A man devouring 68 dogs in 10 minutes definitely makes Page 1 news – even in a staid Communist Party of India (Marxist) mouthpiece. And if the voracious dog-eater happens to be an American and the feat a world record, so much the better.
“US man gobbles 68 dogs in 10 minutes, creates world record”, screamed a headline on the front page of Kerala CPI(M) mouthpiece Deshabhimani, which loses no opportunity to paint Americans as decadent and uncouth, on Tuesday.
It even carried a photograph of a man eating what looked like a roasted leg (presumably of a dog).
The facts: news agency Associated Press had put out a New York-datelined report on an American called Joey Chestnut eating 68 hot dogs to win the traditional July 4 (US Independence Day) contest, which dates back to 1916.
For good measure, Deshabhimaniadded that a Japanese rival, Takeru Kobayashi, a six-time champion, had come second, eating 64.5 “dogs”.
The newspaper’s editorial staff, obviously unfamiliar with American fast food and consumed by their hatred of the US, went ahead and printed what they thought was a literal translation of the report.
The article filled the blogosphere with mirth. "Can a man eat even 10 chicken in 10 minutes?" asked a blogger, questioning the intelligence of the newspaper's staff.
The next day, a red-faced newspaper management carried a correction. “A confusing food item called hot dog and the translator’s devil did the damage," it said.