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Archive for April 22nd, 2021

I find it more than a little bit amusing that so many people get so bent out of shape by the Babylon Bee.  For those who aren’t familiar with it, it’s a satirical news site like The Onion, but with a conservative Christian bent, not-unlike the way Reductress has a feminist bent.  A lot of the Bee‘s articles have too pronounced a Christian bias to be funny IMHO, and some of them are flat-out offensive (especially the ones springing from anti-abortion or pro-cop propaganda), but a lot of the time they’re quite funny; furthermore, similar caveats apply to The Onion, Clickhole, Reductress, National Lampoon, and even MAD.  Satire isn’t easy, which is why there aren’t half a dozen “Weird Al” Yankovics out there; one has to be able to gauge which topics deserve to be lampooned and then do so in a manner that is both smart and funny while not alienating one’s core readership.  Sometimes a parody works and sometimes it doesn’t, and if there were a sure-fire formula for predicting a hit every creator in every creative genre would be a smashing success.  But while there are a lot of legitimate criticisms of satirical news sites (including some I’ve made myself) in general, and no site can possibly amuse all of the people all of the time, there seems to be a very peculiar animus against the Babylon Bee in particular despite the fact that it’s not unfunny, offensive or just plain dumb any more often than any of the others.  Once-reliable fact-checking site Snopes has repeatedly “fact checked” obviously-absurd Bee stories, despite admitting that they are clearly labeled as satire, justifying the practice with inane statements like “Some readers didn’t see much humor in the post” (a claim that could be made about every joke in every satirical poem, book, magazine, TV show, or website ever created since at least the time of Petronius).  And The New York Times actually “reported the site publishes false information ‘under the guise of satire’ when the site openly admits that it’s satire.”  I mean, here’s the top thing on their “about” page:
There’s nothing wrong with just saying a humorous website, show, magazine, or whatever doesn’t appeal to you; I haven’t watched Saturday Night Live since the original cast left, and there were some Kids in the Hall sketches that I found revolting.  And sooner or later the Bee will probably print some dumb anti-whore thing that’ll piss me off enough that I’ll be done with them, too.  But even then I won’t repeatedly expend effort criticizing them as though they were Michael Moore presenting propaganda as fact, and doing so makes the Times, Snopes, et all look like clueless puritans with a stick so far up their arses it’s coming out from between their teeth.  Which, come to think of it, they basically are.

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