Librarians use Wikipedia, but because we know that anyone can edit a Wikipedia entry, we are cautious about relying on its contents until we find another source that confirms an entry's statements. Apparently, Rush Limbaugh's staff is not so careful. The New York Times reports that Limbaugh told listeners on a show last Tuesday that Judge Roger Vinson, a federal district court judge hearing one of the challenges to the new health care law, was "an avid hunter and amateur taxidermist who once killed three brown bears and mounted their heads over his courtroom door to 'instill the fear of God into the accused.'" The problem? None of these statements are true. Someone identified only as "Pensacolian" edited the Wikipedia entry on Judge Vinson to include these whoppers, then deleted them once Limbaugh aired them on his radio show.
There was a footnote in the Wikipedia entry, citing an article from The Pensacola News Journal as the source for the information, but the newspaper confirmed that no such story ever ran in its pages. Also, the date of the footnoted article should have given Limbaugh's research staff pause: June 31, 2003. Remember that old nursery rhyme: "30 days hath September, April, June, and November?"
So, use Wikipedia, but don't rely on it until you can independently verify the information cited therein!
Hat tip to the law blog guaranteed to make you smile at least once during the week, Lowering the Bar!