No more LotR podcasts

You'll recall that earlier this year I remarked with some thrill that the Babylon Bee was doing a The Lord of the Rings podcast series that would take them well into 2022.

Those of you following along with the Bee Reads The Lord of the Rings Podcast may have noticed a brief hiatus over the past couple of weeks. We were struggling with the branding of the podcast, as The Babylon Bee is satire, but the Lord of the Rings podcast is quite a bit outside that wheelhouse. It was kind of confusing for a lot of people out there in the general audience, so we paused for a while as we had a lot of conversations about what to do with it.

In the end, here's what we landed on: the Lord of the Rings podcast will continue but only for paying subscribers. There will be no more free version. So, if you've been following along, subscribers, the good news is we'll be continuing along to the end of the book as planned!
This seems a little weird: if you look at the Babylon Bee podcast page you'll find that none of the podcasts are satire, and in many cases are very serious discussions of a variety of topics, such as:
  • Christian Apologist Canceled By CNN: The Sean McDowell Interview
  • Creating The Christian Metal Genre: Michael Sweet Interview
  • Fighting The Left As A Libertarian: Jeff Deist Interview
  • Valentine’s Day With The Queen Bees
  • Abigail Shrier Interview: The Truth Behind Trans Children
  • The Babylon Bee New Year's Special 2021
  • Austin Petersen: Secular Pro-Life Dude Bro Interview
You'll note the majority of these are long-form interviews with individuals in the news, but it certainly leaves room for a weekly book review to slot in nicely. In fact, other Babylon Bee podcasts make reference to their satirical works but then pivot from those into actual discussions of related topics such as making more Christian movies or a discussion of the recent New York Times smear of the site.

I mean this is hardly likely to change their minds, but this doesn't seem to add up. It's weird.