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Babylon Bee editor-in-chief Kyle Mann believes humor is critical to help society through dark times, but the satirical site has been fighting a culture war against liberal critics who call for fact-checks or have their content deemed as “misinformation” in an attempt to redefine the truth, he told Fox News.
“Censorship is obviously a big issue for us at The Babylon Bee, which is crazy,” Mann said on “America Reports” Tuesday. “We want to tell jokes, and somehow we end up fighting this whole culture war thing where we have to find ourselves on the front lines of the fight for the First Amendment.”
On March 20, The Babylon Bee was locked out of its Twitter account, which has 1.5 million followers, after it accused the satirical site of violating its rules against “hateful conduct” over a joke naming Biden administration official Dr. Rachel Levine the satire site’s “Man of the Year” for 2022. Levine, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Health, is a transgender woman.
Mann’s new book, “The Babylon Bee Guide to Wokeness,” details his strategy to defend satire against the woke social media mob who hardly appreciates being called out on the issues of the day by one of the few major conservative-leaning humor sites. The book, written in jest, pokes fun at “woke” activists who are “offended by everything.” The authors suggest which pronouns to use and which to avoid, finding your identity in your feelings, and how to make amends for being White.
“The left does not like when you make fun of them, but we try to have a good sense of humor,” Mann said. “We have to try to be the comedians who are poking fun of those who are in power, whether it’s the president or those who are controlling the president.”
Mann said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s recent admission that the FBI warned the social media giant about “Russian propaganda” ahead of the Hunter Biden laptop story was “pretty vindicating” for The Babylon Bee, who’s long warned about social media companies working in collaboration with the government to censor individuals from their platforms.
“We were screaming in a lot of ways that social media companies are just this arm of the government and the government is using them to censor people,” Mann said. “We’ve been saying that for years, and we were called crazy conspiracy theorists, and now it’s coming out.”
“We are not misinformation, we are just tomorrow’s news today,” he added. “That is the way that we look at it.”
Mann said there is no role for government to dictate what qualifies as “misinformation” for Big Tech because it has been used to inappropriately label content or censor posts that are “inconvenient for people in power.”
“I don’t really see any situation in which I would trust almost anyone, especially the government, to label things misinformation or not,” he said.
Mann said the Bee will continue to battle the woke culture war because he believes it is critical for society to keep a sense of humor and comedy, especially as it relates to politics.
“Humor gets us through dark times, in short,” he stressed. “We really do need to laugh at the darkness, I think. That is the way that we kind of defy the darkness by laughing at it and I think it’s so important. It’s a great gift from God, and no matter if there are crazy things in society, a lot of things we are concerned about, we need to be able to laugh so we can criticize power and retain humor and humility about ourselves.”
Fox News’ Courtney O’Brien contributed to this report.