse for his tragic dick accident -- the only evidence that any of this happened at all was a generic-looking surgery picture. A surgery picture, by the way, that looks suspiciously similar to the ones in an unrelated "old Chinese man gets dick stuck in metal ring" story reported by Metro five days earlier:
Art. That's art, man.
This one is an 80-year-old man from Henan province who spent a mere 20 hours with an improvised cock ring on his manhood because, what do you know, he was too ashamed to call for help. So which story is the real one? Doesn't matter. Forget it, Internet. It's China.
"Chinese Woman Breaks Legs Having Car Threesome!"
No, this story isn't about a woman having sex with two cars, although we wouldn't be surprised if that ends up in a future article. It's about a woman who can't walk right after a passionate threesome, because said threesome happened in a car that rolled down a hill and crashed into a tree while they were doing it:
"I was gonna have the car totaled after this anyway."
We got this everywhere from MSN and Cosmo to Australian news sites, all the way to blogs like Jezebel and Jalopnik, plus Asia-specific sites like Rocket News and bullshit-specific sites like the Mirror. The narrative has something for everybody: girl-on-girl action, cars, and grievous bodily harm, all rolled into a story that appears zany enough to get a click while realistic enough to go unquestioned ... despite the fact that it's completely un-fucking-sourced.
At the end of the day, we have a single YouTube video from TomoNews -- the geniuses who also broke the kid-scribbled Chinese passport story that has since been declared an obvious hoax. The video features blurry images of a crash with a few people in what looks like pajamas (arguably the best clothes to drive and fuck in), all narrated by god knows who explaining what happened in rapid-fire speech. But wait, what about that incriminating photo above? That's from 2013 ...
"China Is Dyeing All Its Dogs to Look Like Pandas!"
Despite the fact that Lassie has historically been on the menu in places like Germany, we regularly think of China as the go-to country for going cuckoo for canine. Thankfully, China is leaving behind that custom in favor of another one that's only slightly less cruel but a lot wackier: making dogs look like pandas!
And then eating them? We don't follow.
Apparently China's dog parks suddenly look like miniature wildlife reservoirs thanks to this "hot trend" of giving pets expensive black-and-white paint jobs. This is all according to sites like the NY Post, News.com.au, and of course Metro and the Daily Mail -- all of which take pains to remind the reader that the Chinese used to eat these things, and all of which decided to open their articles with the exact same clever pun:
Dammit, Metro, you had to go and ruin the symmetry, didn't you?
The question now is: Are there any dogs left in China that actually look like dogs? Probably, since this "craze" is just one set of pictures and a quote from a pet shop owner saying it's popular (because he sells them). As for the "this year's" part, that's accurate as long as the year is 2010, because that's when CNN ran the exact same fucking story, once more pressing the "They used to eat them!" angle. Also, it isn't just pandas, as Daily Mail informed us at the time:
Props to the Daily Mail for not remembering they did this story because they don't read the Daily Mail.
But even if it's just a small amount of people painting pets with ridiculous colors? That's a totally newsworthy thing that us Americans would never-
Burn this world.
"Chinese People Keep Dying From World Cup Addiction!"
Although the concept of loving soccer so bad that it hurts is familiar to everyone in the United States, once again China has taken one of our dearest traditions (previously it was "hating Christmas shopping") to fatal extremes:
It's like the 2011 Badminton World Championship all over again.
First three-way car fucking, and now this? Can those adorable clowns do anything without getting hurt? The story has spread like some kind of sports-related fever from the Daily Mail, Yahoo, and International Business Times to such Posts as the Huffington and Washington varieties -- the latter of which has flat out declared "World Cup stress" as a Chinese killer by also linking to several heart attacks and suicides that occurred during the games. One man "was found dead in his room with the World Cup playing on the computer."
Japan is already working on a Ring-esque movie with this as the villain.
It's not until you realize that the suicides are gambling related (an extremely common problem everywhere), the heart attack was a 51-year-old man with heart problems, and the "over-excitement" was an unsure and unsourced quote on a Chinese tabloid that it becomes painfully clear that they could cherry pick these stories from any country, but they choose China because they're convinced the leading cause of death in the country is Bugs Bunny wackiness.
"Boy, Those Chinese Sure Are Gullible!"
Somewhere down the endless line of chuckling news fables framing China as a magical land of gullible sex monsters, something amazing happened: We started to become the thing we were gawking at.
"From the makers of bottled air!"
That's a story kicking around from March concluding that Chinese people are just so dumb that they will buy an empty bucket for tons of cash. The irony being that the media were gullible enough to think that was a real story, even though it originally came from something called "Searchina.net." It does seem like someone is trying to sell magic buckets in China for around $90 a piece, but as we keep trying to remind journalists, there's a difference between "Someone is selling something outrageous!" and "Everyone's buying it!"
But that's small potatoes compared to this:
Bullshit, we know a dyed panda when we see one.
That would be NPR joining hordes of American and international news sites covering the Chinese zoo that stupidly tried to pass off a dog as a lion, the patrons only realizing something was wrong when it started barking. Even the fucking BBC accepted the narrative that no one in China could tell a dog from a lion until it opened its mouth, and a zoo was desperately trying to cover that fact up. EVERYONE had a laugh, including CNN, Yahoo, BuzzFeed, Gawker, Today, and pretty much the entire Internet. Heck, Metro even ran a headline saying that the zoo also tried to pass off rats as snakes, because there's no other reason that rats might be put in a pen of reptiles, right?
Then again, when you look at this picture of the dog, you almost believe it could have worked:
But, of course, that's not the dog. That's a stock photo that site used. Here's the real "lion dog":
This guy couldn't pass for a poodle.
Huh. How did that fool anyone? It didn't: The story boils down to a local woman and her kid going to the zoo and seeing a dog in the lion cage, complaining, and being told by the zoo that they took the lion out to mate. No one was tricked; no one was wringing hands and waiting for the sweet bait and switch to pay off. In the end, the much bigger story is the fact that, for one day, the biggest news sites in the Western world all simultaneously became temporarily impeded by their own insatiable need to feel slightly superior to a country that's going to take over the world while we all laugh at how shitty their dogs look.