Nearly 100 Babylon Bee ‘Joke Stories’ Have Become Reality

The Babylon Bee has had nearly 100 joke headlines turn into prophecies after the stories eventually came true, the CEO of America’s largest right-leaning satire website told Fox News.

“The problem isn’t that our satire is too close to reality,” Seth Dillon told Fox News. “It’s that reality is too close to satire, so our jokes keep coming true.”

The Bee maintains a running list of its satirical headlines that became real — or at least partially real — stories after publication. The fulfilled prophecies include a wide range of topics and include jokes about Democrats and Republicans alike.

“So we have a spreadsheet of nearly 100 jokes now that we’ve tracked,” he said. “They were fulfilled like prophecies instead of punch lines.”

The Bee published one article, “To Improve Public Perception, Kamala Harris Taking Likability Lessons From Hillary Clinton,” in July 2021. A month later, Axios reported that a former Clinton advisor hosted a dinner with prominent Democratic women — including Clinton’s former spokeswoman — to discuss how to defend Vice President Kamala Harris from bad press.

“Who would take likability lessons from Hillary Clinton?” Dillon asked. “But then a month later, there’s a real story that [Harris’] staff reached out to Hillary’s staff to make her more likable.”

“We even did one about how Trump had claimed to have done more for Christianity than Jesus himself and that one went crazy viral,” Dillon said.

In 2021, then-President Trump said during an interview that “nobody has done more for Christianity or for evangelicals or for religion itself than I have.”

Dillon said the Bee’s 2019 article, “Trump: ‘I Have Done More For Christianity Than Jesus,'” was fact-checked and rated false.

“And then two years later, he actually said it,” Dillon told Fox News. “He said he’s done more for Christianity than anyone else in history. In fact, he’s done more for religion than anyone else in history.”

In September 2022, the Bee joked about the economy with the headline, “9 Reasons Not To Worry About The Tanking Economy.” Just two days later, the Washington Post published the headline “7 ways a recession could be good for you financially.” 

Dillon added that sometimes it’s hard for his writers to come up with satire because the real news headlines already read like jokes.

“There are all the time stories that come across the screen that are just incredibly outrageous,” he said “You know you wouldn’t believe that they’re true, and we have to do a double take and see, is this parody, is this a real story?”

“We’re living in really crazy, insane times,” he added. “So, yes, there are plenty of times where we pull up a headline, and we’re just baffled by it.”

On Feb. 3, 2023, the Bee posted the headline “Biden Says He’ll Shoot Down Chinese Spy Balloon As Soon As He’s Done Letting It Spy.” One day later, Biden announced that the balloon was shot down over the Atlantic Ocean after it finished crossing the United States, arguing that he waited so debris wouldn’t fall on civilians.

“We did show a joke during the pandemic about how pants sales were plummeting because everyone was working from home,” Dillon said, citing a March 2020 example. “And it was this picture of a guy sitting there in his pink boxers, but he’s got a nice dress shirt on, like at his desk.”

“The very next day, there was a story about how Walmart was seeing increased sales of tops, but not bottoms,” he continued.

Dillon bought the Bee in 2018 when it was a small blog. He first encountered it two years earlier when a friend shared the headline “Holy Spirit Unable To Move Through Congregation As Fog Machine Breaks.” 

“It was a funny inside joke that you get if you know the church world, which I did because my dad is a pastor,” he said. “They were inside jokes that were funny and witty, and it wasn’t cheesy comedy.”

According to Dillon, the Bee gets 25 million page views a month, has tens of thousands of paid subscribers and over a million YouTube subscribers. 

Dillon said Bee fans often share non-satirical, outrageous headlines on Twitter with the hashtag “#NotTheBee.” It sparked an idea to launch a new website in 2020 that covers real news that reads like satire called “Not the Bee.”

“You know, there needed to be a site dedicated to just covering these specific insane stories that should be satire but somehow aren’t,” he said.

Click here to learn more about Babylon Bee’s fulfilled prophecies.