Almost all Chinese multimeters look like Fluke, they even advertise them like that. The better ones (that cost $35-40ish) are indistinguishable from a Fluke.
Sparkfun definitely knew this (threads like 'this meter looks exactly like my Fluke' are common on all 'freeshipping' China crapware sites) and I doubt it very much sparkfun buyers have never been to alibaba or dhgate.
That's about all there is to the story.
Yeah, right. You make a rather general allegation about six specific information outlets ("reported government claims as facts") and then, when asked a question, proceed to dismiss it without:
a) bothering to provide reference to the allegation and
b) bothering to provide a reference that confirms your claim
If you do, I'm sure it will look like this: the "home" media did quote the government side, and when facts came up that disputed the gov't claims, it was the home press then reported those as well. Under a state-controlled media regime, you would not get the second part of the story.
As for the part where the POTUS "called my friendly neighborhood dictator", you support fully exactly the point that I'm making. It would be somewhat harder for the POTUS to call Mr. Hollande or Mr. Harper and order them to imprison reporters.
To sum it up, you're severely ignorant about the ways press operates under a dictatorial regime, but you think you know better and you are okay with making shit up to go along your beliefs. Suit yourself if life is easier for you this way.