The Onion isn't completely parody. Something which everyone seems to overlook is their quite good inside section (called The AV Club), where they have really good reviews of movies, books, and music, and several regular features such as Savage Love, Justify Your Existence, and Pathetic Geek Stories. They also have awesome interviews, and have recently interviewed Nick Park (of Wallace and Gromit fame), Craig MacKracken (creator of Powerpuff Girls), and Phish (who completely grok MP3s and are also nothing like their obnoxious pseudo-hippie "phans").

It's disturbing how many people overlook this, and as a result, look at me incredulously when I say, "Oh, yeah, The Onion gave that movie a great review," or "Yeah, I heard about that book... The Onion's reviewer didn't think too highly of it though."

I guess this is one of those things - there can be a whole bunch of layers, and even so, people assume that something's the same on the inside as on the surface, and so most people don't bother to go deep. Just like an onion - people just assume it's the bitter flesh, not realizing that some life may have sprouted inside.