Comedy, if used properly and effectively, can be a tool. It can help shine the light on some kind of injustice, help process feelings such as anger and grief, and entertain, helping to take our minds off of troubles for a certain period of time. Instead, the people at the satirical news website, The Onion, just showed they are tools.
On Friday, Sen. John McCain’s family announced that the ailing Arizona senator has decided to discontinue medical treatment. McCain is currently battling brain cancer.
My family is deeply appreciative of all the love and generosity you have shown us during this past year. Thank you for all your continued support and prayers. We could not have made it this far without you – you've given us strength to carry on. pic.twitter.com/KuAQSASoa7
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) August 24, 2018
However, instead of simply letting a family grief over their family member’s impending death, The Onion saw the announcement as the perfect opportunity to take a cold, cruel and unfunny shot at both Meghan McCain and her father.
— The Onion (@TheOnion) August 24, 2018
Well, as hilarious as what the writers at The Onion must have thought their headline was, others weren’t laughing. They backlash was swift and immediate.
Holy shit!!!! There's a line … and it is WAY behind you! I usually love The Onion, but whoever wrote this and/or approved it TODAY (of all days) should be fired. We can't condemn Trump for his nastiness yet allow others to get away with it in the name of "satire" or humor.
— Clay Aiken (@clayaiken) August 25, 2018
My dad died two weeks ago with CHF and cancer. It is not easy losing your dad. I don't agree with Meghan on so much, but her father, who was a US war hero, is near death. Political sparing with Meghan can rest for a while, to let her grieve.
This feels way cruel and un-oniony.
— Jeremy Newberger (@jeremynewberger) August 25, 2018
this is gross and inappropriate. please take it down.
— ashley buzzy mchugh (@arbuzzy) August 24, 2018
This is not funny. Her father is dying. Please take this down.
— Sara Mannal (@SaraMannal) August 24, 2018
I’m not a fan of John McCain, but seriously this should be off limits, even for The Onion. It’s stll her father.
— Redhead360 (@Redhead360) August 24, 2018
I'm a liberal- and please no. Not funny.
— nbctoday (@McF_Nbctoday) August 24, 2018
This is gross
— Anominonyous Op-ed-oppotamus 🏳️🌈 (@amandadeibert) August 25, 2018
She can be hypocritical at times but this is cruel.
Using cruelty for laughs is lazy writing. Be better than this.
— MakeTheDifference (@UnitePeopleNow) August 25, 2018
However, unbelievably there were some people who seemed to actually take delight in the fact a man is dying and a family is grieving.
Literally the best Onion headline ever.
— Matthew Leonard 🕳 (@tripenglish) August 25, 2018
I understand that comedy often comes from dark places and believe no topics should be off limits. But if we can’t show just a little bit of sympathy to a dying man and his family, what does that say about our society? Nothing good, that’s for sure.
Even if you 100 percent disagree with the man and his politics, celebrating the man’s impending death and poking fun at his family over it, is absolutely insane. Has our political climate gotten this toxic that we can’t even show a tad bit of humanity and then? Apparently so.