Update: NY Times and CNN do glorifying “damage control” pieces interviewing Snopes when they see the Sh*t is about to hit the fan. NY Times lost any credibility they had left with me after their “fake news” piece. See in second video below.
After the Snopes story broke about one of the founders embezzling nearly $100,000 to use on prostitutes and himself, and the claim (with pretty solid sources) he married one, I assumed some big publications would pick it up.
And pick it up they did; Forbes did a piece the next day (they seem to be the only mainstream source willing) and wow, I’m impressed.
The story starts off typical enough and states how Snopes is so well trusted by doctors and experts- the usual mumbo jumbo. But then, it takes a swift turn. Forbes doesn’t just question Snopes- they go much further- especially after receiving Snopes’ replies. The writer seemed to finally understand that the Snopes folks aren’t the gods of truth, even though they’ve anointed themselves as such.
The author admitted that he once thought Snopes was so awesome and accurate, but no longer.
I love it that after blindly trusting Snopes for years, even Forbes journalists can (duhhh) see the light!
From the Forbes piece:
“Thus, when I reached out to David Mikkelson, the founder of Snopes, for comment, I fully expected him to respond with a lengthy email in Snopes’ trademark point-by-point format, fully refuting each and every one of the claims in the Daily Mail’s article and writing the entire article off as “fake news.”
It was with incredible surprise therefore that I received David’s one-sentence response which read in its entirety “I’d be happy to speak with you, but I can only address some aspects in general because I’m precluded by the terms of a binding settlement agreement from discussing details of my divorce.”
This absolutely astounded me. Here was the one of the world’s most respected fact checking organizations, soon to be an ultimate arbitrator of “truth” on Facebook, saying that it cannot respond to a fact checking request because of a secrecy agreement.”
Every day, “skeptics” tell me they trust Snopes. But I think they need to learn to be much (MUCH) more skeptical.
The article continues:
“When I presented a set of subsequent clarifying questions to David, he provided responses to some and not to others. Of particular interest, when pressed about claims by the Daily Mail that at least one Snopes employee has actually run for political office and that this presents at the very least the appearance of potential bias in Snopes’ fact checks, David responded “It’s pretty much a given that anyone who has ever run for (or held) a political office did so under some form of party affiliation and said something critical about their opponent(s) and/or other politicians at some point. Does that mean anyone who has ever run for office is manifestly unsuited to be associated with a fact-checking endeavor, in any capacity?”
That is actually a fascinating response to come from a fact checking organization that prides itself on its claimed neutrality. Think about it this way – what if there was a fact checking organization whose fact checkers were all drawn from the ranks of Breitbart and Infowars? Most liberals would likely dismiss such an organization as partisan and biased. Similarly, an organization whose fact checkers were all drawn from Occupy Democrats and Huffington Post might be dismissed by conservatives as partisan and biased. In fact, when I asked several colleagues for their thoughts on this issue this morning, the unanimous response back was that people with strong self-declared political leanings on either side should not be a part of a fact checking organization and all had incorrectly assumed that Snopes would have felt the same way and had a blanket policy against placing partisan individuals as fact checkers.”
I hope that other news outlets will follow. I’d love to see the full truth about these people come to light. And it should if they are going to be the gatekeepers of truth.
Despite my wishes, I won’t hold my breath. I don’t think though that Snopes will ever try again to ‘debunk’ me by ‘correcting’ my TRUE info with their false info. They have done so in the past but I quietly (joke) corrected their story AFTER I called them out in a Youtube video.
I didn’t receive an apology and doubt they’ll give one for their latest fiasco.
I don’t care what the Snopes founder spends his money on, or the drugs, the alleged embezzlement or prostitution.
I just don’t think that Snopes (or anyone) should be the fact checkers for “fake news”. We are all smart enough to do our own homework and shouldn’t have to run to one site to see if something is “true or false”. If we don’t know how to check facts then we need to learn- not hand that job over to someone else. It’s a dangerous slippery slope.
Snopes had a long run of over 20 years of biased stories. Here’s hoping that run has come to an end.