Legacy media doesn’t like to be joked with. The New York Times recently accused satirical website The Babylon Bee of having “sometimes trafficked in misinformation under the guise of satire.” Last year, CNN reporter Donie O’Sullivan made a similar allegation about the website:
Having a disclaimer buried somewhere on your site that says it’s ‘satire’ seems like a good way to get around a lot of the changes Facebook has made to reduce the spread of clickbait and misinformation.
To their credit, The Babylon Bee has responded to these attacks with more of the same hilarious jabbing, including articles with titles like: “New York Times Attacks Babylon Bee For Being More Accurate Than They Are,” and “CNN Attacks Babylon Bee: ‘The Internet Is Only Big Enough For One Fake News Site.’”
Of course, those like me, who believe the NYT, CNN, and other similar ideological and partisan outlets have abandoned any pretense at objectivity, might respond to the Bee’s teasing headlines in the words of Homer Simpson: “It’s funny ‘cause it’s true.”
America’s two greatest presidents, Washington and Lincoln, both believed that the ultimate threat to the United States wouldn’t come from abroad in the form of a foreign enemy but rather from within. In his Farewell Address, Washington warned of the dangers of “party passion,” and the “disposition to retaliate… [giving] ambitious, corrupted or deluded citizens… facility to betray, or sacrifice the interests of their own country…sometimes even with popularity…” Lincoln said, “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” On another occasion he said, “…if destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher.”
Of all the cultural changes that endanger the well-being and happiness of Americans and impair the governability of the nation, severing the present from the past and the rise of division and intolerance are probably the two greatest threats. In the last 25 years, division and intolerance have increasingly become defining characteristics of American politics and culture — attributes at odds with the vision of the founders and most successive presidents who understood that shared values and unity were the bedrock of American strength.
So all-encompassing has division and intolerance become now, that older generations hardly recognize in contemporary American culture, the place and spiritual home of their childhood. And today, one can rarely take in the arts on stage or in museums, comedy, contemporary Hollywood productions or major league sports without having one’s sensibilities offended or being confronted with politically correct inferences that reflect intolerance and condescension.