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Bachmann fans float Wikipedia edits to cover candidate’s recent gaffes

By Stephen C. Webster
Tuesday, June 28, 2011 14:20 EDT
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Several strange edits have shown up on Wikipedia entries pertaining to famed Americans referenced by Republican presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann — specifically, it appears that her fans have attempted to rewrite the lives of actor John Wayne and President John Quincy Adams to fit her woefully inaccurate retellings of history.

Bachmann, who officially launched her campaign yesterday in Waterloo, Iowa, told a Fox News reporter that she was proud to be in the town where John Wayne was from, because she embodies his ideals. Unfortunately for her, it turns out that the actor John Wayne was not from Waterloo, but serial killer John Wayne Gacy was.

Shortly after the gaffe, the Wikipedia page for actor John Wayne was altered to change his birthplace from Winterset, Iowa to Waterloo, apparently as an effort to cover for the misguided politician.

Another edit came after she declared Tuesday morning that the nation’s sixth president, John Quincy Adams, was a “founding father,” even though he was just a child when his father, the nation’s second president, signed the Declaration of Independence.

Sure enough, in short order Adams’s Wikipedia entry was changed to call him a “founding father.” The page’s administrator quickly struck down the revision, insisting that users not make edits “based on current events.”

The whole strange affair would seem to evoke memories of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s badly mangled retelling of Paul Revere’s ride, which inspired her own fans to attempt a series of changes to Revere’s Wikipedia entry.

Wikipedia’s editors struck those down as well, scolding Palin’s fans for attempting to cover up history to make their favorite politician look good.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
 
 
 
 
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