Satirist Ana Marie Cox discusses her writing on campus

Nidia Cavazos

Ana Marie Cox, Washington D.C. correspondent for GQ Magazine and a reporter for The Guardian, discussed the merits of satirical writing and her experiences as an outspoken writer at a lecture in the Joynes Reading Room on Thursday.

Cox is well-known for her inclusion of humor in her writings on political issues. She is also the founder of “Wonkette,” an award-winning blog that uses humor to analyze ongoing political issues.

Cox said it is important to know the difference between humor and satire. 

“Satire is a really powerful form of critique,” Cox said. “Humor is someone slipping on a banana, and satire is someone powerful slipping on a banana.”

Cox said her motivation behind being funny is to tell the truth.

“The goal is not to be funny; it’s to tell the truth, and the truth is often funny,” Cox said. “Humor is often based on surprise, and what I have to say is surprising.”

Cox, who has covered controversial topics, such as gay marriage and political campaigns, said what drove her to become a blogger is her desire to know the truth behind events. 

“My reason for writing is truth-telling,” Cox said. “I say the things that other people are thinking but not saying.”

Plan II senior Garrison Land, who attended the lecture, said it was a good opportunity to hear Cox share her experiences.

“I’m in the writing class that she visited today, and it’s great to be able to talk to someone like her who has the experience and can share how her career has been as a writer,” Land said.

Cox also talked about receiving criticism from comments on her blog posts and Twitter account. 

“When I think about mistakes I’ve made, there’s no joke I regret,” Cox said. “It makes you more credible to express your feelings than pretend you don’t have any.”

Sneha Jain, Plan II and chemical engineering freshman, said she enjoys the type of humor Cox uses in her blogs and articles.  

“I enjoy seeing humor being used, as I see it as a more accessible way for people to understand the news,” Jain said. “It’s a way to feel more connected to the stories, and, yes, there are stories that you don’t want humor associated with, but humor also brings in light into those stories.”