Thursday, March 12, 2009

Who's Checking Snopes?

Many of you are watch dogs of the internet.  I post something controversial, and before I can view the post, I get five e-mails telling me that Snopes says it ain't so.  My response has always been, "Who's checking Snopes?"  I learned through experience, the internet can be a real unreliable source of information.  I try and use good judgement and good research to compensate for these shortcomings.  Someone sent me this article confirming my suspicions.  I'll bet Snopes says, "It ain't so."

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

But for several years people tried to find out who exactly was behind 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 claiming to have the bottom line facts to certain questions or issues, 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.

When I saw that Snopes had falsely claimed that Obama's Birth Certificate had been properly validated, I realized something was wrong with either their research and/or their credibility. It seems something is seriously wrong with both.

Then 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  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.  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 ever contacted anyone with State Farm. Yet 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 Democrat 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 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.


Is sloppiness in speech caused by ignorance or apathy? I don't know and I don't care.
William Safire