Investigating the Investigator

You know, I’ve seen an increase in Snopes bashers since Obama started campaigning for President. I got a link to another one this morning. I really think it is tied to the fact that so many idiots out there wanted to smear Obama with being a Muslim and hiding it, not wearing a flag pin, being the last to put his hand over his heart for the Pledge of Allegiance and other garbage rather than dealing with the issues. Indeed, even the Republican Party had trouble with the issues, and I think maybe that fueled some of the frustration. I don’t know. I am left to wonder how much of this backfired into making Obama even more popular, though.

However, I have been skeptical about some of the allegations against Snopes in the past, and I am no less skeptical of this one. I took the time to have a look at the Al Gore “I invented the Internet” article. Snopes is correct, biased or not. I also took a look at the Geraldo Rivera name thing, not that I really care, but just to have a look. I see no evidence of anyone trying to cover anything up.

Now, I did have a look at the Hurricane Katrina photos, and I do find the rating misleading. However, I would like to know where anyone gets the idea that AFP means Associated F****** Press from the article. It seems to me that the Snopes bashers are just as biased, if not more so, and even may be making things up. The Snopes article even points out that it is Agence France-Presse and that they may have different standards of journalism. It was last updated 1 Sept 2005, so no one has tampered with it since the bashing article was posted.

Snopes ain’t perfect. Often, I disagree with their headings of “True” or “False”, but I read the article rather than just glance at the heading. In some cases, I would have said it would have been indeterminant or sometimes even in reverse because they sometimes base their rating on a technicality (as in the Hurricane Katrina case). Usually, though, things change, the article is updated, but the rating is not. I find that can be misleading to those who just glance at the ratings instead of actually reading the articles. Overall, though, they are the best site out there for myths, rumors and urban legends, often having articles that no one else even acknowledges the existence of. When I check it out against other sites, they almost always either back up the Snopes’ article or they don’t even have an entry for it.

Does Snopes have a bias? Yes, we all do. Should we read the articles and not just assume their ratings are correct? You’d better believe it! This is why I tell people to check it out at Snopes, but read the article. Emails mutate, and sometimes something that once was true is no longer because of changes, additions and deletions. Sometimes it is “true” or “false” based upon a technicality.

Should we read Snopes’ articles critically and use our brain and maybe even double-check with another source instead of assuming they are the end-all and be-all of truth?

Now, ask yourself if you put in the same effort when someone makes claims about what the Bible says. Do you check it out? Do you accept their word about it? Do you actually read the entire “article” or passage of Scripture? How much more important is the truth about God and salvation than an urban legend?

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