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> Tom Brokaw BLP Vandalized, Ho-hum. Not even worth commenting on any more.
Moulton
post Thu 19th March 2009, 6:07pm
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New York Daily News

Tom Brokaw a rogue on wacky-pedia

Sunday, March 15th 2009, 4:00 AM

He’s one of journalism’s most beloved and respected men, but someone appears to have it in for Tom Brokaw.

Look up the former NBC News anchor on Wikipedia and you’ll find a review of his Emmy-winning reports, his best-selling books, his 20 honorary degrees. Until recently, you also would have found this sentence:

“He had been married to Meredith Lynn Auld (a former Miss South Dakota and author) from 1962 until 2007, when an alleged affair between Brokaw and Diane Sawyer ended their marriage.”

The Brokaws’ marriage is very much intact (a Google image search shows them arm in arm at events throughout 2008 and 2009). Likewise, ABC News’ Sawyer remains happily married to director Mike Nichols.

A rep for Brokaw said he “burst out laughing” when he heard about the supposed affair. Contacted in the arctic reaches of Finland, Sawyer sent back word through her rep that, “as cute as Tom is, she laughed so hard she nearly fell off the icebreaker she’s traveling on.”

The purported affair, anonymously added to Brokaw’s bio on Feb. 27, was deleted after five days. Wikipedia Foundation spokesman Jay Walsh tells us the post “would constitute a ‘vandal edit’” but doubted the vandal could be found.

“It’s an open system,” says Walsh. “People may use it to exert their views. But the biographies of living people are most scrutinized by our volunteer editors. It’s incumbent on the Wikipedia Foundation to make sure they’re accurate.”

Walsh surmised that “someone with some agenda” was behind the post. Or maybe there’s more than one person. Clicking on the discussion page of Brokaw’s bio reveals attempts to slip in digs about his accent and personality. Wiki watchdogs rejected the insults, though not the unflattering picture of the newsman, which reminded one reader of “Clint Eastwood saying, ‘Do you feel lucky, punk?’ ”

The effort to smear Brokaw recalls the anonymous Wiki attack in 2005 on former assistant attorney general John Seigenthaler Sr., who, it was falsely claimed, masterminded the assassinations of both John and Bobby Kennedy.

Brokaw isn’t the only newsman targeted by Wiki vandals. “Some of our correspondents have stalkers who constantly post falsehoods,” says a source at another network news department. “We’ve had Wikipedia block posts from repeat offenders.”

But the unflappable Brokaw isn’t calling for any investigations. Through his rep he said, “This is beneath comment.”
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CharlotteWebb
post Thu 19th March 2009, 7:27pm
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QUOTE(New York Daily News)

Wiki watchdogs rejected the insults, though not the unflattering picture of the newsman, which reminded one reader of “Clint Eastwood saying, ‘Do you feel lucky, punk?’ ”

Hmm...
Image

Image

Well I have to admit Brokaw does look rather pissed off at Shankers, maybe he's saying "don't come any closer".
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Milton Roe
post Thu 19th March 2009, 8:03pm
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QUOTE(Moulton @ Thu 19th March 2009, 11:07am) *

New York Daily News

Tom Brokaw a rogue on wacky-pedia

Sunday, March 15th 2009, 4:00 AM

He’s one of journalism’s most beloved and respected men, but someone appears to have it in for Tom Brokaw.

Look up the former NBC News anchor on Wikipedia and you’ll find a review of his Emmy-winning reports, his best-selling books, his 20 honorary degrees. Until recently, you also would have found this sentence:

“He had been married to Meredith Lynn Auld (a former Miss South Dakota and author) from 1962 until 2007, when an alleged affair between Brokaw and Diane Sawyer ended their marriage.”

The Brokaws’ marriage is very much intact (a Google image search shows them arm in arm at events throughout 2008 and 2009). Likewise, ABC News’ Sawyer remains happily married to director Mike Nichols.

A rep for Brokaw said he “burst out laughing” when he heard about the supposed affair. Contacted in the arctic reaches of Finland, Sawyer sent back word through her rep that, “as cute as Tom is, she laughed so hard she nearly fell off the icebreaker she’s traveling on.”

The purported affair, anonymously added to Brokaw’s bio on Feb. 27, was deleted after five days. Wikipedia Foundation spokesman Jay Walsh tells us the post “would constitute a ‘vandal edit’” but doubted the vandal could be found.

“It’s an open system,” says Walsh. “People may use it to exert their views. But the biographies of living people are most scrutinized by our volunteer editors. It’s incumbent on the Wikipedia Foundation to make sure they’re accurate.”


laugh.gif laugh.gif It stayed there five days for this very famous man, giving the lie to what Walsh says.

But that's not surprising, since I believe that WMF's Jay Walsh lies when he says "hello." You need a gas mask and GPS to find your way through the miasma of meretricious fog which is regularly emitted from "Director of Communications" Walsh, or (for that matter) any other paid-advocate for any corporation. yecch.gif yak.gif
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Shalom
post Wed 25th March 2009, 3:05am
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At least somebody can laugh at the absurdity of the situation. People who are public figures anyway can take such crap in stride. That doesn't make it okay, but it does mitigate the impact. Perhaps Doc Glasgow is correct that highly public figures are not the worst problems for BLP compared to private but notable individuals.
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Sarcasticidealist
post Wed 25th March 2009, 3:14am
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QUOTE(Shalom @ Wed 25th March 2009, 12:05am) *
At least somebody can laugh at the absurdity of the situation. People who are public figures anyway can take such crap in stride. That doesn't make it okay, but it does mitigate the impact. Perhaps Doc Glasgow is correct that highly public figures are not the worst problems for BLP compared to private but notable individuals.
Doc's undoubtedly right about that; I didn't realize anybody still doubted it.

In my experience at OTRS, most BLP victims of vandalism are very friendly about it (some exhibit a sense of humour, if the vandalism in question was on any level humourous). The reaction is generally gratitude to you for cleaning it up/protecting it. More than once I've caught myself wondering "Why are you thanking me for cleaning this up instead of damning me for being part of a system that allowed this to happen?" It might just be an indication of the extent to which Wikipedia has been accepted by the public at large.
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