In media news today, Don Lemon denies CNN ‘lied’ about Joe Rogan’s ivermectin COVID treatment, Biden continues to exit without taking reporter questions, and a Washington Post columnist warns critical race theory is ‘potent’ in VA governor race
Green interviewed Mann for her podcast “The Experiment,” in which she sought to “understand the people who think the Babylon Bee’s jokes are funny” as well as what the writers at the Christian publication thought they were doing by telling such jokes.
“You guys wrote an article in January 2020 that was shared roughly 3 million times, claiming that Democrats called for the American flag to be flown at half-staff when the Iranian general Qasem Soleimani was killed in an American strike. What makes this funny?” Green asked at one point during the interview.
“It’s funny because General Soleimani died and then they called for flags to be flown at half-mast. Get it?” Mann responded.
“But that’s what I’m saying. Besides just saying the joke again, what makes it funny?” Green said.
“Do you want me to explain the joke to you? Because the joke is that General Soleimani died and Democrats were sad,” Mann said. “If you don’t know why that’s funny, then you’re not the audience for the joke. The funniest part is that it got fact-checked because it was so believable that Democrats would do that. That’s a real honor.”
At another point in the interview, Green asked Mann to explain another joke involving a drawing of “stick figures” meant to represent different races and intended to poke fun at the idea that skin color matters in terms of a hierarchy.
“I’m not going to sit here and deconstruct and explain every joke to you. We’re taking this ridiculous position in order to mock something—to make fun of this idea that your skin color matters in setting up a hierarchy of the oppressed versus oppressor class. If you really don’t get the joke, I can’t help you,” Mann said.
Green later questioned if Mann thought his work helped him live out what he saw as the image of Jesus in the Bible and appeared to suggest that Jesus wouldn’t be making the same jokes that the Babylon Bee does. The site also frequently pokes fun at religion, including perceived excesses and hypocrisies in fundamentalist Christianity.
Critics mocked Green on social media for Mann having to explain the jokes to her and for her questioning of how Jesus would approach humor in the present.
“Is this more evidence the right understand the left a lot better than the left understand the right?” Babylon Bee writer Frank Fleming asked.
As one of the few major conservative-leaning humor sites, the Babylon Bee has long vexed liberal media members, and even some of its more over-the-top satire pieces have prompted “fact-checks” after people appeared to believe them.
One infamous example came when left-wing fact-checking site Snopes was compelled to check out the veracity of a 2018 Babylon Bee joke article claiming CNN had purchased an “industrial-sized washing machine to help its journalists and news anchors spin the news before publication.” Snopes confirmed the piece was, in fact, satire.