In the sixties, there was a black and white TV show about a talking horse. Recently, a friend told me she read that the horse – Mr. Ed – was really played by a zebra.
I told my friend it couldn’t possibly be true. I pointed out to her that unless they covered the horse in makeup, the stripes would still show up on black and white TV.
Her reply: “But I read it on Snopes, so it must be true!”
I love Snopes as much as the next person, but I recognize a dangerous statement when I hear one. If you don’t know, Snopes.com is a site that debunks myths and popular legends. Because of its stance as a truth-seeking resource, it is fact-based and considered trustworthy.
I thanked my friend for the call, and said I’d get back to her later. I had to get online and see for myself.
At the Snopes site, I found the “Mr. Ed was a zebra” story under “Popular Myths.” As I read it, I started to get a cold chill. Had Snopes been untrustworthy all along? Because this story was definitely bogus.
At the end of the story, there was a link to “Additional Information About This Page.” And there I got a big surprise … and breathed a sigh of relief.
It seems Snopes published an entire section of false stories to prove a point. They all link to an article explaining the False Power of Authority. In other words, just because Snopes is a “trusted” news source, you still shouldn’t blindly trust the information they provide. You should always be thinking critically. And that goes for everything you hear or read in the media.
As Michael Masterson says: “When the rational answers are in, you must compare them to your gut instinct.”[Ed. Note: Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Palm Beach Letter. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.]