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The Punchline

Floating Chinese government officials visit Marketplace

Katharine Crnko Jul 1, 2011
The original image of the floating Chinese officials

Local officials in China’s Huili county wanted to show, in a picture, that they were diligently in inspecting a newly built highway. So, on Monday, Huili’s website published a picture showing, according to the accompanying story, local officials at the highway, looking at the progress. Except they didn’t use a real photograph to illustrate their point. The city instead used a picture of three high-ranking officials that were photoshopped onto a picture of the new road. But someone didn’t do a very good job and the three men look like they’re floating over the road.

The image has received mass ridicule, and is being called one of the worst-doctored photographs in Internet history.

When calls began rolling into the Huili public relations department, the explanation was almost as silly as the image itself. The three men actually did visit the road in question, but the photographer was not satisfied with the resulting pictures. So he decided to combine the best two.

“A government employee posted the edited picture out of error… The county government understands the wide attention, and hope to apologize for and clarify the matter,” a Huili official told the state-run Xinhua news agency.


Here are some of our favorite floating Chinese officials.





And of course, producer Jolie Puidokas, and hosts Jeremy Hobson and Steve Chiotakis.


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