Thursday, January 24, 2008

Checking Sources - A Reminder

I received an email from my father yesterday containing a link to an article about Barack Obama being anti-semitic. The article was "well researched," contained interesting information about who he surrounds himself with, and in general gave a somewhat convincing argument about why liberal Jewish supporters of Israel may want to vote for someone other than Obama. Convincing, enough, for the subject of the email to read: "Well, I was going to vote for him, but now I'm not anymore."

But if you looked further at the article (which I will not link to) you notice a few odd things. First, the way this man attacks Obama is, quite frankly, much more spiteful than a normal liberal Jewish person would attack anyone who is generally on their side. Why? Because we're used to the left wing not approving of Israel. If we had that big a problem with progressives who don't support Israel, there is no way 85% of us would still be able to lean that way.

Secondly, the media loves making out politicians to be anti-semitic, or racist, or sexist, or what have you. So why would we not have heard of this before? Surely this article on this blog could not have been the first time anyone has uncovered this information, but the author does not source other articles or take their information directly from outside sources (when I referred to the article as "well researched" - I said this because it contained a lot of detailed facts). So I googled the name of the website as well as the author. Sure enough, the website is known solely for its undying love for Rush Limbaugh, and the author has written such articles as "Why you MUST vote for Bush if you consider yourself a good Jew." Even if what he had written was true (it's not), it needs to come from a credible source before it's going to influence my opinion of the person it's attacking. Unless it's about Cheney. God I hate him.

So what have we learned? We've learned that trusting any online source, even something that looks as legitimate as a regular news organization, should not be done without proper research into the person and website making the claims. Lying and blatantly biased inferences are not just true of NeoConservatives. Even if I read something on a liberal website, I will always check out the credibility of the sources before coming to any rash conclusions.

Fun Fact: The first image comes from Conservapedia, and they use this image as the source to WHY Fox News is fair and balanced. If that image doesn't prove it, I don't know what will. Click on the link for more hilarity about that stupid website.

1 comment:

Demon Princess said...

Hi Librocat,

Just checking in, & found this interesting post. Which makes me wonder why parents forward garbage so uncritically. (Had it happen here, too!)

Try watching debates with your parents--even more fun! Mine got upset that Obama even said, "I'm a Christian," visibly annoyed that he brought it up. "Divisive," I suppose ~ anyway, I had to point out that he brought it up because there was a big email smear campaign ahead of the SCarolina primaries that he was a Muslim & attended a "madrassa" a billion years ago (that must be a foreign word for a terrorist training camp!)

So I'm not really surprised that apparently there's another email smear campaign to "out" for being antisemitic.

All of it is bs, imho. I think the more relevant question is what, if anything, do the candidates propose to do about the economic meltdown, corruption in government, fast-disappearing civil rights.