The Onion is in the midst of the biggest upheaval in the newspaper’s 24-year history. This week, its editorial team in New York City begins the first phase of its move to Chicago, as staffers clean out their desks, put the writer’s room table up for sale on Craigslist, and move to a temporary office a few blocks away in preparation for the final move to the Windy City that’s slated for July. But as it stands, the beloved publication will lose the bulk of its comedy talent in the process. […]
But ever since the closing of the New York office was announced in September, the editorial staff of America’s funniest fake newspaper has been mounting a stiff resistance, using both the paper’s pages and even some behind-the-scenes dealmaking to find a new owner that would let them stay in Manhattan. And the surviving editorial team is preparing to do without the holdouts. “Losing those guys is tough,” head writer Seth Riess said. “Everyone who works at The Onion brings their own unique voice. But we do have the personnel to continue doing great stuff. I would not be going if I didn’t believe that.”
The holdouts are less confident that the editorial magic will survive the turnover of two-thirds of the staff. “Nothing against Chicago. I think it’s a great town. But we’re here in the center of everything and it’s still a challenge to find good people,” said one of the refuseniks, who worried that without “that core group … you don’t have anyone to carry the torch.”
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Meet Rep. John Fleming, the unfortunate Republican congressman from Louisiana who made that wonderful and all-too-common mistake of thinking that an Onion article was real and telling his Facebook followers to read it. Fleming’s Facebook status, from Friday, was posted by Literally Unbelievable, a Tumblr that collects images of Facebookers who think Onion satires are the real deal and post them on their walls.
What’s doubly sad about this posting (obviously deleted now) is that The Onion article shared, “Planned Parenthood Opens $8 Billion Abortionplex,” is from May 2011 and is something of a viral classic, even inspiring some users of Yelp to “review” the facility described. So not only did Rep. Fleming (who calls abortion a “pernicious evil”) or at least one of his staffers believe Kansas now has an abortion clinic with “coffee shops, bars, dozens of restaurants and retail outlets, a three-story nightclub, and a 10-screen multiplex theater,” but it’s not even recent fake news. Read more.