By Ray Nothstine
Seth Dillon, CEO of the Babylon Bee, likes to say, “The world has become too absurd to be satirized.” He’s right, of course, and it was a line Dillon repeated as keynote speaker at the Carolina Liberty Conference last month. Anybody who consumes news knows that many cultural celebrations championed today were absurdities just a few years ago.
The Babylon Bee is the satire news outlet recently silenced by Twitter for joking that transgender U.S. Assistant Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine is the Bee’s “Man of the Year.”
Twitter said it would only allow the Bee access to its account if it deleted the tweet. “We’re not deleting anything,” Dillon replied from his own personal Twitter account. “Truth is not hate speech. If the cost of telling the truth is the loss of our Twitter account, then so be it.”
Of all the crimes in the world today, joking about human sexuality is apparently off-limits on many big-tech platforms. Outlets like the Bee are primarily targeted, not just for their popularity but because they understand the best way to combat the modern left is through satire, ridicule, shame, and humor.
Attempting to reason with much of the left today is a fruitless effort. You can’t reason with anti-reason. Dillon and a few others get this more than most. The demands the cultural Marxists make are not up for debate. Silencing dissidents in the digital public square is the punishment that is doled out – for now at least. Their effectiveness in engaging the cultural demands and shifts puts a bullseye on their back. This is one reason totalitarian regimes that murder their citizens or terrorist thugs are allowed to tweet with impunity while some Americans are silenced.
Kyle Mann, editor-in-chief of the Babylon Bee, was locked out of his Twitter account for pointing out another humorous truth, “Maybe they’ll let us back into our Babylon Bee Twitter account if we throw a few thousand Uighurs in a concentration camp.”
Twitter and other big-tech platforms are on a zealous mission to silence dissent. Libertarians and some conservatives defend the aggressive censorship because they are private companies and can do what they want. For them, rights over any responsibility or even ethics are the determining factor. They have a point. Still, the broader question is not whether they have a right to censor people, but why do they want to censor people, even those who hold mainstream views about human sexuality? People should at least want American technology platforms to defend and value free speech. At least, that should be a goal in a free society. Sadly, it’s not even a shared value in today’s America.
The John Locke Foundation made the right call to invite Dillon to speak at the Carolina Liberty Conference. Need proof? Millions of Americans just witnessed Kentanji Brown Jackson, President Biden’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee, unable to answer a question about the definition of the word “woman.” Of course, the nominee knows what a woman is, but the state of our culture and leftist doctrinal demands makes that definition too controversial to even answer. After all, answering it could cost somebody their career or livelihood altogether.
Dillon and the Babylon Bee are pushing back against that kind of world. “If it’s unclear what a woman is, how does Biden know he’s nominated one?” asked Dillon. Clever. No wonder the long knives are out for Dillon and the satirical muckrakers at the Bee.
Ray Nothstine is Carolina Journal opinion editor and Second Amendment research fellow at the John Locke Foundation.