Satirical News Source Stock Bought by Univision Communications
By Mariah Metzger
Univision Communications co-owner and chairman, Haim Saban, Hillary Clinton’s biggest financial supporter, purchased about 40% of The Onion’s stock shares. He has donated over $2 million to her campaign so far.
The Onion is a well recognized satirical news source that creates humorous stories based on current events. It’s website mocks news sites, like The New York Times or Vox, with its homepage containing realistic beats that all contain false, but funny stories.
Meanwhile, Univision Communications is an American-Spanish company that owns Univision, Fusion and The Root.
So what would Univision want with a fake news outlet?
According to David Folkenflik, a media correspondent for NPR, this buyout offers more stability for the struggling company. It’s no news that The Onion has seen some financial problems.
Due to the struggle within the print media industry, they had to cut their print edition entirely in November 2013. The Onion has also moved from New York to Chicago. The company put itself up for sale some time back in 2014.
“Univision gets about 40 percent in controlling share… And it may afford it some stability and some runway to figure out the kinds of changes that have affected all those news sites it’s been satirizing,” Folkenflik said to NPR host Renee Montagne. “After all, it’s not immune from it.”
With the stability of Univision, The Onion gets to remain in Chicago at least.
Saban’s passion for the Clinton campaign runs strong. He believes she would be “great for the country and great for the world” he stated in a Business Insider interview.
Saban and his wife are avid donators for the Democratic party infrastructure and have donated over $16 million since 1989 according to Jon Swartz, a journalist for The Intercept.
Saban has generously donated $2,046,600 into a Super PAC for her campaign, and about $10 million more to the Clinton foundation, where his wife Cheryl Saban is a part of the board.
Does this mean Onion staffers will have to think twice about any Clinton story ideas? Possibly.
So far, they still seem to poke fun at her whenever they can. The day of the buyout going live within the news media, an Onion story about her titled, “Clinton Throws Flash Grenade To Divert Attention From Question About Senate Voting Record,” was published.
There have been several more articles posted about her in The Onion since then. None of the pieces about Clinton have been severely dark or offensive.
Saban mentioned in a profile by The New Yorker that his three ways to be influential in American politics are to make donations to political parties, establish think tanks, and control media outlets.
The profile even outlined extensively his relationship to the Clintons. Saban has vowed to “provide as much as needed” to ensure Hillary’s win.
Even if The Onion is strictly a satirical outlet, it is still a media outlet nonetheless.
It is unclear what The Onion’s future may be at this point in time. It may become a pro-Hillary outlet, or not change at all.
The worst outcome of all would be if The Onion loses its humorous voice due to corporate conglomerates becoming involved.