So, comes there now the Conservapedia, a wiki-based conservative encyclopedia designed to compensate for a perceived liberal bias in Wikipedia. Let's do an A-B comparison. First, here's the first few paragraphs of the Wikipedia entry on Bill Clinton:
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton (born William Jefferson Blythe III on August 19, 1946) was the 42nd President of the United States, serving from 1993 to 2001. Before his presidency, Clinton served nearly twelve years as the 50th and 52nd Governor of Arkansas. Clinton was the third-youngest person to serve as president, after Theodore Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy.
During Clinton's presidency, the world continued to transition from the political order of the Cold War, and the United States experienced the longest period of economic expansion in its history. In 1998, he became the second president to be impeached by the United States House of Representatives. He was subsequently acquitted by the United States Senate and remained in office to complete his term. Clinton was a New Democrat politician and was mainly responsible for the Third Way philosophy of governance that came to epitomize his two terms as president.
Since leaving office, Clinton has been involved in public speaking and humanitarian work. He created the William J. Clinton Foundation to promote and address international causes, such as treatment and prevention of HIV/ AIDS and global warming. In 2004, he released a personal autobiography, My Life. His wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, is the junior United States Senator from the state of New York, where they both currently reside.
That seems like a fairly unbiased thumbnail account. How does Conservapedia do? Let's look:
William J. ("Bill") Clinton served as president of the United States from 1993-2001. Clinton never won a majority of the popular vote.
Clinton won in 1992 with 43% of the popular vote, capitalizing on public discontent with a weak economy. In his first two years in office, 1993 through 1994, Clinton failed at his massive attempt to "reform" health-care in the United States by some sort of government-backed universal health-care insurance, which would result in effective government control of the health care system. His approach consisted of appointing a planning committee with secret members to reshape this important sector of the economy. The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons successfully sued to force disclosure of the committee members and ultimately to defeat the program.
Clinton also signed into law the Violence Against Women Act, which opened the federal courts to claims of domestic disputes between men and women, which had always been handled under state rather than federal law. A key provision of this law was later ruled unconstitutional in United States v. Morrison.
In 1994, voters expressed their high disapproval of Clinton by giving a landslide victory to Republicans in Congress, where Republicans won 49.9% of the popular vote (compared to the Democrat's 44%). This event was tagged the "Republican Revolution," in which Republicans promised America reforms including term limits, persidential line-item veto, and a balanced budget. That ended much of Clinton's power. He was reelected with 49.2% of the popular vote against a weak Republican candidate in 1996 ( Bob Dole) and a weaker "populist" candidate, H. Ross Perot. The re-election of Clinton despite the demonstrated preference of the electorate in 1994 for Republican candidates may well be due to the electorate's preference for a divided government, in which the executive branch and the congress are representative of different parties. Clinton spent the remainder of his presidency combatting scandals. A special prosicutor was named to investigate Clinton for allegations of impropriety in the Whitewater real-estate scandal, an investment of Clintons in a failed real estate venture. Although nothing came out of this investigation, and it turned out that Clinton actually lost money on his investment, one of the results of the investigation was that the special prosecutor turned to investigating other Clinton activities, one of which (the Monica Lewinsky scandal) resulted in an impeachment trial. Bill Clinton managed to serve two terms without botching the prosecution of two wars, manipulating intelligence, engaging in a systematic program of torture, or mishandling the federal response to flooding of a major American city. Obviously, he is the devil incarnate. Clinton also attempted to use the American military to kill Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda, an action which was properly seen as a mere attempt to distract the nation from the Monica Lewisnky scandal.
Bill Clinton's wife, Hillary Clinton, has long sought to become president herself. She used her position of influence to obtain the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate without opposition in 2000, and was elected in this safely Democratic state. Reelected in 2006, she is now running for president in 2008.
Nah, no bias there, not that I can see. Just the facts, ma'am. Let's examine the opposition, and take a look at how these two competing reference sources do with George W. Bush. First, Wikipedia:
George Walker Bush (born July 6, 1946) is the 43rd and current president of the United States, inaugurated on January 20, 2001 and re-inaugurated on January 20, 2005.
Bush was first elected in 2000, following one of the closest and most controversial presidential elections in U.S. history. After a month of ballot recounts and court challenges in Florida, the Supreme Court ended the dispute with its final ruling of Bush v. Gore, handing the electoral college victory to Bush. Eight months into Bush's presidency in 2001, nineteen hijackers sponsored by al-Qaeda carried out the September 11, 2001 attacks. President Bush responded by announcing a "war on terrorism," which would become a central issue of his presidency. In early October 2001, he ordered the invasion of Afghanistan to overthrow the Taliban and attempt to destroy al-Qaeda. In March 2003, Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq, asserting that Iraq was in violation of UN Resolution 1441 regarding weapons of mass destruction. Following the invasion of Iraq, Bush stated his policy of promoting democracy in the Middle East, starting with Afghanistan and Iraq.
Running as a self-described "war president" in the midst of the Iraq war, Bush won re-election in 2004 after a heated general election campaign against Senator John Kerry in which President Bush's prosecution of the "war on terrorism" and the Iraq war became central issues. Matters concerning Bush's execution of the war on terrorism such as the Iraq War, the Guantánamo Bay and Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse scandals, and related domestic controversies such as NSA warrantless surveillance activities and the federal response to Hurricane Katrina would become some of the most controversial issues of Bush's presidency.
Bush is often referred to by the nickname "Dubya", playing on his Southern pronunciation of the letter W.
Weird the way liberals craftily obscure their biases behind a veneer of fact after fact. Let's check Conservapedia now:
Is the president of the United States of America. Republican. Was awared the office of President by a narrow decision of the U.S. Supreme court in 2000 in a disputed election race against Democratic candidate Al Gore. In 2004, George W. Bush won reelection by a popular margin of millions of votes, including a landslide victory in the State of Florida where the outcome had been so close in 2000. Democratic candidate John Kerry quickly conceded defeat the day after the election.
For many months after John Kerry conceded the outcome of the 2004 election to George W. Bush, some liberals continued to claim that the election had somehow been stolen by voter fraud. When Al Gore went on a speaking tour in 2006 to promote government controls over industry in the name of global warming, many liberal fans greeted him with the belief that he had actually won the election in 2000.
Son of president George H. W. Bush.
The current Bush administration is a Divided Government
It's worth noting that that's those are the sum totals of the entire Conservapedia entries on Bush and Clinton, while the Wikipedia entries go on for another 30 or more screens worth of material. Since Conservapedia's just starting out, I suppose we cannot hold that against them, but surely they're due some criticism for being so darned... well -- biased, aren't they?
The real problem, as so often is the case, is that conservatives believe that anything factual which they don't like, or don't agree with, or which contradicts their dogma and ideology is liberally biased, when actually it's simply the case that (for the most part) liberals tend to recognize facts when they see them. They may try to change the facts if they don't like what they see, but they don't pretend that they're other than they are. Reality doesn't have a liberal bias, liberals just know reality when they see it. Conservatives seem to have a problem with that.
Update: There's more on Conservapedia (which seems to be down right now), especially about its racial politics (racist, no surprise there) on Jack and Jill Politics. Read the comments there which have interesting information on the site's genesis as a project of Phyllis Schafly's Eagle Forum, and the authors of many of the entries (home-schooled high-school level conserva-kids and liberal pranksters, apparently).
hostile to science
lacking in empathy
lacking in public spirit
out of control
Thanks to: Breeze, Chuck, Ivan Raikov, Kaiju, Kathy, Roger, Shirley, S.M. Dixon
i've got a little list...
Steven Abrams (Kansas BofE)
Howard Fieldstead Ahmanson
Roger Ailes (FNC)
Alan Bonsell (Dover BofE)
Bill Buckingham (Dover BofE)
George W. Bush
Bruce Chapman (DI)
The Coors Family
William A. Dembski
Leonard Downie (WaPo)
John Gibson (FNC)
Fred Hiatt (WaPo)
James F. Inhofe
Philip E. Johnson
by Joel Pelletier
(click on image for more info)
Stephen C. Meyer (DI)
Judith Miller (ex-NYT)
Sun Myung Moon
Elspeth Reeve (TNR)
Martin Peretz (TNR)
Richard Mellon Scaife
Susan Schmidt (WaPo)
John Solomon (WaPo)
Richard Thompson (TMLC)
Bob Woodward (WaPo)
All the fine sites I've
Be sure to visit them all!!
Arthur C. Clarke
Daniel C. Dennett
Philip K. Dick
Stephen Jay Gould
"The Harder They Come"
Ursula K. LeGuin
The Marx Brothers
Michael C. Penta
Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger
"The Red Shoes"
"Singin' in the Rain"
Talking Heads/David Byrne
Hunter S. Thompson
"2001: A Space Odyssey"
If you read unfutz at least once a week, without fail, your teeth will be whiter and your love life more satisfying.
If you read it daily, I will come to your house, kiss you on the forehead, bathe your feet, and cook pancakes for you, with yummy syrup and everything.
(You might want to keep a watch on me, though, just to avoid the syrup ending up on your feet and the pancakes on your forehead.)
Finally, on a more mundane level, since I don't believe that anyone actually reads this stuff, I make this offer: I'll give five bucks to the first person who contacts me and asks for it -- and, believe me, right now five bucks might as well be five hundred, so this is no trivial offer.