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Of stinky plants on the Net…

Web site review- It touts itself as ‘America’s Finest News Source.’ Its editorial staff recently made the move from Madison, Wisc., to New York City. And it has vowed to never, ever, run a story that even vaugely resembles the truth.

It’s the Onion, a satirical weekly publication, with an on-line presence at http://www.theonion.com. The website is a slick production that provides a fair representation of the hard copy. In fact, in some cases, the on-line version even surpasses the paper version, because crisp and clear digital photos and graphics beat out smudgy newspaper ink. Additionally, the website doesn’t force you to wade through the advertising sludge that seems to run in all such ‘alternative’ newspapers.

The Onion is not particularly witty or clever. ‘Stupid’ comes a little closer to the mark. But the thing is, if you happen to find stupid to be amusing, then the Onion is laugh-out-loud, snort-coffee-out-your-nose funny.



The articles range from fake news stories (General Motors markets new disposable car) to mundane incidents of daily life reported as if they were newsworthy events (Office worker decorates cubicle.) All are presented in such a straight-forward and newsy manner, that it is hard to believe that something in there isn’t real. (When they transferred to NYC, one of the writers wanted to throw a true news story into the Onion, just to keep readers guessing. The idea was shot down by the editor.)

The site is worth at least one visit. You’ll either laugh at its stupidity, and bookmark it, or you’ll been insulted by its stupidity, and never click there again. But either way, you’ll probably find that the essence of the website is fairly-well summed up in the statement of an unnamed writer for the publication; “I will not be silenced simply because I have no idea what I’m talking about.”


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