Monday, July 23, 2012

Why Cracked.com isn't Funny Anymore

The logo of a humor website that has lost much of its luster recently.
Most people between the ages of 15 and 30 are familiar with Cracked.com. Essentially, it's a humor website that is regularly updated with articles written in list form. Over the past few years, Cracked's writers have been moving towards more politically slanted topics, something that I and many others could live without.

An example of one of their articles would be "6 Famous Television Shows You Won't Believe Were Funded By the Italian Mafia". As this made up title suggests, Cracked's writers usually take a run of the mill subject, come up with some humorous observation about it, and turn it into a few pages of hilarious material.

For a while, Cracked was a staple in my internet browsing diet. I would get on it after a stressful day, click on an interesting article, laugh, and be satisfied. Today however, I find myself being less entertained by Cracked.com and more critical of its many flaws.

To start, the quality of the writing on that website has taken a major hit. These "professional" writers frequently don't research their subject and often produce material that is of poorer overall quality than the blog you are currently reading. That is laughable considering the fact that Cracked writers are paid for their efforts.

It becomes especially annoying when you come across an article on Cracked based on a subject you know well, as oftentimes the writers make inaccurate statements that reveal the amateurish quality of their research. Indeed, I often find myself shaking my head in disgust over the errors and misconceptions perpetrated by Cracked writers instead of being appreciative of the humor in their articles.

Another reason why Cracked has gone down hill is the fact that they are overly preachy in their articles. Most of their writers are liberal ideologues who insert their biases into their humor in everything they write. To demonstrate this, if you were to go on Cracked today, you'd come across an article labeled "The 6 Most Popular Crime Fighting Tactics (That Don't Work)."

Before even clicking on that, you can assume that the Cracked writer is going to accuse police in America of being racist and argue that the death penalty is useless. Lo and behold, that's exactly what half of that article is about, and if you look deeper, it's chock full of even more left wing ideological drivel.

It may seem like I'm against liberals here, but I'm really not. I just hate seeing a political slant (of any kind) in every article I read on a website when all I'm trying to do is get a few laughs in. If these were writers spouting conservative rhetoric in their humor articles, I'd dislike them just as intensely. I'll head to The Huffington Post or The Blaze if I want politically colored op-eds.

You can make a jab at George Bush and even call Dick Cheney Darth Vader (I'd definitely laugh at the latter), but don't turn an article that is supposed to be about humor into a Machiavellian discourse defending your particular political beliefs.

I might even be fine with the bias in Cracked.com's articles if they were actually funny, but hey, remember what I said about them not having a clue about how to research material correctly? Yeah, that kind of nixes that idea. Based on what they write, you would think these writers have never heard of or used JSTOR or any other research database. That is not to say that Cracked has zero decent writers, as I have come across a number of articles there written by people who clearly did their research and are superb wordsmiths. Sadly, however, this is becoming the exception and not the rule.

I'd like to close by saying Cracked used to be a great site, a site where you could open an article up, find some great humorous material, and move on. Nowadays, you would be lucky to find something that isn't either left wing propaganda masquerading as humor or an article that could have been funny had the writer actually done any research beyond reading a thumbnail on Wikipedia.

I admit that I still go on Cracked periodically (and by that I mean every six months or so) to see if they have a decent article posted, and at times they do. However, these occurrences are becoming far more rare, causing me to spend my time on sites of higher quality.

Either way, it's your decision whether or not you wish to peruse Cracked.com on a daily basis. Personally, I can't stand political bias of any sort and when it's as pervasive as it is on Cracked I feel like it isn't worth my time to dig through all the rhetoric and insufficient research just to get to what I really want: the humor.


(For an update on my Cracked opinion, click here.)

35 comments:

  1. I agree with you to a point. Cracked was my go to website three years ago. Now, for the most part I only go on Fridays for Daniel O' Brien's articles.
    That having been said, there are some great gems that come in occasionally. After Hours usually makes me laugh, I loved Next Time on Lonny, and I enjoy pretty much every article written my Michael Swaim and John Cheese.
    I treat cracked the same way I treat collegehumor, funnyordie, and theonion; they are great to check every once and a while, but not worth following religiously.

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  2. You are right that there are still some gems posted on Cracked from time to time. It feels like you have to dig through a lot of crap to find them though.

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  3. If you think the bias in the articles are bad, try reading the comments. I'm actually fairly left-leaning myself, but the crap I read there goes waaaaaaaay too far. It's ridiculous.

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  4. As a member of the Cracked comedy workshop who has been published on the site, I've gotta call you out on this. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and you may not find the site as funny as it once was (I disagree); but I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that the fact-based articles that we write are RIGOROUSLY researched and meticulously sourced. If they are not, they simply never even make it in front of the editors. Our sources must be legit (mainstream publications, scientific journals, etc.; no blogs, amateur sites, or even Wikipedia). Also, no idea for an article ("pitch") or even single entry of that article can ever have been used on the site before.

    I noticed that you did not include any actual examples of poorly researched articles, or bad information you've turned up on Cracked. That's because you're making an opinionated observation, and a poor one. Go ahead and join the Workshop and see if you can make some bad information fly. It won't even make it to editorial, let alone to publication.

    So before you trash our site, do what we do. Research.

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    1. You may be using actual researching methods (I applaud you for skipping over Wikipedia) but what does that actually say? Not much, as I can write a college level essay using actual research and still twist it around to fit my biases. In other words, it is easy to take real research (as you claim) and apply your own biases to them. Or to cherry pick which statistics you utilize and which you do not.

      Additionally I have not re-read this article recently but a quick skim shows that I DID provide a link to a Cracked piece with clear bias in regard to our justice system.

      The fact is that many of your site's writers base their comedic material around left wing humor and talking points, which is a major issue I have with Cracked regardless of your researching methods. That is not necessarily a bad thing for many of the people you are marketing your website to, I am just pointing out on my blog that I in particular do not like that trend.

      It is the same reason I can only watch the Daily Show when Jon Stewart takes pot shots at both Democrats and Republicans.

      To close, I actually did enjoy your older articles because they seemed well researched, were not based on any political ideology, and more often than not were hilarious to boot. I would love if you guys could go back to that.

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    2. That is hilarious. Do you ever read the comments. Half of them are filled with people pointing out flaws. Not all of the complaints are right, but a quick JSTOR search reveals that many are indeed correct. Research... what research. I also love how this response illustrates the "preachy" attitude of their columnists.

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    3. Check out the myths you probably believe about guns. This is what made me realize that they may do poor research.

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    4. Cracked.com is a left wing site that alienated it viewers. I for one would still be viewing your site if not for your bias, political tone.

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  5. I find some articles very interesting and inspiring of further reading, but have never laughed at anything on the site. I'm not sure why it's even called a humor site. The agenda of many of the writers is glaringly obvious and annoying. The commenters are mostly sanctimonious, pretentious, self-congratulatory sycophants.

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  6. I don't know that Cracked has ever been funny. Interesting maybe, but not exactly funny.

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  7. Cracked.com hasn't been funny for a long time. It's become commercialized. Just look at the writer defending it, has no clue at all.

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  8. Found this article after having read a ridiculously sanctimonious and self-righteous post on cracked. Was not even remotely funny but just like you said saturated with far left bias.

    Smug, preachy, far left-wing arrogance is not humor.

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    1. Exactly, heck I'm a moderate liberal and can't tolerate their blatant bias.

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  9. Cracked is nothing but a propagating ground for Communism.

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  10. To the Anonymous Cracked Article Writer: I will say this to you. You are bold-face lying. I have read about 4 or 5 articles to find that you guys actually have no idea what you're talking about on most of these topics. You are actually giving people misguided advice on some of them, like the article on being homeless...I also had a hard time finding good laughs in your articles like I use to. So I am disappointed, and of course you find the content funny because you're a writer there and you obviously don't want to point fingers at other writers and betray the place that pays you. One article that just sounded like a feminist diatribe written by a man(?) had something to do with why sexism is everyone's problem. It sounded childish, unprofessional, and loaded with feminist agenda material. I for one, am disappointed with your recent content, so I must thoroughly disagree with what you have said. You'd be better off talking to the cracked.com staff and explaining that if you guys don't fix something, you're going to lose lots of readers (which it seems like you have already lost a great deal of them) if you want to continue getting paid to do something as rewarding as writing hilarious(?) articles on the internet for at least some supplementation to your living wage. I am not saying this to dis or put cracked down, but I was once a loyal fan, and now I am telling you if you want to keep your fans, you will need to change a LOT to keep that interest and momentum, or cracked.com will go through something like what Myspace went through.

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    1. Well put. If Cracked wants to go back to its glory days (~2008) they need to get back to the jokes and stop with the preaching. Being liberal IS FINE and I probably sympathize with that point of view more anyways, but if people want that they can check out The Huffington Post or Jezebel or Slate. Humor is always best when it takes shots at all ideologies, not just one.

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  11. Cracked has gone massively downhill due to its political correctness BS. According to them everything is sexist, everything is racist.

    The forum is full of smug, irritating morons trying to suck up to the writers.

    The comments section used to be fun but they ban anyone who criticizes them or doesn't tow the PC line so it's just a lame circle jerk.

    And they wonder why they are losing readers.

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  12. Very well said by the author of this article, (as well as all of the other people commenting in here), by aptly calling out Cracked, (and their loyal "fanbase"), for precisely who and what they are anymore - left-leaning, liberally biased mouthpieces. I say this not only because I am BEYOND sick and tired of it, (it's appallingly transparent in the articles and comments, too), but also because I used to love Cracked, and would very much like to see it restored to it's former readership, and return to it's previous quality. Keep this crap up Cracked, and you're going to end up drowning in the cesspool of the liberal drivel that you keep trying to ram down everyone's throats ...

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  13. http://www.cracked.com/blog/the-5-most-useless-pieces-advice-everyone-gives/

    Apparently it is impossible to lose weight.

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    1. I guess that isn't their worst article, but the author clear cherry-picked their research when it comes to weight loss. As somebody who was overweight for a large portion of my life, I know that it is difficult to lose it all, though not impossible. Heck, I've even written about how to do it on this website:

      http://www.gainsense.com/2012/06/how-to-lose-weight-quickly-and.html

      The author made it sound like overweight people are mentally predisposed to overeating, which makes sense, but that compulsion is nowhere near as difficult to combat as they claim. Simply eating something like a protein bar instead of a bag of chips or going on a walk for twenty minutes instead of sitting on a couch each day will lead to weight loss. It's all about the small choices and staying consistent.

      It takes surprisingly little to lose a lot of weight once you build some momentum. At the end of the day, it's really all about maintaining a few simple lifestyle changes over a long period of time. Starting the process is the hardest part, but once you do, most people have the willpower to follow through with it.

      So telling somebody to "watch what they eat" is actually great advice. It's up to them to follow through with it. I didn't listen to people telling me that for years, but once I started actually doing it and exercising, the weight came off rapidly.

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    2. its the laziness in their writing that should tell you why they cant lose weight lol

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  14. Honestly, I think it would be good for me, or even the whole internet, to give up Cracked for Lent. The research is getting worse, the photoplasties don't even have fact checkers, the preaching is getting dumber, and now Cheese is doing an unironic gift catalogue ala Buzzfeed, as if he weren't sinking low enough. I just found a Wong article that actually encouraged bullying ("there will always be assholes", like that helps) and I still remember the time he used the "Greed is Good" speech unironically. The site is becoming banally neoliberal; at this rate it could head into New Atheist-like territory

    Dear Anonymous members, please target Cracked next.

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  15. Like you I hate political bias no matter what side, but that isn't what got me to stop with Cracked all together. It is their hypocrisy, and money grabbing. They ban anyone in the comments for attacking a writer and that's good, because some of the comments can get down right scary with death threats, but they don't care if it is another commenter getting threats. Also there is no report button in the comments you have to copy the comment and put it in a thread on the forum to report it. They also mock any commenter that gets reported or puts up criticism of articles in the forum, saying they are failed writers that just what to make "real" writers feel bad. And don't get me wrong lots of the comments are very very horrid, but it doesn't make one of the editors on the site look any better when they make a thread to passively mock the "mean commenter" and say that they must not have a life.

    But what really got me was the fact that they have started to republish old articles on the front page calling them "updated" when all it is is a paragraph at the start talking about the article or a new project they have going. Then they stretch out articles to 3 pages for more page clicks and ad review.

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    1. You're totally right. I actually noticed some of the things you mentioned in my updated commentary on Cracked. I didn't know that about the comments, but it makes sense. Just look at how the Cracked writer who commented on this article above addressed me. They have reason to disagree with me, to be sure, but the way they did it was totally over the top and filled with contempt. Like you said, they basically told me "nyah nyah you aren't good enough at writing to make it through our workshop process so screw you and your criticism nyah nyah." Well ok. Luckily this is my own website, so they can't ban me here. ;)

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  16. While it's true that Cracked has gone downhill, and that research on factual articles is a joke, I've found their bias to be really right-wing.
    Regularly, an article about how religion (christianity foremost, of course) is perfect and atheists are just angry, bitter, wrong, evil and stupid pops up and even on ecnonomic matters, some articles (mostly David Wong's) are ruthlessly anti-poor.
    David Wong (and his disciples) must be the only individual to think Alec Baldwin's character in Glengarry Glen Ross was a role model. In Wong's addled mind, the poor are just lazy and maybe we should eat them.

    What's interesting, though, is the complete 180 the site did on feminism. Now, they often feature feminist articles pointing out (real or imagined) objectification in other media... forgetting how liberally they engaged in it a few years ago.
    Hell, they used to be really proud of their "Boobs" article. Now? It's still there, making their writers look like hypocrites.

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    1. Really? For one thing, atheism isn't a political ideology. Second, every single thing I've read which even mentioned Christianity has been overwhelmingly negative. They'll typically suck up to the "freethinkers" only until their gold medal winner in the Oppression Olympics, Muslims, conflicts with the Narrative. THEN they bash atheism to make Muslims (i.e., mostly racial minorities) look good. And it's not because they like religion, it's because they're desperately trying to impress with the SJWs they want to score some tail from.

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    2. Cracked right-wing, haha. Now THAT'S humor.

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  17. "The forum is full of smug, irritating morons trying to suck up to the writers." from an anonymous writer.

    You got that right. It doesn't matter if they're perfectly mistaken or even lying, if you have proof of their folly, they ignore it, downvote your post, and sometimes even delete the post altogether.

    What have we come to when people demand proof of something, that they then deny the evidence? You can't have a rational discussion with such people because they're completely closed off to new ideas that may contradict their incomplete informaton.
    Now, for many reasons, I can ignore the thinly-veiled political snipes, but what REALLY gets my nerves in a bind is when they pretend to be an authority on video games and their secrets, when in truth, cracked is as sophomoric as you can get when it comes to the nitty gritty on video games, especially the ones from the 80s and 90s.

    Ironic that a lot of these "free-thinkers" who love to laugh and have fun seem to be miserable the majority of the time going by the own words, and they attack others who presents differing viewpoints.


    It's like cracked has become the Mclaughlin Group! :)

    "Hey, the writer is incorrect, there are secret levels in this old game. Here's a link with some screenshots, or you can follow these directions and discover for yourself what-"

    /"WRONG!!! LIAR! It's been debunked by snopes! [another garbage site oft-quoted by no-nothings] Because I can't do it myself means you're a LIAR!!11 Cracked is perfect! *slobber*"


    Have a good day, dear reader, and please keep an open mind.

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  18. I agree with a lot of what has been said in this article and in the comments. Here's my experience with Cracked: submitted a pitch for an article referencing an academic book that I used in my research, the editors' response? To ask if I could use a website instead... Because on Cracked, google for five minutes = research.

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  19. Totally agree. I used to checked cracked.com on a daily bases. Just recently I came across some articles which were very biased and straight up offensive. One only really notices how unresearched they are up until the moment they publish an article of 'facts' about you, your work, your area of knowledge or religion. It's a pity - nolonger reading their articles. I know that on some political / religious oriented articles, some were taken down because they inspected the same topics from an unbiased view. I hope they change they game-plan - since they are spinning into a degenerated state.
    Dear cracked.com - stay out of biased preaching and stick to the funny stuff.

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  21. Is Cracked run by Conservatives now? It seems like 99 percent of the articles were were written by politically correct right-wingers who think the whole world should be politically correct.

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    1. No way, most of what they have done recently is about bashing Trump (most of which Trump deserves). For example, they had a Halloween story telling contest and gave everyone who spoke five extra minutes to talk about Trump. Trump has nothing to do with Halloween. So they have increase much more in political articles over the past years.

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    2. think you got your wings mixed up bud its totally leftist

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  22. Cracked has gone the full leftist propaganda route since Trump got elected. I started noticing that, and that was the last straw for me reading them. A lot of articles were poorly researched and bothered me that way, but I can only hear about Russia Russia Russian hacking so much before I start to lose my temper. And I've noticed a lot of their content now follows anti-Russian rhetoric, toeing the leftist warparty line. And for what? They went from having pretty decent and semi-balanced articles entailing American warcrimes to semi-jingoism. They might as well be parroting MSNBC when any idiot with an butthole can see how messed up American foreign policy is, and how this anti-Russia bullshit is being pushed down the leftist media network by our Defense Contractor Gubmint, in a heavy-handed attempt to reignite a Cold War military buildup and cling to the last crumbling edifice of American Global Hegemony.

    Anyway. Anonymous sources in the CIA said ol' Vladimir Putin was definitely outside your window last night watching you jerk off. Cracked has a listicle about it. It must be true.

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