Homer Simpson X-Ray Used in Medical Article in Chinese News

by Joey deVilla on August 2, 2007

Take a look at this article from China View, the English-language site run by China’s official Xinhua News Agency and pay particular attention to the accompanying photo:

Small screenshot of China View article featuring Homer Simpson’s head x-ray
Click the screenshot to see it at full size.

What’s happening here? I’ll let Computerworld explain:

The article, which appeared on China’s official Xinhua News Agency’s English news site on Monday, displays text about a new genetic discovery relating to MS, attributed to “agencies.” Alongside is an x-ray rendering of the diminutive brain of the cartoon character Homer Simpson, attributed as a “file photo.”

This isn’t the first time Chinese media has fallen prey to satire presented to an English-language audience. In 2002, the Beijing Evening News (Beijing Wan Bao) picked up an article from humor site The Onion, stating that the U.S. Congress had threatened to move out of the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., unless the building were upgraded to include a retractable dome. The newspaper also ran a drawing The Onion had published of the fictional new roof design.

Both online and print media in China routinely use photos downloaded or scanned from other sources without proper attribution or copyright permission.

I can understand how it’s possible that someone at China View might not known enough North American cultural folderol under their belt to recognize Homer Simpson, but wouldn’t whoever incuded the x-ray image have thought that it looked a little odd? I suppose it’s possible that he or she thought it was a diagram in the style of Asian electronics instruction manuals, which are full of cartoony characters.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Andy Brice August 6, 2007 at 5:52 am

Maybe that is what the Chinese think an average American brain really looks like. ;0)

2 Shizo August 24, 2007 at 1:02 am

LOL! amen to that.

3 Lisa January 31, 2011 at 2:54 pm

Oh that is so funny. I couldn’t stop laughing.

4 Wilson January 31, 2011 at 5:26 pm

If that is what they think, you would need a cartoon microscope to see their brain

5 kris January 31, 2011 at 5:51 pm

WOW u can’t tell me u don’t c any thing wired about the pic. i mean come on u would have 2 be blind not 2 c its a fake pic. XP

6 Michael January 31, 2011 at 6:17 pm

After I stopped laughing I got to thinking the reason they thought it was an American brain was it looks like a Chinese brain, so you can understand their mistake.

7 alex January 31, 2011 at 6:37 pm

how much of our brain do we use????? because that would be mean we have really strong brains so it is a compliment…. i think i just confused myself

8 Victor January 31, 2011 at 9:25 pm

This may look like an innocent little mistake, but its actually a deliberately planned “jab” at the west. This is obvious eugenics propaganda at work. Some citizens in China really do believe our brains to be this small and the average male in America really acts like the buffoon they see on television.

9 Arend January 31, 2011 at 9:57 pm

You can’t trust the Chinese…..

10 SlenderTroll January 31, 2011 at 10:31 pm

Based on that post by kris, that’s a perfect representation of his brain…

11 JG February 1, 2011 at 1:20 am

The Chinese steal everything. They put lead in everything. They just look smart but are really just a bunch of retards with guns and missiles which is really scary. I am sure you noticed that their planes and ships look alot like ours. So their you have it.

12 douglas February 1, 2011 at 1:28 am

This is more like the average american brain after using chinese products that have lead based paint in them. Pay more, buy american. #endrant

13 impressonion February 1, 2011 at 1:36 am

Wow, this just blows my mind. Reading up on this old topic after an even more fantastic blunder by the Chinese media happened recently: http://impressonion.com/2011/01/31/top-gun-happened-in-china/

14 Zim February 1, 2011 at 2:23 am


15 Sasha February 1, 2011 at 6:48 am

It was a joke from the Chinese TV, but regarding your comments here I can claim that Homer obviously has a real example of an American brain :-D

16 Luke February 1, 2011 at 1:20 pm


17 Dave February 1, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Victor is probably correct. True, this is probably a veiled jab at the west. Well played eastern media. We don’t need to jab though. We throw bombs. Left and right (2) bombs*. When they’re on the deck, I don’t think they see the west as buffoon’s as much. Jab away little eastern media.
* I think you know where I’m going with this.

18 Nelson July 1, 2011 at 1:47 pm


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