Babylon Bee to NY Times: Retract Defamatory Far-Right Misinformation Site Reference

Babylon Bee to NY Times: Retract Defamatory Far-Right Misinformation Site Reference Babylon Bee to NY Times: Retract Defamatory Far-Right Misinformation Site Reference The New York Times. (Johannes Eisele/ AFP via Getty)

By Jim Thomas | Sunday, 06 June 2021 06:56 PM

The Babylon Bee last week demanded a retraction from The New York Times for its "defamatory" attack equating its satire to misinformation

"Just yesterday, our counsel sent a letter to the New York Times demanding a retraction. We did this because their article was – and remains – defamatory," Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon told readers this week.

The language in question was published in March.

The Times in an article by Mike Isaac titled, "For Political Cartoonists, the Irony Was That Facebook Didn’t Recognize Irony," Isaac stated: “In 2019 and 2020, Facebook often dealt with far-right misinformation sites that used ‘satire’ claims to protect their presence on the platform,” citing Emerson T. Brooking, a resident fellow for the think tank Atlantic Council.

The article went on to state that, "For example, The Babylon Bee, a right-leaning site, sometimes trafficked in misinformation under the guise of satire."

Facebook deals with far-right misinformation sites who allegedly escape scrutiny under guise of satire, reported the NY Post.

In March of this year, the Times published an article titled, "For Political Cartoonists, the Irony Was That Facebook Didn’t Recognize Irony."

Emerson T. Brooking, a resident fellow for the think tank Atlantic Council, was quoted, saying that Facebook in 2019 and 2020 "often dealt with far-right misinformation sites that used ‘satire’ claims to protect their presence on the platform."

The Times then cited The Babylon Bee, "a right-leaning site, sometimes trafficked in misinformation under the guise of satire," as an example.

After receiving Dillon’s complaint, the Times updated its story on March 22 to instead read: “The Babylon Bee, a right-leaning satirical site, has feuded with Facebook and the fact-checking site Snopes over whether the site published misinformation or satire.”

After reviewing the Times' edit, Dillon concluded the update was “was no better than the original.”

“We have not, in fact, feuded with Snopes as to whether we publish satire or misinformation,” he wrote on Twitter. “Snopes retracted that insinuation with an editors’ note saying it was never their intent to call our motives into question.”

Dillon added: “It’s therefore misleading and malicious to characterize that incident as a feud, as if Snopes ever openly stood by the claim that we are misinformation and not satire.”

“We cannot stand idly by as they act with malice to misrepresent us in ways that jeopardize our business,” he said.