By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Polishing his own apple

The Lowell Sun has a great story today on U.S. Rep. Marty Meehan, D-Lowell, whose staff edited his bio in Wikipedia to remove a long-since-broken promise to step down after four terms, as well as the size of his campaign account.

Check out Meehan’s Wikipedia entry now, and it ends with this: “Meehan’s staff members have been accused of editing out references to his campaign money and term-limit promises on Wikipedia.” Yes, indeed.

Even better — or worse, if you’re Meehan — the congressional vandalism made the humor site, along with some pretty vicious comments.

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Beneath contempt


  1. Mark

    In parlance: “Duke sucks.”

  2. Anonymous

    My favorite edit:Meehan’s staff members have been accused of editing out references to his campaign money and term-limit promises on Wikipedia. He is a poopie-pie.Thank you, Media Nation, for further sharing this. And thank you, Your dog wants more.

  3. Anonymous

    Unfortunately, Marty’s constituents are so dense that this will be a 72 hour story at best. I predict:Dems will think Meehan’s people are madcap cut-ups who throw toilet paper on HalloweenRepubs will sigh, knowing how impotent they are in the Merrimack Valley andMedia will ignore it, not wanting to confuse unwashed masses with the concept of Wikipedia.This weasel will skate, as he always does. Yes Virginia, the system is broken.

  4. Gary McGath

    So far, the Eagle-Tribune’s web site has nothing on the subject. So Anonymous may well be right.

  5. Hank Rogers

    The lesson is simple: Trust Wikipedia at your peril. Editors have a function in this world, like it or not.

  6. mike_b1

    They sure do, Hank. And I need my walk shoveled right now, Marty Baron.

  7. Anonymous

    Not to say “I told you so” but after 48 hours, Globe has a piece buried in paper version of City/Region (not online?); Herald is MIA. We truly do get the government we deserve.Anon.10:47

  8. neil

    Meehan must have some standard gaseous emanation about the term-limit issue that he can recite when it comes up. It almost writes itself…”When I made the original promise I was naive. Over time I learned that to achieve results in the House you need seniority. As my experience grew, I realized that it gave me an opportunity to serve my constituents more effectively, and this opportunity outweighed the importance of keeping a promise made in ignorance of the political process. I admit that the promise was a mistake, and I apologize for it.”He should add such a statement to his web site. Then his staff could have added to Wiki rather than subtracting. I like Meehan but am surprised he hasn’t simply put this issue to rest by now. It will continue to crop up till he does, and it’s not politically expensive to correct. Especially if he’s going to stand up as a reformer of congressional ethics.He was on Greater Boston on Monday I think. I presume Emily asked him about it. He should fess up to her and add a statement to his web site so his position is clear and on the record. That should settle it.

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