Sanity Injection

Injecting a dose of sanity into your day’s news and current events.

Wikipedia refuses to allow critical facts about Obama

Posted by sanityinjection on March 9, 2009

Controversy is brewing over one of my favorite websites, Wikipedia. I love Wikipedia and read it almost every day. Thus, I was disturbed to read that Wikipedia editors are being accused of “whitewashing” the entry on President Obama by eliminating any references to Bill Ayers or Reverend Wright:

http://wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=91114

I had to see this for myself. It’s true. In fact, on the “talk” page attached to article there is a whole explanation. But I don’t buy it. The editors claim that the appropriate place for those references is in the articles on the 2008 elections. Yet you won’t find Ayers referenced there either. One has to look up Ayers directly in order to discover that the two were ever connected in any way. That’s a little ridiculous. Also nothing about the flap over his Hawaiian birth certificate.

Of course, now that the controversy has been mentioned in the media, the article will be locked and no changes made until it dies down. That’s standard policy at Wikipedia.  But I do think the article should, in time, be revised. I agree that biographical articles should not be weighed down with criticism, but simply mentioning the controversies and linking to another article hardly constitutes a hatchet job. The standard being applied to the Obama article clearly is more strict than that which is applied to other public figures.

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3 Responses to “Wikipedia refuses to allow critical facts about Obama”

  1. Tubby said

    Interesting. I agree that stuff like that should be included in an appendix of sorts, like a “Controversies” paragraph at the bottom like you see on a lot of other articles. And I didn’t know you read Wikipedia every day! That actually kind of surprises me.

  2. sanityinjection said

    Here’s another entry in the “Protecting the President from things he doesn’t need protection from” file. An 11 year old boy in Portland Orgeon was told he could not wear a plastic mask in the likeness of the President for a talent show skit because it is “inappropriate and potentially offensive”:

    http://www.oregonlive.com/education/index.ssf/2009/03/obama_portland_student_talent.html

    Let’s be clear here: There was nothing racial about the boy’s skit, and he was not playing on any racial stereotypes. The purpose of the mask was simply to make clear that the character being portrayed in the skit was the President. The President himself wore a similar mask on Saturday Night Live. To the boy’s great credit, he refused to do the skit without the mask because nobody would be able to tell what it was supposed to be.

    As the boy’s father asked, “At what point will it become OK for an 11-year-old admirer to dress up as the president without fear of offending someone?”

    I don’t recall anyone having similar concerns about offending George Bush when he was President. But then of course,it’s OK to offend white people…

  3. Sister Benedict said

    It’s also okay for President Obama to insult Great Britain by his shabby treatment of their Prime Minister during the man’s visit to the White House.

    Question: Did Obama provide Prime Minister Gordon Brown with bags of microwave popcorn to go along with the DVDs?

    Don’t know what I’m referring to? Don’t try to find out about it from U.S. news sources. The info is simply not there. Instead, look up stuff in British online newspapers, where they are free to say what they like about our president.

    I hope the staid, dignified, scholarly Prime Minister Gordon Brown enjoys the Baby Ruth swimming pool scene in “Caddyshack”.

    Is it possible for me to apologize to him on behalf of our country for Obama’s diplomatic disaster?

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