Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon doubled down Monday on his outlet’s “Man of the Year” tweet referencing Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel Levine.
Twitter locked the Babylon Bee’s account Sunday for violating the platform’s “hateful conduct” policy. The account had labeled Levine, a transgender woman, as its “Man of the Year,” in reference to USA Today naming the assistant secretary its “woman of the year.”
Fox News host and Daily Caller co-founder Tucker Carlson asked Dillon if the outlet intends to delete the tweet in order to revive their account.
“No, we’re not. It’s like asking us to say 2+2=5,” Dillon said. “We’re sitting here looking at this email that tells us in order to reinstate our account and get access to be able to tweet again, we’ve got to delete this tweet. And the tweet’s a joke, that’s the first thing to get straight here. This is satire, it’s just a joke. It’s pretty harmless. It’s certainly not hurting anybody and this is a public official.”
“They’re asking us to basically bend the knee and say ‘we admit that this is hateful conduct, please keep us on your platform.’ And we’re not going to do that, so we don’t know where this ends,” he continued. “There’s an appeal process we can go through, but we’re not going to delete the tweet.”
Carlson said he hopes Congress shuts down Twitter, then pointed out that the platform allows for government officials to accuse people of treason but censors those that call out Levine’s “ludicrous” claim of being a woman. (RELATED: ‘Abuse Of Censorship’: Twitter Suspends Republican Candidate For Tweet About Men ‘Pretending To Be Women’)
Dillon replied that comedians are now restricted from doing their job of “poking holes in the popular narrative,” but are now pressured to “promote” it.
“Comedy is being rendered ineffective where they’re basically making rules about what you can and can’t joke about to the point where we’re saying ‘well, we’re going to continue to make these jokes’ and if we have to, we’ll do it off Twitter,” Dillon continued.”
Dillon argued that the majority of Americans are on their side and that stating facts does not equate to hate speech.
“We don’t believe that facts are hate speech, that speaking truth is hate speech,” the CEO said. “At some point, people need to stick by this, Tucker. People have to be willing to say ‘listen, if they want us to deny the truth in order to stay on this platform, we speak the truth. Make them kick you off. Make them boot you.”
The platform’s hateful conduct policy prohibits a user to discriminate or “promote violence” on the basis of gender identity. A user is given 12 hours to delete their tweet dubbed a violation.