Reason Podcast

Christian Satire Site The Babylon Bee Is So Good Treated It Like Real News

Editor in Chief Kyle Mann talks about being taken literally by fact checkers, whether any subject (even a mass shooting) is off limits, and the libertarian sensibility of his humor.


In 2016, the website The Babylon Bee appeared as "Your Trusted Source for Christian News Satire." If you're not a believer, that may strike you as a dubious proposition, but The Babylon Bee absolutely delivers the goods when it comes to comedy, regularly skewering liberals, conservatives, and Christians as a sort of theologically sophisticated version of The Onion.

Recent headlines include "Trump Is Being Influenced by The Russians, Screams Communist!" and "Woke Polar Bear Apologizes for Being White." Classics include "Trump Proves He's Not A Racist By Showing His Rejection Letter From The KKK" and "Local Christian Would Do Anything For Jesus Except Believe Things That Are Unpopular."

A few weeks ago, the site ran a story titled "Georgia Lawmaker Claims Chick-Fil-A Employee Told Her To Go Back To Her Country, Later Clarifies He Actually Said 'My Pleasure.'" The piece generated a lengthy reply from the fact-checking site, which charged the satire site with misleading serious news readers despite many disclaimers (the signup for Bee's newsletter boasts, "Fake news you can trust, delivered straight to your inbox"). Out of concern for being deplatformed by Facebook and other services, the Bee is actually threatening legal action against Snopes (learn more about that here).

On today's Reason Podcast, Nick Gillespie talks with The Babylon Bee's Editor in Chief Kyle Mann about the origins of the satire site, its goals, and what it means to be taken literally when being absurdist about politics and culture.

Audio production by Ian Keyser.