Just read it - GREAT read...but you missed one bias.

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Just read it - GREAT read...but you missed one bias.

Unread postby captaindigital » Wed May 13, 2009 9:14 am

Bernie:

Slobbering Love Affair was a great book - I read it in two nights...almost couldn't put it down. But I think you missed covering two important examples of media bias, this time in "new" media. Let me explain...

It seems the "old" media and "new" media are divided along the lines of sources and credibility. The old media purports to have multiple sources for any given story, so that they can confirm and back up the claims made within the story. The new media generally goes with unsubstantiated claims and presents them as news. (Personally, I think that's what's driven the old media even further round the bend, as they believe that, in order to compete with the blogoshpere, they can't wait for the traditional methods to vet sources, thus eliminating any discernible difference between old and new media.) Nevertheless, there are two new media outlets that purport to present unbiased information that IS vetted - Wikipedia and Snopes.

Wikipedia.com is a "user-supported" encyclopedia. Anybody can submit entries, or add to the existing ones. Wikipedia claims to have editors that oversee the process to avoid bias and inaccuracies. They also claim that they are neutral. However, several stories have cropped up lately in the news that illustrate their neutrality to be a convenient fiction. For instance, a recent news story detailed how the entry that covers Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged was edited to reflect a perspective that is highly critical of the work, and exhibits a left-leaning bias.

Even more troubling is the case of Snopes.com. Millions rely on Snopes to debunk "urban legends," especially those that come via chain emails. I myself have relied on Snopes for years - every time I get an email with some forwarded story, I immediately visit Snopes to determine the veracity of the email. Turns out, while the public face of Snopes is that of a politically-neutral site with a staff of researchers, all dedicated to revealing the truth, the REAL truth is far different - the site is run by a husband and wife team, both self-avowed liberals - and quite a few of their claims as to the "truth" or "fiction" of a given story have subsequently been debunked.

Since you have emerged as the watchdog for truth in media, I'd love to see you write about the emerging trends in NEW media bias as well, before the left can institutionalize these sites as "unbiased authorities" when they are anything BUT unbiased.

Thanks!
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Just read it - GREAT read...but you missed one bias.

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Re: Just read it - GREAT read...but you missed one bias.

Unread postby captaindigital » Wed May 13, 2009 10:27 am

Here's some validation regarding my contention that Snopes is far from neutral:

SNOPES EXPOSED
By Sarah

For the past few years www.snopes.com has positioned itself, or others have labeled it, as the 'tell-all final word' on any comment, claim and email.

But for several years people tried to find out who exactly was behind snopes.com. Only recently did Wikipedia get to the bottom of it - kinda makes you wonder what they were hiding. Well, finally we know. It is run by a husband and wife team - that's right, no big office of investigators
and researchers, no team of lawyers. It's just a mom-and-pop operation that began as a hobby.

David and Barbara Mikkelson in the San Fernando Valley of California started the website about 13 years ago - and they have no formal background or experience in investigative research. After a few years it gained popularity believing it to be unbiased and neutral, but over the past couple of years people started asking questions who was behind it and did they have a selfish motivation? The reason for the questions - or skepticisms - is a result of snopes.com claiming to have the bottom line facts to certain questions or issue when in fact they have been proven wrong. Also, there were criticisms the Mikkelsons were not really investigating and getting to the 'true' bottom of various issues.

A few months ago, when my State Farm agent Bud Gregg in Mandeville hoisted a political sign referencing Barack Obama and made a big splash across the internet, 'supposedly' the Mikkelson's claim to have researched this issue before posting their findings on snopes.com. In their statement they claimed the corporate office of State Farm pressured Gregg into taking down the sign, when in fact nothing of the sort 'ever' took place.

I personally contacted David Mikkelson (and he replied back to me) thinking he would want to get to the bottom of this and I gave him Bud Gregg's contact phone numbers - and Bud was going to give him phone numbers to the big exec's at State Farm in Illinois who would have been willing to speak with him about it. He never called Bud. In fact, I learned from Bud Gregg no one from snopes.com ever contacted anyone with State Farm. Yet,snopes.com issued a statement as the 'final factual word' on the issue as if they did all their homework and got to the bottom of things - not!

Then it has been learned the Mikkelson's are very Democratic (party) and extremely liberal. As we all now know from this presidential election, liberals have a purpose agenda to discredit anything that appears to be conservative. There has been much criticism lately over the internet with people pointing out the Mikkelson's liberalism revealing itself in their website findings. Gee, what a shock?

So, I say this now to everyone who goes to www.snopes.com to get what they think to be the bottom line facts...'proceed with caution.' Take what it says at face value and nothing more. Use it only to lead you to their references where you can link to and read the sources for yourself. Plus, you can always google a subject and do the research yourself. It now seems apparent that's all the Mikkelson's do. After all, I can personally vouch from my own experience for their 'not' fully looking into things.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snopes.com

Best regards,

Walter E. Colburn, Jr.
General Manager North America
Able Systems
ussales@able-systems.com
Visit our web site @ www.able-systems.com
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Re: Just read it - GREAT read...but you missed one bias.

Unread postby Media Rookie » Wed May 13, 2009 10:31 am

I, personally never really cared for Snopes. I always liked www.truthorfiction.com I had heard of a snopes bias back in 2007 I think. But you are right, new media biases definitely need to be discussed and policed as much as old media. Newsbusters.org catches blogs and such every once in a while. Of course they probably are just so busy just with the nets, MSNBC and CNN.
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Snopes Lives, After All

Unread postby Apokalupsis » Wed Aug 26, 2009 12:52 pm

Wouldn't we all love it if Snopes were exposed as just another discredited liberal bastion? Alas, that's not the case. The e-mail allegedly revealing all sorts of nasty things about Snopes is, itself, an urban legend that has taken its place in the eternal, irrefutable realm of cyberspace.

See http://tinyurl.com/c86jcx for accurate information.
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Re: Just read it - GREAT read...but you missed one bias.

Unread postby seraulu1 » Tue Apr 06, 2010 12:54 pm

Apokalupsis wrote:Wouldn't we all love it if Snopes were exposed as just another discredited liberal bastion? Alas, that's not the case. The e-mail allegedly revealing all sorts of nasty things about Snopes is, itself, an urban legend that has taken its place in the eternal, irrefutable realm of cyberspace.

See http://tinyurl.com/c86jcx for accurate information.



Hi Apokalupsis ,



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Re: Just read it - GREAT read...but you missed one bias.

Unread postby Japanklet » Fri Apr 16, 2010 2:07 am

Hello, Seraulu!

Welcome to the board! I hope you decide to stay a while!

Japanklet
Note: To cut down on screen clutter on my tiny monitor, my computer is set to block all pictures that appear in the signatures of other posters. Because of that, I cannot see them nor comment on them. Thanks.—Japanklet
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Re: Just read it - GREAT read...but you missed one bias.

Unread postby Media Rookie » Thu Apr 22, 2010 5:08 pm

Seriously, Promking, you are proving Bernie's point about Stewart's loyal fans. If you have a beef try articuating with real words. This site censors what it deems foul language. Need a thesaurus?
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Re: Just read it - GREAT read...but you missed one bias.

Unread postby Estil » Mon May 31, 2010 10:03 pm

Liberal bias or not, I just never thought Snopes was nearly as comprehensive or as user friendly as Truth or Fiction is.
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Re: Just read it - GREAT read...but you missed one bias.

Unread postby Kloyd Niel » Sun Oct 17, 2010 10:32 pm

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