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Chinese newscast tries to pass off “Top Gun” footage as military drill

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exploding jet footage

China's state broadcaster, China Central Television (CCTV), has been accused of passing off footage from the movie Top Gun as footage from an actual air force training drill showing a Chinese J-10 fighter plane taking out an enemy aircraft with a missile. The lazy plagiarism was circulated around the blogosphere before being removed from the CCTV website, with no link to the story. The suspiciously uncanny resemblance between the two clips was first noticed by internet user "Lin Yi" during a January 23 CCTV news broadcast.

This isn't the first time Chinese media have appropriated fictional material from the U.S. for their own use. In 2007 the Xinhua news agency used an x-ray image of Homer Simpson's head in a report about the discovery of a genetic link to multiple sclerosis. In 2002 the Beijing Evening News reported as real the infamous Onion story about Congress threatening to leave Washington D.C. unless they were given a new retractable roof building, but that was chalked up to a loss of irony in translation. Luckily, no footage of Chinese pilots playing beach volleyball or singing "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" in a bar have surfaced, because that would really strain credulity.