The latest e-blast for Babylon Bee subscribers shared an unexpected warning -- “the following is not satire.”
You can’t blame the faux news site for dropping the shtick. The Babylon Bee is under serial attacks from mainstream news outlets, from fact checkers to the allegedly august New York Times.
The former suggest Bee satirical stories are meant to confuse, not amuse. The latter declared in a prior piece that the Bee purposely tries to trick readers into believing its right-leaning satire is the truth.
The Bee has had enough.
Just yesterday our counsel sent a letter to The New York Times demanding a retraction. We did this because their article was—and remains—defamatory.
The Bee’s e-blast recalls how the Times dubbed it as an example of a “far-right misinformation site” working “under the guise of satire.” Previously, the newspaper said Bee stories “capitalize on confusion.”
They said we dishonestly “claim” to be satire to protect our presence on Facebook and other social media sites.
This is false and defamatory.
The newspaper responded to the Bee’s letter by updating the story in question, one already consumed by many readers. The Bee found the changes less than satisfactory.
The update is every bit as damaging (and false) as the original. We have not, in fact, feuded with Snopes as to whether we publish satire or misinformation. Snopes retracted that insinuation with an editors’ note saying it was never their intent to call our motives into question. It’s therefore misleading and malicious to characterize that incident as a feud, as if Snopes ever openly stood by the claim that we are misinformation and not satire.
The New York Times is using misinformation to smear us as being a source of misinformation.
For better or worse, the NY Times is considered a “reliable source.” We cannot stand idly by as they act with malice to misrepresent us in ways that jeopardize our business.
For now, the Bee is forging ahead. The site now offers both a podcast and an original lineup of animated videos to go with its flagship web site.
It’s worth noting very few, if any, comedians have risen to the Bee’s defense in recent years. All comedians should be wary of these media insinuations. Attacking the Bee today could yield assaults on other comedians tomorrow.
Big Tech is already punishing humorists who dare to paint outside the woke lines. Even progressive comedians must realize, sooner or later, they could be next.