Breaking: Babylon Bee buys RNS, will publish mix of fake and real news (SATIRE)

How's this for a scoop?

We've learned that the Babylon Bee, the fake religion news website, has purchased Religion News Service and will merge the two media organizations.

"For several years, it's been difficult to tell where the snark ends and the real news begins at RNS, so we decided this partnership would be a match made in heaven," a high-ranking source said, speaking on condition that no one accuse left-leaning RNS of believing in a literal "heaven."

I kid. I kid.

But hey, RNS asked for it by poking fun at your friendly GetReligionistas. More on that in a moment.

First, though, if you're not familiar with the Babylon Bee, it really is a bastion of fake religion news excellence. 

Veteran religion writer Bob Smietana wrote a neat feature about it for the Washington Post last week:

What would the Onion look like if it were written for the godly?
How about these headlines?
“Mountain Climber Recovering After Decision to Let Go and Let God”
 “Worship Leader Caught in Infinite Loop Between Bridge and Chorus
Local Family Attending Church on Easter Just in Case God Is Real
At the Babylon Bee, the news is always fake but the stories are often true.
The satire site, which began in early March, features witty headlines that poke fun at the foibles of churchgoers.
The site is the brainchild of Adam Ford, 32, a Detroit dad who quit his day job a year and a half ago to produce Web content.
His first project was, a Web comic supported by small group of donors and a few ads. He’s aiming bigger with the Babylon Bee, which he said attracted more than 1 million visitors in its first three weeks.

Back to RNS: About a year ago, we noted:

Many readers may have noticed that your GetReligionistas have a love-hate relationship with RNS.
On the one hand, it's impossible to miss the importance to the Godbeat of a national wire service focused on religion news coverage. RNS' staff includes some of the best, smartest, most experienced Godbeat pros on the planet. This blog has urged support for RNS since we opened our doors 11 years ago.
On the other hand, RNS' subtle and sometimes not-too-subtle editorializing on certain topics concerns us — the frequent blurring of the lines between hard news content and commentary. 

RNS' Twitter feed sometimes seems to be a nonstop drumbeat of progressive voices. Last week I asked:

I was pleased to receive this kind response from new RNS editor Jerome Socolovsky:

GetReligion, of course, focuses on media coverage of religion news. And sometimes, we delve into the nitty-gritty of mundane topics such as Associated Press style:

Just when we thought no one was paying attention to our "God vs. god" discussion, RNS published a satire news piece on the subject last week:

It's pretty funny stuff by Guthrie Graves-Fitzsimmons, who writes The Literalist, a twice-weekly satirical news column for RNS. According to this satire report, the Post and other elite media "are now instructing writers and editors that since deities don’t actually exist, they don’t deserve the deference of capitalization." 

The piece features a fake interview of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who purchased the Washington Post in 2013:

NS: FOX News has been in nonstop crisis coverage since the announcement. Conservative sites like Get Religion and First Things are downright apoplectic. What do you say to your critics?
Bezos: When Sarah Palin wrote on Facebook “this is the clearest sign the ‘end times’ are near,” even she forgot to capitalize the “e” and the “t” herself. I’d say we’re winning the war on religion.

OMg! GetReligion got mentioned on the Interweb — er, interweb. Please allow us to take a bow.

Of course, we'll know we've really hit the big time if the Babylon Bee ever acknowledges us.

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