Wikipedia’s double standard: Sarah Palin vs. Barack Obama

Wikipedia has an article called Alaska Public Safety Commissioner dismissal, which is about a controversy surrounding Alaska governor Sarah Palin’s firing of a government employee. The subject is notable, and deserves its own article. I’m glad that that article exists.

However, “Gerald Walpin firing,” an article which was about the controversy surrounding President Barack Obama’s firing of a government employee, was deleted, even though the article was reliably sourced, and even though a President is more notable than a governor. (For proof that the article used to exist and was deleted, see Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Gerald Walpin firing.)

In addition, a search shows that Gerald Walpin is not cited anywhere in all of wikipedia.

So, not only does Obama’s controversial firing of Walpin not have its own article, it’s not even cited anywhere, in any of the other articles, in all of wikipedia.

The actions of a President are more notable than the actions of a governor, and yet, while the governor’s controversial firing of an employee has an entire article devoted to it, the President’s controversial firing of a government employee does not have any citations, anywhere, in all of wikipedia.

A President is more notable than a governor. Why is this information about the Obama controversy not allowed to be mentioned in any of widipedia, while the Palin controversy gets to have its own entire article? The only answer to that question is that wikipedia has a double standard for how it treats Sarah Palin vs. how it treats Barack Obama.

(For those of you who are curious to read about Obama’s controversial firing of Walpin, I present to you my own brief summary of the controversy: In June 2009, Obama fired Inspector General Gerald Walpin, after Walpin accused Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson, an Obama supporter, of misuse of AmeriCorps funding to pay for school-board political activities. In a letter to Congress, the White House said that Walpin was fired because he was “confused, disoriented, unable to answer questions and exhibited other behavior that led the Board to question his capacity to serve.” A bipartisan group of 145 current and former public officials, attorneys, and legal scholars signed a letter that was sent to the White House, which defended Walpin, said the criticisms of him were not true, and said that his firing was politically motivated. The letter can be read here.)

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May 18, 2012. Tags: , , . Politics, Wikipedia.

3 Comments

  1. AQFK replied:

    The argument that the actions of a President are more notable than the actions of a governor has nothing to do with anything. The issue is whether the actions are notable in context of the article. Big difference.

    • danfromsquirrelhill replied:

      When a President and a governor are both involved in the same kind of controversy, the President’s controversy is more notable than the governor’s controversy.

      • Kevin Johnson replied:

        Not if the controversy is a nonstarter of a wannabe scandal like this one.

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