Unethical Website Of The Month: Bye-Bye Snopes…You’re Dead To Me Now [UPDATED 10/12/2016]

bye bye

Ethics Alarms has been tracking the increasing political bias exhibited by Snopes, once the definitive “Urban Legends” web source to identify false stories on the internet, e-mail hoaxes and other pollution of public information. The website has made the disastrous decision to wade into political topics and to hire some new social justice warriors and wanna-be Democratic Party operatives to cover them, resulting in the site becoming a bad imitation of PolitiFact.

The disturbing trend really established itself this month, but it was in evidence earlier. For example, Snopes rushed to defend Hillary Clinton when the story of her defense of a child rapist was used to smear her. (Ethics Alarms explained, correctly, unlike Snopes, what was unethical about the attacks on Clinton—all defendants deserve a zealous defense, no matter what the charge, and a lawyer isn’t endorsing or supporting a client’s crimes by doing her professional duty.) The Snopes defense, in contrast, was dishonest and misleading. Quoth Snopes, via its primary left-biased reporter, Kim LaCapria.

Claim: Hillary Clinton successfully defended an accused child rapist and later laughed about the case.

MOSTLY FALSE

WHAT’S TRUE: In 1975, young lawyer Hillary Rodham was appointed to represent a defendant charged with raping a 12-year-old girl. Clinton reluctantly took on the case, which ended with a plea bargain for the defendant.

WHAT’S FALSE: Hillary Clinton did not volunteer to be the defendant’s lawyer, she did not laugh about the the case’s outcome, she did not assert that the complainant “made up the rape story,” she did not claim she knew the defendant to be guilty, and she did not “free” the defendant.

Notice that the TRUE and FALSE sections don’t match the claim. That’s because Snopes is playing the logical fallacy game of moving the goalposts and using straw men. The claim, as stated by Snopes, is 100% true.

Clinton did successfully defend her client; very successfully, in fact. Getting a beneficial plea bargain that is the best outcome a client can hope for is a successful defense. LaCapria is displaying her ignorance. Acquittal isn’t the only successful defense outcome.

Clinton also laughed about the case. What would you call this? ( from FactCheck.org)

In 2014, the Washington Free Beacon published the audio of an interview that Arkansas reporter Roy Reed conducted with Clinton in the 1980s. In the interview, Clinton recalls some unusual details of the rape case, and she can be heard laughing in three instances, beginning with a joke she makes about the accuracy of polygraphs.

Clinton: Of course he claimed he didn’t. All this stuff. He took a lie detector test. I had him take a polygraph, which he passed, which forever destroyed my faith in polygraphs. [laughs]

At another point, Clinton said the prosecutor balked at turning over evidence, forcing her to go to the judge to obtain it.

Clinton: So I got an order to see the evidence and the prosecutor didn’t want me to see the evidence. I had to go to Maupin Cummings and convince Maupin that yes indeed I had a right to see the evidence [laughs] before it was presented.

Clinton then said that the evidence she obtained was a pair of the accused’s underwear with a hole in it. Clinton told Reed that investigators had cut out a piece of the underwear and sent the sample to a crime lab to be tested, and the only evidence that remained was the underwear with a hole in it.

Clinton took the remaining evidence to a forensic expert in Brooklyn, New York, and the expert told her that the material on the underwear wasn’t enough to test. “He said, you know, ‘You can’t prove anything,’” Clinton recalled the expert telling her.

Clinton:I wrote all that stuff and I handed it to Mahlon Gibson, and I said, “Well this guy’s ready to come up from New York to prevent this miscarriage of justice.” [laughs]

That is certainly laughing about the case. Then Snopes tries equivocation, saying that Clinton didn’t laugh about the outcome of the case. I see: she laughed (three times!) while talking about the case, but wasn’t laughing about the case’s outcome, just…the case.

Ridiculous.

Similarly ridiculous is Snopes’ claim that Hillary “did not assert that the complainant ‘made up the rape story.'”  She pleaded that her client was not guilty, meaning that she argued in court that he didn’t rape the victim. Hillary claimed that her client was not guilty of rape while the victim was saying he raped her. Again from FactCheck.org:

Clinton filed a motion to order the 12-year-old girl to get a psychiatric examination. “I have been informed that the complainant is emotionally unstable with a tendency to seek out older men and engage in fantasizing … [and] that she has in the past made false accusations about persons, claiming they had attacked her body,” according to an affidavit filed by Clinton in support of her motion.

Clinton also cited an expert in child psychology who said that “children in early adolescence tend to exaggerate or romanticize sexual experiences and that adolescents with disorganized families, such as the complainant’s, are even more prone to such behavior,” Clinton wrote in her affidavit.

If Snopes is arguing that Hillary didn’t use the precise words ‘made up the rape story,’ that’s deceit. Obviously her defense was that the child said there was rape when there wasn’t one. In the meme Snopes was using in its post, “made up” is reasonable short hand for “falsely claimed that she was raped.”

Contrary to Scopes’ denials, Hillary also made it clear, in her quotes in the interview, that she thought her client was guilty. What else could “I had him take a polygraph, which he passed, which forever destroyed my faith in polygraphs” mean?

No, she didn’t volunteer for the case, and saying that she “freed” him is self-evidently sloppy in describing any criminal defense representation. Judges, juries and prosecutors free defendants; no defense lawyer has that power. Did Clinton’s efforts on behalf of the rapist make him a free man long, long before he would have been without Clinton’s efforts? Unquestionably. He was sentenced to just one year in a county jail and four years of probation, according to the  final judgment signed by the judge.

Conclusion: Snopes was dishonestly spinning for Hillary, even though what she had done in this case was simply competent lawyering, and entirely honorable.

As I explained here, there was nothing wrong, unethical or hypocritical about Clinton’s work in this case. Her laughter in the interview is a little unsettling, but Hillary’s laughter is often unsettling. She did her job as a defense lawyer, ethically, and well. The accusation that what she did was unethical is ignorant, but Snopes’ deceitful and misleading denial of what she did is just partisan spin.

In June, Snopes decided that the outrageous news story about a school calling the police to grill a fourth grader about something he said at a class party warranted undermining. After all, we can’t have people thinking that our schools abuse students based on hysterical political correctness and race-baiting.  Snopes then titled its post, dishonestly: “Police Called Over ‘Racist’ Brownies?”

No news reports claimed that the police were called because of the brownies. None. Police were called because a student made some statement about brownies that another student deemed racist, and the school staff called the police. It’s really easy to debunk a claim that was never made. Does the Snopes story prove that the story is false in any way? No. Why was it written then?

In July, we learned that the trend was no aberration. Snopes apparently felt that the inspiring Facebook post by officer Jay Stalien needed to be discredited, so it had LaCapria write this, which suggested by the inherent innuendo of presenting such a post on a hoax-exposure site that readers should be skeptical. The Stalien post expressed anti-Black Lives Matter sentiments. And Kim couldn’t prove that Stalien exists.

Come to think of it, I can’t prove that Kim exists.

When did Snopes start fact-checking Facebook opinion posts? It started when the site decided to choose sides, that’s when.

Last week, several sources, all so-called “conservative” news media, noted that the American flag was conspicuous by its absence on the set of the Democratic National Convention on its first day. Liberal media went into full-spin mode, scoffing at the criticism. Ethics Alarms concluded that the omission was intentional, at least to some extent:

…the Democratic Party has morphed into an organization that is increasingly dependent on the pleasure and approval of anti-American groups. The supporters of illegal immigration, some of whom advocate returning the Southwest to Mexico; angry black liberation movement activists, who regard the United States as a racist nation and culture; radical internationalists, who believe the United States should not only behave like “other first world nations,” but allow itself to be governed by them; progressives whose view of the United States, nourished by indoctrination in the public schools and colleges dominated by far left faculties, is relentlessly negative; growing numbers of socialists, anti-capitalists, anti-law enforcement activists and fans of soft totalitarianism—-these are increasingly the voting blocs that the professional politicians who  run the Democratic Party feel they must pander to and satisfy….These groups that the Democrats feel they have to prostrate themselves before don’t like the Constitution, free speech or the separation of powers; they don’t respect or care about democracy, as the conduct of the Democratic National Committee revealed in the leaked e-mails proved; they don’t honor the sacrifices of veterans in foreign wars; and they view the history of the United States as nothing better than a parade of  genocide and discrimination. The United States flag is affirmatively offensive to the Democrats’ core constituencies, so the Democratic Party has apparently decided that so few of its members or supporters have a genuine love of country and respect for its history that the central symbol of both is no longer welcome at its national celebration.

I believe my interpretation is valid. Flag imagery is so central to the history of political conventions that its sudden reduction by 2016 progressives could not have been a mere oversight.  Protests registered on Ethics Alarms from commenters arguing that “Democrats don’t care about symbolism” were belied by the recent Democrat-led efforts to purge the Confederate flag from the cultural scene, even to the extent of banning the sales of memorabilia and souvenirs bearing the symbol in Civil War battlefield gift shops, because of what it symbolized.

I also made two observations: Let’s see how many mainstream media journalists notice the missing flags, or care that they are gone” andIf there is sufficient criticism, watch how the DNC will suddenly make sure the flags re-appear, because forgetting to show the flag in a traditional celebration of American democracy is a mistake anyone could make.”

Observation #1 was borne out by the near total denial of the issue, or rationalization for it, in the mainstream media and from Democrats. My prediction, the second observation, came true by the second day of the convention, when more physical flags suddenly appeared.

Then Snopes, in full spin mode, issued a rebuttal of the no-flag observation, complete with a couple of photographs showing  when the flag appeared in digital form, a bunch of flags stuffed away somewhere, and a few individual Democrats in flag-themed garb. I expressed my skepticism about Snopes’ “proof.” It turned out that the rebuttal was worse than I suspected. The site was just busted by The Daily Caller, which checked the photos.

The DC’s findings: the photos offered by Snopes consisted of a screenshot from PBS’ coverage of day one, taken during the pledge of allegiance at the very beginning of the convention, before the physical flags were removed,  and a screenshot of C-SPAN’s day two coverage. Snopes falsely claimed that photo was from day one of the convention. Mallory Weggemann, the paralympic swimmer who gave Tuesday’s pledge of allegiance, is seen to the left of the C-Span logo, sitting in her wheelchair as the flag-bearers walk past her…

SnopesFlagsCSPAN-620x352

The verdict: Snopes lied. It deliberately presented a Day 2 photo as being taken on Day 1, because it was desperate to disprove the claims by “right wing sites” that the Democrats were minimizing the presence of the American flag.

That’s the end for Snopes. Even one example of bias-fed misrepresentation ends any justifiable trust readers can have that the site is fair, objective and trustworthy. Snopes has proven that it has a political and partisan agenda, and that it is willing to mislead and deceive its readers to advance it.

Can it recover? Maybe, but not without…

…Getting out of the political fact-checking business.

…Firing Dan Evon, who used the misleading flag photos, as well as Kim LaCapria.

…Confessing its betrayal of trust and capitulation to partisan bias, apologizing, and taking remedial measures.

With all the misinformation on the web, a trustworthy web site like Snopes used to be is essential. Unfortunately, a site that is the purveyor of falsity cannot also be the antidote for it.

I’ll miss Snopes, but until it acknowledges its ethics breach and convinces me that the site’s days of spinning and lying were a short-lived aberration, I won’t be using it again.

UPDATE (10/12/16): Popehat’s estimable Ken White has finally written about the Clinton rape defense, no doubt because the victim in the case has been recruited by the Trump campaign, and makes most of the same points I have, earlier and above. The representations of Clinton’s critics are largely accurate, but their assertion that Clinton’s conduct was wrongful is largely mistaken, based on a mistaken view of the legal profession.  Snopes, intent on running interference for Hillary, spins to deny the facts of her representation rather than explaining that she was just doing her job, and well at that. Ken does make an important  legal ethics point that I never flagged that was Hillary’s one major breach in the case. In her radio interview, she breached her duty of confidentiality by suggesting that she thought her client was guilty. Ken writes:

Clinton just suggested that she believed her client did what he was accused of, and a fair inference is that her belief may be premised in part on her confidential communications with him. That’s a violation of her ethical obligations of loyalty and confidentiality, and it’s not goddamn funny. It’s completely inappropriate. It’s easing her ethical duty to the former client in order to get a laugh line in an interview. The fact that it’s common for attorneys to put their egos ahead of their obligations to the client doesn’t make it right.

Snopes, meanwhile, is apparently still spinning for Clinton, or so I’m told. I’m never going back there, and I have to rely on the accounts of others.

210 thoughts on “Unethical Website Of The Month: Bye-Bye Snopes…You’re Dead To Me Now [UPDATED 10/12/2016]

  1. I don’t believe a word, a comma, or a period, stated by snopes !!
    What ever they state is a lie and is ALWAYS slanted to help hilLIARy !!!!

  2. And now the biased Snopes will ‘factcheck’ for Facebook. Get your news from a variety of sources – right and left, old and new media, domestic and foreign, and question everything using critical thinking and reasoning. Never learned how? Take a basic class (online or classroom) and teach/mentor youth to do the same.

  3. I’ve also found Kim LaCapria to be unreliable. But Snopes is nonetheless a valuable resource, on the whole. Very few journalists or news sources are perfect. “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone…” Hillary Clinton has decades of public service to comb through for faults. But one must balance people’s, and websites’, failings against their virtues. Apart from her tenure as Secretary of State, she has done mostly good. And the dominant broadcast media are far less trustworthy than Snopes.

    • I hope you know this makes no sense at all. As I said, an fact-checking organization that spins, lies and misrepresents facts for an agenda is useless, because it can’t be relied upon as a trustworthy source. That’s how trust works, you know. “We can trust Snopes, it only lies sometimes.” It doesn’t occur to you that this is nonsense? “We can trust my doctor, he’s only wrong SOMETIMES.”

      You can’t set yourself up as an authority that people use to settle arguments in you publish a piece like the Clinton garbage, and let it stand. Has Snopes acknowledged a mistake? Fired the writer, who was spinning for Hillary? Apologized? Issued a correction? No, no, no, no. Then it can’t be trusted.

      And this–-“Hillary Clinton has decades of public service to comb through for faults. But one must balance people’s, and websites’, failings against their virtues. Apart from her tenure as Secretary of State, she has done mostly good.” Even if this were true (and it’s not), so what? If you think this is relevant to the issue at hand, then you are saying that it’s OK for a FACT CHECK SITE to lie and spin to for a politician who “has done mostly good.” WRONG. It’s never OK. Then you line up three rationalizations in a row. Check the list. I bet you can find them.

  4. The thing about Hillary defending a child rapist isn’t the fact that she defended one, or even that she laughed about how inaccurate polygraph tests are, but the fact that she found any of it even remotely amusing.

    She didn’t show any disgust or remorse at having to be a public defender for some child molester, as was her duty at the time. In fact, I highly doubt she even tried to convinced him to plead guilty. Hillary’s whole demeanor was that she didn’t give a shit and thought the whole ordeal was real chuckle worthy – perhaps this is common among lawyers, idk, but it’s no less reprehensible.

    To me that’s the behavior of a cold, uncaring sociopath.

    • You’re a complete IDIOT. Public defenders don’t get to pick and choose their cases.They all have to defend rapists at some time, that’s a fact.

    • Your comment is exactly why the snopes article exists. Everything you said is plain wrong. She didn’t have an ‘uncaring attitude’, and it would be unethical if not against the law for her to urge a client to plead guilty. She didn’t laugh about the case, she laughed sadly because the polygraph test failed to prove he lied.

      • WHAT? Lawyers often urge clients to plead guilty when it is in their best interests to do so. And laughing about the polygraph in the case is “laughing about the case.” Pathetic comment.

          • “it would be unethical if not against the law for her to urge a client to plead guilty.”…you said “A client,” dummy, not THIS client. And it is never “illegal” to tell a client to plead guilty. Yeah, I’m sure Snopes, if Hillary could benefit, would join you in arguing that when a lawyer laughs about a key aspect of a case, she isn’t laughing “about the case.” See, to be laughing about “the case,” you must find the ENTIRE CASE funny.

            One more equally stupid retort and I’m banning you.

  5. No site, no matter how hard it tries, will be -100% unbiased..they can have that as their goal, be transparent so faults cab be called out, and press on.

    What would be great is to let any organization indicate their general satisfaction with these efforts. If I am a member of the Young Republicans and the leaders of the Young Republicans has indicated their general satisfaction with this fact/truth finding service, I will use it. The more endorsements and the greater diversity of these endorsements the better.

    Sounds like a plan..unfortunately implementing it will be a challenge. As Ceasars said, “And what is truth?” This balanced approach is woth a try.

  6. So your ethics point out that they can be political in any way even if poiting out logical conclusions like say how Hilary proved so one innocent?
    And she just reported on the black dude and gave no opinion! You are doing what you accuse snopes of doing then hope no one looks at the links and hopes no one hopes notices your projection problems!

  7. “have been without Clinton’s efforts? Unquestionably. He was sentenced to just one year in a county jail and four years of probation, according to the final judgment signed by the judge.” which snopes mentions. How is that wrong. What?

    • The point is that Clinton guaranteed that he would be freed long before he would have been without her. That’s called helping to free a rapist…which Snopes says is untrue. It is true. Try to keep up.

  8. Congrats for flagging this long before the divorce and escapades of one Erin OBryn. As for convincing the progressive liberal brainwashed crowd that we saw in the 60s, forget it.

  9. I see just as much liberal lies debunked on snopes as I do conservative ones. Besides, with the whole rape case thing you have to look at the context. The statements being made were misleading, and were clearly made to give the impression that Clinton was happy defending a murderer.

    • So that justifies Snopes spinning and lying? Funny, I debunked the criticism of Clinton fr her defense without lying, because, see, I 1) know what I’m talking about 2) was not committed to protecting Clinton, but rather her profession and how she practiced it, and 3) am fair, honest and objective.

      Unlike Snopes. Stop excusing these hacks.

  10. Please. This was one of the least convincing attacks on a fact-checking site I have ever read. The Clinton rape defense claim is particularly silly. After reading the Snopes analysis of completely erroneous accounts of Clinton’s actions, I reached the same conclusion you did. Incidentally, as a lawyer, I can say without fear of contradiction that we laugh about cases involving the most unsavory of characters, even when we were deeply disturbed while the case was pending. As far as your friend’s claim that Clinton may have revealed a confidential communication, there is no evidence that this was so and the erroneous reports circulated about her defense never raised this issue, which is obviously why no fact-checking was done on this point.

    I think the Snopes account of the Brownie incident was biased. But not nearly as biased as your description, which said not a word about the real reason the police were called. A stupid policy unthinkingly instituted by a prosecutor’s office is not the same as ppplitical correctness run amok.

    On the Jay Stalien claim, Snopes responded because the post went viral. I urge anyone reading your claim to check the Snopes analysis, which reproduces the post in full, says nothing about its content, and raises the issue of whether Mr. Stalien exists because so many raised the issue. They did not comment on the veracity of his claims.

    Your claims concerning the American Flag were so completely over the top that I laughed. Right wing sites claimed that the DNC banned the display of American flags, an assertion that is too stupid to merit a response. I didn’t bother reading the Snopes account, because there were flags everywhere on the convention floor and flashed on the DNC screen.

    Is this the best anyone can do to attack Snopes? Your claims do a great disservice to rational discourse. There may be bias and sometimes Snopes may not get the facts right, but they strive to do so and perform a great public service. Your obnoxious and inaccurate screed just adds to the problem of misinforming the public.

    • “After reading the Snopes analysis of completely erroneous accounts of Clinton’s actions, I reached the same conclusion you did. Incidentally, as a lawyer, I can say without fear of contradiction that we laugh about cases involving the most unsavory of characters, even when we were deeply disturbed while the case was pending. As far as your friend’s claim that Clinton may have revealed a confidential communication, there is no evidence that this was so and the erroneous reports circulated about her defense never raised this issue, which is obviously why no fact-checking was done on this point.”

      1.You just contradict your own points here. Snope said she didn’t laugh “about the case.” They said she didn’t “free the rapist.” Etc. They were desperately spinning for her, and you respond by saying “we laugh about cases all the time.” Fine. But Snopes tried to argue that she didn’t, when she did.

      2. The flag point was neith right wing driven nor false. But the main point is that Snopes stooped to faking the photos. That’s fine with you, apparently. They were caught faking a photo because they couldn’t debunk the accusation. “Snopes may not get the facts right, but they strive to do so and perform a great public service.” Feel the same way about generally honest lawyers who manufacture evidence? In my field, legal ethics, once is enough to decide they are untrustworthy. Bars tend to agree, I apply thge same standards to fact-checking sites. Fake photo.

      3. “On the Jay Stalien claim, Snopes responded because the post went viral. I urge anyone reading your claim to check the Snopes analysis, which reproduces the post in full, says nothing about its content, and raises the issue of whether Mr. Stalien exists because so many raised the issue. They did not comment on the veracity of his claims.”

      Baloney. Find a viral anti-cop or BLM screed that Snopes similarly posted only to say that “some people question his existence.” The question was given credence by Snopes’ post. “We can’t confirm he exists.” That’s the message, and it’s a message by someone who wants to seed doubt, which it did. I was flagged on that post by someone who said, “Snopes doubts that he’s a real cop.” Mission accomplished.

      4. My “friend” is Ken White, a former federal proscutor and a First Amendment and legal ethics ace, and he’s 100% correct. What do you mean, “fact-checking”? She clearly implied that based on what she knew, her client lied. Can’t do that on a radio show: per se 1.6 violation. My view as an ethics expert as well, and I received agreement from three Bar ethics counsel.

      Poor rebuttal, counselor. But if you’re representing Snopes, it’s probably the best you can do.

      • I urge anyone reading the reply to my post to read the actual Snopes fact-checks and decide for yourself whether I was fair in criticizing Mr. Marshall. You can start with this one. For the others, you may have to check the news stories themselves to see my whole point.
        As far as Mr. Marshall’s claim about Rule 1.6 is concerned, her comment was consistent with her client’s plea of guilty to fondling a child. You can also see that many of the erroneous reports claimed that she laughed at the light sentence her client received, which is false, and merited a response. The Snopes account describes the interview and the points Clinton laughed.
        I admit I never checked regarding the flag photo claims, primarily because the claim that the DNC banned displays of the American flag, which Snopes responded to, is so idiotic on its face that only a blind ideologue would swallow such a whopper.
        http://www.snopes.com/hillary-clinton-freed-child-rapist-laughed-about-it/

        • Mr. Boles,
          Your reply to Jacks 100% accurate reply is evidence that either you didn’t bother to read his reply or you’re incapable of comprehending his reply; which is it Mr. Boles?

          Personally I think you’re just a Snopes.com and a Clinton apologist.

      • Here’s the Jay Stalien post:
        http://www.snopes.com/2016/07/11/black-officer-jay-stalien-shares-views-on-race-and-policing/
        I cannot for the life of me understand the flag claim. I did not check to see if the photo claim was correct for a simple reason: flags were everywhere on Day 1 of the convention. After the opening prayer, for God’s sake, veterans marched onto the stage carrying flags before the convention began. The convention logo was flag-inspired, the colors red, white and blue. People were wearing Uncle Sam costumes. When Clinton came onstage, giant flags lined her entrance. People waved flags in the audience. The claim made on shitposts was that the DNC banned displays of the flag. I saw these posts and, of course, because God blessed me with eyes I knew the posts were false. I still have not double checked Mr. Marshall’s claim for a simple reason: if Snopes posted photos taken from Day 2, I assume they were mistaken, not lying, because any fool could see that the claim that the DNC banned displays of the flag just by searching the web. Or better, by watching the opening of the convention. Here’s the Snopes piece. Pay attention to the phony claim it rebutted: http://www.snopes.com/flags-banned-at-dnc/

        • I meant to say that any claim that “any fool could see that the claim that the DNC banned displays of the flag was wrong…”

        • They used a photo from the second day to prove flags were there on the first day. See, it doesn’t matter if they were right about the flags or wrong—they used fake evidenceto make their argument. Using fake evidence was the point of the post here…it’s the same in court, or in the police: its a major breach to manufacture evidence,and someone who does, lawyer, police officer, FBI agent, fact-checker—gets fired and loses the right to be trusted. Snopes is fired.

          • I don’t know if you’re right about the photos. Assuming you are, can’t you see that the likely explanation is that they erred? Is it really so hard for you to admit that the specific claim rebutted-that the DNC banned the display of flags-is false? I just checked the film of the DNC convention opening day. The convention starts with a prayer and the presentation of colors. Check the video at 29:46. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=W7-GbkAZclc

            • What? They used a photo from day #2 to “prove” that there were flags on day #1! The photo was clearly day #2 because a guest who was only there on the second day was visible. It’s a fact-checking site! That’s one hell of a fact not to check! That’s what you get when a biased site says “We can’t prove this is false, so we’ll have to fake something.” Multiple sources pointed it out…it’s never been acknowledged, taken down or apologized for….like a “mistake” would be. That’s how we know Snopes cheats, and that’s how we know it can’t be trusted.

              • Your argument is ridiculous. Anyone can quite easily prove that flags were on display on day 1. The video is online. The flag is also appears on each states sign. Of course Snopes could prove it is false, so could you. I notice that you didn’t bother. Why is that?

                I love the hypocrisy in your posts. You claim to be unbiased which is the first indication that bias is coming.

                • I am completely unbiased. I have no interest in the issue at all. And again, Snopes posted false evidence in the day-after photo—see, that’s lying. Whether Snopes could legitimately disproved the flag claim or not doesn’t matter to the issue of its integrity and trustworthiness. The post isn’t out to prove that Snopes was wrong, but that they are biased and dishonest, which they are beyond doubt. This distinction appears to be incomprehensible to Snopes defenders. Which is sad.

          • As I read it (and saw it contemporaneously on social media), the claim was that the DNC banned flags from the stage at the Democratic National Convention, without any distinction offered as to Day 1, Day 2, etc.

            In such a case, all that is required to falsify the claim is to show that flags were on display during the Convention. That’s it, and that’s what Snopes did in their article, so far as I can tell.

            • Sophistry and spin. The claim was made after day #1. I know, because that’s when I made it along with many others. The next day, because of the criticism, there was obviously an effort to move physical flags into view. Why are you intentionally muddling the facts like this?

              • The claim Snopes addresses (per the page itself) was that flags were *banned* from the DNC. Not that they were insufficiently present, or not present on one night and visible on others.

                Now, you could criticize Snopes for focusing too narrowly, I suppose, but that is a different argument.

                • So you justify Snopes because it used a straw man? Come on. Absent a smoking gun order, one could never prove the flags were banned. You could show they weren’t there, and make a reasonable assessment of why, which is what most critics did. The Democrats have a lot of supporters who don’t like the flag. Snopes didn’t try to show the flag wasn’t banned, it falsely showed that the flag was present when it wasn’t.

  11. Mr. Marshall will not let this go. Don’t take my word for this, particularly on the flag claim. Mr. Marshall reminds me of a young lady who overheard me debunking 9/11 claims against President Bush. “They found no aircraft debris outside the Pentagon,” she earnestly claimed. “That’s not true,”
    I replied. “Just check on your phone,” I said, returning to my conversation. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw her checking the web, where photos debunked her silly claim. If you don’t realize that the claim that the DNC banned the display of flags is equally silly (which anyone with common sense would realize even if he were physically blind), just play the tape of Day one of the convention.

    • Ha! You’re ducking the issue, because you’re trapped. The issue is snopes using fake evidence to try to disprove an assertion they couldn’t disprove fairly. They presented a photograph as something it wasn’t. That’s it for snopes. If it cared about facts, it would acknowledge the “mistake.” But it wasn’t a mistake. You’re playing straw man games. See the title on the post? Snopes. Not the convention or flags. My point is beyond denial: snopes faked evidence. Was the DNC light on flags on Day #1? I’ll argue that with someone who doesn’t fake evidence, thanks—another post. The issue is can snopes be trusted? The answer: no, they fake evidence, and you are avoiding admitting that fact.

    • Sounds like you would lose to the Wizard of Oz’s Scarecrow in a Scrabble game. Check the blog, jerk. And resorting to basele accusations of partisan bias as a substitute for an actual argument is the mark of dimwit who reasons by talking points. You’re banned. Don’t come back.

  12. Your bias is showing. You have used the pick and choose method to present your theory and many of your statements prove the “taken out of context” flavor of your article. How many attorneys have you NOT heard laughing about details of a case? Your article exhibits a state of denial.

    • You know, I’m still waiting for a non-idiotic comment making a logical rebuttal to the post. This sure isn’t it. Snopes, you moron, wrote that she DIDN’T laugh about the case. I pointed out the obvious: she did. The point is that Snopes was spinning, and trustworthy fact-checkers don’t spin. Nothing was taken out of context—I virtually quoted Snopes’ whole article. Again, I defended Hillary’s representation of the rapist, but defended it without trying to deny that facts, like Snopes did.

      Friendly advice: Learn to read, learn to think, learn how to accept facts that don’t comport with your partisan world view, stop being gullible, and stop polluting the web with your ignorance.

      • You must be exhausted. I’m tired just reading. Take heart though, that in a court of law, with a sharp judge, the outcome of this argument would be in your favor, Jack. Thank you for remaining diligent. Believe it or not, many can learn from this display.
        Deep breaths Jack. You are in the midst of an opportunity to practice the wise old adage, rephrased here for 21st century use, “Don’t bother with casting your pearls before swine.”

  13. Hi Jack,
    Considering this topic is still active, I thought I’d offer up another example of deliberate “misinformation” (lies) in a Snopes article. Again, the author was Kim LaCapria (as in the example I sent you on Oct. 23, in a comment earlier in this thread). Article here: http://www.snopes.com/2016/08/09/hillary-clinton-invited-orlando-shooters-father-to-florida-rally/

    The article concerns whether the Orlando nightclub shooter’s father was invited to a Hillary Clinton rally, where he appeared seated on the podium just behind her. The lead-in statement at Snopes says “…apparently neither the campaign nor Mrs. Clinton “invited” him to attend.” The last paragraph states “…neither party (Mateen or campaign) stated or implied that any invitation had been extended to him or accepted.”

    Problem is, if you look at the actual video from which the still picture at the top of the article is taken, Mateen, at time 1:59, clearly says “I was invited by democratic party”.
    Video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3z3LrOj3IL0 The reporter makes some rather clumsy tries at getting more details from Mateen, but his replies, including “as a member, I get invitation”, make no further clarification as to the exact type of invitation he might have received.

    Now, I doubt that the party sent him a SPECIAL private invitation because of his status relative to the nightclub shooter (although they may well have placed him in the podium camera shot as an “ethnic” supporter). But as not just a member of the party, but a known local donor, it’s not unlikely that he got some type of directed invitation such as an email or flyer. In any case, again contrary to what LaCapria wrote, Mateen clearly claims he WAS invited.

    I emailed Snopes twice with this info, but got no reply or saw any correction to the article. Witnessing the derision that followed recent announcements by some of the press on the intention to use them as part of the “Fake News” police, it seems that much of the public is now aware of Snopes’ inclination to bend the truth.

    Cheers,
    W

    • That’s similar to the Clinton rape representation story in this respect: Snopes is spinning something that doesn’t need spinning, but in its desperation to protect Hillary, slimes itself. So what if Matteen was invited? I thought that was a silly gotcha the first time I saw it. And as a donor, there’s no reason he shouldn’t have been invited, and again, so what? That’s all anyone has to say to “defend” Hillary. Instead, Kim, who really does seem to be an idiot, tries to twist the facts.

      Thanks.

    • That’s pretty thinly stretched. If you’re on a party org’s email or donor list, you get “invites” to events all the time. Stuff like “HILLARY TO RALLY TONIGHT IN [$CITY], COME SUPPORT HER!”

      According to the FEC, Mr. Mateen gave $275.00 to the DCCC spread out over 6 donations in February 2015 – one of $250 and five more of $5 each. There are no recorded individual donations by him to the Clinton campaign nor any other organization.

      • Did you read the above at all? None of your comment contradicts what William wrote. In any way. The point is that he was invited. Whether it was a mass invite doesn’t change the fact that Snopes’ denial is a lie. I wasn’t invited, for example. How am I different from Matteen’s father? he got an invitation, however generic, I did not. Hence he was invited. I don’t think it means anything that he was, but it means something that Snopes tried to deny it. It means Snopes can’t be trusted.

        • As far as I can see, Snopes was examining the claim that the Clinton campaign or DNC “invited” Mateen. The claim was quite clearly being made in an attempt to portray Clinton as somehow sympathetic to (or at least insufficiently scornful of) the nightclub shooter (and by extension Islamist killers and terrorists).

          The guy is apparently a bit of a flake (I mean, he ran for president of Afghanistan in absentia), so I wouldn’t take his statement that he was invited to mean much.

          A thought experiment: Say you throw a big party, and one of your invitees – a coworker – has an acquaintance tag along. You see the stranger with your coworker in the crowd, but in the rabble of keeping the beer cold and the hors d’oeuvres fresh, you don’t have time to talk to him.

          He doesn’t cause any trouble, so your attention is quickly diverted elsewhere. He has a few beers and some rumaki and takes off.

          At work on Monday, you ask your coworker about the guy, only to find out he’s a bit of a weirdo, and a Mafia associate to boot.

          QUESTION: Did you invite a mobster to your party?

          • @cowardicensandwiches
            You’re still going off into the weeds on this. Focus; it’s quite simple.

            LaCapria wrote:
            “…NEITHER party (MATEEN or campaign) STATED or implied that any invitation had been extended to him…”
            At 1:59 on the video, MATEEN STATES:
            “I was invited by democratic party”

            It really doesn’t even matter if Mateen was telling the truth or not, or any other supposition you might have about the incident. It was easy to confirm that he, in fact, DID state that he was invited, and LaCapria lied about it.

  14. The truth frees no one who feigns ignorance in the face of facts. A nervous laugh usually conveys discomfort. Some women and men have a nervous laugh due to discomfort. I recall listening to a recording of the Arkansas Judge who heard the case.

    Attorneys are sometimes assigned and compelled to cases, where there is no Public defender available. Attorneys are considered officers of the court, first. The judge indicated that Mrs. Clinton was assigned the case by him, because she was teaching law and is an officer of the court.

    This is kind of like compelled labor, but you are paid a fee that is limited for the effort. It is difficult get out of it, because it is an obligation. The fee is the equivalent of an arguable subminimum wage based upon some attorney’s overhead. Mrs. Clinton taught and had a wage, but the representation likely divided her time. The judge praised her service for several reasons.

    First, in the U. S., you are not guilty until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Most Americans assume that law enforcement can do no wrong, but that’s false. Sometimes, it happens due to negligence, in rare cases, it may be intentional. Proving the latter most often proves futile. This protection may allow a minuscule minority to walk free. Some argue that good lawyering and arguably bad investigative work and procedures allow a few to walk free, who shouldn’t. Yet, there are enough who are later found not guilt and imprisoned for decades, who are severely wronged and forgotten. They may still be viewed by a skeptical and perhaps ignorant public that is unwilling to consider all facts.

    A person is ‘never’ found innocent in spite of the false news on the media. They are simply found ‘not guilty.’ The stigma of an arrest and indictment can last a lifetime even if the accused insist that they are innocent. Courts don’t prove people innocent, just not guilty. A person may unsuccessfully struggle to prove their innocent for the rest of their lives in the court of public opinion.

    In other words, it is always important for a peace officer to appreciate that fact. It is an awesome responsibility to investigate a crime. Mistakes that may seem small to an untrained eye or simply ignored by an indignant public can challenge guilt.

    There may be more than one victim in a criminal case. In rare situations, prosecutors may lose their licenses because they were overzealous and withheld evidence that must be turned over to the defense. The legal system, like everything strives to be more perfect. Yet, it won’t improve unless the complaints are directed in the right place.

    Mrs. Clinton proved to an Arkansas Judge or jury that evidence was compromised. It was a bit more complicated than a hole. Procedures meant to protect the accused were violated. Those procedures require staff which requires tax dollars. If people through their logistics are unable or unwilling to support our three tier form of government, then law enforcement will continue to be challenged.

    Having investigated, prosecuted and defended, I appreciate the balance. It arguably appears from this string that some should take a step back. Perhaps, you may be wrongly accused or may fail to appreciate the law one moment; it is likely a destabilizing experience. It may challenge your sense of justice.

  15. Snopes is a Democrat leaning, pro-media establishment. It’s not purely liberal although it leans hard that way especially more recently. It is more-so pro-mainstream media including Fox News & affiliates. It seeks to support the stories from almost any mainstream media outlet and refute some of the more damning stories that are OMITTED from the mainstream news media often using nefarious methods.

    Snopes fully misrepresented the bovine growth hormone case that was brought to court because several journalists were fired for refusing to change their investigated story in order to meet demands that were made by dairy industry corporations to the Fox affiliate they worked for. They threatened to take the story elsewhere in order to provide the truth about BGH to people and that sparked their firing. Snopes not only totally lies about the background details to the case, but it also poisons the spirit of the “Claim” (the spirit being that there is a legal precedent to support news media lying by omission). What they should have done was to state that news media is not allowed, legally, to outright lie on the air BUT they ARE now legally permitted to kill any honest story they see fit and fire the journalists if they threaten to take the story elsewhere. Should that be legal? I don’t know. Is it moral? No. The entire purpose of a press is for the demos (that is the people) to be fully informed on anything that is provably true.

    But Snopes chose to just genuflect to mainstream media by outright lying about the significance of the case’s background and totally omit the implications of the cases results.

    This coming from a radical leftist, by the way. Snopes has an agenda but it doesn’t often align with the true left. Liberals? Sure. But the true left? No.

  16. Jason Howell is banned. Having been unable to deal with the photo that proves Snopes misrepresented Day 2 for Day 1 to make its flag argument, (and by the way, it doesn’t matter if Snopes is right about the flags or not) he resorted to the kind of personal attacks on his host that his host does not tolerate, particularly from people who want to deny what has been shown beyond a reasonable doubt. Snopes cheats, and spins for Democrats. Fact, Sorry. Bye.

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