TGP Interview with Andrew Schlafly, Conservapedia Founder

Andrew Schlafly, Conservapedia Founder

Recently, a Gateway Pundit reporter interviewed Andrew Schlafly the founder of Conservapedia.

Andy Schlafly is an American lawyer and Christian conservative activist. He is the son of the conservative activist and lawyer Phyllis Schlafly.

TGP: I can’t help but ask about Barack Obama. You were both on the Harvard Law Review together and graduated in the same class? What are your memories of him?

Barry Dunham Soetoro at Harvard Law, 1988-1991

Andrew Schlafly: We were on the Harvard Law Review together but Barack was often absent, particularly for someone who became the president of the publication as promoted by liberals. Some in our Harvard class never even met him, and none of his close advisers was from our class. He was very careful about what he said and did, despite being in a student environment where people spoke and acted freely. It is obvious in retrospect that he was being groomed back then by liberals to become president of the country. Everything was so staged for the student Barack.

Former President Barack Obama

The Law Review is supposed to be a scholarly publication, but Barack seemed to have little interest in that. Ordinarily the head of a publication is an always-working, roll-up-your-sleeves, never-sleep type of person, but not Barack as this appeared to be just a credential to obtain for a liberal political ambition.

TGP: How does your background as an attorney influence your writing and documentation?

ASchlafly: I appreciate my legal training and work experience. It does improve writing and documentation skills. My pre-law work as an engineer and then a programmer also helps with my attention to detail.

TGP: What’s the right term for the production of an encyclopedia? Is it documenting, writing, reporting?

ASchlafly: It’s some of all that, and more. Conciseness and clarity are particularly valuable in an encyclopedia. Avoiding distracting trivia, which Wikipedia fails at, is important.

TGP: Has it been difficult to build a verifiable encyclopedia considering the longstanding bias in mainstream news outlets?

ASchlafly: Mainstream news articles have biased headlines and introductory paragraphs, but facts are usually there buried amid their reporting. So citations are often available in biased mainstream news articles to obtain the facts.

TGP: I notice that Wikipedia has some odd longstanding biases that they refuse to give up on, such as referring to any advance warning of the 1941 Pearl Harbor attack as a ‘conspiracy theory’ whereas the relevant Conservapedia article is very factual and straightforward. Do you think that’s happening increasingly, where even your site is becoming more factual than some of the longer, more edited, Wikipedia articles because of the rigidity of liberal bias?

ASchlafly: Right, and your example is a solid one. Another example is how liberals and Wikipedia cling to communist propaganda and repeat it without any skepticism or doubt, such as the Cuban assertion that Fidel Castro was alive and well until November 25, 2016, no cause of death disclosed and an immediate cremation, shortly before president-elect Trump was to be debriefed by the State Department about world leaders. Despite supposedly being thriving with vigor according to the communist state media, Castro never met Obama during his trip to Cuba in early 2016 and Wikipedia shows a photo of the 6’1” (some say 6’3”) Castro supposedly meeting in 2014 with the 5’9” Enrique Peña Nieto, and yet Nieto stands an inch or two taller in the photo:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fidel_Castro#/media/File:Enrique_Pe%C3%B1a_Nieto_y_Fidel_Castro.jpg

TGP: I’ve noticed on several other topics, such as the Soviet spy rings in the 1930s and 1940s, that Conservapedia is the only place collecting a great deal of factual historical material in any coherent way. The other similar sites may have longer articles, but are written so as to be almost purposefully confusing and obfuscate facts and truths for the reader. Have you noticed the same and, if so, could you comment on what you’ve noticed?

ASchlafly: Superb question, and you are right that on issues like this there is no other source of honest history than Conservapedia. The bias on Wikipedia and in history books is overwhelming on many of these issues, and the concealment or withholding of much this vital information about communism and other topics is pervasive in sources other than Conservapedia.

TGP: Has your background as an attorney helped you examine the facts about controversial topics? Do you think your background as an Engineer also influenced your work?

ASchlafly: Both the law and engineering have helped give me a perspective to analyze facts without preconceived notions. In engineering, bias causes failure. Facts need to be viewed with an open mind in order to succeed.

Engineering training also enables me to recognize and reject judicial supremacy. Most lawyers view the court system with an almost religious-like deference, giving it a supremacy that is unhealthy. The more successful an attorney or law student is, the more he or she becomes beholden to law professors and to a court system that was intended to be the least influential branch of government.

TGP: I see that you’re reporting 54,000 articles on your site, and Wikipedia is boasting of about 6.7 million. Does that sense of scale difference seem like a limitation? Since you are curating your content in a different way, how does that size difference affect your work?

ASchlafly: More volume is not better, and conciseness is an advantage. Wikipedia is like a map that has far too much detail in it, such that it takes too long to find what is important.

Wikipedia’s bias is so severe that despite having so many entries on waste-of-time topics, it deletes new entries that should be there. Ballotpedia is a better non-conservative political resource today than Wikipedia, which lacks entries on some important political activists despite having millions of entries about trivia.

TGP: With hundreds of editors, does Conservapedia feel like a publication, a community, or a movement? How do you approach it?

ASchlafly: Conservapedia is some of all three: a publication, a community, and a movement. It’s an exciting place to learn information that can help its visitors in a personal way. Overcoming addiction such as weight gain or television-watching is a potential benefit from spending time on our “addiction” and related entries.

TGP: It’s said William Minor was insane, but only an insane person would try to create the first dictionary. What kind of man starts an encyclopedia?

ASchlafly: It’s an ambitious project, that’s for sure! But an honest, informative encyclopedia is one of the most beneficial projects to write and read. I think Professor and Nobel Laureate Richard Feynmann attributed his intellectual success as a physicist in part to spending time as a child simply reading an encyclopedia.

The trouble with the Encyclopedia Britannica is that while it has many enlightening entries, it is dominated by academic editors who over-emphasize obscure people in universities, Hollywood, authors, theater, music, and art, with relatively little about influential political activists. We have an entry critiquing that encyclopedia here:

https://www.conservapedia.com/Encyclop%C3%A6dia_Britannica

TGP: How do you cultivate higher quality editors? Obviously one of the largest distinctions between Conservapedia and Wikipedia is the limitation on editing where you limit it to approved editors, and Wikipedia allows anyone to edit the pages. But this perceived ‘openness’ has also led to a strange cult of Wikipedia editors who rigidly enforce a hard-left bias.

ASchlafly: We have typically welcomed open editing for many years. But liberal vandalism has led to limiting that at this time. Anyone who wants to edit remains free to contact me and I’ll give them edit privileges. Liberal trolls are a problem on many sites, including social media, and currently we’re focusing on building helpful, insight content with a diverse group of editors we currently have.

Wikipedia’s approach of allowing a mob to run things results in problems analogous to a real mob: biased bullies have an exaggerated influence there.

TGP: Your site feels like it’s almost a counter-movement rather than a mere encyclopedia. Other than just ‘conservative’ do you think you give the public a better balance than other sites, do you think it’s more Christ-centric? How would you describe the value of the perspective and entries that Conservapedia brings to the public?

ASchlafly: O’Sullivan’s First Law is worth keeping in mind: if any project is not affirmatively conservative, then it will become liberal over time.

Some adversaries try to portray Conservapedia with terms other than “conservative”, but that is what we are and that is necessary for any project to avert liberal creep.

TGP: You started doing this in 2006, and Wikipedia started just five years earlier, in 2001. Now that you’ve been at it for 17 years, what’s different now than when you started? Has the mission changed at all?

ASchlafly: Not much change, and remarkably new insights keep flowing. It was in the last year that 26 new insights by the Conservative Bible Project sprung forth. When we started, few recognized liberal bias in the media. Now nearly everyone does. The rise of Donald Trump and conservative populism was on the foundation laid by Conservapedia throughout the preceding decade.

TGP: Could you comment on the common liberal arrogance assuming they have all the facts? Do you think Wiki-sites have empowered liberals to think they know all the facts on a given topic, and that has led to the arrogant ‘debunking’ and ‘fact-checking’ sites?

ASchlafly: You describe an aspect of the liberal bullying, or liberal censorship, that occurs today. This is part of scientism by liberals: selectively adopt facts to fit a preconceived notion or agenda, and then ignore or disparage all counterexamples.

TGP: The left claims that there’s no bias on Wikipedia and therefore no reason for Conservapedia to exist. But in checking the Wikipedia page on Conservapedia, it’s immediately obvious why an alternative is necessary. The page just drips with condescension, hostility, and hatred towards you and your team. Do you think people realize how far-left the content is that they’re getting in the media generally and on Wikipedia specifically?

ASchlafly: Yes, nearly everyone recognizes today the liberal bias and how far-left the media and Wikipedia are. Thanks to Conservapedia, which began proving that in 2006!

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Published previously in Human Events, The Federalist, American Thinker. Featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, Playboy.

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