The Onion is at its best when it’s inverting the empty formalities of our political and media discourses with the colorful vulgarities of the American scene circa now. The idiosyncratically personal is rendered as front-page, top-of-the-fold material and major world events are reduced to inconveniences or irrelevances. Compare, e.g., “Both iPod Headphones Removed Out of Respect” or “Bus Passenger Believes She Lives in World Where Curried Shrimp Is Odorless” with “Nation Waiting for Protesters to Clearly Articulate Demands Before Ignoring Them” or the devastating “54 Iraqis Die in Not Our Problem Anymore.” But peak sublimity is reached when they hit on a form that is both manifestly absurd and two ticks from plausible, at the moment you realize both that ‘it would be outrageous if we talked like this’ and ‘we in fact talk almost exactly like this.’
CNN is not trying to be The Onion — at least I don’t think they are. But they’ve done exactly that here. Check out this headline and lede:
I mean, wow. Cain has to hope that these bold, bilateral talks with the mother of his two children halts his decline with values voters in Iowa.