The New York Times profiles The Onion

The staff devotes the first two days of every week to composing headlines, then assigns the articles that will run beneath them and provide a body of supporting jokes. […]

The Onion’s charter is to be the last word, the newspaper of record. That’s a total conceit, of course, but we take it seriously, in the sense that we want to be the joke that’s making a joke about all the other jokes.