China’s state-run Xinhua news agency claims to be aghast at the U.S. presidential election, which “shames Uncle Sam abroad” with all its scandals, but it is difficult to avoid the sense they are enjoying the show.
For example, China’s Xinhua cannot wait to tell its readers how U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry dumped on the election during a trip to London: “I must tell you bluntly. This election has been difficult for our country’s perception abroad. There are moments when it is downright embarrassing. There are times when it steps out of any norm that I’ve known – and I ran for president in 2004. I could never imagine debates that were not focused on real issues, so it’s been a real change.”
For the benefit of any Chinese citizens who might be reading this, U.S. readers too young to remember the 2004 election — or Americans who have blotted John Kerry’s presidential bid from their minds — his running mate was John Edwards.
Xinhua gleefully declares the “disordered and bottomless” 2016 election is “smeared with sex, corruption, scandals, and personal attacks.” An exhaustive fact-check of this statement concludes it is roughly 80 percent true at the time of this writing. We still have to wait until November 9th to find out if the election is “bottomless,” however.
Xinhua does a pretty good job of summing up the major events of the election so far: Trump’s “2005 audio tape about his propensity for ‘groping women’ and the emergence of groping allegations by several women,” Clinton’s FBI investigations, the WikiLeaks revelations, and current polls that show a tightening race.
The Chinese news agency then provides commentary on the race from an eclectic group of commentators, including John Kerry, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, a spokeswoman for the Edenbridge Bonfire Society of Britain, and Jewel Mathewson of Pennsylvania.
Mathewson, tasked with serving as the avatar of the entire American electorate by Xinhua, pronounced herself “sorrowfully disappointed” with her choices in 2016, described voting as a “heartbreaking decision,” and she opined that the American people “are not happy with either person for president.”
As for the Edenbridge Bonfire Society, they are planning to burn a 36-foot-tall effigy of Trump “dressed in shorts decorated with images of Mexicans” and holding aloft the severed head of Hillary Clinton on November 5th.
“We are literally helping Trump to live out his own catchphrase ‘burn it down’ by exploding the 11-meter effigy as the opening act for our fireworks display. It only seemed fair that Hillary Clinton took some of the limelight, and we are sure the presidential candidates will be pleased to see they are both featured,” said spokeswoman Jeni Fox.
Fox’s statement must be fact-checked with a “Pants on Fire” rating since (a.) it is unlikely either candidate would be pleased by this tableau, and (b.) she’s planning to literally set Trump’s gigantic pants on fire.