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No, Bruce Rauner isn’t an award-winning English horn player

Politicians are often accused of a lot of things, but Gov. Bruce Rauner is the focus of one of the strangest “accusations” you’ll probably ever see. You can thank Wikipedia for it.

For the record, Rauner isn’t an award-winning English horn player, but some jokester would sure like you to believe that he is.

And here’s where it becomes a problem: When students believe everything they see on Wikipedia.

Last week, while Rauner was visiting Sangamon Valley East Elementary School in Harristown, the students fired off some questions.

That’s when 10-year-old Laya Gordon zeroed in on one particular item on his Wikipedia page, according to the Times of Northwest Indiana.

“You played the English horn in college and won several honors for outstanding performances in playing this instrument. Do you still play this instrument?” Gordon asked.

Rauner corrected the student.

“This is a good life lesson for all of us,” the governor told the class. “I never — I didn’t play the English horn. This is a good lesson and it’s OK. I get asked that question a lot, and I go ‘I didn’t play the English horn.’

So, what’s going on with that little Wikipedia “fact”?

“We changed it. In fact, we had it removed from the website twice and someone puts it back. And I’m like, ’You’re kidding me!’” he said.

Rauner did go on to say that he’s played the trumpet, but “I can’t say I was award winning.”

But whoever it is with a desire to label Rauner as an English horn player, they sure are persistent.

Scrolling through the revision history of his Wikipedia page, he’s been described in the following ways (word for word from the now-deleted entries):

  • He plays the English horn in his spare time.
  • French horn musician.
  • In order to help himself cope with his divorce 22 years ago, Rauner has found solace in playing the French horn.
  • At Dartmouth, he also studied [English horn], played in the orchestra and won several statewide honors.

The English horn reference was put in again this morning, then removed less than an hour later.

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h/t: Capitol Fax