Not Funny: Babylon Bee Sues California AG Bonta Over Extreme Media Censorship Law

Logo from satire site The Babylon Bee. (Credit: Babylon Bee)

The satire site The Babylon Bee announced Wednesday that it is suing California Attorney General Rob Bonta over AB 587, a law passed in 2022 by the state legislature which, according to an email the Bee sent to supporters, “requires companies to give the California Attorney General’s Office regular reports regarding disinformation, misinformation, extremism, radicalization, and hate speech. The law allows the state to impose fines if companies do not comply with these reporting regulations.”


In other words, 587 is a completely onerous, possibly anti-constitutional attempt to control the media and dictate its narratives.

Kudos to the Bee for fighting against it:

Bee CEO Seth Dillon explained on his Substack that proponents of the law are simply lying about its intent:

They’re claiming it’s just about “transparency.” That’s not true. This is a censorship bill, not a transparency bill. Here’s [California Governor] Gavin Newsom himself explaining why he signed the bill into law: “California will not stand by as social media is weaponized to spread hate and disinformation that threaten our communities and foundational values as a country.”

Newsom likes to run ads in other states claiming that “freedom is under attack,” and that California leads the nation in freedom. However, the well-coiffed executive oversees a legislature that has passed—with his blessing—two of the most anti-free speech laws in the nation, 587 and the doctor-muzzling law AB 2098.

That’s not freedom, Newsom.

Dillon’s explanation for why free speech is important is surprisingly simple, and yet perfectly frames the issue:


It’s a good thing when people are allowed to speak freely. It’s a bad thing when Big Tech and the government work together to decide what we’re allowed to say. Why? Because they often get it wrong. Even worse, they get it wrong on purpose. [Emphasis mine.]

The outlet was banned from Twitter for a long period after naming transgender U.S. Assistant Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine the 2022 “Man of the Year” even though the biologically-born male Levine identifies as a woman. Dillon has first-hand experience with being censored.

He goes on to outline the lawsuit’s arguments:

In short, we argue that the law violates the First Amendment, is too vague to be constitutionally enforced, and violates the free speech guarantees in the California Constitution. You can read the full complaint here.

He is joined in the lawsuit by podcaster Tim Pool, and says his goal is to get a federal district court to block enforcement of the law. In his article, he rhetorically asks himself, “So what happens next?” he answers with characteristic Bee humor:

I have no idea. I’m not a lawyer. And if I ask my lawyer he’ll bill me $800 for his answer.

I make no bones about the fact that I love The Bee, and it often makes me laugh out loud. RedState‘s own Kira Davis has appeared on BB’s podcasts and appeared in videos, and I had the pleasure of interviewing Siaka Massaquoi, who is not only a passionate conservative but has acted in the Bee‘s viral California-to-Texas videos. Recently he just wrote a terrific guest editorial for RedState entitled, SIAKA MASSAQUOI: From the Front Lines of the Culture War.


The Babylon Bee may be funny as heck, but they’re more than that: they’re also leaders in fighting against censorship. Good for them for taking this ludicrous law to court.

We fight censorship here at RedState too, with articles like this and more. Consider helping us in our efforts by signing up for the RedState VIP program by following the link here. You get extras like VIP articles and podcasts, plus you get to weigh in on the comments section, which, let’s face it, is entertaining as all get out. You’ll help us fight censorship, too because at VIP, we get to say what we want. Use the promo code “SAVEAMERICA” to get 40 percent off your membership.

To end on a lighter note, try not to laugh as you watch a compilation of some of the Bee‘s greatest hits:


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