By MARC McDONALD
I will give the conservatives credit for one thing: they are simply more aggressive than liberals in fighting for what they want.
We all saw this during the 2000 election. Mobs of GOP thugs ferociously fought for George W. Bush, while the Democrats passively sat around, waiting for the phone to ring.
We've also seen this with the Democratically controlled Congress since 2006. Despite facing a White House occupant with approval ratings in the toilet, the Democrats seem impotent and unable to truly challenge Bush and force an end to the disastrous Iraq War.
The GOP's tendency to fight tooth and claw for what they believe in extends to the popular online Wikipedia encyclopedia.
Although Wikipedia is open to edits from anyone and everyone, a casual glance at the site's political articles reveals a distinct right-wing bias.
How can this be?
It's because conservatives are simply more aggressive and are willing to spend the time and effort into putting a right-wing slant into Wikipedia's articles.
I first noticed this trend a year ago. I was casually browsing through Wikipedia and I came across the main article on Bill Clinton.
Out of curiosity, I did a search for how many times Osama bin Laden appeared in the article. Although Wikipedia is an organic entity and articles change, day by day, on that particular day, bin Laden's name was mentioned 26 times in Clinton's article.
I then did a similar search on the main article for George W. Bush. The number of times bin Laden's name was mentioned: a grand total of zero.
I brought this topic up in the "discussion" area of the two articles and the problem has since been rectified.
But I'm sure my experience is not unique for anyone who has spent any time, browsing through Wikipedia's articles.
There is a definitely right-wing slant to most politically oriented articles at Wikipedia. And personally, I think it's simply because the right-wingers are more aggressive in their efforts to edit the site.
Many of these right-wingers apparently spend countless hours on Wikipedia, carefully sanitizing the articles of their heroes. A current case in point: Wikipedia's main article on Rush Limbaugh.
Anyone who has paid any attention at all to the news lately is aware that Limbaugh is currently in hot water over idiotic remarks he made on his radio show on Wednesday in which he called service members who oppose the war in Iraq "phony soldiers."
It's probably one of the biggest controversies of Limbaugh's career (in a career that has been full of controversies from idiotic, bigoted, racist comments Limbaugh has made over the years).
But while Limbaugh's comment has created a firestorm of controversy, you can't read about it on his Wikipedia article. Although one contributor added the "phony soldier" episode to Limbaugh article on Friday, it was promptly deleted by another contributor, who explained his move by saying, "one out-of-context quote is definitely not encyclopedic," (an explanation, by the way, that reflects Limbaugh's own back pedaling attempts to distance himself from his idiotic remarks).
Although Wikipedia features fluid, dynamic content that can change at any time, the "phony soldier" comment has been absent from Limbaugh's article since Friday (even as it has become one of the most-discussed stories in America everywhere from workplace water coolers to the media to the halls of Congress).
But my point in writing this piece isn't necessarily to take Wikipedia to task for having a right-wing slant in its articles. Rather, I would hope that Liberals and Independents (as well as any fair-minded, intelligent, rational adults) get busy and not allow the Bush-loving NeoCons to turn Wikipedia into an online version of AM hate radio.
Assessing Hearts and Minds
11 minutes ago