Op-Ed: “The Onion Makes Big Birthday Announcement”

The following was submitted by Daryl Quick, a recent graduate of the Kellogg School of Management.

America’s finest news source turned 25 today, and as such determined it was the best possible moment to announce a pay firewall. Founded by Tim Keck and Chris Johnson in Madison, Wisconsin in 1988 as a medium for distributing pizza coupons, the satirical newspaper’s digital edition had remained free up until today. Effective immediately, that will no longer be the case.

After the celebratory podcast, the Lonely Petunia caught up with Keck and Johnson. Keck appreciated our concerns, but laid out his case for demanding pay for play.
“We looked at the WSJ, the Times, and the Post have done, and said, ‘Hey, our made-up news is as good as their made-up news.’  I got a call from Rupert Murdoch the other day, and he said ‘Tim, your imaginative adaptation of the truth and personal political views are too valuable to be given away for free.  You’re gonna (sic) ruin the whole market for the rest of us.”
Johnson was more conciliatory.
“We’re still going to offer the first month’s subscription for an introductory rate of $0.99 a month, on the off chance anyone hasn’t heard of us. For instance, your grandma might be curious. ‘After that, it’s $4.99 a month, paid automatically from your credit card 60 months at a time. We figure, that way, you won’t think to cancel. On the off chance you can’t afford $0.33 a day for to read utter nonsense, we recommend you ask your employers to reimburse your subscription. Before The Onion, companies had to provide copious amounts of bulk bottled water and free coffee to get you to spend this much time in the office not working. We think we provide an incredible value proposition.”
An anonymous source close to The Onion said that, like their traditional print news peers, The Onion’s pay firewall will be a “soft wall”.  The point is that The Onion can ill afford to lose readers, whose count determines their ad revenue.  “Look, this firewall is going to be for the suckers who will pay it.  Anyone who knows how to get to Google is going to be able to get around the damn thing.”
Let’s hope so.
This asshole thinks he's funny too

This asshole thinks he’s funny too

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