‘Wash. Post’ Ombud Goes After ‘Badass’ Onion Headline

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By: E&P Staff

In her column on Sunday, Washington Post Ombud Deborah Howell addressed a link that appeared Tuesday morning on the paper?s site to a video from satirical tabloid The Onion, one that she said was ?obviously without The Post’s standards of accuracy or taste.?

The Onion headline, ?Supreme Court Rules That Death Penalty Is ?Totally Badass,?? led to a video that contained a healthy dose of profanity, and was not exactly kid-friendly. The Onion, which is no stranger to such content and is aimed at adults, is printed by the Post in Washington — and the Post carries several Onion headlines on its site.

Howell wrote, ?The Post has a business relationship with the Onion, and its content appears on washingtonpost.com. The link, which was off the Web site by afternoon, was to a video filled with profanity. The Onion can be hilarious, but its content shouldn’t be posted without clear labeling and without profanity.”

Jim Brady, washingtonpost.com?s executive editor, agreed with Howell that the Onion’s feed to the Post?s homepage should remove headline profanity, but added: ?Part of what makes the Web the Web is trying to connect people to content that interests them. If everything we link to has to have the exact same standards as The Post, that would rule out an awful lot of good, interesting content. The word ‘standards’ applies to the way in which we do things and shouldn’t be translated to mean that anyone who doesn’t hold the same standards is wrong.”

Check out the clip here.

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