Madison, WI — At least 42 reporters and two editors for The Onion committed suicide due to poor working conditions over the past two months. Persistent rumors swirled of a “sweatshop-like” environment at the sometimes satirical publication, leading employees to throw themselves off the roof.
The Onion initially attempted to cover up the deaths, citing the disappearance of some of its critical writers as “a mystery” and “just plain weird” however, a month-long investigation by the Madison police department revealed that many of the suicides were due to “a lack of new hooks” and more disturbingly, a new obsession over IBM and their participation in the Holocaust.
Critics Weigh In
“They say good artists borrow and great artists steal,” said Professor James Badwater of the University of Chicago’s Badwater Institute for Public Policy and Critical Theory, “however, in this case, The Onion has plain run out of ideas. They’re forcing their staff to produce under increasingly stressful deadlines. And some, frankly, decided to go ‘Foxconn‘ and end their lives presumably out of shame and general discomfort.”
According to Professor Badwater, the aging publication has been on a downward trajectory ever since “Jon Stewart gutted the joint” back in 2000. Since then, they’ve made less sense and have reverted to simply stealing other people’s ideas and writing articles about former Vice President Joe Biden’s Camaro.
“I would say it’s sad,” continued Professor Badwater, “but it’s just a train wreck. Much like the later days of Elvis’ career. Except there is no Las Vegas comeback; there’s not even a literary fat belly to impersonate. On top of that, The Onion’s inability to capture Pence’s essence led to the suicide of one of its managing editors. One staff writer thought it was some joke and followed suit. It certainly had a very ‘Japanese’ feel to it.”
Police reports tell a macabre story.
Starting in late 2016, the publication, much like many others of the genre, found itself in what is now being called The Great Satirical Crisis, whereby the real news bypassed satirical news. Many people blame Donald Trump. Still, others blame Jon Stewart, and a statistically significant number of Americans oddly blame Keebler Fudge Striped Cookies. Whatever the cause, The Onion resorted to pushing its staff harder.
“They attempted to build netting around the building late this summer to catch ‘onion jumpers,’ as their HR department called them,” said Madison Police Chief Jeff Silverson. “But they found that ironic and took it down after a month. They also attempted to boost morale with assorted cheeses in the break room, but that had little impact. It’s just sad that they’ve come to this.”
It’s unclear what steps The Onion can take to prevent further tragedies. However, community leaders in and around Madison demand action and legible satire.