NEW YORK (TheSkunk.org) — A book scheduled for release next week claims The Onion makes up all its stories just to get a laugh.
In “Sautéed, Peeled and Fried,” former copy editor Dalton Pendleton contends that nothing in “America’s Finest New Source,” as the magazine refers to itself, is true. He accuses Onion executives of “sitting around a table for hours, dreaming up funny ideas and humorous headlines,” which they would then assign to a staffer to “flesh out.”
Most of those “staffers” had backgrounds as stand-up comedians and sitcom writers, according to Pendleton, who was asscociated with the publication from 2005 through 2008. “You’d be hard-pressed to find a single employee there with even the slightest experience — or interest — in journalism.”
In the book, Pendleton claims he was shocked to discover workers receiving bonuses for coming up with additional jokes that could be inserted into a story. “It was never about the truth,” he contended. “It was all about parodying society and making fun of the world in a sick and satirical manner.”
Onion Vice President Camel Wheldon derided the book as “a complete waste of a rain forest,” and said he doesn’t even recall Pendleton. “If he worked for us, it was in some minor capacity,” he asserted. “He never had access to any of our high-level editorial meetings.”
But Pendleton remembers otherwise. “I was there when they invented the guy who bought one-of-everything from Walmart and returned it all back to K-Mart for a profit,” he noted, “not to mention the used condom the astronauts left on the moon, and how they went back the next day to retrieve it without NASA finding out — or the man who gave his left nut for a beer, only to find out it was a ‘light beer.’”
All of those stories, he alleges, were “complete fabrications.”
Pendleton concludes that The Onion is not a “serious news organization,” and cautions people not to believe everything they read, except for what he has written in his book.