The Babylon Bee is proof that some people can’t take a joke.
The Christian satire website said Tuesday that it was locked out of its Twitter account for taking a swipe at USA Today last week. The Bee also noted that it would delete its account rather than give in to the ransom demanded by Twitter.
The controversy began on March 13 when USA Today announced that one of its “Women of the Year” was Dr. Rachel Levine, the U.S. assistant secretary for health at the Department of Health and Human Services, and the leader of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, a unit of roughly 6,000 uniformed public health officers.
Levine is a transgender woman – in fact, the highest-ranking transgender person in the federal government.
In one part of the article, USA Today noted, “Beyond the pandemic, Levine said she is concerned about the challenges women and girls face related to body image. She ran an eating disorder program at Penn State University and was struck by the pressures of social media related to appearance.”
“We need to be welcoming and celebratory for women of all aspects, of all sizes and shapes,” Levine told the newspaper.
That comment drips with irony.
Just after that USA Today interview, the NCAA held its swimming championships, and one of the big winners was Lia Thomas of the University of Pennsylvania, a trans woman who has set several women’s swimming records this year.
The event drew a protest from a group called Save Women’s Sports, which claimed to be comprised of liberal feminists who say they are now “politically homeless” because their Democratic peers have so wholly embraced the effort to allow trans people who were born male to compete with women.
Meanwhile, Republicans are at odds over the issue as well, as GOP governors in Indiana and Utah have recently rejected efforts to ban people born male from competing in women’s sports. The governors cited the infrequency of such attempts as one reason for their opposition.
As for the Babylon Bee, it responded to USA Today by tweeting last Tuesday, “The Babylon Bee’s Man of the Year is Rachel Levine.”
On Sunday, the Bee announced its 12-hour suspension.
“We received this notice that we’ve been locked out of our Twitter account for ‘hateful conduct,’” the outlet stated on its Instagram account.
“We’re told our account will be restored in 12 hours, but the countdown won’t begin until we delete the tweet that violates the Twitter Rules.”
That was where the Bee drew the line, “We’re not deleting anything,” continued the Bee, which has 1.3 million Twitter fans.
“Truth is not hate speech. If the cost of telling the truth is the loss of our Twitter account, then so be it.”