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First I've heard of "Conservapedia"...

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ksquared Member Level  Wednesday, 01/06/10 01:23:28 PM
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First I've heard of "Conservapedia"...
I suspect its POV is a little too right wing for my tastes. For those who lean more that way, enjoy.

Conservapedia founder: We're fighting Wikipedia's liberal bias

CHESTER TWP. — The son of conservative author and activist Phyllis Schlafly is the founder of an online encyclopedia intended as a right-leaning rebuttal to Wikipedia.

Andrew Schlafly, 48, said his "Conservapedia" — which, like Wikipedia, relies on posts and editing by registered users — has received 149 million page views in three years.

While Phyllis Schlafly rose to prominence by opposing the rise of feminism in the 1960s and the Equal Rights Amendment, her son is developing his own conservative identity via a Web site that generates no income but plenty of attention and controversy.

Andrew Schlafly, a married father of two who graduated from Harvard Law School with President Barack Obama in 1991, moved from Wayne to Chester Township in 2001.

In a Daily Record interview, Schlafly said he created Conservapedia to combat "liberal biases on Wikipedia," an online encyclopedia with more than 11 million registered users — compared to 34,259 on Conservapedia — and 65 million site visits per month.

"Wikipedia does not allow conservative truth to be inserted into entries of particular interest to liberals," said Schlafly in charging that entries on abortion, evolution and global warming are routinely purged.

A spokesman for the Wikimedia Foundation in San Francisco countered that Wikipedia, founded in 2001, seeks a "neutral point of view" in more than 270 languages and does not permit censorship of differing viewpoints.

"It's about high-quality facts," said spokesman Jay Walsh, adding that Wikipedia "receives accusations of being overtly conservative" in addition to the criticism from conservatives.

The competing sites offer widely divergent portrayals of public figures and current events. For example, consider Obama, who was president of the Harvard Law Review while Schlafly was on the editorial board.

On Wikipedia, Obama's page notes that he is the 44th president of the United States and the first African-American to hold the office. Obama's page on Conservapedia reads he was "allegedly" born in Hawaii — an allusion to unsubstantiated allegations that he was not born in the United States — and listed another name, Barry Soetoro, that he purportedly once used.

The allegation that Obama was not born in the United States has circulated since the presidential campaign despite a lack of any supporting evidence and a statement from Hawaii's health director claiming to have personally viewed the birth certificate.

"It's been debunked eight ways from Sunday," said former Democratic congressional candidate Thomas Wyka of Parsippany.

Schlafly, while asserting that Conservapedia steers clear of "gossip," defended the birthplace innuendo on his Web site.

"I don't have a position on it, but there are a fair number of people who question his place of birth. Visitors to the site can make their own decision," Schlafly said.

While the accusation hasn't been proven, "It hasn't been disproven, either," Schlafly said.

Colbert retort

During Schlafly's Dec. 8 appearance on the Comedy Channel's "Colbert Report," host Stephen Colbert, whose persona is a bombastic satire of right-leaning cable news hosts, facetiously thanked him for "taking the Internet back for conservatives."

"I want to create my own reality the way you are," jibed Colbert, who drew good-natured laughter from Schlafly throughout the seven-minute segment.

Wyka, who said he recently discovered Conservapedia via a link on a Wikipedia page, charged that Schlafly's site is guilty of the same bias, albeit in a conservative direction, that Schlafly tries to pin on Wikipedia.

"It doesn't seem it was really meant to inform, as opposed to promoting certain talking points. The 'birther' thing is very indicative of that," Wyka said.

Schlafly disagreed, saying, "We're upfront about our principles. No one is going to be upset that we pretend to be one thing and are something else."

Schlafly, who unsuccessfully ran in a Republican congressional primary in 1992 while living in Virginia, is involved in other efforts aimed at promoting the conservative cause.

In addition to teaching home-school students in economics and history, he occasionally files friend-of-the-court briefs, most notably in District of Columbia v. Heller, the 2008 case in which the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the district's ban on private gun ownership.

More locally, Schlafly — who volunteered for Steve Lonegan during his unsuccessful Republican primary campaign against now-Gov.-elect Chris Christie — is organizing a bus trip from Chester Township to Washington for pro-life advocates on Jan. 22, the 37th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

"She introduced me to the ideas," Schlafly said of his famous mother, now 85, adding, "Ultimately, I make my own decisions."

Additional Facts
What each says about hot topics
Wikipedia: Abortion is the termination of a pregnancy by the removal or expulsion from the uterus of a fetus or embryo, resulting in or caused by its death.
Conservapedia: Abortion is the induced termination of a pregnancy. Abortion is a billion-dollar industry in the United States ... God warns in His word that a nation that sheds innocent blood will not prosper.

Fox News
W: Many observers have asserted that both Fox's news reporting and its political commentary promote conservative political positions. Fox News Channel denies any bias in its news reporting and maintains that its political commentary and news reporting operate independently of each other.
C: Fox News uses the slogan "Fair & Balanced," carries bipartisan shows like Hannity and Colmes, and daily guest pundits from all sides of the political spectrum. Fox News also is non-hostile to conservative and Christian values, viewpoints, spokesmen, and ideas. Fox News has gained the reputation for reporting the news in an unbiased manner and then allowing the viewer to decide.

Global Warming
W: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that most of the observed temperature increase since the middle of the 20th century was caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases ...
C: The idea of dangerous anthropogenic (man-made) global warming is promoted by liberals and socialists seeking greater government control over the production and use of energy, which is a substantial percentage of the economy.

W: God is a deity in theistic and deistic religions and other belief systems, representing either the sole deity in monotheism, or a principal deity in polytheism.
C: God is the sovereign creator and eternal ruler of all things and beings that exist, whether in the physical universe or in the spiritual realm (Heaven).


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