If you search for “Ryan Zinke” the first hit isn’t his campaign page, nor even his former Super PAC (that comes up fourth). The first hit is the former state senator’s Wikipedia page, a fact no doubt noticed by the Zinke campaign, because in Rick Hill fashion, they attempted to hijack his page and replace it with pro-Zinke campaign propaganda.
Before the cleverly named user Zinkecampaign was blocked by Wikipedia, he/she made 22 edits of the state senator’s biography, turning a relatively objective, two paragraph entry into something approximating a mixture between a campaign biography and a hagiography. Oddly enough, the language about Zinke was even exactly the same as the language posted on the Special Operations for America Super PAC web site.
Other editors at Wikipedia noticed the brazen effort to turn Zinke’s wiki page into campaign propaganda, but what has been left behind doesn’t truly capture the man or the candidate. Because Wikipedia is designed to be a collaborative project, I suggest we fix his page and make it more detailed, so that voters will know the real candidate.
Some edits we might include:
- his support for gun control, legalized marijuana, and gay marriage (all excellent positions with which I agree).
- the discipline which saw him removed from active duty in the Navy SEALS.
- his shady SUPER PAC and campaign finance issues.
- his remarks about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
- his archaic, sexist opposition to women in combat. On that note, you really need to listen to this video, in which Zinke articulates some 1950s style sexism to argue that women are useful as wives, not soldiers.
I believe in the integrity of the Wikipedia project. Its purpose is to provide an accurate and balanced encyclopedia of human knowledge. To that end, I propose that we thoughtfully and accurately depict the real Ryan Zinke, no matter what his campaign wants the record to be.