Talk:SourceWatch

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Deletion of self-reference to Wikipedia[edit]

[added this heading for proper posting of this earlier comment by another. --NYScholar 00:25, 26 June 2007 (UTC)]

I removed the self reference to Wikipeida. See that internal link for Self-reference to see why Wikipedia frowns on it. I'm also confused about Bob Burton as the editor since it's a wikiwiki site. Some distinction between his position and the wikiwiki editors is probably needed. Grice 00:39, 28 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Bob Burton's role is as a point of first contact, site manager and editor. An editor role for a wiki is clearly different from that of a newspaper, for example. Wikis are not, however, precluded from having editors. He can provide oversight as an expert on public relations and heads up a team of people with page deletion powers etc. He has been mandated for this by the Center for Media and Democracy. LD 15:52, 28 Nov 2004 (UTC)

This may be a petty issue, but I'm going to move the logo back to the left side. I normally put logos and other initial pictures on the the right side for consistenecy and aesthetic reasons, but I intentionally put this one on the left side because the hand is pointing to the right (see the guidelines for faces pointing right). The hand is also chopped in half with a straight edge on the left. This edge looks best against the margin of the document, not against a ragged edge of text.Nonenmac 02:46, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Criticisms of SourceWatch[edit]

I have moved the criticisms of sourcewatch to a seperate section. Hope this is a format everyone can live with. TreveXtalk 22:25, 6 August 2005 (UTC)

I have removed the following sentence until some sources are provided (see Wikipedia:Verifiability):
SourceWatch has developed a reputation of being selective in their analysis and use questionable sources, methods and out-dated information to back up their allegations and innuendos.
TreveXtalk 00:12, 7 August 2005 (UTC)
Can we please have a reference for the following - who said this?
Critics of SourceWatch allege that the project is selective in their analysis and use questionable sources, methods and out-dated information to back up their allegations and innuendos.
Removed for the time being until someone finds a reference. (see Wikipedia:Verifiability) TreveXtalk 17:14, 2 September 2005 (UTC)
I changed the line "many critics believe SW to have a liberal bias" to "some critics". Unless you provide at least one reference, this statement is unfounded. Fritsky 17:29, 16 October 2005 (UTC)

In keeping with the general policy against self-editing, I'm responding to the following paragraph here rather than edit it myself:

SourceWatch has a policy of preventing people who disagree with the views of the editor from modifying the site. A case in point revolves around a dispute between Professor John Brignell and Tim Lambert. After an exchange of views with Brignell, Lambert created an entry for him in SourceWatch that was clearly designed to make him look like a crank. Attempts by Brignell to modify the page so as to present his side of the case (not delete the original article) have resulted in him being banned from modifying the site.

This paragraph was added by anon IP #134.148.20.2 (the same IP number that has repeatedly tried to modify the John Brignell article). It is false in several respects:

  1. SourceWatch does not have policy of preventing people who disagree with the editor from modifying the site. Our policies are stated on the site, and nowhere do we declare any such policy. Perhaps 134.148.20.2 means to say that we have a "practice" of doing this, but even this is incorrect.
  2. The claim that Tim Lambert created the article on John Brignell is demonstrably false. A simple review of the article's history shows that it was created by user AaronSw, a frequent contributor to both SourceWatch and Wikipedia who is clearly not Lambert. It has subsequently been edited by a dozen or so other individuals. Although Lambert is one of the critics of Brignell who is quoted in the SourceWatch article, he is not its author.
  3. The article in its current form does include statements that SourceWatch contributors have made in support of Brignell as well as criticisms of him. In fact, one of its current stylistic weaknesses of the article is that the two viewpoints are not clearly identified as such but merely run together without clear demarcation. For example, the section of the article titled "Counting the Dead" includes a paragraph that criticizes a Lambert "thought experiment" by calling it a "straw man argument," and the concluding sentence of that section states, "The above example supports Professor Brignell's demonstration that publication bias causes a relative risk that can be approximated to 1.6." I think the Brignell article leaves considerable room for improvement, but it is clearly not the case that only one point of view has been allowed to influence its current content.
  4. The claim that Brignell has been banned from modifying the site stems from Brignell's repeated attempts to add the following statement to the beginning of the article: "What follows is the work of an individual known as The Adhominator. You can recognise his style, as he never attacks the argument, only the arguer. You can identify him, because he is the only authority he quotes. Enjoy!" This statement was reverted because, among other things, it is demonstrably false. (The SourceWatch article is not the work of "an individual.") Moreover, it is a hypocritical statement, because it is itself an ad hominem attack. Finally, it is empty editorializing. A statement of this type would not be allowed in the article space of a Wikipedia article any more than it would be allowed in the article space of SourceWatch. At best it belongs on the article's talk page (which is where our editor moved it) rather than in the article space. As for the claim that Brignell has been banned, his IP number was blocked for 24 hours after he repeatedly attempted to insert the above statement into the article space and failed to respond to emails from our editor explaining our policy. He is not currently banned from editing articles on SourceWatch.
  5. The paragraph above by IP 134.148.20.2 suggests that he has not tried to delete the original article, but in fact the edit that 134.148.20.2 keeps trying to make does delete factually accurate information from the original article -- in particular a passage taken from Brignell's own website in which he expresses his gratitude to "some of the giants of the pro-science movement in the USA" such as Steven Milloy. Other Brignell supporters have also attempted to remove material including an entire section on Brignell's views on DDT, the ozone hole and a Lancet study.
  6. Finally, 134.148.20.2 is clearly trying to insert language that amounts to an unqualified endorsement of Brignell's views -- language that would be rejected as POV if it were used in an article on Wikipedia. SourceWatch does not have the same NPOV policy as Wikipedia, so this opinionating by 134.148.20.2 is not forbidden on our site, but the fact that we allow greater leeway in expressing opinions does not mean that he should expect his point of view to go unchallenged and unedited by others.

In short, all that is happening in this case is something very similar to what happens all the time on Wikipedia -- a difference between points of view relating to a single article, which has developed into a revert war. It's not censorship, and it's not a "policy of preventing people who disagree with the views of the editor from modifying the site." --Sheldon Rampton 21:38, 18 November 2005 (UTC)

In response to (1) to (4), I can understand the point being made, but see below. Much of this was due to misunderstandings on my part about the way the site worked. In particular, I wasn't aware of the discussion page. In response to (5), my intention in editing the introductory part of the article was to make the language used more neutral. This statement serves no purpose other than to categorise Brignell as a member of a particular group of people, and the only real reason for such a categorisation is so that the reader will apply criticisms of individual members of the group to the group as a whole. For example, Steve Milloy has worked for a tobacco company, and so many choose to believe his views are driven by self interest. By categorising Brignell with him the author is clearly attempting to imply that the same criticism applies to Brignell. With regard to (6), if the editors of SourceWatch choose to edit out language that "amounts to an unqualified endorsement" of a point of view, but leave in language that amounts to an unqualified disparagement, then that is bias.

The article on John Brignell was created as an attack on him. An examination of the first entry made, which can be found on the history page associated with the article, will show this. Despite numerous modifications, by both supporters and detractors, the sense of the article has remained one of holding him up to ridicle. An examination of the version of the article from mid-October 2005 will show this. The article focuses, not on Brignell himself, but on his website. It does not even examine the website as a whole, but selects three topics that he has written about and attacks his stance on those topics. There is no attempt made to present his own arguments. The article would lead one to think that these three topics are the main focus of his web site, yet any casual reader of his site will have a hard time finding any comment about any of them.

The editors of SourceWatch have to take responsibility for the content of their site. Even if other people are writing it, they still control what stays in and what gets thrown out. If they are concerned with presenting accurate information then they have to do some checking to ensure that what is being presented is accurate information. If they are only interested in presenting opinions dressed up to look like accurate information, that requirement disappears. If this article is a true indication of the quality of articles in SourceWatch, then SourceWatch as a source of information is a no more reliable than a blog. (Jim Smith)

I find it rather ironic to be accused of disregard for accuracy by someone who managed to pack all of the inaccuracies that I detailed above into a single paragraph. I accept your explanation that some of this was based on a misunderstanding on your part about how wikis work, but by now you should have figured things out better. If you wish to continue editing here or on SourceWatch, I recommend that you register and edit under a user name -- either as "Jim Smith," which I assume is your actual name, or under some other username if you prefer. Registering is free, and it makes it easier for other users to communicate with you. Anonymous IP edits are more likely to come under critical scrutiny than edits by registered users, for a variety of reasons.
Regarding your explanation for point #5 (your repeated attempt to delete the reference to Brignell's praise for people like Steven Milloy), there is nothing "inaccurate" about that quote. You just don't like it because you think it shows Brignell in a bad light. However, Brignell himself is the person who has expressed his praise and gratitude to Milloy (a former tobacco lobbyist who isn't even a scientist) and Alan Caruba (a right-wing former public relations advisor to the pesticide industry who also isn't a scientist) by calling them "giants of the pro-science movement." I think the fact that Brignell regards people like this as "pro-science giants" tells us something significant about him. And in fact, one of Brignell's main claims (namely, that relative risks of less than 2 should be discounted) is precisely the argument that Milloy developed for the tobacco industry back when he worked for Jim Tozzi at Multinational Business Services.
As for the "three topics" that you mention, I assume you are referring to Brignell's comments about DDT, the ozone layer and secondhand smoke. I think these topics are representative of the positions that Brignell takes on many issues. He writes consistently as an anti-environmentalist contrarian who believes, in the words of one of his recent commentaries, that environmentalists (and scientists whose research raises environmental concerns) are worshippers of a "godless neo-primitive green religion." This is the case whether he's writing about DDT or secondhand smoke or ozone or global warming, PCBs, dioxin, cholesterol or any of a host of other environmental and health issues. So I think the examples you object to are representative of Brignell. In any case, you haven't pointed to any inaccuracies in the article. Even if I were to concede your claim that the examples cited are non-representative of Brignell's ideas overall (a point which in fact I don't concede), non-representativeness is not the same as inaccuracy. Non-representativeness can be addressed by adding balancing context and additional information. You, on the other hand, seem to think that the way to address it is by deleting facts that you find inconvenient.
Here's what I would propose you do:
  1. Register a user account with Wikipedia, and one on SourceWatch.
  2. Create an article about John Brignell on Wikipedia, which contains all the current material from SourceWatch, and then edit it as you see fit. Then see how it evolves on Wikipedia over time. Wikipedia has a much larger and more diverse user base than SourceWatch, and its "neutral point of view" policy may be more to your liking than the policy on SourceWatch.
  3. If the Wikipedia version of the Brignell article, with contributions from users other than just yourself, starts to differ from the SourceWatch version in ways that indeed challenge the accuracy of the SourceWatch article, you can point that out on SourceWatch to bolster your argument for editorial revisions.
  4. Finally, be prepared to defend your positions with facts and evidence on the talk page for the Brignell article, both on Wikipedia and on SourceWatch.
If, after you do these things, the SourceWatch article still contains demonstrable inaccuracies (and not just opinions with which you disagree), I'd say you'd had genuine grounds for criticism. Thus far, however, you haven't done that. Instead of facts and evidence, you've mostly offered opinions, accusations and bluster (mixed in with some demonstrable falsehoods, as I detailed above). --Sheldon Rampton 06:44, 25 November 2005 (UTC)


I've tried to fix recent changes. As regards targets of criticism, it's the critics of Sourcewatch who say that it picks mainly on conservatives, not Sourcewatch that "deems" its targets conservative. On deleting old/irrelevant information, the issue may be worth a mention, but it makes no sense to talk about information being "relevant if it is consistent with liberal principles" or similar. By definition, irrelevant information doesn't matter and information can't be consistent with principles, though obviously relevant information may give support to liberal or conservative policies or views.JQ 22:48, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

To restate this, the critics of Sourcewatch are not saying, AFAIK, that Sourcewatch focuses its attacks on people perceived by Sourcewatch to be conservative, but that Sourcewatch focuses its attacks on people who are ( that is, are perceived by the critics to be) conservative. The edit misinterprets NPOV. It would be perfectly OK, for example to say, that Sourcewatch criticises people whom it perceives as industry-friendly experts since they say on their website that they catalogue "industry friendly experts", and NPOV means that Wikipedia should neither endorse nor reject the claim that the people catalogued are in fact in this class. JQ 04:52, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

There is nothing wrong with "Some critics believe SourceWatch has a liberal or left-wing outlook. According to these critics, many of the project's investigative and critical articles are aimed and directed at what SourceWatch perceives to be prominent conservatives, those that are right-of center and Republican Party organizations and individuals."
It seems those that may have a close affiliation to SourceWatch want it removed, particularly those from Australia where Bob Burton also hails. Some have stated that the above para has already been mentioned. Not true. So far there is an attack on the conservatives. If Wikipedia wants to be fair it has to have both sets of views and act balanced.

User:Reem Butt

Please sign your posts; please indent; it makes things more readable. The version with directed at what SourceWatch perceives to be seems weird... how do we know about SourceWatchs perceptions? Are we reading their minds? William M. Connolley 15:19, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

There are numerous articles on SourceWatch on people that have nothing to do with Republicans or conervatives but SourceWatch has done articles on them. That is fine. That is up to them. Equally there is nothing wrong to say that it is a perception. Is that biased? NO of course not. Giving an example of Alan Caruba is another example of some people with major bias. The guy is on the extreme side of conservative and to use him as an example of crtics of SourceWatch is a total distortion of the facts. I'm amazed that Wikipedia has people that do not want a balanced approach. - User:Reem Butt

RB, I'm unimpressed. You couldn't be bothered sourcing your claims so I did it for you. I found Caruba's piece by Googling for something like "Sourcewatch attacks conservative writers". He is the first hit on this search. Do your own search and come up with another source.JQ 20:41, 17 May 2006 (UTC)


I think Reem is totally right in her comments. I don't think it even requires a source. SourceWatch is full of attacks on conservatives or who it perceives to be conservatives. Even MP's within the Labour Party are targeted like Jim Murphy. He is not a conservative nor is he right-wing. It's crazy that some are asking for this to be proved. SW openly are a left-wing liberal site. Lets get real here. - RC

Umm, so the fact that Sourcewatch criticises people who aren't conservative proves that Sourcewatch must perceive them to be conservative? Let's get real indeed. With this kind of logic you can prove anything you want. In any case, the idea that you can just go around inserting unsourced statements because you think they are right is a violation of WP:NPOV. Both the statement that Wikipedia is liberal/left and the statement that it attacks conservatives are presented with sources in the article. JQ 03:17, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

Sourcewatch has a huge liberal bias. Just search John McCain and view all of the negatives against him. Search Barack Obama and "what's this? Nothing about Rev. Wright or any of Obama's controversial contacts?" That's clear evidence of bias. Need more proof? Search any conservative and read all of the negatives, search a liberal and everything they've done is 'godly'. Sourcewatch omits negatives that might harm the reputation of any democrat or liberal organization. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 98.207.120.73 (talk) 16:31, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

Removed the following:

"SourceWatch has a generally liberal and left-wing outlook on issues, and most of the project's investigative and critical articles are aimed and directed at what SourceWatch perceives to be prominent conservatives, those that are right-of center and Republican Party organizations and individuals.[citation needed]"

This seems to be a statement by a wikipedia user, not an actual criticism from an outside source.

Also removed:

"SourceWatch has also been critical of Wikipedia for not always referencing its sources."

There is already a whole section on it. - User:BTAUS

Beau Chandler was totally right to restore the previous version because the comment is fair and accurate and reflects what SourceWatch is about. It is a criticism as it reflects SourceWatch's selective choices in who it writes about. It seems you only joined yesterday BTAUS. What is your agenda?

If you are going to make the claim that sourcewatch has a liberal outlook on issues, then you are going to have prove it with evidence. Otherwise the comment does not belong in a encyclopedia article. My only agenda is to ensure neutrality. User:BTAUS

Err it is a common fact. The Observer newspaper has a liberal outlook, is that biased? The issue was resolved only you seem to have a problem. Intresting that you only joined yesterday and your focus is on SourceWatch connected issues. It goes back the way it is. Then it can be disputed. (Beau Chandler 17:54, 25 May 2006 (UTC))

"only you seem to have a problem" Your claim is incorrect, BC. A series of editors have told you/Reem that statements of this kind should be sourced, and also that the statement as written is incoherent. It's just that no-one can be bothered warring with you over a relatively minor point.

BC you fail to provide any evidence, "it is a common fact" is not evidence. Also might I ask why you keep putting the following sentence "SourceWatch has also been critical of Wikipedia for not always referencing its sources." under the criticism of sourcewatch heading when it clearly belongs under the Sourcewatch on Wikipedia heading. And I do not appreciate your attacks on my character when I have already clearly stated what my agenda is. Until evidence or an outside source is provided the comment is removed. It is not the job of Wikipedia to include political commentery by it's users in it's articles. - User:BTAUS

There is no political commentery it is a simple point of the areas SourceWatch talks about. It's amusing that you admit to having an agenda. So far you have focused on two pages since you have arrived on wikipedia. You obviously must be connected to SourceWatch. SourceWatch openly admits they are a liberal wiki. They openly target big business and Republican and conservative politicans. Have a look at their edits today. I have agreed with some other contributors on changes but like beau I see nothing wrong with what has been said. It is not an attack, nor is it biased. - User:Reem Butt

The problem is that when you put that comment in there without any sources it comes off as if wikipedia's stance on sourcewatch is that it's leftist. Encyclopedias are not supposed to have any stances. My suggestion would be to move the leftist remark out of the criticisms section into the general information section or to add an outside source. Until you find you sources (which I would think would be pretty easy if it is indeed a common perception) the comment stays out. As for the sources currently added I don't see how they back up this remark. One source links to congresspedia (since when is keeping an eye on congress leftist?) and the other links to a talk section not a article. BC and RB I don't want a war with you guys, all I want is some actual sources to back up the comment, thank you. - User:BTAUS

I moved the "SourceWatch and its sponsors are generally regarded as having a liberal or left-wing outlook on issues" into the main description of sourcewatch, my reason for this is that sourcewatch's political outlook should not be in the criticisms section. And I added the Caruba source to the comment "Critics claim that most of the project's investigative and critical articles are aimed and directed at what SourceWatch perceives to be prominent conservatives, those that are right-of center and Republican Party organizations and individuals." I still think that the latter comment needs another source since Caruba is cited is used twice - User:BTAUS

Mike it doesn't matter whether it looks good or not what Iam trying to achive is neutrality. The source provided does not critisize sourcewatch for being liberal/leftwing, it only confirms that sourcewatch is perceived to liberal/leftwing, so why does this comment belong in the criticisms section Mike? - User:BTAUS

Removal of quote[edit]

I've removed this quote. It isn't about SourceWatch at all. SourceWatch/Disinfopedia are never even mentioned. In any case, as a wikiwiki SourceWatch is not a 'work' of Rampton and Stauber in the traditional sense. TreveXtalk 09:04, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

In April 2001, The Village Voice, in a review of Rampton and Stauber's book wrote: “These guys come from the far side of liberal. Saying so is not to detract from their exhaustively detailed reportage and calmly convincing tone; indeed, the book is generally light on rhetoric, and there's hardly a radical quoted. But the public stranglehold of corrupt experts is framed as a crisis of "democracy," which the authors see as not just freedom from having your mind messed with, but also a level of engagement that drives citizens to become their own experts.” [1]

Red folk[edit]

Suddenly we have an explosion of red users edit warring over the article... this isn't good William M. Connolley 13:40, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

There may be a flash of red but I'd like to point out that I've been here since last year. I just have not put anything in to my page as I did not know it was required. I hope do not suffer discrimination for it. Also, the links do support the claims and if others feel they do not then that is fine BUT the comment should not be removed we can explore more possibilities. - User:Reem Butt

As I said in the comment above, without outside sources to backup the comment in question it comes off as if wikipedia is passing judgement on sourcewatch. And yes I am a new wikipedia editor, I only joined up because of this article, I have not seen such an obivious partisan comment go without any notice in any other wikipedia article I've read. I do think I have a valid point, and I am not asking for much from BC and RB. - User:BTAUS

The fact that you are willing to admit that you only joined for this article proves that you are not a balanced source. There is no obvious partisan comments. The links if you bother to read them clearly show and illustrate the areas that SourceWatch targets. No one can honestly say that SourceWatch are balanced. They have sections like Impeach Tony Balir, who is a Labor Prime Minister not a Conservative one. They have attacked academics like Brignell. have a look at the comments ofJim Smith above in relation to Brignell. In fact Why don't look at the edits that have been done today? They focus on a few issues. The fact that you joined only for this article and have only edited this shows that you must be tied to SourceWatch and therefore your comments are deeply biased. This is Wikipedia where both sides are covered, not SourceWatch. Stop vandalising this page BTAUS. - User:Reem Butt

Did you read what I wrote? I joined because I saw the obvious partisan comment on this article, not because of the subject of the article. You refuse to provide any sources. You link to a talk page and congress watch page and claim this proves your claim, when it infact shows your own bias. And now your claiming sourcewatch is biased because it is critical of a left wing labour government. As for Brignell, that has already been discussed. You have not provided any justification for the comment as of yet and your only argument seems to be that I am somehow connected to sourcewatch, which I have denied and of which you have absolutely no proof of except in your own mind using you own twisted logic. So instead of attacking me, why don't you try finding soume outside sources to backup the comment about sourcewatch focusing on conservative/republicans and being liberal/leftwing. Until you do that, the comment does not belong on Wikipedia. - User:BTAUS

I don't really think we should make this a personal argument. The comment BTAUS is not biased at all. It is simply reflective on the issues that SourceWatch believes in. The Brignell issue may have been discussed but it was not resolved. You can't simply decide for yourself if the comment belongs here or not. It is not a biased comment. It is in the criticism section so there is not ambiguity as to what it is about. You cannot simply remove it just like that. The comment was not put in last night it has been there for a while and many do feel it is accurate. I don’t think there is a point joining wikipedia just for the sake of changing one or two articles with which you seem to have personal issues with. [2] I think for that reason Reem feels you may be with SourceWatch. I don't think you need to get so defensive. The comment will be restored.(Beau Chandler

I don't think there's any serious disagreement that Sourcewatch has a liberal or leftwing viewpoint, but the appropriate Wikipedia style is to give a citation, and I've done this. The other claim is clearly disputed, and needs a proper source, not a link to the site that RB/BC believe shows anti-conservative bias. The para immediately following gives such a source (Caruba). Feel free to find another source, or else delete this.JQ 23:04, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

I'm satisfied with JQ's sources for the liberal/leftwing outlook, all we need now is a source to verify the focus on republicans/conservatives. I looked for one myself but I can't find one that is well written. - User:BTAUS

Well I am not that satisfied at the very selective source that seems to be overused. It is very interesting that BTAUS has only focused on this page and would naturally be happy at a change that again does not deal with the whole context of the article. I have made a change with a link which does support the argument. If as JQ said there is no disagreement that SourceWatch does have a liberal/left wing viewpoint then that section can remain and hopefully BTAUS will not remove it for the 10th time. User:Reem Butt

Reem Butt why did you edit the page? All you have managed to do is mess up the entire article. Make sure you read all new entries on the talk page (see my entry in the criticisms section) before you decide to make changes. I reverted the page to the BTAUS version as it's alot more clear and doesn't repeat itself. Also why have you put a link to a site which shows sourcewatch's financial contributors as a source for the comment "Critics claim that most of the project's investigative and critical articles are aimed and directed at what SourceWatch perceives to be prominent conservatives, those that are right-of center and Republican Party organizations and individuals." ?? - User:BTAUS

I apologise, I put in the wrong link which I have no corrected. I was totally right to restore the section about SourceWatch liberal left-wing section as even JQ stated and BC confirmed that SourceWatch openly follows that policy. BTW, its also amusing that you state you restored your version as it is more clear. All you have done it to try and remove what you don't like, also you kept using the same links. I'm happy to keep changing it back BTAUS as long as you keep changing it back. Keep it going by all means. Why don't you also try and do somethign else on wikipedia if you are capable. This link shows your total obsession with this page. [3] User:Reem Butt

That link does not validate the comment, the Caruba website does. Caruba talks specifically about conservative writers whereas the activistcash website does not. Again I urge you to read my addition to the criticism section of the talk page (2006-05-28 20:44:04) where I give my reasons for moving the liberal/leftwing comment to the main section of the sourcewatch article. A change (2006-05-28 20:40:45) which I made immidietely after JQ posted the source. You have made uneccessary changes because you failed to notice and/or compare the changes I made to JQ's edit. I am reverting the page back to the (2006-05-28 20:40:45) version as the changes you made are not necessary - User:BTAUS

I have restored the Reem Butt version as it does refelct the comments. As I said before if people disagree then the goal is to find another source but not remove the whole section. BTAUS you do not help yur case as you seem totally fixated on this page. [4]

You also ignore the fact that everyone has accepted the issue that Sourcewatch has a liberal left wing policy. I don't think they even deny it. Please stop reverting pages back to your version just because you believe it to be incorrect. (Beau Chandler

I have compromised and merged the two sections that have been under dispute. Reem and BTAUS I think you should both find that they are fair and do not cause a problem. (Beau Chandler

BC I did not remove the leftwing/liberal comment in my edit of JQ's post, as I have said 3 times read the CRITICISM SECTION OF THE TALK PAGE. I moved the comment to the main section of the article. I don't know what's up with you two but you have made uneccessary changes and further complicated the article. Reverted back to BTAUS 2006-05-28 20:40:45 Version - User:BTAUS

This is amazing. Within one minute of me offering the compromise, BTAUS has once again changed the page. I would like to point out BTAUS that you have broken the 3 changes in a day rule. I suugest you clam down and think before you keep chaning the page again and again. You certainly do not help your own case at all. I offered a compromise, lets here what Reem has to say. Please clam down. (Beau Chandler

You have not moved any section you have quite deliberately totally removed it. I again repeat that you have broken the rule now 5 TIMES. This is absolutely ridiculous. I urge you to stop vandalising the page. (Beau Chandler

Ok I think you are very angry and your selectively not looking at my change so here's a link to my change. http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=SourceWatch&oldid=55543396 And here's JO's edit. http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=SourceWatch&oldid=55535881 Now compare the main section. Reverting back to my change as there is nothing wrong with it - User:BTAUS

What on earth are you talking about. You have for six times changed the whole page. Your version does not represent what you claim at all. A whole section has gone missing. You have ignored the question of what is your agenda. Your have proved yourself of not being impartial. I think BC's changes are resonable. I'm not totally happy with it but I will wait and give it some thought. I suggest you do the same thing. User:Reem Butt

We can't keep having this same arguement all the time. I would like all people to look at this [5].

BTAUS has shown that he is only interested one page, appears to be monitoring it 24/7 and is arrogant enough to believe that he is not doing anything wrong. Beau Chandler gave a compromise which I am accepting, but BTAUS keeps making changes and then insists that he has not altered anything. A whole section goes missing. This is crazy. He appears to be part of SourceWatch. BTAUS has alos resorted to changing the page now SEVEN times in one day. User:Reem Butt

I don't know what else I can do to prove to you that I have moved the liberal/leftwing comment, you are clearly not interested in listening. I'll give it one last try:

JQ's version where adds the sources as at 2006-05-28 19:04:25:

Main section:

"SourceWatch (formerly Disinfopedia) describes itself as "a collaborative project that aims to produce a directory of public relations firms, think tanks, industry-funded organizations and industry-friendly experts that work to influence public opinion and public policy on behalf of corporations, governments and special interests."

The stated SourceWatch policy for WikiWiki editors is "fairness and accuracy" rather than a neutral point of view policy. [1]. The project's sponsor is the research group Center for Media and Democracy; Bob Burton is SourceWatch editor [2] and the main contact for the project and provides a degree of oversight as an analyst on public relations.

The directory is available on the web as a Wiki, maintained by a community of interested users worldwide. When SourceWatch began, any visitor to the site could edit existing articles and create new ones. In April, 2006, however, SourceWatch changed its policy to require that users register and log in before editing. (Unregistered visitors can still read all the material.) SourceWatch was started on 2003-01-15 and publicly launched with 200 articles on 2003-03-10. Conservative estimates put the number of articles in SourceWatch at over 5000 as of July 2004,[3]. Content is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.

Since the SourceWatch style is to often extensively quote other news articles, the SourceWatch article will, in many cases, have extensive external links."

Changes made by me to JQ's edit as at 2006-05-28 20:40:45:

Main Section:

"SourceWatch (formerly Disinfopedia) describes itself as "a collaborative project that aims to produce a directory of public relations firms, think tanks, industry-funded organizations and industry-friendly experts that work to influence public opinion and public policy on behalf of corporations, governments and special interests."

The stated SourceWatch policy for WikiWiki editors is "fairness and accuracy" rather than a neutral point of view policy. [1]. The project's sponsor is the research group Center for Media and Democracy; Bob Burton is SourceWatch editor [2] and the main contact for the project and provides a degree of oversight as an analyst on public relations.

>SourceWatch and its sponsors are generally regarded as having a liberal or left-wing outlook on issues [3]. <

The directory is available on the web as a Wiki, maintained by a community of interested users worldwide. When SourceWatch began, any visitor to the site could edit existing articles and create new ones. In April, 2006, however, SourceWatch changed its policy to require that users register and log in before editing. (Unregistered visitors can still read all the material.) SourceWatch was started on 2003-01-15 and publicly launched with 200 articles on 2003-03-10. Conservative estimates put the number of articles in SourceWatch at over 5000 as of July 2004,[4]. Content is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.

Since the SourceWatch style is to often extensively quote other news articles, the SourceWatch article will, in many cases, have extensive external links." - User:BTAUS

If I can wade in to this argument. I may be an old timer and you young ones seem to be very quick but please bear with me. I do agree that B.Chandler's compromise is fair. The sections are in the right area. BTAUS you have already made far too many changes. Your version does not keep the sections in the right place it also reduces segments. I am therefore of the view that Chandler's version is the appropriate one for the time being. BTAUS please stop reverting. User:Mike Sampson

Mike have a look at JQ's edit, then have a look at mine, the argument both BC and RB are making is that I removed the leftwing/liberal comment. But I didn't, I moved it to the main section of the article where it belongs. Until someone can tell me why it does not belong in that section and replies to my comment in the criticism section of the talk/discussion. I will revert back to the BTAUS version - User:BTAUS

Iam satisfied with Mike's last compromise except for one thing, the activist cash source should not be used to backup this comment "Critics claim that most of the project's investigative and critical articles are aimed and directed at what SourceWatch perceives to be prominent conservatives, those that are right-of center and Republican Party organizations and individuals." instead the Carubra source should be used since it specifically mentions conservative writers and so on. The activist cash has nothing on conservatives or republicans. - User:BTAUS

Regarding your proposed change for the link, it seems more appropriate where it is. It would not make sense for it to be repeated. That is also purely a conservative criticism. Whereas the top section is about a variety of people being profiled on SourceWatch that SW perceives and not just natural conservatives. Perhaps it would help to add one line about how media personalities, analysts and academics have also been profiled which would fit in to the Activist cash section. I'll have a closer look. However as I said it would not be appropriate to use the Caurba quote again as it does not fit in with the above paragraph and it fits in nicely in its current section. We do know SourceWatch has analysed a number of industry people and academics which would work with the Activist Cash link. User:Mike Sampson

Mike - I got your message. I was only making the changes because BTAUS was repeatedly reverting. He says he was not altering but he was removing sections. I reluctantly accept your compromise although I still think that sections belong in the criticism section.

I do agree with you that the activist cash link should remain and with your added sentence on lobby groups, academics etc it flows better. The Caruba link would not work. SourceWatch does talk a lot on those issues and I guess it should be covered.User:Reem Butt

Just want to say that I tried to offer a compromise but this BTAUS who obviosuly seems to be with SourceWatch spent the whole day monitoring this page. He was removing sections otherwise there would have been no problem. It would be good for the sake of transparency if he reveals his true motivations. Anyway, Mike, I think the recent changes and addition are fair although Reem may not agree. (Beau Chandler

The activist cash link does cover Mike's new sentence but it still does not say anything about conservatives and republicans being targeted by Sourcewatch, I am going to add the Caruba source as a third source, so that everything in the comment is covered. BC as I have already said many times I do not belong to sourcewatch, as for monitoring the page the whole day you give me far too much credit. Go look at the history of the article, your so called compromise was not a compromise at all, I don't think you even knew what you were editing since you left the leftwing comment in the main section and repeated it again in the criticisms sections. I have only removed sections that did not have any sources, why do comments made by users not backed up by outside sources belong in a encyclopedia? - User:BTAUS

Public relations firms have already been mentioned at the top of the SourceWatch page. It does not need to be said again and in fairness to SourceWatch they openly state that in their policy focus. Therefore it does not belong in the criticism section. The Caruba quote is more about public relations firms. Also the source has been used for the section below. We really don't need to repeat things. However, no doubt BTAUS is monitoring this page and will continue to use reverts despite the fact that things do not need to be stated twice. Watch this space...User:Reem Butt

Since you have removed the source that validates the "Critics claim that most of the project's investigative and critical articles are aimed and directed at what SourceWatch perceives to be prominent conservatives, those that are right-of center and Republican Party organizations and individuals." comment I have removed the comment. Find a source that does validate it then feel free to include it in the article. And yes I am monitoring the article, it's called "my watchlist" perhaps you should learn to use this feature. As for things being stated twice, I've stated it over two times, user/author comments do not belong in an encyclopedia article unless they can be sourced. If user comments that detail bias or criticism aren't sourced then this is a clear breach of wikipedia NPOV policy. Perhaps you should read this:

"The neutral point of view is a means of dealing with conflicting views after determining those views from verified and reliable sources."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:NPOV

- User:BTAUS

BTAUS, wants to play clever games, I can't actually believe what he has just done. I don't think it maters Reem if that Caruba source is added. It's better to restore that and it keeps the comment in. BTAUS is playing games. Even senior people like Jerry did not have a problem with it. This guy, BTAUS, is so with SourceWatch that it is no longer a joke. (Beau Chandler

Thanks for re-adding the source, If you feel that the same source is used too much then find another one to backup your comment, then delete the current (Caruba) source. If you feel I am with sourcewatch there is nothing I can do to change your mind, as I have said before this is the only wikipedia article I have come across so far that had a major problem so I decided to try and fix it, after all that's what wiki is about. I have no issue with the article as is (2006-06-01 22:16:18 Beau Chandler version). - User:BTAUS

Criticisms: Reprise[edit]

While I agree that Sourcewatch is run by a left of center organization, the "Criticisms" section is poorly sourced, and is full of POV and reliability issues. As of this moment (12:50, 1 June 2006 (UTC)) the first two paragraphs have the same source: a press release by Alan Caruba -- hardly the least biased source. The third paragraph is a quote from a group run by Center for Consumer Freedom, a right-wing advocacy group. Again: hardly the least biased source. The fourth paragrph has no cites at all.

In short: this entire section is hopelessly violative of POV and RS policy. The issue here is not Sourcewatch, but Wikipedia. This section needs to be redone with reliable sources or removed until some are found. IMHO <g>. -- Sholom 12:50, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

Well I appreciate BTAUS respecting the addition. In reference to Jerry's comment, both the source's do not mention SourceWatch directly but they do talk about the Centre for Media and democrcay which is part of SourceWatch and is behind SourceWatch. (Beau Chandler 12:57, 1 June 2006 (UTC))

This is what I have been asking for from the begining, I do agree that these sources are very unreliable and POV but Beau Chandler and ReemButt have been very stubborn when it came to thier unsourced comment: "SourceWatch has a generally liberal and left-wing outlook on issues, and most of the project's investigative and critical articles are aimed and directed at what SourceWatch perceives to be prominent conservatives, those that are right-of center and Republican Party organizations and individuals" And the result is this "compromise" of very POV sources. In the end this compromise pretty much ruins the article, and the sources are vague when mentioning sourcewatch and do not back up the criticisms very well. But every attempt to explain this to BC and RB has been met with personal attacks on my character, and wanton revertings without providing any valid reason or sources of thier own. I reluctantly accepted the article as is, but now that I see I am not alone in noticing this I withdraw my acceptance and I put my support forward for the resourcing of the article with valid and relavant sources. - User:BTAUS

           What I am still having trouble understanding is how "what
           SourceWatch perceives to be prominent conservatives". Can we 
           have at least one source, from SW itself, that states that this 
           is indeed what they believe? How can one state undeniably what 
           another perceives? One can only speculate, and speculation does
           not belong in Wikipedia. If you cannot provide this, then this can
           be construed as nothing but personal POV. 
           That may be tolerated on SW, but in Wikipedia, I would think
           we have higher standards than this. And before the attacks start,
           let me say that YES, I am new, and no, I do not have any connections
           to SW. Came upon it randomly, and before today, I had never even heard 
           of it before. - RHK

NPOV: Criticism of SourceWatch section[edit]

Per the points made earlier on this talk page, I've added a NPOV-sect tag to Criticism of SourceWatch. It is insufficiently sourced, and many of the sources that are provided are dubious. Let's see if we can get it cleaned up with some good sources. --JerryOrr 13:23, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

BTAUS, has got his own agenda and I would like everyone to look at his record on this link [6]. He has one agenda and that is SourceWatch. By his own admission he only joined wikipedia because of it. I don't think he is reliable to make any new changes to this page. The link that is dubious is the one that BTAUS was keen to put in so I find it amusing that he now has a problem with it again.
In relation to the other links, The Village Voice states that "These guys are on the far Side of Liberal". That is why is was added. Activist Cash talks about CMD and SourceWatch looking at "anyone with a tie and a suit" that is why it was added. The Caruba quote which Beau and I were uncertain of being put on the top paragraph despite already being mentioned, was being added by BTAUS. If you want to look at SourceWatch at anytime they are doing articles on the issues mentioned. I really don't understand why this is a problem. Have a look at some examples. Alan Milburn [7]. A Labour MP in which the article is just a series of attacks. The Labour Party is not a conservative one yet it has been analysed by SW. Democrats have also been written about like William Jefferson [8]. Because people like Milburn and Jefferson supported the war in Iraq they were both targeted. Have another look at Media analysts Steven Emerson and Husain Haqqani. [9] [10]. Again a series of attacks. Look at what they have written on George Bush. You may not like him or agree with him but their article is deeply biased. [11] There is no neutrality whatsoever. Also look at what they are doing with Vets for Freedom. Look at the article on the academic John Brignell and the Talk page.[12]. In fact look at all the talk pages. They kept reverting any changes.
There are so many more examples. I'm sure BTAUS who is with SourceWatch can provide many more. I’m not happy with him making any changes on this page because of his personal issues with this topic. I again want people to look at his track record.[13]. He claims he was trying to make logical changes but if anyone wants to look at the history record you can notice that he was very deliberately cutting sections out.
Also please look at this link. [14]. It is a response to an article about GreenFacts on SourceWatch. The organisation feels that its concerns were not properly taken in to consideration. SourceWatch has not amened its article at all in relation to this. [15] SourceWatch called the GreenFacts a Front Group despite not offering any real proof. These are all the types of examples that involve very selective choices.
What I like about wikipedia is that both sides of the argument are shown. The problems on this page only arises in the criticisms section which is supposed to talk about the criticisms. It’s a no brainer. Ironically BTAUS is trying to remove them. If he is not part of SourceWatch why does he take so much intrest? He once stated that I "can't prove he is with SourceWatch". That sounded very defensive and perhaps something to hide.
Finally I want to point out that at least with wikipedia there can be an NPOV. SourceWatch does not have any such function. The administrators control everything. --Reem Butt
A few points:
  • Regardless of BTAUS's agenda (or not), I think his criticisms on this article are valid.
  • Bringing up articles such as Alan Milburn, or GreenFacts, or whoever/whatever, to prove your point also has problems. For one, I am not disputing that Sourcewatch may be biased. Secondly, using this as an example is a textbook case of original research.
  • Using "both sides of the argument" is fine -- provided that the information comprising "both sides" are from reputable sources.
So, to summarize my own complaints: if you think Sourcewatch is biased, simply bring citations from reputable sources. Simple as that. That's my only point. -- Sholom 16:04, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

I think Sholom what Reem may have meant by showing these examples was to illustrate the stance of SourceWatch and not that they should be included in the main body. It is strange though that primary sources can't be used. After all SourceWatch uses them. They have used primary sources to attack Wikipedia. [16]. It is also worth pointing out how they attack groups like the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council. They seem to strongly attack any Jewish group. Yet no other religious groups are mentioned. [17]

I find it strange that primary information can't be used. John Brignell was initially used as an example and then Sheldon Rampton arrived and it was taken off. It is deeply ironic that SourceWatch has attacked us, Wikipedia, by using original research, yet when we try and talk about their obvious bias, many want to defend them. If there was a website that professed violence but there were only a few independent sources does that mean we can only use those and not the original site? This surely can't be right. I also agree with Reem that if changes are made it should not be done by BTAUS who may (or may not) have a private agenda. (Beau Chandler 19:37, 1 June 2006 (UTC))

You all raise good points. I just can't help but think that some of the criticisms we have here can also be found, somewhere, with some reliable sources. I need to go offline soon for a few days (I mention that so I don't seem unresponsive). Good luck! -- Sholom 19:45, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

Reembutt, I have already stated why I focus on this page, if you cannot prove my statement wrong then please stop making false accusations, otherwise I'm going to have to report you for personal attacks. Now back to the article -

All of those examples you provded just feature controversies associated with these people, sourcewatch also has controversy pages on Hillary Clinton [18], and also lists news sources with liberal bias [19], it's very hard to prove liberal/leftwing bias.

The problem with the current sources are that they use biased language and because of that they are just not credible, what we need for the general leftwing/liberal bias comment to be validated is a source which makes this accusation from a neutral POV. The same goes for the focus on conservatives/republicans comment. Although I think we may be able to make a compromise by merging the Caruba paragraph and the conservative/republican comment and using the Caruba source for both. The difference would be that it will no longer be a general criticism but a criticism atrributed to Caruba. If you want it to be a general criticism you are going to have to find a neutral source (i.e newsmedia/academic research etc) that backs it up. I have briefly searched google and I have not been able to find any sources that support the comment from a neutral POV so far...but I will continue to search.

BC sourcewatch does not make the claim that they are neutral, thier goal is to uncover "propaganda" and institutions/individuals who influence public opinion. On the other hand Wikipedia is a encyclopedia, and a NPOV is neccessary. Infact wikipedia's credibilty is reliant on this - User:BTAUS

Additionally Reembutt how can we prove that sourcewatch included the controversies on Alan Milburn and William Jefferson bios because they supported the war in Iraq? Can you prove it? If you can't this is just your opinion, it cannot be included in wikipedia. Im not saying they do/don't have a liberal/lefwing outlook, all I'm saying is that so far you have not been able to prove it, your proof so far has been based strictly on POV logic. - User:BTAUS

As for the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council article depsite the negative language the basic facts about it are true. It is a small group of people who support Israel's rightwing movement, the AJAC freely admits this. [20][21][22] Please do some research before you make accusations BC. As for sourcewatch targetting only Jews, nope it features articles on Christians too [23] I wonder why you suddenly accuse sourcewatch of attacking Jews? Mabye it has something to do with the fact that the senior editor who is disagreeing with you has an interest in Judaism...all this time you have been accusing me of having an agenda and you have been unable to prove it, now it is clear who is the one with an agenda. - User:BTAUS

Regarding BTAUS making changes to this article, he absolutely should be allowed and encouraged to edit the article. Having an agenda is not against the rules; all of us have some sort of agenda (mine is to expand articles on organized labor), and that influences what articles we focus our attention on. As long as BTAUS's edits are NPOV, and there are other editors monitoring them to make sure of it, what's the problem?
(By the way, I'm assuming BTAUS is a he, instead of writing he/she all over the place... please let me know if this is not the case).
As for citing specific articles on SourceWatch and calling them proof of bias, that is most certainly original research. A credible source must be found to back up those assertions. If no "mainstream" sources can be found (well-known magazines, news sources, etc), then we might be able to go with some of the "sketchier" sources, as long as we make the bias inherent in the source clear in the article. --JerryOrr 11:57, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

I wonder how much BTAUS actually bothers to read things. Beau talked about the Jewish angle, not me. I find it interesting that BTAUS cannot be bothered to check the facts as to what has actually been said and who has said it.

It is also amusing that having an agenda is not a problem. This damages wikipedia more than anything else. By allowing BTAUS to change what is fact is to distort the reality. Wikipedia does not always require so many sources for all its articles and in addition what has been stated is not biased. I think we all agree they have a left-wing focus. We all agree they target prominent people. Do they attack Micheal Moore? Compare the John Kerry page and the George Bush page. It is so easy to show the level of bias. Yet some seem to have a problem still. Give me a break please.

Please look at this link. [24]. It is a response to an article about GreenFacts on SourceWatch. The organisation feels that its concerns were not properly taken in to consideration. SourceWatch has not amened its article at all in relation to this. [25] SourceWatch called the GreenFacts a Front Group despite not offering any real proof. These are all the types of examples that involve very selective choices.

If changes are made we have to agree with them. --Reem Butt

"By allowing BTAUS to change what is fact is to distort the reality." - this is not what I was suggesting. In fact, I specifically said "As long as BTAUS's edits are NPOV, and there are other editors monitoring them to make sure of it, what's the problem?" My point was not that he should be able to put in whatever he wants; but he has every right to contribute NPOV content to the article.
"If changes are made we have to agree with them." - well, we don't all have to agree with them. A consensus must be reached, not a unanimous decision. Hopefully, we can come to both. --JerryOrr 14:36, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

I apologize Reembutt, I made a simple mistake, I thought the comment was your repsonse to Sholom. I have edited my comment to show BC instead of you. Back to the article, look Reembutt I have said it many times, you have to be able to argue that the bias exists, so far you have provided absolutely no argument. What you have done is post link after link and assumed what sourcewatch's agenda is and assumed that everyone who reads the article will see it from your POV, it may seem obvious to you but again we have no definite proof for any of your accusations and you have not explained your logic.

Could it simply be that there is more criticism of GWB because he is the president, and has attracted much more criticism and been involved in more controversy?

The Greenfacts article does not prove focus on conservatives or republicans, it does not prove leftwing bias. What it does prove is that sourcewatch has an agenda and that agenda is to investigate public relations companies and so forth. Many of these think tanks are funded by business, it's no secret. Greenwatch is one of them and they freely admit it, the sourcewatch article does not come out and say Greenfacts is a frontgroup, it says Greenfacts has many characteristics of a front group and this is true [26][27]. Sourcewatch also provides a link to Greenfacts repsonse at the end of the article. Instead of making baseless accusations, argue your point. I'd be very interested in hearing your argument.

And remember sourcewatch does NOT claim it's articles are neutral , thier agenda is to out groups/thinktanks/PR firms/lobbying groups etc that are funded by institutions/individuals with special interests. This in itself is not a leftist/liberal agenda.

Reembutt I do share your view that many sourcewatch not congresspedia articles have a leftwing/liberal outlook but we have to prove this through neutral sources. As for targeting only conservatives and republicans I just don't see it. - User:BTAUS


NPOV means that the material should be presented in a neutral way, not that the material should be neutral, that the editor should adopt a neutral stance, not that the source should. In a section marked "Criticism of Sourcewatch" it is hardly likely that the criticisms themselves would be neutral. "Rampton and Stauber are 'left wing loonies'(ActivistCash)" is POV; it is presenting an opinion as fact. "Rightwing loonie organisation ActivistCash have probably been paid to describe Rampton and Stauber as 'left wing loonies'" is POV; it is including opinion about the source. "ActivistCash describes Rampton and Stauber as 'left wing loonies'" is NPOV; it is presenting the criticism as criticism without trying to make any claims about the quality of that criticism. Where the criticism is being presented as fact, as in the first example, the quality of the source is important; where it is being presented as a comment that was made, the source only has to show that it was actually made; it is for the reader to decide whether to accept it as true or not.

It may be that the section as a whole presents an appearance that is inconsistent with the truth, i.e. that the actual quality of criticism levelled at SourceWatch is different to what is being presented, in which case the whole section would be POV. If for example the thrust of the section was that SourceWatch was generally criticised for being too right wing then the section would be POV. But it seems to me that the criticisms levelled at SourceWatch are pretty much those covered in the section.

BTAUS, if you are saying that SourceWatch is not left wing in its approach and therefore that criticisms of it for being left wing should not be included, then you are the one who is trying to make the article POV. If you don't understand why this is the case then you need to go back and reread the guidelines on NPOV. If you want to argue that the thrust of criticism of SourceWatch is not as stated in the article then that would be different, but I think you will find that it is.

125.255.16.233 00:57, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

I've deleted stuff that didn't make much sense, and included the factual point from an anonymous edit that Sourcewatch's section on "How to research front groups"[4] includes a section on researching conservative groups,but no section on researching liberal or leftwing groups. I think this is a fair presentation of the facts in a way that is consistent with producing a reasonable Wikipedia entry JQ 07:27, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

BTAUS said "Reembutt I do share your view that many sourcewatch not congresspedia articles have a leftwing/liberal outlook but we have to prove this through neutral sources. As for targeting only conservatives and republicans I just don't see it." This is getting ridiculous, Sourcewatch is one of the most partisan and left wing sites I have ever been to. Lets start with what it has to say when I type in "University of Chicago"... "The university was founded in 1890 by the American Baptist Education Society and Standard Oil magnate John D. Rockefeller; who later described it as "the best investment I ever made." Why would they include that quote (which is not referenced btw) in the introduction? What about what it says about "Ronald Reagan"... "Reagan's legacy includes unprecedented federal budget deficits fueled by tax cuts made at the same time the federal budget grew, due to massive increases in military spending." So using monetarism to kill 13% inflation and leaving with 5% unemployment is not in any part of that legacy? I don't even need to explain how left wing orientated that quote is. Additionally when you go to the discussion of the Reagan section, you have one of the moderators saying "Deregulation of Wall Street gave us the dot-com bubble, which looked like prosperity but was actually a house of cards." There is no evidence of that, many people who predicted the dot-com bubble assigned the blame to the greenspan put and distorted price signals sent out by low interest rates of the federal reserve. Again there is no sourcing shown which makes the moderator both incompetent, biased and an economic illiterate. So what happens when I type in "deregulation"... "In theory, deregulation is based on the economic idea that business, unencumbered by regulations, will work more efficiently, resulting in lower prices for consumers. In reality, it is often an excuse for rolling back social or environmental regulations, and often results in greater profits for business." First of all there is no evidence for any of that, in fact regulation hurts small business as they have a higher compliance cost and is better for big business as they have the economies of scale to absorb that cost. In fact SCM Network http://www.administrative-burdens.com/ has designed a standard cost model that tries to measure compliance costs and reduce them to help small business growth. Regulation such as the Sherman Anti-Trust Act was supported by competitors and not consumers. That quote is so biased that it doesn't deserve any additional explanation, not only that but it has no source. Additionally when I type in "Milton Friedman" they try to smear him by saying he was pro big tobacco when in actuality he was pro individual choice and even said that "the biggest enemy of the free market is business" and often spoke against the steel industry trying to get favours through protectionism. The article on "Ron Paul" is equally shameful. When I type in "John Stossel"... I get a big "tobacco spin" sign along with a list of irrelevant quotations designed to put him in a bad light and that is it. I don't get any mention of his charity work or consumer advocacy or segments against corporatism... nothing. For example how about this quote "Writing in LA Weekly, Greg Goldin, cited Stossel's 1996 comments in a story on a launch party for the book, noting in passing that "Stossel, sipping a vodka tonic, seemed a lot more hedonistic than his admirers"." What has that got to do with anything? Or when I type in "Free Trade" do I get a educated and informed article showing both sides of the argument? NO! Instead I get uneducated, economically illiterate quotes like the following: -"American companies threaten workers that if they do not accept benefit cuts, their jobs will go to Mexico. Mexicans are warned that if they do not accept cuts, their jobs will go to Honduras. Hondurans are intimidated that their jobs could go to Haiti. That is Haiti's purpose. That is why living conditions in Haiti are not allowed to improve. This is essential to corporate profit, in the free market system." - "The whole idea of a free market is little more than a scam perpetrated on the public in order for those Few who control the wealth to take advantage of the many who work for a living. These Few are supported by an elaborate system of government sycophants whom they manipulate by means of campaign financing, and corporate media toadies whom they influence through ownership, advertising revenues and control of corporate media board seats. Executives who run the government and corporate media on behalf of the Few live largely in denial of their purpose, often deluded enough to believe they serve the public interest. The scam can only work so long as citizens are kept ignorant, which is why the Few have spent so much money in buying up and consolidating media. Information is power-- which is why it is so feared and controlled by those in power." The bottom quote is from the moderator. Apparently free trade, irrespective of what economists say, is a scam! Can you still not see the bias? Ok lets now look at what the say about the "Hoover Institute" in the discussion section "The gist, though, as I recall, is that during the Cold War, Hoover decided that his institute should shift from the academic study of war and revolution to being an active Cold War propaganda mill. It's a rightwing think tank with the imprimatur of a major university, so it can produce work of the same quality as the Heritage Foundation's, but fool many readers into thinking it's peer-reviewed scholarship." Yes intellectuals like Thomas Sowell and John Taylor and Milton Friedman have obviously never undergone peer review and pulled their PHDs out of their ass. Also compare their treatment of the Cato Institute compared to the Roosevelt Institute. It is ridiculous. Additionally all I found on reason magazine was crap about the tobacco industry. A quote from the discussion page: "One has to wonder, what corporate sponsors Reason has had since their 2000 annual report, if any. Than again, as Reason so famously established, that a big oil company funding them money is "Equal" to environmentalists giving money to Greenpeace. Hilarity! SiberioS 02:44, 20 Jul 2005 (EDT) Hilarity indeed. Im refering to your non-existing argument, though. Enviromentalist organisations also have a specific agenda. Even source-watch has. I do not see this as a problem. But I am sure you disagree. 84.179.82.183 14:01, 29 Nov 2005 (EST)" It is so obvious these articles have an agenda and they even admitted it. Now lets look at how they treat leftists... look at how they treat Michael Moore (who regularly misrepresent facts in documentaries and owned shares in Enron), Naomi Klein and Obama. They have nothing to say about Obama's campaign finance, Rev Wright(sp) his corporatist contracts, apparently all they have to say is "Obama received an "A" or 100% rating in 2005, 2006 and 2007 from the National Education Association." and "Obama has been very active on ethics, election and campaign finance reform since he joined Congress." and they provide nothing on his funding sources. Compare that to the tobacco and nucleur stickers they put on conservatives and libertarians. They even have a financial crisis page that never mentions the Federal Reserve of Freddie and Fannie and has articles that are VERY left wing. Additional they are owned by Center for Media and Democracy which openly left wing. Ok BTAUS, can you now admit that you were wrong about this awful site not being partisan? There is more evidence but I cannot be bothered as I have already provided an ample amount. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sabaton10 (talkcontribs)

Actually I am not done, they actually have a section called front groups which apparently pretend to represent one agenda but actually advocate for another. They say "The Center for Union Facts is a secretive front group for individuals and industries opposed to union activities. It is part of lobbyist Rick Berman's family of front groups including the Employment Policies Institute." and the very fair "In reality, EPI's mission is to keep the minimum wage low so Berman's clients can continue to pay their workers as little as possible." OK now you have to admit that SourceWatch are VERY biased. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sabaton10 (talkcontribs) 09:36, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

Sourcewatch on Wikipedia[edit]

Why was this section here? What makes SourceWatch's comments on Wikipedia more noteworthy than their comments on any other organization? Remember, part of the goal of Wikipedia is to create a reference source that can be used externally; someone reading this page on, say, about.com is going to be confused as to why it arbitrarily singles out what SourceWatch thinks of Wikipedia for analysis. Per Wikipedia:Avoid self-references, we should only comment about Wikipedia in an article when it would be the natural thing for an encyclopedia to do in that case; I think that that clearly isn't the case here. --Aquillion 17:27, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

I think a section clarifying that the two are not the same and adding SourceWatch's comments would be good. I think it fits. Both are high-profile Wiki websites aimed at a similar action: organizing information for the public. Plus, I really want to hear what they said, and Wikipedia should be promoting the spread of information on a topic instead of restricting it. Articles should be as long as it takes. -- Infoaddict

BTAUS said "Reembutt I do share your view that many sourcewatch not congresspedia articles have a leftwing/liberal outlook but we have to prove this through neutral sources. As for targeting only conservatives and republicans I just don't see it." This is getting ridiculous, Sourcewatch is one of the most partisan and left wing sites I have ever been to. Lets start with what it has to say when I type in "University of Chicago"... "The university was founded in 1890 by the American Baptist Education Society and Standard Oil magnate John D. Rockefeller; who later described it as "the best investment I ever made." Why would they include that quote (which is not referenced btw) in the introduction? What about what it says about "Ronald Reagan"... "Reagan's legacy includes unprecedented federal budget deficits fueled by tax cuts made at the same time the federal budget grew, due to massive increases in military spending." So using monetarism to kill 13% inflation and leaving with 5% unemployment is not in any part of that legacy? I don't even need to explain how left wing orientated that quote is. Additionally when you go to the discussion of the Reagan section, you have one of the moderators saying "Deregulation of Wall Street gave us the dot-com bubble, which looked like prosperity but was actually a house of cards." There is no evidence of that, many people who predicted the dot-com bubble assigned the blame to the greenspan put and distorted price signals sent out by low interest rates of the federal reserve. Again there is no sourcing shown which makes the moderator both incompetent, biased and an economic illiterate. So what happens when I type in "deregulation"... "In theory, deregulation is based on the economic idea that business, unencumbered by regulations, will work more efficiently, resulting in lower prices for consumers. In reality, it is often an excuse for rolling back social or environmental regulations, and often results in greater profits for business." First of all there is no evidence for any of that, in fact regulation hurts small business as they have a higher compliance cost and is better for big business as they have the economies of scale to absorb that cost. In fact SCM Network http://www.administrative-burdens.com/ has designed a standard cost model that tries to measure compliance costs and reduce them to help small business growth. Regulation such as the Sherman Anti-Trust Act was supported by competitors and not consumers. That quote is so biased that it doesn't deserve any additional explanation, not only that but it has no source. Additionally when I type in "Milton Friedman" they try to smear him by saying he was pro big tobacco when in actuality he was pro individual choice and even said that "the biggest enemy of the free market is business" and often spoke against the steel industry trying to get favours through protectionism. The article on "Ron Paul" is equally shameful. When I type in "John Stossel"... I get a big "tobacco spin" sign along with a list of irrelevant quotations designed to put him in a bad light and that is it. I don't get any mention of his charity work or consumer advocacy or segments against corporatism... nothing. For example how about this quote "Writing in LA Weekly, Greg Goldin, cited Stossel's 1996 comments in a story on a launch party for the book, noting in passing that "Stossel, sipping a vodka tonic, seemed a lot more hedonistic than his admirers"." What has that got to do with anything? Or when I type in "Free Trade" do I get a educated and informed article showing both sides of the argument? NO! Instead I get uneducated, economically illiterate quotes like the following: -"American companies threaten workers that if they do not accept benefit cuts, their jobs will go to Mexico. Mexicans are warned that if they do not accept cuts, their jobs will go to Honduras. Hondurans are intimidated that their jobs could go to Haiti. That is Haiti's purpose. That is why living conditions in Haiti are not allowed to improve. This is essential to corporate profit, in the free market system." - "The whole idea of a free market is little more than a scam perpetrated on the public in order for those Few who control the wealth to take advantage of the many who work for a living. These Few are supported by an elaborate system of government sycophants whom they manipulate by means of campaign financing, and corporate media toadies whom they influence through ownership, advertising revenues and control of corporate media board seats. Executives who run the government and corporate media on behalf of the Few live largely in denial of their purpose, often deluded enough to believe they serve the public interest. The scam can only work so long as citizens are kept ignorant, which is why the Few have spent so much money in buying up and consolidating media. Information is power-- which is why it is so feared and controlled by those in power." The bottom quote is from the moderator. Apparently free trade, irrespective of what economists say, is a scam! Can you still not see the bias? Ok lets now look at what the say about the "Hoover Institute" in the discussion section "The gist, though, as I recall, is that during the Cold War, Hoover decided that his institute should shift from the academic study of war and revolution to being an active Cold War propaganda mill. It's a rightwing think tank with the imprimatur of a major university, so it can produce work of the same quality as the Heritage Foundation's, but fool many readers into thinking it's peer-reviewed scholarship." Yes intellectuals like Thomas Sowell and John Taylor and Milton Friedman have obviously never undergone peer review and pulled their PHDs out of their ass. Also compare their treatment of the Cato Institute compared to the Roosevelt Institute. It is ridiculous. Additionally all I found on reason magazine was crap about the tobacco industry. A quote from the discussion page: "One has to wonder, what corporate sponsors Reason has had since their 2000 annual report, if any. Than again, as Reason so famously established, that a big oil company funding them money is "Equal" to environmentalists giving money to Greenpeace. Hilarity! SiberioS 02:44, 20 Jul 2005 (EDT) Hilarity indeed. Im refering to your non-existing argument, though. Enviromentalist organisations also have a specific agenda. Even source-watch has. I do not see this as a problem. But I am sure you disagree. 84.179.82.183 14:01, 29 Nov 2005 (EST)" It is so obvious these articles have an agenda and they even admitted it. Now lets look at how they treat leftists... look at how they treat Michael Moore (who regularly misrepresent facts in documentaries and owned shares in Enron), Naomi Klein and Obama. They have nothing to say about Obama's campaign finance, Rev Wright(sp) his corporatist contracts, apparently all they have to say is "Obama received an "A" or 100% rating in 2005, 2006 and 2007 from the National Education Association." and "Obama has been very active on ethics, election and campaign finance reform since he joined Congress." and they provide nothing on his funding sources. Compare that to the tobacco and nucleur stickers they put on conservatives and libertarians. They even have a financial crisis page that never mentions the Federal Reserve of Freddie and Fannie and has articles that are VERY left wing. Additional they are owned by Center for Media and Democracy which openly left wing. Ok BTAUS, can you now admit that you were wrong about this awful site not being partisan? There is more evidence but I cannot be bothered as I have already provided an ample amount. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sabaton10 (talkcontribs) 09:25, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

Please try to summarize your arguments into smaller sections. It's too long for most people to read. Drrll (talk) 09:44, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

I am not summarizing anything, I am providing a wealth of evidence that BTAUS asked for to demonstrate how biased the site in question is. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sabaton10 (talkcontribs) 18:58, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

POV edits reverted[edit]

I reverted some edits that deleted either the statement that Sourcewatch was generally left or the "citation needed" tag. I also deleted the unsourced claim that Sourcewatch quotes LaRouche. This claim is also true of Wikipedia, since people often cite LaRouche sources in error (or in a few cases because his sympathisers edit Wikipedia), though cites to LaRouche are routinely deleted. Unless someone can show that the situation is different with SW, this should stay out JQ 10:30, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

SourceWatch's policy on outdated info[edit]

I removed the following sentence as it seemed too biased:

SourceWatch policy is that relevant information does not cease to be relevant merely because time has passed, but some critics disagree with this policy.

--Ben T/C 09:24, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

As a regular SourceWatch contributor I have no intention of making edits to Wikipedia's SourceWatch article. But it might be helpful for me to clarify the policy referred to above. The statement "SourceWatch policy is that relevant information does not cease to be relevant merely because time has passed" is a correct summary of SourceWatch's policy on outdated information. For example, we don't delete people from a listing of an organisation's personnel merely because they've left that organisation. However, we will clearly flag up that their status has changed, eg. by moving them to a "Former personnel" section. --Neoconned 17:02, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
I'll add this clarification. JQ 07:36, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

Trying to Add Balance[edit]

Only criticism allowed? Looking at this page and reading the comments here it's clear that some people are tailoring this article toward the negative. One can guess their motivation. This is hardly NPOV. I am trying again (as someone else has as well) to add some balance. Just because some people don't like having their activities exposed doesn't mean that Sourcewatch and Wikipedia should just cave. 72.29.170.201 20:12, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

SourceWatch selectively "exposes" certain institution while ignoring others (Roosevelt Institute) and many of these donations are made public so there is no conspiracy as they will have you believe. I have devoted an entire paragraph above to show how biased SourceWatch really is. The article on Dinesh S'ouza especially compared to Michael Moore is disgraceful. Also apparently a corporate donation is bad but a Union or Government donation is good. You want to talk NVOP violation? Go to source watch. Oh ya, they regularly through in weasel wording. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sabaton10 (talkcontribs) 21:49, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

NPOV tag[edit]

I added the NPOV tag after noticing a recent edit [28].

Please note that to properly follow WP:NPOV, secondary sources are a necessity. -- Ronz  21:41, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

Inappropriate introductory descriptions[edit]

See NPOV tag for explanation why it is not proper to label the organization with a critical description; see comparable articles in the sponsoring organization (linked in introd. already) and another example (mistyped in my editing history summary--Project for the New American Century. "Conservative"--[sorry; just checked again; it was "controversial" that was taken out; "neo-conservative" remains in that introd; but, then, that description of the PNAC (as "neo-conservative")--is not contested in Wikipedia currently.]--is not allowed in its introduction lately by other editors; similarly, "left-leaning" (the opinion of a source or sources cited in "Criticism" section) not permissible in introduction; clearly, the sources' POV. The various POVs on the subject are developed in the body of the article, not in an introduction to it. It skews the article toward [obviously-] negative criticism of the subject to take conservative media points of view and put them in the introduction. Violates Wikipedia:Neutral point of view. See comparable articles for guidance. Do not make the article on this subject, with whose point of view various editors appear to have divergences, into an editing war over terminology already clearly contentious in Wikipedia. See the rest of the talk page here and in, say, Left-wing politics. The article on the sponsoring organization contains references already referred to in this article via the cross-links to that Wikipedia article. Please do not insert one's own preferences about point of view into the introduction. To "side" with the critics is not in keeping with neutrality. --NYScholar 00:23, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

I don't know if others might have an objection to the phrase "left-leaning" in the introduction to this article; but they might (given talk page discussion and the tagging of article earlier for neutrality issues). I only deleted it due to the way it was being given with a citation to a passing reference in a review of Michael Moore's most recent film in a newspaper noted for having a conservative "right-leaning" bias (POV). That is problematic. The body of the article makes its critics' points of view clear enough; the cross-linked main article on the organization that sponsors this project does not include Left-leaning in its introductory description and discusses the larger issue of how the organization presents itself and criticism of its political perspective by others in citations. --NYScholar 00:43, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
The organization sponsoring SourceWatch seems to present itself in terms of Grassroots activism associated with Progressivism; hence, it appears a project of what is perhaps more accurately termed a "progressive" and/or "liberal" organization. But SourceWatch has so many users contributing to it that claiming that it is left-leaning in the introduction is, I think, possibly misleading. Focusing on defining its politics in the "Praise" and "Criticism" section seems more neutral a presentation to me. It appears to me that to use the term "left-leaning" or "leftist" (especially without quotation marks) is highly problematic in the introduction, given the sources in the citations in the "Criticism" section, which have pejorative points of view on SourceWatch (not neutral point of view). It "privileges" them. --NYScholar 00:51, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
Moreover, in terms of taking Solomont's description and giving it privilege in the introduction: she uses the phrase only in passing mention of SourceWatch and is not an expert on SourceWatch; for all anyone knows, she could be taking that description from some other "profile" like those already cited in "Criticism." I see no reason why her description of SourceWatch should be cited or even citable in the introduction. Her article is a critical film review of a film by the highly-controversial Michael Moore on a highly-controversial subject, not a discussion of SourceWatch; given the newspaper it appears in, The New York Sun, the film review is directed to a largely conservative (right-leaning) audience of readers. [The NYSun's own editor describes its editorial policy as "right-of-center": See New York Sun#Editorial stance and relationship with The New York Times.] Wikipedia is supposed to be written in keeping with Wikipedia:Neutral point of view and not to such a presumed [generally "conservative"] audience of readers. Neutrality (political and otherwise) is its foremost policy. --NYScholar 01:00, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

Unable to verify[edit]

Cannot verify this information provided by earlier editor(s); it appears outdated anyway:

According to one estimate, SourceWatch included over 5000 articles as of July 2004.[Source previously given: List of biggest wikis by page count, Meatball Wiki, accessed June 25, 2007. [Is this a reliable source? Wikipedia:Reliable sources; it is another wiki.]

I changed my editorial interpolation and note citation format to bracketed comments so it would show up w/o posting a Notes sec. here. I accessed "Meatball Wiki" whose title I added earlier to the citation added by another or others. It is probably not a permissible citation due to its citing yet another wiki. --NYScholar 01:16, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

needs a criticism or slant section[edit]

[T]he site is highly slanted to the far left. I'm sure this isn't universally popular.

This article does not need a criticism section because SW's authors have a political persuasion. That is not a solid basis for anything. Dynablaster (talk) 12:17, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
A criticism section would be fine. Any reliable sources available for ciriticism. Kasaalan (talk) 13:48, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
I don't mind the far left, because I'm also far left. But what bothers me is their vegetarian agenda, specifically their defence of the ALF. (Collin237) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 166.217.209.137 (talk) 09:18, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
Notions of "left" and "right" are not constructive for advancing WP:NPOV here on Wikipedia, because they're inherently biased concepts that are highly limited in scope (i.e. limited to a particular time period and region). In order to maintain NPOV we need to maintain a global perspective. "Left" and "Right" are just labels, and I think they only belong in wikipedia articles (or discussion) to the degree to which third-party sources identify something as "left" or "right". If you want to raise issues of bias with a particular source, I think it's best to discuss it on a case-by-case basis...i.e. is such-and-such source reliable for sourcing such-and-such kind of fact? I think this kind of criticism greatly advances NPOV on Wikipedia articles.
BTW, I think it's great to add criticism sections, so long as you can source your information adequately in WP:RS. Go out and find sources and add material to the page, by all means. And if you think there's enough to warrant a criticisms section, by all means be WP:Bold and create one. And if you find sources that criticize it as "leftist" from sources identified as "right" then that can be added to the page--including identification of who is making the claims--but those are just labels; in an objective sense, or in the context of NPOV, they're meaningless. Cazort (talk) 17:16, 22 October 2010 (UTC)

I think issues like the below need to be addressed in an article on SourceWatch - regardless of your position (left or right) the following loaded language has no place on a supposedly impartial site. ″Bassem Eid has appeared as a speaker for a workshop at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism in Herzliya. One can safely state that Bassem Eid is a Palestinian collaborator with Israel – one can determine that by just observing the august company he keeps, rubbing shoulders with Avigdor Lieberman, Shaul Mofaz, Moshe Arens, etc." [1] 151.228.16.59 (talk) 23:13, 13 August 2014 (UTC)

That's an article on SourceWatch, not on Wikipedia. I'm not sure what you want us to do about it here. Thanks. Safehaven86 (talk) 23:15, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

Temporary relocation of article[edit]

For a short period, I relocated the article content to the talk page while awaiting resolution of an error that was causing all iphone traffic to take visitors to Wikipedia's article rather than my site. That problem has now been resolved. I regret this temporary inconvenience. ```` LisaFromSourceWatch (talk) 03:25, 14 January 2010 (UTC) Lisa Graves, Executive Director of the Center for Media and Democracy, publisher of the SourceWatch.org wiki, lisa AT prwatch.org

Updated key information[edit]

I added material that is referenced, even though I am the Executive Director of the site. I did not add any controversial matters or deleted any information critical of the site. I made changes to reflect the current staff and related information. LisaFromSourceWatch (talk) 05:08, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

You need to do some serious cleaning up of your site, it is disgraceful. Refer to my paragraph above to see why. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sabaton10 (talkcontribs) 21:51, 15 September 2010 (UTC)