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10 movement after reading The Onion’s headline 10 “Planned Parenthood Opens $8 Billion Abortionplex.” The point of all this is not that it is funny when deluded figures of authority mistake satire for the ac- tual news—even though that can be extremely funny. Rather, it’s that the parody allows these figures to puncture their own sense of self-importance by falling for what any reasonable person would recognize as an absurd escalation of their own views. In the political context, the effect can be particularly pronounced. See Hustler Mag., Inc. v. Falwell, 485 U.S. 46, 53–55 (1988); see also Falwell v. Flynt, 805 F.2d 484, 487 (4th Cir. 1986) (Wilkinson, J., dissenting from denial of rehear- ing) (“Nothing is more thoroughly democratic than to have the high-and-mighty lampooned and spoofed.”). III. A Reasonable Reader Does Not Need A Dis- claimer To Know That Parody Is Parody. At bottom, parody functions by catering to a rea- sonable reader—one who can tell (even after being tricked at first) that the parody is not real. If most readers of parody didn’t live up to this robust standard, then there would be nothing funny about the Chinese government believing that a pudgy dictator like Kim Jong-un was the sexiest man on Earth. Everyone would just agree that it was perfectly reasonable for them to be taken in by the headline. 10 Mackenzie Weinger, Congressman links to Onion story, Politico, Feb. 6, 2012,

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