The Onion to Sue Lebanon for Making Its Headlines Look Reasonable

March 6, 2013

By Karl Sharro via Karl reMarks

It emerged today that the American satirical magazine The Onion is to sue Lebanon for unfair competition practices and for making its headlines look totally reasonable. The Onion is demanding millions of dollars in compensation, claiming that the small Mediterranean country has ‘ruined the business of writing satirical headlines’. The magazine’s claim refers to a ‘sustained campaign of nonsensical but nevertheless real headlines’ over a number of years, during which Lebanon, ‘went out of its way to make The Onion’s headlines look ordinary by comparison.’

The straw that broke the camel’s back was Lebanon’s adoption of a new electoral law that requires members of each sect to vote for candidates from their sect only. A senior staff member at The Onion, Andy Mitchell, revealed the pressure that the magazine’s writers have been under in an interview earlier today. “How can we possibly satirize that? Anything we will come up with will look extremely normal. This is fucking insane.”

He added: “The law says Maronites, and I am not quite sure what Maronites are, must vote for Maronites candidates, Shiites for Shiite candidates, Sunnis for Sunni candidates and so on. Except for Jews. Jews can vote for candidates of any sect they choose! Now if we had put that in a satirical article, we would have been accused of unreasonable exaggeration.”

“And why do they call it the Orthodox Electoral Law? There’s NOTHING Orthodox about it. They must be pulling our leg. No political system in the world is that twisted, not even North Korea’s. This is obviously part of a determined effort to undermine what we and other satirical publications do. Lebanon is trying to create a monopoly in ludicrous headlines and I’m afraid to say it’s succeeding.” It is understood that The Onion’s lawyers will target Lebanon under anti-trust laws and ‘freakin’ common sense’.

Mr. Mitchell also recited a long list of record-breaking attempts by Lebanon, revolving around the production of increasingly larger and larger plates of Hummus, as evidence of this campaign ‘to mess with our heads’. “What’s Hummus? It’s chickpeas, right? Why do they need that much? What are they doing with it? I have a mortgage for God’s sake, I need this job.”

Mr. Mitchell was also critical of Lebanon’s political system, ‘which makes a circus look like the Library of Congress’ and ‘it seems that Lebanese politicians picked up where Dali left off.’ The Onion’s strategy will revolve around proving in court that no political system could actually exist in that form, other than for the sinister purpose of ruining satire. The Onion will also claim that Lebanese people are all in on this scam, ‘otherwise they would be completely insane for electing these people time after time’.

As we went to publication, reports began to appear in the Lebanese press that Mr. Mitchell is of Lebanese origin, claiming that his great-grandparents, Gergi and Taqla Mkhayel, had immigrated to the US in the 19th century. People from their ancestral village spoke of their pride of Mr. Mitchell in television interviews, and he has now been invited to participate in the next Largest Plate of Hummus record-breaking attempt.

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Photo: Beer Coaster