New Political Satire at The Onion

The OnionA little bit of The Onion goes a long way. So I don’t read it every day. But once a week, it is good for a half hour of hoots. When I stopped by the other day, two things really stuck out to me. One of them was a video, which I’ll discuss below. But the first was one of the funniest — and insightful — things I’ve seen in a long time, Bobby Jindal Not Sure He’s Willing to Put Family Through 2-Month Presidential Campaign. The joke is just an acknowledgement that we all know that Jindal will run for the Republican Party presidential nomination, and we all know that he will not last long.

If there is one criticism of The Onion, it is that its articles don’t usually have payoffs. The typical structure of an article is the same joke repeated again and again. And this often works brilliantly, as in, New Terminator Movie Brings JD Salinger Out Of Hiding. But in the Jindal article, there is a difference:

Citing the intense pressures and scrutiny placed on political candidates and the people in their lives, Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal announced Tuesday that he’s not sure he wants to put his family through the rigors of a two-month presidential campaign…

Though Jindal stressed that while he personally had no qualms about enduring the extreme media attention, he admitted that he hated the thought of subjecting his wife and kids to the harsh glare of the public spotlight for a couple of news cycles. According to Jindal, they would have to steel themselves in preparation for a demanding campaign that would take their husband and father all the way through Iowa, a fair amount of South Carolina, and maybe a couple counties in New Hampshire…

“Imagine what it’s like being 10 or 13 years old and having your dad spend dozens of days running for president — what would that do to your life?” said Jindal, who admitted that during the roughly five-day-long peak of his campaign he might be too busy to stay in touch with his loved ones. “And we could be in the thick of it right up until a few days after the 2015 Iowa Straw Poll. If I hold, say, six fundraising dinners, that’s six meals I’m skipping with the kids. Not to mention I’ll miss my daughter’s big dance recital, which is really important to her.”

“Oh, wait, no I won’t,” he added. “That’s in September.”

The second notable thing was a video, DNA Evidence Frees Black Man Convicted of Bear Attack. The satire in it is so sharp that it isn’t all that funny. Watching it, I felt myself getting angry. Maybe I just know too much, but the truth of the matter is that people all over the nation — most especially black men — are convicted of crimes with only slightly less ridiculous evidence. But I loved this line, “The Pinola Police Department apologized for the inconvenience they caused him and say they plan to reopen the case and ‘find the black man who did this.'” To create a variation off Mozart, “Only satire can do this!”

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