Can't People Take A Joke Anymore?

Satirical Paper’s “Anti-Gay” Article Sparks Outrage

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Is it a joke gone too far or something more sinister? That’s what some Missouri activists are wondering about a satirical newpaper’s article on gay adoption. The Booze News, a weekly modeled after The Onion, celebrates – duh – booze.

In addition to lavishing liquor in praise, the News apparently features some more socially relevant pieces, like an article on gay adoption.

And the results have community members seeing “read” all over:

Via PlanetOut:

A Booze News book review about interracial gay adoption that referred to the two male parents as ”freaks” drew a formal protest and request that university officials censure the paper.

The recent article about the adoptive gay couple — a supposed book review in which the unidentified author looked solely at the cover of the children’s book — crossed the line from satire to threatening speech, said [Kyle] Ali.

He wrote a letter to other campus activists and the university’s vice chancellor of student affairs urging a potential boycott of local businesses that distribute the weekly paper.

”That article was specifically threatening to the social environment on this campus,” he said.

The paper’s managing editor, who has since stepped down, acknowledged in a note to readers that the article, though intended as humor, ”went a little far.” [Founder Atish] Doshi said he regretted publishing it, adding that the writer has since been fired.

As with the Sarah Silverman scandal, one has to consider the context. The paper does, after all, come with a disclaimer: “This newspaper is designed for entertainment purposes only.” But, it’s also geared to beer guzzling college kids, who may or may not be predisposed to anti-gay attitudes. Doshi describes his staff and readership, “It’s about being immature college kids. That’s what makes it successful.”