Nuggets of Wisdom

Monday, September 29, 2014

SATIRE: Onion Forced Out Of Business

The Onion

The Onion Forced Out Of Business

Satirical news website unable to compete with real news.

Peter Jesting
Daily Bungle

In breaking news that seems to have been ripped out of its own pages, The Onion has announced that it will discontinue publication.

For more than 25 years, “America's Finest News Source” has been tickling the collective American funny bone and fooling everyone’s gullible aunt with humorous satirical news stories.

However, it’s nearly three decade run has experienced many major changes, with last year seeing the end of its print publication in favor of an online-only edition.

Now the infamously famous, or famously infamous, fake news organization will be making an especially drastic change now that it is discontinuing publication for good.

Editor Cole Bolton made the hard decision to shut down the long-running fake news organization, as it has been recently facing harsh competition that has been difficult to beat.

While various other satirical news websites such as the Daily Currant and National Report have sprung up in recent years, The Onion has been given a real run for its money by one major competitor: reality!

Bolton explained that it was nearly impossible for him and his writers to come up with humorous fake news headlines when real news stories has absurd headlines such as “SWAT team descends onto college campus in response to a man carrying an umbrella” or “White House cybersecurity leader proudly claims he knows nothing about cybersecurity.”

“It used to be that you had to expend a lot of brainpower thinking of stupid things for politicians to say in your fake stories; but now, politicians pretty much say stupid things on their own,” Bolton said. “Readers nowadays can get the same laughs they once got from reading our fake news by reading real news, and that’s bad news for us.”

One writer, Penn Naim, recently stepped down from her position after learning that a fake news story she had been working on turned out to be real.

Naim wanted to spoof the growing trend of internet challenges such as the cinnamon or ice bucket challenge by writing a fake human interest story about a fake trending internet challenge, the Fire Challenge, where people set themselves on fire and challenge others to do the same.

Little did she know, to her own embarrassment, that the Fire Challenge was, indeed, a real internet trend. Upon learning about it, she promptly quit her job.

“You know the old saying ‘I couldn’t make that up if I wanted to’? Well, it turns out that I could, but reality beat me to the punch,” Naim said. “When you have clueless teenagers setting themselves on fire for 15-mintues of internet fame, that’s when you know it’s time to quit your day job as a satire writer.”

When asked what the future held for his organization, Bolton suggested that The Onion could be revamped as a real news organization, which, to him, would not be such a stretch, as unsuspecting readers, from behind-the-times grandparents to even real news organizations, have mistaken the Onion as actual news.

One unsuspecting North Carolina man even spent the past 25 years reading The Onion as a real newspaper, unbeknownst to him that it was supposed to be satirical.

“When you can easily switch real news headlines for our satirical headlines, and no one can tell the difference, that’s when you know that satire is dead,” Bolton confessed. “Next thing you know, people will be watching the Daily Show as an actual news program and Idiocracy as a real-life documentary.”


Finally! My first “Daily Bungle” article in what seems like forever! This one reflects my personal struggle to come up with good fake news stories when most real news stories tend to be just as absurd, if not more so. When reality proves to be more absurd than satire—when you can switch real news headlines for satirical ones, and not one can tell the difference!—is that a tell-tale sign that satire is dead?