If you’ve been on Twitter at all the last several days, you’ve likely seen some bizarre headlines coming from handle named @Salondotcom. While that seems like progressive site Salon’s real user name, it’s actually a parody account, and it’s been retweeted and praised by media folk across the spectrum.
In just four days of existence, the account has accumulated an impressive roster of fake Salon headlines, parodying the site’s infamous contrarian-at-all-costs progressive commentary on each and every issue. Some of the best examples below:
Nanoaggressions: Science reveals structural oppression too small for human eyes
— Salon.com (@Salondotcom) June 24, 2014
Should GMOs come with trigger warnings?
— Salon.com (@Salondotcom) June 25, 2014
Ten signs your cat might be racist
— Salon.com (@Salondotcom) June 25, 2014
Dare I say it’s slightly difficult to tell the difference between these and actual Salon articles. Of course, the mark of a good satire is the ability to deceive some into thinking it’s the truth. And if you glance at the replies to some of these, you’ll notice conservative tweeters obliviously responding in outrage to 100% fake progressive headlines.
Such pitch-perfect parody has garnered some high praise. In the Washington Examiner, Becket Adams declared our anonymous parodist an “American hero.” Comic Joe Rogan, political scientist Charles Murray, journalists Ron Fournier and David A. Graham, and Tucker Carlson (the parodist’s boss — you’ll find out in a moment), among many others, have supported the account via Twitter. (No word yet, however, from Salon’s biggest enemy: Patton Oswalt.)
And with that, we here at Mediaite have the exclusive pleasure of revealing the two young men behind the parody: D.C. roommates Jordan Bloom and Rob Mariani, pictured below (left and right, respectively) with the Whiskey Rebellion flag:
[Full disclosure: Bloom is a friend, a fellow libertarian peacenik, and a pretty decent drinking buddy.]
And now it’s time to meet them. Interview below:
Who are you and what do you do in the real world?
We are roommates. Rob is currently working as a butcher and is an aspiring indie game developer, Jordan edits the opinion section at the Daily Caller.
What was the inspiration behind creating @SalonDotCom?
There’s something especially smug and easy to parody about Salon, we all know this. The breathless way they report on the ongoing tea party/neoconfederate coup, the contempt for religious people, the communist apologetics, the soul-searching about whether Miley Cyrus should be allowed to twerk, the self-satisfied — shit-eating, really — way they present things that are just wrong. What’s shocking is that millions of people believe this stupidity. But more than that, the sort of identity politics shot-calling that they do almost always replaces more meaningful criticism, which isn’t good for music or art or politics, and it really does pose a threat to free expression.
How do you come up with the fake article titles?
We both have access to the account and tweet whenever ideas come to us. We also follow three of Salon’s feeds, which are an endless source of material to riff on.
How has actual Salon staff reacted?
It seems [assistant politics editor] Elias Isquith jokingly mentioned something about a witch hunt to find the culprits, but so far they’ve mostly been holding radio silence. They’re probably afraid of us.
Your parody skills are clearly well-polished. If you could also lampoon a right-wing outlet on Twitter, which would it be?
Not an outlet, per se, but something about the way frustrated-vineyard-operator-turned-neocon-Herodotus Victor Davis Hanson always finds a battle from classical antiquity to demonstrate why we have to bomb some poor defenseless country seems ripe for parody. Or maybe one of the men’s rights sites like the Spearhead or MGTOW. But those guys are sad, and there’s no point in punching down, you know? That’s what Salon writers do.
Will you continue @Salondotcom now that your names are out there?
For the foreseeable future, yes. Now that we’ve been outed, the scoldy scolds will probably have some reason for us why the account is NOT OKAY. We’ll do our best to hold out though.
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