The Onion steps over the line

July 2, 2013
Satirical article about school shootings goes too far

This time they went too far…

No, I have not joined the ranks of ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, Congressman John Fleming, or the online version of China's Communist Party newspaper — my eyes are wide open and I’m no “victim” of satire.

Today, The Onion posted a story with the headline: 16-Year-Old Excited To Have Whole Summer To Plan Shooting For Next School Year”.

You didn’t misread that…apparently The Onion believes that six months is enough time to let the nation heal from the massive wound opened by the Sandy Hook massacre. I don’t.

This time The Onion just went too far — and it’s not the first time. Back in February of this year, the official “Onion” twitter account posted a tweet that used a disgusting, unrepeatable word to describe 9-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis, the star of the acclaimed film “Beasts of the Southern Wild” during the Oscars. Within an hour of publication, the tweet was removed and Onion CEO Steve Hannah issued a written apology.

Mr. Hannah, it is time for another one.

That massive Onion misstep during the Oscars didn’t even involve the prospect of dead children — this one does, and it goes well beyond the offensive headline. The article includes quotes like this: “When class is in session, there’s way too much homework and studying for me to spend on outside projects, like sketching out a route from the parking lot to the cafeteria in order to maximize the body count.”

And this: “Vucinich was enjoying a glass of fresh squeezed lemonade while fantasizing about leaving homemade explosives in the trash cans by the gymnasium, the teacher’s lounge, and the library.”

This is satire? Don’t get me wrong, most of what The Onion publishes is funny and in good humor — joking about ways to maximize body counts in our already threatened schools obviously isn’t. It’s sick and touches a nerve with so many of us—from those tasked with protecting the students to those who have faced the inexplicable grief of losing a child to one of these incidents.

Mr. Hannah: Your product has once again gone too far. Of the nearly 400 Facebook comments left on this article by the time I published this blog post, just about every one says something to the effect that “most of your stuff is hilarious…I can't laugh at this.”

Take this article down…now. And a written apology wouldn’t hurt either.

Sponsored Recommendations

Shutdown averted as Biden signs seven-week spending bill

President Joe Biden signed a short-term spending bill to avert a partial government shutdown starting Sunday after a dramatic turn of events Saturday that saw the House quickly...

Knightscope receives two more K5 expansion contracts for casinos

These two new ASRs bring the total robots under contract to 5, which include deployments in Las Vegas, Nevada; Council Bluffs, Iowa; and Aurora, Illinois.

ISACA adds new credentialing pathway as part of its new CMMI model upgrade

Successfully completing this course also opens the gateway to advanced CMMI training, equipping professionals with the prerequisites required for more specialized courses in the...

Barrier1 features expanded portfolio of crash rated, storefront safety bollards at NACS 2023

On display and available for demonstration at Barrier1 booth# B5205 is the Tomcat S10 Storefront Bollard, a crash-rated bollard designed to stop a 5,000lb vehicle traveling at...