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A Writer From The Onion Totally Destroys Patton Oswalt in This Epic Twitter Rant

A Writer From The Onion Totally Destroys Patton Oswalt in This Epic Twitter Rant

So “Daily Show” host-in-waiting Trevor Noah tweeted some stuff, and then people found that stuff and criticized it, and then there was much hand-wringing over the criticism and whether it was needed or whether it was just the “Internet outrage machine” claiming its latest victim. And then Patton Oswalt threw down a barrage of 53 tweets in an “epic Twitter rant” that totally “DESTROYED” Noah’s critics. And there was darkness on the face of the deep.

But then Joe Garden, a veteran comedy writer and the former editor of The Onion, weighed in with his own Twitter essay, which because he’s not famous and his thoughts don’t satisfy the white-hot need to yell SHUT UP EVERYBODY won’t get an iota of the traction Oswalt’s did. I’ll mostly let Garden’s essay speak for itself, except to point out that while Oswalt’s is predicated on the idea that empathy is someone else’s problem, Garden sees it as a tool for improving himself — and, by extension, being a better, funnier comedy writer. He’s able to accept moments of criticism as course-corrections on the path towards enlightenment rather than taking them as invitations to just curl up and die already. 

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Barkley Donaldson

Oswalt is a pathetic little pig like being, this writer just gave him the equivalent of a journalist handjob.
I’m sure the portly little turd appreciated it. Now go wash up.


Read both series of tweets. Garden-variety apologist sad and sorry and no destruction took place. He did more Patton himself on the head, while Patton himself showed how insincere all this phoney PC business truly is. Noah should just go down with his ark.


I’m like, pretty certain that he’s making fun of those kinds of click-baity headlines, especially because that’s pretty much what the EW headline he linked too says. Right after the headline he says the bit about thoughtful criticism that heavily implies that’s the bit he means.


I think the article title is meant to be tongue-in-cheek, mocking the click-bait titles used on Patton’s rant, hence the subtitle: "Or, you know, thoughtfully suggests comedy can benefit from criticism."


It "won’t get an iota of the traction Oswalt’s did" because its just bad. A couple of personal anecdotes about "privilege." He even used the term "weapon word." That tweet essay should he more embarassing to him than the "sinister negro" comment.

Lee Harvey

To the commenters on the "click-bait" headline -the headline is clearly a paraphrase/take-off on the article that garnered loads of attention to Oswalt’s "epic rant."


And in regards to saying offensive words, I usually just point out the fact that we still live in a world where there are people who cut each others heads off. I don’t see how people can survive if they get harmed by words. WORDS. Get some thicker skin, America.


All i took away from any of this is how stupid twitter is. That Joe guy wrote 30 separate tweets to get his message across. Hilarious. Just present it in an open letter.


this guy is another SJW piece of garbage. he didn’t rip patton oswalt a new one; he just proved that he has no sense of humor and that he’s another censorious lefty who wants to police language with a PC standard. he completely missed the point of what patton was saying. in other words, this dude is full of s**t.


The Onion. Isn’t this the same publication that called Quevenzhane Wallis, a child actress nominated for an Oscar, a ‘cunt’? Yeah I wouldn’t put too much stock in a writer from such a publication.

Brett McCabe

It was great to see another perspective on the matter but allow me to ring the same bell that Terry and Vin have already done. The title of this article is gross and untrue. Yet here we are.


Your headline writer is terrible. Neither tweet barrage destroyed anything.



My apologies. I didn’t really notice the sub-head–you’re correct, I missed the joke.


Terry and Vin, you missed the joke of the headline, which is that Patton’s original Twitter rant was popularized by actual clickbait articles whose headlines were along the same lines. Something about how Oswalt DESTROYED Trevor Noah’s critics with an EPIC Twitter RAMPAGE. This headline is an intentional parody of those clickbait headlines.

Adrian Kleinbergen

that will make some people think he’s a d-bag


Patton has every right to say the kind of things


Terry and Vin, I think you are missing the point of the title. The subtitle should make clear the intent behind it.


Hahaha. Another person complaining about the title. Are you people relatives of Drax?


Embarrassing title. I’d omit the byline if I were the author.


VIN, the headline is a reference to all of the actual click-bait headlines that trumpeted Patton’s "epic Twitter rant". Thus the second headline underneath. I laughed.

If "thought police" was what you got from Garden’s tweets you weren’t paying attention. At all.


I’m really for the idea of comedy becoming better and more "politically correct" for the absence of a term that is more palatable to comedy fans. I think we’re well on the way to that point, but when we criticize someone based around a number of tweets, e.g. Trevor Noah, we lose the opportunity to hear his insight on the subjects that he has deftly handled in his stand-up and the opportunities he would have to provide us with both comedy and insight in his new position at the Daily Show.

I really believe that we do live in a hyper-sensitive world, a world where people go through five years of tweets to find the offensive ones & write think pieces on responses to responses to outrage. Think about the content of this article, Indiewire dudes. You’ll write a rave review of Oswalt and support him if he ever stars in a film of note, especially one that caters to an audience that you find more acceptable.

I miss when this site was about the love of film & arts. Snark only goes so far.


Room for criticism is one thing, but when even a minor offense creates an all consuming media controversy, the calibration is off. And it would be fine if it were simply constructive criticism, but the digital mob wants boycotts, firings. They’re out for blood.


Oh no Vin! Not the thought police again! Where will we ever find a place to express our views? Oh? This comment section and almost everywhere else on the web? Oh yeah.

Good lord, I am so sick of the persecution complex some people seem to immediately adopt when faced with an opinion that challenges them to consider their privileged views. Guess what, a huge majority of the internet (and our society at large) not only allows your views, but actually celebrates them."Thought police"? Christ.


One difference is the Onion writer is being called out by his friends and fellow comedians, not strangers or bloggers hoping to get clicks (heads up on your terrible headline, by the way) so while I agree with Joe’s points, I don’t think they apply in this case at all.

Oswald Patton is Boring, Noah Trevor Still Hates Jews

Nuff Said…


The point is not that humor can’t be offensive, or unfunny, or even insensitive, the point is that there’s a willful denial of the obvious intent, which, even with a bad, unfunny joke, is humor. Patrice Oneal said it best when he said "What I’m fighting for is the attempt. Good jokes and bad jokes both come from the same birth." Not one person sincerely believes Noah’s intent was to express sincere antisemitism. He was trying to be funny, and whether or not he succeeded is immaterial to that. There’s a difference between an unfunny joke and a non-joke that isn’t being acknowledged.


I think if there’s anything to be learned here, it’s that long- (or hell, medium-) form discussions don’t belong broken up into something the size of tweets.


Valid points. There is a differences between the scenarios described by Joe Garden and what happened to Noah, which I believe is significant.

All of the times Garden "misstepped", he was gently but firmly corrected in a private setting.

Let’s call what happened to Noah what it is: an outsider who rose suddenly to prominence, after which a bunch of gossip columnists and gonzo journalists went looking for ammunition to crucify* him with.

*Funny how just about no-one will have an issue with me using this religiously-charged word.


I’ve never heard of Patton Oswalt before.


I don’t really ever want to see, "epic Twitter rant" in other headline again, but here I am.


Respectfully, click baiting aside, this response is less in responding to or critiquing Oswalt, than it is at underlining it’s authors general lack of perspective.


i agree with vin, this sight has gone way too far down the click bait rabbit hole, you have some of the worst publishing practices, even as other publications such as buzz feed, gawker, the atlantic etc are leaving them behind. you don’t have to be sensational for people to read your articles.


Wasn’t the title a joke taking jabs at everyone passing Pattons tweets around claiming them to be the atomic bomb that wiped pc culture from the ass of every crybaby behind a keyboard.

Vinnie Bartilucci

Here’s the thing. Joe’s experience is different from Trevor’s, and Patton’s hyperbolic hypothetical in one important way, and one smaller other way.

First, Joe said something in a room to a small number of people, and offended a specific person who heard what he said, and immediately called him out on it. Joe realized his comment was offsides, and apologized. As one should. The comments were not intended to offend, though the people in question saw a problem with them, which is understandable in both cases. Joe understood that he had offended someone standing right in front of him, and reacted accordingly. The first time, he wasn’t making a joke as much as using a term he thought would be acceptable, or at least understood as being used kiddingly – it wasn’t. The second time he was trying to CRAFT a joke, and was advised with extreme (you should pardon the term) prejudice that it was not a field he should go walking in.

Secondly, the two people in question called him on his language, he apologized, they accepted, and while he still felt bad about his statements, that’s where it ended. Neither person, unless it wasn’t mentioned in the story, attempted to get him fired from his job. Neither of them took those events to the Internet in an attempt to spread the news of his actions. They didn’t do it when it happened, and they didn’t do it years later when he was about to get a big break in the industry.

Trevor Noah made jokes in a public forum, and they offended NOBODY. That is, until a number of people trawled through his Twitter feed expressly LOOKING for things to which they could take offense. In some cases they needed to go back five years. They found less than a couple dozen jokes in that time period. They then held these jokes up in the air, jokes anywhere from two to five years old that came and went without comment or issue at the time of their inception, and made sure everyone saw them, and made it clear how Big A Problem they clearly were. The jokes spread around the Internet at the speed of…well, at the speed of the Internet, and people came to a conclusion about them equally quickly. people most of whom knew little to nothing about Trevor’s work.

How is this any different from when conservatives would "monitor" (a word which here means "listen to something solely for the purpose of finding something to be offended by so you can go tattle to your army of like-minded busybodies" Howard Stern so they could file complaints to the FCC?

The reaction to the jokes have been, to say the very least, wildly overexaggerated. And if they hadn’t been so wildly overexaggerated, perhaps Trevor’s response, and Comedy Central’s defense, wouldn’t have been so dismissive. If the comments had been closer to "well, I hope the stuff he comes up with on the Daily Show won’t be so hack and potentially off-putting", he might have responded with "Yeah, you’re right, those were a bit crap, I’ll try to do better. But sadly the Internet only runs at two speeds – Complete Disinterest and Whole-Soul-Burning Important. So instead of responding in scale with the infraction, it pulled out its virtual Howitzers and began calling for his head. Less than 24 hours after getting the gig, a few dirt-diggers found enough for people to be ready to cast his whole career on the rubbish heap.

Does anyone recall the hue and cry when companies ask for their employees to friend them on Facebook and hand over all their social media accounts so they can be examined as carefully as their resume? Recall how people claimed that was unfair, because one shouldn’t be judged for offhanded comments made years ago?

Let’s just put it this way…let he who is without a drunken tweet or embarassing party selfie cast the first stone.

Henri Bergson

This week’s lecture. How Ted Talks have created a fresh, new, original style of comedy called Comedy that is Not Funny. For centuries, comedy was supposed to be funny and make us laugh. But why?Why can’t comedy not be funny. Patton has proved one can ignore the idiocy and apocalyptic absurdity of our culture, and just talk about comedians who are not funny in a way that simply not funny. A breakthrough. A new comedy era has begun.


It’s pretty clear that the title of this article is satirical. Probably should have used quotes around "totally destroys" and
"epic twitter rant", but reading the first paragraph makes the satire of the title pretty obvious, doesn’t it?


*Wow, that was a huge waste of time. Hope that won’t see more stupid "articles" like these at Indiewire


Wow, that was a huge waste of time. Hope that won’t see more stupid "article" line these at Indiewire. As Vin commented: "You guys have really taken a dive into click-bait thought police territory. There’s plenty of such sites already in existence "


Hey Sam Adams – go back making beer and defending red coats and stop with awful and deceptive titles. He didn’t "destroy" patton oswalt, he gently made points about racial sensitivity. Call this post. "Some guy named Tom pees all over click-bait."

Lannister Negro

I assume the headline is a jokey take on Oswalt’s "masterful tweets" (as described in the Onion headline).


unlike Dennis I read Joe’s entire chain of tweets – and I still agree with Dennis – and Ben is genius when it comes to irony


Don’t you think Patton Oswalt would largely agree with this, nobody says that you shouldn’t learn from mistakes or go to far. The point is the way the blog machine takes 6 or 7 tweets over years with humorous intent as evidence that someone is a racist. People are saying Trevor Noah is an anti-semite, which is very different from saying he is someone who tells jokes in poor taste (Which is debatable, but still a more fair criticism).


Great tweets by Joe. However, I’m not going to link this article on fb because of it’s shitty headline. Can we please stop with the stupid exaggerated click bait shit already?


What is sad is that the only reason I am here is because of the click-bait. I have got to make better choices.


"Destroys Patton Oswalt" and "epic twitter rant"? I’ve come to the conclusion that Sam Adams is no longer worth reading. He’s just as bad as the New York or Fox News, but at least they are funny if unintentionally so.

Veronica Garrett

@Tyllor Parker. Nonsensical tweeting must be your specialty. You seem to know it so well. Criticism should be welcomed, not silenced or censored. That is nonsensical.


WHO CARES… no really


Agree about the headline, but also admit that I might not have read Joe’s response had it been labeled, "A Writer From The Onion Offers Thoughtful, Personal Response to Patton Oswalt In Re: White Privilege"—which of course is why they hire people to write those stupid headlines. I’m glad Joe Garden shared his experience. And I’m glad Sam Adams wrote the summary of the Twitter exchange as he did, because "empathy is someone else’s problem" deconstructs Oswalt’s position better than Garden’s series of tweets did. Bravo.


Dear Sam Adams:
You really are a khunt.


Ben and Patton are talking about entirely different things, though. What happened to Noah wasn’t criticism from a couple of friends, it was ad hominem attacks from strangers about things written years ago. Hardly comparable.


@Vin Did you read anything after the headline? Maybe the subheader? "Or, you know, thoughtfully suggests comedy can benefit from criticism." The headline is clearly a parody of the headlines of all the clickbait articles about Patton Oswalt.

NYC Radio Producer

I’ve done comedy writing since around 2000. Mostly producing pre-recorded pieces for air and gag writing for the host of a radio show. During that time, there have been many instances when I could have really pushed the envelope and been off-color. I chose to go a different route. Over the years, I’ve purposely hamstrung myself and limited the palette of ideas I can dip into for a reason – to force myself to not take the easy and cheap route. Yes, sometimes it’s corny, but oftentimes I can be bitingly sarcastic with nothing more than a musical choice and finely picked out-of-context words from or referring to the subject of the piece. I don’t have a problem with off-color. Some of the "jokes" I toss around at home with my wife are not just off-color, they’re downright mean and possibly insane. I’m not perfect nor do I pretend I can be. When it comes to what I do that goes into the ears of others, I choose not to be offensive, well, at least not traditionally offensive.

Tyllor Parker

No this silly man didn’t destroy Patton Oswalt with his nonsensical tweeting. The idea is just silly as Patton is far more articulate than this nobody ever could hope to be.


ben’s comment is funny. Essentially, "I think Patton is cool so I’m going to swipe past the article disregarding Joe’s point and commend Patton for being ‘cool’." Total bravado, Ben.


i just swiped pass the whole article. I don’t know who he is but Patton is cool.


Jesus that headline. You guys have really taken a dive into click-bait thought police territory. There’s plenty of such sites already in existence – I don’t know why you chose to join them, given that it renders you invisible (one of the bunch). You guys used to write things worth reading, now it’s PC-approved click-bait. Shame.


I think Patton and Joe both made good points, but I wouldn’t characterize Joe’s response as "destroying" Patton. Click-bait much?

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