March 11, 2009
Manufacturing your bogus Wikipedia story on Wikipedia
Here's a beautiful example of the conservative media's protracted freakout over Obama: Aaron Klein, a writer for WorldNetDaily, wrote a story about Obama's Wikipedia page and how it lacks some of the controversial elements of his political career. Things like whether he was actually born in America or not, which as far as I can tell is not actually controversial except among people who also believe that Obama is secretly Muslim.
So Fox News picked up the story, noting Klein's discovery that a Wikipedia user called Jerusalem21 had been banned from Wikipedia after changing the Obama entry to reflect this supposed doubt over his birthplace.
From Wired's story about who this Jerusalem21 might be:
Curiously, it turns out that Jerusalem21, whoever he or she might be, has only worked on one other Wikipedia entry since the account was created, notes ConWebWatch. That's Aaron Klein's entry, which Jerusalem21 created in 2006, and has edited 37 times.
Eventually Aaron Klein admitted that Jerusalem21 is his research assistant. Klein works in the Jerusalem bureau of WorldDailyNet, and I guess his assistant likes blackjack.
Wired also looked back at other edits to Obama's Wikipedia page, and one bit about his (minimal) association with William Ayers that got edited out was also originally submitted by Jerusalem21. When Wired asked Klein why he didn't disclose in his article that he was the one generating the Wikipedia edits that were the subject of his story, he said, "It just slipped my mind."
The discussion page on Wikipedia's entry on Aaron Klein, master of media manipulation, is a great read. On it, we find that 30 single-purpose accounts have been used to edit his entry, some "very obviously" used by Klein, his boss, and other people at WND. The entry at various times has exaggerated the importance of Klein's reporting on the 2008 election, and included details about his history of alleged plagiarism.
TrackBack URL for this entry: