August 17, 2019

"Top 5 most-believed satirical claims by The Babylon Bee.../Top 5 most-believed satirical claims by The Onion..."

2 interesting lists at The Conversation, reprinted at Snopes, in "Study: Too Many People Think Satirical News Is Real/In a news cycle full of clownish characters and outrageous rhetoric, it’s no wonder satire isn’t fully registering with a lot of readers."

Both lists break down the poll numbers by Republican and Democrat, with Republicans more likely to incorrectly believe Babylon Bee satirical nonfacts and Democrats more likely to believe Onion satirical nonfacts.
Our study on misinformation and social media lasted six months. Every two weeks, we identified 10 of the most shared fake political stories on social media, which included satirical stories. Others were fake news reports meant to deliberately mislead readers.

We then asked a representative group of over 800 Americans to tell us if they believed claims based on those trending stories. By the end of the study, we had measured respondents’ beliefs about 120 widely shared falsehoods....
The most-believed satirical headline from The Babylon Bee was "Most Americans believe that major media companies should apologize for pushing the now-debunked news story of collusion between President Trump and Russia." Second: "Representative Ilhan Omar said that being Jewish is an inherently hostile act, especially among those living in Israel." Those are made-up stories, intended as political humor.

From The Onion, the most-believed story was: "Following the passage of Alabama’s new restrictive abortion bill, a 12-year-old victim of sexual abuse said during an interview that she doesn’t think she can be a mom on top of her already hectic life." Second: "National Security Advisor John Bolton said that an attack on two Saudi Arabian oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman is 'an attack on all Americans.'"

A couple weeks ago, some people were attacking Snopes for seeming to be fact-checking articles that were made-up as satire. Please remember that I defended Snopes. I said:
It doesn't sound as though Snopes is confused about The Babylon Bee and thinks it's purporting to be a real news site. But even when you completely understand the format is satire, like The Onion, you believe that the satire relates to something real. You have to wonder what is the real thing that happened that this is a satire of. So, for example, in the case of "If Israel is so innocent, then why do they insist on being Jews?," you'd have to assume, if that's supposed to be funny, Ilhan Omar must have said some anti-Semitic things. The presentation of the quote as satire implies that there is something out there that is being satirized. You extrapolate....

It's not just this inference that something underlies satire, but that headlines get decontextualized in social media....

164 comments:

Howard said...

True stories funnier than fiction

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/jerri-kelly-arkansas-woman-held-four-black-boots-fundraising-for-high-school-football-at-gunpoint-in-wynne-county/

Darrell said...

Most Americans believe that major media companies should apologize for pushing the now-debunked news story of collusion between President Trump and Russia

That's a "de-bunked" or "satirical" factoid we should not believe?
Snopes has to burn in a fire.

etbass said...

It might be because so much of what is going on today is totally off the charts and is no more believable than the satire.

etbass said...

Or put differently, the satire is no less believable than the real situations going on in today's off the chart world.

Ralph L said...

All four seem to be too close to the truth to be particularly funny. Maybe the 12 y.o. claiming a hectic life (although a top gymnast, swimmer, or figure skater would have one).

Virgil Hilts said...

My favorite Onion piece thought to be legit was when the Chinese media picked up the story about Planned Parenthood's new $1 billion Abortionplex

jnseward said...

The real problem is that, as Scott Adams says, a third of the population have no sense of humor.

Leland said...

I clicked to the Snopes article and did search for "The Daily Show".

rehajm said...

Top five most believed satirical claims by CNN

Top five most believed satirical claims by WaPo

Top five most believed satirical claims by Rachel Maddow

MadTownGuy said...

Per Snopes:

"Our study on misinformation and social media lasted six months. Every two weeks, we identified 10 of the most shared fake political stories on social media, which included satirical stories. Others were fake news reports meant to deliberately mislead readers."

Two different things.

Bob Boyd said...

Studies show we need experts from academia to vet any attempts at humor in the public square.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

CNN news anchor Anderson Cooper said his belief that Trump colluded with Russia is unshakable; it will not change regardless of statements or evidence to the contrary.

14% of Democrats believed that was true!

Is it satire or just buried truth?

traditionalguy said...

After 30 years of UN Climate Bunko published as reality, it's become hard to know when the ridiculous BS being published with a straight face is real or not real.

iowan2 said...

'Republicans are more apt to believe satire...'
Sharing something from the onion has nothing to do with believing the story. That's the fake correlation from snopes. Snopes, a now discredited source of so called fact checking.

rehajm said...

It might be because so much of what is going on today is totally off the charts and is no more believable than the satire.

Snopes should rate as True.

Angle-Dyne, Samurai Buzzard said...

Please remember that I defended Snopes. I said:

Yes, and that po-faced defense hasn't improved with age. If you still think that everybody was sneering at Snopes because they were all thinking haha, "Snopes is confused about The Babylon Bee and thinks it's purporting to be a real news site", you're not geting the, ahem, joke.

Bob Boyd said...

The Babylon Bee is a high capacity magazine of wrongthink. They bring ridicule into designated humor free zones. I hereby call for common sense joke control.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Another problem with Snopes is the description of these stories as "falsehoods."

This is just ground preparation for censoring satire. One more example of the totaltarian impulses of the progressives.

Fernandistein said...

People have long mistaken fake news for real news.

I discovered that many of the false stories were the kind that were trying to intentionally deceive their readers[*]; they actually came from previously respected news organizations, and many people seemed to believe them.

*Sorry, I am required to imitate their dumb sentence.

Ken B said...

Of course we remember your foolish defense of Snopes. Snopes went on and on, po-faced, refuting a satire which everyone knew was satire. If you feel a “fact check” is warranted here is one that suffices: “It's satrire”.
Maybe you need more than that to get the point, but the rest of us don’t.

Aside from that, I call BS. Self serving bullshit from Snopes that you have now self-servingly adopted.

Bob Boyd said...

Of course there's some truth in the humor. That's what makes it funny.

traditionalguy said...

You do realize that this is an attempt to smear the last refuge of truth that is told as if they are making a joke(wink,wink). Humor will no longer allowed as an excuse for busting the Official Propaganda Narratives.That is vandalising Government Property.

Ray - SoCal said...

It’s hard to write satire when politics has gotten so crazy.

Or has it sideways been crazy, it’s just more out in the open now?

Shouting Thomas said...

OK, so how do you, prof, defend your feminist porn favorite, The Handmaid's Tale?

This vicious, and absolutely false, portrayal of Christian men yearning to enslave women should be labeled as absurd propaganda for drama queens, right?

Ken B said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paco Wové said...

My favorite satirical fake news was the story about the New York Times editor who had a little Obama doll that she would stoke and talk to when she got stressed.

Oh, wait a minute...

Ken B said...

Wow, so hopelessly wrong that even Shouting Thomas nails you.

Fernandistein said...

Researchers found that people regularly misinterpreted Colbert’s performance as comedy.

Even more shocking, 23% of Americans say they have shared a made-up news story – either knowingly or not - and 77% say the don't share stories from the New York Times.

rehajm said...

Yah, move on Ann. It’s entering satire territory. Snopes and WaPo fact checker and CNN chiron are fact checking the right with the goal of making the right look stupid. There is no symmetry to their fact checks of the left. We get it.

MadTownGuy said...

From Snopes' second quoted paragraph. Let's parse:

"We then asked a representative group of over 800 Americans..."

How did they select the test sample and how was it determined that they are 'representative?'


"...to tell us if they believed claims based on those trending stories."

I wonder how they phrased the question.

"By the end of the study, we had measured respondents’ beliefs about 120 widely shared falsehoods...."

By conflating the categories of satire and intentional falsehoods, they are trying to make the case that they are the same thing. I'm not buying their argument.

Christopher said...

Please remember that I defended Snopes

Yes, and that po-faced defense hasn't improved with age.

Zero pinnochios.

The left-wing swarming attacks on any effective conservative redoubts is really something to see. It's bizarre to see Althouse take part.

Fernandistein said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

The percentages of “believers” in each case was quite small. Combined It was less than 20%. I guess Snopes is catering to the lower end of the IQ scale.

MadTownGuy said...

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

"Another problem with Snopes is the description of these stories as "falsehoods."

This is just ground preparation for censoring satire. One more example of the totaltarian impulses of the progressives.
"

You beat me to it. Your statement's more succinct.

Fernandistein said...

Ken B said...Wow, so hopelessly wrong that even Shouting Thomas nails you.

Wow, you're so hopelessly wrong and clueless that you had to pretend to believe that the statement "Elizabeth Warren promised a “sack of gaweya” to people" was made in earnest, and therefore it's OK for you to lie about what other people said.

Narayanan said...

Bidentists : Truth over Facts

Trumpeteers : Seriously rather than Literally.

Snopesplaining to the rescue.

Sebastian said...

"Please remember that I defended Snopes."

Yes, we remember. One of the silliest things ever done on this blog.

Quayle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Quayle said...

It’s in the early stages, but I’m planning the establishment of a fact checking organization filled with top experts on checking fact checkers who check the fact checkers who fact check the fact checkers.

Our experts will of course possess the absolute high-ground on knowledge and impartiality and morality. and good looks. and smugness. (wait not smugness. we don’t want to say that.) the high-ground on probity and serious concerned looking faces and believability in all thing.

Matt Sablan said...

How much higher is belief in satirical stories today compared to 4 years ago, 8 years ago, etc?

Ray - SoCal said...

Sounds like legal prep by snopes, since the Babylon Bee warned of lawfare...

Derek Kite said...

Why now? The Onion has been around for a long time. Colbert, the daily Show, etc. Why is this now coming up?

I would suggest that the anti-Semitism of the Democrat new stars has a potential of causing substantial political realignment. Having it brought up continuously in such a way makes it impossible to sweep under the carpet.

How can you challenge someone who brings up this open anti-Semitism? They called Trump racist, but that won't get far. You change the subject. This is fake news masquerading as satire.

That is what is happening here. Althouse doesn't enjoy satire, so that becomes the center of the discussion, not the anti-Semitism of some Democrats and the refusal of the Democratic Congress to sanction it.

Snopes is right. Satire is powerful and can move opinion. They are also right that Babylon bee is very effective and extremely dangerous to the Democrat coalition. And they are being the good foot soldiers that they are.

Matt Sablan said...

"In fact, stories published by The Bee were among the most shared factually inaccurate content in almost every survey we conducted."

-- I find that odd, since the Onion is: A) A much bigger publication; B) Was not accidentally-on-purpose censored by Facebook for part of the study period; C) Targets a much more niche audience. How, exactly, did they end up finding the Bee to be shared more than the Onion?

Bob Boyd said...

You think this isn't a serious issue?
In 2016 Americans read a satirical story that Donald Trump was running for President and over 60 million people believed it, went out and voted for Trump!
Countless stories in the MSM explaining that Trump was only trying to build his brand and that he wasn't serious at all and would drop out, fell on deaf ears.

Jersey Fled said...

What percentage of Hollywood stars believe vaccination causes autism?

Drago said...

Christopher: "The left-wing swarming attacks on any effective conservative redoubts is really something to see. It's bizarre to see Althouse take part."

The left AND LLR-left-wing swarming attacks....

FIFY

Its important to always keep in mind how the now exposed GOPe has worked hand in glove with the most radical of the left wing attacks.

McCain and his staff with FusionGPS in the failed coup attempt, Sen Burr handing effective control of his committee to Warner for the same purpose, The Weekly Standard under Kristol acting as a conduit for Simpson at FusionGPS and then taking all that fake conservative hackery to the lefty Bulwark, etc.

Far far too many examples to go further.

Angle-Dyne, Samurai Buzzard said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matt Sablan said...

What a useless thing when they don't even show the questions or surveys they asked of people.

Jersey Fled said...

Occam's Razor: Babylon Bee stories are shared because they are funny.

Matt Sablan said...

"We then asked a representative group of over 800 Americans to tell us if they believed claims based on those trending stories. By the end of the study, we had measured respondents’ beliefs about 120 widely shared falsehoods."

-- See, I want to see HOW they asked these questions, who they asked, etc. I want all that data. Because, the fact that there's such a huge disconnect between the Bee/Onion %s and that somehow, the Bee got more shares than the Onion makes me very suspicious of the underlying data.

Narayanan said...

I want Ruling from Emerita Desk : or a poll on

Is Snopes Cruel and Neutral?!

Drago said...

For how many years did we hear that the majority of young people, particularly those on the left, got their "news" from Jon Stewart and shows like that?

And it was celebrated by the left.

No, as mentioned upthread, Babylon Bee is cutting through the far left/left hegemony a bit using very effective satire to skewer the dems/left (along with everyone else of course!), but the effective satire hitting the left cannot be allowed.

Althouse has disturbingly joined with that effort in what will turn out to be a classic "hope the crocodile eats her last" scenario.

Matt Sablan said...

Also: The Onion data seems... oddly clumpy, doesn't it? If I could see HOW they got so many 14%s and 12%s, I wouldn't be as suspicious. But, without seeing it, that just looks like a really, really weird distribution.

I'm Full of Soup said...

Seems Like Althouse has turned a corner lately and it was a left hand turn. Now, it could be me but I find almost all of her posts are NYT and Wapo and yeah I know it's been like that for years but lately that has left me disinterested.

Ken B said...

Fernandistein
I illustrated with your ironic comment precisely what you did with one of mine. I made a sardonic remark about Coyne, and you googled my satirical comment, in full Althouse-fact-check mode. “But Hitler didn’t have only one left ball! How do you Göring's were very small?!?”

Big Mike said...

Please remember that I defended Snopes.

@Althouse, you were wrong then and you’re still wrong now.

Michael K said...

Occam's Razor: Babylon Bee stories are shared because they are funny.

That's not funny !

Drago said...

"We then asked a representative group of over 800 Americans to tell us if they believed claims based on those trending stories."

Snopes did not ask the respondents if they ever read the Babylon Bee.

Snopes "helpfully" rewrote the content for their propagan....er..."quiz".

Babylon Bees stories contain kernals of obvious truths that are then amplified for comedic effect which respondents recognized and reacted to.

This is such a blatant political battlespace preparation activity by Snopes that you'd have to be an academic to believe otherwise or a left-wing drone like Inga or LLR Chuck to deny.

Grand Beagle Fen said...

"Naked Emporer expands hunt for Babylon Boy. Ann Althouse takes point"

I said you were smarter than this. I was wrong.

n.n said...

Top five truths published by fact checkers.

Ken B said...

Behold a famous hoax: https://binged.it/2KEyEyc

Now this is just false. Robespierre never actually operated a guillotine, much less did he execute the executioner after having beheaded the rest of France. This is just false. Nor were that many guillotines assembled in one place. It's just not true. And yet this might be the most shared political cartoon of the 18th century!

Paco Wové said...

Nobody ever believed Sarah Palin could see Russia from her house, obviously. So that was never "fake news".

Matt Sablan said...

Drago: That's why I want to see the actual survey questions used for both the Bee and the Onion sections. I also just flatly don't believe the Bee (a relatively niche publication with 579k Facebook likes/599k followers) compared to the Onion (6.5m Facebook likes/6m followers) somehow managed to outshare the Onion.

Drago said...

Matt Sablan: "Drago: That's why I want to see the actual survey questions used for both the Bee and the Onion sections"

No you dont. You already know what they are pulling.

Grand Beagle Fen said...

"Even more shocking, 23% of Americans say they have shared a made-up news story – either knowingly or not - "


Headline: Michael Brown Executed With Hands Up, Shouted "Dont Shoot!"

Headline: Trump Supporters Attack Empire Star With Noose And Bleach

Fuck Snopes. They have been corruptee. Althouse should be ashamed of herself for supporting them. Must be those Amazon dollars. They own her now I guess

Ken B said...

Matt Sablan 9:16
First rule of data: if he hides the data he's lying.

This applies to your astute observation about clumpiness too.

n.n said...

The Handmaid's Tale

Who isn't for women's reproductive rights: abstention, prevention, adoption, and compassion? Who doesn't recognize women's franchise, faculty, and moral character? The Handmaid's Tale, the Tale of Pro-Choice, the wicked solution and other selective, opportunistic things, is satire. No one would endorse, let alone execute it, outside the twilight fringe.

Browndog said...

Babylon Bee responds to bogus survey--Thread.

That survey @snopes shared is horrible. Did they seriously paraphrase Bee stories and ask people if they thought they were true? That's an awful way to figure out what percentage of people will believe satire.

Matt Sablan said...

I also dislike saying satire "tricked" people. People may "believe" it, but saying that they were fooled or tricked is imparting intent on the writers that isn't there.

Matt Sablan said...

See, the problem is, I think what the Bee thinks the methodology was WAS the methodology, which makes this even worse. I want to see if, maybe, it is just a bad article and there was SOME rigor here.

I also still can't fathom HOW the Onion gets outshared by the Babylon Bee. Well, actually, I *can*. The Onion frequently gets free advertising from Facebook directly to people's feeds, so, theoretically, fewer people NEED to share it. So, maybe, if you filter that out (or shares of those automated linkings), the Bee could out do them.

But, even then, the Bee is somehow getting more shares than the Onion -- which has, what, literally 10 times as many followers? I just am not buying it.

Ken B said...

I think the thread Browndog posted goes a long way to proving what I said earlier: this is self serving bullshit from Snopes. Once you PARAPHRASE the satire this way it is NO LONGER SATIRE.

And it’s not just Snopes at fault. So is Althouse, who boasts of her skeptical reading skills, her fine attunement to the subtleties of satire and irony.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

Considering all the lies we hear from actual supposed "news" sources - it's only fitting that satirical news popped up to mock the real news who lie to us.

Ferguson
Hillary
Comey
Adam Schit
Maddow

All lying liars who lie.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

The Michael Brown shooting was the biggest lie told by the most people.

What does Snopes have to say? Anything?

CWJ said...

Matt Sablan,

I also want to know how they got 800 people to stay on the line as they asked about 120 items, plus the context questions and demographics.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

Babylon Bee mocks leftwing special babies.

That's why snopes whiners are so butthurt.

It is real.

n.n said...

leftwing special babies

Fetuses, which satirizes the lives of babies.

stevew said...

The Onion and Babylon Bee publish ONLY satirical pieces and stories.

Anyone that thinks stories they publish are true is ignorant. Snopes is acting in bad faith when it fact checks Babylon Bee stories, or as someone else said, trying to protect themselves for a future lawsuit.

Matt Sablan said...

"I also want to know how they got 800 people to stay on the line as they asked about 120 items, plus the context questions and demographics."

-- You know, I had just assumed that they had multiple different interviews with the same 800 people over the 6-month period. But... I'm not sure if your idea of how it happened or mine is more ridiculous.

Angle-Dyne, Samurai Buzzard said...

Ken B: Now this is just false. Robespierre never actually operated a guillotine, much less did he execute the executioner after having beheaded the rest of France. This is just false. Nor were that many guillotines assembled in one place. It's just not true. And yet this might be the most shared political cartoon of the 18th century!

Yet your joke is exactly the sort of thing Althouse is defending as serious analysis when served up by Snopes as serious analysis. With that defense defended via a purse-lipped excursus referencing survey data (valid or not) on the existence within the population of people who don't get satire.

Bizarre, eh?

Matt Sablan said...

So, I've actually sent an email to the original author asking to see their survey questions. I'll let you know if I hear back.

n.n said...

Snopes snipes back.

Known Unknown said...

The Tet offensive was a disaster for the American forces.

Known Unknown said...

I doubt anyone would think what we publish at The Heath Ledger is anything but satire. We don't chase contemporary news, but rather just write about whatever we find funny. My latest story I'm working on is "Local video editor accused of slo-mophobia."

Mid-Life Lawyer said...

I think AA's argument is similar to the tortured "living Constitution" arguments that Judges make up when they are legislating from the bench. Snopes is wrong, period, and there is no justification for their bullshit.

Beasts of England said...

Our hostess also dropped into the comments of the original post to suggest that slow people liked the Bee because they had a sense of accomplishment when they figured out the joke. I’m paraphrasing, but that was the gist.

Drago said...

Hey, remember when Sarah Palin had Gabby Giffords shot?

Yancey Ward said...

I am going to clue you guys in- Snopes is satire.

Mike Petrik said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike Petrik said...

Half of American still believes Dan Quayle thought his Latin American diplomacy was encumbered by his failure to take Latin in school, and the same half thinks Austrians speak Austrian.

hombre said...

Maybe it’s just me, but I think there is a difference between Snopes identifying satire as satire and Snopes “fact-checking” a satirical piece.

BTW, I never read the piece, but I suspect many Americans DO think the leftmedia should apologize for the manner in which they presented the phony “Russia collusion” tripe. Snopes problem with the Bee is that it hits Democrats too close to home. What is the point of satire if the targets are unrecognizable.

CWJ said...

Matt Sablan,

Getting people to submit to repeated interviewing can work in long term studies of serious subjects. But for this, particularly once the subjects divine its purpose, I doubt it. People don't like feeling exposed to giving wrong answers.

Another way to do it is with the 120 items sliced and diced among the questionnaires such that each of the over 800 people evaluates an overlapping subset of the 120 items to reduce respondent fatigue and mid interview hang-ups. This would of course greatly reduce the number of respondents evaluating any given statement. In that case, the statistically reliable impression created by "over 800 Americans" is significantly overstated.

Seeing Red said...

The most-believed satirical headline from The Babylon Bee was "Most Americans believe that major media companies should apologize for pushing the now-debunked news story of collusion between President Trump and Russia.


Was that really satire?

They should apologize.

Mike Petrik said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Yancey Ward said...

As I wrote in the previous thread and as others above have returned to- Ms. Althouse is completely missing Snopes purpose in labeling The Babylon Bee's stories as false rather than labeling them properly as satire. Snopes' fact-checking is used by the social media companies as guides to censor such writing. It isn't even intellectually honest to label any satirical piece as "false" or "untrue" in the first place because to do so completely ignores the purpose of satire.

The people, who think Snopes fact-checking The Babylon Bee is an example of Snopes being run by idiots, are themselves being stupid and ignorant- the people running Snopes have a clear purpose in mind, and are relentlessly pursuing it, and this new article is just the latest salvo in justification.

rcocean said...

Oh it a STUDY. Well, that must make it SCIENCE. Yeah, I believe that. And I believe snopes are NOT a bunch of leftists, pushing leftism, while pretending to be neutral "fact Checkers".

Has anyone made A STUDY of who writes for Snopes? Who are they? What are their politics? 'cause I'd bet 100-1 they all voted for Hillary.

Yancey Ward said...

hombre wrote:

"Maybe it’s just me, but I think there is a difference between Snopes identifying satire as satire and Snopes “fact-checking” a satirical piece."

It isn't just you- Snopes "fact-checks" because fact-checks get used by Facebook, Twitter, etal to censor specific pieces. A label of "satire" isn't nearly as effective at getting Facebook and others to censor a story. Indeed, if Snopes' organization were intellectually honest, they would just point out that satire isn't a proper piece for fact-checking in the first place.

rcocean said...

Stalin said it didn't matter who voted - all that mattered was who COUNTED the votes. And all that matters is WHO does the Study. Because you can always rig the methodology to get the result you want.

Yancey Ward said...

Really, if you are going to fact check satire, then why not fact check comic books?

hombre said...

Of course Republicans are more likely to believe satire. Democrats are so looney that nothing is unbelievable.

Green New Deal? Check! Truth over facts? Check! Fauxcahontas rising? Check! Russia collusion? Check! AOC? Check! Etc. Etc.

rcocean said...

Here's MY STUDY:

1. Snopes is left wing
2. They hate B.Bee because its Conservative
3. They are trying to get it kicked off Facebook.
4. So, they made a study which helps that goal.

rcocean said...

Assertion: Stalin Killed Millions.

Snopes Fact Check: False. Stalin never personally killed anyone in his entire life. He didn't even own a gun!

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Headlines are much more widely read than articles, straight news or satire or opinion, no exceptions. So they are really measuring how many people retweet headlines that they like or find funny, not necessarily what they believe about the article. I’m suspicious of the methodology but the analysis is intriguing. Bottom line seems to be that real “news” is so rare that you are just as likely to encounter Truth in satirical tweets as in actual alleged “news.”

exiledonmainstreet, green-eyed devil said...

This is about the Leftist fight to maintain their cultural monopoly. They know that mockery is a potent weapon. They've used it to savage conservatives for decades. Chevy Chase is proud that his SNL portrayal of Gerald Ford helped cement the image of Ford as a stumbling buffoon. (In reality, Ford had been a college football star and was probably the most athletically gifted man to become president.)

Now that the Right is using the tools long employed by the Left, Leftists cry "No fair!" Gaia knows, we can't have people laughing at Democrats.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

In the tank: PolitiFact won’t call Warren, Harris liars for labeling Michael Brown’s death a “murder”

Sebastian said...

"Ms. Althouse is completely missing Snopes purpose."

Of course. Just as she misses the purpose of misleading MSM headlines (they shouldn't do that! it's sad!) or any other prog "mistake" (they should be more careful! they should think about what they are doing!).

In a way, I understand: it is hard to acknowledge that people whose beliefs you thought you shared actually have become your enemies, constantly doing battle to devastate the culture and the standards you hold dear.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Blogger Drago said...
For how many years did we hear that the majority of young people, particularly those on the left, got their "news" from Jon Stewart and shows like that?

And it was celebrated by the left.

No, as mentioned upthread, Babylon Bee is cutting through the far left/left hegemony a bit using very effective satire to skewer the dems/left (along with everyone else of course!), but the effective satire hitting the left cannot be allowed.

Althouse has disturbingly joined with that effort in what will turn out to be a classic "hope the crocodile eats her last" scenario.


Yep. Getting your “news” from Jon Stewart was cool. Colbert was “truthy” if not actually true. But the Bee us “dangerous.” Got it.

n.n said...

Truth over facts?

They speak truth to facts. It's tres urbane and doctrinal Pro-Choice.

MadTownGuy said...

I'm Full of Soup said...

"Seems Like Althouse has turned a corner lately and it was a left hand turn. Now, it could be me but I find almost all of her posts are NYT and Wapo and yeah I know it's been like that for years but lately that has left me disinterested."

She's always been an unapologetic classical liberal, but on the main an honest reporter of foolishness wherever it appears. She reads the NYT and WaPo so we don't have to.

n.n said...

But the Bee us “dangerous.” Got it.

For the Snopes establishment, it's the White "rebel" Bee, which is alleged to indulge in rabid diversity. NOW, the Snopes snipes back.

Static Ping said...

Okay, let's see what the most believed Babylon Bee articles were:

"Most Americans believe that major media companies should apologize for pushing the now-debunked news story of collusion between President Trump and Russia."

"Representative Ilhan Omar said that being Jewish is an inherently hostile act, especially among those living in Israel."

Okay, I could see why people would believe it. Those are actually reasonable positions. The news media did push a conspiracy theory against the sitting President for years. You would think that would necessitate an apology when the story proved to be garbage, except they probably knew it was garbage from the beginning and this was propaganda from the start. As for Omar, the main problem is that is not satire. She's a hardcore anti-semite. That's what she really believes. The only thing dubious about it is she would say it in such an awkward way.

The main problem with these satire pieces is not that they are false but that they are too close to the truth to be good satire.

Kevin said...

So, for example, in the case of "If Israel is so innocent, then why do they insist on being Jews?," you'd have to assume, if that's supposed to be funny, Ilhan Omar must have said some anti-Semitic things.

Breaking News! The Jewish state just produced its own analysis of her statements.

Yancey Ward said...

For those too incensed or lazy to read the linked article from Snopes, I will highlight a few of the parts

From Snopes: "On his popular satirical news show “The Colbert Report,” comedian Stephen Colbert assumed the character of a conservative cable news pundit. However, researchers found that conservatives regularly misinterpreted Colbert’s performance to be a sincere expression of his political beliefs."

That one is particularly dishonestly clever. Unless you are in on the joke, as the vast majority of Comedy Central viewers would have been, Colbert would probably fool a good number of people without a sense of humor, or who were unfamiliar with Colbert in the first place. That natural audience for Colbert, though, would already know that it was satire, even those who don't have a sense of humor. And here is the capper- while more conservatives might have been fooled into thinking Colbert really was a conservative talk show host than progressives who were, what do you think progressives thought of Colbert's stated positions as a satirical conservative talk show host. Do you not think that progressives would have thought Colbert's positions as fake but accurate? So, who is really more fooled in this case by the satire of Colbert?

Also from Snopes:"Most Americans believe that major media companies should apologize for pushing the now-debunked news story of collusion between President Trump and Russia."

This one is infuriating. The Mueller Report debunked the collusion stories as definitively as it could ever be done. It isn't a "wrong belief" to want the media to apologize for pushing what turned out to be a likely untruth for over two years. The only surprising thing in that 28% figure is that it wasn't 95%- this tells me that Republicans were smart enough to completely parse the statement and determine that "most Americans" was probably a false description of the people who still believe in the collusion story despite the Mueller Report.

Also from Snopes: "CNN news anchor Anderson Cooper said his belief that Trump colluded with Russia is unshakable; it will not change regardless of statements or evidence to the contrary."

21% Of Republicans believed this while 14% of Democrats did. I haven't heard a statement from Cooper that the Mueller Report changed his mind about the collusion story, and he is on record as believing it and that it would be proven by the investigation. Has he recanted? I found no evidence that he has. Again, this "satire" would actually seem to be the truth.

Static Ping said...

Going to The Onion's most believed:

"Following the passage of Alabama’s new restrictive abortion bill, a 12-year-old victim of sexual abuse said during an interview that she doesn’t think she can be a mom on top of her already hectic life."

"National Security Advisor John Bolton said that an attack on two Saudi Arabian oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman is 'an attack on all Americans.'"


Okay, I can see both of these being believed as they are too close to the truth as well. The first didn't fool me because it is derivative of the Onion's bread and butter: "serious" news stories about ordinary people doing ordinary things. This is just taking it to an extreme. The second one is something I could believe a political operative would say because we have heard political operatives say something similar. The worst part about it is if Bolton had said that he would be mostly accurate as the whole point of the attacks was to get back at the United States, so it is in fact an attack on all Americans, if by proxy. The primary humor content is The Onion doesn't get it.

MayBee said...

The thing about satire is the way it's written. The satirist doesn't just recite "facts" that aren't quite true and call it humor. Saturday Night Live doesn't just stand there and announce what they are pretending Trump said that week. There's a whole set up.

I'm not in love with the Babylon Bee, but they had one recentish post that I thought was excellent commentary. It was after Sports Illustrated put a model in a beach burka on the cover of their bathing suit issue. The Babylon Bee showed a picture of a girl in a longish denim skirt and a white polo shirt at the beach, and said something like "Sports Illustrated Introduces First Baptist Cover Model"

Now, that is good satire, and it has a lot packed in it. But what would happen if you called someone and said "Do you believe Sports Illustrated put a baptist model on the cover?" or "Do you believe Sports Illustrated put a woman in a modest skirt and shirt on the cover their bathing suit issue"?
First of all, the very question ruins the set up.
But second of all....what does it mean if you answer yes or no?
No, I don't believe for a minute SI would put a baptist model on the cover (that's part of the joke!)
No, I don't believe for a minute SI would put a modestly dressed woman on the cover of their Swimsuit Edition (again, that's the point of the commentary!)

What people believe and what they don't believe is so....not relevant in satire. I wouldn't believe Florida let Jeffrey Epstein roam around free when he was supposed to be in prison. But it's true!

PB said...

Know what the word is for people who don't understand satire? Voters.

Yancey Ward said...

In short, my impression of Snopes' study is this- most of the satire articles Republicans believed more than Democrats were actually less satirical and closer to being true, or at least required a closer parsing of the language to determine from where the satirical element came.

In the stories that Democrats believed more than Republicans, the satirical element was easier to spot, and required less parsing of the language- see the Kelly Ann Conway, Tucker Carlsen, and John Bolton "statements" quoted, or the one from the 12 year old Alabama girl. All of those Onion stories are more easily identified as satire on their face.

MayBee said...

Also from Snopes: "CNN news anchor Anderson Cooper said his belief that Trump colluded with Russia is unshakable; it will not change regardless of statements or evidence to the contrary."

In fact, CNN's Tapper and several other reporters have said they can't think of any big part of the story they got wrong.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

The leftwing collective still believe that Trump is a Russian plant.

MayBee said...

https://www.mediaite.com/tv/jake-tapper-defends-cnns-mueller-probe-coverage-to-mick-mulvaney-i-dont-know-anybody-who-got-anything-wrong/ (mediate)

Just in case the Cooper "satire" seems outrageous to you.

“I’m not sure what you’re saying the media got wrong,” Tapper said. “The media reported that the investigation was going on. Other than the people in the media on the left, not on this network, I don’t know anybody who got anything wrong. We didn’t say there was conspiracy. We said that Mueller was investigating conspiracy.”

MayBee said...

If I asked my husband, I bet he would confess he still thinks Bush went AWOL from the Texas Air National Guard.

Yancey Ward said...

"In fact, CNN's Tapper and several other reporters have said they can't think of any big part of the story they got wrong."

Exactly. Prior to The Mueller Report, the "walls were closing in", "indictments of Trump officials for conspiracy" were being planned etc. After the Mueller reported and closed up shop, "nothing we did was wrong or false". Memory holes are deep at the lefty news organizations.

mockturtle said...

Snopes lost credibility with me many years ago when they 'debunked' a story I had personal knowledge was true. Since then I just ignore them.

MayBee said...

If you told me Sheldon Whitehouse sent a letter to SCOTUS this week threatening to pack the court if they don't make the proper rulings, I would definitely think that was satire. But I'd be wrong! It's true.

It's really hard to *know* what's true when what is true can sometimes be so unbelievable.

RigelDog said...

Biggest problem with survey used in this "research" is that they only asked participants about the satirical articles that were "most shared." The article doesn't say that they identified the most falsely believed---just the "most shared." In any case, as several have noted already, the headlines and articles are paraphrased into normal language that changes their meanings and strips them of the very hyperbole that alerts the reader that it's satire.

Gospace said...

Women Who Don't Believe Israel Has Right To Exist Not Sure Why They Got Banned From Israel

Recent Babylon Bee headline. Even if it is satire- it's true. It's getting really hard for satire sites to keep ahead of the news.

Another recent headline: Six-Year-Old Saying, 'Why Don't We Just Give Everything Away For Free?' Surges To Top Of Democratic Polls What's not to believe about it?

But let's see the comments on another blog about the news coverage of mainstream media, the New York Times: https://legalinsurrection.com/2019/08/leaked-audio-ny-times-shifts-targeting-of-trump-from-russia-collusion-to-racism/

They won two Pulitzers for their coverage of the FAKE Russian collusion story. TWO! For coverage of a FAKE story. And now they've decided what news they're going to report for the next two years- true or not. Well, longer than two years after Trump is reelected.

RigelDog said...

Yancey Ward hits the exact point above, "Ms. Althouse is completely missing Snopes purpose in labeling The Babylon Bee's stories as false rather than labeling them properly as satire."

Satire is a form of art and as such is in part ineffable and is a form of expression that deserves to be judged on its own terms. The proper response of Snopes to a claim that Bill Clinton really does wear a blue dress and red high heels is to simply state that the rumor is based on a whimsical piece of art.

Narayanan said...

Is it too far fetching to imagine Snopes fact-check The Child's "Observation" in Emperor's etc. Or people calling for SC Mueller to look into it!

Narayanan said...

Or Emerita Professor paying attention to anything involving Snopes.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

Leaked Audio: NY Times shifts targeting of Trump from Russia collusion to racism

Thank you for the link- Gospace.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

The entire article is a satire, perhaps unintentional, of factual writing.

1. From Oxford via Google: "sat·ire noun the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues."

By that definition much of the print media coverage, great majority of visual media coverage, of current political events is "satire."

2. Article headline: "Study: Too Many People Think Satirical News Is Real"

How many is too many? By what standard is that number "too many?"

3. "Over the last several months, we’ve surveyed Americans’ beliefs about dozens of high-profile political issues."

So, now the subject is "Americans" not "People." You checked passports to confirms citizenship?

You surveyed their actual beliefs? More likely you surveyed their responses to questions about their beliefs.

4. "We identified news stories – both true and false – that were being shared widely on social media."

What "social media?"

True or false by your judgement? If a story makes several statement, some of which you mark "true" and others you mark "false," what criteria are applied to make the story as a whole true or false?

5. etc. etc. etc.

Rabel said...

Althouse, you may have a keen eye for satire but you missed the falsehoods that Snopes and The Conversation put into that intentionally misleading article.

For example, you wrote "The most-believed satirical headline from The Babylon Bee was "Most Americans believe that major media companies should apologize for pushing the now-debunked news story of collusion between President Trump and Russia."

That wasn't a headline in the Bee. But you thought it was because you were led to believe it by the liars at Snopes and The Conversation.

Others here have explained what the "study" actually studied.

Up your game.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

'The most-believed satirical headline from The Babylon Bee was "Most Americans believe that major media companies should apologize for pushing the now-debunked news story of collusion
between President Trump and Russia."'

Count Hammond among those who believe the media should apologize.

The headline is certainly satirical. It may well also be true. The veracity is impossible to determine without:
..surveying all verified American citizens of all ages, excepting perhaps only the comatose;
..determining their actual beliefs not just what they say they believe.
A significant number of "Americans" may be entirely agnostic on or ignorant of the issue.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

90% of the Racism in America Comes from the Democratic Party and the Left

Ken B said...

Rabel
Yes. Althouse is peddling untruths to make it look like she was right. The Snopes claim is a lie.

Achilles said...

"The most-believed satirical headline from The Babylon Bee was "Most Americans believe that major media companies should apologize for pushing the now-debunked news story of collusion between President Trump and Russia."

The people that pushed the russian collusion hoax coup were evil.

The people who still cling to the russian hoax belief are evil.

Snopes is an evil publication produced by evil people pushing lies.

They know what they are doing at this point. Everyone who pays attention knows Russian collusion was a hoax. That is why they are on to racism now. Another hoax.

They are enemies of freedom.

Period.

They should apologize. If they keep it up it will be too late to apologize.

Joe said...

Just to be clear; this was not a study, it was a hit piece funded by Facebook.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

Matt Sablan @ 9:19

Rest assured, it was all mapped out by experts.

narciso said...

uapproved satire, doesn't get on the google app,

https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2019/08/the-week-in-pictures-fredo-edition.php

DavidD said...

Well, the media SHOULD apologize.

Leland said...

I guess Trump has been saying so much truth these days that Snopes has to find other work. Still say they ought to look at The Daily Show as well.

narciso said...

the little tail, brought home:


https://dailycaller.com/2019/08/17/fec-democratic-chair-nra-russia-vague-story/

Fernandistein said...

I made a sardonic remark about Coyne,

Then you are one extremely shitty writer. And you're still a liar.

AAT said...

The only thing unbelievable about that BB headline about apology for the Russia hoax was the idea that anybody in the media would ever run such a poll. Who would it help in the Democrat Party.

AAT said...

I feel sorry for people who get the sads when Althouse doesn’t spoon feed them their own opinions with a motherly “there there."

narciso said...

No ons has to sift like gold flakes in a river bed:



https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2019/08/17/southern-poverty-law-center-hate-groups-scam-column/2022301001/?fbclid=IwAR32e1Y7TrHzVqZx-_J0uihyi7ZnAoxKCPB3uJ-MtI8kWheAKveY_Scumr4

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

Southern Poverty Law Center is no different than a left-wing fascist "antifa" street thug.

MadTownGuy said...

Ann Althouse said (last paragraph she cited from her previous post):

"It's not just this inference that something underlies satire, but that headlines get decontextualized in social media...."

This is what irritates me about AP articles in local papers. I don't know if the AP supplies a short list of suggested headlines or if the local editors write their own, but the headline makes either a generalization that is backed off a little several paragraphs down, or the headline makes an assertion unsupported by the article.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

Narciso's link

The Southern Poverty Law Center labeled us a "hate group" - then a gunman showed up to kill me.


When radical anti-free speech leftwing democratics in the Southern Poverty Law center label you a "hate group" - because you are not a fellow leftwing traveler, you then become a target of leftwing violence and terrorism.

No one in the the hack-D press has an issue with the corrupt terrorist organization that is The Southern Poverty Law Center.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

SLPC - the racial leftwing get rich scam. Using lies and bullying and terror for profit.

" ..These shameful secrets are no longer hidden in shadows. The New York Times, Politico, NPR and a host of other mainstream publications are reporting on the corruption and widening credibility gap. The SPLC dismissed its co-founder, and its president resigned amidst numerous claims of sexual harassment, gender discrimination and racism within the organization — a parade of disgraces that vividly force the conclusion: The SPLC is hollow, rotten and failing at the very virtues it pretends to celebrate.
The criticism comes from many corners. There’s the Current Affairs editor who seems sympathetic to the center’s progressive mission but decries its “hate group” list as an “outright fraud” and a “willful deception designed to scare older liberals into writing checks to the SPLC.”

There’s the retired investigative journalist who helped research and write an eight-part series on the center’s “litany of problems and questionable practices” in the mid-1990s. His Washington Post opinion piece reads with a thinly-veiled message: We nearly got a Pulitzer Prize for TELLING YOU SO.

But perhaps most damning of all are the indictments leveled by former employee Bob Moser in The New Yorker. He remembers being welcomed to the “Poverty Palace” and recounts the heart-sinking reality of it all — being “pawns” in a “highly profitable scam.

Ken B said...

Fernandistein
I might be a shitty writer. You are a shitty thinker, and an excellent, excellent hypocrite.

Grand Beagle Fen said...

I was listening to a radio broadcast of a seminar with a Facebook officer and some "journalists". They actually said that some points of you don't deserve to have a platform.

Basically, they want to use their Outlets to demonize white supremacy, and not allow advocates to have any voice. Suspending the principles of freedom of speech for what they deem exceptional or extraordinary situations. Which is a lie.

These people have no self-awareness. They don't see themselves. They don't see that they become the very Nazis they claim to despise. It's the same excuse they used to violate their ethical standards when they went after Trump.

Worse, they are mystifying white supremacy and giving it power. When instead they should be giving it all the air time it can handle, confident that the American people will see it for the ridiculous philosophy it is. But instead they arw making it forbidden fruit, creating a Frankenstein monster that will tear them apart.

Strike that, good idea.

Big Mike said...

Most Americans believe that major media companies should apologize for pushing the now-debunked news story of collusion between President Trump and Russia.

Not sure why this is meant to be satirical. It wouldn’t surprise me if a majority of Americans really did feel that way.

Ken B said...

Big Mike
Why wouldn’t they? But the real point is, that wasn’t the Bee headline. The claim trumpeted by Althouse is false.

C R Krieger said...

Darrell said, at 0806, exactly what needed to be said

Regards — Cliff

bagoh20 said...

"Most Americans believe that major media companies should apologize for pushing the now-debunked news story of collusion between President Trump and Russia."

I'm pretty sure that most Trump voters do believe that, including me, and probably a lot of non-Trump voters got there after the Mueller report confirmed no collusion. The people represented by the 500,000 viewers that Rachael Maddow lost overnight probably feel that way too. A majority of Americans is certainly possible.

I think if you posed the question like this below you would get a majority to say "yes".

"For two years the media pushed an unsubstantiated charge on a daily basis that Trump colluded with the Russians, but an exhaustive two year investigation by The Special Prosecutor found no evidence for it. Should the media outlets who pushed the untrue charge for two years apologize to their viewers?"

gilbar said...

"Most Americans believe that major media companies should apologize for pushing the now-debunked news story of collusion between President Trump and Russia."

can somebody (Anybody?) post a link to this Babylon Bee headline?
I've searched on Duck Duck Goose, and Google for the phrase listed above, and i get results for Althouse, and for snopes.com, and other articles about the snopes article, but NOTHING from babylon bee

Then i searched on the babylon bee site, itself; and received NO results.
I'm not saying that this is fake news; i'm just asking if the snopes article was satire?

Help me Althouse readship, you're my only hope!

Gospace said...

Well, gilbar, I had to flip through several pages of trending news to find it was published 25 Mar 2019:

https://babylonbee.com/news/nation-awaits-apology-from-media-that-pushed-fake-news-story-for-two-years

Along the way I saw several headlines that mirror reality close enough to make one think the Bee's editors are prescient:

From 29 June: Senate Democrats Demand Supreme Court Nominee Not Be Unduly Influenced By U.S. Constitution 4 days ago in the news: Sheldon Whitehouse: “The Supreme Court is not well. And the people know it. Perhaps the Court can heal itself before the public demands it be “restructured in order to reduce the influence of politics.”

With that, look at this headline from 17 June: Democrats Vow To Close Dangerous Gun-Buying Loophole Known As 'The Second Amendment'

Is there anyone in this blog readership who would doubt that if it were published in the NY Times? No- because it is simultaneously satire and absolutely true.

From 9 August: Exposé: We Found A Map Of Everyone Whose President Is Donald Trump

Which is, of course, a map of the United States.

From 8 August, a headline everyone is expecting: California Mandates Conversion Therapy For Straight Kids

And there's this evergreen headline from 13 July 2017: CNN Report: Millions Of American Voters May Have Colluded To Elect Trump

The Babylon Bee, America’s real newspaper of record….

The Gipper Lives said...

Pro Tip: If you fact-check a joke you are one.

But I understand the impulse; the Bee is more accurate than all the #Professioonal Liars put together.

Gospace said...


Almost forgot this gem:

https://babylonbee.com/news/trump-unveils-2020-campaign-strategy-of-just-letting-democrats-speak-freely

Posted it on Facebook 17 July, which immediately posted a “hoax-alert” with it as a related article to warn people it originated on a satirical website and wasn’t real. And hours later- the RNC issued an ad which consisted of- videos of Democrats speaking. Satire, The Babylon Bee, The Onion, and a few other sites I sometimes see, are barely keeping ahead of the real news. In the last year or two, much satire has been published on the internet which wasn’t satire a few days later.

stlcdr said...

Isn’t that the job of these satirical sites? Present the unbelievable as believable?

When you don’t attribute the source, the lies become ‘fact’. Interestingly, the left wing media (redundancy alert) are all about ‘unnamed sources’.

gilbar said...

thanx Gospace!
I guess i didn't find that article, because i was searching for "Most Americans believe... "
you like is NATION AWAITS, but i'll stipulate that it's the article they were talking about

though: that means, like Trump, they paraphrase what the Bee says, and criticize that

Most Americans believe (to me, implies a poll)
like the difference between saying: America Loves Whoopers! and Two of of Three People Prefer Whoppers

gilbar said...

your link is NATION AWAITS, but i'll stipulate that it's the article they were talking about

gilbar said...

stlcdr said...
Isn’t that the job of these satirical sites? Present the unbelievable as believable?


The First Rule of Lying is: To Be Believed, a Lie MUST Be Plausible
Satire is a special sort of Lying, where you want people to think: They said THAT?

A Poor satire of the Dems would be:
Democrat party proposes Flag Burning Amendment

Actually, as i write that, i see it would be a GREAT satire... If you then said (after the click)
The Amendment would REQUIRE Flag Burning