July 20, 2008
To summarize, Wikipedia is essentially an online encyclopedia that allows anyone to add or remove information so long as it is properly sourced somewhere online (for example, much like a college paper, you have to properly tell where you got your information). Information that is not cited (or obvious) is removed, and information that is properly cited is protected. Basically, the idea is so you can trust information on Wikipedia.
Of course, “Truth” and “Patrick McHenry” have no place together in the same sentence except for “Patrick McHenry tries to hide the truth”. Why?
As evident by the revision history of Wikipedia on the “Patrick McHenry” page, staffer Jason Deans (on McHenry’s payroll) has been trying to “spruce up” McHenry’s page- including removing information cited from popular magazines such as Roll Call, as well as adding unimportant information including a self-promoting blurb of the following:
McHenry credits his victory to his grassroots campaign which was developed by his political consultant Dee Stewart and executed by his campaign manager Jason Deans.
Accordingto the Wikipedia Revision History above, these edits were done by an account “Jason Deans”, as well as by mysterious accounts that continue to try to remove information about McHenry’s ties to Countrywide, his controversy regarding giving alcohol to minors, the real outcome of the Michael Aaron Lay charges, as well as other information regarding McHenry scandals.
Of course, Wikipedia owners and administrators have noticed this, including messaging one of the IPs Jason Deans used (18.104.22.168, which traces back to Raleigh, one of Deans’ hunting grounds), asking him “Can you justify un-doing that edit?”. Of course, he refused to answer.
This isn’t the first time McHenry’s tried hiding the truth from Wikipedia. Democrats initially picked up on how some Congressional IPs were being used to edit his info, as well as some IPs that looked suspiciously like Jason Deans, other McHenry staffers, or even Patrick McHenry himself. Some good examples from the site:
1. McHenry smooths over the Aaron Lay Article
Someone on an IP from Reston, VA- that is, a stone’s throw away (or a nice morning drive-to-works away) from Washington DC. Note how it stresses the “former” aide part about Aaron Lay, and makes sure to includes McHenry’s argument in return- not something Wikipedia usually does, as they only care about facts. And they even nicely clean up his profile for him!
2. Voter Fraud? What Voter Fraud?
Suddenly, out of nowhere(!), someone named RLB2002 starts magically deleting the Voter Fraud allegations section of McHenry’s Article! User RedShiftPA tries to restore it, but RLB2002 will not be satisfied.
3. I’m not gay!
RLB2002 is back again to hide allegations that McHenry might just be a little light in the loafers.
4. No seriously, no voter fraud.
IP 22.214.171.124 comes on the scene to mysteriously delete the Voter Fraud section again. Where is this IP? Make a guess.
5. And we hate that Drama Queen girl
Suddenly, IP 126.96.36.199 (coming from Verizon Business, STRAIGHT OUT OF WASHINGTON DC) magically edits the article to remove both the voter fraud section… and the link to Drama Queen’s blog.
6. More Voter Fraud deletion!
IP 188.8.131.52 (straight out of Washington, DC again) deletes the Voter Fraud section. Again.
7. We will deny you ever worked for us.
Aaron Lay section edited again. From Washington DC IP 184.108.40.206, naturally. And there’s more info about what McHenry said.
8. They never lived here!
IP 220.127.116.11 out of New Jersey (?) decides to try to hide about McHenry’s housemates-with-benefits. Who vote for him. Illegally.
9. They didn’t live here!
Again. Ip 18.104.22.168 out of DC, voter fraud, removes it, etc.
10. POORLY NEUTRAL POORLY SOURCED CONTENT
IP 22.214.171.124 this time posts a comment on their removal of the information: “Removed non-neutral, poorly-sourced content”. Apparently, the truth hurts McHenry.
11. It’s not the size that matters, it’s the motion in the ocean.
IP 126.96.36.199 out of Washington DC would like you to know that McHenry is perfectly sized and can please any man he wants to.
Of course, we Republicans will be keeping an eye on McHenry’s little edits, and will be fixing them every time he tries to hide information. The Internet isn’t an advertising mechanism, Patrick- stop trying to make it one.