China’s newspapers have a strange history of mistaking fake stories for real news. They’re the George W. Bush of quality journalism because they too have failed to learn how to recite the mantra, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”
They’ve fallen victim to an April Fools Day prank in which Virgin’s mega-rich founder Richard Branson announced he would build a glass bottomed plane for his airline. They mistook a fake Andy Borowitz story about a failed missile launch caused by a Windows 8 crash for an actual headline. They misconstrued not one but two Onion stories for real news, the latter of which was about Congress demanding the U.S. Capitol be rebuilt with a retractable dome that the editor insisted could have been real. Considering pretty much everyone in Congress has negotiating skills that are slightly more childish than an actual child, I’m more inclined to agree with the editor on that one.
This time, we’re not sure if this story about a new Japanese attack helicopter is just an egregious mistake by a very careless reporter or editor or a flat-out lie to fill page space.
Our suspicions stem from the fact the super cool looking piece of military warfare is actually part of a 3D art project from DeviantArt member Ridwan Chandra who used to work for Lucasfilm as an animator. So even if they didn’t get the image from the artist’s page, it’s still easy to realize it’s a fake because the artist’s name and DeviantArt portfolio address is stamped on the photo.
Of course, someone could have used the images to set up a fake Japanese air force website or weapons manufacturer page to trick news outlets because they are really accurate and well-designed. In fact, being able to trick an actual newspaper into believing his digitally-rendered art is the real thing should go at the top of this guy’s resume.