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McCain Plagiarizes Wikipedia in Speech on Georgia

Well, that's something of a misnomer -- we all know McCain doesn't know how to work those new-fangled internets thingies, so obviously one of his puppeteers chose the passages for him, but here's the scoop:

A Wikipedia editor emailed Political Wire to point out some similarities between Sen. John McCain's speech today on the crisis in Georgia and the Wikipedia article on the country Georgia. Given the closeness of the words and sentence structure, most would consider parts of McCain's speech to be derived directly from Wikipedia.

The article points to three specific passages in McCain's speech which were obviously lifted straight out of wikipedia. It's comforting to note that the know-nothings on the right are able to do research on a par with a fifth grader.... and it beats McCain putting his foot in his mouth as he has in the past.

First instance:

one of the first countries in the world to adopt Christianity as an official religion (Wikipedia)

vs.

one of the world's first nations to adopt Christianity as an official religion (McCain)

Second instance:

After the Russian Revolution of 1917, Georgia had a brief period of independence as a Democratic Republic (1918-1921), which was terminated by the Red Army invasion of Georgia. Georgia became part of the Soviet Union in 1922 and regained its independence in 1991. Early post-Soviet years was marked by a civil unrest and economic crisis. (Wikipedia)

vs.

After a brief period of independence following the Russian revolution, the Red Army forced Georgia to join the Soviet Union in 1922. As the Soviet Union crumbled at the end of the Cold War, Georgia regained its independence in 1991, but its early years were marked by instability, corruption, and economic crises. (McCain)

And the Republican rubes just lap it up...


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Rating: 1.8/5 (10 votes cast)


Comments (14)

ke_future:

OMFG, that is seriously lame. You're dinging McCain because his speach writer got factual information from wikipedia? I thought that was the whole point of the site.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

I'm dinging McCain because all that he and staff know about Georgia is what they read in Wikipedia.

That's extremely lame...

ke_future:

if you'd been paying attention, you would know that they know a lot more than what little bit they may have gotten from wikipedia. so they went to wikipedia to get a few details. what person doesn't go to information sources even on occasion? i really just don't get what the problem is here.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

And on top of having to go to Wikipedia (lol) they did a cut and paste job. They didn't use it as research, they read it it copied it.

They aren't thinking... but maybe asking them to think is just too much to ask.

ravenshrike:

Just how, exactly, is one supposed to use background historical information as research which has by it's very nature already been stripped to the bare bones in a crisis response without sounding horrendously loquacious? Seriously, I'd like to know.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

Some high-school students can't write papers without plagiarizing their sources... apparently John McCain and the whiz-kids in his employ fall into that category.

ravenshrike:

You're gonna have to do better than that. NOBODY cites sources in a speech, unless they're attributing a quote to a person. Of course, Obama's pretty directly ripped speeches from other sources*cough*Malcolm X/Deval Patrick*cough*, so I can see why this would be a sensitive topic for you, but if you're trying to insinuate there isn't a substantive difference in commonly accepted citation rules for speech and writing concerning basic information, you're crackers.

ravenshrike:

Oh, and I've been meaning to ask, why do you lack the cross-linkage that is common theme at the other Wizbang spokes?

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

I'm not suggesting that they cite it, just that they think instead of cut and pasting off the internet. Apparently that's too much to ask.

But do you think they fact-checked it? Do you think they verified it, or -- as it appears - just read it and moused over it, hit the copy button...

As to site layout and formats, we were the first to go with the format you see here -- blue background, white text field, etc, -- and the other sites followed us. Subsequently they went with a three column format, adding more advertising and adding the tabs across the top. Rumor has it we will go that route too, someday, but for now the publisher seems content with leaving this site the way it is.

I like it this way, with two columns, and wouldn't mind having the buttons across the top, but apparently the buttons come with the three-column change which hasn't hit us yet.

Either that or it is some libtard conspiracy. The tin-foil hatted trolls prefer that explanation.

ravenshrike:

Or McCain might have taken it from britannica, since the same info is available there.

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/230186/Georgia

As for 'fact-checking' it, while wiki is not perfectly reliable for certain things, it is more than reliable enough for basic history of a country, especially when it gives widely accepted cites, like the Georgia wiki does.

Lee Ward:

Nope, it's true. I did the coding myself.

David Gerard:

McCain and Wikipedia has vast comedy potential. (Feel free to propagate the picture.)

Brian:

Wow , I have to hand it to you for being so inciteful as to propose that history has been
plagiarized, how many ways can you tell a point of history? I know in todays world that it is much more politically correct to just produce history as a fictional story.

Dan:

This is ridiculous! McCain was talking about historical facts. By this standard, speakers will need to cite the history book or encyclopedia that they read when they learned what they are talking about. By this standard Wikipedia is plagiarizing somebody. Get real!


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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