Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Conservapedia - Because quote mining is great!

Does the stupidity not end for these people?

On Conservapedia (you know, the "Trustworthy" -- stop laughing! -- Encyclopedia), a recent "In The News" posting quotes from another blog a short transcript and video from Fox and Friends, "proving" that Senator Obama's a "redistributionist." That is, his tax plan is all about taking from those better off and giving to the poor. He's Barack of Locksley, apparently.

The quote from CP's main page:

A plumber on the campaign trail this weekend asked Obama about his tax plan.

Voter: "Your new tax plan is going to tax me more. Isn’t it?"

Obama: "It’s not that I want to punish your success, I just want to make sure that everybody that is behind you, that they have a chance for success too. I think that when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody."

It links to a HotAir.com posting complete with video from the morning show Fox & Friends.

However, anyone who manages to watch the video will notice two distinct events. First, the plumber asks Obama the question. Then there's a cut of the video before Obama answers him. Nowhere in the transcript is this break mentioned. Secondly, there is a very noticeable break, and some time passing, between "they have a chance for success too" and "I think that when . . ."

Odd, this, too, is lacking in the transcript. Why would the transcript, and CP's subsequent posting, not point this out? After all, CP prides itself as a resource for schoolchildren to use. Would it not want to be grammatically correct in its quoting?

In fact, doing a Google search on this story gets many right-wing "news" sites, blogs and newspaper comment forums talking about this story. Only they all quote up to, or including with no mention of the break of time, the line of spreading the wealth around.

Yet a CBSNews.com blog posting points out a very good reason why this break in time is not mentioned -- it shows that the quote has been mined and is taken out of context:

As he made his way down the street, Obama was barraged by questions about the economy, mortgages, and taxes. This was perhaps the best kind of debate prep for him, because not all of the conversations were easygoing. One man in particular questioned Obama’s tax plan, telling him that he is about to buy a company that makes more than $250,000 a year.

“Your new tax plan is going to tax me more, isn’t it?” the man asked.

Obama responded by telling the voter that his business would get a 50% tax credit for health care, but that his taxes will go up from 36% to 39%.

“I want to give all these folks who are bus drivers, teachers, auto workers who make less, I want to give them a tax cut,” Obama explained.

The man wasn’t convinced, telling Obama that he has been a plumber for 15 years and doesn’t believe that he should be taxed more.

After explaining that the tax rate would be the same as under Bill Clinton and that 95% of Americans make less than $250,000, Obama made one last pitch to the voter.

“I’m gonna cut taxes a little bit more for the folks who are most in need and for the 5% of the folks who are doing very well - even though they’ve been working hard and I appreciate that – I just want to make sure they’re paying a little bit more in order to pay for those other tax cuts,” Obama said.

“It’s not that I want to punish your success – I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you – that they’ve got a chance at success too.”

Let's review that again. These right-wing sites, CP included, mention that "a plumber" asked about his taxes going up. They ignore that he's asking in concern because he's going to be buying a company that's worth more than $250,000, and in the bracket of people Obama would be taxing higher if he wins the office this November. He's got enough money to purchase a fairly large company, and he doesn't believe he should pay more taxes (and instead push that onto the people struggling in the economy who have been paying a larger share of taxes).

The two talk about the proposal. The missing time in the video and missing from the transcripts. And the tax increase? "[H]is taxes will go up from 36% to 39%"

Call up the Sheriff of Nottingham!

This dishonesty shows desperation. And that Conservapedia decided to include it in its News section, which has become a veritable selection of extreme-right-wing attacks on liberals, atheists, educated persons and especially Senator Obama, goes to prove, like so many times before, that they are not trustworthy in any sense of the word.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Conservapedia: We assume our points are true!

Due to school and other commitments, I haven't been able to blog as much as I had been. But Conservapedia decided to make an ass of themselves yet again over ideology.

In the "In The News" section, which has become "Rants and tidbits about how bad liberals and the rest of the world is, and insights into how extreme conservativism is right," the following was posted:

Deaths from cocaine and ecstacy abuse in England and Wales rose by 1,274% between 1993 and 2007, from 23 to 293, while total Illegal drug poisoning cases rose by almost 3% 2006-2007 to total 2,640. Drugs experts say the rise in cocaine abuse is caused by the influence of drug-taking celebrities such as singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse, musician Pete Doherty and "supermodel" Kate Moss. Liberals still deny the toxic effects of Hollywood Values.

The link offered goes to a Mail Online article written by Charlotte Gill. The article has this quote:

Clare McNeil, of drug treatment charity Addaction, said: 'Cocaine is seen as a middle-class drug associated with success and money.

'People think they can copy celebrities and do a quick line because it doesn't have the same stigma as other class As but it's actually just as destructive.

'People are often ignorant of the risks of combining alcohol with cocaine for example, which can increase the risk of liver and heart disease, strokes and epilepsy.

'The increase in deaths among men in their 30s and 40s is worrying. It suggests that more people are continuing to experiment with drugs well into adulthood.

'At one time young people would dabble then stop as they settled down but these kind of figures suggest an epidemic."

Sounds pretty damning. Until someone visits Addaction's website, that is.

A recent news wire report concerning figures from the Office of National Statistics on deaths related to drug poisoning inaccurately quoted Addaction on its response to the figures.

Several parts of the quote as it appeared in the news story and as subsequently repeated in a number of national newspapers were incorrect.

The charity does not believe that cocaine use has risen because ‘people think they can copy celebrities’. There is no clear evidence to suggest a link between young people’s behaviour and celebrity drug use.

Addaction has also not said that the recent increase in drug-related deaths involving cocaine suggests an ‘epidemic’. Drug-related deaths involving cocaine have steadily risen since figures were collected and are now at their highest level since 1993. This is very concerning and much more needs to be done to reduce what are largely avoidable deaths. However, it cannot be inferred from these figures that more people are using cocaine and or that the problems has reached ‘epidemic’ proportions.

In fact, the report offered by Addaction never mentions, blames nor even relates anything in connection with celebrities, Hollywood or such.

Since the Gill article reaffirms Conservapedia's ideology that Hollywood is bad (i.e. "Hollywood values are characterized by decadence, narcissism, rampant drug use, extramarital sex, sexually-transmitted disease, lawlessness and death"), goes to show how bad liberals and Hollywood are for the world, doesn't it?

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Conservapedia: Caught in blatant lies AGAIN

Wow, you'd think that Conservapedia, "The Trustworthy Encyclopedia," would try to be either one or the other. Somehow they've decided that lying is a far better way of getting their viewpoints across than just informing people of their own points.

Let's go through it one step at a time.

allegedly born in Honolulu, August 4, 1961

Is there rumor he was hatched? One of the pod people? That maybe he was born on the fifth or maybe in 1960 instead, thereby making him older and less desirable?

Oh, yes, on Obama's page on CP, it links this to an Israeli Insider page that tries to "debunk" the birth certificate. Strangely, after all the "this looks suspect" and "we think" arguments, one thing was never done.

Not one of them contacted the State of Hawaii and asked them to confirm the authenticity of the scan of the birth certificate.

I wonder what the State of Hawaii is hiding . . .

In 2007, Obama was the most liberal Senator.

Wasn't this said of Kerry in 2004? Funny how two people who don't vote similarly enough are both rewarded with "most liberal" titles. Or, it's something just made up to reflect someone's ideology about a candidate.

After all, there's no "liberal" playbook. So how can one measure whether a vote is liberal? Are there only two positions, liberal and not-liberal?

If elected, Obama would be the first Affirmative Action President.

This is just plain disgusting. Affirmative action is a method to ensure that minorities are represented in the workforce by placing quotas based on population on large companies and government organizations. Without debating whether affirmative action is successful in what it set out to do or whether it should be continued, using it to describe Obama's win if he gets the 270 votes of the electoral college is insane.

Obama has been in public office based on popular vote for years. If he wins in November, was it because the White House or the government HAD to hire him? Or was it because he won enough electoral college votes?

This is more stupidity than a lie.

Obama during the Pledge (credit: Time)

The image caption shows Obama without his hand to his heart, while Governor Richardson, Senator Clinton and another lady have their hands over their hearts. The caption says this was during "the Pledge," most likely referring to "the Pledge of Allegiance."

Now, first, how many times has any American gone to any event and had the Pledge of Allegiance done? I've been to sporting events, concerts, public rallies, school functions, Fourth of July events from the cities here . . . Never once has there been a Pledge of Allegiance done.

In fact, the photo from Time Magazine is during the National Anthem. And, guess what? The anthem of this nation does not require one to put a hand over the heart. There is no pledging, no swearing an oath, just participating in singing or, if one chooses, just listening.

Other conservative blog pages use this very same picture, and at least the dozen I checked searching "Time Magazine Obama" that had this photo listed it happening during the National Anthem. So does Time Magazine itself.

But "The Trustworthy Encyclopedia" decided that making it "the Pledge" made Obama seem more unpatriotic than CP keeps saying he is. I guess when people lie about Obama, it must be true!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Conservapedia: Liberals lie about history, but we agree with them!

In Conservapedia's news today, there was a posting trying to solicit the services of their home schooling American History course. Since Conservapedia is wrong in so many ways on a variety of subjects, it's difficult to think that they would get American History right.

We were all taught it, but it's just another false liberal myth: that the non-Christian Vikings (Leif Ericson) reached North America before the devoutly Christian Christopher Columbus did. This is yet another attempt to deny and downplay Christian achievement by distorting history. See American History Lecture One, which will teach students what is true and false about American history.

So if Conservapedia is supposed to be used as reference for students that doesn't include these liberal myths and falsehoods, and Conservapedia's course on American History will teach the truth, why does Conservapedia's entry on Leif Ericson (the very entry linked in the news posting) say:

Encouraged by the constant need of land to farm, Leif organized a voyage and bought Bjarni's ship and headed west in about A.D. 990. He followed Bjarni's route in reverse, making three landfalls after about 4 1/2 days.

The first of these he named Helluland or Flat-Stone Land which is now Labrador.

There is strong evidence that he established a Norse settlement at L'Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland. From the late nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century, there was a controversy about whether or not the Norse reached North American before Columbus. The issue was finally laid to rest in 1960, when artifacts of Scandinavian origin, dating to about 1000 AD were discovered in Newfoundland.

According to some sources, Erikson was a Christian convert, and spread his new religion to his colonies. . . .

(Excerpted for "Norwegian Explorers on the ODIN website, produced for the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.) Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia, 1995 ed. "Leif Ericson."

The article cites five sources for Leif reaching North America. One, two, three, four and five. None of these mentions any Christian persuasion in the famous Norse explorer.

Yet the article doesn't cite these "some sources" as to Leif's Christianity. In fact, the article's source, the excerpted part, written by Linn Ryne, reads like this:

In 986 Norwegian-born Eirik Thorvaldsson, known as Eirik the Red, explored and colonized the southwestern part of Greenland. It was his son, Leiv Eiriksson, who became the first European to set foot on the shores of North America, and the first explorer of Norwegian extraction now accorded worldwide recognition.

The date and place of Leiv Eiriksson's birth has not been definitely established, but it is believed that he grew up on Greenland. The Saga of Eric the Red relates that he set sail for Norway in 999, served King Olav Trygvasson for a term, and was sent back to Greenland one year later to bring Christianity to its people.

There are two schools of thought as to the subsequent course of events. One of these is that Eiriksson, en route for Greenland, came off course, and quite by chance came to the shores of northwestern America in the year 1000, thus preceding Columbus by nearly 500 years. However, according to the Greenland Saga, generally believed to be trustworthy, Eiriksson's discovery was no mere chance. The saga tells that he fitted out an expedition and sailed west, in an attempt to gather proof of the claims made by the Icelandic trader Bjarni Herjulfsson. In 986 Herjulfsson, driven far off course by a fierce storm between Iceland and Greenland, had reported sighting hilly, heavily forested land far to the west. Herjulfsson, though believably the first European to see the continent of North America, never set foot on its shores. Leiv Eiriksson, encouraged by the current talk of potential discoveries, and the constant need of land to farm, bought Bjarni's ship and set off on his quest of discovery.

He appears to have followed Bjarni's route in reverse, making three landfalls. The first of these he named Helluland, or Flat-Stone Land, now generally regarded as having been Labrador. The second was Markland, or Wood Land, possibly Newfoundland. The exact location of the third, which was named Vinland, is a matter of scholastic controversy, but it could have been as far north as northern Newfoundland or as far south as Cape Cod or even beyond this.

Eiriksson and his men spent the winter in Vinland, at a place they named Leifsbud-ir, returning to Greenland the following year, 1001.

It was left to Eiriksson's brother, Thorvald to make the next voyage to the new-found territory, for strange as it may seem, Leiv Eiriksson never returned there. Subsequent attempts at settlement of Vinland were unsuccessful, due to strong friction between the Viking settlers and the native North Americans.

Though many still regard Christopher Columbus as the discoverer of the New World, Eiriksson's right to this title received the stamp of official approval in the USA when in 1964 President Lyndon B. Johnson, backed by a unanimous Congress, proclaimed October 9th "Leif Ericson Day" in commemoration of the first arrival of a European on North American soil.

[Again, no mention of Leif's Christianity. Conservapedia seems to have included that somehow, without citing its source.]--[Incorrectly read the part of the Erik the Red tale. Confusing in the first few readings, but it appears that the saga of Erik the Red refers to Leif; or at least, it could. Likely my misinterpretation, my mistake. But below, I relate how this is shaky.] It also fails to mention that the United States has acknowledged that Vikings were the first Europeans to land in North America, not Christopher Columbus and the Spanish.

Looking at the history of the page, it seemed as though the Christian myth was pushed from the very beginning. According to the history page, the original incarnation of the page included:

Leif Eriksson (or Leifur Eiríksson) was born in Iceland 970 and died 1020. He was son of Erik the Red who was an outlaw from Norway, living in Iceland. He founded two colonies in Greenland and it is generaly believed that he was the first European to arrive in Northamerica which he called Wineland.

* 999 Leif Eriksson, son of Erik the Red travels to Norway, to serve king Olaf Trygvasson's. Leif becomes christian.
* 1000 Leif Eriksson sails back to Greenland and brings christianity with him.

Sources I've found, including MSN's Encarta encyclopedia, say that the Christian story comes from a tale about Leif's family written more than two hundred years after his death. As recorded history in the 10th and 11th centuries were kept mostly by religious sources, and the tales were written generations after Leif died, the details are shaky at best.

There is physical evidence of Leif's voyage to Newfoundland. There are details of Norway's king, for whom Leif worked around the start of the eleventh century, was Christian and not pagan. It is likely Leif could be Christian. It is also likely he remained pagan throughout his life. Regardless, his religion has no impact on whether or not he set foot on North American shores almost five hundred years before the Spanish.

So why would Conservapedia state that liberals lie about "non-Christian Vikings" finding North America first, all while linking to and promoting this lie? Another wonderful example of "The Trustworth Encyclopedia."

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Conservapedia: Lying about context equals truth!

It's hard to figure how Conservapedia could be any worse in their indignation. But to resort to lying about an article they link? What's worse, the article lambasts Conservapedia for being worse than what CP sees as the problem, and CP makes the news post that the article proves CP's case!

Say what?
Conservapedia sparks more discussion on the internet: "The more the Dawkins types try to turn this into a head-on fight, the more moderate religious believers edge into Conservapedia territory." Indeed. Liberals and atheists do not win in debate, and their biggest gains are in censoring the truth.

Apparently, Conservapedia can't win in debate because they resort to distorting and flat out lying.

The posting links to an article from The American Prospect. The article, from Ezra Klein, has the opening line (note: LINE. Not paragraph, not introduction. A sentence!):
Like Daniel Davies, I find the gleeful aggression of Hitchens and Dawkins and Harris a bit tiresome.

The rest of the article slams Conservapedia, including its article on "Causes of Atheism," which itself is an exploration into the insanity of the editors of Conservapedia.

So where does the quote come from that CP uses, since it's not in the article? A user comment (emphasis added for clarity):
Man but Ezra this is exactly why the Dawkins-style aggression is so dangerous. Your response to this asinine Conservapedia entry is a pretty classic example of radicalism born out of heightened contradictions. Going from bemused tolerance to allergic outrage is never a good thing in a democracy.

It's an especially bad thing when your side doesn't have the numbers to win -- which atheists clearly don't in the USA. The country's realistic options are a moderate live-and-let-live set of religious faiths or a (much smaller) set of fundamentalist religions. The more the Dawkins types try to turn this into a head-on fight, the more moderate religious believers edge into Conservapedia territory.

Now frankly if it was just a matter of the most annoying sectors of atheism and Christianity yelling at each other, that wouldn't particularly matter to me. But of course the success of MANY Progressive policy positions rests on the buy-in of moderate Christians. It's not worth sacrificing abortion rights to gain the sense of intellectual supremacy you get from out-arguing a a fundy who thinks the world is 37 minutes old. And more fundamentalist Christians = a scarier world for non-Christian religious minorities, the lion's share of whom vote for liberals.

Posted by: NS | July 28, 2008 10:48 AM

That's right, Conservapedia takes out ONE line from a user comment on an article pointing out the absurdity of their site to show that Conservapedia is right. What's worse, the user's OTHER comments further trash Conservapedia's type of argument:
Your response to this asinine Conservapedia entry is a pretty classic example of radicalism born out of heightened contradictions.


Now frankly if it was just a matter of the most annoying sectors of atheism and Christianity yelling at each other, that wouldn't particularly matter to me.

So why would Conservapedia try to make out the article and/or user comment supports their ideology, when these clearly don't? Do they not believe their readers will bother going to the article to find out what it says for themselves?

Do they even bother with the commandment of their religion that states, "Thou shalt not bear false witness"?

Unfortunately, this seems to be standard fare for "The Trustworthy Encyclopedia."

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Conservapedia: More news not fit to print!

A three-for this morning appeared on "The Trustworthy Encyclopedia." So trustworthy, in fact, that "news" has become "opinions that reflect our ideology."

Case in point, these three items:
Moral Relativism Is Killing the U.S.
We yearn for the day when we’ll return to the foundational value that makes the U.S. great. Right and wrong are not relative terms. There are fundamental truths. Evil flourishes, but good men continue to battle it – and win. Good can and will triumph over evil.

Belief Growing That Reporters are Trying to Help Obama Win
49% of voters believe most reporters will try to help the Democrat with their coverage, up from 44% a month ago.

The left supports campaign finance reform, the Fairness Doctrine and other policies allegedly aimed at ensuring that both sides of the political argument be aired. But it's a colossal fraud. The Times' rejection of McCain's piece is a case study in how liberals apply these principles. They don't believe in both sides presenting their viewpoints, but in controlling the nature and scope of the discussion.

The last one links to Human Events.

So let's take them in order.

#1: Mike Gallagher, who penned the piece, was on FOXNews last week and debated Ibrahim Hooper of the CAIR. Plenty of words filling the page about Hooper's evilness. It then jumps into this weird leap of logic:
It’s simply astounding that such a debate could even occur in the United States today. Picture what this country felt like in the weeks and months after 9/11. Can you imagine anyone even beginning to allow an advertising campaign promoting Islam, being endorsed and supported by a man the feds believe to be a terrorist, on New York City subways?

And yet we are suffering through the stench of moral relativism. Every position must be countered. Right doesn’t necessarily mean right, wrong might not be wrong.

A brutal, cowardly Arab terrorist who was convicted of bashing a little 4-year old Jewish girl’s head in with a rifle butt is released to Lebanon in exchange for a pair of dead Israeli soldiers. He’s met by adoring, cheering crowds and given a red-carpet welcome.

The Democrat presidential candidate continues to insist that the American military surge in Iraq isn’t really the reason for the overwhelming reduction of violence there.

Our country gives a couple of million minimum wage workers a big hourly pay hike and the mainstream media immediately complains by saying that high gas and food prices make the pay increase irrelevant. And when former Sen. Phil Gramm accurately points out that we’re a nation of whiners and misery sells newspapers, he’s forced to resign from his leadership post in the John McCain campaign.

The last paragraph especially made my brain hurt that someone could even begin to argue the "goodness" in it. Minimum wage increases aren't "pay hikes". They're set because the world around these workers are getting expensive, through inflation and other economic factors. Yet without the law forcing employers to meet the costs of living, many would continue to leave workers in poverty for being full-time employees.

He then puts a rich guy on a pedestal who said people are whining about the economy that an overwhelming majority of economists agree is in a serious downturn. When the federal government has to seize banks to protect those who have money in them from losing their shirts, when the stock market falls nearly to the same level it had in 2001, when home sales are hitting rock bottom, when the dollar is no longer competitive, when people have to take on two or three jobs to pay for food and shelter, it's not whining.

Unless that whining is about the government we have had since 2001.

#2: This is similar to another point I made about Conservapedia: They feel that public polls give weight to fact. If enough people believe something, it must be true.

Could the disparity of "good news" with Senator Obama versus Senator McCain have anything to do with the actions of the two men? When Senator Obama speaks in public to thousands regularly, and Senator McCain gets only a few dozen people to show up, should the press be forced to make them seem equal? When Senator McCain has a daily screw up, when he attacks Senator Obama by saying he ignores troops using footage of Senator Obama meeting with hundreds of troops, what is the press supposed to do?

Wanting the press to make someone look a hell of a lot better than he really is, just isn't their job.

#3: This piece is laughably awful. There should be a rule with conservatives: If you have to name-call three times in the first paragraph, you have no argument.

Wait a second. That's true no matter who does the name-calling!

The link goes to an opinion piece by David Limbaugh. He writes books such as one about how the Democrats are morally bankrupt. So his opinion should be considered unbiased, I guess?

His opening paragraph:
I don't know which troubles me more: the liberal media's fawning over Barack Obama or the great number of people who are buying into his mystique so uncritically. But what bothers me more than either of these is the arrogance of the liberal press, which sadly is typical of so many liberals.

Liberal, liberal, liberal. How arrogant they are!

He pens gems such as:
How anyone can fall for the media's Obama rock star charade, given his repeated demonstrations of unfitness for the presidency, is a subject better suited for psychoanalysts.

How is he unfit? Not explained. But there are repeated demonstrations of this "fact!" But those liberals should have their head examined for not looking at those undocumented repeated demonstrations of unfitnessitude.

And this:
But we can chalk up the media's irrational exuberance to their eagerness to have someone of like mind -- someone sufficiently socialistic and appeasement-oriented -- back in the Oval Office. With their insane aversion for President Bush and their craving for undefined change, it's hardly surprising they're blind to Obama's increasingly obvious flaws.

Insane aversion? You mean when the President mocks the G8 by saying "Goodbye from the world's biggest polluter?" Or when he cries foul when any of his staff have to answer questions before the representatives of the people? Or, well, any number of other Constitution-breaking, arrogance-wielding, cowboy-wannabe actions he does?

The press is insane for not kissing the man's feet. People like David Limbaugh do, after all, so everyone else must have something wrong with their heads.

Contrary to liberal-spawned conventional wisdom, it is not conservatives who are selective enemies of free expression, agents of intolerance or threatened by opposing views, which they are confident can be slain in the marketplace of ideas. It is not conservatives who dominate academia or who see it as their mission not just to instruct in their disciplines but also to engage in worldview indoctrination. It is not conservatives who, behind the mask of protecting "victims," censor political and religious speech on campus and in the public square.

Uh, David? Do you not remember the "Free-Speech Zones"? Or declaring reporters who ask tough questions of the President must want the terrorists to win? That's your definition of free expression and agents of tolerance?

Neverminding the weird tangents he goes on about political and religious speeches on campus, his article just has a long lead in to his point:
This brings me to the major source of my angst: The New York Times' rejection of Sen. McCain's op-ed in response to the one it published the previous week by Sen. Obama on his plan for Iraq.

He's mad because the New York Times refused to publish Senator McCain's op-ed as it was. Ignoring for the moment that the op-ed was flawed and had accusations against Senator Obama without giving any substance to Senator McCain's own ideas--you know, the POINT to having both men write op-eds?

The Times didn't want to waste space printing attacks on a candidate that have been rehashed time and time again, when the op-ed didn't give the readers of the Times any information on what Senator McCain would do. Hence why the editor sent it back with a suggestion that, I don't know, Senator McCain should explain himself rather than try to talk about Senator Obama for the entire article?

And instead of re-writing it to be a grand op-ed, one that showcases the path Senator McCain would take if he were Number 44, the loons of the extreme right-wing in this country cry foul. Liberal media. Liberal press. Liberal arrogance.

I'm beginning to wonder, if David Limbaugh got back a paper in college with an imperfect grade and teacher recommendations for how to improve, he would have filed a complaint with the school board about how arrogant the teacher was.

But back to the point at hand. These three articles are "news" according to Conservapedia. These are further examples of how "The Trustworthy Encyclopedia," a wiki established to "counter" the bias of Wikipedia and that would suit kids to use as a study guide, has become nothing but a site of ideology and innuendo that reflects the opinions of the staff and is not grounded in reality.

And you can poll people on that.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Conservapedia: Gossip is Trustworthy!

UPDATE: Conservapedia has since removed the post from their "News" links. No notice that they did remove it, yet part of the discussion about it remains on the Talk Page for the main page. Typical.

"The Trustworthy Encyclopedia" provided in its "In the News" section a delicious report:
Does former Democratic senator and presidential candidate John Edwards have a love child? Is he having an affair? "Enquiring minds" want to know:

And linked to http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,391426,00.html.

The Conservapedia tease even alludes to the source of the "love child" story: Tabloid National Enquirer.

How newsworthy is it?
"His face just went totally white," the guard said, when Edwards was told the reporters were shouting out questions about Edwards and Rielle Hunter, a woman the National Enquirer says is the mother of his child.

And later:
Enquirer Editor-in-Chief David Perel told FOXNews.com his reporters caught Edwards visiting Hunter and her baby at the hotel earlier Monday evening. Perel said Hunter and Edwards have been occasionally getting together so Edwards can see the baby. Hunter came to Beverly Hills with a male friend, Bob McGovern, said Perel. Hunter and her companion reportedly booked two rooms under McGovern's name, and McGovern picked up Edwards to bring him back to the hotel.

Perel said Enquirer staff had been given information about the planned Edwards-Hunter meeting, and the tabloid sent reporters to the hotel in anticipation of Edwards' arrival. According to the Enquirer, Edwards was first spotted being dropped off at the hotel at 9:45 p.m. PT, about 25 minutes after reporters watched McGovern leave the building in his BMW.

Edwards went to Hunter's room and the two left the hotel together and returned 45 minutes later, Perel said. Edwards reportedly entered her room and stayed there until after 2:30 a.m. PT.

FOXNews.com could not independently confirm the Enquirer's allegations. Perel also declined to identify where the Enquirer received the information about Edwards' alleged visits.

Perel told FOXNews.com that after leaving Hunter's room, Edwards took an elevator to the basement, where he was confronted by two Enquirer reporters. He ran into the bathroom, where he remained until the security guard arrived.

The Enquirer says it has videotape showing Hunter entering the room where she met Edwards, and shows Edwards leaving the same room. However, the Enquirer has thus far declined repeated requests by FOXNews.com to release any photographs or videotape evidence of the incident.

So the story FOXNews puts forward is that the National Enquirer ambushed Edwards at a hotel, where he was meeting with a known acquaintance. He spent time with her and a male friend. The Enquirer got a head's up that Edwards would be there. The tabloid has footage of Edwards and Hunter, but refuses to release the footage.

I'm still trying to figure out how this is news and not celebrity gossip at this point. But Conservapedia feels it's newsworthy.

Later in the story, FOXNews provides these bits of information:
Last October, the Enquirer reported that several sources said a former campaign worker on Edwards' campaign had been having an affair with the former North Carolina senator. In an e-mail allegedly written by Hunter to a friend, she wrote that she is "in love with John," but it's "difficult because he is married and has kids."

Hunter has said that the father of her child is former Edwards campaign official Andrew Young. The 41-year-old married father of three has also said he is the father.

Jerome Armstrong of myDD.com apparently asked Hunter about the allegations. This concocted story is just dirty politics and I want no part of it.

It's not conclusive either way. It's sloppy journalism at best. But this seems to be standard fare for "The Trustworthy Encyclopedia" to give in to political and ideological attacks.