The Onion, the satirical news website par excellence, whose writers are the undisputed high-watermark of satirical literary output, is to make changes to become more like one of its rivals, TheSpoof.com.
The Onion has been producing highly-crafted material in a journalistic style that is both informative and amusing since 1988, first as a weekly print publication, then, from 1996, online. In 2007, the organization began publishing satirical news audio and video online, as the Onion News Network.
"Its articles cover current events, both real and fictional, satirizing the tone and format of traditional news organizations with stories, editorials, op-ed pieces, and man-in-the-street interviews using a traditional news website layout and an editorial voice modeled after that of the Associated Press. The publication’s humor often depends on presenting mundane, everyday events as newsworthy, surreal, or alarming. In 1999, comedian Bob Odenkirk praised the publication claiming it was the best comedy writing in the country, and had been since it had started." (Wikipedia)
Things change, however. Insiders at The Onion have said that editor Chad Nackers is keen to push the company to the limits of its bestness, and he's been looking around at other sites. One insider told me:
"Chad's ambitious. He knows we're good, but that we could be better. We've been writing this stuff for so long, but some of the other sites are different - take, for example, The Spoof. The writers there have a different style. They write in a way that makes you think they've never done this kind of thing before. Real stream-of-consciousness with an edge, the edge where immaturity and insanity meet head-on, crash and burn like two Greyhounds on the Freeway, roll over-and-over, then topple through the safety barrier and down the mountainside, and everyone dies! It's disorienting, and very clever!"
"Yeah, Chad's really into those Spoof guys! The freedom they have to write what they like is what makes them what they are. And I mean, the freedom to make as many grammatical and spelling mistakes within their stories as they like; the freedom to write their stories as if a child of five has written them, with curious 'asides', as if the writer is speaking directly to the reader and giving his opinion; the freedom to write a piece of garbage so meaningless and unfunny, it 'spoofs' spoofing. It takes a true literary genius to produce a piece of writing that looks as if it has been cobbled together by a jabbering, pissed-up maniac on acid whose first language is something other than English. Truly brilliant, man!"
Meanwhile, the editor of TheSpoof.com, Mark Lowton, was unimpressed by the news, and laughed:
"We'd thought we might try becoming a bit more like The Onion!"