Official government news agencies are not famous for their whimsy, particularly those whose mission is to convey all the warmth and humanity of a dictatorial regime. Yet China’s Xinhua agency delivered the goods when it reported that Jeff Bezos had purchased The Washington Post by mistake and was having trouble cancelling the transaction!
Poynter’s Andrew Beaujon reports that Xinhua came across this Andy Borowitz piece in The New Yorker and republished it as fact: Amazon founder Bezos inadvertently clicked on the Post’s website and ended up making a purchase, and customer service wasn’t being too helpful in straightening out the mistake.
Mr. Bezos said he had been on the phone with the Post’s customer service for the better part of the day trying to unwind his mistaken purchase, but so far “they’ve really been giving me the runaround.”
According to Mr. Bezos, “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 does not have an American sense of humor, clearly; it apparently does not have an American sense of plagiarism, either.