Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 7/31/2019: Some Ethics Notes As I Run Out The Door…

Hello, I must be going…

I got my prep done faster than expected, so I have time for a shorter than usual warm-up…

1.  “When will they ever learn? When will they ever learn?” It’s going to take a while for me to go through last night’s debate, which the Red Sox saved me from having to watch live. I can say this right now, however: responsible parties should not permit completely unqualified, publicity-seeking wackos like Marianne Williamson (and, as I argued in 2015 and 2016, Donald Trump) to enter primaries and participate in debates. This is how you get “A Face in the Crowd”; this is how you set up democracy to fail. There will always be a critical number of idiots in the electorate, and parties have a duty to fulfill a critical gate-keeper function to prevent the grifters, con artists, cult leaders and amateurs from using them to warp elections and the government.

Williamson was babbling about “dark psychic forces” and “emotional imbalance” last night.  Democrats should ding her right now, and tell her she is welcome to run under the banner of the Crystal Party, or something similar.

2. I want to know who the lawyer was who filed this unethical lawsuit so I can file a complaint. A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) against key members of the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks over hacked DNC documents, pointing out the defendants “did not participate in any wrongdoing in obtaining the materials in the first place” and therefore bore no legal liability for disseminating the information.

The lawsuit was a PR ploy by Democrats to tie the Trump campaign to illegal activity by Russia and Wikileaks, despite the conclusions of the Special Counsel’s investigation that there is no persuasive evidence that such ties existed. President Trump tweeted that it was significant that  the judge in the case, John Koeltl, was a Clinton appointee, but a trained aardvark could have made this ruling.

“In short, the DNC raises a number of connections and communications between the defendants and with people loosely connected to the Russian Federation, but at no point does the DNC allege any facts … to show that any of the defendants — other than the Russian Federation — participated in the theft of the DNC’s information,” Koeltl said. “Nor does the DNC allege that the defendants ever agreed to help the Russian Federation steal the DNC’s documents.”

He also described the lawsuit’s claims as “entirely divorced from the facts.”  That’s the cue for a frivolous lawsuit charge. There is no theory by which this was a good faith lawsuit. It was a political abuse of the court system.

3. Now THIS is an unethical lawyer… In Louisville, Kentucky, lawyer Lindsey Scott, 63, was charged with second-degree assault for allegedly entering a judicial conference room and hitting lawyer James “J.R.” Moore over the head with a can of Lysol, according to the Louisville Courier Journal, WAVE News and WDRB.

Everything is seemingly spinning out of control…

4. Now it all begins to make sense…The Federalist argues the there is a (biased, partisan) method to Snopes’ madness in fact-checking the spoof stories by conservative satire website The Babylon Bee:

“Snopes called [a recent Bee’s satirical article]  which obviously pokes fun at a real life event, a fictionalized version of the story. “The Babylon Bee has tried to fool readers with its brand of satire in the past,” it said….The article continued, calling the Babylon Bee a “ruse,” which literally means “an action intended to deceive someone.”

…Thanks to the 2016 election cycle, Facebook has partnered with fact-checking websites such as Snopes to combat “fake news.” Snopes, however, categorizes Babylon Bee articles as “fake news.” This threatens the publications ability to share its content.”

Hey, if Facebook can ban Ethics Alarms, no one is safe.

30 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 7/31/2019: Some Ethics Notes As I Run Out The Door…

  1. We watched an episode of “Chopped Junior” last night. It was so refreshing to see kids cooking in the kitchen, helping each other and not sniping.

  2. 4. Ann Althouse has lost her mind. She’s approved of Snopes fact checking the Babylon Bee’s satire under the weird theory that satire of a person has to be based on something that person actually said or did. Absolutely bizarre. This means, I guess, reductio ad absurdum is now lying? She also says she doesn’t find the Bee funny. Weird.

      • “That’s not funny” is one of the most inaccurate statements in common use. Good humor usually is based around a kernel of truth. To the contrary of the statement, what was said is often very hilarious, just also hurtful. The butt of the joke really means they are hurt and offended by the joke, and they don’t find it funny to them.

        This term is often used by rigid thinking people, who make the fallacy of assuming that others experience the world as they do and / or an expectation of uniformity of thought. That mindset is often what simultaneously makes them the target of mocking humor and the inability to grasp the humor.

        • Depends on what kind of humor is used. Yes, most written or spoken humor is based around some kind of truth. However, some of those truths are uncomfortable to speak about or represent gross generalizations. Yes, a lot of terrorists are Muslim, yes, the Irish at one time drank heavily and some still do, yes, there is an element of organized crime among Italian-Americans. That doesn’t mean all of those people fall into those categories, and if you joke like that around them, expect stony stares at best, a lot more at worst.

          Is physical humor funny? Sure, it’s funny when Jerry bludgeons Tom with a frying pan or Moe gives Curly a poke in the eye (woowoowoowoowoo!) or Charlie Brown stumbles and lands with a big “KLUNK!” It’s not funny in real life when someone trips, falls, and gets actually injured. It’s not funny when you prop a bucket of water against a half-open door or arrange a closet just so that it will fall on the opener. It’s definitely not funny when you trip someone, give him a wedgie, give him a purple nurple, or grab his nose and twist it hard. If you do, and then tell him not to overreact to a joke, then anticipate some of the same coming your way.

          The best bet with humor is THINK – is it True? Is it Helpful? Is it Intelligent (or Inspiring)? Is it Necessary? Is it Kind? Most poking fun or physical humor fails 3 if not 4 of these tests.

    • One of the latest stories on The Bee: Innovative New Process Converts Vegetables Into Meat By Feeding Them To Cows

      Who can’t read that story and laugh?

  3. From the Louisville Courier-Journal

    Scott, who is 63, did not respond to an email seeking comment.

    He was the defendant in a sensational case in the 1980s that drew national coverage, when, as a Marine Corps corporal, he was convicted of raping and attempting to kill the wife of a fellow Marine but ultimately was exonerated on all charges.

  4. Regarding #3, I just read this morning that the Babylon Bee has engaged lawyers in its dispute with Snopes. Snopes has already walked back and edited their most recent “fact check” in which they accused the Bee of deliberately misleading readers. This is going to get interesting…

    • You can’t make this stuff up…

      A website whose claim to fame is making up stories to be amusing (and says do right on the cover) is suing a partisan hack fact checking website for marking them as fake news…

  5. #2:

    Another part of the ruling that is going to be important going forward was this:

    “If Wikileaks could be held liable for publishing documents concerning the DNC’s political financial and voter-engagement strategies simply because the DNC labels them ‘secret’ and trade secrets, then so could any newspaper or other media outlet.”

    Or person. Frankly, deeming your own information “secret” has never been effective at punishing people for disseminating what you would prefer to keep private. I love that the ruling states this explicitly.

  6. From Marianne Williamson’s 2022 presidential address to the nation:

    “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. You’re playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

    “With that in mind and as President of the United States, I have ordered the total nuclear annihilation of godless Iran from the face of the Earth . . .”

  7. Williamson said:

    “The entire conversation that we’re having here tonight – if you think any of this wonkiness is going to deal with this dark psychic force of the collectivized hatred that this president is bringing up in this country, then I’m afraid the Democrats are going to see some very dark days.”

    So when she refers to ‘wonkiness’ she means those others sharing the stage with her? And that they are all involved in wonkiness? But that some other sort of conversation, other than wonkiness, needs to take place?

    But here is the strange thing. There is such a thing as ‘dark psychic force’. I don’t think there is anyone who would deny that. But in a situation where such forces are let loose, it is very hard to distinguish the origin or the location of them.

    So, allow me to attempt some perceptual organization. It seems to go something like this if I have it right: over the last 10 years, but especially after when Obama was elected, certain ideologically-driven activists, captivated by progressive activism and also driven by Marxian-inspired criticism, in a processes of seeking out and labeling injustices and imbalances, invoked as it were a spirit of inquisition: a critical spirit directed against Whites or ‘whiteness’ or the ‘white establishment’. They were now closer to the seat of power and they were going to take advantage of that proximity to purify the nation of its sins.

    That is, of course, how the story is presented. But in actual fact — again if I have this right — they began to be captivated by another and a different spirit. Geist is you are so inclined (which is a more complex term). Hard to give it a name but the term ressentiment (as defined by Max Scheler) is a possible place to start:

    “Existential envy which is directed against the other person’s very nature, is the strongest source of ressentiment. It is as if it whispers continually: “I can forgive everything, but not that you are— that you are what you are—that I am not what you are—indeed that I am not you.” This form of envy strips the opponent of his very existence, for this existence as such is felt to be a “pressure,” a “reproach,” and an unbearable humiliation.”

    There is something uniquely unconscious about this level or envy-anger. That is, until one can make it conscious it operates unconsciously, and that is, after all, the domain of ‘dark psychic forces’.

    Now, ‘Donald Trump’ has been made to fulfill the rôle of a demon. This is obvious. But the danger here is that in externalizing an imago of evil that masses of people, goaded by yellow journalism (fake news), direct the masses to project their unconscious material — what they cannot see and cannot face in themselves — onto the President. And also onto some generality which cannot quite be defined. The Republicans certainly, but also an image they hold of history: a cruel history which is more like a play that they enact in their heads: vile America.

    What seems to be happening though is that it is their material, predominantly, which is ‘wonky’ but also that contains a good deal of ‘dark psychic force’. Heaven only knows where they will take things if it were to happen that they had access to power, the power they seek.

    So, a kind of elaborate national hysteric ritual or Witch’s Dance is taking place in which one sector, while condemning the other, demonstrates or rather embodies that which they see and condemn in the other.

    The problem is that this psychic event, as it were, cannot but infect all persons that come in contact with it. The danger is in ‘psychic infection’ spreading.

    I am working on a counteracting aerosol — Alizia’s Proven Anti-Geist Spray — and will soon have it on the market. Hold on till then dear friends!

    • I suspect Williamson is a seed being planted for future use. Something about a “new world” that is of “love” and “oneness” ushered in via some mash up of technocratic voodoo socialism. Barbara Walters once referred to Obama as her messiah. I suspect the left is hoping for a new messiah to combat those who supposedly wish to harm the earth with their selfishness and separatism.

      In her book Healing the Soul of America she discussed people using reclaimed spirituality for political change. She believes in a “mystical revolution that will usher in a mystical age” where prayer & meditation create “power not by dominance but by sharing.” This transformation will happen though “Citizen Circles” for the “Great Work” utilizing a “new planetary vision.”

      There are so many woke folks who are spiritually hungry that really it seems inevitable some of these people will cling to Williamson’s silly sauce. As we get closer to the UN’s 2030 apocalypse prediction, I suspect this rhetoric will expand and sadly, be taken more and more seriously.

      “Noting the witching hour-4:15-at which I awake more often than not, stealing outside to look at the stars & marvel at the moon, I return again to my ancient self. In those hours, I am not a menopausal nutcase, I’m a magical witch, and I feel it in my bones.”
      -Williamson in A Return to Love

        • I think that the idea of ‘dark psychic forces’ is an important one. I cannot see how Williamson would not be referring either to Freud or to Jung when she uses that reference. But more likely to Jung. This is unfortunate on one level because a Jungian analysis of contemporary events (or historical events) seems to lead inevitably to tremendous reductionism. However, Jung also makes a great deal of sense when, for example, he turns his psychoanalytic eye to the European Catastrophe:

          The reason Jungian analysis interests me is because it seems to me quite fair to notice that what is going on in public life, with public display and if you will theatre, has elements that look like psychological possession. To be concerned about ‘dark psychic forces’ that could manifest themselves is not mere academic concern. For example, take the entire event surrounding ‘Russia’. The Media has asked masses of people to engage in a classic psychological projection: that an evil outside power did things that have contributed to or even produced the conflicts that have arisen in our present. That is a very dangerous projection. In actual fact, the ones that are doing the more massive interference have been for example Google.

          From After the Catastrophe (1945) by CG Jung:

          From time immemorial, nature was always filled with spirit. Now, for the first time, we are living in a lifeless nature bereft of gods. No one will deny the important role which the powers of the human psyche, personified as “gods,” played in the past. The mere act of enlightenment may have destroyed the spirits of nature, but not the psychic factors that correspond to them, such as suggestibility, lack of criticism, fearfulness, propensity to superstition and prejudice—in short, all those qualities which make possession possible. Even though nature is depsychized, the psychic conditions which breed demons are as actively at work as ever. The demons have not really disappeared but have merely taken on another form: they have become unconscious psychic forces. This process of reabsorption went hand in hand with an increasing inflation of the ego, which became more and more evident after the sixteenth century. Finally we even began to be aware of the psyche, and, as history shows, the discovery of the unconscious was a particularly painful episode. Just when people were congratulating themselves on having abolished all spooks, it turned out that instead of haunting the attic or old ruins the spooks were flitting about in the heads of apparently normal Europeans. Tyrannical, obsessive, intoxicating ideas and delusions were abroad everywhere, and people began to believe the most absurd things, just as the possessed do.

          The phenomenon we have witnessed in Germany was nothing less than the first outbreak of epidemic insanity, an irruption of the unconscious into what seemed to be a tolerably well-ordered world. A whole nation, as well as countless millions belonging to other nations, were swept into the blood-drenched
          madness of a war of extermination. No one knew what was happening to him, least of all the Germans, who allowed themselves to be driven to the slaughterhouse by their leading psychopaths like hypnotized sheep. Maybe the Germans were predestined to this fate, for they showed the least resistance to the mental contagion that threatened every European. But their peculiar gifts might also have enabled them to be the very people to draw helpful conclusions from the prophetic example of Nietzsche.

          Nietzsche was German to the marrow of his bones, even to the abstruse symbolism of his madness. It was the psychopath’s weakness that prompted him to play with the “blond beast” and the “Superman.” It was certainly not the healthy elements in the German nation that led to the triumph of these pathological
          fantasies on a scale never known before. The weakness of the German character, like Nietzsche’s, proved to be fertile soil for hysterical fantasies, though it must be remembered that Nietzsche himself not only criticized the German Philistine very freely but laid himself open to attack on a broad front. Here
          again the Germans had a priceless opportunity for self-knowledge—and let it slip. And what could they not have learned from the suet-and-syrup of Wagner!

          A few things stand out which could certainly be considered in our strange present:

          …such as suggestibility, lack of criticism, fearfulness, propensity to superstition and prejudice—in short, all those qualities which make possession possible.

          It is easy to see this in people like Charles Blow or Don Lemon, isn’t it? Possessed people communicate their views with absolute sincerity and they really believe what they feel is so. They invest in their feelings like an actor invests in a character. And this spreads like a contagion. People respond at a psychic level, not at an intellectual level.

          Tyrannical, obsessive, intoxicating ideas and delusions were abroad everywhere, and people began to believe the most absurd things, just as the possessed do.

          It is only fair to say that in a time of tremendous social transition and eruption that all manner of different ‘projections’ are enacted every day. One tries to interpret one’s *world* rationally and tries to find out who & what are to blame. How could one make decisions if the ‘psychic atmosphere’ is so disturbed?

          …that Nietzsche himself not only criticized the German Philistine very freely but laid himself open to attack on a broad front. Here again the Germans had a priceless opportunity for self-knowledge—and let it slip.

          This is interesting because, if you have read Nietzsche, he eviscerated himself in his romantic musings. Profoundly psychological. Strangely poetic & artistic. Beautiful & weird all at once. As Jung said of Nietzsche, he could only be read by a mature, centered personality.

          Who could write about the present situation in America with such intensity and depth? Who could plumb the American soul? Who could penetrate into it and sort it all out after laying it bare? So then, the question does seem to involve one of ‘self-discovery’ and ‘self-recovery’: a therapeutic time!

          What self-understanding is needed now? See, everyone is making this suggestion, that profound analysis is needed to get to the *truth* which will liberate. I am sort of wondering where all this is leading. Does it not seem obvious that a crescendo is developing?

          • Jung is a classic example of inmates running the asylum. He produced channeled works and believed a spirit or demon was with him at times. All his gibberish about fear & ego is on par with Williamson’s ideology regarding creating a a new “vision” via mystical personal experience.

            To really get a feel for Williamson & the ideology that is possibly about to pick up steam, I’d suggest checking out her contemporaries in her Peace Alliance (formerly Global Renaissance Alliance). Characters include Barbara Marx Hubbard, Wayne Peterson, and a guy Trump once quoted in one of his business books, Neale Donald Walsch (who co-created the GRA w/ Williamson). Also look to the source of Williamson’s writings – A Course in Miracles by Helen Schucman who at the time of her channeled writings, was a professor of medical psychology.

            Once the concepts these people are attempting to infect others with is clear, then Williamson’s ideology can be better understood in context utilizing all the reason and discernment we can access.
            Matthew 24:45

            • Jung is a classic example of inmates running the asylum.

              I like the way you put it. A bold statement gives something to work with.

              I have had similar notions about his work and just recently I have seen him as using German romanticism against German romanticism. I do think though that many questions would have to be asked about the term ‘asylum’. Someone here recently referred to Williamson as deranged or perhaps as crazy. But I regard everyone as literally half-mad. There is really not person who could say that they are fully sane and if they did so it would be self-deceiving hubris and dangerous pretension.

              Now why is this? Because man exists within a largely irrational platform and irration has many claims on man. Life is psychotic. The biological world and our manifest world is beautiful and amazing and unspeakably magnificently weird, but it is an insane world. Cruel, senseless, immoral (or amoral), absolutely violent, a mill of biology, of life and decay and rising anew: this is our essential matrix. And our mind and our personality ‘float’ in this. We arise out of this. I define that as ‘paganism’.

              So, seen in this way there is no person who is not intimately and I’d also say profoundly connected with and a part of ‘the pagan world’. The pagan world of myth and such is a personification of that matrix. In and of itself (as personification) there is nothing wrong with that. And psychology, if you will, recovers the pagan self and encounters itself in ‘reality’.

              Now, I would in numerous senses have to disagree with you that Jung is an example of a madman and thus ‘an inmate running the asylum’. Because one would have to propose — and present — a sane person as a counter-example. Who? If Jung was ‘insane’ then he carried out his insanity in a very dedicated, very poetic, very articulate, and very intelligent way.

              Presently, I am in a phase — it is a continuation of a phase that has been going on for a long time — of discovering how I myself embody ‘Europeanism’. I tend to jump into things with both feet. This is why my interest in and research about essential categories of Europeanism, with its obvious and I’d say eternal connection with what we roundly refer to as ‘fascism’, seems to frighten people who read my ideas.

              But now it is becoming clear to me that the basic issue, the absolutely core issue, is that at the heart of Europeanness is the ‘European beast’. But this does not negate the angelical self. What ‘European beast’ means will vary from person to person, from perspective to perspective. However, and as you have indicated in a loose way, Roman Christianity defines this ‘beast’ as European paganism. And Jung was a ‘Hyper-Pagan’.

              So, Jung has a connection to the upsurge of Germanic mythology and Germanic romanticism which was most certainly not only a phenomenon of Germany. It had to do with the whole Germanic world, and that is the very core of Europe: the European heart. And by all of that I mean the definitions about Europeanism, the romantic ideas about Aryanism and the longing to define an original tribe or origin, which came into the foreground in the 19th century.

              The present ‘war against whiteness’ is — though John Burger will see this notion as chasing a ‘really fast rabbit’ — a complex machination against the Heart of Europe. And that is why there now rises up ‘resistance movements’ which are, rather logically, given a label as ‘neo-fascist’. And there is great confusion about identity and power, and then ultimately what ‘God’ is and what it means to serve God.

              The hard part here is to reconcile Christian universalism with honest recognition and respect of one’s actual and real makeup: that is to say one’s pagan self, one’s pagan matrix. What does the metaphysical transformation presaged by Christian revelation really mean?

              What I have tried to communicate over some years is that we are again going over all the old stuff all over again. I am inclined to want to say that now the ‘Christian impetus’ is carried out in the hands of Marxist activists and this is seen as the ‘globalism’ of being shaped by economic and manipulative social forces into a docile victim. You may have noticed that those who rise up in resistance to this (take for one example Henrick Palmgren and Lana Lokteff of Red Ice Radio) do so under a pagan banner: Thor’s hammer and such. Yet, they are in friendly conversation with the likes of E Michael Jones, a classical and committed Catholic Christian.

              I see these questions as being the ‘depth issues’ which define the moment. I do not see how they could ever be talked about at a national level though.

              • I take your word about Williamson and crew and didn’t, and don’t, have much to say about them as I have no knowledge of their ideas.

                It would take a certain amount of time to get through, but I think you would appreciate greatly Jung’s essay After the Catastrophe. It’s at page 194.

                (I have been reading that and The Crisis of German Ideology (GL Mosse) so you can see where my energy has been focused.)

  8. 1. Yes I agree. Idiot candidates should run for idiot parties to attract the idiot voters in order to keep the most idiotic of voters away from tilting the balance between the major parties.

  9. Williamson scored a major victory in this debate. Her chances of winning were negligible before, now they are…well, they exist. She has a chance. I think she was the big winner last night.

    Yes, she is functionally insane, but this primary is officially a craziness pageant now anyway. In 2016, Hillary was the standard-issue crooked career grifter-politician, and Bernie was the crazy person who the DNC allowed to be there to give the illusion of the democratic process. This time we have Biden in the role of Hillary, and about 17 Bernies. Just the visual of a so many socialist lunatics swarming the elderly Biden creates the perception that there is no center-Left, rational-Left, objectivist-Left, or Clinton-type New Democrat-Left anymore. The future is crazy. It doesn’t help that Biden acts like a chaperone trying to dance with the cool kids at the prom, imitating the socialists instead of distancing himself from them.

    So let’s posit that in 2016, Donald Trump was the crazy extremist on the Republican side, and the rest of the field (including the guy I voted for) constituted “mainstream conservatism.” The mainstream conservative vote was split several different ways, but Trump won most of the far-Right, and the DNC leaned on its winged monkeys in the media to treat Trump as the frontrunner, even before he was. All of these factors led to Trump winning the nomination. I think that is a fair summary, even if it leaves some things out.

    It looked like the reverse was going to happen in the Democratic party this time. Biden is the choice of the few Democrats who are still sane, and the votes of the millions of trust fund kids who drop their kids off at drag queen story hour get divided among the field. Moderate guy wins, right?

    But what if just one of the crazy people distances herself even FARTHER to the Left than all the other crazies? What if Williamson recognizes that the Warrens, Bookers, and Harrises all still have one toe grounded on Earth, where words mean things and sometimes work has to be done? What if she recognizes that the critical mass of deranged, pop-culture-soaked Trump-haters is crying out for a hero, one who won’t compromise with reality even one tiny bit? Then you get a debate that looks like this:

    SOCIALIST: “I will make healthcare and college free and make some rich people pay for it.”
    SOCIALIST; “Me too, but if you like your private healthcare plan I would let you keep it mostly.”
    SOCIALIST: “Me too, and I would find some way to maybe put Trump in jail for something.”
    SOCIALIST: “I also, will do all of those things. And I’m gay!”
    MODERATE SOCIALIST: “Um, I would do all of those things too but not quite so much.”

    WILLIAMSON: “Donald Trump is literally a Hitler-demon, and I would use my actual, literal Harry Potter magic to banish him back to his 1,000 year prison, and then I will unite the shards of the Crystal of Eternal Peace and bring the spirits of Walt Whitman, Alister Crowley, and Madame Blavatsky back from Valhalla to serve on my cabinet, which I will rename the Council of the Wise Ones. Within 100 days everyone will have free everything, and all guns will be replaced with money trees.”

    AUDIENCE: [bursts into applause]

    • Right, Isaac. Kind of like running for student council or class president by promising free lunches, six free periods a day and no more report cards.

  10. The Babylon Bee hit back.

    The Babylon Bee is quite honest with them being satire, every page has the tagline “Fake news you can trust.”

    The real fear of the Babylon Bee by the left isn’t that someone believes it’s real, it’s the fact that it points out the fact that you can’t tell the left’s opinions apart from intentional satire.

  11. I heard a rumor that that Butt-gig guy had a dead fly on his face during the debate. Is this accurate? I can’t look at those freaks even to confirm that one of them earns the ‘Beelzebub’ monicker, gloriously funny though it may be. I’m too squeamish. Some can’t stand the sight of blood; for me it’s pandering Democrats.

  12. From the Bee’s email “Newsletter’:

    Readers of the Bee,

    We apologize for the length of this note, but we wanted to bring something important to your attention. Last week, Snopes fact-checked us again. We’re pretty used to that. But this time, instead of merely rating the article “false,” they questioned whether our work qualifies as satire, and even went so far as to suggest that we were deliberately deceiving our readers. Basically, they treated us as a source of intentionally misleading fake news, rather than as the legitimate, well-known satire publication that we are. This is a big deal.

    As you know, fake news—which is distinguished from satire by its intent to mislead—was widely considered a serious issue in the last election cycle. As a result, social media networks like Facebook began partnering with fact-checkers to try and limit the distribution of fake news on their platforms. Snopes was one of them. At one point, a piece of ours was rated “false” by Snopes, prompting Facebook to threaten us with limitations and demonetization. We made a stink about this, and after some media attention shed light on the problem, Facebook apologized for their handling of the matter and admitted that satire is not the same as fake news.

    We came out on top last time, but this latest smear from Snopes is both dishonest and disconcerting. We have no choice but to take it very seriously. For better or worse, the media, the public, and social networks all look to Snopes for authoritative answers. By lumping us in with fake news and questioning whether we really qualify as satire, Snopes appears to be actively engaged in an effort to discredit and deplatform us. While we wish it wasn’t necessary, we have retained a law firm to represent us in this matter.

    But here’s the good news: While much of our revenue still comes from traffic generated through Facebook, Twitter, etc., subscriptions from our loyal readers have allowed us to become less dependent on those networks. If you value The Babylon Bee and want to see us prevail against Snopes and anyone else who might seek to discredit or deplatform us, please consider becoming a subscriber. Your support really will make a difference.

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