That’s Not Funny!

The New York Times, which these days is the Democratic Party’s goon squad, is trying to drive the Babylon Bee out of existence. The Bee hilariously mocks liberalism, and if there is anything liberals can’t tolerate it is humor. So the Times is trying to get social media sites to shut the Bee down. Tyler O’Neil of PJ Media reports:

Seth Dillon, CEO of The Babylon Bee, told PJ Media that the Christian satire site is considering legal options after The New York Times published an article accusing the Bee of having “trafficked in misinformation under the guise of satire.” In an email to subscribers, Dillon had said the Times’ claim “is false and defamatory.”

It certainly is! The Babylon Bee proudly describes itself as a satire site. To say that it has “trafficked in misinformation under the guise of satire” is a claim so stupid that the New York Times is one of the few “news” sites low-grade enough to assert it.

On Friday, the Times published an article about the difficulty that social media platforms have in distinguishing false news reporting from satire, focusing sympathetically on a left-wing cartoonist. In that article, Times reporter Mike Isaac wrote:

But satire kept popping up as a blind spot. In 2019 and 2020, Facebook often dealt with far-right misinformation sites that used “satire” claims to protect their presence on the platform, Mr. Brooking said. For example, The Babylon Bee, a right-leaning site, frequently trafficked in misinformation under the guise of satire.

O’Neil notes that the phrase “trafficked in misinformation” links to a New York Times article that–naturally–did not accuse the Bee of trafficking in misinformation, let alone doing so “frequently.” The closest that linked article came was this paragraph:

The Bee found itself walking the thin line between satire and fact in 2018, when it joked that CNN purchased an “industrial-sized washing machine for spinning the news.” However obvious it should have been that the comment resided on the satirical side of the ledger, it still led to an awkward vetting by the fact-checking website Snopes and Facebook.

You really have to laugh. For the “That’s not funny!” left-wingers at the Times, the “thin line between satire and fact” runs through a story on CNN buying an “industrial-sized washing machine for spinning the news.” Times reporters must think that the rest of us are as clueless as their dim readers, who apparently can’t get the joke.

From a legal standpoint, though, the Times has a worse problem. Its own reporting has already negated the claim asserted in Isaac’s article:

Yet the story gets even worse for the Times. Last October, Kevin Roose wrote an article in the “Tracking Viral Misinformation” section.

Roose interviewed Emma Goldberg, another New York Times reporter. He asked her whether the Bee uses its status as a satire site “to traffic in misinformation under the guise of comedy.” Goldberg refused to say whether or not she thought this was “a deliberate strategy,” instead arguing that “their pieces can sometimes be easily mistaken for real news.”

At the end of the interview, however, Roose and Goldberg concluded that “The Babylon Bee is not a covert disinformation operation disguised as a right-wing satire site, and is in fact trying to do comedy, but may inadvertently be spreading bad information when people take their stories too seriously.”

So this is reminiscent of Sarah Palin’s defamation lawsuit against the Times, in which the Times editorial board, to try to defend against her claim, had to assert that it was ignorant of its own paper’s reporting. As the saying goes, these people don’t embarrass easy.

The Times has descended to such a level of incompetence that one wonders whether it is even worthwhile to attack it anymore.

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