CNN reporter burned bigtime when he frets over popularity of conservative satire site Babylon Bee

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Screengrab CNN

A CNN reporter finds himself at the center of a social media beat down over a tweet about the satire site The Babylon Bee.

The conservative satire site ran a story last week mocking Democrats for the outrage over the U.S. airstrike that killed Iran’s terrorist commander Qassem Soleimani.

The article was titled, “Democrats Call For Flags To Be Flown At Half-Mast to Grieve Death of Soleimani.”

CNN reporter Donie O’Sullivan responded to a tweet suggesting those on right are too stupid to know that The Babylon Bee is a satire site, noting the article got more traffic than the top stories on his network and The New York Times got in a week.

Essentially, to stress that there’s a whole lot of ignorance on the right.

“To put this in perspective, this is the same number of engagements the top NY Times and CNN stories on Facebook had over the past week,” O’Sullivan tweeted. “A lot of people sharing this ‘satirical’ story on Facebook don’t know it is satire.”

O’Sullivan also took exception to the weak effort by Babylon to identify as a satirical site.

“Having a disclaimer buried somewhere on your site that says it’s ‘satire’ seems like a good way to get around a lot of the changes Facebook has made to reduce the spread of clickbait and misinformation,” he tweeted.

He would also point to comments on Facebook to reinforce the claim that people did not know the article was satire.

Granted, there are those easily duped by headlines, but there’s also a noted history of people on the left posing as conservatives to embarrass the right.

A comment wishing that a satire sight was satire to prove that the person didn’t know it was satire may fall into this category.

Adam Ford, the founder of The Babylon Bee, weighed in to say the CNN reporter got him to thinking that “surely this guy has chirped at the Onion for the same thing.”

The Onion being the left-wing satirical site, of course.

“There are websites dedicated to chronicling reactions from people who think Onion stories are real. Foreign leaders have famously been fooled by Onion articles. And this guy’s bio says he ‘covers disinformation’ for CNN. Surely he has taken the Onion to task as well, yes?” Ford asked.

Ford proceeded to do a little research into his query, and lo and behold: “As it turns out, Mr. O’Sullivan HAS tweeted about the Onion. But it looks like he’s quite the fan!” he said in a follow-up tweet, which included screenshots from O’Sullivan’s Twitter feed.

The online response was a case study on how CNN is viewed by many. The backlash was bad enough to surely convince O’Sullivan that he should have sat this one out.

Here’s a sampling of responses from Twitter:

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Tom Tillison

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