Blogs > Liberty and Power > Polishing the Onion

Mar 24, 2004 8:46 am

Polishing the Onion

The Onion'sfirst post-9/11 issue was apparently seriously considered for a Pulitzer, but ultimately nixed because it was"too different" and"too risky."

I'm with Neal Pollack, who wrote a while back that for the billions of words written about 9/11, that issue of The Onion will likely be among the few pieces of writing to survive the test of time.

It was brilliant, and put to bed the absurd notion (first uttered by CNN's Jeff Greenfield, I believe) that with the 3,000+ souls it took that day, al-Qaeda also killed irony, and that it simply wasn't permissible to laugh anymore.

The Pulitzer folks missed an opportunity.

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Jonathan Dresner - 3/24/2004

I never read the whole issue: "God's Press Conference" made the internet rounds, and should have been worth a Pulitzer pretty much on its own. But you're right. The whole issue is indeed journalism of the highest quality: incisively true, well-written, revealing and enlightening. I particularly enjoyed the Cedar Rapids Public Library Security story, as I was living in CR at the time and had some remarkably serious discussions with my students and colleagues about the relative implausibility of our town being a target anytime in the forseeable future.