Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Wikipedia Gets it Right This Time

Many have noticed that Wikipedia has locked the page about former Senator John Edwards to prevent people from adding items about his supposed "love child." This is a darned good thing:
Even though Wikipedia does not consider Wikipedia itself to be a reliable source, people will still believe what they read there. And can you blame Wikipedia for not wanting to be sued? Just because Edwards isn’t suing the Enquirer doesn’t mean Wikipedia should run with it. Not to mention, Wikipedia doesn’t “run” stories.

Here’s an example I think Edwards’ critics will respect: Last year, the Enquirer reported claims that George W. Bush had resumed drinking. This story was never corroborated, and unlike this current Edwards situation, that story passed quickly into obscurity. Consequently, you will not find this mentioned on the main article about Bush. Nor should it be. Until the situation is revolved, the two Enquirer stories are more alike than not. But if it does have an impact on his career, the controversy will be duly noted. Perhaps it will even warrant its own separate page.

Ultimately, the lack of corroboration and uncertain notability of the situation is is all that’s keeping it from inclusion on the Edwards article. Patience. And remember that Wikipedia is best understood as a starting point for research, not as the final arbiter of the truth.

I completely agree with this. The smear merchants have had ample time to prove Edwards has a love child--they haven't done so. They've had ample time to trot out more than just a "security guard" who claims after the fact to corroborate what the National Enquirer said--and nothing has come of it. The Enquirer is laughably unreliable as a source, of course. The story, in itself, is a big ho-hum because Edwards isn't, umm, running for anything or holding elected office. And, oh by the way, the evidence is so thin as to not even be there. It's titillation for people who have nothing to do, basically, and plenty of wingnuts spent hours and hours obsessing over something that, umm, hasn't been proven.

Til then, grow the fuck up, wingnuts. Sometimes, the beautiful people do have sex, but, more often than not, it's with their spouse and it's behind closed doors and it's done discreetly because they have, umm, healthy sex lives. You're not having sex. Why is that such a problem for you?


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