Fort Lauderdale Officials' Response to The Onion's Satirical Portrayal Is An Epic Fail

Categories: Broward News
Satirical/fake news website The Onion released a satirical/fake news piece on Ft. Lauderdale on Thursday that is not sitting well with local officials. 

"Obama Speechwriters Unsure How They'd Praise Fort Lauderdale In Event Of Tragedy," is being met with sour grapes and bad jokes from the likes of Fort Lauderdale Mayor John P. "Jack" Seiler and City Manager Lee Feldman.

So they responded in kind. 

And failed miserably at it.

The piece -- as it goes with all things from the Onion -- pokes fun at Ft. Lauderdale with a fake news story on how President Obama's speechwriters would find it impossible to find any redeeming values about the city for Obama to offer as comfort and reassurance in case a disaster hit the city.

The article comes hard at Ft. Lauderdale with jokes about palm trees, spring break, retirement homes, and cheap hotels.

One of the gems in the piece:

"It is a 45-minute drive from West Palm Beach," Rhodes added. "So, that's a thing about Ft. Lauderdale."
As a result, city officials had to come out and retaliate (except that they didn't have to), and have decided to do so via an email statement with their own brand of satire and side-splitting humor by pointing out that the Sun-Sentinel won a Pulitzer and that the 80s called and bad onion puns.

"The Onion article brought tears to my eyes," said Fort Lauderdale Mayor John P. Seiler. 

Because when you slice an onion you get teary eyed, you see.

"For a news source with any shred of credibility to do a hatchet job on our great City without mentioning the Mayor and City Commission by name is an outrage. Furthermore, given that our local newspaper -- the Sun Sentinel -- just won a Pulitzer Prize for journalistic excellence, we are simply not accustomed to reading news stories written by an uninspired and unqualified news staff." 

"For a minute, I thought I was reading an historical piece," Seiler added. "Just a quick note to the Onion research staff: The '80s called. They want their description of Fort Lauderdale back."

Awwww yeah... Pulitzer Prize winning paper up in this bitch! Also, lame cookie cutter joke! THAT'LL LEARN YA, THE ONION. 

City Manager Lee Feldman added, "We were really hoping to be spoofed by the best fake news blog in cyberspace. Unfortunately, we'll have to settle for the Onion." 

"We were impressed the Onion knew how to spell Fort Lauderdale," he added. "Genuinely shocked that they knew how to spell Barack Obama. It just goes to show you that those overseas online journalism degrees are being put to good use." 

Whoa The Onion. You know how to spell? Well that's vexing! WACKA-WACKA!! 

We get it. Civic pride and all that. 

But to respond by apparently using one of Jay Leno's joke writers is not the way to go. You're not going to out-satirize The Onion

It's highly unlikely that Seiler and Feldman even said these things, which makes it worse.

Next time just get on Vine like the kids are doing these days and make a video with clown horn noises and people getting hit in the crotch by their kids swinging a bat. You'll get the same hilarious results by being hip! 

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KennyPowersII topcommenter

In the past 50 years Ft. Lauderdale has blossomed into a full blown turd. It has a few pockets of charm, but the rest is pretty much... meh. Oh what could have been.


The only reason I can even gather that The Onion bothered writing this article is because they are sour over the fact that no one really liked the show they put on here, a couple months back. 

If the worst they can say is that Fort Lauderdale isn't that interesting... who cares? We can accept we're not the biggest or best, and we know were the the worst. So that pretty much just places us amongst MOST US cities. 


This seems a bit over-critical.

frankd4 topcommenter

meanwhile yesterday a child was serverly hurt when a broward county bus driver ran over the teen as riders yelled for the driver to stop the bus and broward county sheriff's spokesperson said the driver could be prosecuted  (1) YET government officials decided to use their resources to attack a satirical publication (and of course drawing MORE attention to it than it otherwise would have gotten !)

as for the pulitzer YES the sun-sentinel did finally win one (2) for exposing POLICE DRIVING fast and furious and recklessly on their off hours causing harm in some crashes to civilians including pedestrians

maybe if MORE government employees, including county commissioners and the MAYOR (3) and city MANAGER,  ACTUALLY used the bus they would see for themselves what an operation it is

what surprises me MOST is that the city didn't HIRE an expensive PUBLIC RELATIONs firm maybe one that could generate the requisite kick-backs now that FT LAUDERDALEs patron saint, SCOTT ROTHSTEIN in in jail

...................."we are simply not accustomed to reading news stories written by an uninspired and unqualified news staff".................maybe this is our NEW city MOTTO ? ! ?

anyway if you guys at the ONION really wanted to hit FT LAUDERDALE with a low blow you should have been here during the LAST MAYORs administration


(1)based on an excerpt from the sun-sentinel as i read it

(2) the sun-sentinel was the LARGEST circulation newspaper in america that had NOT won up until then

(3)TO HIS CREDIT (and full disclosure here), the MAYOR did respond to my e-mail inquiry regarding trying to determine who in city government uses the broward county bus service on a regular or frequent basis (not just for the occasional photo op) in either commuting OR discharging their municipal duties on official city business


I thought it was a funny response...    for a government.

some day I'll find something here funny too... someday.

SethPlatt topcommenter

Neither were very funny. Not sure why Sun Sentinel was lauded so in the response by the City. I will say Fort Lauderdale is pretty awesome though.


@SethPlatt Seth;

Have you ever traveled north of say, Pompano Beach in the last 10 years?

Lauderdale... Full of rude, shallow folks more concerned about their bling then of the plight of others.


Haha, seriously , has any city ever not been criticized by being full of rude, shallow people?  Is this straight out of the Bible?

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