You Be The Judge

By Sean Reagan

Courtesy of Taegan Goddard we learn that John McCain may be lifting his speeches from none other than . . . Wikipedia!

A Wikipedia editor emailed Political Wire to point out some similarities between Sen. John McCain’s speech today on the crisis in Georgia and the Wikipedia article on the country Georgia. Given the closeness of the words and sentence structure, most would consider parts of McCain’s speech to be derived directly from Wikipedia.

Of course, material in Wikipedia can be freely used – but it does require acknowledgment, which appears to be missing in the instant case. Goddard’s question – mine, too – is whether we want a President whose foreign policy speeches are lifted whole cloth from an online encyclopedia that anyone can edit.

P.S. That Wikipedia image atop this post? I got it from Wikipedia.

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2 Responses to “You Be The Judge”

  1. As much as I’d love to be able to pin something like this on McCain, after comparing the texts, I think it’s kind of a stretch. The phrasing and sentence structure is pretty different, so the only evidence we really have is that both McCain and Wikipedia highlight the major events in Georgian history in the same order. Chronological order. That’s a pretty common technique in the world of historical narrative.

  2. For better or worse (I would say mostly for worse), presidential candidates seldom cite cources, so I’ll give McCain a bye on that one. With all due respect to Jonah, I think it’s reasonably clear that his speechwriter consulted Wikipedia, but after all, how many people know anything about Georgian history? I do think he needs more adept speechwriters who are better able to hide their wiki trail.

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