The Onion is campaigning for a Pulitzer prize, seriously

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The Onion

"There have been 8,000 Pulitzer Prizes awarded since 1917. Isn't it about time The Onion received one?"

So reads an advertisement on the website for satirical newspaper The Onion, which has launched an extensive media campaign to nominate itself for a Pulitzer Prize. Though the paper and site won a 2009 Peabody Award for "hilarious" and "trenchant" satire, and have submitted stories for consideration to the Pulitzer Board previously, they have never won journalism's highest honor, a slight they are publicly, vociferously looking to change.

Boldly touting itself as "America's Finest News Source," The Onion and its writers have come out with guns blazing in their quest for the Pulitzer. Their candidacy features support videos filmed by Tom Hanks, Arianna Huffington, and Mikhail Sakaashvili, the President of Georgia. (Joe Biden, a fan, apparently could not be reached.) They're running full-page ads from the (Onion-created) advocacy group "Americans for Fairness in Awarding Journalism Prizes," and have launched what can only be described as the most Pulitzer-baiting cover story ever produced:

Onion cover story

The paper was founded by two undergrads at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1988 and has grown to a national print circulation of over 400,000 and a monthly web-traffic count of about 7.5 million unique visitors. They're  using this huge readership in their favor: they've started an online petition to "Demand That The Onion Be Recognized With A Pulitzer Prize" (target signatures: 200,000,000), and supporters can download and send off a form letter to the members of the 2011-2012 Pulitzer Board at Columbia University. The letter, on Americans for Fairness in American Journalism Prizes stationary, addresses the Board as "Ignorant, Negligent Swine," and only gets more combative from there.

Whether or not the ignorant, negligent swine who vote for the Pulitzers will reward The Onion for their entrepreneurship remains to be seen; whether or not this is already the most interesting thing related to the Pulitzers in a decade does not.