The latest kerfuffle about Christine O’Donnell is that she “faked” her “LinkedIn” page.

Huh? What is “linkedIn“? superficially it looks like a Facebook lookalike, but aimed at business folks.

So who “broke” the story? A California producer and graduate at the University of Berkeley in Rhetoric*, who works for the local Public radio station, and in the past reported on local and he didn’t break it on any local  paper, but on his blog, which was then picked up by Christine Bellatoni, at the Talking Points memo.

In case you aren’t listening, Bellatoni hates O’Donnell. Youtube HERE.

I should add that if you read the entire mainstream article to the end, they do add the nuances of why these places might be listed. Good for them.

What is missing? Two things.

One: she did attend courses at these institutions.

Those of us who do “CME” often include these courses in our resume. So if I had a “linkedIn” site, I could state that I studied at Harvard, Columbia University, George Washington University, Mayo Clinic, University of California San Diego, and a score of other prestigious places.

No, I didn’t study for a degree at these places, but I did study there.

It takes time and money to attend such courses. Showing I took Medical Education courses at more expensive universities (as opposed to local cheap courses sponsored by local hospitals) shows that I am serious about keeping up to date.

In places such as “linkedIn”, the details aren’t there. Yes, on your profile you have to list the dates attended, but the profile doesn’t distinguish if you merely got a certificate for taking a course or if you were in a degree program.

So if O’Donnell or someone at O’Donnell’s campaign headquarters made out the page for her, they might have missed these nuances, opening her up to charges of exaggeration.

Problem number two:O’Donnell claims that she doesn’t have a “LinkedIn” page.

Question: Did anyone in the press check the email connected with the site, the date that the “LinkedIn” page was made,  the date the Email was registered, and other similar information?

Actually, I had never heard of “LinkedIn” myself, so I checked, and found that anyone can make a “LinkedIn” page.

I just made one, making myself the CEO of a major medical corporation with a PhD from Harvard. LinkedIn didn’t ask me to get the information verified. All fake, of course.

But if I had a genuine page, I could include my CME, and then the front page of my profile would indeed state I attended Harvard and a score of other prestigious Universities. Since the front page doesn’t state I attended the University to get continuing education creidt, or as a regular student studying to get a degree, it would be true. (although it might give some the wrong impression).

So the next obvious question is who made the page? When was it made? How was it made? Who made the page? What is the email associated with the page?

If it was made by O’Donnell, then why lie about it? Why not say the page didn’t give details, and that the reporters misunderstood what was written ther?

Or did a staff member make the page wrong?

Or did someone plant the suspicious stuff and then leak it?

So what do we learn from this little exercize?

That the news can be molded by personal contacts.

In the past, there was a “great right wing conspiracy” against the Clintons, but now the Obama operatives have it down so pat that you can almost connect the dots. Berkeley grad (check) working for public radio (check) has a private blog (check) which is read by Talking points memo (check) who reveals it to the mainstream media (check).

To their consternation, the mainstream reported did check and find that the education was courses, not degree programs, but without noting that LinkedIn doesn’t allow you to put these nuances into one’s profile, the reader might be misled.


Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. She writes  about human rights at MakaipaBlog. 

She has a grudge against UCBerkeley Rhetoric teaching because this podcasting lecturer made fun of people with elephantiasis. Sorry, I treated patients with elephantiasis, and it is no laughing matter.

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