McCain Catches Heat for Alleged Wikipedia Rip-Off

John McCain is catching some flack on the web today for purportedly ripping off Wikipedia in his speech on the Russia/Georgia conflict, delivered this morning in Erie, Pa. Taegan Goddard has a side-by-side comparison of excerpts from McCain's speech and Wikipedia's article on Georgia.

You be the judge:

First Instance

McCain: "one of the world's first nations to adopt Christianity as an official religion"

Wikipedia: "one of the first countries in the world to adopt Christianity as an official religion"

Second Instance

McCain: "After a brief period of independence following the Russian revolution, the Red Army forced Georgia to join the Soviet Union in 1922. As the Soviet Union crumbled at the end of the Cold War, Georgia regained its independence in 1991, but its early years were marked by instability, corruption, and economic crises."

Wikipedia: "After the Russian Revolution of 1917, Georgia had a brief period of independence as a Democratic Republic (1918-1921), which was terminated by the Red Army invasion of Georgia. Georgia became part of the Soviet Union in 1922 and regained its independence in 1991."

Third Instance

McCain: "Following fraudulent parliamentary elections in 2003, a peaceful, democratic revolution took place, led by the U.S.-educated lawyer Mikheil Saakashvili. The Rose Revolution changed things dramatically and, following his election, President Saakashvili embarked on a series of wide-ranging and successful reforms."

Wikipedia: "In 2003, Shevardnadze (who won reelection in 2000) was deposed by the Rose Revolution, after Georgian opposition and international monitors asserted that the November 2 parliamentary elections were marred by fraud. The revolution was led by Mikheil Saakashvili...Following the Rose Revolution, a series of reforms was launched to strengthen the country's military and economic capabilities."

(Note: the ellipsis in the third instance, as listed here, differs from Goddard's comparison.)