Sunday, March 22, 2009

Conservapedia, The Telegraph and the BNP

Conservapedia founder Andrew Schlafly is at it again. Shane Richmond, a technology writer for The Telegraph, wrote about a blog entry about PopModal, a right-wing alternative to Youtube (incidentally, this is not the first attempt at a conservative alternative to Youtube). In mocking PopModal, Richmond mentioned Conservapedia in passing:
Like Conservapedia, the encyclopedia that has no time for reality's liberal bias, PopModal offers a "conservative alternative" to YouTube.
Conservapedia responded by declaring on their mainpage that "Conservapedia is the benchmark for the liberal Telegraph in England to use in describing other new media alternatives." By itself, this would be mildly humorous and not worth a separate blog entry. However, what happened next is Conservapedia at its finest. People attempted to explain to Schlafly the myriad problems with the declaration. One user wrote:

I don't think that Telegraph article you're posting on the Main Page is appropriate. First, the Telegraph is anything but liberal and has always been considered the most conservative of all UK daily broadsheets, with an almost exclusively an older, suburban Tory Party readership...
Secondly, the article itself is clearly mocking Conservapedia.

Andrew responded in his typical fashion by declaring that the writer clearly has a liberal bias and that Britain was so hopelessly liberal that "Saying something is the most conservative newspaper in the UK is like saying someone is ... the smartest student in a remedial class. "And now the real fun starts. The conversation gets more meandering and comes to the topic of the British National Party where Schlafly states that his main problem with the BNP is that they are in favor of universal health-care:

The BNP might get my vote for its position alone on education: "We will end the practice of politically correct indoctrination." Of course, I expect knee-jerk liberals to claim there is something racist about that or about the BNP in general, but overuse of the racist label as a political tactic has gotten pretty tiresome for everyone on this side of the pond.

I'm not impressed by the lack of social positions (like abortion, marriage, prayer in the classroom, etc.) on the BNP website you reference. This position by the BNP is not conservative at all: "We are wholly committed to a free, fully funded National Health Service for all British citizens."
This is particularly interesting since Conservapedia's own entry on the BNP describes them as neo-Nazis. There's an old rule on the internet known as Godwin's Law which in its simplest form states that as any conversation on the internet continues, the probability that a reference to Nazi's will occur approaches one. Generally, it is taken for granted that if one side compares their opponents to Nazis then that side has by default lost the argument. I don't know how to apply such a rule when someone on their own accord compares their opinions to those of neo-Nazis. I'm also not aware of any other occasion in which an individual has stated that their biggest problem with neo-Nazis is that the Nazis support universal health care.


Metro said...

Ugh. Just ugh. It's one thing to Godwin your opponent, quite another to Godwin yourself.

Andrew Schlafly ... Were there not a Conservative bottom-feeder trolling on his mother's coat-tails, one might almost think it necessary to have invented him.

It's fascinating how conservatives perceive themselves as persecuted minorities at the same time as they declare themselves the voice of the silent-yet-democratic majority.

And then claim kinship with outfits like the British Nazi--sorry, "National" Party.

Ever seen the smackdown between Schlafly and Richard Lenski? It was a thing of beauty.

NickBush24 said...

There is something seriously wrong with that man. He is just about as dangerous having authority over children as a pedophile, except that Andy only molests children's minds, not their bodies (we hope).

Love the blog, by the way. I found this while looking for sites criticising Conservapedia >.>