Today, The Onion published (what they think is) its thousandth issue, and the editorial board of self-described “America’s Finest News Source” is demanding recognition of its excellence.
Simple accolades, however, will not suffice for the makers of The Onion. A Pulitzer Prize is the only acceptable acknowledgement of a news source that published such political headlines as “Black Man Given Nation’s Worst Job.” Editors at the satirical periodical have routinely submitted applications for Pulitzer prizes, but this time they are outright demanding the award.
“Here [in The Onion] are stories hewn from the very living bedrock of journalism, carved into perfect inverted pyra-mids by editorial masons, and held together with the honeyed mortar of earnest-ness and popular sentiment,” the fictional Onion Publisher Emeritus T. Herman Zweibel wrote in a June 19 editorial. “If these are not worthy of Pulitzer’s jumped-up, scrap-heap medallion, then I do not know what is.”
The Onion is not demanding any specific Pulitzer, but will take the award in any category it can win.
(LIST: 140 Best Twitter Feeds)
In addition to The Onion‘s internal push for the award, Americans for Fairness in Awarding Journalism Prizes has launched a multimedia campaign to reverse the Pulitzer committee’s pattern by which The Onion has been “unfairly and sinfully robbed,” according to a statement on their website.
This push for the prize sports some surprisingly famous supporters including Arianna Huffington and famed chef Mario Batali in YouTube videos. The New York Times reported that Gayle King, Oprah Winfrey’s best friend and radio host, and the president of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, have also both contributed supportive videos for The Onion.
AFAJP is requesting that “concerned Americans” sign a petition that will be sent directly to the Pulitzer office at Columbia University.
In summarizing the prize committee’s failure to thus far award The Onion with a Pultizer, the petition postulates that “one can only assume that the members of the Pulitzer Board are either flagrantly in bed with the fat cats of Big Journalism, legally blind, hopelessly stupid, or some astoundingly irresponsible combination of all three.”
Seth Reiss, The Onion’s head writer, told the New York Times that his paper is spending “a lot of capital” on the campaign, but the editorial published on the topic claims that it is wholly motivated by revenge.
“As an affront to [Joseph Pulitzer’s] hatred of everything I stand for, I can think of no better revenge than for The Onion to receive the prize that bears his name,” Zweibel wrote.
(PHOTOS: Behind the Scenes at Funny or Die)