Babylon Bee lawyers up, demands retraction from NYT for ‘defamatory’ article: ‘We cannot stand idly by’


Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon has had enough of The New York Times allegedly defaming his company and has demanded a retraction over an article the leftist media outlet ran branding the satirical site an example of a “far-right misinformation site.”

Thursday, The Babylon Bee took legal action: “Yesterday our counsel sent a letter to @nytimes demanding a retraction. We took this action because their article was — and remains — defamatory,” tweeted Dillon. “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.”

He referred to a March 19 article from The New York Times entitled: “For Political Cartoonists, the Irony Was That Facebook Didn’t Recognize Irony.” The piece asserted that the Bee “used ‘satire’ claims to protect their presence on the platform.”

Dillon did not threaten to sue the media outlet but his actual news outlet, Not the Bee, hinted at it with the headline: “Lawyered-up Babylon Bee accuses New York Times of defamation, demands retraction.”

(Video Credit: NewsMax)

Dillon has been pondering legal action for some time as The New York Times has reportedly repeatedly defamed The Babylon Bee.

In a Twitter thread, he excoriated the “Old Gray Lady” over their unfounded attacks against the wildly popular satire site.

The New York Times issued what they considered to be a clarification in March after being nailed by the Bee for defamation, but Dillon stated that the “update was no better than the original.” The leftist media outlet said: “[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.]”

Adam Ford, who is the founder of The Babylon Bee, noted that the proffered “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.”

Snopes revised a 2019 “fact-check” addressing the satire site and then issued an editor’s note claiming it was never their intention to imply there was any “deceptive intent on the part of the Babylon Bee.”

The New York Times is no stranger to litigation over defamation.

A federal judge in August of 2020 ruled against the media outlet’s request to dismiss a lawsuit filed by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin who is suing them over a 2017 editorial that linked her to the 2011 shooting of Democratic politician Gabby Giffords in Arizona.

Then, in March, The New York Times again was turned down by a judge when it requested a dismissal of a legal challenge filed by Project Veritas concerning its reporting of an investigation into alleged ballot-harvesting. The Times accused Project Veritas’ reporting of being “false,” “deceptive,” and of making charges “with no verifiable evidence.” The judge reportedly accused The New York Times of “actual malice.”

Project Veritas President James O’Keefe is gunning to depose editors and reporters at the outlet over the defamation after the media giant filed a “Motion for Stay of Discovery.”

“Project Veritas believes in transparency,” O’Keefe said in a statement. “We will fight any attempt to delay discovery. On June 14, 2021, we will file our opposition.”


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