Welcome, welcome, welcome. Ed Martin here on the Pro America Report. And we have a great show, as always, with some great interviews and a lot to cover. A lot to cover. I was just reviewing my notes. Adam Andrzejewski of OpentheBooks.com will be with us. Adam has all the details on the incredible size of Dr. Fauci’s retirement package.
He’s already the highest paid employee in the federal government by far. Not by far… of all. More than the President, more than anybody else. And his retirement package is amazing. So we’ll hear from Adam Andrzejewski in a few moments. And then we’ll have some interesting news, kind of an announcement. I wanted to get her on. It’s not kind of, it’s an announcement. Our friend Tammy Nichols from Idaho, who is a member of the legislature there, she’s running for state Senate and that’s big news! I’m going to ask her about that. Tammy Nichols, very, very impressive woman. We’ll hear from her.
But first, what you need to know, what you need to know today we have to talk about the reality, the contours, the limits of what you’re allowed to say in this country. Because the Babylon Bee, you may remember the Babylon Bee. The Babylon Bee was, I think it was not founded by Seth Dillon – I think he may have come in as an early guy – but he’s been with them for a long time. And he’s the man in charge. Seth Dillon. Seth Dillon was a part of our summer Collegians Summit last year. We did it all virtually because of obviously the COVID stuff in Washington, D.C. We couldn’t have our usual students come to town because Washington, D.C., was so out of control.
So we had our summit virtually and it was a big hit. It was a virtual summit – Collegians, Phyllis Schlafly Eagles Collegians Summit. And we had all kinds of guests come to our office just off of Capitol Hill for the Phyllis Schlafly Eagles and Seth Dillon was one of those guests. And Seth Dillon received an award, an Eagle award, for his work at the Babylon Bee. The Babylon Bee is a satiric website that’s very funny. I mean, it’s really funny. It’s funny writing, it’s clever kind of juxtaposition of ideas, just really well done. And Seth Dillon, and it’s more conservative – it’s kind of center right – it definitely sides with the center right, but it pokes fun at everybody a bit.
But Seth Dillon at the time was talking about how comedy and making people laugh and chuckle and think about things was a very effective way to engage the discourse. And in some sense, if you’re a satirist like the Babylon Bee, if you’re engaged in satire, you sort of are outside of the realm of having to be a direct journalist. Now you chuckle and laugh when I say this, that CNN and others, they don’t look like they were being particularly good journalists when you look at the buried Biden laptop, they didn’t authenticate it. Or the Russia, Russia, Russia hoax or anything else. But the Babylon Bee, very prominently, is clear: this is satire. This is comedy. It’s meant to make you laugh. We’re doing this to entertain.
And Seth Dillon has been very successful at it. He’s grown the site. He’s grown his following. And I don’t know for sure, I don’t really know if he makes a lot of money. I’m not sure how a site like that works, but it’s been successful – let’s say it that way. Well, he’s been silenced by Twitter for a tweet where the Babylon Bee named Adam Levine. I mean, not Adam Levine. That’s a singer. The Secretary Levine of the Biden administration of the Health and Human Services Department, Babylon Bee announced that “she” – goes by she, she’s a man who says she’s a woman and is therefore transgender – in cabinet, head of the Department. The Babylon Bee named Levine the man of the year.
Now, that’s clearly satire because USA Today listed Secretary Levine as one of the influential women of the year. I don’t know if it was woman of the year, but I think it was like a category of I don’t know if it was a dozen or some number. I don’t even know. I didn’t see it. But that was the news last week, was USA Today picked their woman of the year, and it was Secretary Levine who is a man who has now transitioned to being a woman. And if you see the photos, it’s pretty clear. He/she, Levine, came out of Pennsylvania. That’s not a pun there, I didn’t mean that. …Was up there working in government for the Democrats there.
So the Babylon Bee gets suspended from Twitter because they clearly were engaged in satire. They obviously were making fun and joking and they called that hate. Now, I have to say, now we’re back to this incredible moment where if you criticize, say, the man, the transgender man who’s racing and swimming as a woman for UPenn, you’re going to be beaten up. And one of the Virginia Tech swimmers came out and actually complained about it, which is the first time they used their name. There were some that complained but didn’t want their names used. But think about where we are.
The Babylon Bee, a satiric site, is now silenced from Twitter. And you can say, “oh, go over to Gab or go over to Parler.” It’s not the same. You can even say, go over to TikTok. It’s not the same. Twitter is the place where Seth Dillon and his team built their real estate. They built their house. They built their house on the Twitter real estate. That’s the way to say it. Now, I’ve heard people tell me, “oh, don’t build your beachfront home on real estate that’s next to the water. Don’t go ahead and do something like a satiric center right site on Twitter because you’ll lose everything.”
On the other hand, at what point are we clear that the way to communicate, especially in, say, the political discourse, is Twitter. It’s the dominant form. I mean, I guess Facebook is too. They’d complain if I said that, Instagram other sites. But there is an argument to be made about Twitter being one of the key sites. Let’s say that – one of the key sites. And they’re silencing the Babylon Bee for doing what they said they’d do.
And you can be Louis Farrakhan and be racist. You can be Antifa and be what, violently anti-American, in my opinion. You can be BLM and have opinions on events that look like they’re racist. You can say untruths like it’s Russian disinformation regarding the Biden laptop. You can lie about Trump and the Russia hoax or the Charlottesville Fine People hoax or all these other things, and there will be no one holding you accountable.
But if you’re the Babylon Bee and you touch the third rail of the cultural battle – transgenderism, there’s lots of other ones around there – you will be silenced? Really? Is that what we’re going to have? Is that how it’s going to operate? Again, we are in for a very interesting time because the question becomes whether so-called conservatives and the so-called conservative party, the Republican Party, will get into office at the national level. And if they do get into office, what will they do about these kinds of issues? Is there a vision that they have for how to handle these things?
Because I’m not sure that the thing we want to do is have some government bureaucrat be in charge of what’s regulated. Right? I don’t know if we can have it be the Wild West where anything goes, right? There are some things that should not be allowed to be said. But what’s the path for someone at the Babylon Bee to say, wait a second, we’re engaging in what we’ve done, what we described we would do. It’s not outside of that. It’s right there.
Saturday Night Live does satire. I don’t think they’ve been quite as edgy as that on the transgender, but they actually been sort of funny in the last little while. I forget, oh one of the skits about people going out to eat, and one of the people that is dining out is saying, I don’t really know if the masks worked and the others are like, you can’t be serious. It’s pretty funny satire. Pretty funny satire of the people who think that everything solved by masks and all the rest.
So what’s going to happen when the Babylon Bee is silenced for doing what they say they did? And here’s what always gets me. That’s the ones we can see, right? Those are the ones we can see. Babylon Bee, Seth Dillon can put out a tweet from his private account, from his personal account and say, our Babylon Bee site, our Twitter feed just got silenced. He can do that and we can see it.
What about all the ones that don’t ever get seen. What about the throttling back? What about the algorithms that are written in a way… Because Twitter probably doesn’t really like the attention they’re getting right now over the Babylon Bee. So that more frequently I think they just take care of business on the side. Take care of business in such a way that people don’t know that there has been throttling back.
It’s a brave new world. It is a brave new world in terms of information, in terms of who controls it, in terms of what we can do to try to get to the bottom of it. And then ultimately you’re not going to see a Babylon Bee again. Somebody’s not going to build that and have it be knocked down like it was on a foundation of sand.
All right, we’ve got to take a break and when we come back, Adam Andrzejewski and a whole lot more. It’s Ed Martin here on the Pro America Report. Back in a moment.