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Opening Arguments

Line, crossed

Sometimes The Onion goes so far in its humor that it makes some people uncomfortable. This is one of those times:

A satirical publication is making real news with its take on the debate surrounding the Washington Redskins nickname.

An article posted to The Onion’s website on Monday featured anti-Semitic slurs and stereotypes aimed at Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, who is Jewish.

Under the headline, “Redskins’ K— Owner Refuses To Change Team’s Offensive Name,” The Onion referred to Snyder as “hook-nosed” and “shifty-eyed.” The K-word was used three times, once in the headline and twice again in the story — and it wasn’t the only derogatory term used.

Did The Onion go too far with its satire? Reaction on Twitter ranged from applause to outrage.


“The Onion makes its point by crossing the line,” one person tweeted.

Well, crossing the line was sort of the point. What better way to show that the owner is defending a name some find offensive than by calling him an offensive name? It was funny, too, in a crude, high-school-sophomore kind of way. Some critics of the Redskins have made the point that no one would dream of naming a team, say --  well, pick your favorite ethnic slur. The Onion was exploring the same territory in a different way.

While we're on the subject of The Onion, it had one of the best takedowns ever in its comments about the Obmacare rollout:

Responding to widespread criticism regarding its health care website, the federal government today unveiled its new, improved Obamacare program, which allows Americans to purchase health insurance after installing a software bundle contained on 35 floppy disks. “I have heard the complaints about the existing website, and I can assure you that with this revised system, finding the right health care option for you and your family is as easy as loading 35 floppy disks sequentially into your disk drive and following the onscreen prompts,”