“The Onion” Revealed as a Fraud

Everybody likes The Onion. At least, that’s the impression I get from social media. Both my Facebook and Twitter feeds are populated by links to this incisive news source, which is to The New York Times what Comedy Central is to network news (although some might say the same for MSNBC and Fox News, but I digress). Want to look witty and informed without being either? The Onion is there for you.

Thus, it comes as something of a shock to discover that The Onion is a fraud. Really. And the folks at The Onion have only themselves to blame. Here’s the proof:

Onion One

Now, at first glance, you’ll see this, and shrug. Everyone who isn’t poking fun at Henry Louis “Skip” Gates is poking fun at Ben Affleck. This is called karma. You root for the Red Sox and the Patriots, you get the Bruins and this. So The Onion‘s simply jumping on a bandwagon.

But then there was this, immediately after:

Onion TwoIs Mark Lopez, “website curator,” also Geoff Hanson, unemployed? So it seems. Or is it that The Onion fabricates responses from pretend people to offer amusing commentary disguised as news?

Nor is this an isolated incident. No, this is standard practice for The Onion, as this piece demonstrates:

Onion Three

Of course Joseph Borg wants to dupe the system as Matt Pugliese. And I’m intrigued that Rosemary Woods (I always thought it was Rose Mary Woods) is now going by “Martha Laskin,” homemaker. Sure.

So why are people fooled by The Onion? Why do they post it as if it is real news? Wake up, people! Don’t you know better?

You tell me. Let the clicks begin.


19 thoughts on ““The Onion” Revealed as a Fraud

  1. Rosemary April 24, 2015 / 2:59 pm

    the site is a send up… needs a smart public to appreciate the sarcasm/satire – if one likes this kind of sometimes humor… not really my cup of tea.. confuses the already erratic state of journalism…

  2. rortensie April 24, 2015 / 3:55 pm

    I like the Onion just because of the nonsense they put up. I find it rather ironic those that see the feeds on Facebook from The Onion and believe them to be true, much like Duffel Blog (http://www.duffelblog.com/).

    As far as the individuals that they take the “so-called” polls from, these “individuals” are the same they have been using for quite some time.

    • Brooks D. Simpson April 24, 2015 / 4:31 pm

      And yet you allowed Americans to be deceived. Wow. Buy some books.

      • rortensie April 25, 2015 / 12:32 pm

        No, I do not allow it. The Onion has been around for quite a while as I remember reading it in print/magazine form before it went digital. However, and something that I stress to all my students, you have to be able to analyze the source you are reading and be able to tell if they are feeding you a line of bull. If someone cannot figure out The Onion is satire within a few minutes, then they deserve to be deceived and led on a rabbit trail showing their stupidity to be “deceived” by a humor/satire piece.

        And I will take your final sentence to heart after I get doing a review of a work that I have been struggling to get through.

        • Brooks D. Simpson April 25, 2015 / 12:58 pm

          The Onion was founded where I went to grad school a year before I earned my PhD.

          • rortensie April 25, 2015 / 4:54 pm

            No doubt from a few failing English majors?

  3. Connie Chastain April 24, 2015 / 4:46 pm

    The Onion is parody. It always has been. There are people who don’t know this?

    • Brooks D. Simpson April 25, 2015 / 10:00 pm

      Are you slow or are you dense? Or is the problem that you just got duped?

      I’ll leave it to you to make something up and put it on your blog.

  4. Brooks D. Simpson April 24, 2015 / 5:11 pm

    “Does Simpson really think parody (The Onion) is fraud? Really? The Onion is parody. It’s satire. It has always been parody/satire. Are there people who don’t know this? Probably. But you’d think a college professor would know better.”

    Gotcha, Connie Chastain. πŸ™‚

    But then she’s a parody of a Confederate heritage apologist. Right? πŸ™‚

    • Al Mackey April 24, 2015 / 8:35 pm

      Someone probably had to tell her the Onion was a satire site. She sure has a problem recognizing satire when it’s right in front of her. πŸ™‚

  5. Pat Young April 24, 2015 / 5:39 pm

    What percent of students fail ASU courses? !

    • Brooks D. Simpson April 24, 2015 / 7:32 pm

      Don’t know. There are interesting issues to be addressed with this proposal. We’ll see.

      • Mark H. April 27, 2015 / 8:20 am

        I see Division I hockey is following Brooks into the desert.

    • Jimmy Dick April 24, 2015 / 9:01 pm

      It won’t be going down under the ASU plan to use MOOCs for freshmen classes. I’ll put it this way. Educational experts are not involved in this process.

      • Rob Baker April 25, 2015 / 11:00 am

        As a public school teacher, I can tell you that the ‘educational experts’ involved in the decision making process, are hardly ever educational experts.

        • Jimmy Dick April 25, 2015 / 11:53 am

          I shall define educational experts as those who hold degrees in education. A problem there is who pays them and how are their interests aligned with other parties. This would be analogous to climate experts who deny climate change while being paid to do so by groups who oppose climate change.

          In the case of ASU and MOOCs it would be those who say MOOCs are great for freshmen students when the evidence overwhelmingly shows that MOOCs are failures when it comes to educating freshmen students.

      • rortensie April 25, 2015 / 12:34 pm

        I agree and one of the reasons why I am glad the “other” university I was teaching for has not sent me any more taskers. The courses were not designed by subject matter experts but designed to push students through the course without failing. We would not want to fail anyone because it would kill our excellent PR campaign……

  6. Tony May 12, 2015 / 5:51 am

    All I know is that the urban farmer chick is kinda hawt.

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