Free Republic
Browse · Search
Bloggers & Personal
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

I no longer trust Snopes... and neither should you
ModernConservative.com ^ | Christopher Cook

Posted on 06/07/2006 6:42:08 AM PDT by connell

...For the Boudreaux photo, one would have to assume that Lance Cpl. Ted J. Boudreaux Jr. is pretty darned stupid to have 1) written a sign saying that he had killed the boy's dad and then impregnated his sister, 2) posed for a photo next the boy holding that sign, and 3) allowed the photo to become public.

Given the disparity in the status assigned the two entries, one has to assume that the Mikkelsons believe that it is at least possible that LCpl. Boudreaux is that stupid, but that it is not at all possible that the Muslim protesters could be that stupid....


...There are approximately one zillion people who---lacking girlfriends or gainful employment---have nothing better to do than to skulk about the Internet creating hoxes and altering photos. What, LCpl. Boudreaux is supposed to know which particular acne-faced loser was the one who altered this photo?

(Excerpt) Read more at modernconservative.com ...


TOPICS: Computers/Internet; Military/Veterans; Politics
KEYWORDS: bias; boudreaux; glurge; hoax; internet; internetbias; knownlefties; mediabias; military; militarysupport; snopes; snopesbias

1 posted on 06/07/2006 6:42:14 AM PDT by connell
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: connell

Oh, by the way---if any of y'all have other examples of Snopes having a slant, please let me know!


2 posted on 06/07/2006 6:43:19 AM PDT by connell (Christopher from ModernConservative.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: connell

Hey, even snopes gets it wrong sometimes. They're usually fairly dependable, and its fun to read.


3 posted on 06/07/2006 6:44:28 AM PDT by theDentist (Qwerty ergo typo : I type, therefore I misspelll. 17,400+ snide replies and counting!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: connell

Good article.


4 posted on 06/07/2006 6:45:20 AM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: connell

Wow. He's really reaching there, trying to find a bias. Says more about him than it does Snopes.

I'm not suggesting that they don't have a bias, but if that's the best he can do, he hasn't demonstrated it.


5 posted on 06/07/2006 6:46:47 AM PDT by highball (Proud to announce the birth of little Highball, Junior - Feb. 7, 2006!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: highball
Wow. He's really reaching there, trying to find a bias. Says more about him than it does Snopes.

As I stated in the article, I am not claiming my case to be dispositive, just suggestive (though perhaps, with that in mind, my title is worded somewhat strongly).

Not exactly sure what it "says...about [me]," but hey---thanks! : )
6 posted on 06/07/2006 6:52:12 AM PDT by connell (Christopher from ModernConservative.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: connell

After reading your article and the Snoops one, I think your stretching a bit.


7 posted on 06/07/2006 7:01:07 AM PDT by Freeport
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: connell
The first time I went there I was looking for the story of Hillary's involvement with the Black Panthers. They clam it's false, but go and read their very long explanation. If you can take enough pain to read it all, you'll find they never give any evidence as to why they believe it's false.

I've never trusted them.
8 posted on 06/07/2006 7:08:40 AM PDT by Vision ("America's best days lie ahead. You ain't seen nothing yet"- Reagan)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Freeport
You may be right---I'm not sure yet. In the article, I admit to not having made a solid case, but the title seems to indicate that I have (I guess I was doing a little headline sensationalism *hangs head in shame*). Perhaps a better title might be...
Bias at Snopes?
(Facts in evidence not dispositive, but suggestive...)


...or something like that. That might more accurately reflect the content.
9 posted on 06/07/2006 7:08:46 AM PDT by connell (Christopher from ModernConservative.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Vision

Thanks, Vision, that's exactly the sort of thing that I am looking for. I remember having noticed little things at Snopes in the past, but as I state in the article, I didn't keep track of them at the time. I will look into the Black Panthers thing!


10 posted on 06/07/2006 7:12:52 AM PDT by connell (Christopher from ModernConservative.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: connell

You're right - the headline makes a claim that you don't even come close to supporting.

What it says is that you're looking too hard for a bias that doesn't appear to actually be there (since you cannot support it with anything other than suppositions).

In other words, you reveal your own bias through insisting that someone else is biased.


11 posted on 06/07/2006 7:14:34 AM PDT by highball (Proud to announce the birth of little Highball, Junior - Feb. 7, 2006!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: connell

I've asked Snopes twice now to debunk the "Ann Coulter is a man" thing that the DUers keep trying to spread. Not even a reply from their editors. She's a big, controversial public figure, so you'd think she's be worth the time. Not for Snopes, though. Can't help but wonder if they like that nasty accusation floating around out there.


12 posted on 06/07/2006 7:30:48 AM PDT by DesScorp
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: connell

This picture, if taken at face value, seemingly confirms the worst of what is rumored about U.S. servicemen in Iraq — not only has the Marine pictured killed a man (presumably a civilian), but he has also impregnated the dead man's daughter, then proudly and grinningly advertised his deeds, humiliating the Iraqi family even more by enlisting two of their young sons as unwitting accomplices. But should the photograph be taken at face value, or was it the product of some kind of a staged set-up? Is the photograph genuine or the product of digital manipulation? If real, was it on the level, was it a joke pulled off by the Marine pictured, or was the Marine — like the two Iraqi boys in the picture — the victim of a callous prank?

LCpl. Boudreaux has told reporters that the sign in the picture originally read "Welcome Marines!" but was altered by someone else. He has not, however, (publicly) produced a version of the original photograph or identified who might have altered it. (If the photo was indeed manipulated, someone involved in the process had to be sufficiently acquainted with Boudreaux to be able to match his name and rank with his picture.)

This photo has surfaced numerous times with various slogans that make it obvious that people are changing the text there. Snopes is run by idiots with an evil agenda.

This isn't the only such example of Snopes' bias. They shrug off complaints saying that validity of the statement is determined by the framing synopsis.

As someone framed it on another thread: "On some debunks, they exagerate by calling something "False" when after you read the thing, you find some truth and some exageration."

They still refuse to call Hillary a liar over the "Sir Edmund Hillary" comment. They say that maybe her mom was lying. Claim: Hillary Clinton was named after world-famous mountain climber Sir Edmund Hillary. Status: Probably not.

Hillary Clinton didn't technically claim the story of how she came by her first name was literally true (at least in any of the accounts we've found); she said her mother told her it was true — a minor but important distinction given how often parents make up harmless little fibs to amuse their children or misremember past events.

Claim: John Kerry's Vietnam War service medals (a Bronze Star, a Silver Star and three Purple Hearts) were earned under "fishy" circumstances.
Status: False.

Snopes: "T Kerry donates millions to fringe political groups through the Tides" = Urban Myth

Claim: Photograph shows school buses caught in a flooded New Orleans parking lot. Status: True.

"Whether this photograph truly represents a lost opportunity to have evacuated a substantial number of New Orleans residents ahead of Hurricane Katrina is difficult to assess."

Online Rumor Mill Spins Its Own Myth(Snopes.com's leftwing bias undercuts its credibility)

Yet Snopes seems to have different standards in evaluating stories involving conservatives. Take a bizarre new rumor asserting that Attorney General John Ashcroft believes that calico cats are a sign of the devil. This claim was first made in November by liberal financial writer Andrew Tobias, the treasurer of the Democratic National Committee, on his Website (andrewtobias.com). To say the least, Tobias was vague about his sources, writing only that "I got this odd story from someone who was definitely in a position to know and then confirmed it with someone else, also in a position to know." Given the stringent Mikkelson standards about anonymous sources in evaluating Metcalf's story, one would have expected them to classify the preposterous Tobias story as false. Instead, they labeled it undetermined. "What the game is here — if indeed there is one — we can't fathom," they wrote of the silly Tobias smear of Ashcroft, a cum laude graduate of Yale with a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School.

To be sure, Snopes has quelled some rumors about President George W. Bush, such as the one about him having the lowest IQ of modern presidents. But it has split hairs trying to protect Clinton and Al Gore. For instance, Snopes flags the claim that Gore said he "invented" the Internet as false, and signaled it with a red light. The reason given is that Gore actually said he "took the initiative in creating the Internet." Never mind that many dictionaries and thesauruses list the words "invent" and "create" as synonyms. Snopes also lists as false the claim that "the Clinton administration failed to track down the perpetrators of several terrorist attacks against Americans." The Mikkelsons echo the dubious claim by Clinton's defenders that the missile strike in Afghanistan in 1998, widely thought to have been launched to distract the public from the Monica Lewinsky affair, reportedly "missed bin Laden by a few hours" and cite a Washington Post story claiming that the federal antiterrorism budget tripled to $6.7 billion on Clinton's watch.

But the biggest criticism Snopes has attracted for defending the Clintons involves Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) and the Black Panthers. Differing sharply from news and historical accounts, and even from another urban-legends Website, TruthOrFiction.com, Snopes maintains that it is false that "Hillary Clinton played a significant role in defending Black Panthers accused of torturing and murdering Alex Rackley."


13 posted on 06/07/2006 7:31:28 AM PDT by weegee (Slowly but surely and deliberately, converativism is being made a thoughtcrime.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: highball
Yes, the "neither should you" part is something for which I do not provide adequate support. In an effort to maintain high standards, i.e., to avoid the kind of headline sensationalism I find reprehensible in the MSM, I have altered the headline at the site.

That said---bias is often hard to identify beyond suppositions. Many members of elite media somehow manage to maintain just enough "plausible deniability" to keep intact their patina of objectivity... and yet lots of us see right through it. We know it's there, and yet we are never actually given enough evidence to form an iron-clad case that would, for example, stand up in a court.

In the case of Snopes, I suspect that that the facts will eventually create enough of a case to indicate that they lean left. As I mention, I have seen other indications, but I didn't document them, so I am now going to have to go back and do more research. But it is not much of a stretch, in general, to assume that they lean one direction or the other (there are very few people truly in the center). They may be, of course, or they may be politically iconoclastic or uninterested, but the odds are much better that they either lean generally left or generally right. So, let's give them a 40% chance that they lean left. Those are decent odds. Something I believe very strongly is that there is virtually no one alive who is able to keep their bias out of their work, when that work involves politics.

On the subject of my bias---I never tried to hide it. I am a center-right conservative, a partisan Republican, and a staunch opponent of left-of-center ideas in almost every form they have ever taken. We on the right are far more likely to be open about our biases. Those on the left, especially in the MSM, try so hard to hide their partisanship, while cowering behind a less-than-convincing veil of objectivity.


Congratulations on the birth of Highball, Jr.
14 posted on 06/07/2006 7:33:26 AM PDT by connell (Christopher from ModernConservative.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: DesScorp
Not so much that they like the accusation hanging around out there as maybe they don't want to admit that there are some on the left saying such things.

They did use the spoof photo of Kerry together with Jane Fonda to taint the real photo of Kerry together with Jane Fonda.

And I seriously doubt they ever paid Corbis to license the photos for use on their site (in part because Corbis DOES NOT own the license to the spoof photo, that belongs to some prankster who was likely a FReeper even though he does not own the license to the actual images that make it up, as a digital creation and in the absence of a court ruling giving Corbis the rights, they are not to be licensed, plus Corbis would be unlikely to license such a hoax). Meanwhile Corbis prohibits FR from even using a URL reference to post even the valid pictures.

I was the one who tipped off Corbis' lawyers to Snopes illegal hosting of the images (real and hoax) and Snopes only response to was add a copyright credit. The left look out for their own, apparently.

15 posted on 06/07/2006 7:36:58 AM PDT by weegee (Slowly but surely and deliberately, converativism is being made a thoughtcrime.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: weegee

Now we're cooking with gas!


16 posted on 06/07/2006 7:41:15 AM PDT by connell (Christopher from ModernConservative.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: connell

Jan Brunvand was the foremost authority on Urban Legends (and it is his research and multiple books that supply the basis for debunking things like alligator in sewer stories).

He seemed to be fairly objective when I read his work (and even communicated with him on the internet 20 years ago).

I don't know how he is now that the left has become completely unhinged. Even more rational Democrats (and I am not certain of his political affiliation, just referring to Rats I know) are spouting some absurd and rotten things these days.


17 posted on 06/07/2006 7:41:51 AM PDT by weegee (Slowly but surely and deliberately, converativism is being made a thoughtcrime.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: connell
In the case of Snopes, I suspect that that the facts will eventually create enough of a case to indicate that they lean left.

IMHO, that's when you should write this type of article. Until then, it's just raving.

Thanks for the kind words.

18 posted on 06/07/2006 7:42:58 AM PDT by highball (Proud to announce the birth of little Highball, Junior - Feb. 7, 2006!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: weegee
Maybe all this recent partisanship, the discontiguous information streams, etc. will be good for America. Maybe we can finally get away from this absurd notion that objectivity is possible, or that the meanstream flow of information is somehow "clean" and free of bias. Maybe we can retreat to our corners for a while, and then everyone can look for the truth in each side's information stream. I think I know which side would win that fight.

I am thinking I would like to update the article with some of the information provided by others, including the FR folks herein. Any objection if I include some small portions of what you provided in your long reply post above?
19 posted on 06/07/2006 7:48:41 AM PDT by connell (Christopher from ModernConservative.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: connell

You should be able to provide examples without needing to quote FReepers. And If you read through some of those linked threads (some are Snopes links and some are FR threads about Snopes links), you will find even more examples (just follow the rabbit down the hole).

The more you can do to quote Snopes' own statements, rather than a FReeper's interpetation of their statements, the more people will agree with what you present as evidence of Snopes' bias.

I only learned about their take on the buses today (when searching for some examples). There was an FR thread. You might try searching threads for headlines with the word Snopes or keyword Snopes.


20 posted on 06/07/2006 8:36:19 AM PDT by weegee (Slowly but surely and deliberately, converativism is being made a thoughtcrime.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: weegee

Yep---was really just planning to use the links. Just wanted to be polite about making use of the research efforts of others (tho' I suppose that describes most of scholarly history, at least postions thereof). Thanks. CC


21 posted on 06/07/2006 9:24:14 AM PDT by connell (Christopher from ModernConservative.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: connell

Cool. Ping me when you have it completed.

If you check threads, there are some other sites that some FReepers recommend using instead but I haven't tried any of them yet.

There was also the comment that something like "Factcheck.org" was funded by the DNC.


22 posted on 06/07/2006 11:11:39 AM PDT by weegee (Slowly but surely and deliberately, converativism is being made a thoughtcrime.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: connell
...There are approximately one zillion people who---lacking girlfriends or gainful employment---have nothing better to do than to skulk about the Internet creating hoxes and altering photos. What, LCpl. Boudreaux is supposed to know which particular acne-faced loser was the one who altered this photo?

Now, hold on just a minute. I do NOT have acne!

23 posted on 06/07/2006 11:50:52 AM PDT by hellinahandcart
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: weegee
Ping!

I did a little on the Zarqawi (hooooray!) thing yesterday, so I skipped a day on the Snopes article. I have done a little something on it now, however, using the links you posted in your comment. The FR post of it is here.

Thanks, C
24 posted on 06/09/2006 4:48:51 AM PDT by connell (Christopher from ModernConservative.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Bloggers & Personal
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson