Donald Hank
November 27, 2008
Is the owner of Snopes.com a liberal?
By Donald Hank

Snopes.com has been accused of being run by a "flaming liberal." But now a defender of Snopes, about.com, has rushed to their aid, writing a story about how conservatives have attacked poor Snopes. They write, in part:

Is it true that "Snopes.com is owned by a flaming liberal" and that "this man is in the tank for Obama"?

Well, first off, Snopes.com is owned by two people, not one. They are husband and wife David and Barbara Mikkelson.
[Oh, well, that makes a world of difference. Two people in a team could not possibly be leftists, now could they?]

Second, the Mikkelsons' political views are between them and the ballot box. I don't know what they are; you don't know what they are; certainly the author of this email doesn't know what they are. According to a boilerplate statement issued by the site, "Neither of the operators of Snopes.com has any affiliation with, has ever made a donation to, or has ever publicly expressed support for any political party or candidate." [The fact that the owners claim no affiliation and don't donate money proves what?]

Anyone who has proof to the contrary should come out with it.

Ok, I will. Here is my proof:

First, there is something you should know about about.com. As clearly stated at the bottom left of their home page, they belong to the New York Times, a news outlet most Americans have said they don't trust and that is demonstrably far left. Hardly inspiring of confidence. Frankly, the reader should be questioning about.com a whole lot more than snopes.com, although the fact that about.com is defending snopes is to snopes' discredit.

Beyond that, there are little clues that stand out everywhere in the article appearing on Snopes itself and quoted at about.com. One of the biggest clues is the versions of the emails whose veracity Snopes doubts. For example, if you look up the stuff about Obama's nationality, you find that they print a version that accentuates the silliest claims in order to make the reasonable ones seem silly too. That is what we call a red herring. The Left is very adept at this tactic.

For example:

"...rumors swirling about that Barrack Obama was a Muslim with a middle name of Mohammed..."

Really? Did you ever hear that rumor?

I have gotten hundreds, maybe thousands, of emails on this topic and never heard that one. It is clear that Snopes used this grotesque exaggeration to mask the legitimate suspicion that Obama may not be a US citizen. If Snopes were sincere about disproving that claim, they would not have needed to present this other, much sillier, claim that is so rare most have never read it, and I suspect it may have just been floated by the Left to make conservatives look like rumor mongers.

Worse, the whole tenor of this argument ignores, and masks, the proven fact that Obama was enrolled in an Indonesian school as a Muslim. In other words, it makes the claim that Obama was, at least in his youth, a Muslim seem questionable when in fact we know it to be true. (Not to mention the fact that in an interview with George Stephanopolis, Obama made the Freudian slip of saying "my Muslim faith.")

The following quote from about.com certainly does not comfort me:

"Second, the Mikkelsons' political views are between them and the ballot box. I don't know what they are; you don't know what they are; certainly the author of this email doesn't know what they are."

Not true. If Mikkelson were not politically aligned, he would not have endorsed only leftwing TV news channels as he did in an interview on CNN:

DAVID MIKKELSON: Well, other than checking out our site, a lot of different things. One is, of course, if a story is real, you're generally going to see it in more than one place. If you're finding something that seems rather sensational and it's only on one Web site and it's not something major like CNN or ABC, that's a pretty good tip that perhaps the story is just a rumor or something that someone made up.

Besides, if the NYT reporter who wrote this didn't know the Mikkelsons' political leanings, all he had to do was ask the Mikkelsons or do some quick research, as I did.

Obviously, the Mikkelsons are not conservative. A conservative would have at least mentioned Fox News or a conservative site in this context and would have been proud to tout his conservatism. Liberals hide their views because they know they aren't popular.

Snopes' reasons for believing in Obama's credentials are not comforting either:

"Judge Surrick ruled Berg's attempt to use certain laws to gain standing...were frivolous and not worthy of discussion."

For real conservatives, the last people they trust are judges. They know our rights are being stripped one by one and that it is chiefly the judges who are doing the stripping. To hear a judge state that a US citizen has no right to know if a candidate for president is a US citizen and hence in compliance with the Constitution, is just more evidence of a thoroughly corrupt judiciary, not evidence that the lawsuit against Obama was not valid.

The real fact of the matter is that the DNC and the electoral college should have delved into this matter a long time ago and it is clear that they did not.

And we shouldn't care what the Mikkelsons or their defenders at the very far-left pro-Obama New York Times say about this.

Conclusion: be wary of Snopes. I don't necessarily think they lie, but they present conservative emails in a very unfavorable light, so unfavorable that it is hard to call their presentation objective. You may wish to pass this article along to them and more importantly, to your friends.

© Donald Hank

 

The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Donald Hank

Until July of 2009, Don Hank was operating a technical translation agency out of his home in Wrightsville, PA. He is now retired and residing in Panama with his wife and daughter... (more)

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