Onion launches news videos


NEW YORK -- Satirical newspaper the Onion has entered the world of online video, debuting three Onion News Network clips on its site Tuesday.

"Video clips online have reached a critical mass," Onion editor-in-chief Scott Dikkers said. "It's a new medium that's crying out to be parodied, and the Onion is the perfect vehicle for it."

The clips will run one to three minutes and will be available at www.onion.com. The publication initially will post new clips each week with the ultimate goal of uploading videos daily to the site.

The premise is that the Onion News Network is a television station that has been around for decades and is now beginning to archive and present its clips online, complete with fake anchors and field correspondents. The first videos focus on current events, but future clips will showcase items from the "old Onion newsreels" of the '40s and '50s and even earlier radio reports.

The first batch of videos features a report on immigration in which a senior executive at Lucent Technologies loses his job to a Mexican who arrived in the country two years ago on the back of a melon truck and doesn't speak English. Another video, an excerpt from the fake roundtable "In the Know," showcases pundits arguing about the government's decision to send Civil War re-enactors to fight in Iraq.