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Q&A: Soros doesn't finance Snopes.com; Canadian TV personality Ezra Levant gives opinion on pipeline

Soros not a Snopes.com owner

I recently got an email that said Snopes.com was "heavily financed by George Soros, a big time supporter of Obama." Is this true?

This is one of those Internet rumors that has been making the rounds since the 2008 presidential campaign.

Snopes.com is, according to Reader's Digest, "the Internet's pre-eminent resource for verifying and debunking rumors, ridiculous claims, and those e-mail chain letters your sister-in-law can't stop forwarding." It was founded in 1995 and is owned and operated by David and Barbara Mikkelson, out of their home in Agoura Hills, Calif. David Mikkelson was a registered Republican in 2000 and in 2008 didn't declare a party. He says his political involvement is restricted to voting. He told FactCheck.org, "I've never joined a party, worked for a campaign, or donated money to a candidate." Barbara Mikkelson is a Canadian citizen who can't vote.

Snopes.com makes money the old-fashioned way — through advertising sales. Mikkelson says they earn a "very healthy" income from those sales. No one has ever produced any evidence that liberal philanthropist George Soros has provided any funding for Snopes.com.

TV host has opinion on pipeline

I got an email recently about Ezra Levant, who hosts a show on Canadian TV. It says: "In a very well-researched presentation, (Levant) takes a comprehensive look at Obama's idiocy over the Keystone Pipeline. Be sure to watch the whole thing and pay particular attention to the map of the alleged 'pristine, environmentally sensitive area' through which the pipeline will pass." Are Levant's comments true?

First, let us point out that Ezra Levant is a Canadian lawyer and conservative political activist who has an evening talk show and newspaper column in which he presents his opinions. Here's a link to the telecast in which he makes his case: ezralevant.com/2012/01/keystone-calamity.html.

The facts, as we know them, are these: The Keystone XL pipeline is a 1,770-mile, $7 billion project that would carry 770,000 barrels of oil from the tar sands of Alberta, Canada, to Gulf Coast refineries every day. The pipeline already carries oil from Alberta to Illinois and Oklahoma. This latest project would extend the pipeline to Texas.

The pipeline extension is opposed by environmental groups who worry about possible damage to Nebraska's aquifer in the ecologically sensitive Sand Hills region. It's supported by the oil industry and a variety of politicians ranging from the Republican presidential candidates to former Democratic President Bill Clinton. In the middle is Nebraska's Republican governor, Dave Heineman, who likes the project but not the route.

In November, President Obama decided to order a new route to avoid the Sand Hills region of Nebraska, effectively delaying the project until after the 2012 presidential election.

Q&A: Soros doesn't finance Snopes.com; Canadian TV personality Ezra Levant gives opinion on pipeline 03/18/12 [Last modified: Sunday, March 18, 2012 4:30am]
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