Today while going through the litany of e-mails, tweets, etc. that had arrived while I slept off the last bit of my flu, I saw an odd comment waiting for approval on the Freedom Feens Podcast site, on the latest episode, “The Flu Has a Higher Approval Rating Than Congress.” The comment claimed to be from “J. Boehner” with the e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The comment was “Our approval rating is because of shows like yours that poison the mind of the people.”
I approved it.
I was (and am) sure it wasn’t actually from House Speaker John Boehner, figured it was just one of the Feens fans playing off our ongoing “Central Scrutinizer” joke theme. Then I noticed the i.p. block was listed as (IP: 188.8.131.52 , housegate12.house.gov):
I did a quick i.p. search and determined that it did in fact come from an actual i.p. address allocated exclusively to the US House of Representatives and their staff:
I did a Google search on the i.p. address and it lead to this talk page on Wikipedia. It’s the talk page for an article called “Congressional computers continue to be used to vandalize Wikipedia.” Here’s an excerpt:
“Wikinews contributors have discovered that members of the United States Congress or members of their staff have recently been making questionable edits to Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia anyone can edit. This continues the trend identified by four exclusive Wikinews reports over a four-year period exposing questionable and fraudulent edits made beginning in 2005 by Congress members or staff.
“Beginning in 2006, Wikinews reported that members of Congress or their staff were vandalizing Wikipedia by removing critical information in various articles, or adding false or offensive information. These edits were and continue to be done using computers owned or operated by the United States government….”
I like the fact that someone working in the US House of Representatives actually found The Feens and complained. Maybe they listened. I’d love to have been a fly on the wall for that.
I find it interesting that they don’t use a proxy to do this, it’s as if they WANT people to know they’re being Internet trolls. I do know that in the private sector you’d get fired for pretending to be your boss’ boss’ boss’ boss and posting crap in his name on the Internet. But I guess this is “good enough for government work.” Nice to see my tax dollars being spent so well. No wonder Congress is seriously considering the Simpsons solution of printing a trillion-dollar coin to “help the debt.”
IN SOVIET AMERIKA, REPRESENTATIVES CONTACT YOU!
I actually used to write to my representatives in Congress. Never got anything more than a form letter back. I’m glad that Neema and I have progressed to the point with our media creation that someone in Congress’ staff now takes time out of his busy day to personally insult us and try to “defend their brand” on the Feens podcast blog.
–Michael W. Dean, Freedom Feen.