The satirical newspaper The Onion is celebrating what it says is its 1,000th issue — recordkeeping is "not a big virtue at The Onion," says associate editor Will Tracy, as quoted by NPR — by launching a very public push to win its fake journalism a Pulitzer Prize. The Onion has gotten video testimonials on its behalf from the likes of Tom Hanks, Arianna Huffington, and Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. And a made-up "nonprofit watchdog group" called Americans for Fairness in Awarding Journalism Prizes has prepared a form letter for "concerned citizens" to send "to the pieces of garbage" on the Pulitzer board. But, seriously, does The Onion really deserve the top honor in American journalism? (Watch Tom Hanks' endorsement.)
Give The Onion a Pulitzer: This campaign may be "heavily laced with humor," but Onion editors have "a damned good point," says Chris Weigant at The Huffington Post. "Satire and humor are important." Onion stories published after 9/11 (with headlines like "God Angrily Clarifies 'Don't Kill' Rule" and "Bush Sr. Apologizes To Son For Funding Bin Laden In '80s") had "potency" at a crucial time. There's category for "Editorial Cartooning," so there should be one covering the stories The Onion publishes, too.
"Why not give The Onion a Pulitzer"
At least The Onion is reliable: Even in serious newspapers, "it's not so easy to know what's real and what's fake" these days, says Kristina C. at Care2. Remember the reports from major news outlets ("Pulitzer Prize-winning ones, too") about the abduction of a Syrian lesbian blogger, who turned out to be a married American man? At least with The Onion, you know you're "getting news with the same sting and zing as when the juice of a certain bulbous vegetable gets in your eye."
"A Pulitzer for The Onion: No kidding!"
The Onion needs to enter before it can win: There's "no mysterious cabal" — as Tom Hanks jokingly suggested — behind The Onion's failure to score a Pulitzer, says prize administrator Sig Gissler, as quoted by The Washington Post. The newspaper must "submit something in order to win." Though The Onion has submitted its work 10 times in the past, it didn't nominate anything last year. But hey, if the The Onion wants to make the Pulitzers its comedic punching bag, we're happy to help "provide some comic relief in a grim world."
"Sig Gissler to Tom Hanks and The Onion: there is no 'mysterious cabal'"