Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center loves to mock Snopes for treating right-wing satire site the Babylon Bee as something that needs to be fact-checked because enough people think its stories are true -- even as the MRC itself unironically insists on fact-checking jokes. Both patterns have continued.
Tim Graham -- who once fact-checked a joke on a public radio game show -- unironically complined in a July 26 post about the "astringently humorless 'fact check' squad at Snopes.com" because it once again pointed out (which Graham called an "attack") that a Babylon Bee was not true and defended doing so because people believe it's real.
This was followed by an Aug. 10 post by Chrstian Toto -- a movie critic moonlighting as a right-wing media commentator who fact-checked a joke by Stephen Colbert regarding Trump's comments about the Charlottesville protests (and, as it turned out, got it wrong) -- under the headline "Here’s Why the Liberal Media Fear the Babylon Bee." Toto forwarded a conspiracy that Snopes is fact-checking the Babylon Bee in a deliberate attempt to cut off its revenue because it "fears the power of their very funny viral jokes aimed at the Left."
However, the MRC undermined this point with a July 11 column by Graham and Brent Bozell in which they, yes, fact-check a cartoon -- specifically, the Colbert-created "Our Cartoon President." The two even admit that the cartoon never clames to be actually true, but because it claims to be "truish" and because it mocks President Trump, they must forget about all that Snopes-mocking they've been doing and go on the attack:
Showtime thinks it's funny to claim that conservatives say they are "oppressed" and need a "safe space." The network says its "cutting-edge comedy presents the truish adventures of Trump ... and his family."
"Truish." That word gives you a clue. It's like the truth. The executive producer is CBS late-night star Stephen Colbert, so the "truish" part is fascinating.
In 2005, Colbert was celebrated for mocking then-President Bush with the word "truthiness," insisting, "We're not talking about truth. We're talking about something that seems like truth — the truth we want to exist." It was celebrated by Merriam-Webster as word of the year in 2006.
"Truthiness" perfectly defines this nasty cartoon, made by a nasty man who announced on national television that this president's mouth is a holster for Russian President Vladimir Putin's penis. He presents Trump and conservatives as the worst kind of loathsome idiots, because that's the truth he wants to exist. It's "his truth," as the left so illogically tries to explain these things. It's just another dose of ongoing therapy for liberals who feel oppressed because Trump is president.
In the July 7 episode, titled "Save the Right," a cartoon Ben Shapiro convinces doltish Trump to sign an executive order declaring conservatives a protected class. Shapiro tells Trump, "someday we will achieve true equality and be able to wear a Confederate flag unitard to Soulcycle," the indoor-cycling gym franchise. At the end of the episode, Shapiro — who grew up in Los Angeles, not Alabama — rips off his outer clothes and is wearing the unitard.
That's "truish," Tinseltown style.
In the "truish" vision of Colbert & Co., all conservatives are racist fanatics who already have "all the money and all the power," as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin snapped in the show. If that were the slightest bit true, that the right has all the power, would this cartoon exist?
"Our Cartoon President" is satire just the same as the Babylon Bee -- should the word "truish" have been a clue? -- but becuase Graham and Bozell don't like the target, it must be "fact-checked" and denounced.
Talk about humorless.
Nevertheless, the war on Snopes continued. Alexander Hall noted in an Aug. 20 post that a Snopes-promoted study found that the Babylon Bee was "among the most shared factually inaccurate content ," leading Hall to complain that Snopes has "switched tactics to instead claim satirical news can be dangerous," and to rush to the Babylon Bee's defense: "With the increasing popularity of the Babylon Bee, particularly with younger generations who love satirical humor, it appears the liberal media establishment is on full alert. After years of poking fun at easy targets, the liberal establishment may be lashing out at conservatives who know how to banter right back. "
Yet the MRC won't give satire that targets Trump the same pass.