Thread: How Not to Write Satire
#1 How Not to Write Satire
05-18-2011, 07:57 PM
- Join Date
- Aug 2005
"In a stunning development one day after the release of Where's the Birth Certificate? The Case that Barack Obama is not Eligible to be President, by Dr. Jerome Corsi, World Net Daily Editor and Chief Executive Officer Joseph Farah has announced plans to recall and pulp the entire 200,000 first printing run of the book," Esquire reported this morning.
Make that " 'reported' " this morning.
Less than two hours after Mark Warren posted the story on the Esquire website, he added a disclaimer: "For those who didn't figure it out yet, and the many on Twitter for whom it took a while: We committed satire this morning to point out the problems with selling and marketing a book that has had its core premise and reason to exist gutted by the news cycle, several weeks in advance of publication. Are its author and publisher chastened?
Well, no. They double down, and accuse the President of the United States of perpetrating a fraud on the world by having released a forged birth certificate.
Not because this claim is in any way based on reality, but to hold their terribly gullible audience captive to their lies, and to sell books.
This is despicable, and deserves only ridicule. That's why we committed satire in the matter of the Corsi book. Hell, even the president has a sense of humor about it all."
If Farah and Corsi are to be believed, they do not find this funny at all, though one may be forgiven for suspecting that they're laughing all the way to the bank. The Daily Caller reports that "Farah said he is considering 'legal options' against the magazine for posting the story":
"Let me say this very clearly: There is not a single word of that report that is true. I assume it is a very poorly executed parody. In any case, I have begun exploring our legal options, since this report has all the earmarkings of a deliberate attempt at restraint of trade, not to mention libel."
Over at WND, in a story posted before the disclaimer was added to the Esquire post, Farah lobs an accusation that is about as plausible as the book itself:
"This is an astonishingly reckless report by a company that has demonstrated its total disregard for the truth," said Farah. "I don't know who Esquire's anonymous sources are, but I can only guess that their address is 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue."
Farah surmised Esquire will claim the article is parody, but he points out that news organizations around the world were contacting him within minutes of its posting on the Internet, with some of them in doubt as to the veracity of the report.
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