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Snopes Exposed... Not.

Was recently pointed to the "Huffington Riposte", where an article dated May 6, 2010 claims to have unmasked David and Barbara Mikkelson as a dangerously liberal, biased, "mom-and-pop" operation with no experience in investigative reporting.

I've looked at Snopes extensively - I use it to check just about anything that comes through my mailbox, and - sadly - about 95% of forwards that are not ostensibly humorous are debunked as hoaxes. I've followed notes and research, and the Mikkelsons seem very thorough. While they don't have articles about everything, I've never seen an article with an egregious error yet.

Is it possible that in thousands of articles, they may miss something on occasion, or come to an incorrect conclusion? For that matter, is it possible that every article on Wikipedia is not to be considered gospel truth? Duh... but that doesn't give Alan Strong, CEO/Chairman of Commercial Programming Systems, Inc., the right to brand them as left-wing nutjobs with a hidden agenda. Get real, Alan, and stop looking for Bolsheviks under your bed.

The shameless partisanship of our nation dismays me. Really, it does.

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Aug. 2nd, 2010 05:05 am (UTC)
They must have debunked one of his pet projects, or someone used their research to embarass him about a claim he made.

Aug. 2nd, 2010 05:09 am (UTC)
That's what I was thinking, too.
Aug. 2nd, 2010 05:05 am (UTC)
Any information source the conservative bloc does not control (Fox, WSJ, NYT) is automatically a source of hidden liberal bias.

And I wish frickin' LJ would stop messing around with Firefox so I could post under my own name.

Sleepy John
Aug. 2nd, 2010 02:45 pm (UTC)
You mean NYP, right?
Aug. 2nd, 2010 05:12 am (UTC)
Yeesh ... and suppose anyone applied Alan's advice to what he wrote? Aside from the one account of which he claims firsthand knowledge (all right, to be generous, perhaps he has that firsthand knowledge), I saw no other support for his claims. Unless I missed something...?
Aug. 2nd, 2010 07:07 am (UTC)
I don't think Snopes have ever pretended to be anything other than the two Mikkelsons. It's in the FAQ:

"Q: Who creates the material for this site?
A: With very few exceptions, all of the material on this site is prepared by the same people who operate this site, Barbara and David Mikkelson. "

Oh! There's Bud Gregg and State Farm! On Snopes!

FactCheck.org says he is non-afiliated and she is a non-voting Canadian. And there is a lot more about the Anti-Snopes email.

It looks like this Huffington Riposte article is entirely based on this one hoax email.

As an outside observer (and one of them darn foreignors), I saw one insult that really made me wonder about the partisanship of your country. A well known, highly Republican webcomic artist insulted a forum member by calling him a Democrat. There is something wrong when the worst insult you can think of is The Other Party.

(The same artist is dead-against Social Securty and Government assisstance in all forms, but happily asks for charity hand-outs from readers because he can't pay rent or buy food. But that's another rant.)

Edited at 2010-08-02 07:21 am (UTC)
Aug. 2nd, 2010 02:25 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the FactCheck article!
Aug. 2nd, 2010 04:15 pm (UTC)
The said thing: the Factcheck article is linked to at the bottom of the Snopes article.

I hadn't looked at batty's post and just went straight to google. Two minutes later and the Snopes allegation was debunked, Factcheck even has got the fax from "State Farm" confirming the Snopes sleuthing. Even worse, both articles are from April 2009, wheras Leo Rugiens of Huffington Riposte reposted this sack of lies in May 2010, more than a year later. "Only recently did Wikipedia get to the bottom of it" boils down to the info being added to the fifth(!) revision of the wikipedia article, back in 2004, in the first substantial edit of the then 3 days old article, expanding it to a whopping 539 bytes. Wow! It's furthermore interesting to learn, that a LA CEO has "my State Farm agent Bud Gregg in Mandeville", which is in Louisianna, 1900 miles away. How lazy can you be when reposting stuff?
Aug. 20th, 2010 04:42 am (UTC)
Snopes.com bias
Did you not know that "LA" in "LA CEO" is the state abbreviation for the state of Louisiana, NOT an abbreviation for Los Angeles? This would make it NOT so far away.
Aug. 24th, 2010 07:00 pm (UTC)
Re: Snopes.com bias
Could have been clearer: "LA CEO" as in "200 Studio City, CA. 91604-5039", i.e. Los Angeles (from the "Huffington Riposte" article).
Aug. 2nd, 2010 02:48 pm (UTC)
The one previous accusation I've seen of liberal bias at Snopes came when, in 2008, they denied the possibility of Obama being born in Kenya but entertained the possibility of McCain being ineligible via birth on a military base in Panama.


The Old Wolf

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