Warm Southern Breeze

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Mitt Romney chooses Paul Ryan as running mate; Damage Control begins

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, August 11, 2012

Paul Ryan, ‘Brown Noser’? The Wikipedia Edit Wars Begin for Romney’s Running Mate

By Megan Garber

Aug 11 2012, 9:13 AM ET

Now that his candidacy is official, Paul Ryan’s Wikipedia page will become a battle ground.

Paul Ryan voted biggest HS Brown-Noser

Paul Ryan’s classmates vote him “Biggest ‘Brown-Noser.'” pic.twitter.com/P2DrIncJ Photo via Twitter via @ryanlizza – Washington Correspondent for The New Yorker, Contributor for CNN

In high school, Paul Ryan’s classmates voted him as his class’s “biggest ‘brown noser.'” This little tidbit is a source of delight for political opponents of the Wisconsin representative-turned-Romney-running mate; to his supporters, in general, it’s an irrelevant piece of youthful trivia.

But it’s also a tension that will play out, repeatedly, in the most comprehensive narrative we have about Paul Ryan as a person and a politician and a policy-maker: his Wikipedia page. Late last night, Politico reports — just as news of the Ryan choice leaked in the political press — the first substantial edit to that page removed an extant “brown noser” mention:

removing prom king and brown noser from article –see discussion on “talk” page

But then another user put the “brown noser” mention back in. Because: relevant!

And then another user removed it again, explaining:

Removed unnecessary statement from Early Life about … “Brown Noser.” This is not needed in article is not common in such brief survey sections.

As of this writing, “brown noser” stands. As does a maybe-mitigating piece of Ryan-as-high-schooler trivia: that he was also voted prom king. But that equilibrium could change, again, in an instant.

Now that Ryan’s confirmed, Read the rest of this entry »

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