Conservatives are Big Mad that a transphobic “comedy” site has been mildly inconvenienced

Imagine being the sort of weirdo who thinks defending The Babylon Bee is a good hill to die on.


We live in a world that’s been blessed with an overabundance of stupid hills to die on: video games and billion-dollar superhero franchises and what kind of fast food tastes best and which wealthy celebrity who doesn’t know you exist should you stan for, and so on and so on. And yet, of all these terrible things to take an irrationally inflexible position on, none comes even close to topping the incandescent self-righteousness emanating from the some of the most odious figures in right-wing politics today, all because their favorite, deeply transphobic, astronomically unfunny “satire” website has been mildly inconvenienced on Twitter.

If you aren’t already familiar with the conservative “humor” outlet The Babylon Bee, congratulations, you’re in a much better mental place than those of us who are. Ostensibly a sort of right-wing version of The Onion, the Bee is not so much a place for hilarious comedy as it is a clearinghouse for various culture war grievances that somehow manages to assume the vague form and structure of comedy, without actually coming anywhere remotely close to being funny. For example:

Screenshot / Babylonbee

Ha ha ha? I’ll give you $50 right now if you can actually explain what the joke is here.

Bastion of comedy that it is, last week the Bee returned to one of its favorite watering holes: punching down at transgender people for no reason. The “joke” was to mock assistant secretary of health and four-star admiral Dr. Rachel Levine, the highest ranking trans person in American public service today.

Screenshot/Twitter/The Babylon Bee

You’ll notice that the above is a screenshot, and not an embedded tweet. That’s because Twitter — perhaps recognizing that a high(ish)-profile publication mocking an extraordinarily accomplished public figure who belongs to a marginalized community that is currently under direct attack by conservative lawmakers is y’know, not a great look for its platform — has locked The Babylon Bee out of its account until the company deletes the offending tweet. That, evidently, is simply a bridge too far for Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon, who this week went on an unctuous rant that tried to elevate his company’s crass transphobia to an issue of monumental importance.

“We’re not deleting anything,” Dillon declared in a lengthy Twitter rant about, uh, how much he hates Twitter. “Truth is not hate speech,” he continued, seemingly unaware or uncaring about how ridiculous this sounds in regards to a company that describes itself as “the world’s best satire site.”

“If the cost of telling the truth is the loss of our Twitter account, then so be it,” Dillon concluded, casting his staff’s lukewarm attempt at generic transphobia as a life or death moment.

This minor inconvenience — the Bee isn’t permanently banned, nor are links to the site blocked, nor is their actual website being threatened with any sort of censorship — is evidently what passes for a rallying cry to conservatives nowadays, with a who’s-who of truly gormless culture warriors answering the call to be Very Huffy Online™.

From a sitting United States congressman:

To senators:

To VC ghouls hoping to become senators:

On down to your usual suspects of “like and subscribe” right-wing grifters and attention seekers:

Of all things, this has become the line in the sand, or the Alamo standoff, or whatever other analogy you think is appropriate for a bunch of people who have nothing better to do than whine about a bad tweet being called out for being bad. It’s just a bunch of huge babies with enormous political and cultural clout, having a public tantrum in defense of both transphobia and a failed attempt at comedy, all at once.

If I had to guess, I’d say The Babylon Bee is going to eventually relent and delete their tweet, and then use the opportunity to throw itself an even bigger pity party. But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe it’ll actually show some backbone and stand by its (awful) convictions. Now that would be funny.