Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Vanity of Ed Poor


If you spend any length of time perusing Conservapedia, you begin to realize that a good deal of the articles are either created or edited heavily by Ed Poor. My first and only encounter with Ed Poor consisted of him banning me for life from editing Conservapedia because I disagreed with him on a minor point about an obscure Japanese film whose very Conservapedia entry was later deleted. In short, he banned me for life because of something literally no one but him actually cared about. There wasn't even a warning. I was simply banned because I disagreed with Ed Poor.

I was gobsmacked. It made no sense. The more I pondered the irrational nature of his actions the more I realized the deep implications of what he had done. If he was willing to ban me for something that no one cared about, he was probably willing to ban other people for equally trivial reasons. I had been a minor contributor to Conservapedia. Most of my entries had amounted to nothing more than fixing a few typos or correcting some grammar. What about people who were trying to make major contributions? What about the people who were dedicating the time to grow Conservapedia in very real, substantial ways? Was Ed Poor attacking them with the same vigor?

I decided to do some digging.

The First Vanity Entry

If you search Conservapedia for the name "Ed Poor" you come to the entry for Edmund Ward Poor. It's not surprising if your response is "Who?" He was one of four early investors when Leroy Grumman started a small welding operation. While Leroy Grumman would grow this tiny business into the Grumman Aircraft Company, Edmund Ward Poor never achieved anything more substantial than having invested in Leroy Grumman.

According to Conservapedia's entry however, he was a co-founder of Grumman Aircraft Company, an organization that Conservapedia doesn't consider important enough to have an entry of its own. The entry goes on to point out that Edmund Ward Poor is the Grandfather of Conservapedia editor Ed Poor. Looking at the vanity article's history you find that Ed Poor created the article, such as it is, and was responsible for most of the edits. When challenged on the very existence of the article, Ed Poor responded with:

unlike Wikipedia, longtime contributors here are allowed to blow their own horns

In that comment, Ed Poor admits he's created an irrelevant vanity article for the sake of self aggrandizement.

The article however, is, to be kind, inaccurate. Edmund Ward Poor was NOT the co-founder of Grumman. He was one of four minor business partners when Leroy Grumman started a company that did nothing but weld aluminum frames for trucks in the late 1920's. Leroy Grumman doesn't have a Conservapedia entry, but a minor financier who didn't even have a say in day-to-day operations has an entry giving him the bulk of the credit for Leroy Grumman's business acumen and ambition. This would be like having no entry for Microsoft or Bill Gates, but having an article claiming a bank manager who approved an early loan to the company was the co-founder.

The very first thing I found on Conservapedia when looking up Ed Poor was a falsehood riddled vanity piece designed to paint an obscure ancestor of Ed Poor's in a far grander light than the man ever deserved.

My research will continue, but my hopes are not high. I fear I may discover that Conservapedia has decayed into nothing more than the Ed Poor vanity project.


Anonymous said...

I find it pathetic when people have to reach back to their ancestors to find anything interesting.

Anonymous said...

"…decayed into nothing more than the Ed Poor vanity project."

which, let's face it, is quite a step up from its true intention

Peter Cornswalled said...

Too bad for him that his false morality and true intention cannot be disguised from God, even if he has managed to fool fellow contributors. No doubt he will continue to ban those few remaining real conservatives who promote God's word and Christian Morality while recruiting contributers whose intention is to further damage the reputation of this once fine institution.

The damage is done and the cancer spread so far as to make the website purposeless.

We know what they really are. We know they are imposters, wolfs in sheeps' clothing out to humiliate God's People in order to further the gay agenda and lackadaisical morality. We should continue to spread knowledge of this infiltration and begin anew with a more trustworthy point of reference for those issues of matter.

Anonymous said...

Hi there,

I'm a Midwestern atheist communist, but while I think we can agree that Conservapedia is a mess, Ed Poor is not really the reason why.

Yes, he creates lots of vanity articles and stupid stub articles, often about movies that feature young girls. And yes, he's a bully who blocks people for no good reason; but here is where we can start to see where the problem is. Just about every CP admin is a bully who blocks people for no good reason, or for reasons that make it clear that the only way to become a valued contributor to the project is to toe a really peculiar party line. And here's where it gets weird.

Andy Schlafly, the owner/founder of the website, has particular views about the world, and I can't see how anyone who takes either his faith as a Christian or his political convictions as a conservative seriously would want to get involved with the project. Consider, if you will, the Conservative Bible Project, CP's attempt to retranslate the Word of God to excise it of any liberal bias that has crept in over the years. I am not making this up. Here:

Consider this week's latest madness: George Washington is a saint:

There are literally dozens of other examples I could point to. The project is a mess because Andy has peculiar--to say the least -- views about the world, both in the secular and sacred realms. You want to make a reliable wiki that reflects your politics and your faith? Good on you. The wiki software is free, and server space is cheap. Have fun with it.

Paul in Ann Arbor

Anonymous said...

Those two links got messed up in publication, so I'm giving them again.

PsyGremlin said...

Having had my own run-ins with Ed, I fully sympathise with the comments you made in your post, and I've spent some of my own time investigating the peculiarities of his editing style. (See here for a good example:

Under another name, I was responsible for creating a large amount of the Japanese-themed entries on CP, most of which have since been deleted, as they tried to purge their site of "liberal multi-culturism." I'm curious which article it was that earned your banning, especially knowing that Ed - claiming some sort of competence - often came sniffing around them. Then again, his "Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon" entry speaks volumes of the man.

Great post!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Cornswalled, (if that is your real name), you will find that absolutely ZERO "Midwestern" people use the word "gobsmacked"...unless of course by "Midwestern" you mean Wales. Godspeed.

Anonymous said...

Now you know why Ed Poor is unwanted at Wikipedia and considered a laughingstock there. He's not a very bright guy, he just has Moonie confidence.

Anonymous said...

Don't waste your time with Conservapedia - if you're part of the Religious Right, chances are you won't even be able to laugh about it. And Peter, CP's founder is none other than Andy Schlafly, son of Phyllis and genuine activist in his own right. He's certainly not a "deep-cover liberal", he's just gone crazy and will not tolerate any form of dissent on his blog.

ASchlafly said...

"Alexander Cornswalled" (obviously your parents were unbelievers to give you such a pagan name), you're doing everything except basing your analysis on translating, analyzing and quoting the Bible. I've analyzed your unconcise replies and you deny that liberals get a thrill out of deceit for its own sake alone, so anyone with an open mind can see that you're favoring immorality. Your atheistic worldview has led you to deny that being conservative deters insanity. Observation and logic dictate that liberals try to invade and transform churches, and the list of examples is too long to provide here. You're not making any sense and your silly "goalpost" analogy is silly but common among liberals at Wikipedia, where there is even an absurd entry entitled "Moving the goalpost."