Bill Maher made what was for him a startling discovery not long ago on his HBO show: Pointed comedic barbs aimed at pompous politicians do not merely emanate from lefty comics like himself.
The Right can deliver some pretty good zingers too.
“Did you read about this Babylon Bee? Do you know what this Babylon Bee is? I didn’t know this,” said Maher, puzzling this mystery out loud to his guests.
“It’s like the Christian version of The Onion. It says it’s your trusted source for Christian news and satire. I didn’t know there was a thing such as Christian satire.”
The Babylon Bee is indeed a sharp-witted satirical website that has grown beyond its Christian roots to make sport of Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi and other grand pooh-bahs of the Left. “Fake news you can trust,” is its motto. And one of its favorite targets is California’s reigning pooh-bah, Gavin Newsom.
“Gavin Newsom Can’t Understand How He Got Covid When All His Servants are Masked,” said a fake news Bee headline, after the real news broke that Newsom had contracted the virus.
“I’ve taken all precautionary measures, such as masking servants, sanitizing their living quarters, and socially distancing from all such rabble,” the Bee reports him as saying. “I just don’t understand how someone of my status could catch Covid-19.”
Making fun of someone who is ill is generally not a good look. But when that someone has cast himself as the P.T. Barnum of masking, vaccines, boosters, lockdowns, and arbitrary mandates for all those who do not think like him, a little good fun at his expense seems only fitting, right?
In a fake reporting investigative coup, the Babylon Bee spotted Newsom “shopping for Ivermectin at Sutter’s Stallion Emporium in downtown Sacramento, leading to rampant speculation that he’s planning to use the horse de-wormer to treat his Coronavirus infection.
“Newsom reportedly attempted to go incognito by wearing a large pair of sunglasses but was discovered by witnesses who recognized the four pounds of gel in his hair,” the satirical site continues.
“No, you must have me confused with some devastatingly handsome man,” Newsom is quoted as saying. “I am like you. I’m just a regular person.”
The governor’s slicked-back hair, lacquered as it appears to be by bear grease, is an obvious target of ridicule. One Twitter account devoted solely to his mane has been suspended by the social media site for a violation of its rules, whatever they may be. (Babylon Bee was similarly thrown into Twitter jail, having offended the censors there by naming transgender U.S. Assistant Health Secretary Rachel Levine its “Man of the Year.”)
A second Newsom hair account does remain on Twitter, though it is lightly followed and stale as old bread. Unlike the Stanford Daily’s breaking news coverage of a Newsom press conference in which he revealed, “Yes, I individually glue each hair in position every morning.”
Pressed by reporters, Newsom went on to tell even more secrets about his hair care regimen, according to the Daily. “Look, my team and I have played around a lot and we’ve found that Elmer’s ‘Washable Clear School Glue’ works,” he confidently announced. “Things like Gorilla Glue are too strong and standard gels just can’t handle my mane.”
The author of this piece notes at the end that it is “purely satirical and fictitious,” in case any of Stanford’s students and faculty might actually believe that the most powerful public official in California does indeed glue his hair into place each morning. And, to further underline the point, the writer adds that the story is for “pure entertainment only.”
Since the days of Aristophanes and before, playwrights, writers and comedians have been entertaining audiences by mocking the puffed-up pomposities of the powerful. Clowns and fools, like Shakespeare’s Falstaff, will often speak honest truths that no one else dares to utter, for fear of incurring the wrath of elites.
As with Alexander Pope or Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver Travels, cutting, rapier-like criticism has been masked by innocent rhymes or fantastical tales of imaginary lands. George Orwell’s second-greatest take-down of socialist totalitarianism was a story of pigs and farm life. Nobody has ever written a better exposé of military insanity and bureaucratic ineptitude—so much on display today—than Joseph Heller’s absurdly comic novel Catch 22.
Comics like Maher, Dave Chappelle, Joe Rogan, the Babylon Bee, and the brilliantly funny JP Sears are all in this grand satiric tradition. They speak honest truths about the high and the mighty that the high and the mighty would prefer that you not hear. That is why Woke Culture is out to get them, and others like them. And that is why the rest of us need to support these jesters of today, laughing (and sometimes not laughing; they’re not always funny) as we do.
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