Talk:Anne Applebaum

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The personal section lists her son as having written a "bestselling book" but googling it and following the link leads nowhere. Therefore I have removed it. Also says it was written by his "friend" which makes it seem like a prank. Almost certainly fictitious — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sniper247 (talkcontribs) 16:31, 15 September 2016 (UTC)


Just saw & heard her on TV.

Appears important and impressive living scholar of Soviet Communism, Stalin, and the Gulag.
I wonder if she has any references and observations to make on Pogroms as perhaps anticedents to the Programs of "Mother Russia}.
Ludvikus 14:35, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

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WikiProject class rating[edit]

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Obama Supporter?[edit]

In the Washington Post article referenced "Why McCain Lost Me" she does not mention that she is going to vote for Obama, only that she is not voting for McCain. Is that enough to conclude that she supports Obama. Nowhere does she state that in the article. Does she do that anywhere else? Did she even vote in the 2008 Presidential Elections? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:59, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

I have not seen it anywhere else. In fact, in the essay "Why McCain Lost Me" she narely mentions Obama, and when she does, it is negative. --Amcalabrese (talk) 14:56, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

She can't be Obama supporter as her husband - Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs as well as his government (and previous 2 governments) have been always very pro-Bush.

There was an interview with Mrs. Applebaum for a Polish radio station where she was asked at the very beginning: "You have voted for Barack Obama. Why?" So I assume she did vote for him indeed. Here is link to that interview (in Polish). --Elvus (talk) 23:49, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

Possible conflict of interest[edit]

Aapple6 (talk · contribs) it appears may have a conflict of interest in this article. The user has removed cited material from the article, and also uncited info. I have alerted the user as to WP:COI, and if they are indeed connected to the subject, they should declare their COI, and follow WP:COI guidelines in editing the article. --Russavia Dialogue 17:17, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

Christian or Jewish[edit]

The article presently states that she is Christian. I don't think that this is the case. The source is an article that cites her celebrating Christmas. Well, plenty of assimilated, non-religious Jews celebrate Christmas in some way. And if they happen to be married to conservative, Catholic Polish politicians, it's all the more likely that they would celebrate Christmas, at least as a family. However, I seem to recall Applebaum stating in Between East and West that she was Jewish. I read the book many years ago, and my library doesn't have a copy, so I can't verify this. But I thought there is an episode in the book where she has a discussion with a rabbi who challenges her on her Jewishness, and she pushes back. Does anyone else recall this? Poldy Bloom (talk) 22:46, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

Isn't Anne Applebam daughter of the son of Grigory Zinoviev? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:44, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
Since Anne Applebaum's father was born in 1938, it is most unlikely that he was the son of Zinoviev, who was shot in 1936. RolandR (talk) 11:31, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

Roman Polanski defense OpEds[edit]

A place to discuss/explain why some editors and contributors would like to see all references to Ms. Applebaums' Roman Polanski opinions removed. If you feel the POV is not neutral, make it so. More aources? Add them (four, as of this section creation, for one sentence). She wrote the opinions and stands behind them. If you don't like that they exist, talk to her. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:43, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

This is nothing to do with the number of sources, it is to do with the tone and what is actually written about Polanski. It also gives WP:UNDUE weight to one current incident. This sentence should not be in wikipedia, even if rewritten. Martin451 (talk) 02:51, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
She's written twice (check the refs) about it with no change in position. No conspiracies or axe to grind here. Explain why your opinion is more important than multiple contributors. Ms. Applebaum stands behind her published words. CanuckMike (talk) 02:55, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
Re: the tone. How is it not neutral? "controversial" had three sources added, one from Ms. Applebaum, to justify the word upon request. CanuckMike (talk) 02:58, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
Last addition until a response :-). I wanted to state that I would add a second sentence following up on any developments in the coming days or just go for run-on sentence gold. For now, it is what it is. Her spouse has similar views held just as strongly. Her co-workers do not share her view nor do the respondents to her OpEds (there are a couple who agree if you look hard enough). Peers are either distancing themselves from her or attacking her outright in the popular press. I was trying to avoid adding undue weight by tacking on explainations or further citations which, essentially, lambaste her POV, her person, and her spouse. —Preceding unsigned comment added by CanuckMike (talkcontribs) 03:19, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
The whole point of this addition is to slight Applebaum, see also the other addition by the IP that was removed. It does not say "defending Roman Polanski", it says "defending convicted statutory ....". This is not written in a WP:NPOV way, as it implies Applebaum defends him no matter what, and does not explain her reasoning. Even so if it did explain her reasoning, it still has undue weight on one event. As for my opinion being more important than other contributors, if it does violate WP:BLP then one editors removal trumps multiple editors re-adding it. I have listed it on WP:BLPN Martin451 (talk) 03:50, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
It is not a slight. It states fact concisely and attempts to provide the reader with verifiable references. As far as Polanski, he actually is a convicted statutory rapist. He was convicted (not sentenced). It was statutory, not any other kind as far as the legal record is concerned. Are you saying he is not? That fact, coupled with his recent arrest, is the subject matter of the cited articles! The words of the author are there to read. I don't believe her POV or what she has said is in dispute? You continue to claim a non-WP:NPOV yet offer no alternatives, only immediate reverts of a BLP entry meeting key requirements (i.e. no need for immediate removal, only debate). You still haven't explained to me how it places undue weight on "one event." The event itself is immaterial, really, as Ms. Applebaum is a journalist and editor. She did not make off-the-cuff remarks that can be misinterpreted. The POV of a journalist writing in public news publications and editing same gives insight into their work. That's not undue weight, it's the authors views manifest in their written word. Unless the sole intent is to provide a simple resume, the views held by a writer (a civil society commentator, no less) are explicitly relevent. CanuckMike (talk) 05:39, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
Yes she did write the pieces, but where are the reliable secondary sources asserting the notability of these two pieces in her career. It places undue weight on two piece without context for the rest of her career. If her views as a journalist are important, then where is the commentary her other opinions? It is just a paragraph trying to put her in a bad light, and as such clearly violates WP:N amongst various core polices of wikipedia. It cannot simply be re-written. Martin451 (talk) 05:23, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

None of the 3 sources state that Applebaum's opinions specifically were "controversial": one is just her reply to readers, and the other 2 do not mention her at all. Secondly, characterizing Polanski as "convicted statutory rapist Roman Polanski" is probably undue weight as that is not what he is primarily known for, despite recent events. Finally, how is this particular opinion of Applebaum's notable? This is just one column from an extensive career? Kevin (talk) 03:54, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

I am going to read the revisions by Krakatoa and new refs before responding to your points. Please, if you or anyone else have an issue that is immediate try making the appropriate edits. Removing something entirely because of an undue weight claim is going to become a silly edit war. Leave the idea, leave good sources. Edit for POV. Debate the existence and come to some kind of concensus. CanuckMike (talk) 05:52, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

It's a couple of editorials taken from a much longer career. The opinions in the editorials may be odious, but there are plenty of columnists with odious opinions out there, so that's nothing special. I don't see why they deserve any particular attention, and I don't see why there's a big hurry to add them. Wait two years and see if anyone still remembers that she had anything to say about this case. As it is now, the paragraph on this dominates the "career" section: it is placed in the important final position and it is far longer than anything else. But I don't see that this issue should in any way be reasonably interpreted as dominating her actual career. It's far out of proportion (and I think at this point anything would be out of proportion, per WP:NOTNEWS), it's a violation of WP:N, and it's a violation of WP:BLP to leave her article in such an out-of-balance state. —David Eppstein (talk) 06:04, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

Right, let's wait two years after an event before adding mention of it to Wikipedia. Great idea. It's in the last position because that's where it falls chronologically. Krakatoa (talk) 02:31, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
The applicable provisions of WP:BLP read: Criticism and praise of the subject should be represented if it is relevant to the subject's notability and can be sourced to reliable secondary sources, and so long as the material is written in a manner that does not overwhelm the article or appear to take sides; it needs to be presented responsibly, conservatively, and in a neutral, encyclopedic tone. The text involved here obviously violates BLP: it clearly appears to take sides, it devotes more space to detailing Polanski's crimes than to anything else, and does not responsibly present Applebaum's actual writings; it is clearly not written in a neutral tone. Absent any sign that these columns are significant in the context of Applebaum's career, whatever content here can be salvaged from inappropriately written text should be included in the article on Polanski's arrest, if for no other reason than so that people interested in the subject can find it. Hullaballoo Wolfowitz (talk) 03:28, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
Applebaum wrote the opinion pieces expressing her views using a current international event. If you and others would stop removing things it could be pared down without watering it down. It has and is presented in a responsible, conservative, and neutral, encyclopedic tone. It's obvious the text involved here does not violate WP:BLP. It clearly presents facts and does not take sides. It presents Anne Applebaums words!!! Her opinion. Her words. Why is that so difficult to understand? They are significant. Read CanuckMike's response to Martin451 for clarity. I can elaborate if required. (talk) 04:03, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
She did write the piece, but there are a complete lack of reliable sources to back up the notability of these opinion pieces. (One or two other opinion pieces do not count). The inclusion of this as controversy, or asserting it is important in her career is currently original research. Martin451 (talk) 04:49, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
Please respond to CanuckMike (or I can copy most of the argument here). As I've mentioned, I can elaborate but no one seems to be discussing. (talk) 05:00, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
What's to respond to? CanuckMike's arguments boil down to "we can outvote you" and "removing it would cause a silly edit war". I don't see any actual argument establishing that this incident is an important enough part of Applebaum's entire career to even mention (WP:UNDUE), nor do I see anything refuting Hullaballo Wolfowitz' clear analysis of why this fails WP:BLP. All I see are edit warriors who insist without justification that their edits are ok, and that if she said it it must go in her article. Nobody's insisting that any of her other writings be equally represented in the article: why these two? —David Eppstein (talk) 07:34, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
The paragraph is written in a neutral, encyclopedic tone. The explanation of what Polanski allegedly did is necessary to understand the criticism of Applebaum (i.e. that according to the victim it was actual, not merely statutory, rape). The significance of the matter is shown by the fact that five six sources significant enough to have their own Wikipedia entries have criticized Applebaum on this. If anyone were defending her, I would cite that, as well. As far as I can determine, no one is. Krakatoa (talk) 08:33, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
The five sources criticising Applebaum are all blogs or opinion pieces, and only two of the writters seem to have articles here, not five. They are not reliable secondary sources for a paragraph like this. Secondly the paragraph has over one third of the text of here career section, this is without doubt undue weight on what is news. The paragraph violates neutrality in that it is the only comment on her opinions as a journalist. Read Hullaballo's comment above.Martin451 (talk) 09:02, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
I said nothing of the sort. Try to have faith and, if you wish, respond to 05:39, 2 October 2009 (UTC). If you need help with the basic concepts presented, ask. I've been sitting back and agreeing with Krakatoa while admiring this productive editors' ability to deal with WP:BLP-OVERLYPEDANTIC. CanuckMike (talk) 16:37, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
"The opinions in the editorials may be odious, but there are plenty of columnists with odious opinions out there, so that's nothing special." - Argumentum ad populum. CanuckMike (talk) 16:39, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
Oh come on. That's not even close to matching the reasoning here. We're arguing about whether what she wrote is somehow important. My claim was that it doesn't distinguish her from hundreds of other people. You invoke a logical fallacy about supporting a claim by stating that lots of other people believe it, which I wasn't doing — if anything, the closest thing to an argumentum ad populum is your "we can outvote you" comment much earlier in the thread. What's next, the Chewbacca defense? —David Eppstein (talk) 17:49, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

(Unindent) All five (now six) sources have Wikipedia articles, either on the person writing the piece (three), or its publisher (the other three), or both. You fail to explain on what basis, "They are not reliable secondary sources for a paragraph like this." (i.e. for their opinions criticizing Applebaum's columns). (There are many more, possibly less reliable, sources. See [1]. As for neutrality, I don't know if Applebaum's other opinions as a journalist have generated as much commentary as this has. If you want to provide balance by citing other commentary on her columns, go right ahead. Krakatoa (talk) 09:22, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

You have added another blog, which is a personal opinion of someone, not comment supported by the organisation they write for. Please read WP:Verifiability and WP:Reliable sources as to why these cannot be used in a WP:BLP. e.g. " Questionable sources are those with a poor reputation for fact-checking, or with no editorial oversight. Such sources include websites and publications expressing views that are widely acknowledged as extremist, or promotional in nature, or which rely heavily on rumors and personal opinions. Questionable sources should only be used as sources of material on themselves, especially in articles about themselves. (See below.) Questionable sources are generally unsuitable as a basis for citing contentious claims about third parties."
The fact that three of the people have wikipedia articles is irrelevant, wikipedia itself is not a reliable source.
What you have written is a piece of WP:SOAP i.e. a gossip piece that has removed the neutrality of the article. The paragraph is there simply to attack Applebaum, and it is up to you as the contributor of this material to keep the article neutral, not other contributors to balance out your piece.
By adding a bit detailing the crimes of Polanski, "to understand the criticism of Applebaum" to me is WP:SYNTHESIS, it is there to back up the WP:SOAP in the next line. The whole paragraph is an example of what should not be in wikipedia. Martin451 (talk) 11:23, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
This is hardly "gossip". I am not citing these sources for any factual statement about Applebaum, but to show that they have expressed opinions critical of columns that she undisputedly wrote. There is no plausible claim that Applebaum could sue these sources, or Wikipedia, for defamation. In order to avoid imbalance, it would be appropriate to also cite those who have defended Applebaum. As far as I can determine, no one has. I also don't understand your contention that the half-sentence about what Polanski allegedly did constitutes WP:SYNTH, i.e. "combin[ing] material from multiple sources to reach or imply a conclusion not explicitly stated by any of the sources". The sources in question explain what Polanski allegedly did, and Applebaum's defense of him, and conclude that she is condoning the rape of a child. Indeed, I cite the piece by Kate Harding both for (a) what Polanski allegedly did and (b) Harding's view that Applebaum is thus an apologist for child rape. The WP:SYNTH contention is accordingly also baseless. Krakatoa (talk) 17:06, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

Looking at the diffs, I must say there is nothing problematic with the addition of such material, apart WP:UNDUE. This last one is for sure a concern, and I would advocate only a single, brief sentence dealing with the controversy, nothing more. However completely ignoring this controversy is, in my opinion, a gaping hole in coverage of the subject. --Cyclopia - talk 22:40, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

In what sense is it a hole relative to the reliably published third-party coverage about Applebaum? Google News Search for "Anne Applebaum" returns some 2670 articles (most by her rather than about her), with Polanski nowhere in sight. Adding Polanski to the search [2] finds one of her two editorials and something in Italian that I am skeptical of the reliability of; I don't see this as enough for the basis of even a single well-sourced sentence in the article. The Huffington Post piece that is used in the disputed text is an editorial with an obvious bias, but so far that's the only thing out there except for a lot of blogs. If this really is an important milestone in Applebaum's career, then I imagine the appropriate sources will turn up, but we can be patient and wait for them to turn up. As it is, coverage of this is premature; she's one of hundreds of rape apologists and seems to be distinguished from most of the rest only by virtue of not working for Hollywood. —David Eppstein (talk) 01:51, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
These sources are being cited for their statements of opinion about Applebaum, i.e. that her columns constitute apologism on behalf of a child rapist and/or that she should have disclosed the fact that her husband, the Polish foreign minister, is lobbying for Polanski's release. (Applebaum in her second column admits her husband's involvement.) They are not being cited for disputed statements of fact (say, "Applebaum is having an affair with X."). See Wikipedia:RS#Statements_of_opinion:

Some sources may be considered reliable for statements as to their author's opinion, but not for statements of fact. A prime example of this are Op-ed columns that are published in mainstream newspapers. When discussing what is said in such sources, it is important to directly attribute the material to its author, and to do so in the main text of the Wikipedia article so readers know that we are discussing someone's opinion.

There is, however, an important exception to sourcing statements of opinion: Never use self-published books, zines, websites, webforums, blogs and tweets as a source for material about a living person, unless written or published by the subject of the biographical material. "Self-published blogs" in this context refers to personal and group blogs (see: WP:BLP#Sources and WP:BLP#Using the subject as a self-published source).

Note that otherwise reliable news sources--for example, the website of a major news organization--that happens to publish in a "blog" style format for some or all of its content may be considered to be equally reliable as if it were published in a more "traditional" 20th-century format of a classic news story. However, the distinction between "opinion pieces" and news should be considered carefully.

Perhaps, based on the second paragraph quoted above, the Ann Althouse and Michelle Malkin cites should not be included, since those are self-published blogs. I fail to see, however, how something like Katha Pollitt's piece published on The Nation 's website is verboten. (Note that the article on Pollitt herself cites a silly book by Bernard Goldberg, not exactly an unimpeachable source, expressing his opinion that Pollitt is one of the "100 people who are screwing up America".) In light of the first paragraph quoted above, maybe the names of Pollitt and others should be given. But of course that would make the paragraph longer, and you and others would cry "undue weight!" Krakatoa (talk) 02:41, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
Note that the Pollitt piece is also a blog (just look at the url) and it does not support the sentence that it is cited as a reference for in the disputed section: the disputed sentence claims that commentators have called Applebaum a rape apologist (a verdict I agree with, btw), but Pollitt says only that she "minimized the crime" and that the idea that Polanski didn't know his victim's age is a "desparate argument". The mediamatters blog post also doesn't actually support the sentence it's claimed to support. Rape apologist that she may be, Applebaum still deserves some minimal standards of intellectual honesty in our article about her. Look, I think what she wrote was wrong. But not every wrong thing deserves a place in an encyclopedia (see WP:SOAPBOX) and you still haven't convinced me that this one does. —David Eppstein (talk) 02:59, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
I wasn't aware that I had to convince you. As for your criticism of my "rape apologist" summary, let's recall the sequence of events. As you'll remember, Martin451 demanded "reliable secondary sources asserting the notability of these two pieces in her career" and said that "one or two" sources were not sufficient. I accordingly furnished six sources, which seemed to me reliable, commenting on Applebaum's pieces. You and he have continually complained about the paragraph giving undue weight to the subject. I accordingly tried to be as terse as possible. However, by doing so I fell, by your reckoning, below "minimal standards of intellectual honesty". I would contend that Foser and Pollitt's pieces indicate that they consider her a rape apologist, even though they don't use that precise term. But you're putting me between a rock and a hard place. You already consider that the paragraph gives undue weight to the Polanski controversy. If I discuss Applebaum's critics' positions at greater length, it will, by your reckoning, give even more "undue weight" to it. The bottom line, of course, is that nothing written on the subject will satisfy you. Krakatoa (talk) 05:57, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

I agree with Cyclopia that a one or two sentence mention of her opinion pieces and the resulting criticism is adequate. No reason to go into detail about Polanski when a person can just go to his article to find out. Morbidthoughts (talk) 08:34, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

In addition to the previously cited sources, Glenn Greenwald referred to Applebaum and Richard Cohen as "two of the most wretched defenders of Polanski": Post editors should read their own columnists. Andrew Sullivan, blogging on The Atlantic Online, wrote that, "Anne Applebaum created a firestorm over her passionate defense of Polanski and her failure to disclose that her husband, a Polish foreign minister, is lobbying for the dismissal of Polanski's case." - Stop Digging, Please. Even in Belgium, Steven De Foer, writing in the Dutch-language De Standaard, took notice of the public reaction to Applebaum's columns, writing (as translated by Google Translator), "The reaction was furious." Dat arrogante Poolse artiestje. There are 76 hits for the following search on Google News: applebaum polanski rape Krakatoa (talk) 09:23, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
The extent of the controversy is illustrated by the fact that Kate Harding's piece on has been translated into German and printed in Vienna's Die Presse: Kontra Roman Polanski: Intolerable Behavior and that Katha Pollitt's piece, originally published by the liberal The Nation online, has been republished by the conservative Chicago Tribune: What's with these friends of a rapist?. Krakatoa (talk) 17:53, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
There's also Ron Radosh, Pajamas Media, Can We Still Trust Anne Applebaum? Her Irrational Defense of Polanski. Krakatoa (talk) 00:06, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
Kris Kotarski wrote yesterday (October 4) in the Calgary Herald, "The Post had no problem condemning Otto Weisser, Harvey Weinstein, Whoopi Goldberg and others, but did not mention that two of its own columnists, Anne Applebaum and Richard Cohen, defended Polanski and minimized his crime on the pages of the very same newspaper." Age-old perversion. Krakatoa (talk) 00:46, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
It's yet another editorial rather than any kind of factual unbiased news piece. And Applebaum is mentioned only briefly in passing. —David Eppstein (talk) 00:50, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Of course it's an editorial - a news piece wouldn't express the writer's opinion criticizing her. As I documented above, Wikipedia:RS#Statements_of_opinion recognizes that there is a place for statements of opinion in Wikipedia articles. You are right that this piece only briefly mentions her, but others that I have cited discuss her columns at much greater length. Krakatoa (talk) 01:00, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
The above references refute absolutely the view of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein who thinks Polanski's treatment has been "shocking" in what he calls a "so-called crime" towards a Holocaust survivor.
Curiously, this overlaps with Anne Applebaum's view, and she's a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist whose books on communism and the Soviet Gulag have earned international acclaim. She thinks Polanski has suffered enough: His mother died in Auschwitz, his father in Mauthausen, he survived the Krakow Ghetto, his wife (Sharon Tate) was murdered in 1969. Rarely is the Holocaust cited to justify rape of a 13 year old.
In the Washington Post Applebaum wrote of Polanski: "He did commit a crime, but he has paid for the crime in many, many ways: In notoriety, in lawyers' fees, in professional stigma. He could not return to Los Angeles to receive his recent Oscar." Peter Worthington, Oct. 8, 2009 Toronto Sun, Polanski's crime was raping a child. CanuckMike (talk) 10:15, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
Polanski's father survived Mauthausen. I guess it's too much too ask that journalists get their facts straight. Applebaum certainly doesn't. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:10, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

(Unindent) I've boiled the whole controversy down to two sentences, which should meet any legitimate WP:UNDUE claims. So terse a summary necessarily leaves out a lot of detail: the fact that Polanski accepted a plea bargain in exchange for the dismissal of more serious charges, a quote from Applebaum, and the names of her critics. (If you look at the history, you'll see that the version published at 15:46 today had all of those things.) Krakatoa (talk) 16:02, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

It's clear from the discussion here that you haven't gained consensus for these edits, and you've never substantially addressed the WP:BLP issues. The fact that neither you nor anyone else has added discussion of Applebaum's columns to the Polanski arrest article itself is a clear signal that this blogger nattering has minimal significance, and certainly isn't appropriate in Aplebaum's article. The fact that you've left out Applebaum's response response to the COI claims is telling. You may have some personal animosity toward Applebaum, and if that's so you should go blogging it in your own webspace. Hullaballoo Wolfowitz (talk) 16:25, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
There is no legitimate BLP issue. I have addressed that purported issue, and no one besides you is even claiming that at this point. It is undisputed that Applebaum wrote these columns and that other writers have criticized her in the manner described in the article. As for "leaving out Applebaum's response to the COI claims" being "telling," I did so to make the bit shorter and thus avoid WP:UNDUE. But I'll add it in if you like, though I doubt that will placate you. Krakatoa (talk) 16:46, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

BLP violations[edit]

I tried highlighting statements with no citation. User Hullaballoo Wolfowitz removed them. User Tim Song stated the revert to my citation requirement edits was not justified, then added the top tag. Over 75% of the "Biography" has no sources and is in violation of WP:BLP. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:17, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

When a large proportion of a page is uncited, then tagging the whole page instead of individual facts is appropriate. Martin451 (talk) 04:50, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
Understood. Thank you. Per WP:BLP, shouldn't everything without citation be removed know, like you've been doing to the Polanski stuff (that shrinks and grows as editors try to placate you and the rest with justification as you delete it)? (talk) 04:58, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
Huh? [3] is the extent of my edit on this article. I'd appreciate it if you refrain from attributing to me things that I have never said or done. Tim Song (talk) 05:44, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

The text in the current version seems reasonably neutral to me, I have to admit, and the quality of sourcing available has improved over the time since this issue began. The editorialization in the footnotes still needs to go, though, and possibly greater care should be taken to sort through which of the sources should be considered reliable. And I am still greatly concerned by the high level of recentism shown by this paragraph: why is so much attention given to these two columns of hers from this last month, and none to any of her other columns? I still feel it to be unbalanced for that reason. But not unbalanced pro or against her position in the editorials: unbalanced in its emphasis on this being the only thing she has written that is of any importance. —David Eppstein (talk) 17:53, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

I'm particularly bothered by the simplistic description of the columns as "defending Polanski"; that's a subjective interpretation of her writing, and pretty much an unreasonable description of the second piece, which has almost no direct content reflecting Polanski's conduct. Applebaum's first column deprecates the significance of Polanski's crimes, in a poorly reasoned argument, but that's not fair to sum up simply as "defending" Polanski. And both the actual and proportionate length of the text (including the grossly inappropriate editorializing in the footnotes) raise substantial problems; the relevant text gives much more emphasis to this matter than the parallel discussion in Whoopi Goldberg, where the controversy was clearly worth taking note of, or the content in Glenn Beck regarding the Obama "racist" comment, which was high-profile national news with significant real-world consequences. This is still coatracking, just less conspicuous about it. Hullaballoo Wolfowitz (talk) 18:32, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
"[D]efending Polanski" is "simplistic," if you like, but I was trying to be terse so as to avoid giving undue weight to this paragraph (in response to the repeated claims of that by yourself and others). As I already noted in the preceding section, my edit at 15:46 contained a sentence discussing Applebaum's defense of Polanski, but I deleted it in favor of brevity. You want me to add it back in, fine - but that will make the paragraph longer and doubtless lead to further WP:UNDUE claims by yourself and others. Krakatoa (talk) 20:32, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
I removed the "passionate defense" and "created a firestorm" since they were colourful quotes from an opinion piece (or one person's colourful observations) that you are trying to assert as facts. I feel it breaches both WP:V and WP:NPOV. Morbidthoughts (talk) 20:50, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Agree that "defending Polanski" is questionable. I changed the wording in what seems to me a more objective way (and with a more specific link). As for the rest, I really feel there is no coatracking of any sort. Let's AGF please. --Cyclopia - talk 20:53, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
The current wording is a lot better than it was, although I still think that the whole piece should not be there. It places a lot of undue weight on something which is still small in her career (c.f. her Pulitzer prize sentence contains less than a third of the text of this). However I don't think it should be shortened if it is kept. Martin451 (talk) 21:26, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
It simply means that other sections need to be expanded, therefore -isn't it? --Cyclopia - talk 21:35, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
I agree, after which this section could be replaced, if it is still deemed notable. There would need to be some significant expansion though to alleviate the undue weight concern. Kevin (talk) 21:55, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

Polanski round 2[edit]

It seemed to me and other editors that there was consensus that the paragraph about the Polanski editorials could be kept. A couple of reverts seem to show otherwise. Can we arrive at a conclusion on the matter? --Cyclopia - talk 12:10, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

I want it kept in some form. NPOV is important and I feel the numerous revisions have achieved it and then some. WP:UNDUE seems to be the sticking point: adding content is the solution, not removing. The coatrack claims (which lead to elaboration, which is followed by WP:UNDUE claims, which is followed by editing, which is followed by...) smack of censorship in disguise. The article is ostensibly about Anne Applebaum. Including her viewpoints when she states them is essential to an encyclopedic entry on a civil society commentator. CanuckMike (talk) 14:34, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
She probably expressed hundreds of her opinions on different subjects in the column. Should we mention them all ? Why is this one of so particular importance ? What about her opinions on Bush, Medvedev, Solzhenitsyn, Berlusconi, Twitter, Starbucks, North Korea, Michael Jackson, scrabble, and Bill Gates ? Are they less notable ? --Lysytalk 17:53, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
These two columns are of particular importance because they engendered a furious reaction from so many people. Hundreds of people (probably over a thousand by now) commented on the comment threads to the two pieces, with over 99% criticizing Applebaum. So did many well-known writers, and less-known writers in well-known media - as documented in the paragraph I wrote in this article. (There are also hundreds of lesser-known bloggers (as you can see if you Google this: applebaum polanski rape) - the article doesn't mention them, nor the "ordinary people" mentioned in the second sentence.) It is in the nature of being a commentator that most of what one writes or says will engender little commentary, while once in a while one may write or say something that engenders a major controversy - and is notable for that reason. (Compare the column Mark Whicker wrote about Jaycee Dugard. Whicker has been a columnist for over 22 years - not that I am suggesting that his stature as a writer is similar to Applebaum's.) Indeed, more generally, that sort of thing is true of much of what becomes news, and thus becomes "notable" for purposes of Wikipedia: most of what person X does in his/her life attracts little or no media attention, then the person says or does something that attracts a great deal of attention.
So to answer your question, if Applebaum's "opinions on Bush, Medvedev, Solzhenitsyn, Berlusconi, Twitter, Starbucks, North Korea, Michael Jackson, scrabble, and Bill Gates" engendered less commentary than her opinions on Polanski, they are indeed, by virtue of that fact, less notable. Krakatoa (talk) 18:29, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

No Longer at AEI[edit]

1. Applebaum is not listed on the AEI list of scholars here:, so that sentence should either be removed or made past tense. 2. The citation labeled simply "American Enterprise Institute" is misleading, as it goes to an organization critical of AEI, rather than AEI itself. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:24, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

You are correct that she is not on the AEI's current list of scholars. Moreover, of the three sources cited for the contention that Applebaum is an adjunct fellow there, only the first really supports it. The second just says that "Applebaum's husband is Poland's right-wing Defense Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, who also serves in the neocon American Enterprise Institute ...", without explaining how Applebaum "serves" at AEI, and the third source (misleadingly titled "American Enterprise Institute", as you note), doesn't appear to even mention Applebaum. Absent more reliable support for the contention, I think that it should be removed. Krakatoa (talk) 19:00, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
I don't see her listed on the AEI Scholars list or the AEI Adjunct Scholars list. See does have at least one article there (It's a war process January 6th, 2009) where she's credited as an adjunct fellow. Make it past tense? CanuckMike (talk) 20:11, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
This also in May this year, she does not seem to have written for them since. Martin451 (talk) 20:26, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
I temporarily removed the statement listing her association with AEI per this discussion. But it could probably be re-added in past tense with better sourcing than what was given. —David Eppstein (talk) 22:38, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Better sourcing? The National Interest source directly stated her adjunct fellowship at the AEI. This AEI source states that she "is" an adjunct fellow; [ her own blog] also stated it; it is obvious that she is no longer an adjunct fellow at AEI. All that needed to be done was to change the "is" to "was" and be done with it, not to remove it completely from the article, as it was. I have added it back to the article. --Russavia I'm chanting as we speak 14:59, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

Citation needed or not?[edit]

I've added some cites and fixed some cites in this article. It seems to me the major points of this biography are cited. Only one "cite needed" remains: Applebaum's fluency in Russian. I have therefore removed "cite needed" banner from article. Please comment if you disagree. Mick gold (talk) 08:09, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

Communism? or anti-Communism?[edit]

Specifically which? The reference is that she has "written extensively about communism". Okay, but in what way? In favour or against it? Supporting it or condeming it?

I suspect it's the latter. In another Wiki article, official Soviet sources indicated that 12,000 person died during the construction of the White Sea – Baltic Canal in the early 1930s, in Russia.

She, however, estimates that it was 25,000 deaths -- oh really? How? How does she know? The canal was built 30 years before she was born. So how in Heaven's name could she possibly know that the number was 25,000 rather than 12,000?

Thus, I suspect that she is not un-biased when it comes to her writing about Communism. I'd like that clarified. Thanks yous.
--Atikokan (talk) 06:29, 1 September 2013 (UTC)

American Jew?[edit]

I removed the part of the lead introducing Applebaum as "American Jewish" and replaced with "American", but that has been reverted by Now wiki, so per WP:BRD, I'm discussing here. I have not seen this in any other articles of American Jews, including ones who are actually famously Jewish (such as Woody Allen), so it seems inappropriate to put this in the lead. You'll notice that in this very talk page people weren't even sure if she was Jewish, so it is hardly a core identifying aspect. If anything, we should probably call her "American Polish" or "American-born Polish", since she lives in Poland and has Polish citizenship. Thoughts? 0x0077BE [talk/contrib] 11:55, 13 October 2014 (UTC)

Hi. I reverted your edit a few days ago because it removed content adhering with policies of Wiki or biographies of living persons WP: BLP. It conforms with neutral point of view WP: NPOV and is verifiable WP: V. I'm not aware of any policies or guidelines regarding inclusion or exclusion of the term 'Jewish' in Wiki biographies. ---Now wiki (talk) 18:05, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
The question isn't (or shouldn't be) about the term "Jewish", just that it's very unusual to include someone's ethnicity in the lead sentence about them, particularly so when the reason they are well-known has nothing to do with that ethnicity. For example, see Spike Lee, Woody Allen and George Lopez - all of these people are well-known for their contributions to entertainment, particularly when tied to their ethnic origin (Woody Allen less than the others, but he's still famously Jewish) - none of these people have their ethnic identity in the lead sentence. Per MOS:BLPLEAD, section 3.2:
Ethnicity or sexuality should not generally be emphasized in the opening unless it is relevant to the subject's notability. Similarly, previous nationalities or the country of birth should not be mentioned in the opening sentence unless they are relevant to the subject's notability.
Since Applebaum is a Polish citizen, the lead should likely say she is a Polish journalist, though I'm not sure we can directly assume that her nationality is now "Polish", given that people often consider themselves to have dual-citizenship, so I'd probably say that either "American journalist" or "American-born Polish journalist" is appropriate. I'm leaning towards "American journalist" since she is from America and as far as I can tell she's an English-language writer primarily writing for western audiences, so switching to "Polish journalist" or "American-born Polish journalist" seems like it could be confusing. 0x0077BE [talk/contrib] 20:57, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
No harm in noting both. "American and Polish" or "American/Polish" (or reversed, if you like). Not like one citizenship is more official than the other. InedibleHulk (talk) 20:34, October 21, 2014 (UTC)
  • Thanks User:0x0077BE for citing the policy regarding this... I admit that the addition of "Jewish" at that spot had also put me off a bit, and based on that policy you cite I Oppose the "American Jewish" description in the lead... Roberticus talk 11:16, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

Marital status in the opening[edit]

I do not think that Applebaum's marital status seems worthy of being included in the opening. I would not consider her marriage to the, now former, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland as notable as her field of work or associations. It is interesting and relevant enough to be included in The Personal life section, which it already is. JAW dropping (talk) 04:43, 8 January 2015 (UTC)

I think I've only ever heard one interview with Applebaum and distinctly remember her marriage being of more than passing interest in the interview (which was mostly about her book, Iron Curtain). Given that he's high profile and it seems like it has affected her career significantly (given that she moved to Poland), it seems pretty significant to me. 0x0077BE (talk · contrib) 04:10, 9 January 2015 (UTC)