This morning, Donald Trump retweeted an article from the Babylon Bee, a controversial conservative Christian “satire” site, suggesting he actually believed an article that said Twitter shut down to prevent anti-Biden news from spreading.
Twitter Shuts Down Entire Network To Slow Spread Of Negative Biden News https://t.co/JPmjOrKPcr via @TheBabylonBee Wow, this has never been done in history. This includes his really bad interview last night. Why is Twitter doing this. Bringing more attention to Sleepy Joe & Big T
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 16, 2020
There’s no wink. No indication from Trump saying he knows it’s fiction. Just Trump sharing literal fake news because he’s too stupid to know the difference and thinks his supporters are dumb enough to believe it.
It’s not hard to believe he’d fall for the ruse, though. Over the summer, the website was criticized for publishing a racist article on Juneteenth, and they’ve frequently mocked LGBTQ people, feminists, and AOC. Not with cleverness. Just over-the-top, right-wing, insult-comic humor. Feminism, to them, is the joke. Trans people are the joke. It’s wrong to call them a right-wing version of The Onion because The Onion, at its best, is extremely clever. The Babylon Bee is just a long string of articles that punch down.
Trump isn’t alone though. A study last year by researchers at The Ohio State University found that a lot of people thought the Babylon Bee‘s stories were real, but Republicans were much more likely to fall for them.
That’s what happens when you’re taught to take silly stories literally.
You would hope the president has better discernment, but obviously, this one doesn’t. He’ll quickly embrace conspiracy theories, supremacists, and apparently semi-satirical websites — as long as they make him look like the good guy. The fact that voters are still supporting him is proof that some jokes can go too far.
I’ll give the Babylon Bee some credit, though. This was put together very quickly after Trump’s tweet:
President Trump Declares The Babylon Bee His Most-Trusted News Source https://t.co/oObdxaH3w6
— The Babylon Bee (@TheBabylonBee) October 16, 2020