Ode to Wikipedia Riddled with Errors
By Jeff Bercovici
In a feature story about Wikipedia, it appears The New Yorker fell prey to just the sort of pseudo-truths for which the online encyclopedia is famous.
An editors' note in the current issue notes that the article, written by Stacy Schiff and published July 31, 2006, contained extensive quotes from "a Wikipedia site administrator and contributor called Essjay," described as "a tenured professor of religion at a private university" with "a Ph.D. in theology and a degree in canon law."
It only took the magazine's vaunted fact-checking department seven months to discover that Essjay is actually a 24-year-old named Ryan Jordan who has never taught anything and holds no advanced degrees.
Be sure to check back in September to find out if the Bush administration has really decided to back Sunni radicals against their Shiite rivals.