In a race to the internet ‘presses,’ both New York‘s Daily Intel and the New York Times came out Friday evening with profiles of the mysterious, hilarious website ChristWire.org, which convincingly and extensively parodies conservative craziness with Onion-like ferocity. The site’s greatest strength and biggest curse? It’s so good — and people on the internet today are so insane — that no one gets it. Likely sick of toiling in comedic obscurity (and maybe thirsting for a book deal?) the men behind the jokes are stepping forward. And then they’re stepping backwards with a retort against the “anti-Christian” media. It’s all enough to make your head hurt.
Via Intel, it seems pretty straightforward:
Christwire owners Bryan Butvidas and Kirwin Watson, after fielding press queries and book offers for months, have finally decided to go public. In an interview with New York, Butvidas said the site’s basic concept is to “see what Glenn Beck is talking about and then make it ten times worse.”
They go on:
“We’re not trying to promote hate, we want to show how fake the world really is,” he said. “We write to see how far we can get people to believe our nonsense. People believe anything they read on the Internet.”
ChristWire — which once compared Gawker to “Fidel Castro emerging from the jungle” — is all done for free, largely by guys who met on a humor website called Shoutwire. The site, according to the Times, did 27 million pageviews in August.
Not bad for “like-minded 28-year-olds who met on the Internet, have never seen each other in person.” And better for them that often, their targets are the ones they’re fooling:
Marie Jon, who writes for the quite earnest conservative site RenewAmerica.com, used to allow her stories to be reposted to ChristWire. After I called her for this column, her editor at RenewAmerica wrote a letter to ChristWire asking that Ms. Jon’s writing — and her picture, which had run between photographs of men identified as “Jack Gould” and “S. Billings” — be removed.
All things considered, the site is ripe for expansion, hence coming out after a record month in readership, and could easily supplement the satire of Stephen Colbert, be it on television or radio. But like Colbert, the site is expert at not breaking character. Saturday morning, ChristWire readers awake to find a piece entitled “Satire, Poe’s Law and The New York Times Campaign to Discredit the Evangelical Message of Christwire,” filed under: Moral Alerts, Propaganda. Wink, wink.
And still, it looks like not everyone is in on the joke. From the commenter Godisdead:
Been found out, have you? Your nasty, evil messages of hatred have now penetrated the mainstream, have they? And what do you do? Cry foul.
Or maybe he’s the funniest one of them all. Get it?