Monday, January 12, 2009

Onion Radio News

The Onion, America's leading satirical newspaper, has an on-line faux radio station called Onion Radio News. I read the paper on occasion (and usually either chuckle or laugh out-loud), but haven't checked out the radio station. Until recently, that is, when I became aware of the station founder's tongue-in-cheek connection to Louise Brooks.

A visit to the Onion radio news home page reveals that 

The Onion Radio News has been the most highly regarded broadcast news source in the world since visionary Onion publisher T.Herman Zweibel made the bold move in 1922 to shut down the popular Onion Telegraph News and focus on the then embryonic medium of radio. From day one Zweibel intended to employ this new technology for the public good, and for the first two years he devoted much of his airtime to denouncing silent film actress Louise Brooks.

Overnight, Zweibel's vitriolic attacks gained sufficient listenership to attract wealthy sponsors like Campbell's Liquid Beef and Spotto potato detergent. The financial success of the Onion Radio News led Zweibel to hire professional "pronouncers," as they were called then, who were charged with the important task of reading items from the printed version of The Onion to fill time between Zweibel's marathon anti-flapper rants.

I hadn't been aware!

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