Every year, I teach Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to my 11th grade students. No one can know American literature without knowing Huck Finn. It’s Mark Twain’s masterpiece. It took him seven years to write, and I suspect he finally published it in service to the venerable author’s aphorism:
No author ever finishes a book; he just eventually abandons it in despair.
The book is a monument to the fact that some people just cannot, or more likely, will not “get it.” In the case of Huck Finn, what they cannot or will not get, is that there are few books more anti slavery, more supportive of the humanity of Black people that Twain’s book, which reflects his love of the underdog, his appreciation for the goodness and common sense of the common man. Yet, Huck Finn remains at the top of the list of books people try to ban each and ever year.
Indeed, the book uses the term “nigger” more than 200 times, but those that claim the book should thereby be banned are either illiterate, haven’t read the book, or won’t let the truth get in the way of a cherished narrative. And so it is with the critics of The Babylon Bee.
The Bee is a Christian satire site, which has, in a very short time, surpassed The Onion in wit and readership, and established itself as a worthy inheritor of Twain’s mastery of social satire. The Bee takes on all comers, but spends much time lampooning Democrats/Socialists/Communists and their wholly owned media/propaganda arm. As one might imagine, they are not impressed, and pretend The Bee is serious.
Snopes, a supposed “fact checker,” but in actuality another D/S/C subsidiary, has taken to fact checking The Bee’s hilarious “stories.” Reason.com explains:
Since its founding in 2016, Christian satire site The Babylon Bee has been regularly making fun of Christians, the left, the right, Trump, and various cultural fads. The site has steadily grown in popularity and now boasts about 10 million monthly page views. In addition to making poignant jokes, Kyle Mann, the site’s editor in chief, aims to use satire as a weapon to separate truth from fiction.
But less than five months after its inception, The Babylon Bee found itself being labeled as a “fake news site” by the prominent online fact-checker Snopes. Satirical articles from The Beehave now been fact-checked by Snopes more than 30 times.
Some of the more outlandish fact-checks include headlines such as “Democrats Demand Kavanaugh Submit To DNA Test To Prove He’s Not Actually Hitler,” “Ocasio-Cortez Appears On ‘The Price Is Right,’ Guesses Everything Is Free,” and “CNN Purchases Industrial-Sized Washing Machine To Spin News Before Publication.”
In an effort to justify fact-checking satire, Snopes republished an article from the academic commentary and analysis site The Conversation arguing that “too many people think satirical news is real.” While he’s not inherently opposed to fact-checking satire, Kyle Mann says that the original study was meant to observe the effects of satire in general, but when tweeting out their link of the study, Snopes specifically targeted The Babylon Bee.
Defending itself, Snopes cited an article written by several academics arguing too many people think satire is real. Snopes’ point, obviously, is that because some people—the article claims Republicans are particularly gullible—don’t get it, they’re not only right, but virtuous, to “fact check” satire and label it “fake news.”
Let us, gentle readers, get the necessary definition out of the way. Satire is holding up individuals or institutions to ridicule by exaggerating, or by telling the whole truth about them. Often, all one need do to satirize politicians is to tell the truth, like Rep. Hank Johnson (D) who worried too many American military personnel would make Guam capsize, or Joe Biden, blathering about how children love to stroke his hairy legs and sit on his lap, and from that, he learned about roaches.
Of course, people who refuse to get it become more and more outraged the closer satire comes to the truth, as in the case of this recent Bee story:
A former CIA employee had this to say in response:
And a CNN reporter—the very definition of fake news—said this:
Sigh. Satire is funniest when it strikes closest to the truth, particularly if it’s a truth the object of the satire won’t admit or wants to keep hidden. This particular bit of satire has so outraged D/S/Cs because they’ve come so close to the sentiment attributed to them by The Bee. Their comments about the droning of the Iranian butcher begin with a grudging admission he was a bad man, followed by a long string of “buts,” adding up to no one could be worse than Trump and anyone that supports him.
There was a time in America when such a satire would have been thought too outlandish because it was only the relatively small, ultra leftist fringe of the Democrat Party that would in any way defend an Islamist barbarian responsible for such slaughter on an international scale. But in recent years, and particularly since 2016, the D/S/C Party has become so anti-American and pro-barbarian, so sickened by Trump Derangement Syndrome, The Bee’s most outlandish satire aimed at D/S/Cs is all too believable.
Who, for example, would believe the governor of any state would advocate killing newborn babies? But Northam did just that. He later denied it, claiming he was taken out of context. Fortunately, the radio interview he gave proves his problem was he was very much taken in context. And when Northam was caught wearing either blackface or full KKK regalia, and his Lt. Governor and AG were caught up in the kind of scandals that would have D/S/Cs screaming for the heads of any non-D/S/C, The Bee had at them too:
The article concluded:
Who among us hasn’t dressed up in racist costumes and posed with people in KKK garb?” he said at the press conference. “All I’m saying is we need to let cooler heads prevail here. Remember when we were all angry about those Catholic kids wearing the MAGA has? I call on all Americans to get riled up about something like that again and forget about us for awhile.
‘Let he who hasn’t argued for killing a baby cast the first stone,’ he concluded.
The effectiveness of this particular piece hinges on the truth that Northam did pose in blackface and/or a KKK outfit, and did advocate killing born, unquestionably living babies. This is, of course, of a piece with the agenda of D/S/Cs who also want to obliterate the First Amendment, which they claim to fully support except for “hate speech,” which is any speech with which they disagree, which is pretty much anything said by anyone not parroting their talking points. They also want to ban speech that conflicts with their Global Warming narrative, their LGBTQWERY narrative, their open borders narrative, etc..
This isn’t The Bee, but it illustrates that D/S/Cs are very nearly beyond satire:
But what of the poor souls that can’t figure out The Babylon Bee writes satire? Indeed, much of what they write, particularly about D/S/Cs, is inherently believable because D/S/Cs, of late, have become so insane, but the solution isn’t attacking or banning satire, but becoming less crazy. Absent that, one might spend a few minutes reading a bit more of The Bee’s satire, or perhaps googling The Babylon Bee, where one can find this Wikipedia entry:
The Babylon Bee is a news satire website that publishes satirical articles on religion, politics, current events, and well-known public figures. With intentional irony, the site describes itself as “the world’s best satire site, totally inerrant in all its truth claims.” It has been referred to in the media as the Christian version of The Onion.
Or failing that, perhaps this Google header, at the top of the list, would be instructive?
Rather than banning the Bee, as D/S/Cs are trying to do, perhaps they could spend a bit of time becoming just a bit less easy to satirize? All they need to do is not be crazy…