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This is the first of two article about Snopes supposedly showing "Liberal Bias." This first article deals with allegations about President Obama appointing Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court as "pay back" for getting certain Supreme Court Cases dismissed — cases dealing Barack Obama's Birth Certificate and his eligibility to be President.

The second article that supposedly exposes the "Liberal Bias" of Snopes, deals with Stimulus Money that was actually awarded to Oregon State University, allegedly in exchange for a contract extension for OSU's Basketball Coach — who is the brother of Michelle Obama.


Does Snopes have a Liberal Bias when Fact-Checking
Issues that have Political Implications?
..by Matt Moody, Ph.D.

* * * * *

It ain't what you don't know that makes you a fool,
but what you think you know . . . that ain't so!
- Mark Twain  

Some say Snopes has a Liberal Bias. An accusing Email lodges this allegation:

"I went to Snopes to check something about the dockets of the new Supreme Court Justice. Elena Kagan, who Obama appointed, and Snopes said the email was false and there were no such dockets. So I Googled the Supreme Court, typed in Obama-Kagan, and guess what? Yep, you got it; Snopes Lied! Everyone of those dockets are there."

So, did Snopes Lie?

This issue is easily vetted. Here's the first RED FLAG that propaganda is being peddled: Notice how the allegation does NOT include a direct quote from Snopes — the quote that articulates the alleged "Lie."

By directly reading the Snopes report about Obama, Kagan, and the Dockets, we find that Snopes openly acknowledges the existence of Supreme Court "dockets" that show Elena Kagan as the attorney representing President Obama — that's what Solicitor Generals do, that's their job. What Snopes denies is that any of these "dockets" are legal cases that concern Barack Obama's birth certificate and eligibility to be President. Here's what Snopes said in their report:

"One small problem for the advocates of this political conspiracy theory: None of the nine docket items cited by WND was about "whether Obama is legally qualified to be in the White House."

The email that accuses Snopes of Liberal Bias sets up an Obama-Kagan "pay back" scenario:

"Now we know why Obama nominated Elena Kagan for the Supreme Court. Pull up the Supreme Courts website, go to the docket and search for Obama. She was the Solicitor General for all the suits against him filed with the Supreme Court to show proof of natural born citizenship. He owed her big time."

What we have here is a tactic called . . . a Straw-Man Misrepresentation: The email alleging Liberal Bias misrepresents what Snopes said in the first place; the email claims that Snopes said something, that wasn't really said — except by the Propagandist. The proof is in the pudding: Read the Snopes report.

In vetting evidence, whenever there is an allegation that something has been said, objective observers will immediately look for a quote with "quotation marks," and a reference where the quote came from. The Straw-Man Misrepresentation was created when the Propagandist put words in Snopes's mouth:
"Snopes said the email was false and there were no such dockets."

This is such a sloppy presentation on the part of the Email Propagandist: First, Snopes never said "there were no such dockets," and second, what Snopes described as "false" was a specific statement: Such is their consistent format — Snopes uses the descriptions of "TRUE" or "FALSE" in regard to specific Assertions found at the first of every article. So on this particular issue, Snopes declared the verdict of "FALSE" to this Assertion:

"President Obama nominated Elena Kagan for the U.S. Supreme Court as a reward for her help in getting nine challenges to his eligibility dismissed."

By reading the Snopes report, fair-minded people can confirm that this general Assertion was never made: "Snopes said the email was false" — instead, this statement was asserted by the Propagandist.

Here are Four 4 RED FLAGS that undercut the Credibility of the Accusing Email:

           1 - The author of the email is unidentified -- RED FLAG.
          
 2 - The email fails to cite any references to back assertions — RED FLAG
           
3 - The email makes empty accusations like "Snopes lied"
                by failing to give any Evidence to back them — RED FLAG
           
4 - Finally, the anonymous author doesn't know how to spell the first name
                of the President of the United States — RED FLAG

There seems to be a constant stream of misinformation floating about the Internet. For me, whenever I see an email with FWD in the Subject Heading, that's a RED FLAG. We've all received hundreds of these emails that end with words like: If you love Mom, Apple Pie, and the U.S. Constitution, forward this email to Everyone You Know! But If who don't care about Family, Faith, and Country enough to FORWARD this email, may you rot in Hell — that's a typical ending for most Email Propaganda.

The Internet is a propaganda pipeline where people on the Right and the Left are dumping tons of misinformation into an online cesspool.

In summary, the Propaganda Email gave no Evidence to back its claims; instead of Evidence, only Assertions were given — unsubstantiated statements like:

"It is well know fact that they (Snopes) are very liberal on political stuff and I have never once seen them not refute any neg stories about the weasel (Barack Obama)."

"We've known that it (Snopes) is owned by a lefty couple but hadn't known it to be financed by Soros! Snopes is heavily financed by George Soros, a big time supporter of Obama!"

When a case cannot be made on the merits of Evidence, then a common tactic of Propaganda is to Smear the Messenger. On this issue about Obama, Kagan, and Dockets, Snopes is the Messenger that double-checked the Evidence and reported a fact-based conclusion that ran contrary to someone's political preference — BUT the Snopes report did NOT run contrary to the Evidence.

Because the Propagandist couldn't really make a case on the Merits of the Message, the propagandist decided to Smear the Messenger — but the Smear was Smoke and Mirrors from the start. Yes, there are nine Supreme Court Dockets that anyone can find through an internet search: Dockets that have Elena Kagan and Barack Obama's name on them, but none of those Docket are about Barack Obama's Birth Certificate and Eligibility to be President.

First Principle of Propaganda: the Big Lie!

The primary way Propaganda is spread is through an approach called "the Big Lie" — which entails ASSERTING, with bold audacity, an Idea beneficial to a political cause. The Big Lie is a propaganda technique used by Hitler who maintained: "The great masses will more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a small one."

In spreading the Big Lie an ASSERTION need not be backed by Evidence. Why? Because Propagandists know two things:

           1) Most people are too busy to double-check the validity of an assertion.
           2) If the Assertion happens to fit a political bias, then biased-ideologues will want to believe it,                 regardless of a lack of supporting Evidence.

Sorting through information to support an existing prejudice is HOW most people think. That is why the Father of American Psychology said this:

"A great many people think they are thinking, when they are
really just rearranging their prejudices."

~ William James 

In the United States of America, every citizens is afforded the Constitutional Right of "due process." In this country due process begins with the presumption of innocence. The means that the owners and operators of Snopes, David and Barbara Mikkelson, are INNOCENCE of Liberal Bias until proven guilty. On this issue about Barack Obama and Elena Kagan, the accusers failed to meet their burden of proof — they failed to show Evidence of Liberal Bias on the part of Snopes.

Three Fact-Checking Websites confirm that the Barbara and David Mikkelson demonstrate no Liberal Bias in doing their research at Snopes:

The fact-checking website "TruthOrFiction.com" has vetted claims about Snopes, and concluded that the following Assertion is "FICTION" --
"Snopes.com is a secret tool of the Democratic Party to promote Barack Obama"

The fact-checking website "UrbanLegends.com" has vetted claims about Snopes and concluded that the following is an "Email Rumor" --
"Forwarded email alleges that the urban legend debunking site Snopes.com is 'owned by a flaming liberal' who is 'in the tank for Obama' and can't be trusted to provide reliable information."

According to the fact-checking website "FactCheck.org," David Mikkelson was a registered Republican in 2000, and Barbara Mikkelson is an apolitical Canadian — these are the owners/researchers of Snopes. The claim that George Soros funds Snopes is an unfounded rumor that is FALSE.

Four years ago, I personally began researching the controversy surrounding the Barack Obama Birth Certificate. During my Ph.D. studies in Social Psychology, I learned HOW to objectively observe the social world. So when I begin research, I DON'T BEGIN WITH a "hoped for" political agenda — I simply examine the evidence and LET IT GO where it will.

Here's my research about Barack Obama's Birth Certificate,
and here's a few facts that are unique to my analysis:

I have thoroughly examined the logistics of traveling from Hawaii to Kenya and back -- more than 24,000 miles of traveling. I've discovered lots of logistical problems with flying from Hawaii to Kenya in 1961. Among other problems that could be mentioned, here's three logistical problems:

1) Cost: adjusting for inflation, it would cost about $13,000 in today's dollars for 2 round trip tickets. Barack Sr. and Stanley Ann Dunham were both students at University of Hawaii at Manoa.

2) There was no Airport in Mombasa, Kenya in 1961. Barack Sr. and Stanley Ann would have had to fly into Nairobi, and then bus to Mombasa -- a city 300 miles east of Nairobi and in the opposite direction from Barack Sr.'s birth place, Kogelo-Nyang'oma (250 miles west of Nairobi). Did Barack Sr. & Stanley Ann really travel 12,000 miles to attend a Muslim Festival in Mombasa, OR would they travel 12,000 miles to visit family in Kogelo-Nyang'oma?

3) Pan Am did not have flights into Nairobi, Kenya. So Barack and Stanley Ann would have needed to make arrangements to transfer to BOAC in either London or Paris.

I've received many emails from angry Birthers because of my article, an article that simply seeks to find the facts. On this issue, I could care less about which Political Cause wins or loses. I want the the Facts to win — Truth matters.

Again, people who can't rebut an issue based upon Evidence, will resort to Attacking the Messenger. My website get hundreds of visits a day on the Obama-Birth-Certificate Article, and I get a regular flow of "hate mail" from political partisans who have called me a "liberal" and accused me of being "In the tank for Obama" — but these Accusers DON'T KNOW ME FROM ADAM.

If I'm a "liberal" and "In the tank for Obama" then explain why I would make hundreds of campaign calls in support of Mitt Romney's presidential campaign? And explain why I am one of the Administrators at the Facebook Group: I Stand with Mitt Romney?

So why would I write an article that draws the conclusion that there is NO CREDIBLE EVIDENCE to show that Barack Obama was born in a foreign country? Why would I draw that conclusion?

        1) Truth Matters! Honesty is more important to me than Ideology
        2) To assert a "politically motivated" conclusion — when the Facts say otherwise — is dishonest.
        3) I am a trained Behavioral Scientist and I LET THE FACTS go where they will,
              I let the EVIDENCE say . . . what it will say.

Sincerely,

Matt Moody, Ph.D.
Social Psychologist
ChangingYourStripes.com

Below is a copy of a Forwarded Email I received. I've highlighted certain words that illustrate how Anonymous Propagandists simply ASSERT Misinformation, and then fail to back it with Evidence:

* * * * * * *
 
Subject: Fw: Snopes no More

Well well well ... I knew that Snopes was run by a couple in the San Fran area, BUT did not know George Soros was the money behind it !!??

Most of us have gone to Snopes for verify information that we were not sure about.

Personally I have always wondered who they are, where do they get their funding from, who are the staff, where are they located and perhaps most importantly what database are they linked into to get all of this information that everyone else on the Internet would have a very difficult time finding or verifying.

Now, come to find out, Snopes is not the paragon of truth we thought it was and it is funded by the biggest power-monger and control freak in the world today.

I guess Snopes could have said "Uh-oh, we've been outed". Not likely. It is well know fact that they are very liberal on political stuff and I have never once seen them not refute any neg stories about the weasel.

They may have accurate info on issues like computer viruses etc but when it comes to anything political they are decidedly left and liberal and not to be trusted with any opinions about anything political.

Snopes is heavily financed by George Soros !

Many of the emails that I have sent or forwarded that had any anti Obama in it were negated by Snopes.

Snopes, Soros and the Supreme Court's Kagan. We-l-l-l-l now, I guess the time has come to check out Snopes! Ya' don't suppose it might not be a good time to take a second look at some of the stuff that got kicked in the ditch by Snopes, do ya'?

In our Search for the truth department, we find what I have suspected on many occasions. I went to Snopes to check something about the dockets of the new Supreme Court Justice.

Snopes said the email was false and there were no such dockets. So I Googled the Supreme Court, typed in Obama and Kagan, and guess what? Yep, you got it; Snopes Lied! Everyone of those dockets are there.

Referencing the article about Elena Kagan and Barak Obama dockets: The information you have posted stating that there were no such cases as claimed and the examples you gave are blatantly false. I went directly to the Supreme Court's website, typed in Obama Kagan and immediately came up with all of the dockets that the article made reference to.. I have long suspected that Snopes really slants things but this revelation is really shocking.

That being said, Ill bet you didn't know this. Kagan was representing Obama in all the petitions to prove his citizenship. Now she may help rule on them. Folks, this is really ugly.

Now we know why Obama nominated Elana Kagan for the Supreme Court. Pull up the Supreme Courts website, go to the docket and search for Obama. She was the Solicitor General for all the suits against him filed with the Supreme Court to show proof of natural born citizenship. He owed her big time. All of the requests were denied of course. They were never heard.

It just keeps getting deeper and deeper, doesn't it? The American people mean nothing any longer. It's all about payback time for those who compromised themselves to elect someone who really has no true right to even be there.

Here are some websites of the Supreme Court Docket: You can look up some of these hearings and guess what? Elana Kagan is the attorney representing Obama!

http://www.supremecourt.gov/Search.aspx?FileName=/docketfiles/09-8857.htm
http://www.supremecourt.gov/Search.aspx?FileName=/docketfiles/09-6790.htm
http://www.supremecourt.gov/Search.aspx?FileName=/docketfiles/09-724.htm

If you are not interested in justice or in truth, simply delete.
However, if you hold sacred the freedoms granted to you by the U.S. Constitution, by all means, PASS it ON!

* * * * * * *

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the final analysis, the proof is in the pudding — the fruit is on the tree. Whether Snopes is politically bias or not is as easy as knowing that Apples grow on Apple Trees, and that Apples don't grow on Thorn Bushes. But why do some people think otherwise?

A great many people think they are thinking
when they are really just rearranging their prejudices.

- William James  

Detecting potential propaganda is really quite easy. Just remember Dr Matt's First Rule of Evidence:

Saying it . . . doesn't make it so!

To simply assert a claim without any evidence to back it, is to speak "vain babblings." True believers in Jesus live by this New Testament teaching:

But shun profane and vain babblings:
for they will increase unto more ungodliness.

(2 Tim. 2:16) 

The word "vain" derives from the Latin word "vanus" — meaning "empty." Empty Words are written and spoken every time we pass on ideas that have no credible evidence of being factual. True Followers of Christ will live by this Standard:

Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
(1 Thess. 5:21) 

Matt Moody, Ph.D.
Social Psychologist

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