The headlines are pure gold.
“Demanding To Know Why He Allowed President Trump To Get Elected, Dems Subpoena God.”
“Gay Man Miraculously Turned Straight By Single Bite Of Chick-Fil-A.”
“In Move To Ban Charter Schools, Bernie Sanders Introduces ‘No Child Left Ahead Act.'”
“Elizabeth Warren Surprises Grads By Announcing She Will Sharply Increase Their Taxes To Pay For Their Student Loans.”
“Close One: This Baby Was Almost Born Into Poverty But His Mother Killed Him In The Nick Of Time.”
All those headlines and many more are from The Babylon Bee, which touts itself as “Your Trusted Source For Christian News Satire.”
“The site publishes satirical stories focusing on well- known pastors, celebrities, and politicians,” says its Wikipedia page. “It was created by Adam Ford and was launched on March 1, 2016. In 2018, Ford sold the website to Seth Dillon. As part of the deal, Kyle Mann, who had been head writer since September 2016, became editor in chief.”
But you’ve probably never heard of it. On the other hand, you no doubt have heard of The Onion, which can occasionally be good but often just mocks conservatives and Republicans.
“Trump Demands Investigation Into Whether Clintons Gave Him Non-Registry Wedding Gift In 2005.”
“Entire Southern Border Somehow On Fire 10 Minutes After Kushner Begins Tackling Immigration System.”
“Bleeding John Bolton Stumbles Into Capitol Building Claiming That Iran Shot Him.”
OK, that last one was good. But The Babylon Bee is giving The Onion a run for its money.
Take this fake lead on the “Dems Subpoena God” story: “Trying to get to the bottom of how and why President Trump was elected, House Democrats issued a subpoena to the Almighty God to force Him to testify in Congress Wednesday.”
“We’re not sure if God is out there or if there’s some great positive spiritual energy holding up the cosmos,” said Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. “But whoever he or she or xe is, we will interrogate them. We will not allow God to get off the hook for His collusion in bending all of human history to His irresistible will.”
After the Lord, who sits in the heavens and does all He pleases, did not show up at their hearing, Democrats were seen eating KFC to mock Him for being “a chicken” and issued a stern warning.
“These subpoenas are not optional,” said Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Jerry Nadler. “When the Congress of the United States commands you to appear, you appear. I don’t care if you are the Lord of all creation. Trump is in the White House, and we will get answers.”
The top of the “Close One: This Baby Was Almost Born Into Poverty But His Mother Killed Him In The Nick Of Time” story was even sharper. “Talk about a close call: this baby was almost born into poverty, but his mother killed him just before the cutoff for abortion in their state. With literally just a few days to spare, she ended his life, saving him from living a life that isn’t always perfect.”
There are, though, a lot of fans of the site. Some 170,000 follow on Twitter and nearly 550,000 people like its Facebook page.
But there’s a reason so many don’t know about the site. “All of this was totally organic,” founder Adam Ford told The Weekly Standard last May. “We’ve never run an ad, never boosted a post, never spent a dollar on spreading the word. And we’ve had no outside funding. Our growth has been totally driven by the content.”
And of course, some social media sites have threatened to throttle the satire site. “In March, Facebook threatened to reduce the visibility of the Bee’s stories,” The Standard reported. “The reason? One of Facebook’s fact-checking partners, Snopes.com, obliviously labeled a Bee story (‘CNN Purchases Industrial-Sized Washing Machine to Spin News Before Publication’) false rather than satire. Considering how important Facebook traffic is to Internet publications, the threat was no joke.”
“We’ve been ‘Snoped’ before a number of times, but this was the first time Facebook used it to threaten us and to redirect readers away from our link and to Snopes’s website,” says Ford. “Over an article about CNN spinning news in a washing machine! It was just insane.”
The scrutiny hasn’t stopped. Just last month, “Ocasio-Cortez Appears On ‘The Price Is Right,’ Guesses Everything Is Free.”
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was pumped to attend a taping of The Price Is Right in Hollywood this week. The special guest introduced herself as a U.S. representative and rising star of the Democratic Party. Things got interesting when the game began and every time it was her turn to estimate the price of an item her answer was “free.”
Items included a set of Italian leather handbags, an all expenses paid trip to the Bahamas, and a brand new 2019 BMW 330i, at all of which Ocasio-Cortez shouted, “FREE!” When host Drew Carey asked if Ocasio-Cortez understood the game’s rules, she told Carey not to cat-call her and then responded, “Don’t hate me cause you ain’t me.”
“False,” said Snopes. “In mid-April 2019, an image supposedly showing U.S. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez guessing that the cost of an item was ‘free’ during an appearance on the daytime television game show ‘The Price is Right’ started circulating on social media,” Snopes wrote. “This is not a genuine photograph of Ocasio-Cortez on the show.”
Snopes calls itself the “definitive fact-checking resource” and was once employed by Facebook to rule on what is true and what is not.
And that isn’t satire, people.