In a world gone increasingly bonkers, Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon is finding it harder and harder to do satire and come up with humorous headlines when reality itself becomes comedy and feels like a running joke that no one can laugh off or ever escape from.
(Video Credit: Fox News)
More and more news stories that pop up every day read more like twisted fiction than reality and they are difficult to parody. But Dillon and the Babylon Bee are determined to use comedy to lighten the mood for Americans when it comes to depressing news of the day.
“We do satire and we’re trying to exaggerate reality to make a point with our jokes,” Dillon told Fox News in an interview. “We found that the world is very difficult to satirize right now because it’s so insane.”
“We’re basically living in the upside down, as I might describe it,” he astutely pointed out.
Dillon considers the Babylon Bee’s political mission is to mock bad policies and ideas.
Babylon Bee CEO: The world is difficult to satirize right now because it’s so insane https://t.co/gCF4VZ4ziN pic.twitter.com/Q7C3b64BOn
— IAM_S_WAYNE (@S_wayne1) April 1, 2023
“It’s important to not just refute these things, but to actually ridicule and mock them,” he insisted. “We’re not helped by taking them seriously.”
The CEO believes that satire hits home more when it’s about beliefs people may feel pressured to conform to even if they disagree with them.
“It’s become much more relevant because of the insane ideas that are out there with basically people being pressured to affirm that two and two make five,” he said, referencing the dystopian novel “1984.”
“It’s really presented a lot of opportunity for comedians, for satirists, to play a role in pushing back on insanity with truth and reason,” he added.
Dillon points to numerous leftist policies including such things as gender affirmation and wokeism that make the headlines but definitely read like parodies.
He made his point by alluding to CNN calling a riot “mostly peaceful” as a reporter stood in front of burning buildings, or colleges promoting segregation to combat racism.
Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon calls out CNN! pic.twitter.com/q71W2WeTO7
— Vince Sheetz (@VinceSheetz) March 30, 2023
“These are things you’d expect to see on a satire site, but they’re in the headlines every day,” Dillon noted.
While crafting epic parodies, the Babylon Bee also saw the need to cover actual news and launched “Not the Bee” in 2020. It’s actual news that reads like satire. Sometimes it is impossible to tell the difference these days.
“I guess instead of just focusing on [the stories] in a negative way and becoming anxious, you know, being able to laugh at things that really deserve laughing,” Dillon told Fox News in an interview. He stated that the site’s readers “really appreciate that we’re keeping them sane, but also keeping them laughing, that we’re bringing levity.”
Recent Babylon Bee headlines definitely resonate with Americans these days. Some include, “Putin Immediately Surrenders After U.S. Airdrops Nashville Police Officers Into Battlefield,” “Leadership: Biden Calls On Banks To Stop Collapsing,” “Scientists Discover Strong Correlation Between Trusting Government And Eating Paint Chips,” “Pelosi: ‘We Have To Convict Trump On The Charges To Find Out What Is In Them,'” and “Doctors Report Startling Rise In Testicular Injuries Among Woman Athletes.”
Dillon claims that the Babylon Bee now has tens of thousands of paid subscribers, gets around 25 million page views each month, and has over a million subscribers on YouTube. The site is massively viral.
The Babylon Bee has been generating as many impressions on Twitter as it does on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube combined. Thanks for letting us back onto this "dying" platform, @elonmusk.
— Seth Dillon (@SethDillon) March 27, 2023
Critics continuously accuse the Babylon Bee of spreading misinformation, missing the whole point of satire.
“There’s supposed to be a grain of truth to these jokes,” Dillon stated. “If it wasn’t believable at all, then it wouldn’t be a good joke. It wouldn’t be funny.”
“It communicates a lot of insecurity, but that’s one of the reasons I think they’re coming after us,” he said regarding the accusation of spreading misinformation. “I don’t think that comedy necessarily is the target of their attacks.”
“I think the truth is what bothers them,” Dillon continued.
Nearly 100 of the Babylon Bee’s headlines have come at least partially true and many call them prophetic these days.
Not the Bee: Check out these insane stories from the Babylon Bee that came truehttps://t.co/ErkZO5T2BP
— American Wire News (@americanwire_) March 27, 2023
“The problem isn’t that our satire is too close to reality,” Dillon previously commented to Fox News. “It’s that reality is too close to satire, so our jokes keep coming true.”
He believes censorship is not the solution either.
“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being offended by a joke,” Dillon opined. “I think the real problem is when someone who’s offended by a joke says, you know, ‘you shouldn’t be allowed to make jokes anymore. You shouldn’t be allowed to joke at my expense.'”
“We all deserve to be the butt of a joke — and it’s a much healthier state of mind to be in,” he contended. “But the answer can’t be to stop making jokes. The answer should be to think, ‘well, why am I offended? Maybe there’s something to that joke.'”
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