The editors of The Babylon Bee — a Christian Dominionist publication that uses alleged humor and satire to deliver their content — have begun an all-out war with venerable fact-checking website Snopes.
In the Internet Age, while many satirical outlets have been fact checked by Snopes, the creative team at The Babylon Bee have taken particular umbrage to one fact-check in particular. The satirical story that invoked the fact check was based on an incident in Georgia between a black woman who happened to be an elected Democratic official, and another man in the store. The Bee chose to move the location and fabricate a new incident between the Georgia Democrat and an employee of Chik-Fil-A. In the debunking article, the author of the piece argued that the Bee article might traipse into territory of basic political rhetoric, racially charged at that, rather than being wholly satirical.
The firestorm of anger that Snopes fact check caused among the senior staff at The Babylon Bee has been palpable, and the so-called comedy website has been attacking Snopes with snark relentlessly since. It’s been reported that the Bee has retained legal counsel and may sue Snopes. It’s unclear whether the Bee’s lawyers will argue that Snopes writers don’t have the right to a free press, or if they’ll argue that only right-wing Christofascist outlets have that right.
Newly leaked documents from inside The Babylon Bee indicate that the editors have decided to ramp up their protests against Snopes. In emails circulating around our coffee break room, Bee management informs their staff of new employee guidelines for a morning ritual that must be performed by all content producers, and even the office staff.
“Dearly beloved, as you know we are locked in a pitched battle between the forces of pseudo-Christian talking points dressed up as satire and the vile so-called fact checkers of Snopes,” the internal memo states, “and while we plan on suing those jerks for daring to criticize our thinly veiled anti-trans, anti-women’s choice, pretty much racist material, we have decided we need to make it clear to not just the literal demon worshipers at Snopes, but also to indeed the world, just how singled out and victimized we really are.”
Starting next week, each day Babylon Bee staff will walk down to the Snopes headquarters and, one by one, hang themselves on wooden crosses.
“As we all know, there is nothing the Religious Right does better than martyring ourselves,” the memo reads, “so we’ve taken the liberty of purchasing you all the biggest, best wooden crosses money can buy. Each morning, in shifts, you’ll all head down to the Snopes office, and nail each other to the crosses. Make sure you moan and wail. Please ensure that you state as your feet and wrists are nailed to the wood, that you’re doing this to wash away the sins of Snopes.”
“It’s established fact that if there are two things that those of us in the Religious Right do best — force our religious beliefs down your throat and then cry about it and play the victim when you call us out for it,” the memo dictates, “and that is why we must do our rightful, Christian duty, because if there is anything Jesus would want us to do, it’s to profit off making fun immigrants and poor people. Snopes is standing in God’s way, basically, and they must be punished for it.”
Babylon Bee staff are to “reiterate over and over” that they are the only ones who have been treated in such a way.
“The bottom line here comes down to a simple question — if American Christian Conservatives aren’t pretending to be victims, are they really American Christian Conservatives? No matter how many liberal satirical outlets have also been fact checked and subsequently punished by social media algorithms, it is absolutely vital that you paint the situation as one where we’re the only ones being picked on,” the memo clearly states, “so please, make sure you go over your victim complex talking points prior to nailing yourself to the cross.”
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Writer/comedian James Schlarmann is the founder of The Political Garbage Chute and his work has been featured on The Huffington Post. You can follow James on Facebook, Spotify, and Instagram, but not Twitter because they have a definition of hate speech that includes “calling Ann Coulter the C-word.”