If Snopes or CNN truly believed that, I don’t think they would expend so much energy debunking “claims” made in jest so disproportionately on one end of the political spectrum. I think it may more be a case of humor being the first casualty of ideological conflict.
I think it's a case of paranoia and it being milked lucratively, because push paranoia about everyone being out to get one and watch the clicks roll in. Noone even pretends CNN is non-ideological to begin with though. The "but it's only humor" though has a much darker side, more the stuff of 4-chan though than any of this.