I'm a comedy writer. I get dark comedy. There's certainly a way to write a biting, sarcastic piece about a monster who locked up three teenagers in separate rooms and sexually assaulted them for ten years. And there's a way to do it without using the actual victims as the mouthpiece.
While there's undoubtedly magic in The Onion's satirical take on the press, there's no unicorn dust in their social media success. They follow a sound, logical approach to modern marketing: great content, clear objectives and a thorough understanding of their social media channels.
Every weapon has a recoil: when used, it kicks back at the one who used it. Among the reasons that Dr. King was a great man was that he knew how to choose his weapon.
Less news = smaller audience = less profit.
Have you ever touched a hot stove? Did you do it on purpose? Probably not. Did you get burned anyway? I bet you did. Then you know first-hand that intent is irrelevant to impact.
The Onion arguably took the fall for our national misogyny. Maybe they really are the satire we need, rather than the kind we think want.
I remain convinced that white Americans -- not all, but many -- cannot see black children for who and how they are.
Seth MacFarlane's Oscars performance failed less because of racism, sexism, and homophobia than because he forgot what satire is and how it works. The satiric genius of late-night icons like Johnny Carson and beloved fictional curmudgeons like Archie Bunker has been lost in a sea of mindless snark.
Quvenzhané Wallis is a lot of things. She is smart. She is sassy. She is talented. She is beautiful. And she is a child.
We don't use swear words around the kids. Thank god the kids don't know the "c" word. It is synonymous with other c-words like crass and classless and was used by The Onion on Twitter to describe 9- year-old Oscar nominee Quvenzhané Wallis.
The Onion's joke only works because Quvenzhané Wallis is 100 percent blameless; she is the embodiment of innocence. She's the very last person you'd ever call that, and that's what powers the joke.
The ones who were less outraged -- and, in some cases, thought the tweet funny -- became driven to not only defend The Onion and the general thesis of satire and parody , but to turn tables to attack, sometimes quite viciously, those who were offended by it.
Almost as surprising as The Onion tweet? The fact that the leading media columnist in America apparently doesn't understand how privilege works.
Can you imagine a reporter not bothering to learn the name of a world leader because it makes demands on her articulation? Yet some want to call Quvenzhané uppity for insisting on the dignity of her own name.
Our words are our witness, and whether they are camera-ready or not doesn't matter. But how they change the world for the worse will... and for longer than it takes to say them.
When I read this book I was struck by a feeling that was at once relieved, but then clouded by a greater fear for the American character.