A darkness has fallen upon the Fourth Estate. It is a darkness only seen after a nation’s sole beacon of journalistic truth-telling is snuffed out. One might surmise that such an affront to the First Amendment would warrant an immediate response from lesser news outlet seeking to express solidarity in the fight for freedom of the press. Yet more than 11 minutes have now passed since The Onion was banned from Twitter, and the mainstream media has not issued a single statement in our defense.
Without the megaphone of Twitter, The Onion has been effectively silenced, reduced to covering its own digital muzzling merely through periodic messages posted on Twitter about its present condition. Meanwhile, in an act of outrageous cowardice, not one major news network has featured an interview with our publisher emeritus T. Herman Zweibel, nor with his five nonagenarian sons, nor with any of his 147 descendants across five generations, all of whom hold nominal executive positions at The Onion and stand ready to give exclusive comment on this gross curtailment of press freedoms.
Of course, the media has long abdicated its role in informing the masses, yet never in our darkest imaginings did this editorial board conceive of such rank abandonment by its supposed journalistic brothers-in-arms. Yes, they may have trumpeted nonexistent weapons of mass destruction in Iraq or willfully ignored various genocides across the globe, but such examples pale in comparison to the outrageous failures on the part of journalists everywhere to help The Onion in this pivotal moment in world history.
Where is the outrage from opinion columnists who dared call themselves defenders of free speech? Where are the boots on the ground at Twitter headquarters from reporters asking—nay, demanding—that CEO Parag Agrawal reinstate The Onion’s Twitter account and resign immediately? Why has CNN’s Anderson Cooper not vowed to self-immolate if this inexplicable and cruel decision is not reversed?
Perhaps they do not know that this glaring omission will be a black mark on journalism for centuries to come. Perhaps they do not see that the probing eyes of the American public are already upon them, questioning why legacy newspapers everywhere have chosen to so conveniently bury the most notable story in modern media history. Perhaps what seemed like coincidence after five or six minutes now looks more clearly like a conspiracy of news organizations driven by sheer profit-seeking and greed, who sense blood in the water and endeavor to destroy the world’s one remaining media juggernaut.
Where is the conscience of The New York Times? Where are the ethical standards of the newsroom at The Washington Post? “Democracy dies in darkness”? Well, darkness has indeed fallen upon our country today. There is no illumination cast by the wretched ash heaps of avarice who still have the gall to call themselves the free press. Of course, the nation will turn its weary eyes to The Onion’s coverage for answers in this uncertain moment, but today—on this dark and ignominious day—our coverage has fallen silent.
Follow along @TheOnion on Twitter.com to read continuing coverage of our banning.
UPDATE: It has now been 12 minutes since The Onion was banned from Twitter, and the situation remains unchanged.
UPDATE: It has now been 13 minutes since The Onion was banned from Twitter, and the situation remains unchanged.
UPDATE: It has now been 14 minutes since The Onion was banned from Twitter, and the situation remains unchanged.