Courtesy of Rachael Sanguinetti / A&E Editor

Seth Reiss and Cole Bolton, head writer and features editor at The Onion, respectively, graced UR with their presence this past Thursday.

Ready for action in tortoise-shell glasses and flannel button-downs, Reiss and Bolton began by expressing their overwhelming appreciation for the immense crowd that had gathered for them, about a quarter of the seats in Strong Auditorium.

Next, they flipped through last week’s issue of the Campus Times and remarked on its lack of “journalistic integrity.”

The two then proceeded to educate the audience about the history of The Onion.

“The history of The Onion,” Reiss said with pride, “is the history of America itself.”

Apparently, America’s finest news source has been there for every one of the nation’s most dramatic historical events and continues to be the only paper to have printed “the facts.” Who knew Herman Melville was, in fact, a writer for The Onion, or that the first words spoken on the surface of the moon were actually, “Oh my fuck, I can’t believe we are on the fucking moon”?

Unfortunately, journalism is not always a laughing matter. Scathing criticism from readers has been a part of The Onion’s history as well. Reiss and Bolton shared some examples.

One reader was particularly offended by the story reporting a “puppy bowl spinal cord injury.

“This can happen,” she commented, citing her own Dachshund’s troubled past.

Another such instance occurred when the duo suggested that Ashley Olsen was jealous of her sister, Mary-Kate.

“Ashley is just as pretty and acts the same,” someone wrote. “I may only be 14, but I know what I’m talking about.”

When asked about the inspiration for their headlines, Reiss explained that The Onion only parodies the naiveté of humanity.

“People are just big idiots,” Reese said.

Perhaps this is what makes The Onion so special.

If one is interested in becoming a writer for The Onion, persistence is key. When asked about his beginnings, Bolton explained how he kept emailing headlines to his college paper until they finally let him contribute.

An important thing to note about The Onion is that, despite its reputation as America’s finest news source, it is also completely false, satiric, and offensive in so many ways. One might wonder, “Where do they draw the line?”

In fact, this very question was asked by an audience member Thursday.

According to Reiss and Bolton, as long as it’s from the right angle, anything can be funny.

McAdams is a member of the class of 2017.



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