“In order to understand the essential truth of things, I think you can find it in The Onion and occasionally on Reddit.”
That is one of Elon Musk’s many theories, shared with the public via a Rolling Stone interview last year.
Now it appears that Musk’s next venture, following “electric vehicles, space exploration, and brain-computer interfaces”, is apparently going to be comedy, reports The Daily Beast:
Before Univision bought The Onion and its sister sites A.V. Club and Clickhole in 2016, Musk considered buying The Onion in 2014, a source confirmed to The Daily Beast.
Though he got to know [editors] Bolton and Berkley, discussions never got far, another source said, potentially because Musk wasn’t interested in the outlet’s entertainment news site The A.V. Club.
Musk has also had personal relationships with Onion staffers for years, sharing favorite stories on social media, emailing writers and editors about jokes he enjoys, and occasionally invoking the publication to troll critics.
A prime example:
But this nugget of information wasn’t really unearthed until The Onion published a piece early February titled “Elon Musk Offering $1,2 Billion in Grants to Any Project That Promises to Make Him Feel Complete.”
While its short paragraph was packed with satire that The Onion readers have come to know and love, there was, in fact, a sliver of truth to it.
The Daily Beast is able to confirm that “several former top staffers and writers of The Onion are now working on a secret project financially backed by Musk”.
Former Onion editor in chief Cole Bolton and executive editor Ben Berkley left the publication last year due to differences with the company’s management.
Since then, the two have been in Los Angeles working on the Musk project, and they recently poached three of the site’s writers and a longtime editor to join them, sources confirmed.
Keeping many of their friends and former colleagues in the dark, many have speculated that it could be another written satirical news website.
However, it’s unclear what the exact project is, or whether it’s getting a lovely sliver of the fictitious $1,2 billion, but Bolton and Berkley did say in a joint statement that:
“We can confirm that we have learned nothing from prevailing trends in media and are launching a brand-new comedy project.”
Although I am all for a Musk-funded satirical site, I do think competition is healthy and Musk should do better finding his own writers.
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