Tag Archives: The Onion

The New York Post gets the Onion treatment

The New York Post gets the Onion treatment

Back home in New York City, I rarely read The New York Post, for the same reasons…

Salon

The news outlet spread rumors that a Saudi suspect was in custody, and the satire site is holding them accountable

The Onion’s bold attempts at humor are not always successful, but today the satire news site took a risk in the wake of a national tragedy, and hit the nail on the head. In a column satirizing the New York Post, the Onion ridiculed the Post’s poorly sourced story that disseminated virtually no new information, and instead fueled fears of Islamophobia during a period of heightened anxiety.

Under the headline “This Is A Tragedy—Does It Really Matter Exactly How Many People Died Or What Any Of The Details Are?” the Onion writes as a New York Post columnist:

Yesterday’s violent attack at the Boston Marathon has left all of us struggling to come to terms with such a senseless display of carnage. In the wake of this devastating tragedy, we at the New York Post join the nation in mourning those who were lost in this horrible event so that we may console one another and ultimately emerge from this catastrophe stronger and with a greater compassion for one another.

And so, as we attempt to begin the healing process, let us not bicker over such trivial matters as the actual death toll and what exactly happened at yesterday’s bombing. After all, is it really important, in the aftermath of an event so disastrous and sad, to pick apart the so-called information surrounding this horrific situation and find out what actually happened?

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Filed under Boston Marathon Bombings, New York Post

Beltway Media Slain By Satire

The Onion, Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart are masters of satire.

This time it was The Onion’s turn at getting a massive amount of publicity for one of their articles…but wait!  Everyone knows The Onion is a satirical website, don’t they?

The Huffington Post

The Onion Unleashes Deadly Satirical Attack On Washington Via Twitter 

Washington, D.C., was the scene of a devastating satirical attack this morning, as a tweet from The Onion, the well-known fake-news site, intersected with the most humorless residents of the most self-absorbed city in the world, touching off a tsunami of ultra-seriousness. Now, the Beltway media are left to grapple with the essential question: How could this happen here?

It all began at 10:33 a.m., when The Onion’s Twitter feed posted a tweet that read, “BREAKING: Witnesses reporting screams and gunfire heard inside Capitol building.” Now, normally, when The Onion tweets things like “Small-Town Sheriff Has Actually Killed Surprising Amount Of People” or “Pediatricians Announce 2011 Newborns Are Ugliest Babies In 30 Years,” people in English-speaking nations all around the world demonstrate, with a high degree of skill, the ability to understand that the things The Onion tweets are not, strictly speaking, true. On those rare occasions when there is a notable failure to come to grips with this reality, the media enjoy having a laugh at the expense of the ignorant.

Today, their ability to remain aware that they were, as they say, “in on the joke” failed them. Instead, everyone decided it was absolutely plausible that a satiric website in New York City had managed to scoop the entire Beltway press corps on a story that involved gunfire at the Capitol. No, the tweet, in and of itself was not what I would call “hilarious.” Yes, we live in an age of frayed nerves. But most people know enough to stop themselves at the seventh word when they find themselves saying, “Oh, my God, The Onion is reporting that the Capitol is under attack!”

I can understand and respect that people have different points at which the laughter stops. And I’ll allow that for many, this tweet probably crossed a line. I’ll only point out that finding where the line is and crossing it basically describes The Onion’s entire mission. But there’s a distinction to be made between decent people being offended and officials actually taking this stuff seriously:

US Capitol Police on Thursday flatly denied a joke claim on the popular satire website The Onion’s Twitter feed of “screams and gunfire” in the Congress and said they were investigating the comment.”Conditions at the US Capitol are currently normal. There is no credibility to these stories or the Twitter feeds,” said a spokeswoman for US Capitol Police, Sergeant Kimberly Schneider.

“The US Capitol Police are currently investigating the reporting,” she said in a statement issued roughly half an hour after The Onion’s first tweet about a supposed violent standoff in the US Congress.

Oh, the Capitol Police are “investigating the reporting”? I sure hope they manage to close that case! (Keep reading Twitter, maybe? That’s just an amateur crime-solving tip I have.)

Continue reading here… 

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Filed under Political Satire

FoxNation.com Reposts Anti-Obama Article From The Onion, Doesn’t Mention It’s A Joke

This is the kind of thing Fox and Company does.  At times the need some real proof to back up their false claims about Barack Obama.  So what do they do?  They find an old news report from the “spoof” cite The Onion and conveniently fail to report on the Fox Nation site that it’s satirical.

TPM LiveWire

Most people recognize The Onion as the Peabody Award-winning satire machine that it is. Some people, however, don’t. Which is why we get a story like this every few months. Of course, it’s sometimes easy to mistake an Onion article for the real thing since the writers make sure to skew as close to their targets as possible. It also doesn’t hurt when real news outlets reprint the satirists’ work and decide not to let their readers know it’s a joke, as Fox Nation did today.

Yes, the Fox Nation editors were apparently so enamored with an Onion piece from today entitled “Frustrated Obama Sends Nation Rambling 75,000-Word E-Mail” that they reposted the first two paragraphs in their culture section with nary a sign as to its fictional nature. The only clue that this wasn’t real (besides a quick peek at your inbox to confirm that Barack Obama hasn’t been emailing you) was a link at the bottom instructing readers to go to TheOnion.com for the real story. This tiny link was, unfortunately, not enough for the vast majority of FN readers. At least, that’s the way it seems from the comments section.

Here’s a sampling:

“If this story is correct, that he did send out this email, it is very concerning about his current state of mental health. I am surprised he would be allowed to send something like this out and if he is not functioning very well why there isn’t some attention being paid to his current state.”

“Hey, you fraud: Get out. Your presidency is an affront to the exceptionalism of America. Pathetic loser.”

 

“HAHAHAHAHAHA OBUMMA – Un-raveled. EPIC FAILURE. IMPEACH it.”

In fact, at the time of this post’s writing, you have to scroll through 20 comments to find someone who realizes the story’s fake. Five comments below that there’s actually someone (sarcastically?) saying they emailed The Onion for confirmation on the story.

Whether Fox Nation reposted this story without a disclaimer accidentally, as a prank, or because of something more sinister, we’ll leave up to you decide. However, Fox Nation should be aware that, sad as it may be, not everyone is familiar with the brilliance that is The Onion. And for every one of my aunts who forwards me this article today, I’m going to be very, very angry at them.

Here’s a screenshot of the post before it’s (hopefully) taken down:

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Filed under Fox Nation, Fox News Distortions, Right Wing Myths and Falsehoods, Right-wing Conspiracy Theories, Right-wing disinformation campaign, Right-wing Media, Right-Wing Propaganda