You’re welcome, Reddit. We are the editors of The Onion, America’s Finest News Source. We will be here answering your questions today beginning at 4:00 Eastern/3:00 Central to celebrate this week’s release of our third original book, The Onion Book Of Known Knowledge, a definitive encyclopaedia containing all information known to mankind, such as the details behind the ladycrash of Amelia Earhart’s ladyplane or how CPR is correctly performed. Anything, or anyone, that is not referenced in our sacred tome does not exist.

You are welcome to ask us anything, be it about the book, the vast worldwide Filipino conspiracy wherein Filipinos control the media, our comprehensive election coverage, the book bjorn, or The Onion in general. You are also welcome to compliment us profusely.

Here in our Chicago office today:

  • Editor Will Tracy — Will was also a staff writer on the The Onion's television series Onion News Network. He was raised in Portland, Oregon and later attended Vassar College in upstate New York. His writing has appeared in The Onion since 2006, and he is a former employee of Vanity Fair magazine.

  • Head writer Seth Reiss — Seth has written for Boston's The Weekly Dig, McSweeney's, and the former ESPN Classic show Cheap Seats. Seth is also in the sketch comedy group Pangea 3000. He is a graduate of Boston University.

  • Sports editor Chad Nackers — Chad joined the Onion staff in 1997-ish. A native of Appleton, Wisconsin and a graduate of some college, Chad has performed numerous award-winning tasks such as editing, writing, and cleaning the grisly remains of undocumented workers from the Onion's printing press.

We will split up your questions and answer as many as we can, though please remember that no number of answers you receive from us today will do anything to stop the ever-looming specter of mortality that’ll never stop casting a heavy shadow over your meaningless existence for as long as you may live.

To verify we are real people, a tweet from @TheOnion

UPDATE: Thank you for all of your questions. We tabulated them all and here are the results:

*40% of the questions were bad *18% of the questions were intellectually dishonest, but good *42% of the questions we did not read


Comments: 1494 • Responses: 62  • Date: 

OnionEditors1967 karma

Let's cut the shit: Buy our new book.

OnionEditors1040 karma

What do I do with these points? -CN

OnionEditors1231 karma

I'm going to spend my points at the Reddit Bargain Barn.

OnionEditors632 karma

Oh, look who finally showed up to the Pauly Shore AMA. Pauly fucking Shore. -WT

OnionEditors570 karma

Pauly Shore's AMA is really awesome if you enjoy having your questions ignored by Pauly fucking Shore. -WT

simplyxstatic567 karma

Dear onion editors,

I heard your intern is dashingly handsome. Is this true?

OnionEditors1086 karma

The intern you are referring to has been murdered. -WT

simplyxstatic160 karma

You bastards! I like pauly shore's AMA better.

OnionEditors771 karma

Me too, he's getting way better questions. -CN

sevenhundredone522 karma

First of all let me say I love your work. You guys do an incredible job. What is the funniest story you have about readers taking your articles seriously? Has this ever gotten you into trouble? Thanks for answering questions today!

OnionEditors1127 karma

Thanks for reading. The following is an e-mail we received after we ran the story Black Man Asks Nation For Change. It is my favorite response from a reader. I read it at presentations we do at colleges. Everyone should have access to this gem: To whom it may concern:

ARE YOU SERIOUS? Journalism 101 ever heard of it???? I was really appauled at the article that I saw yesterday while shopping with my children.

First of all I am a White Woman, if that makes you feel better writing this e-mail; but how dare you place a picture of Barack Obama under a heading that reads Black Guy Asks Nation For Change? Maybe this is what you intended to do to get readers to pick up your newspaper, but really where is your ethics and morals. At least get the "BLACK GUYS" name instead of using "Black Guy" throughout the whole story. Its very demeaning and racist in my opinion.

I understand, and I see the point that you are trying to make with Obama and his campaign for change and the correlation to some random "BLACK MAN" who is going all over begging for change!

I mean; how do your readers know if this is the truth; you have no photo of the "BLACK MAN" supposedly begging for change. I mean you have no facts at all, this story could be fabricated for all I know. At least talk about the point that you are trying to make subliminally, and at least refer to Obama since you have his picture on the front page with the heading Black Guy Asks For Change.

And you call yourselves "America's Finest News Source" I laugh at the words "finest" and "news source" I will never read your newspaper again and will tell others to do the same.

Sincerely Disgusted


OnionEditors499 karma

Thank you for all of your questions. We tabulated them all and here are the results:

40% of the questions were bad 18% of the questions were intellectually dishonest, but good 42% of the questions we did not read




OnionEditors252 karma



orangehatguy432 karma

Are there any cases where you felt The Onion went over the line? Are there topics that are off limits?

OnionEditors963 karma

No, and there are no targets that are off limits. The thing we are conscious of is attacking the wrong target--someone who is defenseless. We don't do that. And if we do do it the joke has to be so over the top mean that the joke is how mean we are being. Thank you for your question and God bless you --S.R.

WeAreStars420 karma

What was your reaction when Iran picked up one of your news articles?

OnionEditors1100 karma

They owe us the $499.99 fee for reprinting material. -CN

abrosenthal381 karma

Why doesn't The Onion have bylines? Do your writers ever wish they could have more individual recognition for their hilarious articles?

OnionEditors1352 karma

The Onion does not have bylines because we do not believe in the principle of "individual recognition," nor do we believe our employees should be treated as "individuals," in the common definition of that term. They exist only as cogs in the greater machinery of our multinational media conglomerate. -WT

OnionEditors356 karma

Hey Pauly, huge Encino Man fan here. Quick question: do you realize your AMA is a piece of shit? -WT

CaptainApathy419347 karma

I've been reading The Onion since I was in 8th grade (now 25). I've read thousands of Onion articles and referenced them in conversations almost as often. I just wanted to thank you for providing me with so many laughs.

Ok, one question. How do I get hired?

OnionEditors442 karma

First off, thanks for being such a long time reader. Truthfully, the way people get hired at The Onion is that they find The Onion themselves. When I say that, I mean that people who genuinely connect with The Onion's voice tend to find there way into our system, either by being an intern or just sending a random list of headlines our way. One recent contributor we brought on sent me an e-mail. His stuff was good. Overall, though, it takes about a good year or two being a contributor before someone is hired as a full time writer. The Onion doesn't tell agents that we are looking for writers, they send a packet, and they get hired. That just never happens. --S.R.

WallScreamer301 karma

Have any celebrities or politicians you lampooned contacted you over an article written about them? What have their responses been? Has anyone gotten offended by things you said about them?

OnionEditors961 karma

Joe Biden, Drew Barrymore, Bill Nye the Science Guy, Anderson Cooper, Twister Sister, and Tide Detergent are just a few of the people or organizations who have responded, and they were all very nice.

Michael Bay responded and was a complete dick.


OnionEditors267 karma

Two parter for Pauly Shore:

1) Where the fuck are you?

2) Do you enjoy disappointing your fans?


Ruddiver231 karma

In what year would you say the line between the Onion and the Real World became hazy? or what story.

OnionEditors754 karma

2001, about 9 months after we published Bush: 'Our Long National Nightmare Of Peace And Prosperity Is Finally Over' -CN

brownsfan760214 karma

Why do you guys pick on Cleveland so much?

OnionEditors784 karma

Because it's a hellhole and I am a Steelers fan--S.R.

OnionEditors202 karma

Hey Pauly Shore: How does it feel to disappoint all your Reddit fans? Does it make you feel like a shit head? --S.R.

names_jim185 karma

Does The Onion have any plans to forfeit their print edition? Or do you enjoy cackling over the discarded Newsweeks too much to follow suit?

OnionEditors989 karma

The Onion currently has print editions in over 300 cities worldwide. We intend to expand our business further into print as print is the future of media. -WT

TyC0n178 karma

How do you hire new writers for The Onion??

OnionEditors679 karma

Visit our field office in Des Moines, Iowa. After filling out the application form, submitting yourself to intensive background checks, and undergoing an 8-hour physical, you will then be either rendered unconscious and placed by the side of the Massachusetts Turnpike or you will undergo basic training at our Trainee Center in Macau, China. Irish-Americans need not apply. -WT

TehOrcishHuman236 karma

As an Irishman. Should I be offended?

OnionEditors1194 karma

No, we should. -CN

OnionEditors171 karma

Anyone checked out that Pauly Shore AMA? Man oh man, that thing is dying on the vine. -WT

Misker168 karma

How many angry emails do you get per day from people thinking your stories are true?

OnionEditors353 karma



Stealthcheck166 karma

Last month you featured an article about an area woman who was shocked that she had not yet been sexually harassed that day, and the lady in the photo was my high school drama teacher. Out of curiosity, did she specifically pose for your paper (because good job, her!) or was it a stock photo?

OnionEditors205 karma

She was picked because we did a video for that story. She auditioned for the main part and got it. --S.R.

OnionEditors157 karma

Here we are working our asses off and the star of BioDome isn't even in the fucking building. --S.R.

OnionEditors155 karma

There's going to be some trouble in this bubble if Pauly Shore doesn't show up soon. -CN

Amonette149 karma

I do love The Onion. My question is: how many times have you been sued?

OnionEditors606 karma

Never, that I am aware of. Our satirical content is fortunately protected by a fine document known as the U.S. Constitution. -WT

RockHardRetard147 karma

Which article would you say was the most fun to write?

OnionEditors431 karma

For me, I had a great time writing this one --S.R.

OnionEditors136 karma

Boy that Pauly Shore AMA is a real bust, huh? --S.R.

GIS-Rockstar126 karma

The coverage of the debates was amazing. How far in advanced were those stories put together?

OnionEditors211 karma

We tried to get a few very generalized debate stories written a few days in advance. However, we also tried to come up with some more responsive stories that day, and we also did a fair amount of debate live-tweeting. The trick, of course, was that we had no idea which candidate was going to "win" the debate, or what sort of gaffes might occur. So we were flying blind to a certain extent. We tried to make the headlines and stories open-ended enough that they would be funny and relevant no matter who "won." And then we would wait until the morning after to brainstorm and write stories that talked about the actual content of the debate in a more specific way.


OnionEditors124 karma

Hey, I got a question for Pauly Shore: When are you going to decide to log on to your own goddamned AMA? -WT

brian137108 karma

Have you all decided to endorse a Presidential candidate?

OnionEditors433 karma

The Onion officially endorsed John Edwards for president on October 19, 2012. -CN

ontrack104 karma

How many times does it take for your newscasters to do the video news clips with a straight face?

OnionEditors362 karma

Many of our newscasters, past and present, have actually been former newscasters or on-air personalities, so they are used to delivering all kinds of absurd and laughable things with a straight face. -WT

MMK2199 karma

How did the Onion get the name of America's Finest News Source?

OnionEditors370 karma

Consistently high quality journalism. -CN

Beatsters95 karma

Why should I buy your book?

OnionEditors328 karma

Because it is the most essential book in the history of human civilization, and anyone who does not purchase it is cursed to spend the rest of his or her days stumbling around blindly in a fog of eternal ignorance. -WT

OnionEditors87 karma

Geez, you see a Pauly Shore AMA you expect the guy to at least fucking show up. -WT

thehonestape82 karma

What is one story that yall have written that may have actually come true/real eventually?

OnionEditors226 karma

Study Reveals Pittsburgh Unprepared For Full-Scale Zombie Attack- CN,1815/

apz177 karma

Thanks for making me laugh every single week. You guys rock.

  • What article or headline are you most proud of?

  • How many headlines/articles do your staff writers pitch in week? What do you look for when you're reading pitches?

  • How much do you obsess over precise syntax? What's an example of a grammar tweak that's improved the quality of an article?

  • Do Onion writers plans to vote in the election?

  • Do you think it's possible that you'll ever actually receive a Pulitzer? EDIT: What was the mood in the office during the #OnionPulitzer movement? Did it blow your mind when the Tom Hanks video came out?

  • Was there ever an article you've written that you didn't publish because it was "over the line"? What was it?

  • What do you consider over the line, if anything?

  • Do you ever hang out with the AV Club staff? Do you check out AV Undercover performances?


OnionEditors153 karma

1) This is my personal favorite: You Can Tell Area Bank Used To Be A Pizza Hut --Before I ever wrote for the Onion, I loved it for its ability to pick up on that small town depressing minutiae
2)We obsess a lot. Our stories typically go through two drafts, two rounds of editing, and one copy-edit. Mostly, we are trying to make things read as cleanly as possible while making it all sound very newsy and official. That usually takes a lot of re-wording and tweaking. 3) We plan to vote! 4) There is a Pulitzer for Also with the Tom Hanks video: we have a connection with him, and he was nice enough to do one. I will say that when I saw an e-mailed video from Tom Hanks appear on my screen, it was pretty weird and bizarre and hilarious. 5) As long as the joke is at the expense of the right target, nothing is over the line. 6) They are good folks. They give us a C-

OnionEditors85 karma

I literally wrote a whole long response to this question and I forgot to hit Save. I am so sorry. But, I just want to thank you for being a longtime reader. Yes, we obsess over everything that it's in the onion, from grammar to wordings to everything.--S.R.

ChrisFrenzy75 karma

What's the first thing you think about when you start masturbating?

OnionEditors251 karma

The Onion. --S.R.

OnionEditors66 karma

I had high hopes for that Paul Shore AMA, but it is not living up to my expectations-- S.R.

mjk18265 karma

Could you guys do more stories on Saint Louis?

OnionEditors214 karma

Nah --S.R.

chaosmosis65 karma

In practice, it seems like your best stories target Republicans. Does the Onion aim to provide "balanced" coverage which attacks both parties equally, or do you focus solely on whether or not your stories reveal important truths, and criticize the things that need to be criticized?

In other words, what's the underlying ideology of the Onion? Why do you produce the types of stories that you produce? Are you primarily profit driven, or do you attempt to attack both sides equally, or do you focus on criticizing the policies that seem flawed to you?

(This isn't meant to imply that the Onion is monolithic and only has one ideology, but it seems like certain types of ideologies might be more prevalent than others and I'd like to know which ones are most dominant.)

OnionEditors109 karma

This is a very well written question. I wish I could just speak the answer. But, in the end, we really try to make fun of people who are idiots. I actually think that people think we don't make fun of Democrats ever, but that's really not true. These come to mind. This, also this, also this, also

I will say that, at The Onion, we have the pleasure of writing whatever we want as long as it goes through the editorial process. --S.R.

DrInsano64 karma

Where can I find the suit that Joe Biden wore for the VP Debate?

OnionEditors150 karma

It was purchased at a second-hand store in Chicago, IL. We own the only known copy. -WT

Orangpeels63 karma

Are you happy? Do you like the Beatles?

OnionEditors239 karma

I am unhappy. And I do like the Beatles. My favorite album is the White Album. But seriously, let's the cut shit: Buy our new book that just came out. --S.R.

jimboishere60 karma

How's T. Herman Zweibel doing? Is he enjoying it up there in space?

OnionEditors146 karma

T. Herman Zweibel has not experienced what one might call "enjoyment" in over a century. However, he is being attended to in orbit by a team of nursemaids as well as his robot companion, Mr. Tin. He despises all of you. -WT

Kovacs2257 karma

Any dating ideas?

OnionEditors263 karma

Meet at top of Empire State Building. Jump off top of Empire State Building.-- S.R.

thebeerbabe49 karma

How do you come up with the ideas for your articles? Is it a group spitballing effort or more of an individual writer's inspiration?

OnionEditors91 karma

We come up with headlines independently, but before we write stories we always brainstorm as a group to come up with the jokes and the overall direction of the story. That's not to say a lot of our headlines don't come as a result of us just brainstorming in the room. This one did Overall, our room is really important. When people are just making jokes off the top of their heads, it adds a certain amount of life to everything we are working on. --S.R.

Stackathon48 karma

Why haven't you published "Spork used as knife" yet?

OnionEditors97 karma

I have a somewhat interesting anecdote about that. When the person who pitched that, Megan Ganz, left The Onion we gave her a framed front page. The main story was Spork Used As Knife. We wrote out the story for her. So it does live on somewhere. Probably in her closet or something. --S.R.

TheBaconator199044 karma

Have any of you guys served as journalists or editors for a legitimate news source? Other than the Onion of course! Love the work you guys do :)

OnionEditors311 karma

The Onion is the only legitimate news source. -CN

thisisntnamman31 karma

How many headlines end up on the cutting room floor?

Is there one or two in particular you wish you had ran?

OnionEditors143 karma

We probably hear 500 headlines on our typical headline pitch day (Monday morning). And about 16 of those get in. Recently, we have been doing many more pitch meetings because we are doing a lot more topical stories. The Onion's philosophy is that we get a ton of material and whittle it down to what we think is the best.

One that I wish we ran? New Google Feature Murders Any Name You Google --S.R.

thomfountain26 karma

How closely does your newsroom resemble an actual newsroom in structure (ie editors, 'reporters', copy editors, web producers, etc.)

How many (if any) of your staff have a background in (real) journalism?

OnionEditors65 karma

We indeed have editors, copy editors, web producers, interns, and so staff writers. And we do indeed have daily meetings in which we pitch stories. And we do go into high-alert breaking news mode when something BIG happens. But there are still probably more differences than similarities with actual journalism institutions, and very few of our staff members have any sort of professional journalism background. We're just comedy writers. -WT

AccountForWork25 karma


OnionEditors56 karma

Have you never been there or met someone from the state?

OnionEditors46 karma

Bad state, bad people. What are you gonna do, ya know? -WT

thatgamerguy21 karma

How many copies of your book should I buy? I feel like one isn't enough.

OnionEditors56 karma

10 copies for every room of your home. -WT

[deleted]18 karma

1) I love you.

2) What's your favorite Joe Biden article?

names_jim17 karma

What current TV show is most commonly discussed in the writers room?

OnionEditors76 karma

We've been talking about season one of Friday Night Lights for the past six years. -CN

Floxintine14 karma

Who would you say is the Onion's #1 competitor?

OnionEditors61 karma

Herman Melville.


Floxintine14 karma

Who or what is your favorite subject to write articles about?

OnionEditors48 karma

(In no particular order) Children, sex, food, Shaquille O'Neal, some animals, things, alcohol, idiots, and etc. -CN

i_yurt_on_your_face13 karma

Hey guys I'm a big fan. Which Onion story has received the most backlash or negative attention? How do you respond when your articles cause controversy?

OnionEditors34 karma

For a long time, this editorial piece: Mary-Kate Olsen Is Dragging Ashley Down, received a ton of hate mail from 10-14-year-old girls. We would get letters and e-mails every single day from furious young ladies.,10768/