Gayle King, Arianna Huffington Lobby for The Onion to Win a Pulitzer

Gayle King, Arianna Huffington - SPLIT (bubble) - 2011
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The newspaper has launched a campaign for journalism’s top prize in honor of its 1,000 issue.

The Onion has launched a campaign to win a Pulitzer Prize.

The satirical newspaper created the AFAJP organization, which stands for "Americans for Fairness in Awarding Journalism Prizes" with testimonials from Arianna Huffington, chef Mario Batali, OWN talk show host Gayle King and Georgia president Mikheil Saakashvili.

"I will make sure that every link on the Huffington Post goes directly to the Columbia School of Journalism and cripples it!" promises Huffington. A foreboding looking Batali says, "There's nothing more important to me than rewarding journalism" as he sharpens a humongous knife.

The staffers at The Onion have posted a form letter to be sent to the Pulitzer Prize board on the Tumblr Website they created for the cause. "You Ignorant, Negligent Swine," it starts out. "Since 1917, your increasingly out-of-touch organization of so-called cultural arbiters has been awarding the most distinguished prize in American journalism, and at no point in that nearly century-long span have your thick, prestige-addled skulls been penetrated by the notion that perhaps it might finally be time to recognize the publication universally acknowledged as America’s Finest News Source."

The Onion's website points out "today's Pulitzer-prize worthy content" and also calls out prior winners: "Gene Weingarten of The Washington Post won a Pulitzer for his 2010 story about parents leaving their kids to die in cars. Last time I checked that still happens…way to change the world, Weingarten."

The paper has submitted itself several times in commentary and public service categories in years past.

Why start the campaign now? The paper says it is celebrating its 1,000 issue. Or so they think. "Since we say it is, it is,” Seth Reiss, The Onion’s head writer, told the New York Times.

A full-page AFAJP ad will appear in this week's issue of The Onion: "Simply put, it’s time for the Pulitzer Board to stop the bias, stop the ignorance, and stop the neglect."

Onion publisher T. Herman Zweibel says the paper is lobbying for the prestigious journalism prize to exact revenge against Joseph Pulitzer.

“As any student of American journalism, history and criminology knows fully well,” Zweibel writes in The Onion, “I have been at war with Joseph Pulitzer since the beginning of his career. At first he showed a measure of promise, and was one of the leading lights among Onion copy boys, cheerfully going about his work, always busy, never requesting fresh crusts or more sleeping hay.”

Their relationship went south when Pulitzer began asking questions. "Why are Mr. Zweibel’s editorials about the Whigs when most of them are long dead? Does manipulating the masses with appeals to their baser instinct sell a lot of papers?”