Snopes Continues Infatuation with Babylon Bee with Another 'Fact Check' of Satire Site


It looks like there’s a bee in the bonnet over at Snopes — a Babylon Bee, that is.

The supposedly neutral fact-checking site should be focused on debunking hoaxes and exposing serious news stories that are false. Yet for the umpteenth time, Snopes has instead focused its resources on “disproving” The Babylon Bee, a satire site.

If you’ve ever read a Bee article, you know that its over-the-top send-ups are clearly marked as humor. The site’s tagline makes this obvious: “Your trusted source for Christian news satire.”

Then there are the funny headlines, which, like those on the humor site The Onion, are obvious parodies to anyone with a functioning brain cell. “Guy Not Lifting His Hands During Worship Song Must Not Love Jesus,” declared one recent Bee headline, poking good-natured fun at church culture.

But functioning brain cells seem to be in short supply over at Snopes. Once again, the frequently left-leaning site has decided to do a straight-faced “fact check” of a Babylon Bee article, causing a drumbeat of face-palms everywhere.

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“FACT CHECK: Did U.S. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez Repeatedly Guess ‘Free’ on TV Show ‘The Price is Right?’” breathlessly wondered a headline from Snopes published Monday.

In a hard-hitting reporting style, Snopes then broke down the “claim” made by the comedy site, before plastering a big red “False” label on the piece.

The text of the oh-so-serious “fact check” proved that the people at Snopes wouldn’t know a joke if it hit them in the face with a pie.

“In mid-April 2019, an image supposedly showing U.S. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez guessing that the cost of an item was ‘free’ during an appearance on the daytime television game show ‘The Price is Right’ started circulating on social media,” the writer declared with the tone you might expect from Walter Cronkite covering a war.

Snopes then included a clearly edited image of the New York Democrat — complete with “AOC” name tag — guessing “FREE” on the famous price-matching game show.

“This is not a genuine photograph of Ocasio-Cortez on the show,” Snopes helpfully explained. “This image was created for a satirical article that was originally published by The Babylon Bee.”

Another mystery solved! Investigative journalism at its best.

It isn’t the first time that Snopes has completely missed the joke. In one of the most widely publicized instances, the site — which was an official Facebook fact-checking partner during the last three years — helpfully informed readers that CNN didn’t actually launder the news.

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“Did CNN Purchase an Industrial-Sized Washing Machine to Spin News?” a March 2018 Snopes article asked. The site’s “debunking” of that clearly satirical Babylon Bee article caused Facebook to hit the humorous article with a penalty flag, putting the ability of the Christian site to share future articles at risk.

Do you consider Snopes a trustworthy fact-checker?

Now, this would all just be ridiculous — in the truest sense of the word — if it weren’t part of a pattern.

Here’s the problem: The establishment media seem to think that you’re stupid.

Time after time, they’re caught looking down on everyday Americans as simpletons who need the most obvious jokes explained to them.

That disdain is amplified when major outlets like Facebook rely on imperfect “fact checkers” to make content decisions, although the social network has thankfully parted ways with Snopes for now.

Americans don’t need to be coddled, nor do they need gatekeepers choosing what they’re told. Most people can make up their own minds, especially about what’s funny.

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Benjamin Arie is an independent journalist and writer. He has personally covered everything ranging from local crime to the U.S. president as a reporter in Michigan before focusing on national politics. Ben frequently travels to Latin America and has spent years living in Mexico.