Snopes is famous for its tendency to brand as “false” any “myth” with political implications adverse to Democrats, as long as they can find at least one person on the Internet who gets at least one minor detail wrong. Examples:
- No Snopes entry exists to confirm the true rumor that Al Gore falsely claimed to have taken initiative in creating the Internet, which in fact was created while Al Gore was in jr. high. However, a Snopes entry does exist to helpfully debunk the myth that he falsely claimed to invented it.
- No Snopes entry exists to confirm the true rumor that Geraldo Rivera was known as “Jerry Riviera” in his youth but changed his name to Geraldo Rivera to appeal to Hispanics. However, a Snopes entry does exist to helpfully debunk the rumor that his original name was “Rivers” rather than “Riviera,” and to debunk the allegedly existent rumor that Riv(i)era had no Hispanic heritage at all.
- No Snopes entry exists to confirm the true rumor that Annie Jacobsen had a disturbing flight in 2004 on which she believes she witnessed a terrorist dry run, a number of questions from which remain unanswered. However, a Snopes entry does exist to helpfully debunk the myth that Ms. Jacobsen’s concerns were “proven” to the satisfaction of everyone.
- No Snopes entry exists to confirm the true rumor that the Obama campaign employed at least one, and possibly two, former Fannie Mae executives as chief economic advisers. However, a Snopes entry does exist to helpfully debunk the rumor that he employed three.
- No Snopes entry exists to confirm or deny any of the specific allegations of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, who probably have more firsthand knowledge of the circumstances surrounding John Kerry’s service than either of the Mikkelsons do. However, a Snopes entry does exist to helpfully debunk all rumors that there is anything “fishy” about any of the medals in question.
- Too many other examples to count.
Each of the above examples offers a story with aspects of truth, and other minor details that either false or, in Jacobsen’s case, undetermined. This didn’t prevent the Snopemeisters from dropping F-bombs on almost all of these purported “myths,” which they branded not as “undetermined,” “partially true” or “not quite,” but simply as “false.”
In other cases, Snopes bends over backwards to uphold blatantly false rumors helpful to their cause. For example, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, race-baiters falsely accused a racist Associated Press of having described white looters as having “found” their loot while accusing an innocent black finder of “looting” his. In reality, one photographer affiliated with the A.P. had truthfully documented one incident where an individual had in fact looted a store, while another photographer affiliated with AFP (which, contrary to the race-baiters who sparked this rumor, stands for Agence France-Presse, not “Associated F***ing Press”) had truthfully described a different incident in which a group of people didn’t enter a store at all but found some food items floating in the street. So how did Snopes save this grossly false rumor and brand it anyway as true? Easy: reword the false rumor to make it merely disingenuous rather than technically false: “Photograph captions describe a black man “looting” and a white couple “finding” supplies in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.” Which makes it every bit as true as “newspapers describe white man as saving lives and black man as ending them,” provided you can find at least one article in the world about a paramedic who happens to be white and one about a murderer who happens to be black. Similarly, when an obviously phony “How to be a Good Wife” hit the net, Snopes discovered “fake but accurate” and labeled the story “undetermined” rather than “false” because one of its three supposed sources really did write other stuff that Snopes finds offensive. More recently, during the past campaign season, Snopes somehow managed to rationalize that Obama’s profession of “my Muslim faith” was false, as he had obviously misspoken, but McCain’s definition of the “middle class” as including everyone earning up to $5 million was true, even though he was even more obviously joking.
Today’s entry on Obama bumper sticker layoff continues their disingenuous trend by discussing a rumor that is almost certainly 100% false, but omitting the usual “status” heading to identify it as such. You have to read the entire entry from top to bottom to figure out that this rumor is false, and even then, you’re left wondering whether it really is false, or if some employer somewhere really did send out the memo in question, and they just haven’t figured out who. By that reasoning, no rumor could ever be described as “false.” No matter how many obviously false documents one may uncover, one could never be 100% certain that another, reliable document is floating out there, somewhere. For all we know, maybe Al Gore really did falsely claim to have personally “invented” the Internet, just not in that particular Wolf Blitzer interview everybody quotes. Or maybe in that very interview, during the commercial break while the mic was off, he turned to Wolf and said “Yeah, I created the Internet. In fact, I personally invented it! Yeah, that’s the ticket! Don’t ask me about that on the air, though; the American people may not be ready for it.” Can anyone really be sure that this didn’t happen? Even if it didn’t, it’s no further than the truth from the notion that the obviously forged “How to be a Good Wife” is a fake-but-accurate compilation of stuff one of its three purported sources was supposedly peddling at the time.