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Wikipedia Politics

Palin Fans Deface Paul Revere Wikipedia Page 767

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the you-can't-make-this-up dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Fans of Sarah Palin were found to be changing the article on Paul Revere to make it fit their idol's view that Paul Revere was not warning the American colonists that the British were coming, but rather warning the British were not 'going to taking away our [guns]'."
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Palin Fans Deface Paul Revere Wikipedia Page

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  • by kalpol (714519) on Monday June 06, 2011 @09:17AM (#36349830) Homepage
    because, seriously. Wikipedia is not the reference to end all references. If some dummy changes it and it's wrong, either someone will change it back, or (hopefully) the avalanche of other sources on Paul Revere will remain correct.
    • Or perhaps Paul Revere himself will change to conform to Wikireality.

      Who among us hasn't heard the story of his famous Midnight Ride, where he rode up to the British screaming "You're coming! You're coming!"?

      • by jayhawk88 (160512)

        I think I saw this once on a movie, I believe it was called the Sexual Revolutionary War. Starring Seka and Rocco Siffredi.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Kreigaffe (765218)

        That's kinda more accurate than what really happened actually. Paul Revere warned almost no Americans. Dude got picked up by the Brits almost before he left.

        But many years later, his name fit well into a song, and so everyone now knows about his midnight ride.

        Yeah. Palin was more right than wrong, but everyone thinks she's wrong -- and the reason for that is *people have been dumb for centuries*.

        • by Minwee (522556) <dcr@neverwhen.org> on Monday June 06, 2011 @11:25AM (#36351610) Homepage

          That's kinda more accurate than what really happened actually. Paul Revere warned almost no Americans. Dude got picked up by the Brits almost before he left.

          If by "almost no Americans" you meant "The militia at Charleston, Lexington and Concord who went on to fight the battles of Lexington and Concord" and by "almost before he left" you meant "three hours later, after doing what he set out to do" and that "picked up by the British" means "picked up and then released", and you ignore all the other guys who were doing the same thing and weren't stopped then... yeah, you're absolutely right.

          And if you interpret "Seeing the signal lights up in the church tower then quietly passing on the message to Samuel Adams and John Hancock in person that an attack was coming and that they had best be ready for it" as "Warning the British that they weren’t gonna be takin’ away our arms by ringing bells firing warning shots", then Palin was spot on.

          But many years later, his name fit well into a song, and so everyone now knows about his midnight ride.

          It was about eightyfive years later, in the poem "Paul Revere's Ride". It was a fictionalized account and got quite a few details wrong, such as leaving out the other riders like William Dawes, but was still more accurate than that embarrassing sound-bite was.

          I will freely admit that Palin has demonstrated that she attended history class in High School at least once, but I am still unconvinced that she was awake at the time.

  • Uhhhh? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gregarican (694358) on Monday June 06, 2011 @09:18AM (#36349836) Homepage

    Besides the poor English in the summary if you check Wikipedia's history for this entry you probably won't find much to indicate what is claimed...hmmm...act reactionary very much?

    • by skids (119237)

      Personally I think poor grammar and inverted senses in a summary article about anything Palin related is entirely appropriate. In fact, one would be remiss not to not muddle the metaphoricals and mix the waters when that to which refer is being discussed.

  • by Nimatek (1836530) on Monday June 06, 2011 @09:19AM (#36349850)
    Unfortunately those fans don't seem to read books. The 1984 parallel of editing the past to fit the political 'truth' of the moment is lost on them.
    • On the plus side, I'm pretty sure that 1984 didn't have versioning... It would, of course, be ideal for the correct writeup to always be on the default page; but editing is so much less sinister when changes never go down the memory hole...
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 06, 2011 @09:35AM (#36350064)

      LOL. There's nothing Orwellian about this. I'm nearly certain Palin has no ulterior motive here. She's not trying to rewrite history on purpose. She did it accidentally due to stupidity. She knew a few vague details about a story and simply filled in the gaps with the first thing to come to her mind. I see people do this sort of thing all the time. The difference is, for some reason, this moron gets a media spotlight to show off her ignorance to the entire world instead of just the 3 people that happen to be standing around at the time.

      • The other difference being that a large number of people think she is not a moron and what she says it taken as gospel.

      • by jd (1658)

        Au contrare. This revised version will sell well with the NRA, and they're a very large voting block. People generally don't win without their support. Having this wannabe hero be sticking up for US gun rights improves Palin's credibility rating with them. Never a bad thing, politically. It will doubtless be followed in the next few days by claims that the left will be involved in some effort to control guns (despite this claim having been repeated since the Dems won office and no evidence of such a bill ev

      • by phantomfive (622387) on Monday June 06, 2011 @11:40AM (#36351868) Journal
        No, it's not Palin who's Orwellian. It's the idiots editing Wikipedia to match her mistake.....changing history books to make her look good.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Zephyn (415698)

      “The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. Instead of altering their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views...which can be very uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that needs altering.” - Doctor Who

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday June 06, 2011 @09:19AM (#36349856) Journal
    Don't they know that Conservapedia [conservapedia.com] is their home on the internet, free of the lies and corruption of the liberal filth?
  • by metalmaster (1005171) on Monday June 06, 2011 @09:24AM (#36349936)
    Have politics ever really focused on social issues, rather than the people(be they bonehead or genius) who support or dismiss them?
  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Monday June 06, 2011 @09:25AM (#36349946)
    If Palin runs, it'll be a double edged sword. Most of her base will vote for her and dilute the vote. On the other hand if she wins, it will be bad. It's not so bad that people get things wrong; it's when they refuse to admit it in the face of evidence. That makes for a dangerous combination of people who have power.
  • by Thursday (248391) on Monday June 06, 2011 @09:42AM (#36350148)

    LA Times backs up Sarah Palin:

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2011/06/sarah-palin-says-paul-revere-warned-the-british.html

    And so does Boston Herald:

    http://www.bostonherald.com/news/us_politics/view/2011_0606you_betcha_she_was_right_experts_back_palins_historical_account/

  • by Panaflex (13191) <convivialdingo AT yahoo DOT com> on Monday June 06, 2011 @09:53AM (#36350276)

    You're all being more idiotic than Palin... Here's Revere alerting the British (though no mention or arms):

    "I observed a wood at a small distance, and made for that. When I got there, out started six officers on horseback, and ordered me to dismount. One of them, who appeared to have the command, examined me where I came from and what my name was: I told him. He asked if I was an express: I answered in the affirmative. He demanded what time I left Boston: I told him; and added that their troops had catched aground in passing the river, and that there would be five hundred Americans there in a short time for I had alarmed the country all the way up." -Massachusetts Historical Society's Collections, First Series, Vol. V pp. 106ff.

    • by radtea (464814) on Monday June 06, 2011 @10:42AM (#36350952)

      What Palin said:

      "He who warned uh, the British that they weren't gonna be takin' away our arms, uh by ringing those bells, and um, makin' sure as he's riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be sure and we were going to be free, and we were going to be armed."

      What Revere said:

      "I observed a wood at a small distance, and made for that. When I got there, out started six officers on horseback, and ordered me to dismount. One of them, who appeared to have the command, examined me where I came from and what my name was: I told him. He asked if I was an express: I answered in the affirmative. He demanded what time I left Boston: I told him; and added that their troops had catched aground in passing the river, and that there would be five hundred Americans there in a short time for I had alarmed the country all the way up."

      Really, does anyone recognize Palin's account as being remotely based on Revere's?

      Palin: Revere was riding his horse through town ringing bells and firing guns to (somehow) announce to the British that Americans were going to be free and armed.

      Revere: after being captured on his stealth mission to raise American troops he informs the British that they are facing a prepared countryside.

      What exactly do these accounts have in common? Palin doesn't mention Revere's capture. She does mention him firing guns and ringing bells, which there is no documentary evidence for and which would be weird for someone on a clandestine mission to do. Palin seems to be aware that Revere rode a horse, so there is one point of factual agreement at least.

      • Few people realize that "ride through church bell-towers" were the forerunners of drive up banking and drive through McDonalds. Revere was well ahead of his time and deserves the credit Palin has at last accorded to him for these conveniences.
    • Further info: Experts back Sarah Palin’s historical account [bostonherald.com]

      From transcript:

      (Revere)“warned the British that they weren’t going to be taking away our arms by ringing those bells and making sure as he’s riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be secure and we were going to be free.”

      If somebody told me I was about to encounter several hundred armed opposition, I would take that as a warning. Advice, at least.

  • by Y-Crate (540566) on Monday June 06, 2011 @09:54AM (#36350300)

    I just checked the Paul Revere page and there don't seem to be huge sections devoted to:

    - Paul Revere in Animé.
    - Paul Revere in Manga
    - Paul Revere in Western Animation
    - Paul Revere in Comics
    - Paul Revere in Graphic Novels

    Truly, an e-atrocity. I assume the Palinistas deleted them all.

  • Why do people pay so much attention to her? Her coverage is way out of proportion to her actual influence. Ignore Sarah Palin. If she polls highly, then go and cover her, but look:

    http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/rudy-giuliani-leads-republican-field-cnn-poll/ [outsidethebeltway.com]

    Giuliani, Romney, Palin, Paul, Cain... 16%-10%

    How much coverage is Giuliani or Romney getting? Paul or Cain? In proportion to Palin? Why is this also-ran attracting the same media attention as if Queen Elizabeth and the reanimated corpse of Michael Jackson and Xenu toured East Coast tourist spots?

    It's bizarre. Palin is an also-ran. Please try to ignore this media virus.

    • by Bucc5062 (856482)

      "Why do people pay so much attention to her? Her coverage is way out of proportion to her actual influence."

      You're kidding, right? She is a media wet dream. An attractive, okay, generally attractive woman with a big mouth. It is not that she says anything substantive or influential to the majority, it is that in her elevated position (thanks be to McCain) she feeds treats to the media dogs who hope beyond hope she'll utter a comment that they can pick apart for 24 hours. All media (LSM and Fox) love the

  • Jeez... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rayvd (155635) on Monday June 06, 2011 @09:56AM (#36350320) Homepage Journal

    How the hell is this news for nerds? How many times has the Palin or Bush or Wikipedia pages been defaced? Don't recall it being trumpeted here...

    At least a pretense of impartiality would be welcome...

  • by itsdapead (734413) on Monday June 06, 2011 @10:20AM (#36350674)

    Paul Revere was not warning the American colonists that the British were coming, but rather warning the British were not 'going to taking away our [guns]'."

    In AD 1775 War was Beginning.
    John Hancock: What Happen?
    Paul Revere: Somebody set us up the cannon!
    British: All of your forts are belong to us! Ha ha ha ha!
    Samuel Adams: Take off every HORSE!
    Paul Revere: For great justice!

  • by Jiro (131519) on Monday June 06, 2011 @10:27AM (#36350770)

    Look at the contributions of this user [wikipedia.org]. He describes the Revere comment as Palin's "gaffe". Clearly he does not actually think that Palin's comment was true. He put it on Paul Revere's page because he decided to have a few laughs at the expense of Palin by abusing the reliable sources policy (by claiming that since Palin said it, Wikipedia has to, under its reliable sources policy, treat it as truthful). There were other people who did mistake him for being serious, but he himself carefully worded his comments in the talk page; he didn't say Palin's remark was true; he said that it needed to be put in as a reliable source.

    The idea that this was put there by some guy who's a fan of Palin and (presumably) is stupid enough to think the statement was correct, is wrong. This was an anti-Palin troll, put there by Wikipedia editor who most probably is anti-Palin, and at a minimum was certainly aware, by his own words, that Palin's statement was a gaffe.

  • by argStyopa (232550) on Monday June 06, 2011 @10:53AM (#36351128) Journal

    Er, correct me if I'm wrong, but weren't the British missions to Lexington and Concord in fact *specifically* to seize supplies in those towns, in particular military supplies?

    http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/338392/Battles-of-Lexington-and-Concord [britannica.com]

    So I don't know what stupid edits were done 'reinterpreting' what he said on wiki - Paul Revere was most definitely just announcing their method of advance - but the POINT that he was announcing the approach of the British "to take away privately-owned guns" is entirely reasonable.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by H0p313ss (811249)

      the POINT that he was announcing the approach of the British "to take away privately-owned guns" is entirely reasonable.

      I found it fascinating that she was actually right in essence but so far off and/or vague in facts and so tongue tied that she managed to maker herself sound like an idiot.

      However, history has shown quite clearly that sounding like an idiot is, at worst, only a minor setback in a Presidential campaign.

  • by Unequivocal (155957) on Monday June 06, 2011 @11:38AM (#36351832)

    I'm more interested in the problem on the discussion page dealing with authoritative sourcing.

    The issue seems to be:

    Wikipedia wants to be a neutral source and just report what is asserted by trusted sources. The Palin-camp wants to include quotes from her, cited in mainstream media, on this page (same as you would quote and source a historian on this same page who wrote something in a published book).

    This is interesting as it puts horns on the dilemma for wikipedia about authoritative. I can't just write a blog article on my personal website, post a link in wikipedia and call it a source. But if the LA times quotes my blog, I can use that as a source. But when someone who is not an expert is quoted in the media b/c they are sensational (in the sense of worth quoting right or wrong, in terms of newspaper sales), the notion of authoritative source kind of goes out the window.

    Not sure how wikipedia will cope with this - or whether it's just a corner case that we can ignore most of the time?

  • You can't cram... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bmo (77928) on Monday June 06, 2011 @11:56AM (#36352108)

    You can't cram for New England history and come here and spout what you know and try to bluff your way through it with word salad. There are 391 years of it here, and we know all of it.

    You either admit you don't know or we're going to ridicule you until you cry yourself to sleep.

    And the next person who says that somehow this is a Christian nation like Sarah is wont to do, I am going to take a copy of the Touro Synagogue letter from George Washington *and* a copy of the Bloudy Tenent, roll them both up, and shove them down his neck.

    --
    BMO

  • by nick_davison (217681) on Monday June 06, 2011 @01:37PM (#36353512)

    Everyone knows Revere from his famous ride. Except, even that, is a historical whitewashing.

    Revere was better known at the time for his arrogance and incompetence that led to America's greatest naval disaster until Pearl Harbor: The Penobscot Expedition of 1779.

    The British were helping defend colonists who wanted to remain loyal. The Americans couldn't let them secure the area.

    The Americans turned up on July 25th with 40 ships, almost 2,000 seamen and marines, 100 artillerymen and 870 militia with the fleet mounting 350 guns. Against them stood 700 men and three sloops mounting 50 guns. The British didn't even have proper defenses: the earthworks had only been built waist high when the Americans turned up.

    The Americans artillery under Revere refused to attack without the ships attacking first. The ships refused to attack without the artillery going first. The 870 militia, despite initial successes, then got pinned down without support from their artillery while the British finished building their earthworks.

    On August 13th, three weeks later, a six ship British relief force, bringing the British up to 9 ships and around 250 guns to the American 40 ships and 350 guns, arrived. The armed American ships proceeded to flee as fast as they could, leaving the transports to be destroyed. Even then, they didn't get away. Those that weren't destroyed ran aground and were set on fire by their crews.

    In the aftermath, the commodore was blamed and stripped of his command. Revere was not officially reprimanded but was so heavily criticized by the other officers for his difficult personality and how his attitude caused much of the defeat that he actually requested his own court marshal to try and clear his name - a request that was denied.

    Keep in mind that this was 1779. Revere's reputation wasn't rebuilt until Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem "Paul Revere's Ride." Longfellow wasn't born until 1807, 28 years after the event. The poem was written in late 1860 and first published in 1861, almost a century later.

    So, Palin can claim Revere all she likes. The reality of it is he's a man who died in relative disgrace having, through his incompetence and difficult personality, contributed to the deaths of hundreds of American troops and America's most crushing naval defeat for over 150 years. It was only through historical reconstruction - the writing of a poem a century later and the near total removal of the Penobscot Expedition from US history books - that he gained his fame. If Palin wants to do more of the same, how's that any different?

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