From The “Don’t They Have Better Things To Do” File

I tend to take Wikipedia entries with at least a grain of salt, particularly those involving anything remotely controversial. Garbage in, garbage out is just as functional in the case of anonymous internet postings as in any other endeavor.

That said, this is just plain lame:

The staff of U.S. Rep Marty Meehan wiped out references to his broken term-limits pledge as well as information about his huge campaign war chest in an independent biography of the Lowell Democrat on a Web site that bills itself as the “world’s largest encyclopedia,” The Sun has learned.

The Meehan alterations on represent just two of more than 1,000 changes made by congressional staffers at the U.S. House of Representatives in the past six month. Wikipedia is a global reference that relies on its Internet users to add credible information to entries on millions of topics.

Matt Vogel, Meehan’s chief of staff, said he authorized an intern in July to replace existing Wikipedia content with a staff-written biography of the lawmaker.

The change deleted a reference to Meehan’s campaign promise to surrender his seat after serving eight years, a pledge Meehan later eschewed. It also deleted a reference to the size of Meehan’s campaign account, the largest of any House member at $4.8 million, according to the latest data available from the Federal Election Commission.

With no pun intended, that’s pretty bush-league.


12 Responses to “From The “Don’t They Have Better Things To Do” File”

  1. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: Will Collier
    RE: The History Deletion Button

    “The change deleted a reference to Meehan’s campaign promise to surrender his seat after serving eight years, a pledge Meehan later eschewed.” — Will Collier, citing someone else

    If Google can get away with it, why not a member of Congress?

    Hey! Seriously. If we’ll allow some corporate entity to re-write history in their favor, we should allow a member of Congress to do the same.

    By the by….

    …have you trashed your Windows-based platform yet?


    [Thinks are coming to an interesting head….

    ….which side do YOU fall on?]

  2. Will Collier Says:

    WIndows? Pffft. Mac user since 1989.

  3. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: Will Collier
    RE: Go Mac!

    “WIndows? Pffft. Mac user since 1989.” — Will Collier


    …what have you done lately to rale against the ‘machine’? You’ve been rather quite about Microsoft and Google, of late. Is there a reason?


    [One of the blessings of virtue is a distain of death.]

  4. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: Will Collier
    RE: Interesting

    Got a hot date? Or is there some other reason you’ve not answered my question?

    You answered quickly enough at my first contribution….



  5. edgr Says:

    Note that nothing is ever truely ‘deleted’ from Wikipedia. All revisions of the article are accessible by clicking on the ‘history’ tab and usually when someone does something like this the article is quickly reverted to an earlier edition.

  6. Ed Says:

    Vanity Editing

    In the old days of the Internet (many, many moons ago, my son–’round about, say, 1999), vanity searches ruled the Internet (that’s how I ultimately discovered InstaPundit, and ultimately, the then-budding Blogosphere, back in 2001, just before 9/11). …

  7. Aaron Hood Says:

    Fred Barne’s editorial in the latest weekly standard called term limits the “Nuclear Option”. He suggested 2 terms for senators and 3 for house members. I would expand that to 5

    Lets not just fault poor Mehaan… I do believe Term Limits were on the “contract with America”.

  8. Robin Roberts Says:

    Wikipedia is sooooo over.

  9. ModernConservative Says:

    Does anyone have any data, especially more than anecdotal data, on Wikipedia actually leaning in any direction politically? I mean, I know how it’s “supposed” to work…but what in life ever works out the way it’s supposed to?
    Well, if anyone does have any such data, please email me and let me know.

  10. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: ModernConservative
    RE: What Indeed

    “…but what in life ever works out the way it’s supposed to?” — ModernConservative

    Anything God has promised?



  11. JAG Says:

    “pretty bush-league”?

    You obviously know little of Congressman Meehan. Of the midgets that constitute the Massachusetts delagation to Congress, Meehan is particularly tiny.

    This was probably one of his staff’s FINER ideas…….

  12. Nick Says:

    There is a general guideline about what is considered acceptable regarding editing or creating information about yourself on Wikipedia. It would seem that this guideline was broken in this case, although it is just a guideline, not an official policy.

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