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The Media

The Onion to buy the New York Times 79

According to an UpsideToday article, everyone's favorite "free registration required" news source is to be acquired by the online satirical paper The Onion. It's a clever little piece about all the mergers floating around these days.
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The Onion to buy the New York Times

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  • I agree. I thought the story was badly written.

    The Onion doesn't have any stock & it's not an Internet start-up. It has existed in Madison since before 1993. You can get it in print in Colorado, Illinois, and Milwaukee now.
  • The Onion is not a web-based paper. It's a regular paper made out of...paper! I have a few sitting on my floor right now. They just happen to have a website. Somebody give this man a clue, please.

    Mankind has always dreamed of destroying the sun.

  • I think you mean " Clinton deploys vowels to Bosnia [theonion.com]". That's the article that apparently [wired.com] convinced the editor-in-chief to set up a web presence.
  • The "What Do You Think" gag is still there: WDYT: Too Sexy Too Soon? [theonion.com] (this week's)

    And yes, there is a Systems Analyist in the group.
  • Next you'll be proposing something ridiculous
    like AOL buying a TV network such as WB or something!
  • Last time I punched a monkey, they threw me out of the zoo.

    Hippies.
  • As with most articles about large mergers, the article completely glosses over what will happen to the rank and file workers of the merged company. Hopefully, any manager who authorizes layoffs will be sent to Hell's Circle of Total Bastards [theonion.com]. In particular, I hope that The Onion's chaplain keeps his job [see Local Lutheran Minister Loves To Fuck His Wife [theonion.com]].
  • Maybe you ought to actually READ my post before you reply. I was just writing a little satire myself, with the express purpose of linking to several of my favorite Onion articles. Thanks for continuing the SlashDot tradition of [over]reacting seriously to humorous posts.

    By the way, I'd like to see any data that would substantiate your claim that the Time Warner - AOL deal will somehow benefit me.

  • Yes. The paper-version is free in Dane and Milwaukee counties in Wisconsin. I think it's free in Boulder, CO also, where it is also published.

    Otherwise you'll have to pay.
  • It's time to inject some journalistic integrity into the New York Times. And maybe they'll rid of the registration, too.
  • Last time I looked, I found a dead-tree version of The Onion for sale at my local Borders.

    It's fun to leave laying on your desk, or off in a break room at work. (once you are done with it.)

  • For sale? Here in Madison, WI, it is free.
  • In the Twin Cities, there's the Citizen Harold, made by a guy who(I think) turned down an offer to write for the Onion. It's simply not as funny nor original as the Onion. Oh well. Hopefuly the first thing the onion will do is get rid of the damned registration. I know ONE Onion employee reads slashdot. I'm surprised Slashdot hasn't been the butt of some Onion articles, yet suck.com's parody was dead on (article found with "red" and "hat" in the title)
  • I actually subscribe to the tree-killing version, believe it or not.

    --GnrcMan--
  • Actually, the "Super Monkey Collider Loses Funding" article *did* appear in the online version. I very vividly recall reading it at a friend's house at about 4am, and literally falling out of my chair laughing about it.

    paraphrase:
    Though the Monkey Colliding tunnel was nearly complete, the scientists involved hadn't yet decided how to get the monkeys to the near-light speeds required to collide them.
    "One idea was to project a floating holographic banana into the tunnel, becuase monkeys love bananas, and are willing to run extremely fast to get them."

    -Reverend MoonSammy
  • I remember, at the beginning of last year, a freshmen at cmu, I mentioned something about the onion and this guy (from boston) was like "the onion rocks." I was completly surprised that he had even heard of it. Being from Milwaukee myself, they have been avalible on every street corner for free for years. I knew it was madtown based, and I heard they were also distributed in denver, or some place in colorado anyways, but I had no idea there was such a big national following.

    My mom sends me hardcopies every so often, I do prefer them, I want to keep my stack (about 3ft high) growing.

  • They changed the pictures, I preferred the old ones. I figured they did it cause the old ones were B&W, and its free to use color on the web.

    There are articles missing from the archives online, I wish they'd put the old articles on. I like "Ask Sir Mix-A-Lot" or the point couter-point "My people were slaves on our own land" some Native American vs. "Packers Rule!" local packerbacker.

    Also, the article on the Death-lotto was a piece, GM's neckbelt recall, the funny monkey testing, the acronym association article (where every acronym was obscene)...

  • Yeah, and some of their articles have been repeats from way back. It seems like whoever's in charge is still on holiday...
  • Does this mean that all the stories for NYT will soon become a joke?! Instead of a headline like "Woman Doomed To Years Of Hippo-Themed Gifts
    " and "Phish Collapses Onstage"? This is some goofy news.
  • You're right, there SHOULD be a foot icon there.
    Someone please tell me that CmdrTaco didn't actually <i>believe</i> the article, and missed the word "Satire" in bright blue letters right under the title? Or maybe he just posted about the URL without actually going and reading it for himself?

    Nah, he probably just picked the wrong icon.

  • How did this guy miss the two other news stories available in the side bar:

    Windows For All: Everyone deserves good software
    http://www.upside.com/texis/mvm/upshot?id=38adb7 e20

    and...Dell Back on Bill's Team: Win2k will erode Unix, CEO says
    http://www.upside.com/texis/mvm/upshot?id=38a9ee dd0
  • C'mon guys!?!? I'm disappointed that almost everybody here needs to be told that this is a satire... it's not real, it's a lame attempt at comedy.

    Multiplayer Strategy [toronto.edu]
  • The truly funny thing is that the Zweibel pieces and the Herbert Kornfield (my favorite), among others, are written by this innocent looking woman...
  • it's distributed for free at many college campuses :) -knowfear
  • I thought one of the recent infographics was absolutely hillarious...
  • I haven't looked at all the posts, so this might have been mentioned.

    Heres something a lot of people might not know: The Onion is not just an online newspaper. It actualy started about 100 years ago in my hometown of Madison, WI. They print out of the UW-Madison campus. I've got about four years worth of back issues under my bed (altough I'm missing a bunch).

    I always laugh when people on IRC tell me they just found out about The Onion website and say I ought to check it out. hehe.


    ----------

  • It's not unusual these days, another cat.com eating an old tiger.

    I find all this really impressive, and crazy.

    Here where I live, we have an internet company that recently issued an IPO, after multiplying by more than 6 its share prices now is the second company in the country's markets. It's value is over the capitalization of all the electric power suppliers companies.

    Very interesting if you take into account that one day without that Internet company is only a little trouble while one day without power supply is a total catastrophe.

  • The infographs, WDYT, and the STATshot have always been the most humerous part of the newspaper. Probably my favorite quote from the WDYT was two weeks ago in response to the South Carolina confederate flag issue.

    "As a Southerner, I simply want to display the Confederate flag as an important symbol of my heritage and history. My hatred of niggers has nothing to do with it."
  • ...it still doesn't compare to the Great Bosnian Vowel Airlift. (If you don't know, buy the Second Best of Car Talk CD to hear a reading.)
  • I've been told the Gardener Group was gonna buy The Onion to spice up Jane Fonda's sexlife.
  • The State of Alabama banned dildies a year ago. They should have banned onions!
  • People still don't pay much attention to internet companies. They still see them as started and run by the stereotypical long haired geek from the left coast (Berkeley, SV, etc.) wearing the Bob Markey T-shirt, Birkenstocks, and carrying his reusuable "eco friendly" plastic mug with him everywhere.

    The thing is, these geeks' companies are accruing fantastic value. The stocks value just seems to get pushed higher up on its own hype. This would normally be an unstable event. But, once wealthy, they buy the NYT, or AOL merges with Time/Warner, etc. Now if their E-company dies, they have a stable business to fall back on. Amazon.com still has acquired no such safety net (which they should have done by buyine some brick and mortar chain store) and may soon begin to plummet. The geeks are quietly taking over huge sectors of traditional business. And the pundits, now finding that Steve Case is their boss are left reeling from the turn of events. This is all somewhat of a silent revolution of the geeks.

  • Friends of mine had subscriptions to the dead-tree edition of The Onion back before they discovered the internet. Great newspaper :-)

    You can still get print subscriptions here [theonion.com]. Definately worth the $50/year.

    ----
  • ok, you know it's a bizzare statement about e-companies and hyper inflated valuations, when upon reading this, for upwards of 10-20 secodns, i actually thought to myself... wow... that's crazy, what's the onion going to do with the times? in my mind i envisioned the onion IPO, that i hadn't heard about, them having 400 million dollars in capital to throw around, and just for the hell of it, one of them saying: "hey! let's get the times..."

    wow... 11:28 a.m. and i am already reching for some guiness... it's going to be a long weekend.
  • In a decision reached early this morning, the editors of The Onion have decided to buy the New York Times.

    "We were at Starbucks standing in line for donuts and coffee, and there was some discussion of sitting around afterward. At this impromptu meeting the decision was made," said one of the editors.

    Stock observers were skeptical that the Onion management team could effectively improve the situation at the Times. "They really don't have any managerial authority with this purchase. They basically paid about a dollar for one copy. They may think that gives them editorial control, but I'm sure they'll be quite surprised when they come to the Big Apple and start trying to fire people," said one analyst, who declined to be identified.

    But the Onion editors believe there is unique synergy between the two media properties. "By bringing the quality journalism of the New York Times under our wing, we gain access to the stories of the day, some editorial content, even a world-renowned crossword puzzle," said Onion chief editor Dikkers when questioned. He continued to vigorously defend the purchase, saying, "These will be invaluable to our branding dialogue, even if we get powdered sugar on some of the pages."

    Independent observers cautioned that this might prove to be a financial minefield. "They may not get the full dollar-twenty-five worth of the paper. They may as well have spent half as much and bought a Wisconsin State Journal instead," suggested Vera Mateja, a woman sitting in the corner sipping a frothy cappuccino.

    "Really, look at them just talking, not even reading it," said Mark McCown, a local sanitation consultant standing in line waiting for the barista to prepare his grande latte. "Buying a newspaper like the New York Times is a momentous undertaking. If you're just going to skim the headlines, I guarantee you won't get your money's worth." Mr. McCown then returned his latte, which he had ordered with whipped cream on top.

    Dikkers remained adamant that the newspaper would continue to be managed as it always had been. "We're not interfering purchasers. We know the value of this property and we believe in time that we'll develop the synergy we need. The one certainty we have is that our Onion satires will have improved verisimilitude for our readership, which is the main concern we had in making this purchase."

    As for Onion readers, they seem nonchalant. "It's still the same Onion," said Raj Suharda, who was picking up a copy from the Starbucks lobby without buying coffee. "I don't care if they model it on the New York Times or the Beloit Daily News."
    ----
  • I'm a UW-Madison alum, and remember when the Onion was just in paper form, and not even in color. I suppose I shouldn't be too critical, as it's just a joke article.

    Although I believe that the majority of The Onion's readers are now (probably thanks to Slashdot) via the web. I'm not sure if this qualifies it as "web-based", as that guy stated in his opening paragraph.

    Just a little rant.
  • Has anyone else noticed that the last 10 weeks or so have been pretty poor?

    Actually, i thought last week's (week of February 9), was pretty damn funny. The Oxygen Network Infographic("Does This Top Go With This Show?"), "Why do all these Homosexuals..." and the "Valentine's Day Kids Page" were inspired humor, IMHO
  • Looking at the wide range of price/earning ratios and the crazy market caps of the new Internet companies, this doesn't really seem as outlandish as the author intended. ;)

    Sun's market cap is almost 80% of IBM's as of yesterday and Red Hat probably could buy SCO, sell off the IP and physical assets and come out ahead just on their customer list and name!

    I think I better whip up something soon for an IPO before the magic goes away...

  • informative? i can just see some moderator who's never read the onion going "gee, that seems like an important point. i wonder how they let that slip by".

    (in case anyone missed the joke, the supposably fictional Zweibel writes a column as the editor of the onion--just follow the link. hence, the only appropriate moderation would have been 'funny')

    cheers,

    sh_
  • Let me just assure all of you that when the Onion Media Empire eventually expands to absorb VA Linux/Andover/Slashdot and Mr. Taco and his associates are positively swimming in the lucre of multi-merger mania, we will insist -- nay, demand! -- that they uphold the same strict standards of journalistic integrity, impartiality and morality that have guided the operations of Slashdot to this very day.

    -A.

    ---
  • "Why do all these Homosexuals..." and the "Valentine's Day Kids Page" were inspired humor

    Unfortunately these 2 articles were reruns.
  • It's nice to see changes happening that will finally improve the journalistic integrity of the New York Times! ;-)
  • The New York Times, like almost all mainstream media outlets, has a serious credibility problem. It has been shown time and time again that the mainstream media are tainted by the following:
    • Bias away from personal freedom/responsibility, and towards government regulation of private activities,
    • Bias towards big businesses who provide advertising money, which is necessary for the survival of newspapers.
    The NYT/Onion merger would ultimately result in the well-deserved destruction of the NYT, but at least it would become a credible source of news and insightful commentary before its death.

    Bring it on!

  • by Gleef ( 86 ) on Saturday February 19, 2000 @10:21AM (#1259904) Homepage
    The article mentions the publisher of The Onion [theonion.com] is a Mr. Peter K. Haise. Everyone knows the publisher really is T. Herman Zweibel [theonion.com], son of the paper's founder, Herman Ulysses Zweibel.

    ----
  • by Tony Shepps ( 333 ) on Saturday February 19, 2000 @09:16AM (#1259905) Homepage
    Has anyone else noticed that the last 10 weeks or so have been pretty poor? Even the What Do You Think? bits have been poor. I have to wonder whether they're so busy with other projects that either they're slipping, or they're saving their "A" material for something more lucrative...
  • by DHartung ( 13689 ) on Saturday February 19, 2000 @09:44PM (#1259906) Homepage
    >Has anyone else noticed that the last 10 weeks or so [of The Onion] have been pretty poor?

    Frankly, the quality of the posts at Slashdot has been declining lately. Everything was fine in the Good Old Days, but we all know those ended around 10 o'clock this morning. Around noon the decline became precipitous, with a spate of Phirst Posts and Natalie Portman headlines, and at 2pm pure spam began to arrive by the bucketful. At this point, slightly past midnight Sunday, any astute person can see that post quality has reached a new all-time low.

    Actually, it's decliend even as I'm writing this p0st. First post! Natalie Portman! It's reaching another new low right now. <a href="http://www.regisphilbin.com/">click here to win a million bucks!</a>

    Fortunately, I've recognized this trend and halted it. By posting substantively I believe I can tip the balance. This post already has some pretty stupid things in it, though; I think I can save things if I don't submit it ...

    Too late.
    ----
  • by vitaflo ( 20507 ) on Saturday February 19, 2000 @09:28AM (#1259907) Homepage
    The good thing about The Onion before they went online (and before the paper went to color) was that not only were the headlines funny, but the articles were as well.

    Perhaps I'm just being nostalgic, but some of my favorite articles were "Reincarnation of Jesus Christ Adds Excitement to Kegger" and "Super Monkey Collider Loses Funding". The names don't do much, but the articles were hilarious.

    Another thing that is disapointing are some of the changes they've made. The "What Do You Think?" section used to have the same pictures of the same people in it every week, but the names were different, and one was always a Systems Analyst. It was almost like a running joke, that for some unknown reason they pulled.

    Other thing they pulled (for better known reasons) was the "Drunk of the Week" section in the back on the paper. Every weekend they'd go out and find some drunk in Madison give them a sign, take their picture and give them like 2 bucks. Hilarious.

    I miss the old days.
  • by Hard_Code ( 49548 ) on Saturday February 19, 2000 @12:27PM (#1259908)
    ...will be tomorrow's headline I'm sure.

    Jazilla.org - the Java Mozilla [sourceforge.net]
  • by smoondog ( 85133 ) on Saturday February 19, 2000 @08:56AM (#1259909)
    When I was at UW Madison (I'm an alum), I used to love reading the Onion while waiting for classes on (I think) Tuesday mornings. That was by far the best thing delivered on any campus I've ever been. My faves headlines were:

    1. Jesus takes on the NBA with his ascention dunk. (picture Jesus with is mouth hanging open like michael jordan just about to slam a ball over a bunch of other players).

    2. Tommy Thompson (Wisconsin's governer) changes name to the Sexecutioner. (Picture of tommy thompson's head -he's very boyish- on top of the body of a some buff S+M leather dude).

    3. Pope admits "God ain't said sh*t to me".

    4. Pure silk to spew from Cindy Crawford's ass.

    5. Oh and it goes on....
    -- Moondog
  • by alexhmit01 ( 104757 ) on Saturday February 19, 2000 @08:34AM (#1259910)
    Instead of taking an opportunity to discuss the actual implications of the AOL-Time Warner merger (which bears satire and attack, as AOL wants to apply shody journalistic standards to their online properties), this piece focuses on satiring stock based mergers.

    While stock mergers are neat because they trade paper money for new paper money, they seem reasonable for a merger.

    Instead of tackling the REAL problems (although alluded to by discussing ways to drop NYTs costs 80% by creating sources), it focuses on the uninteresting side of the merger.

    This was a silly piece, not worthy of a post.

    However, the old story of a Catholic Church-Microsoft Merger with other church based mergers was entertaining... I could go for running that again.

    Feel free to mark down.

    Alex
  • by foghorn19 ( 108432 ) on Saturday February 19, 2000 @08:55AM (#1259911)
    ... if you access the site via partners.nytimes.com instead of www.nytimes.com cheerio, rs

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