Vivek Ramaswamy speaking (l) The Babylon Bee logo (c) 7-11 sign (r)

Juli Hansen/Shutterstock CHALERMPHON SRISANG/Shutterstock TheBabylonBee/X (Licensed) Remix by Caterina Cox

Conservatives turn on Babylon Bee after satirical outlet says Vivek Ramaswamy will get role at Trump’s White House 7-Eleven

'We want you to know that we've listened to you. We've heard your voices. And they are stupid.'

 

Mikael Thalen

Tech

Posted on Jan 17, 2024

The Babylon Bee is defending a satirical article that claimed Indian-American entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy would be running a convenience store in the White House after dropping out of the 2024 presidential race on Monday.

Ramaswamy, who garnered less than 8% of the vote, announced in response his endorsement for former President Donald Trump, who earned a historic 51% in Iowa.

Often described as the right-wing version of the satirical media company the Onion, the Babylon Bee released an article on Tuesday that stated Trump would appoint Ramaswamy to run a 7-Eleven.

“Trump Promises Vivek An Administration Position Running The White House 7-Eleven,” the headline read.

The article was met with mixed reviews from conservatives, some of whom argued that the joke was in poor taste.

“Low blow from Babylon Bee,” one user responded.

“I like the Bee, but this was kind of in poor taste,” another said.

Other conservatives, however, lashed out at those who had complained about the jab at Ramaswamy.

Right-wing media personality Matt Walsh took a particular interest in defending the Babylon Bee.

“Check the comments to see ‘conservatives’ actually offended by this joke. Absolutely pathetic,” he said. “I guarantee @VivekGRamaswamy is not in the slightest bit offended. You guys really dont need to be his white knight to protect him from Babylon Bee headlines. He’ll be okay. I promise.”

Those opposed to the joke pushed back on Walsh by further arguing that the joke was “low and not funny.” In response, Walsh doubled down on his defense of the satirical outlet.

“Yes you’re allowed to have an opinion. And if your opinion is that this very tame joke is ‘low,’ your opinion is stupid,” Walsh replied. “Fortunately for you, yes, you are allowed to have stupid opinions on the internet. Those are the most common types here, in fact.”

The Babylon Bee refused to back down as well. Seth Dillon, the outlet’s CEO, weighed in on the controversy by calling concerns from some readers “stupid.”

“Some of our readers have expressed concern about this report, suggesting it did not meet the high journalistic standards they’ve come to expect from us,” Dillon said. “We want you to know that we’ve listened to you. We’ve heard your voices. And they are stupid.”

Saagar Enjeti, a right-leaning podcaster of Indian heritage, took a unique approach by stating that he felt the joke actually highlighted the success of Indian-Americans.

“People always cry racism at 7/11 jokes for Indians but like with Apu the joke is on you,” he wrote. “The median 7/11 owner is pulling 120k/yr. Many of these dudes have been saving relentlessly and rolling up stores for so long their net worth is in the millions after coming here with nothing.”

The post was also enjoyed by left-wing users, who took an interest in the back-and-forth between the outlet and some conservatives.

“Incredible things happening in the replies of the Babylon Bee,” one user wrote. “Conservatives are just now realizing their side is openly racist.”

Ramaswamy himself eventually responded to the commentary by simply describing himself as a “survivor.”

“I’m a ‘survivor,'” he wrote alongside a crying with laughter emoji.

Although it remains unclear what role if any Ramaswamy will have in a Trump White House, the former president said on Tuesday that “he’s gonna be working with us and he’ll be working with us for a long time.”

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*First Published: Jan 17, 2024, 12:27 pm CST