The Onion's digital director helps satisfy America's hunger for journalistic honesty with a steady stream of fake news. Here are some of the photos he may or may not have taken himself, but they've influenced both his reverence for world events and the irreverent ways he covers them. Here's Thurston in his own words:

There's a lot going on in this image: the two Mandelas, freedom fighter and president. My mother in a pure moment of silliness. The location, my friend Mawi Asgedom's Chicago apartment. Mawi is one of the most inspiring and generous people I know. My mom and I were in Chicago because Mawi hooked us up with tickets to see Oprah (a dream of my mother's). He has weathered extreme hardship, built an amazing business and inspired me to write my first book. There isn't a caption long enough to capture what this image means to me.


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I grew up with an inherited love of large bodies of water, especially the ocean. On a drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles in 2010, I stopped at a restaurant in Big Sur and had dinner on a cliff. My date was the ocean.


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The moment I received my Harvard degree, an overwhelmingly proud mama embraced me on behalf of her efforts and the efforts of those that came before, exclaiming, "We did it!"


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The relative calm of hundreds of thousands of people in Tahrir Square during Egypt's revolution was beyond "inspiring." It was beautiful, motivating and magical. Part of the reason for the peace is that the demonstrators established their own security operations to prevent chaos and its agents from wreaking havoc. In May of this year, I was sharing my admiration with a cab driver in Boston. It turns out he was Egyptian and was part of the revolution. At the end of the ride, he showed me this "Freedom Sq" badge used by pro-revolution security volunteers. I took a photo of it, and handed it back to my driver. He insisted that I keep it.


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I love many forms of self-expression: dance, writing, music, even singing. However, there's nothing so simple and full of potential as one microphone on a stage. Like Nas said, "All I need is one mic."


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If you are not inspired by this puppy, there is no hope for you. Seriously.


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