Friday, February 29, 2008

Jimmy and Rachel, Sitting In a Tree

Well, Danny already beat me to it, but here's the hot news for today: Our dear cult leader Jimmy Wales is now purported to be having an affair with Rachel Marsden. In related news, rumor has it that Jimmy's wife Christine has filed for divorce. Now, frankly, I could care less who Jimmy has sex with or how his wife feels about that; I'm not a prude and really that's a private matter between Jimmy and the rest of the people in his life.

But Jimmy is also the Founder of Wikipedia, and exercises reserve powers over it. Back in November of 2006, the ArbCom considered the case of Marsden's biography, and issued a ruling that basically gave Marsden what she wanted. Now, we have no way of knowing, at least not yet, whether Jimbo influenced that case, or when the affair actually started. But there's a bit of a piscine smell here.

And then there's this little tidbit. One of my quiet little friends passed me a note the other day. It had on it this undated snippet of Jimbeauality: "In the past week or so we have struck up something of a personal friendship, and I offered to meet with her and give some feedback on her website design and business model. As such, at least for the time being, I may have a sufficient COI regarding this case that I should not edit the article or do anything "official" in my Jimbo-ness :)." In that quote (which comes from one of the Foundation's internal mailing lists), "we" refers to Jimmy and Rachel. The impression I got is that that message was relatively recent, like within the past month. Maybe around the time he started to fall out with her? The comments on ValleyWag suggest a falling out, to be certain....

So, Jimmy, how long have you been dipping in her well? And did you wield your "Jimbo-ness" to her advantage while you were doing it?

This makes the Essjay affair look like peanuts. And not just because it involves Wikipedia's most prominent member having illicit sex with a Fox News babe. Although that does help.

Update: Jimbeau has posted a "statement" on this sordid affair on the English Wikipedia. His statement, if true, suggests that this particular episode is just Jimbeau showing that he has phenomenally poor judgment regarding his private life, but ultimately that's his problem and not anyone else's. Of course, I've seen Jimbeau lie too many times to trust anything he says on face value anymore, and there's still a lot of other stuff in Danny's comments that remains unexplained at this point. Time will tell, I suppose.

Second update: Rachel's leaked some more IM conversations that are, at least, difficult to reconcile with Jimbeau's statement. Rachel's not known for being the most stable bean on the shelf, but who has more to lose here?


  1. While it's amusingly salacious, I don't see much of a scandal here beyond the gossip sites. The Essjay scandal involved lying to a very prominent and respected news magazine, a problem which Jimmy Wales then made much worse by arrogantly dismissing the issue.

    But there's no irrefutable evidence he misused his influence. You could certainly make a fuss, but I don't think it'll go far.

    This doesn't complete apply if Rachel Marsden is really behind the leaks. In that case, there's probably more material to be released. But still, it seems at heart pretty run-of-the-mill inbred wikidrama.

  2. I'm struggling to see the issue here.

    If sleeping with Jimmy is the way to get your salacious wikipedia bio cleaned up, then I wish he'd sleep with more of our victims.

    Perhaps OTRS should point angry people to his bedroom in future?


  3. Jesus Christ, Kelly. I get so wet when I read your blog posts.

  4. This entry and Doc's comment below don't address two relevant issues; 1) the entry as it currently stands includes Marsden's questionable history despite the prior ArbCom ruling (which is more or less obsolete) 2) Essentially almost all the information that was considered too negative for her article was accurate and contained in reliable sources so Doc's point is less than relevant.


  5. Ask Slim. Say no more.

  6. Geez. Too bad she never got that web site design advice.

  7. Y'know, the really amazing thing about this is that Jimbo dipped his wick into the lovely Rachel's wax even after reading her Wikipedia bio, which should have told him this was a very bad idea.

    But maybe he only read the BLP-compliant version, in which case it's a bit more understandable. Either way, my leisured breakfast was rudely interrupted this morning by the sight of the lovely Rache's face adorning page 5 of the Times - a full-page story which beautifully outlines how Rachel is flogging off the souvenirs of her night of passion with Jimbo on ebay.

    I'll say this for Jimbo. He's certainly picked on hell of a way to make a fool of himself in public.

  8. I have to say, the share price in "Wikipedia conspiracies" just plummeted: any even mildly public figure who would boink Rachel Marsden, given her past dramas, is just goddamned STOOO-PID! Maybe Dimbulb ... I mean, "Jimbo" ... has been used as a pawn by other conspiricists, but no way is someone that stupid doing his own co-ordinated manipulations.

    (I'd like to add that, in spite of never having thought myself deserving of rock star status, I score with hotter babes than the God-King. It might just be that I throw more back into the water ...)

  9. Very unprofessional. Most of what ends up on the BJAODN site makes more sense and seems more intelligent than Jimbo and his use of Wikipedia as a personal soapbox in the whole Rachel Marsden affair. He really should've left WP out of this... it is after all supposed to be an encyclopedia, not a dumping ground for whatever utter nonsense Uncyclopedia refuses to touch.

    Wikipedia permanently banned Rachel from posting; pity they didn't ban Jimbo at the same time. His conduct has been the more damaging to the project of this pair.

    Heck, the two of them almost deserve each other.

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