Wikiality: Sarah Palin, Stephen Colbert, Paul Revere, and Bells

#PalinHistory 1

For those who have been trapped under something heavy, or have been transfixed by Anthony Weiner’s weiner, you may have missed an attempt by Palinistas to revise history to comport with Sarah Palin’s stupid recounting of Paul Revere’s midnight ride:

The argument over whether Sarah Palin was misinformed about the historical facts of Paul Revere’s ride has moved to where bar bets go to be settled: Wikipedia.

Since Ms. Palin described the ride last week while she was visiting Boston, Wikipedia’s Paul Revere article page has been the site of a mini “edit war.” And the page has gone from a little-visited one — 2,000 or so page views a day — to a more heavily trafficked one, with54,000 on Saturday when Ms. Palin’s comments were gaining the most news attention.

Over the course of the weekend, people added sentences to the Revere article that repeated Ms. Palin’s claims. It can be hard to discern motives for changes on Wikipedia, and in some cases people appeared to be attributing the claims to Ms. Palin in order to mock her.

One editor, Tomwsulcer, added the following sentence: “Accounts differ regarding the method of alerting the colonists; the generally accepted position is that the warnings were verbal in nature, although one disputed account suggested that Revere rang bells during his ride.”

When the discussion board for the Revere article was ringing with complaints that this was a lie, Tomwsulcer replied that it should be included as a theory because a prominent American politician, that is, Sarah Palin, had said it. “If you follow Wikipedia’s rules,” he wrote, “we must maintain a neutral position, representing the mainstream position as well as disputed versions.”

He lost the argument, but others have been searching history books to find evidence to support Ms. Palin’s claims.

One editor added the fact that the colonists on the eve of revolution were themselves British. That argument was included at the end of a passage stating that “Revere did not shout the phrase later attributed to him (‘The British are coming!’), largely because the mission depended on secrecy and the countryside was filled with British army patrols.”

By that logic, Revere did, as Ms. Palin put it, “warn the British” – namely, the rebel colonists who were still technically British subjects.

But the battles continue, and recent changes to the Revere article have used more facts to undercut the additions that seem to support Ms. Palin. For example, on Monday, one editor added, “Everything Revere told his British captors had a single goal, to move the soldiers away from Lexington, where he had left Hancock and Adams.”

As a result, the Revere article has become much longer, and much better sourced -– a version of what Wikipedia users call the “Streisand Effect,” which is described as when “an attempt to hide or remove a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely.”

Last night, on The Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert tried to do Sarah Palin a solid; he asked Colbert Nation to revise the Wikipedia definition of “bells”.  Needless to say, Wikipedia quickly locked the page.  Here’s the video:

Here’s a tip: If it takes four days to find historical evidence to back up the claim of a woman whose stupidity knows no bounds, it’s time to pack it in.

Also? Sarah Palin’s utter doofiness when she says “ridin’ his horse through tooowwwn!” will never not be funny.

Also, too?

#CLARENCETHOMAS

1 For those of you not on the Twitterz, you should do a search for #PalinHistory.  Many hilarities will ensue.

[cross-posted at ABLC]

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50 replies
  1. 1
    UncertaintyVicePrincipal says:

    Well class, the history of our country has been changed again, to correspond with Bart’s Sarah’s answers on yesterday’s test. America was now discovered in 1942 by… “Some Guy.” And our country isn’t called America anymore. It’s “Boner Land.”

  2. 2
    Yutsano says:

    The Clarence Thomas hashtag needs to be at the top of this post. Burying it under the fold is exactly what the old fool wants.

  3. 3
    C.J. says:

    I reject your reality and subsitute my own!

  4. 4
    JPL says:

    Also, too because of Palin and BJ, I can’t get that stupid song Ring My Bell out of my mind.
    Thanks a lot!!!!
    I think Ring My Bell should be added to the lexicon.

  5. 5
    PeakVT says:

    I can’t see things working out all that well in this post-fact world. I hope to be proven wrong, wrong, wrong, though.

  6. 6
    Nemesis says:

    American History has a decidedly roguish bias.

  7. 7
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Esther Forbes needs to come back and do a Fruma Sarah on her ass.

  8. 8

    I watched the Colbert video this morning .. I haven’t laughed that hard in weeks.

  9. 9
    ABL says:

    @Yutsano: excellent point. :)

  10. 10
    Citizen_X says:

    Love the gif, ABL.

    “ridin’ his horse through tooowwwn!”

    Every time I see that, it makes me think of a high school student that a) got high before class, and b) didn’t do a lick of the reading.

  11. 11
    gnomedad says:

    Teach the controversy, bitchez!

  12. 12
    Chris says:

    @Citizen_X:

    Every time I see that, it makes me think of a high school student that a) got high before class, and b) didn’t do a lick of the reading.

    That’s who she’s been since she came onto the national stage. “What papers do you read?” “What do you think of the Bush doctrine?” and “What Supreme Court decisions have you disagreed with” were other examples. Didn’t want to admit she hadn’t done the reading, so instead she tried to bullshit her way through, utterly failed, and ran bawling behind Fox News’ skirts about the mean teacher bullying her by asking her what she was supposed to know.

    This is what passes for presidential candidate material these days.

  13. 13
    gnomedad says:

    @Citizen_X:

    Every time I see that, it makes me think of a high school student that a) got high before class, and b) didn’t do a lick of the reading.

    Palin’s base?

    In that long gap between the VP nom and her first interview, I assumed that she would be cramming at least a few canned answers to inevitable questions. But apparently even a one-off dalliance with actual learning was too much.

    Also, too, that gif looks quite disturbing after a while.

  14. 14
    Whiskey Screams from a Guy With No Short-Term Memory says:

    This, right here, is an example of why Wikipedia is an utter and absolute failure as it is currently constructed. Crowdsourced knowledge is frequently popular and also (as this particular example shows) frequently wrong.

    I live in a family of educators (I’m just about the only one that isn’t) and both the high school teachers and university professors follow a simple policy: use Wikipedia and you fail the assignment, no ifs, ands, or buts.

  15. 15
    shortstop says:

    Jason Linkins’ tweet on this topic is still making me laugh: If Palin said that strychnine was an essential ingredient in poundcake, we’d have another Jonestown on our hands within 36 hours.

  16. 16
    El Cid says:

    Until the Daily Show last night, I didn’t know that on FOXNOOZ with Mike Wallace’s kid she said it was all caused by another shouted “gotcha” question.

    That question after she had toured the Liberty Bell was

    “What have you seen so far today and what are you going to take away from your visit?”

    Wow.

    This makes Katie Couric’s ‘gotcha’ question of “What newspapers do you read” like what the tyrants of South America would torture people to find out.

    Poor Sayruh and all this cruel librul medja.

    Anyway, it’s just all shit she spouts because she’s lazy and unconcerned and knows that all her fans love her so much it won’t matter and she loves all the attention and worship and being treated so seriously and it’s not working hard like being a bad governor or lousy mayor or having to do at least some shit as a VP candidate and she also loves the money.

  17. 17
    Violet says:

    Was in the car about half an hour ago and caught about five minutes of Limbaugh. A caller was waxing on and on about how fabulous Sarah Palin would be as a candidate and asked if Limbaugh thought she would be a viable candidate.

    I was only half paying attention but my ears perked up when Limbaugh said, “Women don’t like Sarah Palin. I’m hearing from a lot of Republican women that they don’t like her. It’s visceral. And it’s getting worse.”

    And then I had to get out of the car and go into my appointment, so I don’t know what else he said. But I thought it was fascinating that Limbaugh was admitting what’s been pretty obvious for awhile now. Women do not like Sarah Palin.

  18. 18
    Nemesis says:

    No expert here, yet I think Paylin demonstrates some subtle, but dramatic, physical and verbal “tells” when she is about to prevaricate. Watch her eyes, her mannerisms, etc when she is fielding a non-fox-friendly question. Appears to me if watched closely, one can predict with some certainty, a make-it-up-as-she-goes/this-will-not-end-well moment is at hand.

  19. 19
    Chris says:

    @Violet:

    I was only half paying attention but my ears perked up when Limbaugh said, “Women don’t like Sarah Palin. I’m hearing from a lot of Republican women that they don’t like her. It’s visceral. And it’s getting worse.”

    Of course women don’t like Sarah Palin. She’s a conservative male’s wet dream of what all of them should be like. Nicely sculpted enough to stir their loins, deeply stupid enough not to make them feel challenged, and adoringly telling them again and again how awesome they are and that they can do no wrong.

    I’m not a woman, but it’s not hard to see why so many of them would be sickened by her. Personally, I’m just sickened that so many men are turned on by it.

  20. 20
    Mike in NC says:

    “If you follow Wikipedia’s rules,” he wrote, “we must maintain a neutral position, representing the mainstream position as well as disputed versions.”

    These are the same loons who think if the theory of evolution is taught in public schools, then creationism must get equal billing in the science curriculum.

  21. 21
    Rick Massimo says:

    They tried to change the Wikipedia definition to reflect what Sarah Palin said, but NOT to put her name in there. They tried to use the fact she said it to give it enough importance to put it in there, but deliberately didn’t put her name on it because everyone would know it was just that moron Palin and ignore it.

    I hope our leaders remember that this is whom they hope to be reaching and convincing with theie reasonable-yet-evil Facts.

  22. 22
    Whiskey Screams from a Guy With No Short-Term Memory says:

    @Violet: It’s not that women don’t like Sarah Palin (although quite a few of them don’t, I sure know a few that do), it’s that Rush’s GOP/Wall Street/Koch paymasters are scared shitless that she’s going to get any momentum whatsoever and might really fuck up the GOP primary by winning it – handing the Obama his second term on a platter.

    They’re just as aware of that 27% figure as we are.

    So Rush as his orders, and will say what he is told to say. As always.

  23. 23
    Brian S says:

    @Whiskey Screams from a Guy With No Short-Term Memory: handing the Obama his second term on a platter.

    What’s most ridiculous about that fear is that it’s not like Obama has been anything but friendly to business. Part of that is the Congress he’s had to deal with, but it’s not like he’s been out there calling for the heads of CEOs or anything.

  24. 24
    Poopyman says:

    @Whiskey Screams from a Guy With No Short-Term Memory: This, absolutely. Rush is nothing if not skillful in misdirection. He wants listeners to get the impression that Palin is not liked without saying that he doesn’t like her. Keeps his “neutrality” intact. He’s above the fray, donchaknow.

  25. 25
    cckids says:

    @Chris:

    I’m not a woman, but it’s not hard to see why so many of them would be sickened by her.

    I am a woman, and there are many reasons most women dislike Sarah. The happily mean, vindictive crap she spews, the deep ignorance, the constant parading of herself as “grizzly mom” when in actuality she is a shitty parent. But mostly, the idea that this, THIS . . . is the female person who has, so far, come closest to the WH. WTF America, wtf? She does more damage to women’s rights every day than any crowd of misogynists.

  26. 26
    Hungry Joe says:

    Just saying ” … ringin’ those bells” in any context whatsoever is going to be getting laughs for a long time. I can get a laugh right here, right now. Watch:

    ” … ringin’ those bells … ”

    See?

  27. 27
    Geeno says:

    What Revere was warning people about was that “The Regulars are coming”. The local militias wore red coats, too, but they weren’t the army the crown unleashed on its enemies; they were there to keep the peace. The Regulars were the army that fought enemies of the crown. It was militia that captured Revere and then let him go. The Regulars would have treated him as a POW, not as a disturber of the peace.
    Things were very complicated at the outset of the revolution.

  28. 28
    Geeno says:

    @cckids: She’s the classic “mean girl” stereotype. Who wants to be judged by the worst stereotype they can think of for people like themselves (in this case women).

  29. 29
    alwhite says:

    @UncertaintyVicePrincipal:
    Well, BoehnerLand maybe
    @Citizen_X:
    High School? Hell, more like 6th grade kid, most High Schoolers are better BS artists than Palin
    @shortstop:
    How can we trick Palin into insisting that strychnine IS in the recipe? The world would be a happier place!

  30. 30
    Valdivia says:

    @El Cid:

    Mark Halperin thought is was a very mean gotcha question. He said so on Morning Joe. Ass.

  31. 31
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Geeno:

    What Revere was warning people about was that “The Regulars are coming”. The local militias wore red coats, too, but they weren’t the army the crown unleashed on its enemies; they were there to keep the peace. The Regulars were the army that fought enemies of the crown. It was militia that captured Revere and then let him go. The Regulars would have treated him as a POW, not as a disturber of the peace.
    Things were very complicated at the outset of the revolution.

    Militias generally didn’t have uniforms(you showed up in your regular clothes for drill), although locally raised regiments generally did.

  32. 32
    gnomedad says:

    @Poopyman:

    He wants listeners to get the impression that Palin is not liked without saying that he doesn’t like her.

    I doubt he gives a shit about her or anyone else. If the persona or message is good for his freak show, he’s for ’em; if not, not. But, yeah, he knows how to vote stuff up or down without alienating the dittoheads.

  33. 33
    geg6 says:

    @Violet:

    She’s a mean girl. All women HATE mean girls and all women can spot one a mile away, no matter how much lipstick that pig puts on.

  34. 34
    David Brooks (not that one) is a dickhead. says:

    I can guess what was going on in Palin’s scrambled egg of a brain. I bet you will find somewhere a “Child’s Guide to the Right to Keep and Bear Arms Also”, probably in the NRA library, that highlight’s Revere’s taunt to the British that they would have to do the cold dead hands thing. And I bet it’s a well-known meme among the nuts, and that Sarah was just dog-whistling again.

    Just my inference from hearing how easily that idea flowed out of her mouth.

  35. 35
    Violet says:

    @Chris:
    The interesting bit is not what women think about Palin (they have liked her less and less as time goes on, if you look at polls), but that Rush Limbaugh said it on his program.

    I think Whiskey Screams from a Guy With No Short-Term Memory is right that the GOP paymasters are scared of her and want to have him talk people out of liking her.

    It was kind of funny to listen to because the caller was starbursting all over the place about how m33n the MSM was to poor widdle Sarah and then Rush went and pissed all over his pity parade. LOL.

  36. 36
    Violet says:

    @geg6:
    Yes, I’m aware of that. As I said in my post above, the issue isn’t that women don’t like Palin. That’s been established pretty much since the 2008 election. The issue is that Rush said women don’t like her. And not only mentioned it in passing but expounded on it.

    She’s definitely a mean girl. I figured that out about her back in 2008. I know I wasn’t alone.

  37. 37
    El Cid says:

    @Valdivia: It actually takes effort to think of any sort of question other than “Why don’t more people realize how awsum you are Sayruh” or “Why do all the Democrats look down on Real Americans and want to take our guns” type questions which they wouldn’t claim was a “gotcha” question.

    “Governor Palin — weather forecasts say it’ll be really hot in Georgia, where you’re going next. Will you still be wearing a heavy coat?”

    ‘Oh, you know, the coats which have the flag on them which so many of the Washington types want to put out of anywhere, they don’t even let you have those anymore, but in Georgia you still can move on the coats and the good people there know freedom and they, uh, can say a thing or two about when you put that on and suddenly no one’s talking about global warming any more, are they?’

    ‘Darn librul medja and their fancy *gotcha* questions!’

  38. 38
    El Cid says:

    @Violet: Don’t forget how Rush was absolutely freaking out against John McCain as a complete traitor to conservatism right up until he was nominated.

  39. 39
    Valdivia says:

    @El Cid:

    I know, the question could not have been more innocuous if it was written for her ahead of time.

  40. 40
    shortstop says:

    @El Cid: Well done!

  41. 41
    El Cid says:

    @shortstop: The shame is that it’s so easy. Calling it “word salad” suggests that it’s at least as time-consuming as making a salad. It isn’t.

  42. 42
    shortstop says:

    @El Cid: Some wag here came up with “word salad shooter” to describe her. Love it.

  43. 43
    Chris says:

    @Violet:

    The interesting bit is not what women think about Palin (they have liked her less and less as time goes on, if you look at polls), but that Rush Limbaugh said it on his program.

    That’s true. And it was very shrewd to phrase it as just him reporting other people’s opinions, and even shrewder to pin the blame on Republican women.

    It’s well known that women tend to vote disproportionately Democrat. A lot of Gooper men would probably find it perfectly plausible that women, even Republican women, are letting themselves be manipulated by feminazi rhetoric – the liberal media’s really been doing an unprecedented number on Palin, and you know women, so emotional and bad at critical thinking.

    He’s breaking the news to them that she’s not electable, but doing it in a way that matches their prejudices perfectly.

  44. 44
    El Cid says:

    @Valdivia: What question might be allowed?

    Would it in fact be too tough to answer spontaneously how she was so wonderful?

    What if she were asked what her last name was? Would this be an upsetting, rude “gotcha” question?

    What if she were asked simply to say yes, or to say any number, any number at all, or just to remain silent.

  45. 45
    Baron Jrod of Keeblershire says:

    @Whiskey Screams from a Guy With No Short-Term Memory: So you’re saying that because somebody failed to change Wikipedia to suit their own biases, that makes Wikipedia an utter and absolute failure. Funny, that sounds to me like success.

    Also, your contention that “using” Wikipedia leads to an instant failure is complete bullshit. Yes, using Wikipedia as a source leads to a fail, but there are these funny things at the bottom of every Wiki article called “hyperlinks”, which generally lead to more acceptable sources if you “click” on them. I know it sounds like magic, but it’s true. Maybe your educator family members are spying on their students to make sure they never so much as glance at a wiki, but if so I’d suggest they stop. I’m pretty sure that’s not legal.

  46. 46
    Christopher says:

    “Hi, Sarah, how are you doing today?”

    “Oh, you know, I’ve got all those moods, those emotions. Joyfulness, um, sadness, anger, got that anger too. I think thankfulness is a vital one, it’s got to be about thankfulness, um, and purple, also.”

    “…I’m not sure purple actually is a color, Sarah…”

    “Well, you know, that was just…just a ‘gotcha’ question from someone who can’t handle seeing a strong conservative woman. Lapstick, too!”

  47. 47
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Every time I see that, it makes me think of a high school student that a) got high before class, and b) didn’t do a lick of the reading.

    Without the flair and attitude of Jeff Spicoli, to be sure.

  48. 48
    Sophist says:

    A gotcha question? Pff, that was the equivalent of asking a kid to write a paragraph about what they did on their summer vacation. It was a chance to wax patriotic about something totally innocuous, and she blew it. It was a cream puff lobbed right over the middle of the plate, and she whiffed so hard she hit herself in the face with her own bat.

    And a nontrivial portion of the country want this woman to have access to nuclear weapons. I need a fucking drink.

  49. 49
    muffler says:

    The “teaching of the alternate history” is very similar to the trickery related to teaching creationism in Science class. Actually one must laugh because Revere wrote an account of his ride. There isn’t any conjecture unless Sarah is calling Paul Revere a liar. Is she? Why not… his account in in the national archives as we all know – archivists are generally liberal. Might as well try to destroy another function of the US government which works and has value.

  50. 50
    muffler says:

    @Geeno: You nailed it…compication. Sarah doesn’t do well with complication. Everything has to be exact and be mentally containable. If she has to alter the event to contain it then so be it. It makes sense to her and so it must be the truth. This is how facts get put in the Sarah mind mixer and a mixed drink comes out.

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