Lies, Damned Lies, and Wikipedia

by Reid Fitzsimons

From the current Wikipedia solicitation: "It is hard to know what to trust online these days. Disinformation and scammers are everywhere. Wikipedia is different: not perfect, but also not here to make a profit or to push a particular perspective" AND "Wikipedia is different in that it doesn't belong to the highest bidder, the advertisers, or corporations." As we'll see, this is pure fabrication...disinformation.

Twenty-plus years ago McDonald’s had a slogan of “We Love To See You Smile.” I sometimes wondered about this: exactly who at McDonald’s would love to see a customer smile?” The 16-year-old guy with the pimples earning money for the latest video game? The middle-aged shift manager who pondered why he was a middle-aged shift manager at McDonald’s? The answer is obvious: the slogan was advertising nonsense. If sued for propagating a lie, could the McDonald’s corporation have proved they truly loved to see people smile?

When is a lie a lie? When is the truth “disinformation, and when does “disinformation become the truth?” When does adding a simple adjective turn a fact into bias? Search the internet for the words erupts or explodes and you will find endless mentions. It could involve a celebrity, politician, or any given event, but is there really an explosion? There are ostensibly serious news organizations that provided a count of the number of lies Trump told during his term as President, with the number being 30,000+ (30, 573 false or misleading claims, according to the Washington Post). Here’s an example: “(I) built the greatest economy in the history of the world,” stated at least 493 times.

Joe Biden claimed he was a child coal miner; perhaps he is in this photo of exploited child coal miners

It doesn’t really require a highly educated sophisticate to realize the claims of an ego-driven blowhard are absurd exaggerations and not lies, rather it apparently takes a highly educated sophisticate to think they are. I randomly searched the phrase “world famous” and discovered a BBQ restaurant (Swadley’s) is “World Famous.” I have no idea what that means- is the average person in Myanmar familiar with Swadley’s? I tend to doubt it, but there is a difference between a boast and a lie, and any person of average intelligence understands this. Here, however, is a statement that is a provable (and utterly stupid) lie: “I hope you won’t hold it against me, but I am a hard-coal miner, anthracite coal, Scranton, Pennsylvania.” This, of course, was Joe Biden from a 2008 speech (for the record, Biden lived in Scranton from the ages to 7-10, so not only was he a coal miner, he was an exploited child coal miner). We all know that Biden has ejaculated numerous outright lies during his 50 years in politics, but somehow we never see a Washington Post make a count of Biden’s lies, rather it ignores or rationalizes them.

2 thoughts on “Lies, Damned Lies, and Wikipedia

  1. Carole Ann Milljour

    Hi Reid, your article was, to say the least, an eye opener! As the rich get richer, the corruption gets greater and greater! Having used Wikipedia lots of times, I never gave it much thought until your article pointed out the deception.

    I did like what Edward Snowden bravely came out with but unfortunately, he ended up seeking asylum in Russia to prevent being prosecuted over here. I could never quite figure that one out when he was so correct regarding the CIA's surveillance of US citizens. Then there was Julian Assange from Wikileaks whom I thought was doing this country a great service by reporting what he felt needed to be told. I don't know, I certainly have a point of view but whether it is an accurate one, I've never been too sure. Both men are seemingly in deep trouble for their input in the scandalous behavior of some of our top governmental agencies.

    I really don't like what I'm seeing. I don't understand how anyone could even want to throw this country to the dogs, but all I see is pathetic fraud, corruption and waste. Who do you trust?!? I get most of my info from Newsmax and sometimes I just can't listen to it for very long periods. I used to have it on a lot more in the past then I do now. With Obama at the helm and the most corrupt and stupid/ignorant running this country into the ground, I am still having a positive outlook on things to come at some point, but it doesn't appear it will be anytime soon and the longer it takes. the more damage is being done. I keep praying and that's pretty much all we can do until the elections and then, just maybe, things will start turning around.

    The last point I want to add is a notation in the Bible wherein it reads as follows: "What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and suffers the loss of his own soul. Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" (MATTHEW 16:26). Those individuals will suffer much in the end I'm afraid.


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