'The Hill' Notes Obama-Biden Wiki Wackiness; Dems 'Not Returning Calls'

WikiBidenObama0808.jpgIn a "Leading the News" story primarily about Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Joe Biden's prior praise of John McCain, Susan Crabtree at The Hill noted previous posts made by yours truly about the alterations made to Biden's Wikipedia entries shortly before and after he was named by Barack Obama.

Those posts showed that at least these changes were made since I downloaded -- and kept -- Biden's main Wiki entry on Friday:

  • (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) The details of Biden's undergraduate grades went away, and other text in the related paragraph was worked over.
  • (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) The section relating to 2004 under "Presidential Campaigns" was deleted, and most of the text that had been contained there moved to a section before the 1988 campaign. It was if the idea that Biden campaigned for the presidency was true before Obama selected him, and not true after that.
  • (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) The footnote relating to the original entry's claim that Biden had only plagiarized British politican Neil Kinnock one time, which never related to that claim anyway, was removed. Further, no Wiki entries relating to Biden -- before or after -- adequately described the full extent of his 1987 plagiarism, which included Kinnock at least one and probably several other times, and other plagiarizing of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and Hubert Humphrey.

What Ms. Crabtree wrote follows. It includes some follow-up she did, which is in bold:

Two conservative blogs, newsbusters.org and bizzyblog.com, have run items about changes made to Biden’s Wikipedia entry Friday night as news of his veep selection was leaking out.

The blogs point out that someone wiped out the year 2004 from the presidential campaigns section of the bio. That heading contained a reference to an MSNBC article about Biden urging then-Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry to pick McCain over himself for the No. 2 spot on the ticket.

MSNBC’s story, dated May 16, 2004, reported that Biden told the late NBC “Meet the Press” host Tim Russert that Kerry should select McCain as a way to help heal the “vicious rift” dividing the U.S.

Newsbusters.org reported that the details of Biden's undergraduate grades (generally C's and D's, with two A's in phys-ed and an F in ROTC) as well as other details about the plagiarism allegations that caused him to drop out of the 1988 Democratic presidential primary "strangely" disappeared from his Wikipedia entry between Friday and Saturday.

Opponents on both sides of the aisle often alter Wikipedia entries of political figures, but the timing of the changes raises questions about whether anyone at the Obama campaign or the Democratic National Committee (DNC) had anything to do with it.

Obama’s campaign and the DNC did not return several calls seeking comment about the changes to the Wikipedia entry as well as the positive comments Biden has made about McCain over the years.

Ms. Crabtree didn't note that the posts are largely mirrored at the two blogs, but got the substance of what she did write correct. However, a little more detail on the full extent of the 1987 plagiarism would, in my opinion, have greatly benefited inquiring readers.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.