TV News Driven By “Mentally Ill Martinets”

Virginia Heffernan profiles the
Onion News Network, “a video series produced by the Onion fake-news empire:”

The false news stories manage to seem plausible in a dangerous, “War of the Worlds” way, coming across as only slightly distorted versions of the clich├ęs that appear all day on CNN and Fox News.

(Samples: “Delicious Snacks Distract Congressmen From Horrors of War” and “Suspicious Package Industry Falls on Hard Times.”)


ONN’s producer, Will Graham, has said he wanted The Onion’s first video foray to be “sinister.” And indeed it is, painting TV news as driven less by bimbos than by mentally ill martinets.

Speaking of The Onion, Kevin Drum smells something Onion-y about Bill Kristol’s New York Times column today (“That’s right: Kristol wrote an entire column comparing pro forma Passover press releases from the three presidential campaigns. Apparently he’s trying to put the Onion out of business.)

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.