The Onion Crosses the Line at the Oscars


Last night during the Academy Awards the satirical newspaper The Onion––apparently feeling the need for some edgy satire––wrote the above about nine-year-old actress Quvenzhane Wallis on its Twitter feed. Wallis had been nominated for best supporting actress in “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” The paper immediately deleted the tweet and issued an apology, saying “No person should be subjected to such a senseless, humorless comment masquerading as satire.”

In his piece on the incident, Edward Champion suggested that the possible motivation for using the word might have stemmed from comedian George Carlin’s famous routine on using swear words in public. However, Champion asserted that “In less than 140 characters, The Onion betrayed and violated 25 years of satirical good will.” Moreover, he said, “unless you are a sociopath, there is nothing funny about calling a child a ‘cunt’––especially when there isn’t any additional context to the purported ‘joke.’”

Champion reported that The Onion’s Twitter feed has 4.7 million followers. So here’s the obvious question: When does satire cross that delicate line between being edgy and funny and being insensitive and hurtful?



Comedian Jeff Foxworthy is host of the hit quiz show, “The American Bible Challenge.” Now in its second season, it’s proven to be the Game Show Network’s #1 program of all time with 1.7 million viewers for its premiere show, and with more than 13 million viewers tuning in in the first season alone. The game show quizzes contestants on stories from the Old and New Testament and all prize money goes to the winning teams’ charities of choice. Click the still above to watch a brief segment, courtesy of NBC’s “Rock Center.”

Some people might find this program to be a refreshing take on boring quiz shows, while involving more people in the Bible. After all, what’s wrong with new, creative ways to get people engaged with scripture?

Other people might find the commercial setting in which this all takes place somewhat unsettling. Even though the prize money is donated to charity, GSN is nonetheless profiting from the show itself; if it’s a top-rated hit, it’s surely pulling in big money in advertising revenue. And if that’s the case, then GSN is profiting from the Bible and the religion that led followers to it in the first place.

What do you think? Is it a hit, or a miss?