In case the casual observer of the world wasn't aware, the media in China is completely owned and operated by the Chinese government. As much as we Americans complain about the bias and shortcomings of our journalists, at least their reports aren't completely fabricated like this story about a "successful" space flight that launched before the rocket did.

BEIJING - A news story describing a successful launch of China's long-awaited space mission and including detailed dialogue between astronauts launched on the Internet Thursday, hours before the rocket had even left the ground.

The country's official news agency Xinhua posted the article on its Web site Thursday, and remained there for much of the day before it was taken down.

A staffer from the Xinhuanet.com Web site who answered the phone Thursday said the posting of the article was a "technical error" by a technician. The staffer refused to give his name as is common among Chinese officials.

Although, I hear that our media also pre-writes a lot of stories, like obituaries for old and important people. I guess just reporting the news is too old-fashioned.

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