Below you will find The Onion’s official statement on its recent and startling encounter with fellow news organization The Betoota Advocate. We stumbled upon the publisher when preparing for our appearance at the Sydney Opera House’s Antidote Festival. Readers should be advised that the following account includes disturbing descriptions of lesser journalism.

Throughout its storied 252-year history,  The Onion has grown from a modest newspaper produced on the printing press of a shrewd yam farmer into the unrivalled behemoth it remains today. Having outstripped all journalistic competition by the turn of the 19th century, the publication has enjoyed unparalleled success as America’s Finest News Source. Our track record is undeniable: We were there when the scourge of so-called jazz music brought down the Titanic. Our journalists were there scaling the cliffs of Omaha Beach on D-Day in order to secure provocative pull quotes from our troops. And we were there when former president Barack Obama asked the nation to join him in a new age of liberal darkness. In short, we remain a peerless leader in global journalism, pushing the medium, and indeed the notion of objective truth, ever forward into the modern age.

You could surely forgive us, Betoota Advocate, for believing we were the world’s only remaining news organization.

As we operate hundreds of satellite offices around the globe to ensure up-to-the-minute coverage on everything from Kim Jong-un’s successful detonation of nuclear scientists to Queen Elizabeth’s emergency royal blood transfusions, one can imagine our surprise when we discovered earlier this year that, despite our strategic outposts in both the Indian and Pacific oceans, a large landmass apparently existed between our valued outlets on Ouvéa Island and Port-aux-Français. Indeed, our powerful satellites had picked up an unsightly blotch at these coordinates for some time, but could only determine, inconclusively, that it was the latest migration pattern of the Great Pacific garbage patch. It was a shock to find anything at all in this region of the map—an area we had naturally assumed was reserved only for the compass rose.

We immediately set our team of child labourers to work researching this strange find, air-dropping them over the area with pens, notepads, and gas masks in case the stench of festering ocean trash became too much for their delicate constitutions. Several days of on-the-ground reporting yielded a few key conclusions: this was not the Great Pacific garbage patch, nor was it merely a desolate mass of volcanic rock and ash. At most, we suspected it to be a nuclear test site used by New Zealand, or a long-abandoned layover site for American GIs making their way to Vietnam in the late 1960s. Most likely, we reasoned, it was a mass grave site of unknown origins.

After months of in-depth journalistic investigation, our reporters encountered their first evidence that this land—which we now know by its scientific classification, Australia—is capable of sustaining carbon-based life. Weeks perusing its unremarkable landscape further revealed that this land is home to as many as three square miles of habitable climes and a staggering infestation of coral marring the northeastern coastline.

The 4,000,000th thing we learned in our tireless reporting was the existence of The Betoota Advocate. To the best of our knowledge, The Betoota Advocate is a newspaper, and it has existed in the region for several years. As proprietors of the world’s leading publication, we at  The Onion are fascinated by our encounter with a news outlet that we haven’t yet crushed with our steady stranglehold of excellence, a vice grip that has already eliminated competition on every other continent.

Left alone on this modest isle to incubate, what coverage has The Betoota Advocate managed to produce?

Our editorial board is eager to read their reportage on endless expanses of igneous rock and barren hinterlands. Eventually—perhaps millions of years in the future—The Betoota Advocate might even be first to break the story of the emergence of intelligent lifeforms from the surrounding ocean, and their evolution into the breathing, cognizant, first-ever inhabitants of Australia. Someday, the Advocate might even be so lucky as to witness the moment such life forms gain the power of speech, and the subsequent ability to form a subscriber base for the newspaper, heretofore read by absolutely no one.

And so, Betoota Advocate, The Onion would like to wish you well on your long, hard-won journey toward relevance. It even seems you have recently gained access to the World Wide Web, and are more or less aware of what it is and how to use it. We are confident that you will continue to thrive in these incremental, sputtering ways, and someday become a sufficiently profitable entity for The Onion to acquire. Until then, our editorial board will be watching your publication, and your readership, very closely—as unpleasant as we find it to do so.


If you would like to get tickets to The Onion’s Antidote Festival show at the Sydney Opera House on Saturday night, click here. If not, whatever.

More to come.


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