Thursday, February 09, 2006

Revisionism on Capitol Hill

Wikipedia, the popular online free-content encyclopedia, is a wonderful example of the goodness that ordinary people can create on the Internet. It's a great source of information on nearly every subject on the planet, and if it's lacking on a subject you happen to know something about, you can go in and start educating the world by adding your information.

But the BBC is reporting that the staff of members of Congress have been making partisan changes to the Wikipedia biographies of many members of the American political scene. In fact, so many changes were made to George W. Bush's entry that it had to be locked down to prevent further updates.

In one example, Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman's biography was changed so that the word "liberal" was replaced with "activist". Staff also deleted references to Coleman's voting record in 2003 (he voted with President Bush 98% of the time in 2003, even though he ran as a moderate).

And who could forget about Senator Tom Harkin's imagined combat missions over North Vietnam? You won't read about that in Wikipedia any more either - his staff has removed all mention of it and his recantation.

So now we have to add Congressional staffers to the list of folks we can't trust in Washington, D.C., though they were probably there in the first place.

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