In checking our archives, it turns out we’ve done quite a few posts on USA Today and fact-checking just this month. For example, USA Today “fact-checked” a very real photo of Jen Psaki, Joe Biden’s pick for press secretary, wearing a hammer and sickle hat, saying it was “missing context.” Just one day later, USA Today “fact-checked” a claim that “several Democratic politicians are urging social distancing and issuing stay-at-home advisories while hosting or attending gatherings themselves” by saying it, too, was “missing context.”
Now USA Today is fact-checking satire site The Babylon Bee (again) over a piece obviously inspired by the story of a family getting kicked off a United Airlines flight because their two-year-old wouldn’t keep her mask on.
— Doug Powers (@ThePowersThatBe) December 17, 2020
After an extensive investigation, USA Today has determined that articles published by satire sites are satirical.https://t.co/FtQtYzxklC
— Seth Dillon (@SethDillon) December 17, 2020
An article in the Babylon Bee, headlined “United Airlines Kicks 2-Year-Old Off Flight For Refusing To Say ‘Black Lives Matter,'” claims the airline refused to let a young girl fly after she couldn’t pronounce the racial justice expression. The airline supposedly scolded the family of the child in a statement, too, citing its “strict ideological purity requirement” for all flights. Promotion for the article was posted to Instagram.
“We can’t let people fly on planes with the fear that a racist baby might be on board,” the airline supposedly said. “The family was quickly removed after which we lectured them for 2 hours in the airport terminal.”
USA Today’s rating? Satire. Oh yeah: “Our fact check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.”
Here’s Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon:
I have to fact check this fact check. The article actually *is* satire. It doesn't just seem like it.
— Seth Dillon (@SethDillon) December 17, 2020
Shut. Up. pic.twitter.com/HBXi3fLej9
— Uri Blago (@UriBlago) December 17, 2020
The sad thing is that it’s close enough to reality that they didn’t immediately recognize it as satire.
— Monica (@MonicaHagley) December 17, 2020
— AJ Powers (@aj_powers) December 17, 2020
what absolute DORKS!
— Rikki Ratliff (@rikkiratliff) December 17, 2020
You can’t fool USA Today.
— Richard Easton (@RDEIL) December 17, 2020
They actually reached out to you for a quote? Unreal
— Johnny Spitfire (@SpitfireMkV) December 17, 2020
This has to be satire. You have the easiest job in the world; the stories write themselves.
— 192 Years (@schubert_ghost) December 17, 2020
I love how you defined satire in the most pedantic way. Like "why are you guys even writing this article"
— ? Liberty Kevin ? (@liberty33_1_3) December 17, 2020
Well I for one would like to congratulate @USATODAY journalists for this brilliant piece of journalism. Their exhaustive and methodical research for this article must have taken them at least 3 minutes to do. Kudos to them for restoring faith in MSM credibility and intelligence.
— J. Jonah. Jameson (@AlexRompen) December 17, 2020
It makes you wonder – the person who wrote this article, or who did the "fact" checking – do they feel like idiots, or do they think they're doing important work?
— No thanks, just looking! (@reenie0999) December 17, 2020
They envy satire sites like @TheBabylonBee because these are more consistent and honest with facts than they could ever be….while they entangle themselves in hypocrisy.
Fact checkers across the globe are mostly liars & propaganda tools to push a narrative that suits them.
— DataDoctor (@Sh1vaPrasad) December 17, 2020
You need to contact them and tell them that you’re actually satirizing events where people have been chased out of restaurants for not raising fists and saying Black Lives Matter. Make sure they cover that in the article.
— Pete. (@pete_moyer) December 17, 2020
They aren’t stupid. They know what they’re doing. And Facebook, who is funding these USA Today fact checks and actively suppressing the Bee’s traffic know what they’re doing too.
— Joel Berry (@JoelWBerry) December 17, 2020
Using this as a distraction from the real story of the toddler getting kicked off for not wearing a mask.
— Dr. Honkitude PhD (@Mr_Honkitude) December 17, 2020
USA Today really seems to be taking its role as a fact-checker seriously; wonder how much Facebook is paying them?
Best thread EVER: USA Today fact-checked The Babylon Bee about Trump wanting a Space Navy for the Moon, but then the real U.S. Navy got involved and ROFL https://t.co/dWdKfrnJiI
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) October 31, 2020