Following much debate and controversy, the Golden Antlers staff has decided that after five long years, it is time to confirm what many of you may have already suspected: the Claremont Independent was actually a social experiment that we now acknowledge went too far.
Inspiration struck in the midst of an epic Golden Antlers staff throw down. We’d spent our entire annual budget of exactly $17 on a bottle of fireball, and after most of the staff was reduced to a blubbering incoherence, we feverishly pieced together the “about us” description of the CI and the first few articles. Thus, the Claremont Independent was born: a fabricated, conservative, and clearly satirical offshoot of the GA. Or so we thought.
Within a week, we had published the first issue. We expected people to catch on pretty quickly to the CI’s satirical nature, especially since the “about us” section housed some phrases that we assumed would be unmistakably identified as such:
- “The Independent is among the most widely read student publications in America, and our national influence is unmistakable”
- “breaking the news that matters”
- “we have sparked important conversations here in Claremont and across the nation”
- “The Claremont Independent is dedicated to using journalism…”
However, much to our surprise, instead of the CI being quickly outed as satire, we were instead inundated with funding from Fox News and rapidly developed a widespread readership—granting that most of it originated from Florida retirement communities, affluent, primarily white neighborhoods, and Steve Bannon.
We decided to see just how far we could take this thing, turning it into a social experiment by publishing increasingly provocative, aggravating and clearly satirical articles to see if anyone would catch on—albeit continuing our tradition of being completely wasted while we wrote them and channeling the voice of what we would imagine Paul Ryan and a coked-up Jabba the Hutt’s love child would sound like.
To be fair, we still can’t believe none of you caught on when we had the CI publish an article that actually resembled a piece of decent investigative journalism— for once not rife with bias and facts taken wildly out of context— and then immediately fired the guy who wrote it. Come on, guys. That one was a bit of a dead giveaway, no?
Regardless, we now recognize we took things a bit too far. After much heated debate and back-and-forth, we have decided to admit our mistakes, reveal the truth, and recognize that we became too power-hungry (and pretty smashed, tbh) to realize just to what extent we were hurting people. We deeply regret any distress or trauma that we have caused in the community. We hope that to those of you who have described the Claremont Independent as “irritating”, “in-your-face”, “offensive,” “an affront to journalism,” “kind of creepy” and “frankly super disturbing” (all direct quotes), there is at least some solace to you knowing that it was actually intended to be like this so no, you weren’t imagining things.
We were unable to predict our particularly incendiary articles would be picked up by other “news” outlets who, like many of you, also did not realize we were satire—and were shocked after some students at the 5Cs actually began receiving death threats over Facebook from outside the Claremont Colleges as a result. To be fair, they were probably all from bored retirees in Alabama or Mike Pence just letting off some steam after a long day of playing it cool and waiting for Trump to be impeached already so he can take over the White House and turn all the US into his Evangelical Christian wet-dream. Regardless, no matter our intentions we realize the consequences of our actions were super fucked up. By taking situations wildly out of context, sensationalizing them, and frankly making up all of our facts—while publishing real student’s names and affiliations—we endangered and hurt students and for this we are highly remorseful.
We recognize, however, that an apology is not enough to repair the incredibly distressing emotional damage that we reaped here at the 5C’s. Thus, if you feel you were personally victimized by the Claremont Independent, we would encourage you to shoot us a quick message through the CI Facebook page detailing what you honestly think of us—both for the cathartic experience but also so we won’t forget and accidentally get drunk and do it again. If we get at least 4 people to message us, positive or negative, we will immediately liquidate ourselves.
– With our sincerest apologies, the Golden Antlers Staff
(Also quick note before we forget—the ASCMC is actually a Golden Antlers fight club which we thought would be a good bonding experience for our staff, but we were sadly mistaken)