Sunday, August 10, 2008

Just how crappy is Conservapedia?

No, that's not a rhetorical question. Just how crappy is the world's crappiest encyclopedia? Pretty crappy, it turns out. In a solar-flare-sized burst of irony, Conservapedia actually accuses Wikipedia of being "anti-intellectual."

In looking up stuff for my previous post about Conservapedia, I poked around a bit. The John McCain article is reasonably level-headed, if not balanced. There's nothing in there that's particularly kook-worthy.

Oh, but just take a look at the Barack Obama article. It's not just biased, it's spittle-flecked, conspiracy-mongeringly, unhinged. Here are some of the good bits, with the craptastic segments bolded.

Barack Hussein Obama, Jr. (allegedly born in Honolulu, August 4, 1961) is the presumptive 2008 nominee of the Democratic Party for president... In 2007, Obama was the most liberal Senator. If elected, Obama would be the first Affirmative Action President.

You have to love the subtle Muslim-baiting in the comment that he is only "allegedly" born in Hawaii. Kind of like commenting that John McCain is only allegedly not a shape-shifting alien come to steal Earth's water. The "most liberal Senator bit?" That's based on a conservative hit piece that cherry-picked votes, I can only suspect, deliberately to portray Obama as the most liberal Senator, just as they did to John Kerry last election. One of the "liberal" bills he voted for was the one to implement the 9/11 committee's suggestions. The "Affirmative Action President" comment is so blatantly racist, I just can't think of any way to respond.

Obama has declared himself to be a Christian, yet never replaced his Muslim name with a Christian one as many do, casting doubt on his politically self-serving claim.

See, he's not really a Christian, he just claims to be one for political reasons. More Muslim-baiting.

Obama wore an American flag lapel pin after 9/11, but later stopped wearing it without adequate explanation. Presumably it would have hurt him with anti-military campaign donors. Recently, he has begun wearing one again, for explained reasons, though it is likely a political pander.

How dare he change his choice in jewelry without getting permission first! Plus, his supporters hate the military. Continuing the Obama-hates-the-military theme:

Obama's campaign has been financed largely by leftist donors opposed to the war and to the American military in general. Obama has encouraged this by refusing to wear the customary flag on his lapel during appearances...

Note how his supporters are no longer "liberals" but "leftists." I'd be a "leftist," too, but my Che Guevara beret is in the wash.

In the context of sex, he quipped about his daughters, "if they make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby." Obama makes it clear if his daughters had an unplanned pregnancy, he would support terminating the life of his grandchild and it is undeniable that Michelle Obama agrees with that decision.

"Undeniable," you see. The conservatwats are apparently mind readers, to boot.

He has no clear personal achievement that cannot be explained as the likely result of affirmative action.


Nonetheless, he asserted that elements of sex education should be taught in kindergarten.

Wow, that sounds terrible! Perverted, even! Or maybe not. Crapapedia gives that statement without explanation or context. The citation it claims it comes from quotes Obama as saying this:

Nobody's suggesting that kindergartners are going to be getting information about sex in the way that we think about it ... If they ask a teacher 'where do babies come from,' that providing information that the fact is that it's not a stork is probably not an unhealthy thing.

The fact is that it's not inappropriate to talk to even preschool kids about where babies come from. The key is to do it in an age-appropriate manner. In about five seconds of internet searching, I found a number of family-oriented websites discussing how to do it. Here's the baby-hating, an excerpt from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Parenting a Preschooler, and something on

I wish I could remember where I read it, but it's been said that when liberals see something that's biased, they want to make it more accurate. When conservatives see something that's biased, they want to make it more conservative. Even if Conservapedia's thesis that Wikipedia is liberally biased were true, just piling on more bias, as they've done, isn't the answer. Conservapedia sells itself as a scholarly website, fit for teaching students. You don't get quality academic material by framing things you don't agree with in the most inflammatory way possible.

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