Long story short, Snopes has classified the story as 'MIXTURE,' containing both true and false elements, despite saying in their first statement that it is false.
Statement reproduces President Obama's response regarding opposition to his veterans' health insurance plan.
The beginning of Snopes' response:
This item is another entry difficult to classify as either "true" or "false." It's false in the literal sense that President Barack Obama did not utter the words attributed to him above; this piece is an excerpt from a form of satire that makes political or social points by putting outrageous words into the mouths of others.
However, even if the words aren't literally true (i.e., they're not something Barack Obama actually said), the issue they reference is not, as in most satirical pieces, a fabrication or a highly exaggerated version of reality.
Ah yes, the old "in a literal sense" conundrum.
The point here is that the claim they're addressing is whether the words actually are Obama's. They come right out and say they're not, but then go on a huge rant about policies of which they're obviously not fond. Many people are outraged by this. I'm guessing it's because everyone has always thought of Snopes as the last bastion of unbiased truth on the Internet. Everyone but me, that is.
This is bothersome to me because many Snopes-checkers rarely read past the green or red 'True' or 'False' indicators on any given subject, trusting that Snopes knows what they're talking about. In this case, their declaration of it as 'False' is not justified by the actual evidence they've presented.
Now, I'm not saying that Tony Blair did tell this amusing anecdote at a cocktail party, but the only "evidence" they have regarding its untruth is speculation from a man whose job it is to make Tony Blair look good -- a man that wasn't even present at said dinner party in the first place. In legal dramas on television, I believe they'd call that "hearsay." And I object! It's the word of someone who was present against someone who wasn't. Not exactly fair reasoning. (It is my claim, however, that had Tony Blair's press secretary been present, and had Tony Blair actually said it, the secretary would still say he didn't. That's his job, afterall.)
With evidence like that, Snopes could, at best, only classify the story as "unverifiable." After discovering this, I spent several hours going through all the George Bush articles on Snopes.com looking for bias. Granted, my results clearly showed my own confirmation bias -- I'm just going to pretend like that's not a problem. Suffice to say, according to my research, the statement that "Snopes is generally favorable towards Republicans whenever blatant evidence to the contrary doesn't make it impossible to do so," is a big fat "True."
So anyway, if you rely on Snopes to determine whether or not the things you hear are true, then you need to -- at the very least -- actually read their evidence for whatever determination they make and then use your own skills of deduction before you go snidely emailing it off to whatever poor sucker repeated it as fact.
You might not actually deserve the smug, self-righteous feeling you get when you do that.
Since it's been so long since we've spoken, I've amassed a number of things I wanted to share with you. Sadly, I've forgotten most of them. Here's the first one I remember.
1) I can no longer live under the protective mantra of "Oh, I'd never BUY an iPhone, I just use this one because I won it in a contest." That's right. I bought an iPhone 3G. Go ahead, mock -- I'll wait. So the purchasal of the 3G is noteworthy for another reason: it marked my first venture into an Apple Store.
Know how when, walking into a skyscraper or something, there's often an air pressure differential? Where, you can feel the conditioned air ruffling your clothes and hair as you open the door? That's what the Apple Store is like, except that the pressure differential is not with the air, it's with SMUG. You can sort of smell the smug leaking out around the doorframe as you approach, but when you open that door... it's almost overpowering. If my hair weren't firmly glazed up in a mohawk prior to entering, the blast of smug would surely have formed a fauxhawk of some sort. Those hipster glasses? They're not so much for fashion as they are EYE PROTECTION from the smug.
The first thing you notice about the Apple Store is just how many employees there are. The second thing you notice is that none of them can actually HELP you. I asked if they had any 3Gs in stock and was told:
"Yep! We sure do!"
I let a full beat pass before adding:
"Well, can I BUY one?"
This required her flagging down some other hipster employee, who passed me off at least 3 more times. Then I was left standing for 5 minutes while the latest hipster went to go try to find a 3G for me to purchase. While Hipster #5 was in search of my iPhone, I got to witness a conversation that nearly made my head explode. It was between a Typical Mac Owner and an Apple Store Hipster, and it went like this:
TMO: "Hi, I bought this iPhone and I can't get it to work."
ASH: "Oh? What happened?"
TMO: "Well, I plugged it into my Mac and iTunes said it needed to upgrade itself to version 7.7"
TMO: "So I tried to do that, but it said it couldn't."
ASH: "Right. You must be running Kitten."
TMO: "Yeah. I am."
ASH: "WELL, iTunes 7.7 requires that you be running Sabretooth, not Kitten."
TMO: "Oh. So I need to upgrade in order to use this $200 phone I just bought?"
TMO: "So I just run Mac Update --"
ASH: "Oh, no, you have to BUY Sabretooth. That'll be $299."
TMO: "Wait... so, in order to use this $200 phone I just bought, I have to spend like another $300 to upgrade my operating system first?"
TMO: "... ... OK! Let's do that! HERE ARE MY CREDIT CARDS!"
That conversation ACTUALLY HAPPENED. Geez. Apple customers...
Anyway, all said and done, I got out of there with an iPhone 3G. Most of the smug did eventually come off -- not all of it, mind you; Apple smug can never really be completely removed. I still catch my internal monologue mocking people without iPhones sometimes.
After getting home, I proceeded to get all the contacts from my old iPhone to show up on the new one. This took 45 minutes of frustrated fighting with iTunes on D's machine. In the end, after only ending up with the contents of D's Outlook contacts on my phone, I decided to try letting iTunes sync my contacts to Google Contacts. That did the trick. Except that now every email address that has ever sent mail to my gmail account is now a contact on my iPhone. Good thing the phone app filters contacts to show only the ones that have phone numbers associated -- wait? It DOESN'T filter them? Whose stupid frakking idea was THAT? So now, in addition to thousands of contacts on my phone, all the people who have both a phone number AND were in my Google Contacts have duplicate entries in my address book. Well, not DUPLICATE, per se; one has phone number, another has email address. Thanks, Apple.
So the iPhone 3G has GPS capability that is quite awesome. Many apps support it, allowing you to, for instance, look up movie listings without having to put in a location. Find which of the five Starbuckses that you can currently see is the closest. Stuff like that. It's really great -- or WOULD be, if it didn't always think I was in Houston, Texas whenever 3G is turned on. (Which is pretty much always... why would you turn it OFF?)
Despite this annoying crap, a jailbroken iPhone is by far the most "open" internet device/phone I've ever used, so I'm unapologetic about my love for it. It does make me feel a little funny, though, being seen with one. The anti-hipster in me cringes and can only be quieted by showing it all the awesome stuff MY iPhone can do that Apple doesn't approve of.
That preposition at the end of that sentence means it's time for me to once again bid you adieu.