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August 11, 2008

John McCain's Wikipolicy
Posted by The National Security Network

Update: This is Pat Barry here, I was in a hurry to get this up and I mistakenly posted it under the wrong username.  Hat tip to Adam Blickstein too, who pointed the story out to me in the first place.

So John McCain apparently lifted huge portions of his statement on the unfolding crisis in Georgia from Wikipedia.  Here's a 3 AM question for you: do you want a President with a real strategy for containing such a crisis, or do you want someone who's stumbling over wikipedia entries after getting internet lessons from his wife.  I guess when it comes to McCain and foreign policy, it's a google!


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Er, you may want to rethink "huge." It's a couple of sentences. Pretty egregiously stolen sentences, and probably an indication that the bulk of the speech was sourced from there, but "lifted huge portions" is just inaccurate.

I find this pretty unlikely. First, consider that plagiarized text is almost always longer than original text because the plagiarizer is trying to hide the origin -- but the McCain speech text is shorter.

Second, historical facts can't be plagiarized, only their expression. But here the words are very much different -- other than the first, very short, example, even sentence structures are different.

Plus, the third McCain section even contains information not in the Wikipedia version -- the bit about the U.S.-educated lawyer.

I think that about covers it. (Oh, and I've cross-posted slightly altered versions of this elsewhere, in case anyone accuses me of self-plagiarism.)

Wow! Guess ol' Jay McSee is finally starting to get to grips with them there tubular intragoogles!

Several Wikipedia entries, pro-Georgian in nature, refer to The Jamestown Foundation as their source. JF hides its neocon credentials behind a facade of non-partisanship, Cheney was a former board member. I imagine some members of McCain's team are aware of the propaganda machine's Wiki use and felt safe to lift talking points from it.

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