On Monday, the world was reminded of a wonderful story from 2013 when Trump—then just an ordinary real estate mogul—threatened the satirical newspaper with legal action for making fun of him.
The Onion ran an op-ed under his byline with the headline “When You’re Feeling Low, Just Remember I’ll Be Dead in About 15 or 20 Years.” It was an amusing little piece —“You can always take solace in the fact that the monstrous, unimaginable piece of shit that is me will stop existing fairly soon”—unless your name was Donald J. Trump. His legal team sent an email to the paper demanding an apology and a retraction of the column, and threatened that failure to do so “will not go without consequences.”
There is a long and well-documented history of people treating The Onion’s satire as reportage. Everyone from members of Congress to FIFA executives have cited stories from The Onion as fact. But it’s not every day you find someone who is equal parts oblivious to the joke, thin-skinned enough to throw a tantrum, and exceptionally litigious. Donald Trump is, as always, the perfect storm.