Remember how I said in a previous article that even when Snopes arrives at a conclusion that contradicts their worldview, they still find a way to show bias? Here’s another example.
The fact checking website decided to investigate a viral meme that made fun of Bill Nye for being less educated than Dolph Lundgren. Even though Snopes admitted that the meme was “mostly true”, they still managed to straw-man the point of the meme. Snopes is starting to look more and more like a personal blog than a fact-checking site. You would have to be extremely blind to not see this obvious bias.
The writer of the Snopes article starts by giving his opinion on Bill Nye, explaining that he is becoming a controversial figure and that people have been trying to “discredit” him. (This has nothing to do with the claim they are supposed to be investigating):
As scientific concepts such as climate change became contentious political topics, Bill Nye, the television host of shows such as Bill Nye the Science Guy, is becoming an unlikely controversial figure in certain circles. Shortly after the debut of his new Netflix show Bill Nye Saves The World in 2017, a series of memes have emerged attempting to discredit him. One such meme compares the educational background of Nye and action star Dolph Lundgren:
And then to the claim of the meme (Which the article should have stuck to in the first place). Snopes concluded that although one of the claims in the meme was slightly inaccurate, all the others are true, making the meme “mostly true”.
They should have just ended it here:
This meme is largely accurate. Nye did study mechanical engineering at Cornell University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree. And Lundgren, who may be best known as an action movie star, has an impressive educational background. The credentials listed in this meme, however, are slightly inaccurate.
According to a biography on the actor’s old web site, Lundgren did receive a Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Sydney and was the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship at MIT:
The University of Sydney said in a Facebook post that Lundgren was “our only alumnus (that we know of) who’s gone toe-to-toe with Sylvester Stallone.”
However, Lundgren did not receive a BS degree in chemistry from Washington State University. The school says on its web site that Lundgren spent one year (1976-1977) studying chemical engineering there as an exchange student, but he didn’t graduate from the school:
Now brace yourself for the mental gymnastics you are about to read:
Comparing Nye and Lundgren is also problematic. The meme appears to insinuate that Nye is not qualified to host a television show since his educational background does not match or exceed Dolph Lundgren’s. Yet, as far as we know, there is no “Lundgren Standard” for science television show hosts. This argument only makes sense if Lundgren, the more educated of the two, had criticized Nye or publicly disagreed with something Nye had said. Yet, we found no record of Lundgren expressing such a viewpoint.
Why is it that whenever someone begins an argument by calling something “problematic”, 99% of the time, they end up saying something stupid? This entire paragraph is a non-sequitur. Let’s take this point by point:
The meme appears to insinuate that Bill Nye is not qualified to host a television show…..
If this is the conclusion you drew from the meme above, then you might need to have your brain checked. You have to be a special type of stupid to draw this interpretation from that meme. The meme suggests, literally, in block letters, that Bill Nye isn’t qualified to be a scientist. Hell, it doesn’t even say that, it says that Lundgren is better qualified to be a scientist (Which isn’t the same as saying Bill isn’t a scientist – even though he really isn’t). Nobody said anything about him being qualified to be a show host. Nowhere in the meme does it state that you need any form of qualification to host a TV show.
This meme isn’t about Bill Nye being a TV host, it is about him being a scientist….
Yet, as far as we know, there is no “Lundgren Standard” for science television show hosts
Really? You mean in your several hours worth of research you didn’t find any qualification that people need to possess in order to host a TV show? How ground breaking…………
This argument only makes sense if Lundgren, the more educated of the two, had criticized Nye or publicly disagreed with something Nye had said. Yet, we found no record of Lundgren expressing such a viewpoint.
What? So comparing two people or suggesting that one person is more qualified than the other only makes sense if the two have disagreed with each other publicly? How can a fact-checking website actually type this out and be proud of themselves?
I think Snopes is scared of offending their mostly left-winged audience, so even when they publish an article that doesn’t go in their favor, they need to find a way to add some extra paragraphs to convince them that even though are are wrong, they might have a point.