Tuesday, January 09, 2007


Spiderman does Wikipedia? Who knows?


Public Eye OnLine - Sean Holman
9 January 2007

Former Pilothouse Public Affairs Inc. lobbyist Erik Bornman has become, by any measure, a notable figure in British Columbia political history. After all, according to search warrants released last April, he is alleged to have "received information and documents" from David Basi "in exchange for payments" which were forwarded to the then ministerial assistant. But it seems some Wikipedia readers have a different view.

Those readers recently debated whether the online encyclopedia should delete an entry about Mr. Bornman published in the online encyclopedia - an entry that had become increasingly controversial due to the inclusion of allegedly libelous and biased material. Some believed those concerns about that material were reason enough for deletion. But others made the more curious argument Mr. Bornman wasn't "notable" with one reader writing there was "no value in this entry until this person and his testimony shows significant importance and usefulness in relation to the other convicting evidence" in the legislative raid case. In the end though, a Wikipedia administrator decided to keep the entry, pruning any unreferenced information.

Which aroused an indignant shout from normally mild-mannered Bill Tieleman, who said:

Interesting that the Wikipedia item on Erik Bornman doesn't cite any of my extensive reports for The Tyee at www.thetyee.ca or for 24 hours newspaper http://vancouver.24hrs.ca/ or previously for the Georgia Straight www.straight.com

No mention of his "Spiderman" antics, no mention of his withdrawal from articling at Liberal & Paul Martin leadership donor McCarthy Tetrault in Toronto, no mention of his "good character" hearing by the Law Society of Upper Canada - in short, Wikipedia comes up way short on the facts - not opinions - on Erik Bornmann.

Posted by Bill Tieleman on January 9, 2007 11:28 AM


Interesting comments are piling up on Public Eye OnLine.

While I can understand Mr. Tieleman's indignation, I have a feeling that he will, if he takes the time to follow up some of the leads surrounding the Wikipedia brouhaha, find he's one to something even more interesting and noteworthy for a future column.

The simple fact that nearly all the silly business at Wikipedia is the result of one or two ‘real’ individuals and a lot of invented ones is an interesting story in itself. Actually chasing down the 'identity' of those individuals would be a big scoop for Bill, or any other journalist.

By the way Bill, what did you find out about the mysterious Gary Gibson?

The really ironic thing about all this is the spectacle of a couple of Public Relations hogs like Bornman(n) and Marissen, who normally thrive in the limelight, having their resumes trimmed to the bare bones by hidden supporters and an army of sockpuppets.

The infrastructure of the ‘great’ Liberal party of Canada has indeed fallen upon hard times. If these guys are going to run Stephane Dion’s campaign I think he may well be in a lot of trouble.

Those congratulatory flowers from Eric Bornman(n) and that lovely card for one of the BC Rail case’s accused say quite a bit about the fellow who sent them, don’t you think?
Some guy on a story in Tyee was using the same expression. "Sockpuppets" and then put up about four articles about the fellow in wikipedia. I guess he is out spreading the word about how great the subject character is, or defending someone. How does any site that changes its stories expect teh folks to actual read their stuff.
Well, the site doesn't change its stories per se. What's happened here is that either Bornmann or Marissen themselves, or folks who fly their flag so to speak, have come in to wikipedia posing as editors and vandalized the pages in question.

In fact, wiki has now blocked all these characters and their avatars and protected the pages which will now be reviewed and corrected with clearly sourced material.

In fact, the system worked and the Bornmann/Marissen forces have been sent packing.

In the end, they've been shown up for the dissemblers they really are. People afraid of facing the consequences of their own behavior. A common feature of Liberal (and, in truth, neocon) politics in this country.
I reviewed both Bornman's and Marissen's edit history on their Wikkipedia entries. Bornman's is quite the fight, but i do not find anything about the legislature raids on Marissen's history, other than a recent link to an old Globe and Mail article. Other than that, no one either put anything on his entry associated with the legislature raids, or removed anything about the legislature raids either.

There is nothing on the internet showing that Bornman supported Stephane Dion for the leadership. It appears that his brother Roy Bornman supported Ken Dryden, however.
I don't think I've seen anything that placed Erik and Dion together...the info about his brother, Dryden, and Dryden's supporters going to Dion is out there.

The Marissen article on Wikipedia has not been well developed. There is a paucity of citable material although certain things, like his wife hosting for Michael Smyth on CKNW and doing political interviews without disclosing her, and her husband's, support for Dion LONG prior to the convention is certainly newsworthy and should be noted - as is the ethnic connection(s) to Dion and his win which have not been noted on Wiki and yet were clearly described in the Globe and Mail.
And then of course there's this:
STEPHANE DION, the new Liberal leader, had the party's national election campaign co-chair Mark Marissen introduce him to local Indo-Canadian heavies and apparatchiks at a South Hall banquet facility powwow recently.

All would have heard of the Dion leadership campaign being reportedly $600,000 in the hole, while the party has $2.4 million or so to make up.

But the price that attendees most wanted to know was the one to put on words.

With Paul Martin and Gordon Campbell having delivered fewer patronage plums to them than many Indo-Canadian supporters thought they'd been promised for their efforts, they'll expect something more concrete from Dion.

And not the concrete blocks some felt were smashed against their heads before. (Malcolm Parry, Vancouver Sun
Published: Saturday, January 13, 2007 )

Which, almost without saying, proves that NOTHING has really changed. With Mark Marissen in charge, nothing will...it's just sad that so much of the country's future is placed, time and again, in the hands of such people.
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