Soledad O’Brien’s Gaffe Sets Off Flurry of Wikipedia Edits [UPDATED - Page Now Locked]

Yesterday, after CNN’s Soledad O’Brien was caught using an e-mail featuring Talking Points Memo’s post “The Myth of Paul Ryan the Bipartisan Leader,” her Wikipedia page immediately reflected her newest display of partisanship:

Within minutes, not only was the new addition deleted, but the entire “Criticism” section was as well. This set off a flurry of edits, 29 to be exact (including one by yours truly), within the past 24 hours. Previously, her entry had been updated by a CNN staffer, Nastassia Brown, who also wrote Soledad’s IMDB biography. It’s unclear who was responsible for the deletion of the “Criticism” section, but her current page indeed reflects her poor discretion yesterday, as well as previous issues.

New Media: 1. Soledad O’Brien: 0.

UPDATE, 8/15, 4:45pm ET:

Soledad’s Wikipedia page is now locked. Since the first edit was made reflecting using TPM as a source, there have been 68 subsequent edits. Upon removing the portion of the “Criticism” section reflecting that, Wikipedia Editor M0rphzone noted:

“I’ve removed it for now. For one thing, the wording is unbalanced, and the sources are not reliable. The article might need to be temporarily protected against drive-by edits. “

This story was covered on over a dozen outlets, including Fox Nation. However, the bias of the Wikipedia Editors was previously noted on the talk page. Via Goldbishop:

The criticism of O’Brien is largely coming from Fox News and other conservative attackers. I personally didn’t see anything wrong with what she did, but it’s not my job to make judgments. I added the parts about what induced Sununu to claim O’Brien should put on Obama bumper sticker on her head (her citation of generally non-partisan sources which indicated that the Affordable Care Act would extend the life of Medicare, and distinguishing this from the Ryan plan). I also noted that in the incident where she was looking at a liberal blog article, she made a single quotation from the article. I personally would actually remove the latter because there’s nothing wrong with looking at an article, be it liberal or conservative. It’s the job of journalists to question people, so it makes sense that she would look at a liberal article when she has a conservative person to talk to. Nonetheless, I’m biased, so I didn’t remove anything, just added context.

Emphasis mine. Perhaps if CNN or MSNBC had covered it as well, it would meet these editors’ standards for reliability. It’s not up for debate that Soledad was using TPM as a primary source, as we’ve noted, so it’s unfortunate that they dismissed factual claims as “not reliable” and protected her page from further edits until the end of August.

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