Satirical News Website Cheating Scandal
Scandal rocked the satirical news website community this week after federal officials charged several authors with multiple counts of fraud.
Assistant US Attorney John Correli announced the arrests and indictments in a news conference yesterday morning.
“For too long, lying, cheating, payola and good old fashioned fraud have been the norm in publishing satirical news articles. That all ends, today.”
AUSA Correli said the investigation was authorized after receiving an anonymous tip from a disgruntled author who was forced to submit their article to the Babylon Bee after being rejected by the Salty Cee. “We received credible information from a source who said they were unable to raise the $5.35 bribe which would allow their article satirizing worship leaders to be published on the Salty Cee website, and was forced to settle for their 3rd choice, the Babylon Bee, after the Onion also rejected their story.”
Lead investigator, Special Agent Nick Curran of the FBI, provided some details. “With the approval of the US Attorney, we conducted a sting operation against the websites and a broker by the name of Catherine Tramell. Ms. Tramell acted as the broker for the 3 satirical news websites and aspiring writers.”
According to Special Agent Curran, various fraudulent schemes were employed by Ms. Tramell such as paying off the publishers directly, making a donation to a “charitable” organization controlled by the publishers and photoshopping the aspiring author’s names on Pulitzer Prize documents to make it appear the author was a better writer than they actually were. In many cases, these authors had never published a single story before applying to these websites, much less won any awards.
Mr. Correli issued a warning to future satirical frauds. “With the indictments handed down today, we hope to send a strong message to would-be satirical authors and website owners: Keep our satirical websites free of fraud or face the consequences.”
Reporter: Jeff the Comma Head