In a recent 5-minute video for PragerU, Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon breaks down how the Left is making it harder to write satire, in part by attempting to censor humorous content.
Founded in 2016, The Babylon Bee has quickly made a name for itself as a Christian conservative website on the cutting-edge of satire for politics and other current events. But in the years since its founding, the Bee and its satirical headlines and stories have been coming true with “astonishing regularity,” notes Dillon.
Back in May of 2017, the Babylon Bee ran a satirical headline that read, “‘2+2=4,’ Insists Closed-Minded Bigot.” Yet only three years later, The Washington Examiner, a right-leaning newspaper based in Washington, D.C., published an article headlined “Math professor claims equation 2+2=4 ‘reeks of white supremacist patriarchy.’”
Another Babylon Bee story, says Dillon, was published in August of 2020 and titled, “BLM Rioters Awarded Nobel Peace Prize.” Several months later, at the beginning of 2021, The Guardian published an article about the Black Lives Matter movement receiving a Nobel Peace Prize nomination. (The winner of the prize won’t be selected until October 2021).
Truly great satire, argues Dillon, only becomes harder to write as reality becomes crazier — counter to what some people might think. This is because “satire exaggerates the truth to make a point,” says Dillon. “But when reality is this absurd, and extreme views and behavior are commonplace, how do you go a step beyond it.”
“Almost anything we publish now ends up being believable. And much of it ends up actually coming true, as you’ve just seen,” he adds.
But there’s also another way the Left makes it difficult to write satire in this day and age: By running clearly satirical stories through the fact-checking apparatus.
Fact-checks on satire, as seen in articles about the Babylon Bee, are merely a “creative” and “conniving” way to justify censorship of conservative ideas, argues the Babylon Bee CEO. “If they can successfully lump us in with fake news then they can shut us down,” he says.
He provides an example of a clearly satirical piece the Babylon Bee published in 2019 about CNN and fake news. The headline of the article? “CNN Purchases Industrial-Sized Washing Machine To Spin News Before Publication.”
Left-wing fact-checking website Snopes rated the story false (although it later rated the story as “satire” after blowback).
“It should go without saying that there’s a big difference between fake news — which is meant to deceive — and satire, which is meant to entertain and inform through mockery, humor, and irony,” says Dillon. “But the left benefits by blurring this distinction. If they can successfully lump us in with fake news, then they can shut us down.”
“Satire ridicules bad ideas. And now, more than ever, bad ideas need to be exposed for what they are before they gain an even bigger foothold on our minds and hearts—especially on the minds and hearts of young people,” he says.
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