“The Onion” gained fame as a hilarious send-up of politics and culture in the ’90s. Then, as a kind of funny send-up in the last eight years. Now it’s not sending up much at all, says family excited to see son making new friends.
“We lost our way,” admitted Chief Editor Cole Bolton to Chief Running Wild of the “Navajo Journal of Reproduction” during a urologist visit. “The Top 3 Things We Did Wrong is sell lame Cafe Press merchandise, run poorly drawn ‘cartoons’ and publish lists like any clickbait site. Wait…”
Problems extend to content. Articles drown in runs on sentences crammed into dense unjustified blocks of text and the runs never stop even though you think they must, but they continue without end like an unending thing you wish would.
Recent pieces also reflect writers’ personal issues. “Trump Returns India PM’s Hug” turned out to really be about an Onion staffer longing for his father’s approval. Then a too-real article last June about a pro-wrestler being murdered proved for readers to be the final straw in the camel’s back.
“The backstraw surprised us. I mean if we can’t make fun of murder, what’s left? Will they take rape from us too? Rape is pretty darned funny when you think about it,” said Senior Writer Dan McGraw shortly before he was fired and Antifa burned down his office.
“Our writers weren’t feeling it; it’s stale,” mused Bolton. “You can only do so many ‘dorky white people’ stories. So, some writers left to Germany – Their Muslim refugees are laugh-a-minute. Then I realized, ‘Hey! No one covers the news seriously. Maybe we do that.’ So we do. I’m bored already. But happy… and bored.”
The publication started in 1988 as “The Onion” when a copyright dispute made them drop their first title – “The Wisconsin News Parody Using Words.” It became a staple for those who had not yet switched to watching pet videos on YouTube or rival comedy news providers “The Daily Show” and “CNN.” A survey found a big complaint of disenchanted fans was “too many prepositions.” “Not enough explosions in videos” was another reason cited by local man realizing the horseless carriage is here to stay.
Tough times led the company to reduce salaries, cut the use of bold fonts and let go of three fake man-on-the-street interviewees. The turning point came when Bolton discovered that “Mad Magazine” had more subscribers. Now The Onion has its own White House reporter, who uses a duck call to get Sarah Huckabee Sanders to call on her.
The Onion has decided to switch to actually reporting the news. What do you think?