There has been virtually nothing written about the Onion‘s recently hiring a mentally challenged writer in order to get a considerable tax credit on their next return. America’s severely crippled economy has been hard on many publications, but so far it seems only the Onion has resorted to this tactic in order to save money. This revelation seems to be a shocking move for one of America’s most beloved satirical news publications.
The mentally challenged writer is from an undisclosed special education high school and was hired by the Onion earlier this year. His name has not been released. He had been working on his first humorous piece for months until it was published online today. The article is a spoof commentary from Oprah, and it is titled, “I Just Wanted To Say That I Hated Every Moment Of That Piece-Of-Shit Show“.
“The challenge so far has been effectively using his stunted lexicon and undeveloped thinking skills,” said an anonymous source from inside the Onion headquarters. “Our board of editors have been, well, let’s just say taxed ever since we hired this writer. He really wanted to write about Oprah, so we said that was OK.”
The source admitted there are problems with the Oprah article. “Yeah, it’s a little one-dimensional. But what could we do? He sees things in a two-dimensional manner, so we showed him Oprah on TV and instantly he understood her in that simplistic way of his: she’s bubbly, sweet, and cares about people. We had to keep saying to him, ”’Now, you’ve got to make fun of her for that.’ And he did, but we realize it’s with a limited capacity.”
Eventually, the Onion editors decided the article was as good as it was going to get, and they decided to accept it. “Again,” the source said, “we knew the article was lacking substance. He’s got a mental impediment. I mean, come on. His natural reaction to Oprah’s kindness was to pretend she is actually nasty and likes to use the eff word a lot. In fact, we started encouraging more curse words. People at least get a kick out that.”
For a company to hire a mentally challenged worker and receive a significant tax credit, the government has to certify the employee is disabled and is part of a “targeted group”. They have also put into play many rules which directly affect the employer’s ability to overly assist the special worker.
“In our circumstance, we’ve been very careful to only slip him simple ideas, but we aren’t allowed to make any actual changes to his writing, nor can we tell him what to write about. The editors were relieved that he picked Oprah. ”’Just keep it off the front page,’ everybody said. We knew the magazine was going to take a hit with this article, but we also knew Oprah could soak up that kind of drop in quality. She’s a very universal figure, and if there is at least one funny, clever line for somebody out there reading this article, then we’re happy.”
Hasn’t the Onion always been about creating intelligent satire? “We all decided that in this economical downfall we had only one choice. Sadly, we had to take a hit in the quality department in order to keep our presses up and running. We think the readers will understand,” said the source. “It’s either that, or no Onion.” The publication has adopted other measures to save money, but the source refused to go into detail.
The mentally challenged high school writer at first threw childish tantrums and demanded strange writing accoutrement, like Mentos, Rice Krispies treats, play-doh, and hand lotion. He has since learned how to work with the other Onion writers and editors.
“We haven’t had a real outburst from him in weeks, and I’d say the rest of the writers here are beginning to respect him.” The latest “big issue” with the Onion‘s mentally challenged writer is kindly and legally directing him toward picking another suitable topic.
“We make him watch a lot of TV and hope he gets an idea. He’s on the payroll for the whole year, and he has to produce four articles. We’ve got our work cut out for us, but if it’s good for the Onion, it’s good for us.”