Talk:Ward Churchill

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article is imbalanced[edit]

if you look at the great work he did as editor in the 1990s, eg the contintelpapers, this article is really unbalanced, focusing on cricitism and other recent matters — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:32, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

The problem is that since Churchill's habit of plagiarizing and fabrication has been exposed, you can't consider anything he wrote as a reliable source.Pokey5945 (talk) 19:48, 18 June 2013 (UTC)
Accusations of such behavior. (talk) — Preceding undated comment added 02:20, 6 March 2014 (UTC)

Compared to what it once was this article is extremely well balanced. Churchhill is a very controversial character. There was a time when all positive edits were being rejected wholesale. So congratulations to the ones who have brought this article back from the abyss Michaelgossett (talk) 20:05, 8 July 2013 (UTC)

2014 Counterpunch interview link[edit]

Pokey5945 just violated the three reverts rule by repeatedly deleting an 2014 interview [1] originally added by E.N.Stanway. Despite the fact that Pokey claims: "The link explicitly violates several aspects of WP policy on the external link section," he hasn't explained how. There's only four external links, so excessive linking isn't an issue. There are no violations in WP:ELNO. Since the interview with WITH Churchill, there's no violation of WP:ELBLP. The material is much more recent than other links, and the fact that it's linked on Churchill's personal site is irrelevant, since not everyone wants to go to his personal site. -Uyvsdi (talk) 22:28, 18 February 2014 (UTC)Uyvsdi

Before this thread gets headed down the wrong path, I think it important to note that Pokey5945 hasn't actually violated the 3RR rule, as he did not exceed three reverts within any given 24 hour period. However, he has reverted the addition of the link four times in the past 48 hours, as seen here: 1, 2, 3, 4. Two editors (E.N. Standway and Uyvsdi) feel that the link should be added. Pokey5945, would you please elaborate here on the Talk Page as to why you feel the link "explicitly violates several aspects of WP policy on the external link section"? Regards, AzureCitizen (talk) 22:49, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
Several reasons: (1) The interview is already linked in the article body as a source, and it is thus redundant to give it a second link on WP. To do so smacks of POV-pushing. (2) There are many interviews with Churchill. This one is not particularly notable, or no more notable than the others. "Links in the 'External links' section should be kept to a minimum." (3) The link is to a non-RS. "External links in biographies of living persons must be of high quality and are judged by a higher standard than for other articles." (4) The interview is mostly about Churchill's complaints about the research misconduct process and subsequent legal wrangling, most of which are contentious or cannot be verified. "On articles with multiple points of view, avoid providing links too great in number or weight to one point of view, or that give undue weight to minority views."Pokey5945 (talk) 23:20, 18 February 2014 (UTC)

Pokey5495 is pushing his own narrow point of view, the very offense of which he is accusing others. Upon examination, none of his statements make any sense.

(1) The notion that a source should be referenced only once is comletely bogus. Each of the "external links" is previously referenced in the article. The link to Z Magazine seems to be broken, but it is cited twice in the text. The website is referenced in eleven footnotes: 3(x5), 22(x2), 24, 3(x2), & 60. The site is cited in two footnotes: 5 & 67. The site is cited once, in note 45. The site is cited in four footnotes: 13(x2), 39 & 55, less than less than the number of references to Colorado University. Is that institution guilty of "POV-pushing"? The notion is further revealed as bogus by the fact that the first two times that the CounterPunch link was reverted, it was not yet "already linked in the article body as a source". [footnote numbers will change as the article is edited]

(2) Churchill's most recent interview is indeed "more notable than the others" precisely because it is the most recent, as indicated by the requests on the talk page for recent information about The Professor. If indeed there are "many interviews", then they should be listed in the main part of the article under the "works" section along with the lists of books and articles. People who want to learn about the subject will like having a quick reference to interviews, in addition to having the most recent interview in the "external links" section.

(3) CounterPunch is indeed a "quality source", definitely far more reliable than other sources in the article, such as the Colorado University. CounterPunch has been decreed to be "America's Best Political Newsletter." Check it out:  If we are to be strict with the rules, then links to C.U. must definitely be deleted as violating WP:ELNO §4#2:  "Any site that misleads the reader by use of factually inaccurate material or unverifiable research..."

(4) To suggest that any of The Professor's statements "cannot be verified" would be disingenuous. To state that "most" of his statements "cannot be verified" is an outrageous and shameless lie, and would seem to free others from the normally-appropriate admonition to "assume good faith". Is Pokey5495 prepared to defend that statement? Certainly, the Colorado University failed to do so, as attested by the jurors in the subsequent trial and the researchers with the Colorado AAUP who investigated the matter.

One might question the motives of someone who would bring lies here. What motivation is there for Pokey5495, or Colorado University for that matter, to tell lies? Who is it who profits by these lies? Deep Throat recommended to "follow the money". It would seem that, through support for ACTA and other such "sock-puppets", Dick Cheney and the Koch brothers have a hand in all this. Perhaps Pokey5495 supports the principle that "truth is the first casualty of warfare" because he himself profits from war, or hopes to, and so advocates the present state of continual warfare as a matter of personal advancement. Perhaps he profits from the corporate exploitation of the earth, and uses the notion that "business is business" to justify this lying. Editing for profit seems to be against the rules of wikipedia.

One might hope that people who soil themselves with such lies are at least being compensated well. The alternatives are certainly pitiful. Maybe Pokey5495 is a compulsive liar, a psychopath perhaps, who delights in creating confusion and is unable to control himself. Or perhaps he is not conscious enough to be aware that he is lying, and repeats statements without regard for their validity. The ancient Greeks are said to have had the notion that "an unexamined life is not worth living". Some of the indigenous cultures of North America had similar notions. Some say that each person has a duty to ask "Who are we? Where did we come from? Why are we here?" Persons who bring lies here have surely never asked those questions, and would probably have difficulty doing so. In attempting to answer those questions, one must confront the indigenous notion that lying is a capital offense (i.e. liars are deemed unworthy of life) and the indigenist notion that the existence of the United States in North America (and even the presence of European peoples) lacks moral validity.

I propose that Pokey5495 either demonstrate an instance where Professor Churchill has engaged in deceit, in which case the implication that The Professor is deceitful can be dealt with in a forthright manner, or else admit to being deceitful and duplicitous himself (and engaging in POV-pushing), in which case he is definitely not qualified to discuss the matters at hand. Meanwhile, any further edits by Mr. Pokey5495 should be considered vandalism, since it would certainly be lunacy to attempt to "negotiate" truth.

E.N.Stanway (talk) 16:20, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

Wow. Ad hominem city. So much for assuming good faith and trying for NPOV. WRT to the request for examples of Churchill's deceit, note his claim in the interview that there are no scholarly publications that refute him or accuse him of research misconduct(paraphrase). I can think of three examples of such just off the top of my head. I'm fine with including the interview so long as it is balanced by opposing viewpoints on the research misconduct question. I'm not okay with only pro-Churchill perspectives on the research misconduct issue on the list. For now I will leave the interview, but I will be adding balancing links to the list in a few days when I have time, unless you can articulate a reason not to.Pokey5945 (talk) 19:13, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

Ad hominem indeed. That is exactly what it is to assert that Professor Churchill has been deceitful. So yet again Pokey5495 is hurling accusations against others which more aptly apply to him. And what is the reason that he would bring such deceit here? Apparently, he is attacking the character of Professor Churchill (what is known as character assassination) because he is not able to deal with the underlying issues on their own merits. Regardless of anything which is written or not written here, Ward Churchill is an internationally-recognized scholar who, along with other indigenist scholars such as Dee Brown, Vine Deloria Jr. and others, have dramatically raised the level of intellectual discourse in the United States. The fact that some people are unable to discuss the issues in a rational way, without resorting to deceit and ad hominem attacks, is an indication of the wide gap which yet remains between what constitutes the "dominant narrative" of American history and what is real and true. Let us remember that wikipedia standards of reliability demand that "any exceptional claim requires multiple high-quality sources". Professor Churchill has repeatedly upheld that standard.

E.N.Stanway (talk) 23:32, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

You might want to look up "ad hominem" in the dictionary. It might also be productive to review the WP policies on good faith negotiation and NPOV.Pokey5945 (talk) 03:38, 20 February 2014 (UTC)

external links[edit]

should not include blogs etc. They are there for people to read further - not to provide simple argumentation. Cheers. Collect (talk) 03:08, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

Let's consider these one at a time, mostly per WP:ELMAYBE: Sites that fail to meet criteria for reliable sources yet still contain information about the subject of the article from knowledgeable sources.alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 03:28, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
Nope and you must recall Any site that does not provide a unique resource beyond what the article would contain if it became a featured article. And Blogs, personal web pages and most fansites, except those written by a recognized authority. are "not" usable. Specifically also note External links in biographies of living persons must be of high quality and are judged by a higher standard than for other articles. Do not link to websites that are not fully compliant with this guideline or that contradict the spirit of WP:BLP. All the removed sites fail on all these grounds. Cheers. Collect (talk) 04:01, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
None of the links below fall under the auspices of WP:EL, and should be/remain removed. Thargor Orlando (talk) 14:45, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
Yes, that's already been stated. Do you have anything new to add to the conversation, given that we're not voting but discussing?— alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 15:18, 24 February 2014 (UTC)[edit]

As far as I can see this is a clear yes. We don't want to rely on this site to support factual statements, but it clearly meets the quoted criterion from ELMAYBE.— alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 03:25, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

Nope. Not his personal website per WP:SPS, and not factual in nature nor allowable per WP:EL and of course The burden of providing this justification is on the person who wants to include an external link. Collect (talk) 03:58, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
You're completely misconstruing SPS; it has fuck-all to do with external links. WP:ELNO has an explicit exception for this kind of case: Except for a link to an official page of the article's subject You don't have to remind me of the burden. Obviously I'm attempting to meet it now.— alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 04:05, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
And the "Ward Churchill Solidarity Network" is not his "official page". Did you not read what it is? As it is not his official page, it is not considered his official page for Wikipedia external links. Cheers. Collect (talk) 04:08, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
Why do we think this is not his official page? There's a link where you can invite him to speak at events. Gamaliel (talk) 04:17, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
For one thing at no point does it ascribe any direct connection to Ward Churchill, etc. Official sites generally have a stated explicit and direct connection. Cheers. Collect (talk) 08:18, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
"Official sites generally have a stated explicit and direct connection."[citation needed] Why do you think that? Is there a study on it? I'd think it would be much more likely that sites with domains like would carry a disclaimer if they were not official.— alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 13:41, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict)SPS is still irrelevant to the question of external links. Furthermore Churchill books speaking engagements through that website, so how is it not official? He's obviously in charge of the content or why would he book his speaking engagements through it?— alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 04:18, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
Is the fact that you can book the subject of the article for a speaking engagement not a stated explicit and direct connection to the subject of the article? Gamaliel (talk) 17:51, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
Nope. "Official sites" tend to use that term -- this one specifically does not make that claim. That one can "contact" a person (no indication that the contact is not made through an intermediary on the site) does not make it the person's "official site." Note many "fan clubs: will relay letters to the person - though they are not an "official site." Cheers. Collect (talk) 18:06, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
Do you have some source for this assertion you keep making? You're talking as if there's some objective definition of "official site." Is there one? If so it could settle this matter quickly. If not, we do need to discuss whether we're going to treat this as an official site.— alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 18:26, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
If you do not see "official" on a fan site, do you consider it "official"? Really? [2] had a discussion: an official site is one that is controlled by the subject, not just approved by her., thus thie site is not "official" even if one can contact the subject of the fansite. Collect (talk) 18:54, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

I researched this one some years ago, tracing the ownership. At that time it was run by a grad student in PA, but I infer that it has Churchill's approval and perhaps participation. So it's somewhere in between a fan site and an official site in my view.Pokey5945 (talk) 21:18, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

"Inference" is not worth much here -- it is not registered to Churchill, is not linked directly to him at any point, and is clearly a "fan site" at best. Cheers -- but it sure is not "official." Collect (talk) 21:37, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
I admit that I probably value my own inferences more highly than you would. But having read the site content for years now, it's pretty clear that the admin has access to posting private materials that only Churchill insiders would have. It's obvious--to ME--that it has Churchill's approval. While I admire WPs policies, I also think there should be some latitude for allowing editors' judgment in borderline cases, and I think this is one such case (as is the DU blog).Pokey5945 (talk) 00:13, 25 February 2014 (UTC) has a private registration through godaddy. I assume most official sites have private registration. It seems as if it's not a trivial question. E.g. Lucinda Williams links to, which also has private registration and doesn't seem to say it's the official site, but it clearly is. How do they know, do you suppose?— alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 22:08, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
Interesting; seems to be for sale for $1600+ whereas isn't owned. Hmm....— alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 22:10, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

Note: laylah wa laylah (talk) 23:44, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

Sound editorial practice demands that we have affirmative evidence that a site is indeed "official" before we label it as such and provide it with that level of weight and deference. That is even more imperative in a BLP.
However, that doesn't omit the possibility of including this link with a different label that is more directly supported by the material on the site and the available evidence. But that's a slightly different discussion and someone would have to establish that the site has enough useful, interesting, and high quality information that it would qualify as a good EL on its own merits (unlike official sites that almost always automatically qualify as a useful EL). ElKevbo (talk) 15:25, 25 February 2014 (UTC)
What form does "affirmative evidence" take? This question never occurred to me before.— alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 15:40, 25 February 2014 (UTC)
A solid, trustworthy claim by the site or the subject of the site that it is indeed "official" or directly controlled by the subject. We seem to be dancing all around the issue but that's what we really need. ElKevbo (talk) 15:58, 25 February 2014 (UTC)
The trouble is that many "official sites" contain no such claim, and yet they're used all over Wikipedia. E.g.; there are plenty of others. Many say "official website" and many say "copyright by [nameofperson]" but many others don't. Your standard isn't universally met by sites that seem perfectly acceptable elsewhere on Wikipedia, so it can't be the proper de facto standard (obviously there's no de jure standard or we'd be having a different discussion).— alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 16:12, 25 February 2014 (UTC)
I just noticed that presents itself as representing the "Ward Churchill Solidarity Network", and invites readers to "contact us". That's very explicitly a group identity. Not Churchill himself. This seals it for me--not an official website.Pokey5945 (talk) 23:23, 25 February 2014 (UTC)
In the absence of clear and convincing evidence those other articles and sites are also open to be questioned by editors. If that were to happen, I'd expect interested editors to gather and weigh the available evidence. With a BLP the bar for evidence is raised and it's perfectly reasonable for us to insist on high quality evidence if you or others claim this site is official. To put it bluntly, the burden of proof is on those making the claim. ElKevbo (talk) 16:20, 25 February 2014 (UTC)[edit]

As far as I can see this is a clear yes. We don't want to rely on this site to support factual statements, but it clearly meets the quoted criterion from ELMAYBE.— alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 03:25, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

Nope - it is a blog -- which is essentially a no-no per WP:EL Collect (talk) 03:54, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
Blogs aren't "essentially a no-no." This one has some editorial control per [3], and the Churchill material was written by people close to the case. It seems to me, for these reasons, to be reasonably inclusible under WP:EL.— alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 04:08, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
I read and reread WP:EL and your exclusion that "it has some editorial control" does not stop it from being prohibited by WP:EL. Now find actual justification for it, otherwise it does not belong. Cheers. `Collect (talk)
But first you said that it was prohibited by EL. Are you shifting the goalposts now? I gave a reason above. Will you engage with my argument?— alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 04:14, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
I cited the policy -- and blogs as a rule are not allowed. No "goal [pst shifting" needed. Cheers. Collect (talk) 08:19, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
Actual justification, as stated before and which you will not engage: It has interesting information about Churchill's career written by students and faculty who were there at the time. It gives the reader an interesting and informative perspective on events regarding the subject but is not suitable for use as a source in the article to support statements of fact.— alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 13:39, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

I agree, a clear yes. While a blog in name, it is actually a project of the DU law school. It was written by law professors and law students who attended the trial. This may be the only place on the web that explains much of the legal wrangling accurately. It is far more accurate than many of the newspaper accounts.Pokey5945 (talk) 21:20, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

The blogger was a student, and not a professor at all. Cheers. Collect (talk) 21:34, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
There were multiple bloggers, mostly students, but several were profs. The larger point is that this was an academic exercise conducted by people with far more expertise than the newspaper reporters who covered the trial, and who give much more detailed and reliable information. It's also pretty close to NPOV. While "blogs" per se should probably be verboten in most cases, I think this one is an exception.Pokey5945 (talk) 00:05, 25 February 2014 (UTC)
The specific blogger who signed all the Churchill posts was identified on the site as a student, not as a law professor. I trust that the list of bloggers on the site was accurate. Collect (talk) 00:14, 25 February 2014 (UTC)
You missed at least one professor, J. Robert Brown, Jr..TMCk (talk) 01:33, 25 February 2014 (UTC)
Kevin O'Brien was the other DU prof who contributed. Both attended the trial, as did the student bloggers.Pokey5945 (talk) 15:01, 25 February 2014 (UTC)

Note: laylah wa laylah (talk) 23:43, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

Description of this link[edit]

Capitalismojo, why do you keep reverting back to an inaccurate description of this link while citing a guideline that has to do with the inclusion/exclusion of external links? It doesn't make sense. We're discussing above whether the link ought to be included in the external links section, but as long as it's in there, and you haven't removed it, why shouldn't it at least be described accurately?— alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 21:32, 25 February 2014 (UTC)[edit]

As far as I can see this is a clear yes. We don't want to rely on this interview to support factual statements, but it clearly meets the quoted criterion from ELMAYBE.— alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 03:25, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

Nope - pure editorial opinion. The burden of providing this justification is on the person who wants to include an external link. And I see no such justification. Collect (talk) 03:56, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
Calling this "pure editorial opinion" shows some kind of misconception on your part. It's an interview with the subject of the article. Therefore it contains "information about the subject of the article from knowledgeable sources." Surely you don't argue that Churchill is not a knowledgeable source about himself? Surely you didn't mean to say that his statements about himself are "pure editorial opinion"? Surely you don't think this is a reliable source for controversial facts, and thus it is reasonable that it should be included under WP:ELMAYBE. I find the information in this recent interview very useful in understanding the article's subject. I have no doubt that others will too. Thus it should be included.— alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 04:13, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
I'm inclined to agree with Collect. There were many opinions offered on Churchill, so I think we'd need a compelling reason to single this one out for inclusion. Gamaliel (talk) 04:17, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
This isn't an opinion on Churchill, it's an interview with Churchill.— alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 04:20, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
I didn't look to closely, I was just going off Collect's description as "editorial opinion". Apologies, I should have looked closer. In that case, a lengthy interview with the subject of the article is a reasonable think to include in EL, so I support inclusion. Gamaliel (talk) 04:22, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
Not only that - the article is already cited in the body of the BLP by the way. We do not iterate any sources already used in a BLP if one looks at WP:EL and the source remains editorial opinion in any case. Cheers. Collect (talk) 08:22, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
What does it being a BLP have to do with whether we "iterate" sources, anyway? Also, it's not being used as a source when it's an EL. It hardly seems consistent for you to argue (a) it shouldn't be an EL because it's opinion and this is a BLP but also (b) it's already being used as a source in the article. Also, in what way is it "editorial opinion"? Whose opinion is it? I know I have the burden to make a case for inclusion, but it's so hard to do when you only argue by assertion.— alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 13:37, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
Read WP:EL: Sites that have been used as sources in the creation of an article should be cited in the article, and linked as references, either in-line or in a references section. Links to these source sites are not "external links" for the purposes of this guideline, and should not normally be duplicated in an external links section. which is fairly clear.Collect (talk) 14:30, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
I read it. There's no need to shout. It says "not normally." I have my doubts about whether this counterpunch interview is reliable for anything in the body of the article, and think it satisfies EL:MAYBE. Have you now dropped your claim that BLP has anything to do with this? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Alf.laylah.wa.laylah (talkcontribs) 15:18, 24 February 2014
Really, Collect, there's no need for this gratuitous bolding. Other editors might misconstrue it as shouting. If this link is indeed already used as a source in the article, then I agree it should not be used in EL. That's the real issue here, no need for this confusing tangent about "editorial opinion". It might make sense for you to explain what you mean by that phrase in this context instead of just repeating it, if we find it necessary to discuss this matter beyond the duplication of links. Gamaliel (talk) 17:54, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
I have only been online for 32 years now -- and the bolding is to distinguish direct quotations from policy and guideline pages. Cheers. Tell me when you have made it to 32 years <g>. Collect (talk) 18:08, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
Fabuloso! I've been online for 42 years. When I came online one couldn't easily do bolding because many people were connecting over teletype machines. What do I win? Anyway, it's fine. Let's take this one out because it duplicates a reference in the body of the article. I'm not entirely happy with how it's used as a source, but that's a discussion for another subsection entirely.— alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 18:24, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
I've been online for 92 years. We couldn't bold on the telegraph, and we liked it. Gamaliel (talk) 18:53, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
I just watched the first 5 seconds of that using an AAlib-based paper flipbook generator running on an emulator of Babbage's difference engine that outputs punched Jaquard loom control cards. Good times, good times.— alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 19:06, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

On teletypes, one used "bell" to stress a current post. MLK's assassination got "five bells" on the AP wire. I only counted "online years" from Source/DJ/CompuServe starts. Collect (talk) 19:16, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

I learned to program BASIC on a teletype back in the early 70s. This interview is clearly an extremely biased take on the research misconduct controversy. Therefore, if it is included as an EL, it should balanced by other ELs that offer opposing views.Pokey5945 (talk) 21:22, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
Keypunch here. Collect (talk) 21:34, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
I could go either way with the other two links but this one doesn't seem like it's suitable for inclusion solely as an EL. It can and probably should be used as a source for adding or referencing material in this article but if we have to make a judgment between multiple links then this one that has only a single interview falls to the bottom of the list and should probably be excluded. ElKevbo (talk) 15:19, 25 February 2014 (UTC)
We already took it out, actually, and no one seems too busted up about it, so I suppose out it will stay.— alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 15:42, 25 February 2014 (UTC)


Why isn't this guy included in the Churchill disambiguation page. I couldn't remember his first name and had trouble finding this article. (talk) 20:32, 11 December 2014 (UTC)