Tuesday, November 25, 2008

All Those Layers

Good, lengthy article on the workings of The Onion in the Washington Post. But, this being the Post, I thought the piece harped a bit much on the politics of the humorous paper. While it's true most of The Onion staff are on the left, and it occasionally shows in their comic assumptions, what works about their stuff is it's better than politics. Not that it's entirely neutral so much as it generally avoids the easy caricatures you see on late night TV to go into more interesting areas (and area men and women).

The insistence on using a political slant for the feature made for a few odd bits here and there. For instance:

The Onion trod on multitudes of toes with its coverage of Obama's presidential run, with headlines such as "Black Guy Asks Nation For Change."

How does that tread on anyone's toes? Like so much of their Obama coverage, the man gets off scot free.

Then there's this:

[After 9/11] the paper went to press, with lead stories ranging from "Hijackers Surprised To Find Selves In Hell," a piece some criticized as unimaginative pandering, to more elegiac and moving contemplations of the tragedy.

Wow! Is that true? Countless pieces, year after year, making fun of Americans high and low, and one piece that actually mocks people trying to kill us is considered selling out? I had no idea.

5 Comments:

Blogger New England Guy said...

"Young Journalists Making Difference By Telling Fart Jokes"

6:46 AM, November 25, 2008  
Blogger QueensGuy said...

Oftentimes you just need the headline. Reading the article turns the funny joke into an overplayed SNL skit. A coupla non-PC favorites:

"Special Olympics T-ball Stand Pitches Perfect Game"

"Gay Pride Parade Sets Mainstream Acceptance Of Gays Back 50 Years"

1:17 PM, November 25, 2008  
Blogger LAGuy said...

That's the most interesting thing about the inner workings--they write the headlines first. Only after it's been accepted is the article written.

3:46 PM, November 25, 2008  
Blogger New England Guy said...

Can't resist- my new favorite

"Fit Of Anger Turns Dairy Farmer Into Beef Farmer"

6:09 AM, November 26, 2008  
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