Analysis by WorldTribune Staff, December 4, 2020
The Internet is only big enough for one perennial fake news site. CNN has already claimed that crown, and it’s no laughing matter.
So it is no surprise that CNN is at the forefront (yes that network’s personalities are actually doing this) in calling on Facebook and Twitter to censor the clearly-marked-as-satire site Babylon Bee.
“The Babylon Bee has produced satirical content for years, but has increasingly faced censorship from Facebook and Twitter,” the Republic Press noted on Dec. 1. “The Bee’s owners lean conservative, but the content they post is humorous in nature and is not meant to be mistaken for a legitimate news source. It’s obviously not real news, any more than other such sites like The Onion.”
The Bee was flagged in October as spreading disinformation due to a satirical piece about criticism of Justice Amy Coney Barrett. The piece cited Monty Python and other pop culture references, yet Facebook removed the post and stated that it was “inciting violence.” Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon noted that the piece was “literally a regurgitated joke from a Monty Python movie,” and that no one took the piece seriously.
In August, the Babylon Bee’s Twitter account was suspended for “spam and platform manipulation.” The Daily Wire noted that left-leaning satirical sites, such as The Onion, have not endured the same criticism and censorship that the right-leaning Babylon Bee has faced.
Dillon told Fox News host Tucker Carlson that it is ironic that CNN personalities are some of the site’s foremost critics.
Carlson referenced a tweet by CNN reporter Donie O’Sullivan that sounded the alarm over a Bee article that made fun of Democrats who criticized President Donald Trump’s order to take out Iranian terrorism chief Qassem Soleimani.
The Bee’s headline: “Democrats Call For Flags To Be Flown At Half-Mast To Grieve Death Of Soleimani”.
O’Sullivan wrote that “having a disclaimer buried somewhere on your site that says it’s ‘satire’ seems like a good way to get around a lot of the changes Facebook has made to reduce the spread of clickbait and misinformation.”
“Everything is irony,” Dillon told Carlson. “How funny is it that CNN is coming after us for spreading disinformation?”
Carlson told Dillon the blowback his website has received shows that the Left has lost its sense of humor as it grows more “radical” and “tyrannical.” Carlson added many forces in liberal journalism are hoping Facebook will censor the Babylon Bee.
Dillon defended his publication, noting that no party or persuasion is off limits — including President Trump or Christianity, despite the site being considered Christian-conservative.
“I’m not worried about it because the response we get is incredible,” he said. “I wouldn’t be talking to you if they weren’t doing this — our fans are really loyal.”
During the interview, Carlson mentioned and displayed several headlines that may have drawn the Left’s ire. One of the host’s favorites included a photograph of former Democrat Rep. Beto O’Rourke sporting a beard and seated in a chair next to his cat, and staring off-camera. The site satirized that an “El Paso man” had just recovered from an “insane acid trip” wherein he “hallucinated that he ran for president.”
Other headlines lampooned CNN:
“CNN Reporter Informs Iranian protesters they’re supposed to be shouting ‘Death to America.’ ”
“Airport revenues soar after allowing travelers to pay to turn off CNN.”
One story took aim the Speaker of the House, “claiming” that Senate Republicans asked Rep. Nancy Pelosi to send a copy of the Trump impeachment articles without “wine stains all over it.”
Another recent post by the satire site “claimed” Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar criticized Israel for “refusing Palestine’s generous gift of rockets.”