Reason Podcast

Christian Satire Site The Babylon Bee Is So Good Snopes.com 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.

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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 Snopes.com, 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.

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  1. To be fair, the left is so earnest now that the concept of satire is likely lost on them. Especially when it is coming from the religious.

    1. To be fair, people of all political persuasions have been falling for articles from sites like the Onion and the Babylon Bee for years. Many of the people sharing the Georgia lawmaker story (the Babylon Bee one) were conservatives who were sharing it because it painted Democrats in a bad light.

      1. Which really doesn’t prove they believed it as much as enjoyed it.

        1. Most people who share these types of stories, regardless of political persuasion, know they are sharing satirical stories and are doing it for fun. Some people, again from all political persuasions, are duped by the story. It’s generally pretty obvious from how they share the story which category a person falls belongs to for that story.

          1. Sorry I’m not Professor X so I don’t generally assume other’s motives.

            1. The ease with which normal people, especially members of the academic community, are “duped” (the proper legal term is “deceived”) is precisely why we need to make it clear that offensive writings of the sort cannot be tolerated anywhere in the United States. The best way of accomplishing that goal is to build on the important advances in criminalizing inappropriate “parody” that prosecutors have made in New York, with the assistance of several of our most distinguished faculty members here at NYU. See the documentation of our nation’s leading criminal “satire” case at:

              https://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

      2. Not much paint needed to do that.

  2. I’ve been reading The Bee for a few weeks now. How they can keep it up,I do not know.

    1. When it first came out, it was a bunch of somewhat humorous but corny Christian jokes. For the last year, however, they have been on fire. It’s far better than The Onion now. Much of the humorless left is simply incapable of taking a joke or understanding satire that comes at their own expense. They are the same morons who blame South Park for Nazis because they’re too thick to understand the satire.

      1. What makes it funny is that they are observers of people in the real world. They take a real attitude or behavior, and exaggerate it just slightly, and turn it into satire.

        But leftists rags (including the new Onion) can’t do parody or satire because they’re in a bubble insulated from the real world. They won’t make fun of themselves, and they don’t know anyone outside their bubble. So when they try to do a joke it goes over like a fart in an elevator.

  3. Okay. The Babylon Bee just got installed on my Favorites list.

  4. I am often surprised the quality of The Babylon Bee‘s work.

    1. I hear Reason is interviewing some of the writers…

    2. Yeah, it’s not bad. But it’s a lot of low hanging fruit. Sort of what Fist does 🙂

      1. But to be honest, the left provides so darn much low-hanging fruit. I mean, the video from the Democratic Socialists meeting? Come on, you can’t make that stuff up! There’s precious little room between that reality and any attempt at satire running into Poe’s law.

  5. Snopes is not so much a truth-checking site as an ideology-checking site. And now their piece criticizes the Bee for “confusing” people, i.e. not serving propaganda with the desired spin.

    1. Snopes used to be VERY good about debunking shit. They still are about stuff that’s not political. But around the 2016 election they changed along with the rest of the world.

      1. It wasn’t exactly the election. The original founders got divorced and the owner re-married and made his new wife a Chief Editor. Since then it’s veracity has steadily dropped.

    2. Snopes Rolls Out New Opinion Check Feature

      https://babylonbee.com/news/snopes- rolls-out-new-opinion-check-feature (remove space)

      “We’ll tell you which opinions are OK and which ones make you a Nazi.”

      1. Yep, they are on fire.

      2. I liked their Snopes fact checked bible – specifically:

        “Now you can actually be sure of God’s Word because the infallible Snopes writers are telling you what to believe right there on the page.”

  6. Everybody laughed at the absurdity of Snopes fact-checking The Babylon Bee, but Snopes did not take issue with The Babylon Bee’s “fake news” because they’re idiots, but because with Snopes special relationship with Facebook as fact-checkers and therefore arbiters of whom exactly is “fake news”, Snopes could “pretend” that they were taken in by The Bee and get them put on Facebook’s shitlist of purveyors of fake news. That’s not a damn bit funny.

    1. Snopes initially referred to the Bee’s story about the Georgia lawmaker as a “ruse.”

      Progressivism wrecks everything.

      1. The Snopes summary of the “true story” of the Georgia lawmaker really tore the mask off.

        Gone were all of the relevant facts about the wild claims made by the lawmaker. Gone were descriptions of her borderline violent behavior caught on video. Gone were the many witnesses who said she was the one who told the Cuban immigrant to go back where he came from. Gone were descriptions of the insane reaction across the country from the left about the hideous Trump supporter who attacked the black congresswoman…. Just a sanitized he-said, she-said that maybe she made a mistake. Nothing to see here.

        They spent paragraphs explaining how the Bee was intentionally misleading people by making satire that isn’t really satire.

        Their “fact check” was much more of a lie than anything the Bee or people sharing the Bee story did.

    2. I believe this is the most significant issue, as they did get deplatformed once before by Facebook due to Snopes reaction to their satire.

      Someone should fact-check me as to what level they were impacted, but I believe their page was temporarily banned.

      1. The podcast says merely that Facebook sent them a warning, refused to listen to their defense until the Bee tweeted it, got thousands of retweets, and embarrassed Facebook enough to withdraw the warning. I did not hear of any actual suspension, but I was cooking while listening.

    3. Man, that pedo PB really comes off as a moron in this thread. Carlin’s offensive jokes on the left and the right would certainly get him labeled as alt-right today.

  7. Conservatives are such humorless pricks I am surprised that any would understand satire. I am still waiting for a decent conservative stand-up comedian to arrive and the insufferable Dennis Miller doesn’t work.

    1. There are lots of excellent comedians who are now called conservative and alt-right, FWIW.

      1. And there are great progressive comedians who would be considered reactionary rightists by today’s standards. Like Monty Python:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dgp9MPLEAqA

        1. Carlin on PC culture

          Political correctness is America’s newest form of intolerance, and it is especially pernicious because it comes disguised as tolerance,” he said. “It presents itself as fairness, yet attempts to restrict and control people’s language with strict codes and rigid rules.”

          “I’m not sure that’s the way to fight discrimination. I’m not sure silencing people or forcing them to alter their speech is the best method for solving problems that go much deeper than speech.”

          1. “Conservatives say if you don’t give the rich more money, they will lose their incentive to invest. As for the poor, they tell us they’ve lost all incentive because we’ve given them too much money.”

            “Have you ever wondered why Republicans are so interested in encouraging people to volunteer in their communities? It’s because volunteers work for no pay. Republicans have been trying to get people to work for no pay for a long time.”

            1. “Political Correctness is fascism pretending to be Manners”

              By the way, it’s hilarious that my post triggered your child molester ass so much that you entirely missed the point, and decided to try to shit on Republicans because you’re a Dem whore.

              1. I shit on Republicans because you are one. And there is nothing PC about me. I hate all religion and authoritarian assholes like The Dotard – your hero.

                1. And why do you miss points and post links to kiddie porn?

                2. “And there is nothing PC about me”

                  Hey look another point you stupidly missed because your mind is on having sex with children.

                3. Go die in a fire. You’d serve the world better that way.

            2. give the rich more money

              I assume he means “let them keep more of their money”?

            3. Meanwhile, Dems tax productive people to no end because Dems want you to work for THEIR pay.

            4. “If you don’t give the rich more money”…..

              Haha. Another resentful loser who thinks taking less (tax cuts) is giving money.

              You ain’t giving nothing. What a doosh.

          2. “It presents itself as fairness, yet attempts to restrict and control people’s language with strict codes and rigid rules.”

            https://reason.com/2019/08/07/white-supremacy-is-alien-to-liberal-and-libertarians-ideals/

      2. George Carlin would almost certainly be considered alt-right.

        Which should give the game away entirely if one is paying attention.

        Carlin on climate change

        “Haven’t we done enough. We’re so self-important. So self-important. Everybody’s gonna save something now. Save the trees. Save the bees. Save the whales. Save those snails. And the greatest arrogance of all, save the planet. What? Are these fucking people kidding me? Save the planet? We don’t even know how to take care of ourselves yet. We haven’t learned how to care for one another and we’re gonna save the fucking planet? I’m getting tired of that shit, tired of that shit, tired. I’m tired of fucking Earth Day. I’m tired of these self-righteous environmentalists. These white, bourgeois, liberals who think the only thing wrong with this country is there aren’t enough bicycle paths. People trying to make the world safe for their Volvos. Besides, environmentalists don’t give a shit about the planet, they don’t care about the planet. Not in the abstract they don’t. You know what they’re interested in? A clean place to live. Their own habitat. They’re worried some day in the future they might be personally inconvenienced.”

        1. Oh bullshit.

          “Boy, these conservatives are really something, aren’t they? They’re all in favor of the unborn. They will do anything for the unborn. But once you’re born, you’re on your own. Pro-life conservatives are obsessed with the fetus from conception to nine months. After that, they don’t want to know about you. They don’t want to hear from you. No nothing. No neonatal care, no day care, no head start, no school lunch, no food stamps, no welfare, no nothing. If you’re preborn, you’re fine; if you’re preschool, you’re fucked.”

          Carlin

          1. So… You are a tually so fucking stupid that you think him banging on Conservatives will appease the Left?

            Ahahahahahahahahah YOU’RE AN IDIOT ON TOP OF BEING A PEDO AHAHHAHAJAJ

            HE THINKS THE LEFT WOULD BE OK WITH CARLIN BECAUSE HE ALSO CRITICIZED CONSERVATIVES AHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAH

            1. HE
              THINKS
              THE LEFT
              WOULD
              BE OK
              WITH
              CARLIN
              BECAUSE
              HE ALSO CRITICIZED CONSERVATIVES AHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAH

          2. God you are a fucking moron. Which part of “he would be considered this now” do you not understand? You are just fucking retarded.

            1. It’s comical how desperate Shreek is to defend leftists while pretending not to be one.

          3. The problem with that is, it just is not so. It is just their activity for neo natal care and such is not directly connected by the media to their pro-life efforts. Also, they generally are not advocating government doing those things, so they not given credit by people like Carlin because if you are for the government doing it, you don’t support it being done.

          4. Yes, Carlin effectively equated “best not kill them” with “don’t want to give them free shit.” And you think it’s a sick burn.

        2. Yeah, that rant sounds like a profane Jordan Peterson.

    2. So who are the great progressive comedians nowadays?

      I’d take the Babylon Bee over Samantha Bee any time.

      1. South Park trumps all progressive comedy.

        “We don’t like conservatives…but man, we HATE liberals”

          1. I loved them going to an awards dinner at People for the American Way…and then stating “Oh, we’re Republicans. No, seriously. We are”

      2. So who are the great progressive comedians nowadays?

        Man. For those 6 months we had Netflix (as of last month) I would try to watch some comedy specials. Some were quite good, like Anthony Jeselnick, and some were ok, like Hannibal Buress or Bill Burr. But the majority of them would start out ok but then within 10 minutes, it would be all Trump for the next 30 minutes. And not funny Trump jokes. Just bitching and ranting. Terrible, cringey, and obviously unfunny. People paid money to sit in those seats and listen to that. Well, they would usually laugh, so I guess they got what they paid for.

        1. The problem is that you can’t satirize something you don’t understand. Comics of the 70s and 80s grew up around what once was the conservative establishment and understood it, which enabled them to satirize it effectively. The current generation of comedians often have grown up in a complete Prog bubble. So, they don’t understand Trump or his supporters or really anyone not on the left. Without understanding their target, their “satire” just ends up being crude insults and nothing more.

        2. Best new one is I Think You Should Leave. Sketch comedy, but amazing sketch comedy.

          New comedians who are good? Nate Bargatze if you haven’t seen him. I kind of expect Dusty Slay to get a special soon, if he does check him out.

          1. What network is I Think You Should Leave on?

            I liked the show Garfunkel and Oats on Sundance I think it was. It was basically two hapless hipster chicks doing sketch comedy. It was pretty funny.

            1. I like their ukelele gig.

    3. Just because no one likes your kiddie porn habit doesn’t mean they’re humorless. You raping kids isn’t funny.

      1. “You know the good part about all those executions in Texas? Fewer Texans.”

        Carlin again.

        1. And? You keep missing the fucking point because you’re thinking about having sex with children.

          No one said he didn’t criticize Conservatives you pedo, the poimt is the the Left is humorless and Carlin would be a target, as your sperg-out over the subject proves.

        2. “White folks are tired of our asses, they are going to get some new niggers; the Vietnamese. We are the ones who are supposed to give up the jobs, nobody asked us.”

          Richard Pryor.

          Now go take your child lusting racist ass away from here.

          1. Me “Carlin hit some spots the Left would find uncomfortable enough to make him a target, and get him labeled alt-right”

            The Pedo ” HE HIT CONSERVATIVES TOO!!”

            Literally everyone in the world “How is the Pedo that stupid?”

            1. Pryor would be burned at the stake by the left if he were alive and performing today.

              1. Oh my God he’d get run out of every venue he tried to perform at.

              2. Didn’t he try to do that to himself once?

          2. And don’t forget that Pryor was talking about the boat people – who Democrats strongly opposed allowing into the US (all in the name of Border Enforcement) because they knew damn well few if any of them were going to be reliable big government voters.

    4. Man, that pedo PB really comes off as a moron in this thread. Carlin’s offensive jokes on the left and the right would certainly get him labeled as alt-right today.

  8. All this tells us how shit Snopes has become over the years.

  9. I don’t know why he would threaten legal action against Snopes. That Snopes is debunking the Bee tells us everything we need to know about Snopes. That Snopes hasn’t removed that mistake with a loud apology also tells you everything you need to know about Snopes.

    1. Yeah, seems like a source of endless material really, post something, wait for Snopes to freak out, then mock them for it. Rinse repeat.

    2. Because Snopes can lead to them being deplatformed by social media for providing “fake news”. Even CNN is siding with Snopes on this nonsense, with Stelter claiming people ask him if the stories on the Bee are true.

      Perhaps CNN’s viewers are just abject morons…

        1. FB is using a “neutral” process.

          Snopes is claiming they are trying to fool people even though they, unlike the Onion, announce they are satirical on their home page.

          1. Nah, Facebook is the problem here. If I’m Facebook and I put Rachel Maddow on a panel to determine the “truthiness” of news stories, then the problem is mine, not Maddow’s.

          2. Snopes is claiming they are trying to fool people […]

            [Citation needed].

            What the article actually says is that people were confused, and that Babylon Bee posts fiction.

              1. https://thefederalist.com/2018/03/02/facebook-apologizes-for-threatening-to-censor-the-babylon-bee/

                Facebook Apologizes For Threatening To Censor Christian Satire Site Flagged As Fake News
                Facebook is now saying its decision to go after the Christian satire site, The Babylon Bee because Snopes told them to was a mistake. Their apology doesn’t change the social network’s creepy comfortability with censorship.
                MARCH 2, 2018 By Bre Payton
                Facebook is now saying its decision to threaten to censor a Christian satire site because it was flagged by Snopes for reporting fake news was a mistake. The social media giant apologized, but that doesn’t make the censorship any less disconcerting.

      1. CNN made my friend’s dog racist.

        He’d leave TV on CNN while he was at work. In the months following the Michael Brown et al stuff, the dog suddenly started barking at black people. This was a new behavior. I turned him on to an alternative, and the dog lost her habit of barking at black people.

        True story

    3. He says in the podcast it is because Snopes didn’t just debunk them,but implied they were intentionally trying to deceive readers into thinking they were writing real truthful news, which is where Facebook draws the line.

      1. That is straight up libel.

      2. I still argue the issue is with Facebook, not the panel member that Facebook appointed. Sure, Snopes might make the recommendation, but Facebook is the one who acts and certified Snopes as an agent of censorship.

    4. Have you actually looked at the Snopes article?

      The reason they’re “fact-checking” the story is because people are treating it like real news. The fact-check is “The Babylon Bee is an entertainment website that does not publish factual stories.”

      Why should that be removed?

      1. OK so you were serious.

        Ahahahahahahahahah how are you this fucking stupid!!!

      2. All Snopes needed to do was say “No. It’s a satire”. Just like they do with EVERY non-political satire making the rounds because people think it’s true.

        It’s not “fake news” because it’s not purporting to be news at all!

        1. Thank you. You said it more concisely than I did.

      3. b>The original Snopes piece included the subheadline, “we’re not sure if fanning the flames of controversy and muddying the details of a news story classify an article as ‘satire.’” It called the Bee story a “ruse” and suggested it had been published “in an apparent attempt to maximize the online indignation.”

        That language has since been removed “for tone and clarity,” according to an editors’ note atop the piece. Snopes, it says, is working to create standards for how to address humor and satire.

        I disagree with the lawsuit because I think that the Snopes Misstep is enough to raise the profile of the Bee and discredit Snopes’ direction it’s taken over the last few years.

    5. “I don’t know why he would threaten legal action against Snopes.”

      Snopes tipped their hand too soon and made it obvious that the goal was systematic deplatforming.

      The threat of legal action is the threat of discovery, and it is a shot across the bow of any other entities (e.g. Facebook, Google) who might be working with Snopes to accomplish their oft denied goals of altering the next election’s rhetorical landscape.

  10. “He says in the podcast it is because Snopes didn’t just debunk them,but implied they were intentionally trying to deceive readers into thinking they were writing real truthful news”

    Which is absolutely fantastic because the words “satire” and/or “fake news” are all over their website.

    As does their Twitter feed and presumably their Facebook page as well.

    1. And whose site doesn’t have satire written on it?

      The Onion.

      Then again, they’ve become tedious and hacky.

      1. In the interview he says they have been “fact checked” 60 times in the couple of years they have existed. The Onion? Twice. Ever.

        As he said, draw your own conclusions.

  11. Christian Satire Site The Babylon Bee Is So Good Snopes.com Treated It Like Real News

    Poe’s Law?

    1. http://babylonbee.com/news/why-cant-we-return-to-how-peaceful-the-world-was-before-guns

      Why Can’t We Return to How Peaceful the World Was Before Guns

      It’s no exaggeration to say things are now a million billion times more violent than before guns were invented. It’s past time to get rid of all the guns and go back to how peaceful and nice everyone was in ancient history. It won’t end all conflicts, but it will get pretty close.

    2. Then there is this

      http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20180417-what-would-happen-if-all-guns-disappeared

      BBC, What if all guns disappeared?

      The most obvious effect of such a disappearance is simple: no gun deaths. Approximately 500,000 people around the world are killed by guns each year. In terms of developed countries, the biggest losses are in the US, where citizens own 300 to 350 million guns in total. There, gun homicide rates are more than 25 times higher than the combined rate of other high-income nations.

      “About 100 people in this country die every day as a result of a gunshot,” says Jeffrey Swanson, a professor of psychiatry and behavioural science at Duke University School of Medicine in North Carolina. “If you take away the guns, lots and lots of those lives will be saved.”

      How can you tell which is the satire?

      1. “”BBC, What if all guns disappeared?”‘

        Government would create them to keep the peasants in line.

  12. […] which charged the satire site with misleading serious news readers despite many disclaimers […]

    Which actually happened.

    There’s a reason the Onion and Babylon Bee keep getting “fact-checked” by Snopes, it’s because people (your “serious news readers”) keep getting confused.

    So to be clear, what’s the complaint? That Snopes correctly identified a satire site as satire and said that readers who thought it was real were wrong?

    1. “So to be clear, what’s the complaint?”

      Not sure if serious.

      1. Serious.

        Fact-checkers check stories that people think are factual.

        This story is one such story. That it came from a satire site made it easy†, but it does not make it inappropriate for them to correct folks who mistakenly think the story is true.

        Or to put it another way… if people weren’t so gullible, Snopes wouldn’t have to fact-check satire sites.
        ________
        †From the article that has y’all so upset:

        The Babylon Bee is an entertainment website that does not publish factual stories. A disclaimer on the website reads: “The Babylon Bee is the world’s best satire site, totally inerrant in all its truth claims. We write satire about Christian stuff, political stuff, and everyday life.”

        1. “Serious.

          Fact-checkers check stories that people think are factual.

          This story is one such story. That it came from a satire site made it easy†, but it does not make it inappropriate for them to correct folks who mistakenly think the story is true.”

          It does when the only fact that was” untrue” was thd change to the restaurant.

          “Since the line between fact and fiction here is a bit blurry, let’s quickly summarize what’s true and what’s false in regards to the lawmaker controversy:

          What’s true: Georgia state Rep. Erica Thomas claimed that she was verbally assaulted by a man at a Publix store who told her to “go back” where she came from. The man admitted that he cursed at Thomas, but he denied making the “go back” remark. Thomas subsequently said that she wasn’t exactly sure of what the man said, and a witness claimed it was Thomas, not the customer, who used the “go back” language.

          What’s false: In the fictional Babylon story, the event took place at a Chick-fil-A and involved an employee, not a fellow customer.

          They fact checked a SATIRE site, misrepresenting the SATIRE site as real news to Facebook, which then implemented measures to deal with the SATIRE site, before being shamed into reversing course.

          And at the end of all that? The only incorrect fact they find was a change of the location where the incident occurred.

          They are rightly getting dog piled because they got butthurt and wanted to attack the bee, as the total lack of any corrections apart from location demonstrates.

          1. From the Snopes article:

            The Babylon Bee has tried to fool readers with its brand of satire in the past,”

            They TRIED TO FOOOL READERS according to Snopes. By being an openly admitted satire site.

            What more do you need explained to you? Snopes is misrepresenting the Bee, to Facebook, to get them deplatformed.

            Do you understand NOW?

            1. And by the way, Snopes was so embarrassed by their obviously false claim that they edited it out and then put a disclaimer explaining why.

              That should tell you everything you need to know.

              1. For once I have to agree with you. Humor is humor.

                “I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas I don’t know.”

                Does not need fact checking.

          2. They fact checked a SATIRE site […]

            Because people believed the story and shared it as though it were a factual event. This really isn’t complicated.

            1. No, because Snopes claimed they tried to fool readers.

              You’re right, it’s not complicated, you’re just an imbecile.

              1. Hey, when Jon Stewart got busted for lies, it was just a joke. When he got away with lies, it was commentary.

                1. Am I the only one wondering if EE has had a serious head injury recently?

                  1. I’m wondering if he’s Snopes…

            2. It might not be that complicated, but you are clearly simple.

            3. “Because people believed the story and shared it as though it were a factual event. This really isn’t complicated.”

              So a speaker is responsible for whatever any listener thinks they heard/read?

              Sounds pretty complicated to me.

              But, what do I know, your comment is best understood as being about the joys of fucking small rodents.

            4. And they did not fact check articles on The Onion.

              On could reasonably infer from the content of the “fact check” that this was ideologically driven. Their summary of actual events is not complete and accurate and gives a very misleading picture of the controversy that “The Bee” is mocking.

              If you can’t see it… well, you probably are wearing your partisan blinders. It is pretty blatant.

  13. http://babylonbee.com/news/snopes-announced-fact-checked-study-bible

    Snopes announces fact checked study bible. I bet the douche bags at Snopes hate these people.

    1. Shoreter EscherEtard

      “So what’s the problem?”

    2. “Did Jesus rise from the dead? Fact check: LEGEND,

      “Is Jesus Christ the Truth? Fact check: FALSE. Snopes is the only verifiable truth,”

      They really are doing the Lord’s work over there.

    3. Snopes: Did Snopes announce a fact-checked study bible? FALSE.

    4. When Snopes finishes with the Bee, maybe they can finally get around to fact-checking Mad Magazine.

      1. Or the National Lampoon when it existed in the good days.

        1. I did my part to keep that dog alive.

  14. The Economist, Scientific American, and Fortune, to name but three, were at one time reliably skeptical reporters of various claims. Seems Snopes has traveled the same curve,

    1. Scientific American is a complete mess.

      Scientism American now.

      1. Victims of the long march. Add everything Conde Naste to that list as well.

      2. I really lament the loss of Scientific American. I was a subscriber for probably 20 years, from elementary school all the way through grad school and out into the real world…

        But our relationship didn’t survive the arrival of Shermer. I really enjoyed his Skeptic column for years… until it became the DNC talking points column. I lasted maybe 2 subscription cycles of heavy partisanship before I gave up. The partisanship spread from the Skeptic page out through the entire magazine, until the thing was largely unreadable. Too bad, they were an icon.

        I lost all of my favorites from my youth… National Lampoon, Omni, Compute’s Gazette, Scientific American… I kinda gave up on National Geographic more than they gave up on me though. Sorry guys… You didn’t deserve to get dropped. I tried subscribing again when the kids got old enough, but they really were not very interested.

        Out of all of those I think I miss Omni the most. The internet and cable TV have filled the space occupied by the others, but I haven’t found anything that fills the niche that Omni occupied.

  15. The Babylon Bee has gotten good enough, IMO, that it’s actually better than the Onion. Not every piece from either site really works, but I find that I’m getting a lot more laughs from Bee articles than from the Onion. I’ve been very impressed with how far they’ve come. As a Christian who bristles at the awfulness of most of what is produced for the religious market, I’ve been shocked and happy.

  16. Just trying to wrap my head around the idea that a satire website needs fact-checking.

    1. It doesn’t. It’s not about fact checking, Snopes is trying to deplatform them because the Bee is not a progressive site.

      1. Is there any doubt that’s the case?

  17. It seems they *do* fact-check the Onion, though in a gentle way:

    “The Onion may be the most well known source of satire in the United States, but its content still manages to fool readers on occasion, especially when they encounter it removed from its original context.”

    https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/judge-white-woman-tried-african-american/

    1. Snopes reminds me of the smart-alec know-nothing who thinks they know everything or can learn anything by reading up on it.

      To the point of then challenging someone who actually knows better than them.

      For example, they’d be the person who would fact check Einstein or a car expert with 25 years experience.

      Or.

      I never heard of Scipio but someone said he was a great general. Let my inflated sense of fact checking prowess see if this is true!

      1. So Snopes is Hihn?

  18. Great satire site. Read it all the time and they are not all that partisan. Today they poked fun at Hobby Lobby, Joe Biden who has been lampooned in the onion for years, and more subtly Trump for blaming video games in the funniest article up now.

    1. They’ve published articles making fun of climate change, trans rights and evolution. I can give a pass to articles of “Christian doesn’t believe in parts of the bible he doesn’t like” as just unfunny or dorky, but making fun of Trump’s outlandish, low-hanging fruit claims and making fun of hard science are not at the same level and it’s not nonpartisan.

      1. Oh, I get it…. Let me summarize to put a point on it.

        Making fun of stuff that I think is stupid is sophomoric and just a fig leaf.

        Making fun of stuff that I agree with is partisan, unfunny and wrong. And there just is no equivalence between making fun of stuff I agree with and making fun of stuff I don’t agree with. That doesn’t balance the scales at all!

  19. Snopes is run by dopes!

  20. I don’t think anyone who isn’t a Boomer could find this Christian satire to be entertaining. (No offense to Nick, but it’s true.) That’s the biggest issue with it considering what it offers. That said, religion and all that typically attracts conservatives, and this Bee site clearly panders to them. What sites like the Onion have that the writers of the Babylon Bee don’t is that you can clearly see that the writers of the Onion put comedy and absurdity before their own biases. You can have a satire article that clearly displays an agenda, but the Babylon writers can’t seem to figure out how to make it appeal to anyone for any reason other than agreeing with their underlying point. Now the Christ fanclub rejoices in the fact that Snopes took them seriously, and will use that as “proof” that whatever inconvenient facts uncovered by Snopes must be fake because of that screw up. They should be reminded that despite misinterpeting the article, Snopes hasn’t been caught lying or making things up.

    1. Yeah, I couldn’t disagree more. Just like the Onion, they do have political “one sided” stuff. But also like the Onion they have a lot of stuff that isn’t ideological.

      Current headlines include:
      “Husband Daycare Now Available at All Hobby Lobby Locations”.

      “Video Games Blamed For Sudden Rise Of Hastily Constructed, Abandoned Forts Across Nation”

      (that’s a fortnight joke)

      “Pastor Prays For Sweet Embrace Of Death As Leadership Meeting Nears Fifth Hour”
      (that’s a “dealing with church life” joke)

      They hit millennials:
      “Study: Majority Of Millennial Christians Unsure What A ‘Bible’ Is”

      Oh, and let’s see.. they only pander to conservatives…

      “Trump Rewards Himself For Great Job This Week With ‘World’s Best President’ Mug From White House Gift Shop”

      That’s pretty funny. And not pro-Trump. Actually better than most stuff you see on The Daily Show, where they take things way too seriously. They found Trump’s big personality flaw and lampooned it. That’s pretty bog standard political humor.

      And they have 2 really good partisan swings in the other direction:

      “Biden Clarifies: ‘I Like All Races, Even The Bad Ones'”

      “CDC: People With Dirt On Clintons Have 843% Greater Risk Of Suicide”

      Both are funny because they play right to type.

      So it seems they are legitimately what they claim. Christian satire. They lampoon stuff from an American Christian point of view. So there’s church stuff where they make fun of church people and church life. “Mormons Launch Sacred Underwear Store ‘Brigham’s Secret'”

      That is them “making fun of themselves”

      So your take is completely and utterly wrong. Unlike left humor like “the Daily Show”, they indeed mostly make fun of themselves and their own culture. When lampooning the rest of society, it seems pretty biting, but not the ridiculous unfunny snark of the left “Republicans are so racist! And stupid! Ha-ha!”

      Even the great comic publications like National Lampoon and Mad miss as much as they hit. The Bee seems to be way above average. And I’ll bet that one reason for that is that they are not what you claim – an ideologically driven site that panders to a political base – at least not yet.

      1. Actually, let’s test that Onion claim as well….

        Right now there’s a lot going on with democrats. Not so much with republicans, since they don’t have a primary. So if you are doing political humor, I’d expect it to be democrat heavy on the jokes right now. Let’s see what they have:

        Their main article is classic Onion silliness:
        “Woman Basks In Magic Of Summer While Opening Her Mouth To Sky To Catch Air-Conditioner Drippings”

        (that is right in the wheelhouse of satire magazines – hit and miss. Not that funny IMHO, but bog standard nonetheless)

        After that we start getting political:

        “Koch Foods CEO Applauds Immigrant Arrests As Consequence Of Illegally Accepting Job At Koch Foods”
        (that’s funny because we used Koch as the name of our evil CEO! Get it! Koch. ‘Cause they are evil republicans – er… libertarians.)

        “Trump Boys Counter Chinese Currency Manipulation By Adding Extra Zeros To $20 Bills”
        (Trump joke…. lampoons Trump for china policy… joke is “Trump kids are stupid!)

        “Manifesto Calls On Fellow White Americans To Rise Up And Maintain Status Quo”
        (timely with mass shooters with manifestos. But the joke is “white people are racist and live in a racist society and all they have to do to maintain a racist society is keep doing what they are doing” Pretty woke)

        “Victoria’s Secret Accused Of Promoting Unattainable Beauty Standards With New 3-Cup Bra”
        (makes fun of feminist complaints about advertising. first one targeting left. Not a bad joke either)

        “Trump Campaign Denies Doctoring Photos Showing Him Speaking To 1.8 Million Shooting Victims At Dayton Hospital”

        (Trump joke – implies that he was dishonest about visit to Dayton victims – playing in to far left hysteria that nobody would welcome his presence. Still, decent joke based on his history of exaggerating attendance, even if it isn’t all that fair and is pretty blindly partisan.)

        “‘Sorry About The Tornado Or Whatever,’ Says Trump Wolfing Down Bowl Of Chili While Consoling El Paso Shooting Victim”

        (another joke about Trump visiting victims. )

        “New Amazon Service Lets Customers Boost Shipping Speed With Easy One-Click Charge To Whip Delivery Person”

        (Amazon is the evil overlord joke)

        Ok, that’s the top 9 headlines. All but one are political. Of the 8 political, one lampoons a position of the left. Gently and farcically with a photo of a 3 breasted model.

        Of the swings at the right… at least 3 are wildly unfair. There’s no way an honest broker can claim that “the writers of the Onion put comedy and absurdity before their own biases. ” That list of articles shows that their own biases are the prime drivers. And the list of articles from the Bee shows that their prime driver is not their biases, but their location. They are Christian dudes, so they write about stuff that Christian dudes deal with. Some of that is partisan politics – but the list of particulars did not show this to be their main thrust, and it did not show a vast bias in one direction.

        Which is entirely unlike the Onion, which showed no interest in any of the politicians they agree with, even though democratic presidential politics is the primary political interest story at the moment. Not one shot at Biden, Harris, Sanders, et. al. Nothing to lampoon in all of that? Really?

        No, I’d say that the evidence pretty conclusively shows that reality is actually 180 degrees opposite of your idea of what is happening.

        1. Ok, as a fan of the Onion for many, many years, I thought the results of their main page was way more one-sided than is reasonable. I mean, those were pretty terrible partisan swipes at Trump, completely unfair and only funny if you are a big time partisan democrat.

          So I did a search on Kamala Harris, certain that they had to have had something to say about her recently.

          Oh yeah, they didn’t disappoint.

          “Kamala Harris Assembles Campaign Staff Of Unpaid California Prison Laborers”

          That’s biting and funny. Well done.

          “Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren Assure Dreamers They’ll Never Stop Fighting For The 2020 Nomination”

          Ok, kinda funny. Naked politics is naked. decent joke, if a little generic.

          From the text inside an article about the democrat debates:
          “Sparks flying between Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as they argued over who personally threw more people in jail.”

          Funny line.

          And that’s about it. A few more mentions of her name, but nothing really satirical.

          So two good swings at Harris, one of the most target rich DNC candidates for a leftist humorist.

          But at least they did take a couple of swings. So they aren’t SNL or The Daily Show. Yet.

          1. Uh, make that 3 swings at Harris.

            5 things to know about Kamala Harris

            This one is pretty vicious. That’s more of what I expected the progressive take on Harris to be.

            What is her position on ever-expanding executive power? She would like some, please.

            Funny.

  21. Hey Nick, great interview.

    It was really interesting listening to you dealing with such an overtly evangelical Christian in an interview. You just let him tell his story, his way. Well done.

    Having listened to you speaking as yourself so many times, I could feel the strain as you desperately wanted to debate the particulars of some religious claim, but you did an interview rather than a debate. It is actually so rare to hear someone do a professional interview these days that it was worth remarking on.

    And I really liked his explanations of things, including their style and reason for existence. I also enjoyed his restraint as he refused to assign motive to Snopes, when you know he had some really strong opinions on that front.

    All in all, it was a great interview on a topic that nobody seems to be interested in taking a long look at. So thanks!

  22. In response to this controversy, Snopes has edited their “fact check”. It is still pretty egregious – clearly attempting to downplay the lawmaker’s lies and terrible behavior, ignoring the frenzy on the left to embrace those lies and playing up a satirical article as some sort of proof that the whole thing is a conspiracy of the right. But they deleted most of the text about The Bee misleading people and impugning motives.

    But lest you doubt their bias in this case, this is still how they adjudicate “truth” in this case:

    Since the line between fact and fiction here is a bit blurry, let’s quickly summarize what’s true and what’s false in regards to the lawmaker controversy:

    What’s true: Georgia state Rep. Erica Thomas claimed that she was verbally assaulted by a man at a Publix store who told her to “go back” where she came from. The man admitted that he cursed at Thomas, but he denied making the “go back” remark. Thomas subsequently said that she wasn’t exactly sure of what the man said, and a witness claimed it was Thomas, not the customer, who used the “go back” language.

    What’s false: In the fictional Babylon story, the event took place at a Chick-fil-A and involved an employee, not a fellow customer.

    If you didn’t follow the story, run watch the video of her now. That summary is dishonest in what it leaves out, and barely honest in what it does say.

    And beyond the facts of what she claimed and what actually happened, the other big piece of the story was the reaction of the media and the progressive left to the story. That is a big chunk of what was being lampooned, so leaving all of that out of a “fact check” really does distort the story.

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