Many people are familiar with The Onion, a satirical news site that for 30 years has routinely lampooned local, national and international topics.
But it is far from the only satirical news site out there. Another popular one is the Babylon Bee, which touts itself as “Christian News Satire.”
However, the Babylon Bee’s latest satirical piece about former President Barack Obama may have hit the nail a little too much on the head. It features the headline, “Man Who Intentionally Divided Nation For Eight Years Calls For Unity.”
— The Babylon Bee (@TheBabylonBee) September 7, 2018
It only got worse — or better, depending on your viewpoint — from there.
Addressing the speech Obama delivered Friday that criticized President Donald Trump and his Republican supporters, the Babylon Bee noted that “President Barack Obama called for the nation to turn from fear, anger, and resentment, despite having stoked these emotions at every opportunity during his time in office.” It added that that he also “had carefully stoked divisions and pushed identity politics for a full eight years.”
It closed with another faux quote about where voters should really put their focus. “Trump is really mean, let’s all focus on that,” Obama is quoted as saying in the piece.
Reaction to the piece on Twitter varied dramatically. Some were not happy at the piece’s criticism of Obama.
That is simply untrue, especially in light of the Divider in Chief we have in WH now…a man who brags about his adulteries, greed & thievery. Trump even claimed he could shoot any innocent person in public & people would still vote for him. Is this what BB stands for? Shame!
— Darla Meeks (@darla_meeks) September 8, 2018
This isn’t satire. Just a political opinion, and it’s the direction your articles seem to have decisively taken over the past few months. As POTUS would say, “Sad!”
— Matthieu Sanders (@msandersrds) September 8, 2018
Others said the piece wasn’t really satirical at all.
That moment when the Bee reports the actual news instead of satire…
— William Milford (@wsmTrumpet354) September 8, 2018
As noted in a transcript of the speech, Obama made four references to “divisive” policies or “divisions,” with each of those being a reference to Republicans.
When Obama invoked the words “decent” or “decency,” however, he did so only when speaking of Democrats.
During his first inaugural speech, Obama spoke of unity. “On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord,” he said. “On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas that for far too long have strangled our politics.”
But by 2015, CNN reported that a Gallup poll found that Obama had become the “most polarizing president in modern history.” By 2017, The Political Insider laid out a case for it, citing “20 reason” why the “divisive” title fit.
Calling Americans “racist,” telling Latino voters to “punish their enemies,” and using the White House Easter prayer to attack Christians were among some examples cited of his divisiveness.
So maybe the Babylon Bee piece is closer to fact than satire.
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