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Babylon Bee demands retraction from New York Times as defamation claims stack up

The Babylon Bee demanded a retraction Thursday from the New York Times over an article calling the Christian satirical outlet an instance of a “far-right misinformation site” as defamation claims in opposition to the newspaper begin to pile up.

Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon cited a March 19 NYT article, “For Political Cartoonists, the Irony Was That Facebook Didn’t Recognize Irony,” which characterised the Bee as a web site that “used ‘satire’ claims to protect their presence on the platform.”

“Yesterday our counsel sent a letter to @nytimes demanding a retraction. We took this action because their article was — and remains — defamatory,” tweeted Mr. Dillon in a thread. 

He continued: “For better or worse, the NY Times is considered a ‘reliable source.’ We cannot stand idly by as they act with malice to misrepresent us in ways that jeopardize our business.”

Mr. Dillon stopped wanting threatening a lawsuit, however the Bee’s information arm, Not the Bee, hinted at authorized motion with the headline, “Lawyered-up Babylon Bee accuses New York Times of defamation, demands retraction.”

The NYT did publish a clarification in March after being referred to as out by the Bee, however Mr. Dillon stated that the “update was no better than the original.”

The newspaper stated: “[Updated March 22, 2021: The Babylon Bee, a right-leaning satirical site, has feuded with Facebook and the fact-checking site Snopes over whether the site published misinformation or satire.]”

Babylon Bee founder Adam Ford responded that the “update is still damning of us, especially given its context in the paragraph and article at large, and still precisely worded to cast doubt on the Bee’s legitimacy as a satire outlet. What a joke.”

Mr. Dillon identified that Snopes revised the wording of a 2019 “fact-check” and issued an editors’ notice saying it was not their intent to impute “deceptive intent on the part of the Babylon Bee.”

“It’s therefore misleading and malicious to characterize that incident as a feud, as if Snopes ever openly stood by the claim that we are misinformation and not satire,” stated Mr. Dillon.

Its therapy of right-tilting figures has already mired the New York Times in a pair of headline-grabbing authorized battles over defamation.

In August, a federal decide dominated in opposition to the NYT’s movement to dismiss a lawsuit filed by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who sued over a 2017 editorial that linked her to the 2011 sho-oting of then-Rep. Gabby Giffords, Arizona Democrat.

A NYT spokesperson advised Reuters in an Aug. 28 assertion that the newspaper was “disappointed in the ruling but are confident we will prevail at trial when a jury hears the facts.”

In March, the NYT misplaced its bid to dismiss a authorized problem filed by Project Veritas over the newspaper’s protection of its investigation into alleged ballot-harvesting in Minneapolis.

New York Supreme Court Judge Joan B. Lefkowitz granted Tuesday a quick reprieve to the NYT in response to its request to place off discovery within the Project Veritas case till after a call in its enchantment. A listening to is scheduled for June 21.

Project Veritas president James O’Keefe has vowed to depose a number of NYT reporters and editors in the course of the discovery section and put up the depositions on-line.

“Project Veritas believes in transparency,” stated the group in an announcement. “We will fight any attempt to delay discovery. On June 14, 2021, we will file our opposition.”

In a March 21 assertion, a NYT spokesperson stated that the paper’s reporting “played an important role in examining the kind of information that was presented to citizens about voting and voting fraud during the election. The Times intends to appeal.”

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