Talk:Aaron Klein

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Manchurian President[edit]

Klein's new book, now a bestseller, has been making some news from reliable sources. Particularly how mainstream media outlets rejected the book and sent insults to Klein's publicist.

See: http://www.nypost.com/p/pagesix/cindy_adams/extreme_book_here_kjvHdpnczt19VMTdA0h0yL

Washington Post on book insults: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/07/AR2010050701695_4.html

Can someone craft a new section, perhaps? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.215.200.222 (talk) 04:33, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

Yes, so far it looks like mainstream sources refuse to acknowledge the book or review it, but they do cover the fact that mainstream journalists are refusing to review it. Hmm... - Wikidemon (talk) 05:30, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
If this were true, and I assume it is true as it happens repeatedly with authors similar to Klein, it provides a perfect example of the problem with Wikipedia requiring adherence to WP:RS. If RSs don't cover it, it's like it doesn't exist to Wikipedia. And RSs do have biases and do refuse to write on certain topics and do distort others. Like when the media did not cover the Van Jones debacle until after his resignation, and oh, Klein was directly in the middle of that. Then Wikipedia becomes an echo chamber for the false reporting and is it used as a source itself, and so on, and suddenly a lie becomes the truth. That, by the way, is the entire purpose of organizations such as Media Matters for America.
So, getting any media notice of the situation will be hard enough, I say the existence of the media blackout is significant enough that we should include it in the main article. --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling (talk) 11:37, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

How about this for a section text:

The Manchurian President, with nearly 900 endnotes, bills itself as "the most exhaustive investigation ever performed into Obama's political background and radical ties." [1] The book alleges the president has deep ties to an extremist nexus that has been instrumental in building his political career but in crafting current White House policy. It purports to uncover the "communist mentors" of Obama's top adviser, David Axelrod. [2] [3]

The book claims to uncove ,Obama's early years, including his previously overlooked early childhood ties to what it describes as a radical, far-left church. The book says it provides new details about Obama's ties to the William Ayers, including where and how Obama first met Ayers. "The Manchurian President" claims to exclusively reveal important aspects of Obama's college years, with new details of his student career at Occidental College and later at Columbia University. Obama's associations with the Nation of Islam, Black Liberation theology and black political extremists also are detailed.

Journalists reportedly reacted angirly to the book, sending expletive-laden e-mails to the author's publicist. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.215.200.222 (talk) 15:18, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

That's far too sympathetic to the book's fringe-y claims, and repeating them even with "purports" or "claims" just republishes them. I think some mention of the reaction may be warranted, but characterizing it as angry and expletive-laden is too sensationalistic and misses the point, which is that mainstream journalists did not deem the book to be worth reviewing or even reading, and some were offended by it. - Wikidemon (talk) 16:02, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
Right. Write something, just not that.
Let me add that the section on the main page about the wiki controversy is about how Klein noted that the Obama page was being whitewashed, and here we see the MSM appears to be doing the same thing, essentially, and it's being reflected here. I hope Wikipedia does not join in on the whitewash, if any, though I noted it too and that's when I first became aware of this Klein page--actually, I am certain it will stick to it policies, and properly so, to create encyclopedic material we can all be proud of. --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling (talk) 17:34, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
The section about how Klein got his account blocked for sockpuppeting and edit warring fringe birther stuff into the Obama article, then manufactured a fake scandal about it as if it happened to someone else, gives Klein's misleading account far too much credibility. We don't need to cover a trumped-up scandal about his book either. The reliable sources ignore his book not because they're whitewashing some embarrassing truth (like, they know that Obama is a closet communist and Kenyan citizen?) but because they consider it fringey, poorly sourced, and unworthy of serious commentary. We cover it lightly because there are few reliable sources about the media's dismissal of the book, and even fewer about the book itself. There's a difference between ignoring things that aren't worth attention, and whitewashing serious incidents. It's hard to imagine that yet another book repeating silly conspiracy theories about Obama is worth a whole lot of attention, although there is one article that gives the public fascination with those theories its due. - Wikidemon (talk) 18:01, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
I am not certain but your comments may have crossed the WP:BLP line. I happened to have first edited here because I personally experienced the same thing Klein reported that you have just claimed was a made up "manufactured ... fake scandal." I didn't make it up. What Klein reported is exactly what I experienced. I doubt Klein made it up given I experienced the exact same thing. Indeed I stopped editing that page because it was useless.
Further, Klein's use of others to develop his story is standard journalistic practice. Basically, he was checking to be sure he got his ducks in order. The false claims made here about Klein and just repeated by you is standard Media Matters practice. If Klein didn't know the ins and outs of Wikipedia when he first started using it, well that makes him typical, not evil.
The media, Klein reports, is dismissing his book for political reasons without having even read the book. As you say, "they consider it fringey, poorly sourced, and unworthy of serious commentary." Lovely, but they have not read the book, and sometimes they so state.
Further, each and every conservative-leaning book is treated in the exact same dismissive fashion in the media, then people like you provide the echo needed to make it become the truth in Wikipedia and elsewhere, and suddenly it's the truth from an encyclopedia reported in the MSM, and so on. I cannot believe that by some strange coincidence every book written by every conservative writer suffers from being "fringey, poorly sourced, and unworthy of serious commentary."
I am not taking a political position here, but I am observing that you are. You are repeating the Media Matters and acolytes calumny against Klein, and it may violate WP:BLP. Wikipedia is here to report the truth, not the Media Matters view that conservative writers are always "fringey" or "controversial" or lack "credibility." And Media Matters has credibility, right?
You know what else? Many people get blocked for edit warring. It happens sometimes. It's happened to me 2 or 3 times. You make it sound as if its happening to him when he was a newbie is some kind of crime that calls into question his credibility. Who needs media smearing you when you got someone on your own wiki page doing it for them? Come to think of it, that section may lack sufficient cause to remain part of the main wiki page. --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling (talk) 01:22, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

(unindent) Klein's User:Jerusalem21 account was called out for proxy and COI editing on this page, and eventually indefinitely blocked, because it was doing precisely that. He was blocked for edit warring birther nonsense into the Obama article, because that is what he was doing - edit warring, something he later admitted to doing to provoke a reaction in order to write an article about it. Dealing with editors when they disrupt the encyclopedia like that is not a BLP violation, it's within the policy rules for managing the project.

At the time of Klein's edit warring block and ultimate indefinite block, the account was already under scrutiny as a sockpuppet of Klein, and was well-warned of that. Klein's account of the incident, if you compare it to the edit history, is clearly disingenuous. Manufacturing a controversy on Wikipedia so you can write about it as if it happened to someone else is not innocent behavior - it's against Wikipedia's rules, and it's not legitimate or even ethical journalism. In this case there happens to be some reliably sourced news about the hoax, something that Klein only brought on himself by perpetrating then promoting it.

Nearly everything, if not everything, Klein has ever done that's notable is a media event he's self-promoted like that. He's interviewed terrorists, got somebody to threaten him over Borat, on and on - he's like the Geraldo Rivera of the mideast. Either we cover these self-created media events or we don't. He and his publication are not considered reliable sources here. Most of the time nobody notices outside his own blogosphere and circle of conservative advocacy media. Occasionally it gets picked up - this one, mostly because Klein was caught being less than truthful about the story. If you're really going to claim that a book like The Manchurian President is the victim of a liberal conspiracy to ignore it, that's rather farfetched.

- Wikidemon (talk) 01:47, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Yeouch. So the WP:BLP violations continue and get worse.
Well, we are not really here to fight over that. Actually, while it is clear you and I appear to be opposites on this issue, we have generally stuck to the issues and not gone done the nasty-toward-each-other path. For that I am grateful.
Let me clarify I first came to edit this page because I personally experienced what Klein described. I happened to read his article on the topic and I knew immediately it was correct because it happened to me. He did not "manufacture" anything. To the extent he used standard journalistic techniques to develop the story, that's par for the course. That is also the exact lever needed to make the claims you are making here. But it actually happened, I experienced it personally, and as a result I no longer edited that page.
I think Klein's reporting on things with which you and those like you disagree is the reason why he is maligned as he is. Frankly, it's a sign of his growing success. Do you, Wikidemon, have your own WABC radio broadcast interviewing terrorists? How many books have you published?
I have not read any of his books, by the way, neither have I the time to, so I have no idea about his writings in those books, but I do know you cannot say it is awful and fake if you have not first read the book. You know, I involve myself in many book disputes, and the first thing I advise people to do is read the entire book through before complaining about it. It's simple common sense. --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling (talk) 02:08, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

A brief history of the Wikipedia incident[edit]

Again, it is not a BLP violation to discuss on an article talk page that editors engaged in COI and SOCK editing on that page. This is all in the archives, but a brief history of Klein the editor's involvement in Klein the Wikipedia controversy:

To put this in context, as of Jerusalem21's block there had been 60 accounts (at least) already blocked for simple trolling, vandalism, and sockpuppetry, and 23 for more complex forms of disruption (see Wikipedia:General sanctions/Obama article probation/Log of sanctions) A flood of unproductive editors flocked to the article after Klein published the piece, shutting down all productive editing for a couple days, spawning numerous AN/I reports, a number of new blocks, and a months-long arbitration case (where the editing problems are detailed).

Discussion[edit]

Klein's article may have felt right to you but there's no doubt it was substantially untrue, and intentionally so. As the Wired article makes clear, that is not standard journalistic practice. It is questionable to begin with for a journalist to go undercover to sabotage a media site in order to report on that site's response. Most serious journalists report on events that actually exist rather than creating their own events in order to write about them. Granting that there is a subset of "investigative journalists" that does engage in breaching experiments, those journalists must disclose that they are talking about their own experiences. Klein did not, in a situation where any reasonable journalist would know they should. That is simply untruthful. Journalists at mainstream publications who do that are fired, and their bosses resign.

I understand that some legitimate editors on the Obama page sincerely believed they were being persecuted by a pro-Obama cabal. But that's not what happened in the Klein incident. When a journalist is caught red handed faking a story, we can't ignore that just because we feel it rings true. We can't and shouldn't post anything in the article that isn't sourced to third party reliable publications. In this case there are sources that say he manufactured a fake controversy, and was caught at it. We don't necessarily have to include that, but what we shouldn't do is to cover it in a way that lends credence to a false story. - Wikidemon (talk) 05:37, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Yea, there was a lot more, see Talk:Aaron Klein/Archive 1#Single purpose accounts 1 and Talk:Aaron Klein/Archive 1#Single purpose accounts 2 for example. – Athaenara 07:00, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
I think what is going on on this Klein page, like saying Klein was "caught red handed faking a story" when that is only WP:POV, is directly related to this: Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Rages on Wikipedia, by Haviv Rettig Gur, The Jerusalem Post, 16 May 2010. --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling (talk) 13:25, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
The Israel-Palestine articles are a very murky contentious issue here, and I'm not comfortable with a lot of the editing, or the tactics of the outside professionals who are trying to influence content here, on either side. However, there is not a whole lot of overlap among editors in that corner of Wikipedia and those active on the relatively more calm Obama articles, where this particular incident took place. Some of the same editors trying to add birther stuff to Obama-related articles were also trying to add stuff about Obama supposedly "palling around with terrorists" (in Sarah Palin's words), one of those suppose terrorists happening to be a Palestinian-American professor. That's about it. WND itself was promoting all of that anti-Obama material but the common thread here was Obama, not Israel. As for Klein being caught in the act of faking a story, other than the term "red-handed", which comes from a newspaper that reported on the incident, its a factual description of what happened and does not express anyone's particular opinion. A number of people were offended by the misleading description of Wikipedia and disruption that followed, without regard to the particular politics of the people responsible. - Wikidemon (talk) 16:41, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
I'm curious. What do you mean by "outside professionals who are trying to influence content here, on either side," and can you provide a few examples? --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling (talk) 16:47, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
Actually, I should have made that broader - there is a whole industry around advocacy and punditry. People employed on both sides of nearly every issue, directly as lobbyists and PR agents, or as part of their job description as an academic, journalist, blogger, commentator, etc., to shape public opinion by changing the public record of accepted facts. Wikipedia is a backwater and only occasionally the target. - Wikidemon (talk) 17:03, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Back to Manchurian President[edit]

The Manchurian President is by far Klein's most reported work, even more than the "Wikipedia" controversy. It was on the NY Times bestseller charts for eight weeks and was widely covered by the mainstream media, including the NY Post, Washington Post, LA Times, etc.

Here is proposed section, which is trimmed to basic information:

"The Manchurian President" reportedly tells the story of "a powerful politician [Obama] whose true past has been intentionally obscured, and who has become a vehicle for implementing a hidden radical agenda." [22] The book alleges that Obama has ties to "communists, socialists and other anti-American extremists."

Klein's book spent eight weeks on the NY Times bestseller list and topped multiple other bestseller charts.[23] [24]

According to reports, some members of the news media, including from publications such as Time and Newsweek, reacted harshly to the announcement of Klein's book, with multiple reporters sending expletive-laden e-mails to the author's publicist saying they did not want to receive a copy. [25] [26] [27] —Preceding unsigned comment added by 109.65.117.199 (talk) 13:35, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

That wording sounds promotional, and is far too generous to Klein's claims. They're a baseless conspiracy theory, and ought to be reported as such.- Wikidemon (talk) 16:06, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Wikidemon - you are now adding a bias that is not reflected in even the most critical of news reports about Klein's book. Did you read the book? Did you at least read through the various mainstream media reviews and articles? Not one media outlet claimed the book was "baseless conspiracy theory." If you argue that Klein's Wiki article needs to report his book is "baseless conspiracy theory" - and this is pretty much what you are saying - your contribution to this section should certainly be questioned. This Wiki page should not engage in smearmongering. It is here to report the facts. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 109.65.117.199 (talk) 17:57, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Fact 1. The Manchurian President" reportedly tells the story of "a powerful politician [Obama] whose true past has been intentionally obscured, and who has become a vehicle for implementing a hidden radical agenda." [45] The book alleges that Obama has ties to "communists, socialists and other anti-American extremists."

Fact 2: Klein's book spent eight weeks on the NY Times bestseller list and topped multiple other bestseller charts.[46] [47]

Fact 3. According to reports, some members of the news media, including from publications such as Time and Newsweek, reacted harshly to the announcement of Klein's book, with multiple reporters sending expletive-laden e-mails to the author's publicist saying they did not want to receive a copy. [48] [49] [50]

If you'd like to contribute, please do. But do not at your own bias and unsupported opinion. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 109.65.117.199 (talk) 17:59, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Note - we could add the most harsh of reports, which comes from the LA Times.

As follows:

The LA Times described as "pumped up polemics" a series of hard hitting political books that had been dominating the nation’s bestseller list, most notably including Klein's book. Also grouped together in that catagorie was "To Save America: Stopping Obama's Secular-Socialist Machine," from former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and Glenn Beck's "Arguing With Idiots: How to Stop Small Minds and Big Government." [28] 109.65.117.199 (talk) 18:10, 21 July 2010 (UTC)JK1981

I'll ignore the personal attack but if that continues, I and others will probably not wish to engage in conversation here. Klein has been promoting conspiracy theories and, occasionally, fabrications. Conveying this in a matter of fact way is the only way to write an accurate, bias-free article. We write about conspiracy theories here, we don't endorse them as serious criticisms or viable claims. The book's title, the claim about communists, hidden past, etc., are very much in line with some of the "birther" stuff, which Klein also promotes. Facts 2 and 3 are correct and should be reported, but what's missing is why he angered mainstream respectable reporters so much that they curse and refuse to read his work. They consider it such bunk that it's not worth their time to consider. It's not "hard hitting", a reportage "story", a serious allegation, or anything like that. It joins the long parade of mass market books disparaging the President for a radical conservative audience. We can say that if we can find a source, but the cure for covering an individual so far out of the mainstream that mainstream sources ignore him is not to imply undue credibility by including only statements by the few generally sympathetic sources that do pay him heed. - Wikidemon (talk) 18:31, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

You just stated another falsehood. "The book's title, the claim about communists, hidden past, etc., are very much in line with some of the "birther" stuff, which Klein also promotes." Klein's book DISPROVES birther arguments! The book takes all the claims that Obama was born outside the U.S. and debunks them. You are spreading smears here. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 109.65.117.199 (talk) 18:34, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Ps - your claim of "personal attack" is strange when it was you who engaged in an unprovoked personal attack on Klein. We are merely outlining the facts and not engaging in any personal attack. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 109.65.117.199 (talk) 18:39, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Lastly, your question of "what's missing is why he angered mainstream respectable reporters so much that they curse and refuse to read his work." This comes at a time mainstream reporters were reportedly caught in a list serve trying to minimize negative press about Obama. [29] The problem reporters likely had with Klein's book is that it did investigative reporting into Obama at all. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 109.65.117.199 (talk) 18:45, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Okay, we're done here. WP:NPA covers interaction among Wikipedia editors, and unless you're another WP:SOCK of Klein I'm not saying negative things about any editor here. I don't approve the adding of the material, and my hunch is that the other editors here generally would not approve either. I cannot find any mainstream sources, and the sources proposed don't support the proposed content. So I conclude that the details of the book are simply not notable enough to merit mainstream coverage or, for that reason, coverage here. If you do wish to engage in discussion at some future point, please keep it WP:CIVIL and stick to the facts. It would also help if you register an account, and use four tildes (~~~~) to sign your posts. - Wikidemon (talk) 18:49, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Proposal[edit]

I just read the above recent edits. I propose the following, and I will work on it for a little to build it before adding it. Let me say the IP address is right to raise the issue but wrong vis-a-vis Wikidemon. Wikidemon has said the IP simply wants too much and I agree. My advice to the IPs is to remain calm and work with the group. Always WP:AGF. You will get more done and better that way. Any problems, contact me directly and I will try to help, whether it be in editing or in advising how things are done on Wikipedia. In the meantime, here is the starting text I am proposing:

The Manchurian President tells the story of "'a powerful politician whose true past has been intentionally obscured, and who has become a vehicle for implementing a hidden radical agenda.'" [30] The book spent eight weeks on the NY Times bestseller list: "President Obama's life and campaigns are sifted for Communist and socialist ties,"[31] and topped other bestseller charts.[32][33] Journalists, however, refused to read the book[34], prompting one columnist to write, "These ladies and gents of the Fourth Estate didn't just want to ignore the Klein-Elliott book about President Obama's radical ties, they wanted to denigrate it, and some quite angrily...."[35]

Now I'll try to improve the refs, including the WND one, just not right now. Anyone else please jump right in. --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling (talk) 05:11, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

The Washington Times piece is not a reliable source (and even if it were, the quote would need an inline attribution to make clear who it's coming from). It's an editorial written in the form of a book review. The book is not telling a story, it is voicing a politically motivated conspiracy theory. As far as I can tell the book peaked at a middle level in the New York Times' "extended list" -- is that the same as actually being on the bestseller list? I think the bestsellers are the top 10. The extended list looks like the next 30. The list in the link shows it at #13 in the political books category at that time. I don't think we have a reliable source that says in any detail what the book's contents are. The New York Times sentence is closest but it's a very minor passing reference - it's a blurb. I don't see any particular reason to reprint the editorial comments from the Washington Examiner - it's a minor paper with a deliberate partisan conservative bias on the editorial pages, and the views in that editorial are pretty fringey, the usual "liberal press won't report the truth" / Obama is a secret muslim-communist-radical-whatever silliness. So all in all, I don't see the strength of sourcing that would merit taking fringe anti-Obama claims like Klein's seriously. We're dealing with the same content and cast of players as the Barack Obama citizenship conspiracy theories article and we have to be similarly wary about reposting opinions. - Wikidemon (talk) 06:44, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

The book climbed to at least 10 on the NY Times list [36] No matter what you claim the content to be, it still merits coverage in Klein's Wiki page. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 109.65.117.199 (talk) 10:47, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Okay, based on Wikidemon and IP comments, I now change to the following proposal:
The Manchurian President tells the story of "'a powerful politician whose true past has been intentionally obscured, and who has become a vehicle for implementing a hidden radical agenda.'" [37] The book spent eight weeks on the NY Times bestseller list: "President Obama's life and campaigns are sifted for Communist and socialist ties,"[38] tied for ninth place [39] and topped other bestseller charts.[40][41] Journalists, however, refused to read the book.[42][43]
The change I made was to add in that the book reached 9th place on the bestseller list and to removed the WT text but leave in the ref. As to 9th place, the NYT says 10th place but with an asterisk, and we should use the cite web template to add the NT quote that "An asterisk (*) indicates that a book's sales are barely distinguishable from those of the book above." To me, to anyone I suppose, that means a virtual tie for 9th place. --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling (talk) 12:01, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
And now I like this better, now that I see it reached 9th place:
The Manchurian President spent eight weeks on the NY Times bestseller list: "President Obama's life and campaigns are sifted for Communist and socialist ties,"[44] at one point tied for ninth place,[45] and it topped other bestseller charts.[46][47] It tells the story of "'a powerful politician whose true past has been intentionally obscured, and who has become a vehicle for implementing a hidden radical agenda.'" [48] Many journalists refuse to read the book.[49][50]
Thanks. --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling (talk) 12:06, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
Okay, better but the sentence beginning "It tells the story" is not supported by a reliable source and therefore a POV / BLP problem. "Refuse" should be "refused" (past tense). The sales claim may require further investigation. The WND story on the book's success is self-interested and not reliable, and the LA Times article does not support the claim made that it topped any charts. It does not claim that the book tops any bestseller charts, only that it's "topping" Amazon's political category. Where did the "8 weeks" claim come from? It was #10 (not #9) in its first week on the New York Times hardcover list, but the Times flagged it for bulk orders. Wikipedia articles and news sources often note the bulk order issue when reporting on the success of a political book where the chart position may have been influenced by bulk orders. An article about the phenomenon here.[51]) The next week the book was off the chart and "also selling" at #19.[52] #23 the third week,[53] and off the list entirely by week 4.[54] It was off the list after that.[55][56][57] A more accurate statement would be:The book debuted at number 10 on the New York Times hardcore nonfiction bestseller list, after which it spent two weeks on the "extended list". The Times list's blurb describes the book as "President Obama's life and campaigns are sifted for Communist and socialist ties", and notes that the sales figures include "bulk orders". Many journalists refused to read the book. We would have to look to Wikipedia's convention on whether or not to report Amazon sales, but if we do the statement would be "The book also reached #1 sales rank for a period on Amazon's political nonfiction book list".
"Many journalists refused to read the book" is unsupported. Let's stick to the facts as reported. Here is a watered dorn statement: "According to reports, some journalists, including from publications such as Time and Newsweek, sent emails to the author's publicist saying they did not want to receive a review copy." —Preceding unsigned comment added by 109.65.117.199 (talk) 20:31, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
Wikidemon, I like your comments. Without volunteering you for work, would you care to suggest the wording? I do think it is #9 given the NYT asterisk and its meaning. It's like people tying for gold in the Olympics and both get gold. And as to the BLP concern, I do not see it that way. Besides being in quotes for obvious reasons, it does not mention a person (I removed that from the original version) and even if it did, it complains about the actions of unnamed others, not the named person. Besides, we are on the Klein page. Certainly the Klein page can have a statement summarizing the Klein book. I think no one would have a problem with that or be swayed in any way in a manner of BLP concern. As to bulk orders, I was wondering about that. Thanks for the link. Interesting.
IP address, I like your comment. Without volunteering you for work, would you care to suggest the wording?
Hey, we're making progress. Thanks. --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling (talk) 02:04, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
The "powerful politican" quote has to go, no two ways about it. The editorial, heavily biased in favor of the fringe claims, is simply quoting a promotional blurb from the book here. If we laid out the whole truth, it would be that a right wing news source, perhaps the only major source to review a book that the rest of the press avoided, in the context of an article praising the book described the book's message as... but that's not encyclopedic. I do agree with the IP editor's point that the sources do not support the claim of "many" reporters. However, it does appear true (if not well sourced as of yet) that some of the people reacted with rather rude language. If that could be sourced, I think that's one of the salient points of this. - Wikidemon (talk) 03:28, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
Ok. --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling (talk) 03:31, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
So is this okay:
The Manchurian President was on the NY Times bestseller list: "President Obama's life and campaigns are sifted for Communist and socialist ties,"[58] at one point tied for ninth place,[59] and it topped other bestseller charts.[60][61] Some journalists have refused to read the book.[62][63][64]
Thanks. --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling (talk) 18:43, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

Regarding Wikidemon's comment, "If that could be sourced, I think that's one of the salient points of this" - referring to the journalists rejecting the book, it is already widely sources. I already sent links about this from the Washington Post, etc. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 109.65.117.199 (talk) 13:19, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

Manchurian section[edit]

How about this proposed version?

The Manchurian President: Barack Obama's Ties to Communists Socialists and Other Anti-American Extremists was released in April 2010. It spent eight weeks on the NY Times bestseller list: "President Obama's life and campaigns are sifted for Communist and socialist ties,"[44] [45] and it appeared on other prominent bestseller charts, including those of Publisher's Weekly and the Washington Post.[46][47] According to reports, some journalists, including from publications such as Time and Newsweek, sent emails to the author's publicist saying they did not want to receive a review copy of Klein's book. [49][50]

79.180.119.246 (talk)Maverick3K —Preceding undated comment added 19:46, 11 August 2010 (UTC).

Oops, I got distracted and never wrote here further. Sorry. Oh yeah, people were trying to ban me for removing dozens of references that failed WP:RS but were from a politically charged source, MMfA. That's over now, I was not banned, and I may continue to remove MMfA refs that violate Wiki rules. So I have more time. I'll take a look at your suggestion, but, coincidentally, I do not have the time at this moment. --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling (talk) 20:25, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
Yes, what was that all about? Wikipedia gone nuts I think. Welcome back.... - Wikidemon (talk) 23:23, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
Forgive me, but I made a few minor grammatical changes directly in your proposal. --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling (talk) 21:12, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
My main observations are that it was on the NY Times hardcover nonfiction list, which is more specific. New York Times doesn't have one list, they divide it up between fiction and nonfiction, hardcover and softcover. Also, when I reviewed the bestseller list each week I found it was there for one week on the main list (top ten), and two more weeks on the "extended" list (next 30). I won't quibble, it's fine by me to say it was on the bestseller list for three weeks. But I can't find anything to say it was there for eight weeks. Also, it would be good to play around with the wording to make it more clear that the quote is the NY Times blurb. The colon does kind of, but that's easy to miss. Anyway, I think we're close enough in agreement that it's okay to just add it to the article, and we can just make minor wording changes there on the article page without necessarily discussing them first. Is that okay with you, Legi? - Wikidemon (talk) 23:23, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
Yes, Wikidemon, and thank you for your kind words. Also, your ideas about the proposal should be incorporated.
Clearly we see the IP address seems to have a vested interest here. However, for quite some time now, (s)he/they have been working with the community consistently to build consensus. We have, for example, been discussing this new paragraph on the Talk page instead of just adding it like you are now suggesting and like is done on any other page. The discussion even trailed off for a while, yet the IP addys waited for consensus all that time.
The IP addys have shown great improvement in editing style and in working with the community to achieve consensus. At this time I think we can now all admit the IP addys can be given more leeway to make edits directly on the main page, the same leeway as any other editor. Indeed is was your comments, Wikidemon, that you made just now that helped lead me to this conclusion. And any problems in the past I would have to say would be more attributable to excusable newbie problems rather than anything else. At this point, if the IP addys add the material to the page, as we all now agree should be done, that is perfectly acceptable.
At the risk of sounding weird, the Wikipedia concept of communities working together has proven to be successful on this page. --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling (talk) 05:20, 12 August 2010 (UTC)

The book went on and off the bestseller list. It was on for eight weeks in total, although not consecutively. Plus it was on the political bestseller list in July. http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/11/julys-political-best-sellers/ —Preceding unsigned comment added by 79.180.119.246 (talk) 10:23, 12 August 2010 (UTC)

Was also #9 in Washington Post list http://voices.washingtonpost.com/political-bookworm/2010/06/book_world_-_june_13_2010.html —Preceding unsigned comment added by 79.180.119.246 (talk) 10:26, 12 August 2010 (UTC)

I added a Manchurian section to the article, but I don't know how to format the references properly so they appear on the bottom of the article as references...can you help Wikidemon? 79.180.119.246 (talk) 22:30, 12 August 2010 (UTC)

Sure thing, I'll get to it in a little while. Also, do please heed SineBot's message... it'll make things easier if you "sign" your messages by adding four tildes (~~~~) after each post here. The system will automatically convert it to a short signature message when you save it. Thanks, - Wikidemon (talk) 22:48, 12 August 2010 (UTC)
Okay, partway done. Five more to go. I'm getting sleepy but I'll get back to this later. We aim to please :) - Wikidemon (talk) 05:19, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
Wikidemon, are you related to Maxwell's demon, and could that be why you are sleepy? --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling (talk) 12:40, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

External links in body of article vs citations.[edit]

Can the web links be formatted into "regular" citations? I'd probably screw them up and I am also pretty lazy. TIA --Threeafterthree (talk) 21:52, 16 August 2010 (UTC)

Let me ask a dumb/embarrassing question. What does "ce" mean as in your history comment? --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling (talk) 04:01, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

Article criticizing Wikipedia section is WP:UNDUE[edit]

The section entitled, "Article criticizing Wikipedia" has three paragraphs. It suffers from WP:UNDUE. The last two paragraphs could be removed to bring about compliance, with perhaps the addition of a single sentence +refs that will make the remaining paragraph even better.

I know many have discussed this in the past. At that time the incident had just occurred and tempers were hot--I think some of the proponents have even been permanently banned from Wikipedia. Time has passed and that single incident is simply no longer of great significance. It has way too much weight on this wiki page. It's even about Wikipedia so it looks like we are all taking note of an issue otherwise not noteworthy if we were not on Wikipedia as Wikipedia editors. It needs to be trimmed.

Undue weight applies to more than just viewpoints. An article should not give undue weight to any aspects of the subject but should strive to treat each aspect with a weight appropriate to its significance to the subject. For example, discussion of isolated events, criticisms, or news reports about a subject may be verifiable and neutral, but still be disproportionate to their overall significance to the article topic. This is a concern especially in relation to recent events that may be in the news.

Who agrees? Who thinks the other editors who previously were involved in the topic should be asked to comment? --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling (talk) 13:21, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

Let me add that what else has changed since the initial insertion of the Wikipedia content on Wikipedia is that Aaron Klein is in a lot more news sources now, and from better sources too. Apparently, his interviews with terrorists on WABC are getting a lot of press. --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling (talk) 13:36, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

That would argue for expanding other sections, not for removing well-sourced material added by consensus. I have a hunch that this is still Klein's primary notability, and that most of the other stuff is a product of self-promotion: primary sourcing of Klein's material for one, and passing references for another, e.g. so-and-so [alleged terrorist], appearing on Klein's radio program, said x. There's an inherent problem here, in that writers, commentators, and media personalities are known mainly by their work, which is a primary source as it concerns them. Major reliable sources generally do not write about the media world, they just don't navel gaze like that. So we only get solid coverage from media watchdogs and pundits (who are often partisan and unreliable for factual claims), from the occasional blurbs that introduce articles and guest editorials, or else when something extraordinary happens, as with the "wiki-fiddling" story. If we open the floodgates to consider every media piece that a person produces, or that references their work, to add to the weight of their sources, then these would swamp the few tidbits of information that are actually about them. If we keep them shut, then it is often very difficult to get much biographical information even about well known people. - Wikidemon (talk) 13:46, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

Aaron Klein radio in the news[edit]

The radio show last week was in world headlines again. See below. Think we should add it?

Appearing on Aaron Klein’s WABC show, comedy legend Jackie Mason ripped President Obama saying that the White House’s 2011 Hannukah celebration – which took place 20 days before the holiday- was a photo opportunity and a fraud. The story went viral. Read about it in:

The Hollywood Reporter http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/barack-obama-jackie-mason-hannukah-275417

The Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/19/jackie-mason-rips-obama-on-hanukkah_n_1159289.html

Politico http://www.politico.com/politico44/2011/12/comedian-rips-obama-over-hanukkah-108147.html

International Business Times http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/270220/20111220/hanukkah-2011-mason-obama-limbaugh-early-celebration.htm

UK Daily Mail http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2076688/Comedian-Jackie-Mason-rips-Obama-Hannukah-saying-hit-just-photo-op.html

Alternatively, how about instead a sentence or two about how the show is routinely used to break news, including in mainstream news sources. This link documents how news tidbits aired on the show are almost weekly referenced by media, crediting Klein's program. In other words, a brief description of the media attention.

See: http://kleinonline.wnd.com/media-buzz/

Thoughts? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 79.177.231.109 (talk) 17:29, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

Time of birth[edit]

I'm an Editor on the israeli Wikipedia. I saw this article about Mr. Klein and I noticed that there has been a mistake. I know Mr. Klein personally and know that his date of birth was August 29th, 1978, so I changed it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by SegevAfriat (talkcontribs) 19:13, 10 May 2012 (UTC)

We are not sure how Israeli Wikipedia works, but here on U.S. Wikipedia only information that has been reported by reliable sources - meaning the news media - can be used. No entries can be based on personal knowledge or information. In the future, please refrain from entering any information unless it has been reported by the mainstream news media and cite the media source. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 79.179.175.77 (talk) 19:43, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

so you're saying that if tomorrow the media will say that Obama is 100 yo, you'll update the wikipedia page regarding it? you have any idea of how many lies and things went on the mainstreem media and later was found as untruth? here in israel if we want to know something about a person we may ask others. you can contact Mr. Klein himself through WND or his personal manager (Lisa something...) and ask them. The fact that I know Mr. Klein personally is much more credibal than what the news tells about him. Aaron Menashe Klein was born in august 29th 1978, that's a fact. you can't change it. it's not like he's britney spears, who's birthday party is a huge world wide matter- his birthday is more of a personal issue being celebrated by his friends and family and no more than this. I trully believe that "reliable sources" and "news media" not always shakes hands... if you know what i mean...SegevAfriat (talk) 10:22, 13 May 2012 (UTC)

Ridiculous[edit]

Good grief, you would think this Aaron Klein person was the most famous guy on the planet as long as this article is. This guy is an obscure Internet writer, not a candidate for US president and leader of the free world. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.12.183.6 (talk) 17:30, 20 June 2014 (UTC)

Any article that is worth doing is worth doing well. There are articles about far more obscure topics here, for example complete lists of the characters and episodes of cult anime franchises. One thing that may contribute to its length is that the subject of this biography, directly and through his organization, seems to have added a lot of material to the article. - Wikidemon (talk) 19:48, 20 June 2014 (UTC)

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