Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Wikipedia v. Wackopedia

sciIn NPR's wide world of center-right relativism, reason and reality should never get in the way. If it had been April 1st I could have understood the serious and respectful coverage given to the Eagle Forum's favorite spawn, Andy Schlafly, as he promoted his rightist-Christian Conservapedia.

This would have been a great opportunity for NPR to do a little contextual analysis of the far right Christian movement and its neofascist tendencies (see for example Esther Kaplan's book or Chris Hedges new book). Instead NPR allowed Schlafly to control the discussion and make his points with little confrontation.

Robert Siegel never identified Schlafly as a member of the Eagle Forum and never challenged Schlafly's argument that Wikipedia has a "liberal" bias because its surveyed editors are more "liberal" than the American public. He should have insisted on Schlafly producing evidence of consistent distortions of facts in favor of a leftist point of view on Wikipedia instead of attacking the supposed point of views of the editors! Furthermore Siegel actually could have used the interview to point out that reality-based and factual knowledge (such as can be found in encyclopedias) generally undermine many beliefs sacred to the far right such as "creationism" or the supposed moral goodness of the free market. As the Daily Show often illustrates, reality does have a decidedly progressive anti-authoritarian bent to it.

Illinois blogger, ArchPundit has an excellent post regarding Conservapedia.

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