Yesterday, CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan, who covers “disinformation” for the network, published a thread about the Christian satire site Babylon Bee. According to O’Sullivan, many readers can’t figure out that the site is satire because it hides this fact from readers. In fact, he suggests the Bee might be hiding behind the satire label as a way to avoid being removed from Facebook.

The next tweet is the one in which he suggests “satire” is just a clever way to dodge accountability:

Several people pointed out to O’Sullivan that it’s not at all difficult to discover the Babylon Bee is satire. It’s right there in he first paragraph of their About Us page and on their Twitter feed. And then there are the stories that obviously aren’t real, like this one:

And this:

Is this satire or an attempt to dodge Facebook algorithms? Anyone besides Donie O’Sullivan can answer that one, I suspect. Adam Ford who co-founded the Bee was curious if O’Sullivan had ever issued similar complaints about satire site The Onion. Here’s what he found:

In fact, O’Sullivan regularly shares article from the Onion:

https://twitter.com/Adam4d/status/1214231013695664129

In response to the attacks by O’Sullivan, the Bee tweeted out an old bit of satire from 2017:

CNN gets poked a lot by the Babylon Bee. Just a few days ago it published another mock article about the network: “CNN: ‘Trump Voter Shoots Mentally Ill Man In Church'”

It seems possible that CNN’s dislike for the Babylon Bee might have something to do with stories like these that don’t put the network in a flattering light. At a minimum, that explanation is more believable than the conspiracy theory Donie O’Sullivan is promoting.