Beck just makes things up about Wikipedia

Blog ››› ››› TERRY KREPEL

Glenn Beck just makes things up on a regular basis -- and especially when it comes to George Soros -- so it's not a shock that Beck's attempt to suggest that Soros' involvement with Wikipedia equates to an involvement with WikiLeaks falls well short of the facts.

On his November 30 radio show, Beck said, as he's prone to do, that "the storm is here," adding that "Wikipedia is just a part of it." One of Beck's sidekicks quickly stepped in to correct it to WikiLeaks. Beck then asserted that Soros "helped develop software" for Wikipedia. Sidekick Stu Burguiere responded, "I've read this before, but I don't think it's actually accurate." Beck went on to add: "Maybe you're right. ... I'm not saying it's nefarious. What I'm saying is that he is an open society guy. This is an open society -- this is perfect open society stuff. ... The software was, I think, helped developed by Soros, which is the software that WikiLeaks is using."

Beck does a lot of false conflating here through a host of ambiguous statements about Soros, Wikipedia, and WikiLeaks. Let's try to clear things up in a way that even Beck can understand.

First, while Soros' Open Society Institute has a history of funding Wikipedia's parent organization, the Wikimedia Foundation, and it has funded peripheral projects such as printing Wikipedia documents, it apparently was not involved in the original development of the Wikipedia software, at least according to Wikipedia's own history.

Second, the software underlying Wikipedia, known as MediaWiki, is free. It's available to anyone with the knowledge to install it on a web server and content to put on it -- including Beck and his crew. (Heck, Beck's blackboard conspiracies might even benefit from presentation in a wiki format.) Wikipedia isn't responsible for what others do with the software it gives away. That goes for WikiLeaks just as much as, say, the Star Wars wiki site.

Meanwhile, Beck's insistence that he wasn't portraying Soros' involvement in Wikipedia as "nefarious," while vaguely hinting Soros had something to do with WikiLeaks, is utterly disingenuous. If the point was not to demonstrate how Soros has his evil spooky-dude fingers in everything, why bring it up at all? Then again, Beck portrayed Soros' involvement in overthrowing communist and authoritarian regimes as nefarious too.

Network/Outlet
Premiere Radio Networks
Person
Glenn Beck
Show/Publication
Glenn Beck Program
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