Xinhua falls for ‘Bezos bought Post by mistake’ spoof


China’s official Xinhua News Agency has reported as true a satirical story that Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post newspaper by accident.

The publication on Xinhua’s website came days after it posted a photo gallery of images supposedly showing a woman being executed by lethal injection — which instead appeared to have come from a fetish site.

The original parody, titled “Amazon Founder Says He Clicked on Washington Post by Mistake,” was written by comedian Andy Borowitz for his satirical Borowitz Report column, published by The New Yorker magazine on its website. It joked that the deal had been a “gigantic mix-up” and supposedly quoted the e-commerce magnate as saying: “No way in hell would I buy The Washington Post. . . . I don’t even read The Washington Post.”

He only became aware of his purchase when he noticed an “unusual charge” for $250 million on his credit card statement, it claimed.

Xinhua quickly took down the “execution” gallery when the mistake was revealed, but the Amazon story was still visible on Friday.