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By Draeco

American bias?

Kevin Myers wrote an Irish Independent opinion column on 25 February that tangentially accused Wikipedia's contributors of idealizing America's fortunes at the time the Star Spangled Banner was penned. Myers contends that the US essentially lost the War of 1812 to Canada, but "Wikipedia's US monitors" instantly correct "every attempt by Canadians to put it into the historical record." He provides no supporting evidence, but was likely referring to controversy at the War of 1812 article and an ensuing Mediation Cabal case, closed in Nov 2009. Your reporter finds no evidence that opinion strictly reflected the nationality of editors (nor of historians for that matter).

Curious Announcement

BBC Radio 4's comedy series The Museum of Curiosity announced its new co-host (or "curator") via Wikipedia on 26 February. Dan Schreiber, the co-creator and co-producer of the show, tweeted that the name could be found on the newcomer's Wikipedia page, and offered a prize to the discoverer. This edit was subsequently found to name Jon Richardson.


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When I first saw the name I thought User:Kevin Myers. Presumably not the same YellowMonkey (vote in the Southern Stars and White Ferns supermodel photo poll) 00:08, 3 March 2010 (UTC)[reply]

What is the matter with this Mr. Myers? Why pick on Wikipedia, instead of historians? —innotata (TalkContribs) 00:43, 3 March 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Definitely not the same person. He is always getting to trouble in the Irish media, so I wouldn't take his comments too seriously. —  Cargoking  talk  14:00, 3 March 2010 (UTC)[reply]
Just noticed this. I've been to Ireland, but I'm not the Irish columnist. I have a rather different interpretation of the outcome of the War of 1812 than Mr Myers the columnist, based on, I suspect, much more detailed knowledge of the conflict. But I'll pass over our differences in deference to his truly wonderful name. —Kevin Myers 14:26, 10 March 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Erm...The United States lost to Canada? At the time of the War of 1812 Canada was still a part of the British Empire. The U.S. failed in its objectives relating to Canada, but it lost the war with Britain, not Canada. – Joe N 21:30, 3 March 2010 (UTC)[reply]

i think the war was actually a 'draw' in any case, the Treaty of Ghent agreed that the two side would return to their pre-war territorial lines. Tom B (talk) 16:45, 5 March 2010 (UTC)[reply]
I like this idea. Then the Civil War was a draw. Maybe the South lost because they didn't burn Washington. Perhaps the South won if you look at the current makeup of Congress. How about World War II? Did pre-war Germany include Czechoslovakia? How about the borders of Vietnam? By the way, it is probably too late to surrender to Canada. - Komowkwa (talk) 19:45, 6 March 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Mr Myers does have a point, there is a connection between what Wikipidia says in this regard, and the nationality of the editors. If you read the lengthy Mediation cabal, the most fanatical editors supporting the US win are often more likely US. In the Cabal, I was the main person pushing for a Canadian/British win to be recognised, and I'm not from the US (I'm Australian). There are some Americans that see it as a loss for the US as there are some US historians who see the war as a loss, however Mr Myers definitely has a point. Deathlibrarian (talk) 12:59, 28 March 2010 (UTC)[reply]

I will also note that with the War of 1812 article, the opinion that the War of 1812 was won by the British was continously blocked from being included in the article, by mainly US editors. This was against Wikipedia policy WP:Undue Weight - which says that all significant opinions should be fairly represented in an article ( in this instance including the view that the British won the war). Eventually the mediation cabal corrected this. If you look at the article discussion page, there is still a warning by "the editors" that the conclusion that the war was a draw (and the British didn't win) is the prevailing viewpoint of the article. Deathlibrarian (talk) 13:15, 28 March 2010 (UTC)[reply]


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