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Removed tag[edit]

because it contradicts the result of the exhaustive discussion here.Keith-264 (talk) 16:52, 11 June 2011 (UTC)

more to the point, it's simply a misuse of the tag, which relates to countering systemic bias. "Systemic" meaning, of course, throughout Wikipedia, due to Wikipedia having a demographic profile not very interested in developing the topic. The topic at hand does not qualify by any stretch of the imagination. Rd232 talk 17:49, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
It's kind of my feeling that this is at least something like a systemic bias issue, as there seems to be an issue of the editors who have a high level of ownership over this article all coming from a very similar perspective, but maybe I'm wrong. However, I don't see why Keith feels the need to attribute bad faith to Goodwin for this; I see no reason for that. BobFromBrockley (talk) 22:01, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
Look up what WP:CSB is. Rd232 talk 22:03, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
I already did. I was thinking of how the editors on this page are most likely "The average Wikipedian" described there, and thus likely to have particular perspectives on things like institutional antisemitism, Holocaust denial, free speech in Belarus, and other issues relevant to the controversial side of CounterPunch... But maybe I'm wrong. Probably shouldn't have piped on this one, as I actually came here to work on alternative wording, so I will back off now and return when temperature has dropped again. Although I still think there was no reason to say Goodwin was in bad faith; he might have simply thought "too few opinions" meant "too few opinions.BobFromBrockley (talk) 22:42, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for the suggestion to look up WP:CSB. I wnder if one form of this is pro-Israeli chauvinism? This seems for example to be a factor in the dispute about wording on the page about Jerusalem. RD's behaviour on this page has certainly shown bias - towards the Wiki criteria, his(?) grasp of which seems to me to be exemplary. If you want a reason for my use of the term 'bad faith' you can ask. Perhaps you could define 'the average Wikipaedian'.Keith-264 (talk) 08:11, 12 June 2011 (UTC)
The average Wikipedian is defined in one of the systemic bias pages. The idea that systemic pro-Israeli chauvinism is prevalent across WP is laughable, and easily refuted by glancing at this talk page. BobFromBrockley (talk) 09:36, 12 June 2011 (UTC)
Hardly. The problem with Israel/Palestine topics is that the chauvinism of the extremists on both sides dominates, to the detriment and often ultimately self-exclusion of moderate and neutral editors, and of course to the detriment of the encyclopedia. It's pointless to argue which of the chauvinisms is more successful on average, though I reckon a neutral academic study would be more likely to agree with my view of that than yours. Rd232 talk 11:32, 12 June 2011 (UTC)
You're wasting your time here. It's obvious we are not going to be making any headway when editors think they OWN this article. Lets start an RFC and get more eyes here. I find it quite laughable that someone who thinks that an editor who repeatedly adds "jewish" in front of someone's name is showing "exemplary" understanding of wikipedia policy, but never mind. No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 11:56, 12 June 2011 (UTC)
Actually, that is an excellent example of what is wrong. The fact that it is often irrelevant to note a person being Jewish does not mean it is always irrelevant (in discussions of Zionism, it is often highly relevant - Zionism is after all about the Jewish homeland), but objectivity on that is generally trampled on WP:BATTLEGROUND-style. It was even described as "racism" in an edit summary, whilst you seem to treat it as evidence of bias. Rd232 talk 12:06, 12 June 2011 (UTC)
Indeed an excellent example. It would be "highly relevant" if it were noted by most (some? one?) reliable sources. It's not even mentioned in the guy's wikipedia article. You added it no less than 3 times, based solely on your assertion that it is significant, "battleground-syle". No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 13:39, 12 June 2011 (UTC)
"It's not even mentioned in the guy's wikipedia article" - erm, look at the categories at the bottom, if you can somehow overlook the massively WP:UNDUE discussion of his views in the body of the article. As to a reliable source - trivially easy, eg "I am entitled by the biology of my birth to Israeli citizenship"[1]. As for asserting that it's not relevant... hypothetical: would you say X's Armenian nationality is irrelevant to understanding the significance of "Professor X describes the events of 1915 as 'the Armenian genocide'"? Rd232 talk 14:56, 12 June 2011 (UTC)
That's "trivially easy"? He says he's technically entitled to Israeli citizenship, he's not self-identifying as Jewish. On the contrary, he talks about Jews in the 3rd person and seems to be self-identifying as an anti-semite. And no, we don't label people in order to lead the reader to conclusions about their opinions unless reliable sources do so with relation to the topic of the article we're editing. Like the fact that Israel Shamir is notorious for holocaust denial and writes for counterpunch, information which you are working very hard to keep out of this article. No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 15:29, 12 June 2011 (UTC)
"he's technically entitled to Israeli citizenship, he's not self-identifying as Jewish" - ah well that's the crux of it isn't it, the convoluted and multi-layered nature of Jewish identity. Ironically, the article I gave as a source is partly about that. Rd232 talk 15:39, 12 June 2011 (UTC)
Ironically or not, he's obviously not self-identifying as Jewish. In fact, he's going out of his way not to. But even if he was, that would not be relevant to this article unless a reliable source made the connection between his being Jewish and something related to this article. No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 15:49, 12 June 2011 (UTC)
Further down the same article: "I am a German Jew". The two-sentence author information of The Case Against Israel also finds space to say that he is "the son of German Jewish refugees". Good enough, no? Rd232 talk 16:16, 12 June 2011 (UTC)
No. Even if the publisher blurb said he was Jewish and not that his parents are, we're still missing a reliable source making the connection. Again, how is his Jewishness relevant here? No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 19:03, 12 June 2011 (UTC)
Are you really asking why Jewishness is relevant to a discussion of Zionism? And is there some reason you didn't answer my question about an Armenian hypothetical above? I mean, really, brass tacks: a book called "the case against Israel" has a different meaning if it's written by a Jewish author than by a non-Jewish author, same as the word "nigger" has a different meaning when used by a black person or a non-black person. Rd232 talk 19:11, 12 June 2011 (UTC)
I am quite interested in hearing exactly why it's allegedly important. What facts in the book does it change, other than the ethnicity of author? Please be specific. Goodwinsands (talk) 19:33, 12 June 2011 (UTC)
The meaning of a speech act depends on who is speaking (amongst other things, like who is spoken to). The identity of an author matters to understand the work. "Jewish", one aspect of Neumann's identity, is at least as relevant for understanding the significance of his anti-Zionist book on Zionism (about a Jewish homeland) as "philosophy professor". There is comfortably room to mention both. Dropping it seems primarily to serve the purpose you apparently have of demonstrating that CounterPunch is antisemitic. Rd232 talk 19:46, 12 June 2011 (UTC)
On the contrary, that word is vile whoever utters it. has an interesting discussion on the concept of Israeli 'citizenship' qua nationality and the fraudulence by which Palestinians are denied it. Keith-264 (talk) 19:31, 12 June 2011 (UTC)
"vile" or not (at times it's almost like "queer" for gay, as a re-claimed former pejorative), the meaning is very different. Rd232 talk 19:36, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────No, that's sophistry it's either wrong to use it or it isn't.Keith-264 (talk) 20:52, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

That's plainly not true (cf Reappropriation), but it's hardly worth arguing about here. Rd232 talk 21:04, 12 June 2011 (UTC)
Language is racist or it's not. Making exceptions is unequal, one of the characteristics of racism.Keith-264 (talk) 21:34, 12 June 2011 (UTC)
"Language is racist or it's not." Hardly (if by "language" you mean "word/phrase"); meaning (including racist meaning) depends on context. Context includes all manner of things, including who is speaking and who is spoken to, who else is listening, tone, etc. Rd232 talk 21:46, 12 June 2011 (UTC)
If one person can use the term all can.Keith-264 (talk) 22:53, 12 June 2011 (UTC)
Is this more bad faith here 'You're wasting your time here. It's obvious we are not going to be making any headway when editors think they OWN this article.'? Sour grapes? I asked for your definition of 'average Wikipaedian' since the term strikes me as guilt by association. I don't agree with rd about a chauvinism of extremes, because in a matter of justice there is a right and wrong. I can hardly be called a partisan in the matter having agreed and disagreed with rd's rulings and accepted the existing tag as an agreement to disagree.Keith-264 (talk) 13:28, 12 June 2011 (UTC)
RD can't make "rulings" on articles he's involved in. No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 15:29, 12 June 2011 (UTC)
Admins can't make "rulings" on content disputes full stop. Rd232 talk 15:42, 12 June 2011 (UTC)
I intended the term as a figure of speech.Keith-264 (talk) 18:21, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

I agree with No More Mr Nice Guy -- the real issue here is that the article is WP:OWNed in a WP:POV way. The double removal of the perfectly valid "needs more opinions" tag under two separate, non-matching pretexts is just another indication of that on the part of the WP:OWNers. I simply do not expect this article to address the serious issue of antisemitism at Counterpunch under current WP:OWNership; leopards and spots. The consolation is, whether or not Counterpunch ever served any use as anything besides a gathering place for the there-are-Zionists-in-my-oatmeal crowd, any relevance it's had outside that circle has long since passed. Goodwinsands (talk) 19:18, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

The tag was invalid; get over it. As for WP:OWNership: well I'm sorry, I generally avoid Israel/Palestine topics as far as I can, because it's populated by people with zero interest in creating balanced encyclopedia articles; everything becomes about the I/P issue, which is frequently given an order of magnitude greater prominence in affected topics than a neutral editor would. That is the downside of a community-edited encyclopedia - you get WP:CSB issues, and an obsession with Israel is definitely one of those systemic biases. Now, I'm sorry, but CounterPunch is one of the topics I'm somewhat interested in, and I'm not going to walk away from it just because a bunch of I/P warriors descend on it with their usual approach. Perhaps we should post at a couple of I/P wikiprojects, get more people in? Let's really have a party - since apparently treating this issue as a mere encyclopedia topic like any other is out of the question. Rd232 talk 19:30, 12 June 2011 (UTC)
a. I don't have a problem with Neumann being described as Jewish in the article. There was no reference to him being Jewish in his WP article when I checked, so it seemed like OR at the time. My issue is the way that the Jewishness of a handful of CP anti-Zionist contributors being in the article, which could be taken as an alibi for the antisemitism others allege to be found in CP - but no mention of the a/s allegations. That seems POV to me. b. I also accept that the too few opinions tag might not have been appropriate as it is defined at the CSB page, but it intuitively seemed right to me before reading the CSB page as I do think the article reflects too few opinions, as it rigorously excludes, e.g., the opinions of the ADL, which are far more representative of mainstream Jews than Michael Neumann. c. I certainly don't see myself as an I/P warrior, as I/P is not my main interest and I am neither a Zionist or supporter of Israel, nor an anti-Zionist. However, I agree that I/P issues and antisemitism issues provoke inflamed passions on WP. Not being an I/P warrior, I have no familiarity with any I/P wikiprojects, so can't comment on the wisdom of that proposal. d. I also feel there is a bit of an OWN issue, not helped when the language of "rulings" etc is deployed. Possibly, therefore, opening up to other eyes might be a good idea, perhaps if no consensus is reached when I or someone else finally get around to proposing some alternative wording.BobFromBrockley (talk) 09:54, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
Nobody is claiming that it is an "alibi for antisemitism"; and it's not civil to imply that they are. What people are claiming is that an op-ed commentator's Jewish heritage has some relevance in relation to their views on a magazine that is harshly anti-Zionist. Please try to focus on what people are actually saying, rather than angrily attacking straw men. -- Jrtayloriv (talk) 17:34, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
Apologies if I was un-civil, which was not my intention. BobFromBrockley (talk) 18:22, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
No worries then. Cheers. -- Jrtayloriv (talk) 18:50, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

Moving on[edit]

As promised some time ago, I am now proposing some wording. My proposal is

1. to add a couple of sentences on the WikiLeaks issue, as discussed, at the end of the History section. This is a little on the long side, and therefore risks undue weight, but to express it more briefly would risk BLP issues. I strongly believe that the citations are appropriate for evidencing what is claimed in the sentences, and should be judged on that basis, not as reliable sources for what is true or not true about Assange's accusers and Shamir's relationship to Assange, opinions of which are not expressed in the sentences. Proposed wording as follows:

CounterPunch played a part in the media drama around WikiLeaks in late 2010 and early 2011. Regular Counterpunch contributor, Israel Shamir, was part of the WikiLeaks organisation and an associate of its director, Julian Assange,[1] and has written a series of exclusive articles for CounterPunch drawing on materials from the United States diplomatic cables leak.[2] He has also written and co-written articles for CounterPunch on what he alleges to be a campaign of harassment against Assange.[3] One of these articles, "Assange Betrayed",[4] made allegations against a plaintiff in a Swedish rape case against Assange that were widely circulated in the media.[5][6] The allegations in CounterPunch were the topic of some controversy in the mainstream media.[7]

  1. ^ Index on Censorship "WikiLeaks, Belarus and Israel Shamir" 5 February 2011]
  2. ^ e.g.
  3. ^ e.g.
  4. ^ 14 September 2010
  5. ^ e.g. David Edwards Revealed: Assange ‘rape’ accuser linked to notorious CIA operative The Raw Story 6 December 2010
  6. ^ "On his Twitter feed, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann (162,000 followers) links to a rambling blog post arguing that [a] Swedish feminist who accused Assange of rape, is an anti-Castro activist with connections to CIA front groups. Elsewhere on the Internet, NYU professor Mark Crispin Miller, the popular liberal website FireDogLake, Bianca Jagger, and The First Post (a British news website “brought to you by The Week”) all circulated the charges without an ounce of skepticism... [The original source was] one comes to an article posted on Alexander Cockburn’s far-left website Counterpunch by the writers Israel Shamir and Paul Bennett". Michael C. Moynihan "Olbermann, Assange, and the Holocaust Denier" December 7, 2010
  7. ^ Kate Harding "Accusations against Assange's accuser" Australian Broadcasting Company 9 December 2010; David Leigh and Luke Harding "Holocaust denier in charge of handling Moscow cables" The Guardian 31 January 2011

2. to simply add in a short sentence on criticisms at the end of the first paragraph of Topics section, where it talks about I/P, after the mention of Nancy Scheper Hughes. This is extremely minimalistic, as it does not do justice to the seriousness of the criticisms, but simply notes that they exist. I am proposing two citations for that: ADL, which is surely notable, as the major organisation focused on antisemitism, and a published open letter by Jews Against Zionism. Note that these sources are being used as reliable sources for the claim that there has been criticism of Counterpunch on this basis, not for the claim that the criticisms are correct or not. Proposed wording as follows:

CounterPunch has been criticised by some Jewish and anti-racist groups for some of this material.[1][2]

You can see both of these as they would appear on the page, with footnotes, at my sandbox, which people are free to use to work on the edit if that's helpful: User:Bobfrombrockley/Counterpunch. BobFromBrockley (talk) 10:18, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

I recognise that I have a potential conflict of interest in this discussion, and will therefore not comment on whether material from Jews Against Zionism should be included in this article. However, I suggest that the text that Bob cites is not appropriate in the current context. Although JAZ members, collectively and individually, have criticised the willingness of CounterPunch to publish material by Israel Shamir, while refusing to publish rejoinders by anti-Zionist Jews, this has not been in relation to Shamir's rôle in the Wikileaks allegations. This proposed addition mistakenly implies that JAZ has commented on this issue; it has not. RolandR (talk) 11:31, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for weighing in Roland. The citation of JAZ is not in the first para, but one of the two footnotes to the second para, on Jewish and anti-racist groups criticising CP. The idea is that this follows on from the first para (on Is/Pal) in the topics section of the article. I will change the way I have set this out here so it is a bit clearer. But might be easier to see in my sandbox perhaps. BobFromBrockley (talk) 13:36, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
I don't agree about the ADL which is a blatant zionist propaganda organisation.Keith-264 (talk) 12:55, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
Keith, I'm not sure what you're disagreeing with. Are you saying ADL is not an example of a notable Jewish or anti-racist group? That it didn't criticse CP for publishing Weir? Or that there should never be links to it on WP? BobFromBrockley (talk) 13:40, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
The ADL used to have antiracist credentials but has become a zionist front (i.e. advocating for a racist cause).Keith-264 (talk) 20:27, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
I still don't get your point. You can argue that they are not a credible anti-racist organisation, but can you argue they are neither a notable Jewish organisation nor a notable anti-racist organisation? Doesn't matter whether we agree with them or not. What matters is are they a credible source for what the article might say. BobFromBrockley (talk) 20:34, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for telling me what I can argue, the point is that ADL has no credibility because it is a zionist organisation.Keith-264 (talk) 18:02, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, I just don't understand what you are saying. Are you saying that, being "Zionist" they have no credibility - and therefore can't be used as a RS for anything? or can't be mentioned in the article? Or simply that we can't call them a Jewish or anti-racist organisation and only a "Zionist" organisation? What's your point? BobFromBrockley (talk) 19:12, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
I agree that the ADL is a Zionist organisation, which in my eyes has little credibility. That is my personal view, which is not a Wikipedia criterion for reliability. Similarly, some editors might argue (indeed, have argued) that Jews Against Zionism, as an anti-Zionist organisation, has no credibility. That too is their own view, which is not a Wikipedia criterion. The assertion which these citations are being used to verify is that "CounterPunch has been criticised by some Jewish and anti-racist groups". The wording could be amended, but this is surely not really challenged? ADL is a reliable source for their views, and JAZ for theirs. Both, from different perspectives and for different reasons, have criticised CounterPunch. Our job is not to endorse either of these criticisms, but to note that they have been made. What is the problem here? RolandR (talk) 20:17, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

By the way, the inclusion of the second set of stuff would mean that the citation needed tag could come off the topics section.BobFromBrockley (talk) 13:45, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

Is the Greenstein cite actually representative of the organisation, or TG simply signing himself with an affiliation (i.e. substantially his views)? Overall, the undue weight issue isn't too great, although maybe simply referring to other substantial articles elsewhere the Wikileaks Case, The Assange Case and the Shamir business). Lastly, isn't 'some controversy' a bit redundant, and simply 'controversy' would suffice.--Red Deathy (talk) 16:59, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
TG is, as far as I can tell, representative of JAZ. See their website. They've e.g. picketed Atzmon appearances and their bloggers have made the same points in their blogs. (I should probably point out that this is a minor aspect of their activity, the main aspect being criticising Israel!) Will delete the some in the sandbox.BobFromBrockley (talk) 17:16, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
I can confirm that this is not just the personal view of Tony Greenstein, but the view of Jews Against Zionism as an organisation. Unfortunately, I don't think that I can point you to a reliable site, other than the magazine where this article appeared, to corroborate this. RolandR (talk) 17:38, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

I was asked to comment here. I think the lead sentence, "CounterPunch played a part in the media drama around WikiLeaks in late 2010 and early 2011", does not add anything to the paragraph and could be omitted entirely. The last sentence, " The allegations in CounterPunch were the topic of some controversy in the mainstream media", Would be better if more focused. Something like, "Shamir's allegations were criticised in The Guardian and". Likewise the second proposal would be improved by naming the organisations and allegations instead of using the vague construction, "criticised by some Jewish and anti-racist groups for some of this material".   Will Beback  talk  22:04, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

Like Will Beback, I was asked to comment here. And I generally agree with Will's comments. In the second instance, I'm not sure that it's necessary to identify the allegations, but I think naming the critics is better than "some groups". — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 03:57, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
Neither the ADL or the Greenstein article are about Counterpunch but about opinion pieces that appeared there. Neither faults Counterpunch for allowing these writers to be published. TFD (talk) 04:24, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
The JAZ piece is unambiguously about CP. It is entitled "an open letter to CP" and precisely faults the paper for allowing these writers to be published. You might be right about ADL, which is not about CP but about Weir, noting that CP published her. It is, however, just one of (I think) 37 pages on their website where they describe material published by CP as antisemitic, but I presume we don't want 37 footnotes. Also, by the way, it makes no difference if the articles they are specifically criticising are opinion pieces or not, and the contributors focused on are all regular contributors. BobFromBrockley (talk) 06:23, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
Hey Bob, you asked me to comment. I commend you on getting input from various people who hold differing perspectives. What you're writing looks pretty good overall. I think, generally keep it short and do give specific quotes, allegations and source names, so that the reader can look into it further if he/she wants.
I went ahead and added a "Reception" section, which lists general views held by various organizations. A section like this is pretty standard when it comes to controversial organizations. The section I added is pretty short so far, and it should hopefully stay short, or at least not turn into a quote farm. I'm not averse to adding positive views as well as negative views; I just don't happen to know which such orgs could be cited. One thing I would advise staying away from is adding a "response to criticisms" section or whatever for general criticisms. E.g. if ADL or CAMERA says CounterPunch is radical anti-Israel, or even borderline anti-semitic, then editors who like CounterPunch naturally feel they have to add some "opposing" text below, giving CounterPunch's criticism's of ADL or CAMERA, to try and "negate" the criticism. IMO this is simply not appropriate, and not relevant (since the section is on opinions of, rather than by, CounterPunch) and in any case it risks turning the section into just a juvenile "he said, she said ..." kind of back-and-forth insult stream. In this case, if CounterPunch has criticized ADL or CAMERA, and an editor feels the need to insert this, then put it in the "Reception" section of the page on ADL or CAMERA.
Also, per user TFD, Bob is right that Greenstein's piece specifically faults CounterPunch (e.g. in the last para) for publishing this stuff. Although ADL doesn't specifically, they do refer to CounterPunch as an "anti-Zionist radical left newsletter", which clearly means that ADL is going to disagree with just about everything that CounterPunch writes about Israel, so ADL may have figured there was just no point in taking them even further to task about publishing this specific piece (or might actually have felt that by condemning them for this one specifically they would effectively be legitimizing all of the other anti-Israel pieces that CounterPunch has published). Benwing (talk) 08:05, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
Just a note on those I asked to comment here. I went through the previous editors of this page over the last year or so and alerted them on their talk page, excluding the four or five editors (both pro- and anti-change) who were already involved in the recent on-going discussion, and including a couple of admins and very experienced editors, and obviously excluding anyone blocked from editing. I ensured that I did not just alert those I expected to agree with me, but included a range of perspectives. I don't know if there is WP policy on this sort of thing, but I've been alerted in this way a few times so assumed it is fine. If no consensus can be reached, happy to bring further fresh eyes as discussed above. I'll refrain from commenting now on specific responses until more people weigh in. BobFromBrockley (talk) 10:14, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
When explaining ADL or CAMERA's opinion of CounterPunch, isn't it at least relevant to note that both organizations had been previously heavily criticized in CounterPunch? Poyani (talk) 19:07, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
I was asked to comment on this section by Bobfrombrockley as a prior contributor to the article. To answer Poyani, no, that'd be editorialising and improper synthesis.
I'm glad there's now a reception section - thank you Benwing - and that the die-hard defenders of CounterPunch are no longer succeeding in wikilawyering out every single note of criticism. For anyone with the energy to expand that section, I listed some possible sources last time I paid attention to this article a few sections above. Fences&Windows 20:38, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
Fences - It is not the case that "die-hard defenders of CounterPunch" are trying to "wikilawyer out every single note of criticism". The problem is that some of the criticisms are not being put in context. CAMERA for example is an organization that lobbies to get books banned from libraries and is described by Thomas Friedman (very pro-Israel) of the NYT as an organization which "use(s) McCarthyite tactics, as well as the power and money of pro-Israel PACs, to get whatever Israel wants." To simply quote them out of context is POV. Poyani (talk) 21:06, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
Also I wonder how you would feel if Reception included some notable people praising counterpunch? Poyani (talk) 21:06, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
Do sources put the criticism in context? If not, who is to say that the context is relevant?
Praise would be marvellous, that's the point of Reception sections - summarise notable critiques, positive, negative and neutral. If you take the time to read the section I linked to above I did actually include some links to positive reception, e.g. Those links were all the reception I could find in independent reliable sources online, good or bad. Perhaps you may be able to find more.
We have to avoid as much as possible using (cherry-picking) CounterPunch articles and editorials to write this article and instead focus on what outside sources say. If that's not done, this article will forever stay sanitised and undeveloped. Fences&Windows 07:54, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
Praise and blame aren't descriptive. The problem here has always been that some editors want to add material of this sort and others don't. Debating the credentials of soi-disant judges of CounterPunch (like ADL or the Grauniad) is beside the point at best and propaganda at worst. Adding praise cancels blame so I'd revert the lot. Keith-264 (talk) 08:56, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
In view of this I can't see why its comments can be accepted.Keith-264 (talk) 18:03, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
I don't feel strongly either way about CAMERA being included in the reception section although I tend to agree more with Keith and Poyani that it shouldn't. However, I don't think we can say that they should not be mentioned in WP because of the way they violated WP policy as WP editors - otherwise the WP article about them that Keith cites would have to be deleted. I think the key question is their notability and what they are exemplifying in the article. I think I'd need to be convinced about both of those. ADL on other hand seems obviously notable and relevant. BobFromBrockley (talk) 16:21, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

a. I have added in the Wikileaks material as proposed above, as no-one objected, and made the changes to that as suggested in the talk. I will leave the second proposal for a little more discussion, altho the consensus seems to be in favour of change - only one objection as far as I can see. b. On reception section, I don't feel strongly about this, but there seem to be positive, negative and neutral and it would be easy to add more from F&W list above, so don't see a problem. c. I tend to agree with Poyani that "left-wing" should not be in lede: general tenor is left, but lots of contribs, e.g. Paul Craig R, are of the right, and views on climate change, Holocaust denial, gun rights and militia movement all quite untypical of the left. BobFromBrockley (talk) 14:34, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

I made my proposal (top of this section) a week ago and only one editor disagreed and a fair few were positive, so I have put the second sentence into the contribs section. We can carry on talking about the alternative form of wording, e.g. Will's suggestion for more specific naming of groups rather than "some groups", and we can add/subtract other references, but seems to me the consensus clearly accepts this minor change. On the naming of groups versus "some groups", reason I would be opposed is because two in footnotes are just two examples of fairly widespread positions, from WW4Report to Louis Proyect on left via several major blogs e.g. Harry's Place to ADL on the right, so seems wrong to me to name two groups and better to increase number of refs. But am happy to be overruled by consensus on that.BobFromBrockley (talk) 16:16, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

What is the rule regarding "reliable sources" for putting some praise in the reception section? Noam Chomsky has praised CounterPunch, as have Roosevelt admin official Steve Early and Nation writer Joanne Wypijewski. But the source I found for the praise is on CounterPunch's own website here. Is this acceptable? Poyani (talk) 17:08, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
I's be slightly skeptical of sourcing praise second hand from the publication's own site without another source of verification (not just for CP, but for any publication/organisation). And, as with CAMERA, I am doubtful of the notability of Early and Wypijewski, neither of whom have WP articles. I am not sure what criteria would be appropriate for who to include. There are several positive examples of reception here by the way. Any of them look any good? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bobfrombrockley (talkcontribs) 08:31, 21 June 2011
If we want praise and criticism in the article then someone will have to do the proper research. Go to a library and find an academic publication about journalism and find out how the publication is perceived. Putting in snippets from opinion pieces that only marginally mention the publication is beneath encyclopedic standards. TFD (talk) 13:43, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
I doubt that references to CP would exist in academic publications. What makes you think they would? Poyani (talk) 14:29, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

I was looking at this article to learn about the publication's controversy. But there's no info! I'm pretty sure this publication is well-known as being controversial. So...I see there have been a lot of issues above, but in my point of view, a controversy section needs to be listed.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:48, 12 July 2011 (UTC)

Controversy is in the eye of the beholder. The Times and the New York Times are controversial because of what they don't print. Counterpunch puts them to shame but that isn't controversial it's reportage.Keith-264 (talk) 17:41, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
Counterpunch is not controversial, but some of its writers are. But then they also write for the NYT and other mainstream publications. TFD (talk) 17:45, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
Obviously, I completely disagree with TFD on that, and think the above page has more than enough evidence for the publication itself being controversial not just its contributors, but I do not support the anonymous editor's suggestion that there should be a controversy section. I think the controversy should get neither whitewashing or ignoring, nor undue weight.BobFromBrockley (talk) 12:56, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

Richard Seymour: more evidence that CounterPunch is controversial[edit]

I just came across this, from December:

In an even more alarming example, the radical US magazine Counterpunch has published an article co-written by a notorious antisemite and Holocaust denier who prefers to be called 'Israel Shamir', which imputed the rape allegations to a CIA plant, and called for the protection of Assange from "castrating feminists". Shamir claims to represent Wikileaks in Russia, though he was outed by Searchlight magazine as an ex-pat Swedish neo-Nazi named Joran Jermas some years ago. Not everyone knows who Shamir is, but if Wikileaks doesn't have the sense to check him out, I would expect that Counterpunch should. Still, if they can tolerate a clown like Gilad Atzmon, opening the magazine up to a closeted neo-Nazi to spew misogyny may not be a big step. And if so, that reflects a wider degeneration of Alexander Cockburn's political judgment, which has also manifested itself in some quite kooky output about global warming.

Its source is a blog, which wouldn't normally be a RS, but the blogger, Richard Seymour is notable, and the blog, Lenin's Tomb, is pretty notable. I'm not necessarily suggesting it for inclusion, but I think it adds to my argument above that CounterPoint is controversial on the left, and not just some of its contributors.BobFromBrockley (talk) 15:53, 17 August 2011 (UTC)

There are other blogs too so don't cherry pick. Notice also that no-one who says that Shamir is an antisemite offers evidence other than character assassination. Lenny has recently demonstrated his lack of notability and neutrality by taking the Grauniad's shilling. He's also come in for a bit of stick on Medialens.Keith-264 (talk) 17:28, 17 August 2011 (UTC)
I'm rather amused that there is still anyone on the left who doesn't think CounterPunch is controversial, and controversial in the specific sense that its guard is known to be periodically, if not proudly, down on the issue of anti-Semitism. That Keith-264 personally finds politically problematic those on the left who call out CounterPunch's anti-Semitism in regard to their inexplicable love affair with a pair of Holocaust deniers is not a concern of Wikipedia. Goodwinsands (talk) 17:59, 17 August 2011 (UTC)
He has demonstrated his lack of notability by writing for a national newspaper? Huh? Mezigue (talk) 07:56, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

Character assassination - told you.Keith-264 (talk) 18:18, 17 August 2011 (UTC)

I think most people would have no difficulty defining his statements about e.g. "the new Jewish mind-control on a world scale" to be plainly anti-Semitic in an undisguised way. Surely you don't find such a statement in any way defensible as anything but a coarse anti-Semitic belch? Goodwinsands (talk) 19:06, 17 August 2011 (UTC)

Read his reply to such character assassination.Keith-264 (talk) 19:08, 17 August 2011 (UTC)

Here it is, "As for the accusation of 'Holocaust denial', my family lost too many of its sons and daughters for me to deny the facts of Jewish tragedy, but I do deny its religious salvific significance implied in the very term ‘Holocaust’; I do deny its metaphysical uniqueness, I do deny the morbid cult of Holocaust and I think every God-fearing man, a Jew, a Christian or a Muslim should reject it as Abraham rejected and smashed idols." Keith-264 (talk) 19:16, 17 August 2011 (UTC)
Shamir is perfectly happy to let his website be used by others to "deny the facts of the Jewish tragedy," isn't he. And I'm certain that even you can see that the passage you quote doesn't address at all the claim of "the new Jewish mind-control on a world scale," which is clearly an anti-Semitic claim. However, this entry is about CounterPunch, not the crazed anti-Semite Shamir they (and pretty much only they) find possible to publish. Goodwinsands (talk) 19:39, 17 August 2011 (UTC)
You need to chill with the "crazed anti-Semite" type comments. Shamir is a living person, which means you cant make such comments about him anywhere on Wikipedia. The most you can do is give attributed views about him with sources cited. Nowhere on Wikipedia can you make such comments, not here, not on a user talk page, not anywhere else. There are a large number of living people that I despise. I keep my views about them off of Wikipedia. Kindly do the same. If you do not, you may find your ability to edit restricted. WP:BLP is not something that most admins are willing to brush aside. You are free to have your views, you are even free to publicize them outside of Wikipedia. You are not free to keep making these types of comments on Wikipedia. nableezy - 21:21, 17 August 2011 (UTC)
In this case, there are clearly enough WP:RS to justify the position. But if we're supposed to pretend we don't notice his antisemitism, then, I'll pretend I don't notice. Goodwinsands (talk) 22:06, 17 August 2011 (UTC)
When presenting opinions in articles, we not only need to show that they are reliably sourced but that they are notable opinions. The blog fails. TFD (talk) 22:23, 17 August 2011 (UTC)

I did not mean in any way for this to get into yet another discussion about whether or not Shamir is an antisemite, nor was I necessarily saying Richard Seymour's opinion should be cited in the article. What I wanted to show was simply this: that CounterPunch is widely regarded as controversial, a claim that has been regularly denied and whitewashed out of this article by one or two editors. The way the article is now does recognise that CP is controversial, but makes it look as if this is just because of Israel-Palestine. The current sentence is "CounterPunch has been criticised by some Jewish and anti-racist groups for some of this [Israel/Palestine-related] material." That seems too tepid for me, given the widespread criticism of the magazine by leftists, such as Richard Seymour, Bill Weinberg or Louis Proyect, for publishing antisemites, for endorsing climate change denial, for publishing baseless accusations against Assange's rape accusers, etc etc. BobFromBrockley (talk) 12:54, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

You need a source that comes to the same conclusion that you have. TFD (talk) 01:28, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
Well, that was why I excerpted the Seymour quote, which seems to me just one example.BobFromBrockley (talk) 14:15, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
I think you need a better source. Out of curiosity, would you be happy using this blog as a source for other articles about the media, or about politics in the U.K.? TFD (talk) 18:39, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
Good question. I guess in general the answer would be no, but I would probably be happy using it as a source, for example, on controversies within the SWP or similar, which would not be discussed in the mainstream press. I am no fan of Seymour's blog, but it is consistently cited as one of the most read and most well known left-wing blogs in the UK, and so might be considered a reliable source on what is going on in UK left politics. I would certainly see it as a reliable source for Seymour's own opinion, and if Seymour's own opinion was sufficiently relevant in a particular context then again a yes for that.BobFromBrockley (talk) 09:45, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

Lead of this article[edit]

The three edits here (mine [2]); user Goodwinsand's [3]; and user Keith-264 [4]) show that there is a disagreement regarding the neutrality of the lead of this article. Let us talk this issue through first before any more edits are made. Festermunk (talk) 06:07, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

It would help to say what the dispute is about. That it's a "left-wing" publication is opined from good sources and that doesn't seem out of place in the lead. Don't understand the comment "Rewrite the section as description instead of assertion and i'll be satisfied." It sounds like a description of their opinion. Does it need to say "In the opinion of X,Y, Z etc??" If they have some definitive description of themselves as NOT left wing, then that also should be included. CarolMooreDC 13:29, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the input; I'll try to put the left-wing quote in the lead to reflect thisFestermunk (talk) 06:58, 26 December 2011 (UTC)
As I've mentioned, there are a number of contributors to Counterpunch who couldn't be described as left wing. 'CounterPunch is a 501c3 non-profit organization' (see their FAQ) and calling it 'left wing' is fraught with all the connotations of the term, many of which are controversial. I don't think it's an issue to go on the barricades about but the term and its connotations ought to be linked at least. Keith-264 (talk) 08:27, 26 December 2011 (UTC)


An editor continues to insert mention of a signed article published by the magazine.[5] Unless it can be shown that this article has received any attention then it should not be included, per WP:WEIGHT. Counterpunch publishes articles representing a range of views, as do most serious magazines, that do not necessarily represent the views of the magazine. Also, the description is misleading, which should be avoided per WP:BLP. The author does not "argue[] that the Cambodian genocide was "inflated by a factor of a thousand"". The editor asks, "Perhaps you can enlighten me on the TP regarding possible alternative true interpretations of the article's meaning". Sorry but that would be original research. TFD (talk) 02:14, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

Shamir does indeed argue that the death toll was "inflated by a factor of a thousand":
"In order to listen to the other side, I travelled to the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek, the memorial where the alleged victims were killed and buried. This is a place some 30 km away from Phnom Penh, a neat green park with a small museum, much visited by tourists, the Cambodian Yad va-Shem. A plaque says that the Khmer Rouge guards would bring some 20 to thirty detainees twice or thrice a month, and kill many of them. For three years, it would amount less than two thousand dead, but another plaque said indeed that they dug up about eight thousand bodies. However, another plaque said there was over a million killed. Noam Chomsky assessed that the death toll in Cambodia may have been inflated “by a factor of a thousand.”"
Of course, Shamir's comments are shockingly ill-informed. 8,895 bodies were found at Choeung Ek, but there are over 20,000 grave sites in the whole country. 17,000 people were executed at Tuol Sleng, but there were at least 150 additional execution centers. In total, 1,386,734 victims of execution have been exhumed in mass graves, suggesting that the total number of excess deaths caused by the KR regime lies between 2 and 2.5 million. Both the house-to-house survey conducted by the People's Republic of Kampuchea and recent demographic studies by Heuveline and Sharp strongly suggest a death toll in excess of 2 million. But Shamir clearly and unambiguously states that the death toll was in the thousands rather than the millions. He quotes Chomsky approvingly, as a source that backs him up. TFD, How else could you interpret his essay?
Consider Shamir's rhetoric: "New Cambodia (or Kampuchea, as it was called) under Pol Pot and his comrades was a nightmare for the privileged, for the wealthy and for their retainers; but poor people had enough food and were taught to read and write. As for the mass killings, these are just horror stories. Surely the victorious peasants shot marauders and spies, but many more died of American-planted mines and during the subsequent Vietnamese takeover.... To me, this recalls other CIA-sponsored stories of Red atrocities, be it Stalin’s Terror or the Ukrainian Holodomor....It is fine that they canceled money, dynamited banks and sent bankers to plant rice. It is fine that they dried up the great blood-sucking leech, the big-city compradors and money-lenders." This is textbook genocide denial! Portray the killers as non-state "peasants," portray their victims as "blood-sucking parasites," attribute the deaths to American and Vietnamese resistance, invoke a CIA conspiracy. Shamir even adds in apologetics for Stalin and Mao! Keith-264 thinks that "you can't deny opinion, only fact". According to Keith, the Holodomor and the Cambodian Holocaust are eminently debatable or even doubtful historical events, but the Nazi Holocaust can never be questioned. (Shamir is a denier of all three!)
TFD, all you had to do was argue that the piece was being given undue weight. But you instead sought to justify, defend, and deny Shamir's denial. As for criticism, Harry's Place wrote that "It is an insult to the Cambodian population and Counterpunch have sunk to new depths by publishing it," but HP's is currently blocked even on the talk pages of Wikipedia, although it is an excellent blog. Yet CP is considered a reliable source--what a joke!TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 05:25, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
Hello, just in case you're interested, I reverted your edit because it treated opinion as fact. It looks like I wasn't the only person to notice. No-one denies that the Stalin and Pol Pot regimes were murderous only that they were as murderous as their enemies claim. Who damns the Tsar regime for terror famines over the hunger of 1892? Who damns the Nixon regime for the bloodbath in Vietnam from 1969? An encyclopaedia is no place for selective outrage, it's hypocritical. Why don't you invest some energy in comparing the famine in the USSR 1932 with the famine in Ireland in the 1840s or the one in Bengal 1943? That would make an interesting article.Keith-264 (talk) 08:24, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
Times, see WP:PRIMARY: "Material based purely on primary sources should be avoided. All interpretive claims, analyses, or synthetic claims about primary sources must be referenced to a secondary source, rather than to the original analysis of the primary-source material by Wikipedia editors." You should also take the approach that we are supposed to explain how subjects are viewed by mainstream sources and leave our personal emotions out. TFD (talk) 17:03, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

Scheper-Hughes under 'Contributions and topics'[edit]

She's a noteworthy author, but should she really be defined as an author critical of Israeli government action re: the Arab-Israeli conflict? None of her work is on the Arab-Israeli conflict, and her linked work on tissue harvesting at the Greenberg Institute isn't really 'Critical of Israeli government actions' so much as critical of a handful of actors at the institute and organ traffickers generally. — Preceding unsigned comment added by BrilliFAN (talkcontribs) 15:48, 4 September 2013 (UTC)