Satire sites like The Onion found themselves in a brave new world after 2016. When an official member of the presidential administration uses terms like "alternative facts" to answer questions about lies her boss, President Donald Trump, tells about his inauguration crowd size, how does satire top that?
But in an era of absurd reality, The Onion is now making real life news. One of their satirical articles claimed 82 year-old New Jersey congressman, Democratic Representative William "Bill" Pascrell Jr., "quietly asked" Minnesota Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar to join The Squad.
Featuring an actual photo of the two House majority members speaking, The Onion had Pascrell saying:
"Excuse me, Ms. Omar, but I’ve been paying a good deal of attention to this so-called ‘squad’ of yours and can’t help but think that I might make an exciting addition to join in on the fun."
Then the satirical site added:
"I can help with any tweeting you ladies might need. Heck, we might even talk to the other gals and make some sort of viral video together. But enough about me: What do you think? Am I squad material?"
Once the New Jersey Democrat saw the Onion article, he apparently thought it was a great idea, as he shared it on Twitter and tagged the four freshman Democratic ladies of The Squad, New York's Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Michigan's Rashida Tlaib, Minnesota's Ilhan Omar and Massachusetts' Ayanna Pressley.
Well. How bout it @AyannaPressley @AOC @RepRashida @IlhanMN? https://t.co/jqdmXneYv5— Bill Pascrell, Jr. (@Bill Pascrell, Jr.) 1563301099.0
People wished him well on his request.
@BillPascrell @AyannaPressley @AOC @RepRashida @IlhanMN I hope they accept you. Then we can say The Onion went from… https://t.co/rJ3LSmDgG0— Eugene Gu, MD (@Eugene Gu, MD) 1563310240.0
@BillPascrell @AyannaPressley @AOC @RepRashida @IlhanMN https://t.co/MEIDvKJj5u— Franklin Leonard (@Franklin Leonard) 1563302446.0
@BillPascrell @AyannaPressley @AOC @RepRashida @IlhanMN Fight for #MedicareForAll, affordable college, strong union… https://t.co/unSp0SjCA0— The Ghost of FDR's Martini 🍸🌹 (@The Ghost of FDR's Martini 🍸🌹) 1563302882.0
But the real response everyone was waiting for was from a Squad member. And it came in the form of a tweet from Representative Ocasio-Cortez.
You’re in, @BillPascrell! ☺️💖👯♀️👯♂️ https://t.co/iuYJfCyWng— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) 1563302820.0
Pascrell was clearly thrilled with the response.
https://t.co/MLeMavbyFM https://t.co/EwooL0d7Sz— Bill Pascrell, Jr. (@Bill Pascrell, Jr.) 1563304869.0
People loved the cross-generational communication.
@AOC @MaxKennerly @BillPascrell Oh this is so incredibly adorable— Molly Jong-Fast (@Molly Jong-Fast) 1563307523.0
@AOC @BillPascrell This is awesome 😂🤣👌— God (@God) 1563302861.0
People noted it was one of the few times the absurdity of satire coming true had not been horrifying.
@AOC @BillPascrell the first time an onion article becoming real life has been invigorating instead of depressing 😌😌— Hunter Cross 🍂🍁 (@Hunter Cross 🍂🍁) 1563302900.0
@eugenegu @BillPascrell @AyannaPressley @AOC @RepRashida @IlhanMN It's almost sad how spot on The Onion has been, of late.— 🎁Holly Jolly🎁 (@🎁Holly Jolly🎁) 1563311399.0
@MyOtterName @eugenegu @BillPascrell @AyannaPressley @AOC @RepRashida @IlhanMN When you elect a reality show 🤷♀️— Cori (@Cori) 1563313925.0
@BillPascrell @AyannaPressley @AOC @RepRashida @IlhanMN The Onion has to delete an article when it actually comes true, it's the rules.— grrrrrrbrrr (@grrrrrrbrrr) 1563301684.0
@GarrrettHarmon @BillPascrell @AyannaPressley @AOC @RepRashida @IlhanMN Most of their material from the past three years is gonna be gone!— Okoa (@Okoa) 1563303110.0
@AdamTheOkoa @GarrrettHarmon @BillPascrell @AyannaPressley @AOC @RepRashida @IlhanMN Pretty much all of it. https://t.co/xcecVmW0SH?— Michael Blake (@Michael Blake) 1563304207.0
Some hoped Pascrell would live up to his squad goals.
@AOC @BillPascrell I’m all for @BillPascrell supporting the squad. He’s on the Ways and Means committee. But can we… https://t.co/JK4cBHoyG1— Matt Boswell (@Matt Boswell) 1563303134.0
@_MattBoswell @AOC @BillPascrell https://t.co/NctTHHZ5gX— Steve Cox (@Steve Cox) 1563303269.0
The Squad made national headlines after being the target of racist attacks by President Trump on Twitter. Those attacks lead to further displays of racist rhetoric at a Trump MAGA rally.
Trump initially claimed he tried to stop the chants aimed at Representative Omar, but later walked back his condemnation of the racist chants and defended those who did it while attacking The Squad of four Congresswomen of color.
With division seeming to be the goal of some in Washington, seeing Pascrell's support for his fellow members of Congress despite any differences is refreshing.
@BillPascrell https://t.co/riJ6USAePV— Andrea Wolfson (@Andrea Wolfson) 1563305085.0
@BillPascrell You need to take the staffer that picked this #GIF to lunch tomorrow. If you picked it yourself I h… https://t.co/RFjg5GtgYO— Aaron M Dickerson (@Aaron M Dickerson) 1563328961.0
If the squad are your "squad goals," express it with this shirt, available here.