Last month, Snopes fact-checked an article from the satire site The Babylon Bee. On its website, Snopes explained its rationale:
The Babylon Bee has managed to confuse readers with its brand of satire in the past. This particular story was especially puzzling for some readers, however, as it closely mirrored the events of a genuine news story, with the big exception of the website’s changing the location. We found dozens of instances of social media users who were puzzled by this article.
Meanwhile, The Bee’s CEO told Fox News that Snopes running its fact-check could end up deeming the website as “fake news” and make it harder to share its stories on social media sites.
The Bee may be the first Christian satirical piece that Snopes has examined, but it’s hardly the first satirical site that organization has fact-checked. That’s partially because humorous fake news can get anyone, says Bob Darden, the former editor of the late Christian satire magazine, The Wittenburg Door.
“On the cover, we had a statement that said, ‘The world's pretty much only religious humor and satire magazine,’” said Darden, explaining The Door’s method for trying to prevent people from taking its articles too seriously. “That was our tip to anyone who read The Door. When articles or things got picked up by various outlets, we always insisted that we had that little tagline.”
Darden joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editorial director Ted Olsen to discuss what makes satire Christian, how politics changes humor, and why the best parodies make it clear that the subjects are also things the writer loves.
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