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Thomas Gallatin / January 7, 2020

CNN ‘Fact Checks’ Babylon Bee Satire

The Leftmedia cannot accept the conservative Christian satire site effectively lampooning Dems.

“Making fun of Democrats and leftists is beyond the pale” was essentially the message from CNN’s “disinformation” reporter Donie O'Sullivan. The reason for his ire was the wildly popular conservative Christian satire site The Babylon Bee’s parody entitled “Democrats Call For Flags To Be Flown At Half-Mast To Grieve Death Of Soleimani.” O'Sullivan claimed without evidence, “A lot of people sharing this ‘satirical’ story on Facebook don’t know it is satire.” Moreover, he lamented, “This is the same number of engagements the top NY Times and CNN stories on Facebook had over the past week.”

But O'Sullivan’s self-serving objection is just the latest in a long line of Leftmedia pundits bemoaning the Bee’s successful and creative satirical engagement of news and politics, a field of entertainment it loudly celebrated when the butt of the jokes were conservatives and Republicans.

As the Washington Examiner’s Becket Adams observes, “The media-led campaign to warn the public of the dangers posed by the conservative parody site is rich, considering it comes at the tail end of the decades-long fad of satirical political shows hosted by ‘news anchors’ such as Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. Indeed, after 15-plus years of living in the shadow of beloved and acclaimed then-Comedy Central hosts, it is laugh-out-loud funny that members of the press are getting bent out of shape now over a single conservative satirical website.”

The irony of the Leftmedia being so concerned over the possible spread of “misinformation” from a clearly established satire site is its own history of disseminating fake news. As David Harsanyi points out, “What’s most annoying about all this situational and insincere freakout about the veracity of social-media news feeds is that the people who claim to be most concerned about it have done far more damage to the public’s trust than has any satirical site — not only by spreading half-truths and stoking political hysteria, but by undermining their reputation and leaving millions of Americans without any reliable mainstream news organizations to count on.”

O'Sullivan’s real complaint is that the Bee is beating leftists at their own game. As Adam Ford, the Bee’s founder, cogently notes, “There are websites dedicated to chronicling reactions from people who think Onion [another satire site] stories are real. Foreign leaders have famously been fooled by Onion articles. And this guy’s bio says he ‘covers disinformation’ for CNN. Surely he has taken the Onion to task as well, yes?” Predictably, the answer to Ford’s question is “no.” In fact, O'Sullivan appears to be a big fan of The Onion, as he has approvingly linked to several of its parody news stories on social media. The truth is that O'Sullivan simply doesn’t like the fact that the Bee is free to so effectively expose and lampoon the Left.


Update: The Babylon Bee responded in typical fashion with the article headlined, “CNN Attacks Babylon Bee: ‘The Internet Is Only Big Enough For One Fake News Site’.”

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