Wikipedia beat everyone else to the news of Tim Russert's death last Friday (see screen capture here: the hive-minded encyclopedia reported the event at 3:01 p.m EST., about a half hour before Drudge linked to a short New York Post announcement). According to the Wikipedia's "revisions," the person who reported this sad event was someone from Internet Broadcasting (IP address:, an IT company that has in the past has done work for — wait for it — NBC. Interesting. So instead of calling the inevitable friend at the Times or wherever, a nameless scribbler with a business tie to the network rushed to his or her computer to alert the world of Russert's passing in the least noticeable way. Can Wikipedia even claim credit for the scoop since only stalkers obsessively refresh biographical entries? Obviously, the site can't propagate every newsworthy addendum that's added to its many zillions of pages because there's a) no top-down authority for fact-checking, and b) if there were, the facts would have to be checked against an established news source, totally obviating Wikipedia's claim to be the first on the scene.