My friend Scott just wrote a blog entry about attention versus content giving Obama as an example of a highly motivational speaker with perhaps not a lot under the hood. Politics aside, I wanted to comment with the snopes worth phrase "Ich bin ein Berliner" uttered by JFK while in Germany. The legend goes he wanted to say, "I am a Berliner" as in a person from Berlin, but Berliner is/was the name of a pastry, so he in effect said, "I am a jelly donut."

And as Eddie Izzard said, "And the crowd when wild."

The German people got that he was trying to say that he was a citizen of Berlin, that in this day and age, he was of the people that wanted democracy. I'm sure they didn't titter away thinking that this impassioned speech would culminate in his proclamation that he was a breakfast treat.

So to get the spelling right, I went and looked the phrase up and as happens more often than not, I end up on Wikipedia. Now, for a while I eschewed the hive minded knowledge base for personal reasons. A lot of what I contributed was deleted, notable creative friends were removed because their contributions were not laudable enough. I did my best to stay away from it, but I can't find a better resource, honestly. Just like Google Search. I tried Snap but it just isn't the same.

However, here's the bit of the entry that got me.

Although it has no basis in fact, the legend has since been repeated by reputable media, such as the BBC, The Guardian, MSNBC, CNN, Time magazine, and in several books about Germany written by English-speaking authors, including Norman Davies.
It just struck me funny that these reputable agencies weren't drug store rags or the rantings of a public radio nutjob, but what I would consider - at least on the surface - places you'd go to find facts. The BBC for Pete's sake, which is run and populated with people who study for at least a little while in journalism and fact checking, is being trumped by an online resource edited by guys like me.

It doesn't mean the BBC is right and Wikipedia is wrong, but it's like the teenager school news editor telling Tom Brokaw that he should check his facts before going on the air. Is it a dichotomy shift? I know people have been down on main stream media lately, but are we letting the new kids run the data store now?

Nothing to get worked up over, just a curiosity to end your week.

Carry on.

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