The Onion Takes on News Leaders With Video Reports

ByABC News
March 27, 2007, 2:55 PM

March 27, 2007 — -- Dubbing itself the "Undisputed Leader in 24-Hour News," the Onion news publication is bringing its brand of humor online with the launch of its first online newscast on the Onion Network News, or ONN.

The "serious" news outlet claims it will present information "faster, harder, scarier" and will be "all-knowing." While the latest development in bogus news bulletins doesn't exactly have major news outlets quaking in their boots, it will certainly go up against more established spoof television broadcasts, such as "The Daily Show," "The Colbert Report" and "Saturday Night Live's" "Weekend Update."

However, the Onion's President Sean Mills likens the ONN online newscast to that of a more traditional network newscast.

"Colbert, 'The Daily Show,' Fox News, these shows are all kinds of parodies of what we do," said Mills jokingly in an interview with ABC News. "This is news with a level of seriousness that is beyond what those companies are doing. There's no winking and nodding to the camera. This is real, hard, unvarnished journalism."

While the ONN webcast may look like your run-of-the-mill news show, it separates itself from the pack with outrageous headlines such as "Bush Calls Up Civil War Re-Enactors for Iraq Duty," and preposterous tongue-in-cheek pieces. This week's spot features a former executive who is forced to work at T.G.I. Friday's after his job is outsourced to an illegal immigrant who will work for significantly lower pay and fewer vacation days -- all of which are delivered with an amazingly stiff upper lip.

And it's all possible due to the "vast" resources of the Onion.

"We are all over the world," Mills said. "We have bureaus in 147 different countries and are broadcast in over 200 different languages I think there is a demand for a 24-hour news network that isn't a parody like 'The Daily Show' People want to get the truth with a level of seriousness and integrity that only the Onion can bring."