I Shall Now Exact My Final Revenge Upon That Jack-Ass Joseph Pulitzer
June 26, 2011 6:20 PM   Subscribe

Satirical newspaper and website The Onion is celebrating its 1000th issue by pushing for a Pulitzer Prize. Its spin-off Americans for Fairness in Awarding Journalism Prizes has garnered support from celebrities as far apart as Tom Hanks and Glenn Beck, as well as a host of geek icons and ordinary people.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn (55 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'd like to see more Onion posts on the blue...less NYT.
posted by hal_c_on at 6:24 PM on June 26, 2011 [11 favorites]


If there was a legitimate version of The Webbies the Onion and the AV Club would sweep it every year.
I don't know if it's Pulitzer-worthy but beyond the satire The Onion is great at documenting the quiet desperation of modern life through pithy headlines like 'Day Job Slowly Becomes Real Job'.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 6:27 PM on June 26, 2011 [15 favorites]


Is that last guy in his bathroom?? If he is, broadcasting from the porcelain throne kinda adds a somehow appropriate soupçon of meta-commentary to his opinion.
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:30 PM on June 26, 2011


The Glenn Beck video is staggering for reasons I cannot quite describe.

And it means another T. Herman Zweibel editorial, which is always a good thing in my book.

And now my mewling, puking editors, mere boys reeking of the damp clutch of their wet-nurses, tell me the Pulitzer is desirable, and seen as a mark of quality for the readers. For the readers! Have they listened to a single word I have ever said? Readers are of scant importance to a news-paper, and the very idea of integrity and rigor in journalism has been shown to frighten away even the hardiest of advertisers, even the marauding manufacturers of high-tension liquors, whore’s rags, and insurance who have stood by us through all else!
posted by Grimgrin at 6:30 PM on June 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


And as soon as they introduce a new Pulitzer category for Funniest Satire Written Ten or More Years Ago, they'll be in luck.
posted by RogerB at 6:32 PM on June 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


He was a loath-some panderer who could not even start a simple war with Spain without help from that other fulminating ass-hole, William Randolph Hearst. And yet not two decades later, he set up a prize foundation to honor achievements in the news-paper and writing fields! At least I have the gumption and back-bone not to pretend I am saving the world with one hand while penning warmongering missives to President McKinley with the other.

Is this just random Onion humor or is it based in truth?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 6:32 PM on June 26, 2011


Lovecraft in Brooklyn: It's true enough for the Onion.
posted by Grimgrin at 6:37 PM on June 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's no longer in its year of eligibility, but the Onion CERTAINLY deserved a Pulitzer for "Our Long National Nightmare of Peace and Prosperity Is Finally Over".

So, maybe they deserve one retroactively, for running the most prescient thing an American newspaper has ever printed ?
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 6:39 PM on June 26, 2011 [51 favorites]


This isn't as far-fetched as it sounds -- at least one member of the board lobbied to nominate them for a Pulitzer after their amazing post-9/11 issue (one of the first satirical reactions to the attacks), but apparently the others thought it was too radical.
posted by Rhaomi at 6:41 PM on June 26, 2011 [11 favorites]


The Glenn Beck video is staggering for reasons I cannot quite describe.

Victim In Fatal Car Accident Tragically Not Glenn Beck
posted by philip-random at 6:43 PM on June 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


The little narrative playing out online has been fun to watch. They went from nudging to wheedling to appeals to authority to veiled threats to direct insults to resignation. Stages of Grief journalism.
posted by Paragon at 6:46 PM on June 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you want to win a Pulitzer for journalism, you have to explore the Dickensian aspect.
posted by bwg at 6:50 PM on June 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


WHAT
THE
FUCK,
MIKHEIL?

posted by piratebowling at 6:57 PM on June 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


JOURNALISM UNDER ATTACK:
News Outlet Moans For Umpteenth Time Over Not Receiving Pulitzer
Rival Media Syndicate Gloats Over Newly-Received Good Housekeeping Seal Of Approval
UPDATE: Anon NY Writers Admit To Hating Their Pulitzers - Claim "Not As Useful As Doorjams As CLIO Awards"
posted by Smart Dalek at 6:58 PM on June 26, 2011


I don't know, I think they're pretty deserving of a Pulitzer in Commentary. Some of their articles are quintessentially perfect satire, but not vapid or shallow satire. It's the kind of satire that puts thought into what it is -- a self-aware, sometimes harsh, often hilarious social commentary. Plus, I bet they've encouraged people to read who otherwise wouldn't be reading news articles.
posted by spiderskull at 6:58 PM on June 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


This is an extraordinary piece of satire, even by the ridiculously high standards they've set over the course of 1,000 issues.

The combination of AFAJP, the recent American Voices pieces, and the Pulitzer-bait articles have done something truly amazing: more eloquently stating the message of an entire season of The Wire. (Of course that was the fifth season, but it's still the goddamned Wire.)

If clearly articulating such an important criticism of the post-industrial media doesn't deserve recognition, I don't know what does.
posted by graphnerd at 6:59 PM on June 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


RogerB stopped liking The Onion before it was cool.
posted by mreleganza at 7:01 PM on June 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, damnit bwg. You beat me to the punch.

Also also, T. Herman Zweibel's hyphenation is a national treasure.
posted by graphnerd at 7:02 PM on June 26, 2011


I almost think they should win one for "Let's Go Ahead and Assume We've Learned the Lessons of the Gabrielle Giffords Shooting". It's so sharp I literally could not get through it without wincing.

Of course, Jean Teasdale probably thinks she should win a Pulitzer just for her work. In one of her columns she imagines herself as an 80-year-old with a Pulizter and Hubby Rick's ashes sitting on her desk.
posted by orange swan at 7:12 PM on June 26, 2011 [7 favorites]


Tom Hanks doing his video from a plain ol' webcam is pretty adorable.
posted by ShutterBun at 7:16 PM on June 26, 2011


Pulitzer prizes are announced in April. Are they going to keep this up until then?
posted by hammurderer at 7:19 PM on June 26, 2011


This isn't as far-fetched as it sounds -- at least one member of the board lobbied to nominate them for a Pulitzer after their amazing post-9/11 issue (one of the first satirical reactions to the attacks), but apparently the others thought it was too radical.

That issue... god, I still get goosebumps just thinking about some of those articles. The last lines of the "God Angrily Clarifies Do Not Kill Rule" and the flag cake piece are guaranteed to get me weepy.
posted by kmz at 7:32 PM on June 26, 2011 [4 favorites]


It's no longer in its year of eligibility, but the Onion CERTAINLY deserved a Pulitzer for "Our Long National Nightmare of Peace and Prosperity Is Finally Over".

This is certainly the Onion's most memorable and most prescient piece of satire.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:37 PM on June 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Dear Mr./Ms. Front Page Poster,

I have an issue with the phrasing of your post. The video you link to with the words, "ordinary people," does not link to the movie of the same name. Furthermore, it is not "people" so much as it is one person.

Other than that, you're doing a swell job.

Todd Lokken.
posted by not_on_display at 7:54 PM on June 26, 2011


Tom Hanks: awesome and hilarious.
Glenn Beck: weird, but kind of funny.
Neil deGrasse Tyson: adorable, more than anything. How I do love that man.
Neil Gaiman: GAH! moment at first, and then decently funny.
Ordinary Person: Ordinary doesn't mean what you think it means.

Really, Hanks was the best, I think. And I will forever love The Onion for their ad for John Jameson's Miracle Concoction in their 1700's issue. "Imported from Loathe-full Ireland."
posted by Navelgazer at 7:59 PM on June 26, 2011


At its best, The Onion is almost as good at jerking tears as Pixar:

Son, It's Time We Have A Talk About Where Babies Go
You know how sometimes I complain about there being too many toys in your room, and how I say that they're making a mess, and in order to not make such a mess, you might need to throw some of your toys out? Well, China is kind of like that, too. What's that? You're right, I've never told you to throw any of your toys away. Because that would be very mean—yes—you're right. Xiu, my son, please don't cry. None of your toys will have to be thrown out.

Nobody should have to get rid of anything they love.
Daddy Put In Bye-Bye Box
After weeks of being sleepy all the time and never finishing his din-din at night, area daddy Howard Lewis was put in a bye-bye box early Monday morning so that he could go on a vacation with the birds and clouds in the sky.

Daddy, who was tall and strong and liked going to the hospital to play with their fun machines, was put in the bye-bye box at a big, white house where everyone had a party for him even though it wasn't his birthday. According to family sources, Daddy, 36, can't play Chutes and Ladders tonight, but he loved Ryan and his little sister, Rebecca, very, very much, and nothing is ever going to change that.
God Angrily Clarifies 'Don't Kill' Rule
"Why would you think I'd want anything else? Humans don't need religion or God as an excuse to kill each other—you've been doing that without any help from Me since you were freaking apes!" God said. "The whole point of believing in God is to have a higher standard of behavior. How obvious can you get?"

"I'm talking to all of you, here!" continued God, His voice rising to a shout. "Do you hear Me? I don't want you to kill anybody. I'm against it, across the board. How many times do I have to say it? Don't kill each other anymore—ever! I'm fucking serious!"

Upon completing His outburst, God fell silent, standing quietly at the podium for several moments. Then, witnesses reported, God's shoulders began to shake, and He wept.
97-Year-Old Dies Unaware Of Being Violin Prodigy
"We're really going to miss Mom—she was such a gentle, sensitive, perceptive person," said Hollander's son, David, unknowingly outlining qualities that would have infused his mother's interpretation of Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto with a singular, haunting beauty capable of moving the most jaded of souls. "Even though she never drew attention to herself, Mom had such a strong, commanding presence."

"I swear, she should have been an actress or something," he added.
posted by Rhaomi at 8:11 PM on June 26, 2011 [24 favorites]


AsYouKnow Bob: "It's no longer in its year of eligibility, but the Onion CERTAINLY deserved a Pulitzer for "Our Long National Nightmare of Peace and Prosperity Is Finally Over"."

I remember reading that when it was published. I printed it out and taped it to my office door and emailed it to friends and family. Ha, Ha. The republicans are going to fuck everything up, it's hilarious. Ten years later it's so not funny that it makes me cry to read it. How the hell did we let that article come true? They warned us and we laughed.
posted by octothorpe at 8:20 PM on June 26, 2011 [5 favorites]


*Clears Throat* Ira Glass. Certainly not safe for work.
posted by Apropos of Something at 8:21 PM on June 26, 2011 [6 favorites]


From what I've seen about the Onion, most of their darkest, best shit comes from this guy. Not his real name, of course, but he's been head writer for years.
posted by fungible at 8:23 PM on June 26, 2011


I mean this guy. Argh.
posted by fungible at 8:24 PM on June 26, 2011


Those ladies (or men) of a certain age (somewhere around 60) remember when the National Lampoon was funny. Then it wasn't.

When the Onion appeared (I happened to have been in one of their first marketing areas, Denver/Boulder), full-throated cries of joy erupted from our hearts. Finally! Satirical journalism! Every week! Jonathan Swift's skeleton creaked in secret sympathy.

Congratulations, The Onion. Let me look though that stuff in my garage...if I have a Pulitzer, I'll send you one.
posted by kozad at 8:31 PM on June 26, 2011


They should have won a Pulitzer back in 2000 for their issue dedicated to the recount. Hell, they should have got one just for the headline Serbia Deploys Peacekeeping Forces To U.S.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:35 PM on June 26, 2011


I shouldn't have clicked on "Put Daddy In Bye-Bye Box".
posted by rodgerd at 8:43 PM on June 26, 2011 [7 favorites]


My favorite "celebrity"-encounter story: I hung out with Todd Hanson and his girl at the Church of the Subgenius' X-Day back in 98. Lovely people and I just realized I shouldn't write anything else about that weekend :D
posted by jtron at 9:06 PM on June 26, 2011


Who(m) does the Onion have to blow to win a Pulitzer Prize for Excellence in Journalism?
posted by stargell at 9:12 PM on June 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


If Herbert Kornfeld were still alive, them wack mothafuckas wouldn't think to overlook the Onion for so long.
posted by Mikey-San at 9:18 PM on June 26, 2011 [7 favorites]


Wow, Glenn Beck is only funny when he's trying not to be.
posted by the noob at 10:17 PM on June 26, 2011


I shouldn't have clicked on "Put Daddy In Bye-Bye Box".

Hell, no. Now I hate you, Rhaomi.
posted by Harald74 at 11:27 PM on June 26, 2011


My first exposure to the Onion was Death Star to Open Day Care Center. Not Pulitzer-worthy, true, but it got me hooked. Now whenever I see small children fighting I tell them to "let the hatred flow through you!"

Also: The Onion + Instapaper = I'm not getting anything done for a while.
posted by MShades at 12:02 AM on June 27, 2011


If Herbert Kornfeld were still alive, them wack mothafuckas wouldn't think to overlook the Onion for so long.

*Pours a little out for tha H-Dog*


Fuckin' Accounts Payabo, man.
posted by louche mustachio at 1:12 AM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


While I agree the Onion has excellent writing and satirical wit, I believe that the Pulitzer prize in Journalism should be reserved for real journal pieces. Giving such a prestigious honour to the Onion would undermine the accomplishments of both previous and future recipients of the prize.
posted by CreativeUsername at 1:22 AM on June 27, 2011


<--- Area man
posted by ShutterBun at 3:54 AM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


CreativeUsername, Dave Barry won a Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1988, "for his consistently effective use of humor as a device for presenting fresh insights into serious concerns."

I'm sure there's room for The Onion in the winner's circle somewhere.
posted by ShutterBun at 4:44 AM on June 27, 2011


If all you did was read The Onion and watch The Daily Show, you'd probably have a better grasp on the real goings-on in our country than if you watched and read all the mainstream news. Just sayin'...
posted by Benny Andajetz at 4:51 AM on June 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Bottom line: if they can give one to Maureen Dowd, they can give one to the Onion. Or, for that matter, any random Batman action figure.
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:06 AM on June 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Really Benny? Anthony Wiener dick jokes and satire of the right is considered well informed? Well more than the mainstream news, I guess you're right. But I don't consider The Daily Show to be very informative, just the left of the right and left argument on TV.
posted by Submiqent at 5:09 AM on June 27, 2011


Oh my god... could that be Beck... poking fun at his own persona... self-awareness... implicit admission that what he does is an easily reproducible schtick... sly nod at the rest of us..?

I, I think I'm going to be sick.
posted by tempythethird at 5:36 AM on June 27, 2011


Oh my god... could that be Beck... poking fun at his own persona... self-awareness... implicit admission that what he does is an easily reproducible schtick... sly nod at the rest of us..?

Not to be too maudlin in a thread about the Onion, but it's much more likely that Beck's persona is part of a career of carefully calculated tweaks to his public personae designed to make and keep him famous. Like everyone whose good at that, he can be very witty and faux self deprecating while simultaneously being totally ego driven. Put another way: Glenn Beck is Howard Stern with malice.
posted by Apropos of Something at 5:49 AM on June 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Woman's* leg broken, others hurt in Spring Garden mob attack
(*Emily Guendelsberger, city editor for local arts and entertainment content for The Onion)

posted by blueberry at 8:06 AM on June 27, 2011


The thing that makes me most sad about the Onion is that there were a ton of great stories that came out when I was in college and they were still a mostly Madison/ Milwaukee publication, which sadly never seem to have made it to the web archives.

I seem to recall one in particular that was a plucky human-interest piece on some poor kid born with a deformity who was overcoming his challenges. The hook was that the kid was the Anti-Christ and the deformities were his horns.

I remember this because I was reading it in a class, and started laughing so hard, I had to excuse myself and go outside until I got my breathing back under control.

So yeah, a long overdue Pulitzer would be a nice thing.
posted by quin at 8:14 AM on June 27, 2011


I hope Dave Barry winning a Pulitzer is an Onion-esque piece of news. Otherwise...
posted by bquarters at 8:24 AM on June 27, 2011


I hope they get all of their columnists in on the fun.

"Hola, amigos. What's shakin'? I know it's been a long time since I rapped at ya, but I've been busier than a whack-a-mole hammer at Chuck E. Cheese on a Saturday lately. See, I took this road trip to the Big Apple to hold up a "GIVE THE ONION A PULITZER" sign for six hours in Times Square. I thought, why not? The Onion promised to pay for Burger King and all my gas both ways, and if I completed the mission, they'd pay me with a couple grams of warlock haze and a case of Milwaukee's Best Light. I figured, not a bad gig to stare at chicks all day. I hear NYC's homeless chicks are hotter than like your average non-homeless chick around here. Turns out, they are...."
posted by mreleganza at 11:10 AM on June 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'd like to see more Onion posts on the blue

Alternatively, perhaps you could just read The Onion?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:34 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Smoove B. and Jackey Harvey should each have three.
posted by Trochanter at 10:03 PM on June 27, 2011


Woman's* leg broken, others hurt in Spring Garden mob attack
(*Emily Guendelsberger, city editor for local arts and entertainment content for The Onion)


Whaaaat? That sounds totally crazy! Is that even a thing? The article does not read like it's that extraordinary.
posted by Harald74 at 12:38 AM on June 28, 2011


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