Well, I get lots of them actually. This one was a little different because it made claims about Snopes.com, a site I go to often, especially for, well, e-mails like I got today.
Part of the e-mail can be seen at the Urban Legends page on About.com, where I used to go for information, until their interface got slow and laden with pop-ups. Their verdict is that the e-mail is false as is the verdict of TruthorFiction.com, which is referred to in the e-mail.
Here’s what my e-mail contained that the ones on the sites didn’t:
Here’s what I have found:
Snopes was created in 1995 by Barbara and David Mikkelson, a California couple who met on the alt.folklore.urban newsgroup. The Mikkelsons also founded the San Fernando Valley Folklore Society, and were credited as the owners of the site until 2005. Barbara now works on the site full time, while David, a programmer, works on the site part time.
I too was somewhat suspect of their leftward bent given their take (or lack thereof) on several Obama stories. An example is their take on the Obama/Ayers connection as opposed to truthorfiction.com’s take on the same subject. Snopes tends to minimize the connection categorizing the rumor as a “Partial Truth” while http://www.truthorfiction.com does not downplay the connection at all, calling it a “Truth”, and in fact references a CNN (big surprise) expose of the two, as well as a Wall Street Journal article about their connection. Snopes not only does not reference either source cited above, but instead lists a quote from an Obama spokesman as it’s main source (obviously spin), leaving one to believe they are mere acquaintances. [NOTE: “truthorfiction.com had a link to the site in both instances above and the bold is mine.]
Read the difference for yourself.
Here’s another comparison of Snopes vs. Truthorfiction’s treatment of the email that has gone out regarding “Obama’s 50 lies”. Notice that Snopes often adds editorial comments favoring Obama on unproven statements, or even on proven ones where they say he is “taken out of context”.
First of all, there is no discernable left leaning trend at Snopes. At least, not that I could see. There are differences between the two sites, but not that much. The Obama-Ayers article at Snopes is essentially the same as at any fact checking site. TruthandFiction differ, largely because of a CNN story.
About the “Lies” e-mail, both say that there is truth and fiction in the circulating e-mail.
Second there is no connection between the owners of Snopes and Obama, or any left leaning entity. There may be one, but there is no physical link that I found.
I think both sites (as well as About.com) are pretty good. Use them all to get a complete picture.