Thursday, August 21, 2008

Is Mark Udall Trying to Airbrush the Facts on Wikipedia?

Update (8/23): In the interest of fairness and accuracy, it is important to note that the description of the action in the quoted selection as "eliminated" is incorrect. As clarified on Politicker CO, the actions of the Udall staffer were to dispute the neutrality of the Wikipedia passage that connected the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) ads with Udall's wife, Maggie Fox - not to delete the passages. This fact essentially nullifies the significance of this particular post, except to remind readers of the relevant LCV connection.

Over at The Colorado Index, a watcher has done some valuable firsthand research and found that Mark Udall's paid "online communications director" Michael Ditto is tampering with Wikipedia entries to airbrush certain relevant facts:
Unsurprisingly, he doesn't want Wikipedia readers to know about the close connection between Maggie Fox, Mark Udall's wife, and the League of Conservation Voters. He has eliminated references to that connection twice.

"I tagged this section as disputed because it's not relevant that LCV does business with an organization that used to be headed by Mark Udall's wife." [Quote from Ditto]

LCV never mentioned Bob Schaffer in the six years he was out of office, but in 2008 he comes up third on their dirty dozen list and LCV's connection with Mark Udall's wife isn't relevant? No one will buy that when they understand that a Mark Udall staffer wrote it while trying to hide his identity.
In fact, at least through June, the League of Conservation Voters overwhelmingly spent money to attack Bob Schaffer and barely scratched anyone else on their so-called "dirty dozen list." A watcher also could have mentioned that LCV incurred $180,000 in fines for campaign violations after the 2006 election.

That Mark Udall is paying a staffer in an attempt to hide this information from the public should be concerning, and worthy of at least a little MSM attention.

9 comments:

Alan said...

Funny, your links don't indicate Ditto deleted anything -- all it says is someone added a "neutrality disputed" tag to the section dealing with the LCV. I see in the history that someone else edited the page to remove your/Brad Jones' characterization of LCV as "tainted" (an opinion, not suitable for an objective site).

I would add that I know Mike Ditto, have known him for years before he ever worked for Mark Udall, and he has more integrity in his pinky finger than you or Brad Jones will ever have. But that should be obvious to the reader if they've read your drivel previously.

Ben DeGrow said...

"I would add that I know Mike Ditto, have known him for years before he ever worked for Mark Udall, and he has more integrity in his pinky finger than you or Brad Jones will ever have. But that should be obvious to the reader if they've read your drivel previously."

I'm no Mike Ditto, right? Ditto that. Ditto may have a lot of integrity - I don't know him, never made a claim about him - but it's becoming ever more apparent that his boss doesn't.

Seeing you impugn someone's integrity? It's like Ted Kennedy criticizing someone for having a drinking problem.

Anyway, welcome back, Alan. We've missed your "aw shucks", self-deprecating humor recently. Or maybe you really do get paid per usage of the word "drivel."

We're flattered you dropped by to say hello, but you might also try airing your concerns with The Colorado Index.

Alan said...

It was my impression that the "Colorado Index" is run by somebody so wacky that even most Republicans won't associate with him. Interesting to see you uncritically repeating their junk--that's more interesting to me than correcting some hapless fact-free nutjob.

Did you catch the compliment in there? I would savor those, they're few and far between.

Seriously, aren't you interested in looking for yourself to see if what these guys claim and you repeat unquestioningly is in any way true? Kind of helps one's credibility to do that, you know.

Of course, you'd have a lot less to write about if you followed that rule.

Ben DeGrow said...

I don't savor compliments from you. In fact, I've already had to use mouthwash to get rid of the bad taste.

Nitpicky, nitpicky, Alan. You're much more charming with your usual self-deprecation. I think your problem is with the one word "eliminated" in the quoted text. Perhaps I should reprint the post and tweak that wording. Do you have a suggested alternate phrasing? If so, it would indicate you were actually concerned about accuracy. But then you'd have to admit that the effect of adding the neutrality tag was an attempt to remove and airbrush the issue.

And if you're willing to hold up a mirror for a minute, you might see your oh-so-clever characterization of "The Colorado Index" is a typical gutter tactic that makes what you do so unappealing. But you already knew that.

Alan said...

Holy crap, did you learn these word-parsing skills from Bill Clinton? It's obvious what was meant by "eliminated," I'm having a grand laugh at this weak attempt to weasel your way out of a plain-as-day false statement. You've really outdone yourself this time.

Do whatever you like, Ben, but don't you ever accuse me of "sophistry" again.

Ben DeGrow said...

"Do whatever you like, Ben, but don't you ever accuse me of "sophistry" again."

Is that a threat?

I am impressed that the best you have come up with in months of attacking me on this blog is the fact that I didn't correct the use of one word quoted from another source.

If you were really concerned about keeping the record accurate, a little humility would go a long way. But of course that's not what you're getting paid to do.

(For posterity, I'd be inclined to publish a clarifying post, but not to sate Alan's political sadism.)

Keep trying harder.

Alan said...

No, Ben, this is just the glaring example that proves the rule. And the only reason I come back to this piddly little shill-blog is to make your postelection bitterness all the more so.

The only "threat" you face is the cultishly single-minded Schaffer devotion you fill this blog with making you look pathetic and mercenary, much like your boss Jon Caldara's credibility was damaged in 2005 after the Referendum C "dildo explosion." At least Stevenson didn't evict you guys, eh?

Ben DeGrow said...

"No, Ben, this is just the glaring example that proves the rule. And the only reason I come back to this piddly little shill-blog is to make your postelection bitterness all the more so."

Yes, I'm bitterly clinging to guns, God, and blogging, among other things. (Chortle...)

Political sadism isn't pretty. Perhaps counseling is in order for your deep-seated issues of displacement and projection. Then again, maybe you're as happy & well-adjusted in real life as I am. But I doubt it.

You've wasted more than enough of my time. Leave all the comments you want. But you have firmly and finally proven to even this optimistic and long-suffering soul unworthy of any sort of dignified responses.

Ciao!

Alan said...

"Politcal sadism" - that's rich. Must feel that way to have to shill for a bonehead reactionary sinking in the polls. Whatever gets you through the day, Ben: it's not your dishonest candidate or the dishonestly you employ to propagandize on his behalf. It's the world out to get you, it's that damn liberally biased reality bringing a good man down.

"Oh, waskawy wiberals, why won't you sadists let me prevaricate in peace?"

It's a question that answers itself, Ben.