@My Number Is My Address Did you read what I wrote? I have no idea who wrote it, but Scott Dikkers—the founding editor of the publication & main creative force—is now VP of the publication & is publicly defending the joke. He is from Madison. He knows what the Onion “voice” is. There are other people from Madison who are still on the masthead despite the sturm und drang of the supposed “soul” of the paper leaving when the NYC offices were closed.
@I Was There Ha, ha! “I was there!” So was I! I was there as well. Four Star Video Heaven! Dotty Dumpling’s Dowry! The “Shirt Stop” on State Street in Madison selling tons of Jim’s Journal stuff while giving out free onions (the vegetable) with each purchase.
But back on topic.
My apologies for thinking that Baratunde is gay. I will now state it clearly: I am sorry to have thought that guy was gay. MEA CULPA! Now, name one other African American or non-white employee “The Onion” ever had.
Now if you don’t mind me I’m going to walk across the street to the “State Street Arcade.” Dildos don’t sell themselves!
@Jocelyn Plums@twitter “Comedians like Lenny Bruce suffered immensely for the free speech rights we now take for granted.” Whenever I think about my freedom as a white man, I think of Lenny Bruce. Us white guys had it so hard back in the day.
@Miranda K@twitter Say it out loud & think of each word as a letter of another word being spelled out phonetically. Yahtzee!
@My Number Is My Address “Two different organizations…” Hahaha! You really have no idea what you are talking about right? Many of the veteran writers who were from Madison & moved to NYC refused to move to Chicago. Many of the newer writers from NYC who were trained by the veteran writers are in Chicago doing this work right now. Writers who are still in NYC may not be on staff, but many are still writing on a freelance basis from NYC. So that whole narrative of “The Onion losing it’s soul.” with the Chicago move is horesfeathers.
Also, Scott Dikkers—founding editor & now a VP of something at the company—has been there on and off for 25+ years & has basically non-apologized for this whole fiasco if you watch his interview made just yesterday.
So claiming that “the new guys” screwed this up is ridiculous. Maybe the pressure of a daily deadline—instead of a weekly update—is what tripped them up this time. But the Twitter joke is badly executed & is receiving the derision it deserves.
Also here is Onion CEO Steve Hannah talking about how they are expanding into social media more & more. Boy oh boy are they ever!
@jfruh Hmmm. I dunno. My bad if I am wrong. But remove all my potentially gay references from my comment & he's still the first—and only—African American on staff in the publication's 25+ year history. Unless they found a new guy. The Onion is basically a staff of pudgy white male malcontents. Of course insulting a 9 year old African American girl for an incompetently executed joke would not fall on their radar.
Which basically is me saying: 25+ years of satire experience does not equate to this sheer stupidity of this tweet. It’s something you’d expect from someone who has no clue how to form a joke.
Choire, your assessment is pretty spot on. But you miss another issue: When the Onion uprooted from New York & consolidated operations in Chicago the only African American who has ever been on staff in any capacity in the publication’s 25+ years of existence: Baratunde Thurston
And not only was he the only African American on staff, he was also openly gay. And now he’s gone. And now he has weighed in on the Onion Twitter fiasco:
“on @theonion tweet: extremely high risk move; missed target by WIDE margin; unnecessary; feel bad for Wallis; glad they removed. #bad”
Really mull on that: The only black gay guy on staff agrees the tweet was bad. In contrast piles of male, white comedy writers—including ex-Onion staffers—are simply saying, “Get over it.”
This article is fantastic. And one of the best summaries of not only who Jean Shepherd was, but of how awesome that “I, Libertine” hoax was. I pass by 95 7th Avenue South—former home of the Limelight art gallery, coffee house, restaurant & bar—nowadays where Jean Shepherd once did live shows from & genuinely get wistful & wish I could go back to that time. The place is now “Jekyll & Hyde”… Nuff said!
Thank goodness! I can now finally get all of the album cover art downloaded from iTunes to match the legally created MP3s I have made from all of the AC/DC albums I legally own!