Snopes’ Toxic Culture and Liberal Bias

Snopes fact checker

Snopes can best be described this way: A fact-checking site whose founder and executive is knee deep in lies and scandal, and a former managing editor whose liberal bias is palpably evident.

Do you know how this arbiter of truth got started? In 1994, by founder David Mikkelson and his ex-wife Barbara Mikkelson out of the basement of their home in California. That’s not to say it can’t be legitimate because it was founded out of their basement, but there’s more to this tawdry tale. (Hold on tight.) It got a jumpstart as the first fact-checking site, focusing on urban legends or “old-wives tales,” before turning its focus to fake news and other misinformation.

Snopes has been riddled with scandal after the recent relocation of its “corporate headquarters” a few years ago to Mikkelson’s bedroom office in Tacoma, Washington. To clarify, Snopes isn’t the name of the company; it’s only the site name. Bardav, Inc. (which Mikkelson also owns) is the parent company that owns and runs the debunking site.

Mikkelson Sued for Using Corporate Funds to Wine and Dine Ex-Porn Star Wife

Mikkelson had hired Proper Media to manage a significant portion of the site, including web content and advertising accounts for Snopes. Mikkelson’s ex-wife, Barbara Mikkelson, had 50 percent ownership and sold her stake to the directors of Proper Media before divorcing Mikkelson in 2016. Shortly thereafter, Proper Media accused Mikkelson of having blocked their access to Snopes, thus making it impossible for them to manage the site as agreed on. Proper Media, in turn, withheld all advertising revenue and wouldn’t surrender the domain name, suing Bardav (Mikkelson) for breach of contract, civil conspiracy, and corporate waste.

Was Mikkelson fit to run the company? This is the basis for the suit alleging corporate waste, since after the divorce Mikkelson was allegedly embezzling company funds to pay for his divorce, and for lavish trips with his new bride—Snopes employee Elyssa Young. According to multiple sources, Mikkelson’s new wife, Elyssa Young (aka “Erin O’Bryn”), is a former escort and porn actress; in addition, she had run for Congress in Hawaii as a libertarian in 2004 on a “dump Bush” platform. But nevermind her political ideology or that she used to be an escort; I’m sure they have no bearing on her ability to accurately and fairly provide Mikkelson assistance when it comes to fact-checking. (Yeah, right.)

Mikkelsen with ex-wife (in above photo) and with current wife (in below photo)

Here’s her FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/erin.obryn. I’m certain it’s the right page because there are photos she posted of her and Mikkelson on there. Also, she looks exactly like “Elyssa Young”; thus, Erin O’Bryn must be her alias and stage name.

Because this is still being litigated, we’ll soon find out if Mickelson did embezzle company funds to pay for legal fees and lavish trips with former escort and adult film star wife, Elyssa Young. It’s important to mention that Proper Media learned about the supposed embezzlement of nearly $100,000 from Mikkelson’s ex-wife (Barbara Mikkelson) in court documents related to their divorce; this isn’t just some baseless allegation.

In fact, his ex-wife wrote in court filings that he “raided the … corporate bank account for his personal use and attorney fees,” and that he “expended money on himself [David Mikkelson] and the prostitutes he hired.” Talk about a damning statement. In sum, Mikkelson’s facing serious legal battles stemming from alleged financial misappropriation of company funds. This is relevant because Mikkelson authors a lot of the answers to questions posed on his site. If the guy at the top is misappropriating funds, how can he be trusted to fact-check the news?

Former Managing Editor a Liberal Hack

The former managing editor of Snopes, Brooke Binkowski, is a liberal hack disguised as an apolitical journalist seeking the truth. In fact, she was the editor of Snopes for nearly three years—up until 2018—when she finally got fired. (I guess Mikkelson thought she was blowing their cover as the “definitive fact-checking site.”)

While editor, her tweets reveal that she’s pro-life, pro-LGBTQ rights, anti-Second Amendment, and may have a sex/porn obsession herself. Here are a few of those tweets:

TJWFW@icouldbeahacker

@brooklynmarie I’m snickering at reading your profile and seeing hard news and this article. @fark

Brooke Binkowski

@brooklynmarie

@icouldbeahacker @fark the penis mightier than the sword!

igorvolsky

@igorvolsky

Wow, this guy got $80,000 from @NRA since 1994 so that’s why this tweet can be confused for theirs https://twitter.com/PeteSessions/status/684418483736723457 

Pete Sessions

@PeteSessions

The President’s proposed plan to unilaterally restrict our Second Amendment rights is misguided and unconstitutional.

Brooke Binkowski

@brooklynmarie

@igorvolsky you are my favorite reporter

Franklin Graham

@Franklin_Graham

To everyone who has had an abortion, it is murder in God’s eyes. But I’m happy to tell you that God will forgive you, take away the shame & guilt you’ve carried all these years, and save you for eternity if you turn to Him and put your faith and trust in His Son Jesus Christ. 3/3

Brooke Binkowski

@brooklynmarie

Excellent news! I’m so happy to know you have stopped being so arrogant as to presume to know the mind of God, and left difficult decisions like abortions up to those who are actually having them, so that they can privately sort it out with themselves and their faith.

 

The owner is potentially an embezzler; the executive assistant is a former adult film star and escort who ran as a libertarian and goes by an alias; and the former managing editor’s favorite reporter is a guy on a crusade to seriously limit gun rights, and suggests that Trump is Russia’s best asset. Further, the former managing editor of Snopes (for three years) is pro-choice, taking it straight to preachers on Tweeter, and even blaming the election of Trump for having emboldened anti-abortion whites to become “white nationalists.”

In the words of David Mikkelson: “The Wall Street Journal. The Washington Post. Your crazy cousin’s blog. It all looks the same. A picture with a headline and subject. Before, they were relegated to a soapbox on street corners or drafting a newsletter. Now anybody can throw up a website.”

And sir, your website is no exception.

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