Regular readers know how I love a good joke. Some will say that I also love a bad joke, which I suppose is fair enough. Nevertheless, I was interested to read recently a disturbing trend of killing American satire websites on the grounds that it is political “misinformation.”
Babylon Bee is a website with a conservative bent. Apparently it’s been hitting too close to home for some in the SLKKK (Sorehead Liberal Kancel Kulture Kommunity). They want Big Tech social media companies to do something to control and correct its “far right misinformation.” Babylon Bee, its critics say, “dishonestly” claims to be satire in order to protect itself from social media censors.
That, by the way, was not some random comment at the end of a kooky blog. It appeared in the New York Times. I am not making that up.
So, what kind “misinformation” is the Bee supposedly passing along as satire?
Well, in a recent edition it ran a picture of Hollywood celebrities sending a political message about COVID-19 by spelling out “We’re all in this together” with their yachts. (I nearly snorted my coffee through my nose when I saw it.)
In another whimsicle bit, the website wrote what looked like a legit news story that read: “In a move to save tax dollars, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland has replaced federal executions with bus tickets to Chicago. The move received praise from both sides of the political aisle, as a $60 bus ticket per inmate will free up millions to be spent on more important issues like funding a border wall in Egypt.”
And, in a response to the stupid idea of social media clamping down on political satire, it wrote this:
“MENLO PARK, CA—Facebook has introduced a new feature that will warn you when one of your friends is sharing free and independent thoughts on its network.
“Should you encounter an unapproved opinion, Facebook will provide a pop-up warning letting you know that if you’re concerned about a friend expressing opinions derived from free thought that is not in line with big tech companies, major corporations, Hollywood, universities, or the government, you can get them help.
“The social media platform will allow you to take steps to report people who are sharing unapproved opinions. You may report them to Facebook, who will reach out to them to help them by forcibly sending them to a Facebook reeducation camp.
“’Yes, the camp is mostly brainwashing,’ Mark Zuckerberg admitted, ‘but the food is pretty good. They serve mac and cheese with the little cut-up hot dogs in there every Tuesday. Plus, we’ve got one of those big inflatable launcher things out on the lake, which you can use to relax and launch each other into the water. It’s a ton of fun. If we kidnap you and take you to our camp, we guarantee you’ll love hanging out there on the lake.’
“‘Once you finish your reeducation sessions, of course.’”
Other headlines seen on the Bee: “NFL Clarified The Entire League Isn’t Gay, Just The Dallas Cowboys,” “Britney Spears Immediately Freed After Donning Bill Cosby Mask,” “New Evidence Indicates Critical Race Theory Escaped From A Lab In A College Humanities Department.”
C’mon, man! Those are funny. This trend of labeling unfavored political thought as “misinformation” and deplatforming it (look what Facebook is doing to former President Trump) must be resisted. It is unAmerican, and that is no joke.
ONE MORE THING
— The existence of the Internet proves conclusively that ignorance isn’t caused by the lack of information.
— When parents become grandparents, all of a sudden they have money for McDonalds.
— Everyone’s an atheist until they clog the toilet in someone else’s house.
— A Pennsylvania man is suing Smart Water for not making him smart. I am formally announcing a lawsuit against Thin Mints. Who’s with me!
— The new auto body shop in Sparks comes highly wreck-a-mended.
And with that, let’s call it a day. Thanks for your time this week and please remember to live by the pioneer credo: Be good to others; always question authority.
(Sherman Frederick’s career as a Nevada journalist spans 4 decades. He is a member of the Nevada Press Association Hall of Fame and co-founder of Battle Born Media. You can reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 702-525-2440.)