24 June 2007

I thought it was a hoax!

That would be Conservapedia ... and I will say in self defense that at least ONE reader of Sententiae agreed with me (you know who you are). But no, it's the real thing. If you click on the link and go to Conservapedia's home page you will see, in large letters, a notice that the Los Angeles Times has published an article about it, and that "the LA Times praised our entries on the tuba, Claude Monet, the nation of Latvia, Robin Hood, polygons, and The Renaissance."

Well, yes. But it also included rather sarky paragraphs like these:

"We have certain principles that we adhere to, and we are up-front about them," Schlafly writes in his mission statement [to Conservapedia]. "Beyond that we welcome the facts."

Conservapedia defines environmentalists as "people who profess concern about the environment" and notes that some would want to impose legal limits on the use of toilet paper.

Femininity? The quality of being "childlike, gentle, pretty, willowy, submissive."

A hike in minimum wage is referred to as "a controversial manoeuvre that increases the incentive for young people to drop out of school."

And the state of the economy under President Bush? Much better than the "liberal media" would have you think: "For example, during his term Exxon Mobile has posted the largest profit of any company in a single year, and executive salaries have greatly increased as well."

And amid this rather cool tone of ironic putdown is this one paragraph:

Many, perhaps most, of Conservapedia's articles are free of ideology. There are brisk, straightforward entries about hundreds of topics: the tuba, Claude Monet, the nation of Latvia, Robin Hood, polygons, the Renaissance.

That's the praise. Which is immediately followed by this paragraph:

But consider the entry on Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton (b. 1947). She "may suffer from a psychological condition that would raise questions about her fitness for office" — namely, "clinical narcissism," Conservapedia asserts. Evidence of her instability includes her "ever-changing opinion of the Iraq war."

I guess the editors are working under the assumption that there is no such thing as bad publicity.



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