On liberal college campuses it often seems like political correctness has become the new form of censorship — a better-intentioned, less explicit, but equally oppressive form of it. Luckily, when it comes to breaking cultural taboos, few media come better equipped to deal with it than satire. Former Badger Herald writer Ethan Krupp currently helms a fledgling satirical newspaper called “The Madison Misnomer” — a paper that respects no taboos and basically doesn’t respect humanity in general.
BH: The first thing I thought of when I heard of The Madison Misnomer was The Onion. Do you ever feel like you get unwarranted comparisons to The Onion?
EK: We separate ourselves from The Onion in the fact that we try to be Madison specific, which The Onion used to do before it sold out. We would be willing to sell out for money too, though.
BH: How would you describe The Madison Misnomer as a paper?
EK: The Madison Misnomer is the only paper that can make obnoxious statements that don’t cause a protest on Library Mall. It is an exercise in satire and bad satire. The Madison Misnomer is the only unfiltered thought left in this incredibly politically correct city, and for that it should be embraced. It also contends with the Daily Cardinal as the worst excuse for killing trees and ties with Women’s Gymnastics Club as ASM’s biggest funding mistake.
BH: ASM funds your paper?
EK: Yeah, two years ago Josh Moss wanted a place to show his liberal anarchist views to the public, so he poisoned ASM to get funding.
BH: So this whole thing started with Josh Moss, then?
EK: Josh Moss was the original editor and founder of the paper. He is a fatter, uglier and stupider version of Albert Einstein, but he knows more about Operation Iraqi Freedom than Einstein, so that is redemptive to him.
BH: How productive has the paper been since then?
EK: There have been six issues since the paper’s creation, and two more will hit the campus this spring. There are typically 5-12 writers who meet once a week. Nothing is ever accomplished. It probably won’t last more than another year.
BH: Is it still possible to come to those meetings or is The Madison Misnomer pretty full at this point?
EK: Yes, anyone can write. Even if you have one hand, you can still write. Just bring an open mind, some funny stories and some food for everyone at the meeting. We meet at 6 p.m. at the Rosewood Room in the Union on Monday. Being funny is not important. We’ll publish anything written in English or Anglo-Saxon proper.
BH: Just looking at some of the earlier issues, it looks like there’s plenty of stuff that could cause uproar among students. I saw a poll in one of the newspapers that asked “Was sex better before or after 9/11?” and concluded that sex was best in between the towers collapsing. Do you guys ever get complaints?
EK: Oh, absolutely. We have gotten complaints about the paper being too harsh on Jewish students. It’s a comedy newspaper. Is there any doubt 95 percent of the writers are Jewish?
BH: So it’s mainly the Jewish thing.
EK: Actually, people have called us racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, fascist, ageist, homophobic, self-loathing, Glenn Beck supporters, Coasties and other negative words people commonly mistake with communism. To them I give a huge middle finger, and then probably agree with their concerns.
BH: Glenn Beck supporters?
EK: That person was murdered.
BH: Just looking over prior issues, it looks like you’ve got a running joke targeting Bret Bielema. Is there any reasoning behind that?
EK: Bret gets it the worst because if you stare at his picture long enough, your fingers begin to chubby up, you only speak in monotonous tones with single syllable words, and you have an urge to drink an entire keg and browse through freshman girl’s dorms. Clearly that man deserves to be repeatedly discussed.
BH: Also Sigma Chi.
EK: I’m going to pull a Sigma Chi on our position on Sigma Chi and deny everything and make no comment about our beliefs on Sigma Chi.
BH: But I understand that The Madison Misnomer is otherwise an equal-opportunity offender?
EK: Everything is fair game. We have no morals, and we will attack you. But you really don’t have to worry because no one reads the paper anyway.
BH: It looks like The Madison Misnomer has been getting involved in some other projects recently with other student organizations. Are there any big ones in particular coming up?
EK: Actually, the UW Madhatters will have a special Misnomer edition program on April 10 at the Orpheum for their spring show. Tickets are $15, and the concert will be great. Swoon over the singers all you want, but don’t get too close because they will grope you.
BH: If you don’t mind, I was wondering if I could conclude by asking The Madison Misnomer for any final thoughts?
EK: It upsets me four students will not be able to read this interview, being the sole four readers of the Daily Cardinal.
Revision: On Dec. 19, 2013, Krupp’s email address was removed from this article.