Fake news writers of The Onion come to campus

Sarah Haas

The faces behind The Onion will be unmasked Thursday.

Two writers from The Onion will provide a glimpse inside of America’s most widely read parody tabloid in a lecture: “The Onion and the World of Fake News.”

Writers Chad Nackers and John Harris will speak at 8 p.m. in the Great Hall of the Memorial Union to discuss how the publication covers the news.

Founded in 1988 by a group of college students at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, The Onion provides commentary on real and imaginary current events. Headlines from the online version have recently included “Juicer Infomercial Sweeps Early Morning Emmys” and “Bush Lets War Widow Punch His Arm Once.”

The Onion has a circulation of 630,000 and a Web site viewed more than 35 million times every month, according to its Web site. The Onion News Network videos and Onion Radio News provide other forms of media that are equally satirical.

Mukund Premkumar, junior in genetics, said he reads The Onion every day because he finds it hilarious. “In its style of extreme satire there’s a good degree of truth,” Premkumar said.

He said The Onion provides a social commentary that can force people to reevaluate their own beliefs. “Most of the articles are funny, but my favorite articles are the ones that are just actually true. For example, ‘Nation’s Poor Win Election for Nation’s Rich.’ I like that because it’s actually true and it’s an example of how real life can be as funny as ridiculous satire,” he said.

The lecture is part of the National Affairs series “How Will America Change?” which is cosponsored by the National Affairs Committee and the Committee on Lectures.