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Thursday, May 27, 2021
MRC Serves As The Babylon Bee's PR Division Yet Again
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center loves to play defense for satire site Babylon Bee whenever anyone points out that right-wingers have a bad habit of promoting its articles as actual news (which says a lot about the "satire" it publishes that it's so unrecognizable as such to its target audience). It's also serving as the Bee's PR arm.

In an April 24 post, Autumn Johnson parroted the Bee's criticism of Facebook for having "penalized" a post "making fun of leftist rioters and looters," ominously adding, "This is not the first time that Facebook has targeted The Babylon Bee."

Gabriela Pariseau wrote in an April 27 post:

The Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon told Fox News he was considering taking legal action against The New York Times after it labeled the satirical news site “misinformation.”

Babylon Bee has an established history as a popular satirical website, and Dillon said the company was considering serious action: "We are contemplating and discussing with our counsel what the next move should be. Should we sue them or not? And that's an open question." Dillon suggested that the “misinformation” label could pose a serious threat to his website. “They put this stuff out there and if they can get it to stick, then then we have no platform remaining,” he said. “There's not going to be anybody who wants to host our stuff. ... It’s an effort to try and cancel us."

Dillon also claimed that liberals question whether The Babylon Bee’s content qualifies as satire: "These liberal media outlets and personalities have tried to create this narrative about us where we're not actually a satire site, but a disinformation site and where we're putting out fake news on purpose to mislead people.”

This is in regard to a Times article that the MRC's Clay Waters lashed out against in March. Both Pariseau and Dillon apparently forgot to mention the main issue: that right-wingers -- even Donald Trump and Ted Cruz -- tweet the alleged satire at the Babylon Bee as real news.

The same day, Heather Moon attacked a study of who shares fake political news (turns out Republicans do, a lot), complaining that it listed the Bee as fake news: "Listing satire and comedy as 'fake news' is ludicrous." But if those Repubicans are sharing Bee articles as news, does that not make it fake news?

On April 29, the MRC posted an "explainer video" purporting to blame social media operations for the fact that the Bee's readership has trouble telling news and satire apart, and it includes a whopper fairly early: "The Bee's comedy is clear to literally everyone, except the censorship bigots who work for social media companies." As proven above, that is literally a lie. The rest of the video is just rehashes of the MRC's previous pro-Bee defense work. In short, it didn't explain much, since it completely censored the main point of contention.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:16 PM EDT

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