The conservative Christian satire website The Babylon Bee was again forced to defend itself amid accusations from secular media that it’s spreading “misinformation.”
CNN reporter Donnie O’Sullivan took issue with The Babylon Bee on Sunday, tweeting his disapproval with a satire piece poking fun at prominent Democrat reactions to the killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.
The satire piece in question is titled “Democrats Call For Flags To Be Flown At Half-Mast To Grieve Death Of Soleimani.” In a Twitter thread, O’Sullivan commented on a tweet explaining that The Babylon Bee article had topped 500,000 shares on social media.
O’Sullivan, who reports on “disinformation,” politics and technology, stressed that it’s the “same number of engagements” as the top New York Times and CNN articles over the past week.
Although it’s widely known in Christian circles that The Babylon Bee is a satire site akin to The Onion, O’Sullivan wondered how many users who share the articles on social media know that it’s satire.
“A lot of people sharing this ‘satirical’ story on Facebook don’t know it is satire,” O’Sullivan argued. “Having a disclaimer buried somewhere on your site that says it’s ‘satire’ seems like a good way to get around a lot of the changes Facebook has made to reduce the spread of clickbait and misinformation.”
Sullivan pointed to some of the comments made by Facebook users who shared the link to The Babylon Bee article, including one user who wrote: “I wish this was a joke.” Sullivan quoted another user who wrote, “I wish this was satire.”
Babylon Bee founder Adam Ford shot back at O’Sullivan in a Twitter thread Monday. He criticized Ford for the fact that he has shared numerous articles by the satire site The Onion on his social media page.
“A CNN reporter is taking shots at the Bee because our articles get shared a lot and some people think they’re real (which will always happen with satire),” Ford wrote. “After thinking ‘how adorable,’ I thought, ‘well surely this guy has chirped at the Onion for the same thing.’”
“As it turns out, Mr. O’Sullivan HAS tweeted about the Onion,” Ford added. “But it looks like he’s quite the fan!”
On Tuesday, The Babylon Bee published an article titled “CNN Attacks Babylon Bee: ‘The Internet Is Only Big Enough for One Fake News Site.’”
The satire article includes a made-up quote from Brian Stelter, host of the CNN show “Reliable Sources.”
“They’re obviously amateurs over there at The Bee,” reads the fake quote attributed to Stelter. “A lot of times, their reporting comes true. If you’re gonna do fake news, do it right — 100% fake, guaranteed, 24/7. They really should…