The Onion Calls it Quits

by The Troubadour Follow for Writing by David Harris Gershon

SUN MAY 26, 2013 AT 09:10 PM PDT

For nearly 25 years, The Onion has been satirizing American politics and society with unparalleled brilliance. However, the fake news publication – or “America’s Finest News Source” – has sadly and stunningly announced that it will cease operations in 2014.

In a press release, The Onion’s Editor-In-Chief, Will Tracy, explained what led to the publication’s difficult decision:

The Onion has always been recognized as a first-rate satirical publication, making fun of all that is absurd in our socio-political world. However, in today’s contemporary political environment, our brand has simply gotten muddled. And I can say with clarity that today’s GOP is fully to blame.

[…]

It used to be that political satire was easy. All one had to do was find the absurd buried beneath the surface of a given story and employ satire to highlight that absurdity. To shine a light on it.

Now? Now you have headlines showing up in mainstream publications like “Kansas Republican Actually Opposes the Poor Buying More Food” and “Conservatives Less Likely to Buy Energy Efficient Bulbs if Labeled as Environmentally Friendly.”

The absurdity of conservatives in this country has completely destroyed our business. Republicans have ruined us. Period.

New readers to The Onion can’t tell anymore that we are a satirical publication. And established readers have been leaving our pages, finding greater absurdity at places like CNN and USA Today.

The Onion apparently considered changing its business model – shifting to become a ‘real’ news outlet – but eventually decided against it.

Creative Director of the Onion News Network, JJ Shebesta, told The New York Times:

A bunch of us thought that if we wanted to keep doing weird and absurd shit, that we should just start covering the news for real.

But then we were like, Wait, we’re just comedy writers, not journalists. We’re overqualified!

The Onion will continue operations through the upcoming presidential election, with its last issue set to be published on November 6, 2014. When asked why, Shebesta answered, “What better day for a satirical news outlet to close up shop?”

Indeed.

Rest in peace, The Onion. You will be missed.

Thank you to The Daily KOS for this article.

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