McFeely blog: Satirical website takes aim at South Dakota

Says SD's new tourism slogan should highlight it's 'a great place to just come and die'

Screenshot during Gov. Kristi Noem's speech at the Republican National Convention.
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South Dakota's anti-drug campaign from a year ago only seemed like it came from The Onion , a wickedly satirical website that pokes fun at just about everything. But "Meth. We're On It" was all too real. And all too embarrassing for The Mount Rushmore State.

That doesn't mean The Onion hasn't kept its eye on South Dakota.

A brief "story" on the website last week said South Dakota unveiled a new tourism slogan in the wake of the state having the worst COVID infection rates in the world: "Come Die Here."


It "quoted" Gov. Kristi Noem as saying: "What could be better than perishing while surrounded by the gorgeous Black Hills after enjoying a scrumptious last meal of chislic or bison burgers? Wild Bill Hickok went down in South Dakota, and now it’s easier than ever for you and your loved ones to do the same!"

North Dakota, the site "reported," was one of the other states competing with South Dakota for the slogan.

The Onion has occasionally jabbed at the Dakotas in past years.

There was a brief item about a rural South Dakotan being "shaken but unharmed" after an encounter with a Jewish man.

North Dakota has not escaped the barb, either. Headlines about North Dakota include:

"North Dakota Flooding Reminds People of North Dakota's Existence," "North Dakota Leads Nation in Parking Availability" and "North Dakota Drinks Itself to Sleep Again."

Those are quick-hitters. North Dakota had a full-length article when it was said to be "harboring nuclear weapons."

The Onion also posted a "man on the street" segment after North Dakota's Cara Mund won the Miss America pageant that included a respondent saying, "Now she can have her pick of any man in Grand Forks."


Neighboring Minnesota has also been on the receiving end of The Onion's satire. The website mocked Minnesota for being too polite and apologizing too much.

Opinion by Mike McFeely
Mike McFeely is a columnist for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. He began working for The Forum in the 1980s while he was a student studying journalism at Minnesota State University Moorhead. He's been with The Forum full time since 1990, minus a six-year hiatus when he hosted a local radio talk-show.
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