SEATTLE — Extra, extra, read all about it!
They're real headlines on the website The Needling. But they're not really real headlines — The Needling is Seattle's own satire news site. And former Seattle Times journalist Lex Vaughn is the founder and editor-in-chief.
"At some point, it felt cathartic to flip it all over and write satire," laughs Vaughn.
She created The Needling after leaving journalism.
"It can be exhausting to report very tragic stories," Vaughn said. "It gets exhausting; it takes a kind of emotional and mental toll. I wanted to stay plugged into the news, but I needed a new coping mechanism. And comedy was that."
To prepare for a career pivot to humor writing, Vaughn took improv classes and gained inspiration from satirical news source The Onion and the television show Portlandia.
"They wrote comedy about a specific place, Portland, but the jokes still work no matter where you live," Vaughn said. "That's what we're aiming for sometimes."
The Needling is comprised of a dedicated team of headline writers, all working together to tickle your funny bone.
"I come up with a good amount of them, but we have a good crew who contribute to The Needling," Vaughn said. "Together we come up with really funny headlines about what's going on in our culture, what's going on in the news."
Some of their most popular headlines include:
The Needling is named for both the Space Needle, and the verb "to needle" — meaning to tease.
The publication doesn't shy away from serious topics, though. For instance, the headline: Local Woman Just Thinks Flaming Forest Could Find More Peaceful Way to Protest Climate Change.
"We try to mix up our headlines between fun and silly, a bit of comic relief for your day," Vaughn said. "And sometimes we're looking at really serious issues like police brutality and things going on with our politicians."
For Vaughn, the Needling is a way to inform, entertain and cope with a complicated world.
"It feels very liberating to be more of a creative writer," Vaugh said. "I've always cared about the news and trying to make the world a better place, but it's nice to do that creatively and with more comedy."