Talk:Center for Media and Democracy

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I question the POV of this article. -- Zoe

Any particular suggestions? For myself, I think the liberal/conservative sentence could go away, leaving a factual (although very short) entry. Let the reader follow the external link and decide for themself. -- Jrv 19:45 Mar 19, 2003 (UTC)
The Disinfopedia seems to hold liberal views, but that's only because in the United States, there has recently been much conservative-leaning propaganda -- Throwing in the "according to the website" at the end is sort of self-serving. If the article said something like (note, I say something like -- I keep getting accused of demanding things be changed when I only suggest the way they might go) -- "The Disinfopedia claims to hold liberal views in order to counter the predominance that it sees of conservative-leaning propaganda in the United States." Words to that effect. -- Zoe

Removed from the article: The Disinfopedia seems to hold liberal views, but that's only because in the United States, there has recently been much conservative-leaning propaganda, according to the website. -- Stephen Gilbert 21:36 Mar 24, 2003 (UTC)

I started out adding current number of articles to page, but thought it worked better with general numbers, "doubled after two weeks", etc. Moved number of articles to this talk page. Cut info:

The directory has only around 220 articles but is growing quickly. (451 articles as of 26 Mar 2003.) (1482 articles as of 23 Jul 2003.)

Also got exact start date from Disinfopedia site. - Jrv 01:50 Mar 27, 2003 (UTC)

Disinfopedia has taken wikipedia articles and expanded them usually with a back reference. Is it worthwhile to forward reference from Wikipedia to Disinfopedia? Zardoz 17:57 1 Jun 2003 (UTC)

no, why would you do that? LittleDan
Disinfopedia is highly POV. CGS 19:51 1 Jun 2003 (UTC).
Sometimes. Treat disinfopedia articles as you would any other external source. Martin 00:42 2 Jun 2003 (UTC)
After discussion on wikien-l [1], I've added a suggested attribution line to Wikipedia:GNU Free Documentation License resources. (Originally for Alexis de Tocqueville Institution, where they can openly call the AdTI scoundrels, but we must be strictly fair.) - David Gerard 15:59, May 24, 2004 (UTC)

As a member of the staff of the Center for Media and Democracy, I think it would be better for people other than myself to edit this article. However, I would like to state for the record that I regard a number of statements in the recent revision to the article as inaccurate. Specifically, it is very misleading to say that we "liken the conservative Republican's domestic policy agenda to the cultural revolution in China, and to the economic plans implemented [by] the Soviet Union, both carried out by totalitarian communist regimes during the height of the Cold War. They liken the conservative Republican's foreign policy agenda to those of Napoleon and Hitler." It is also misleading to say that our "nonpartisan posture" is a sham, since we have never "postured" as nonpartisan. The Center for Media and Democracy is not affiliated with any political party, but we have never pretended to lack opinions or a point of view. Moreover, the editorial policy of the Disinfopedia is expressly different from the editorial policy of the Wikipedia. Whereas Wikipedia calls for a "neutral point of view," the Disinfopedia's editorial objective is "fairness and accuracy."

The individual who made today's edits to the Wikipedia also made a similar contribution to the Disinfopedia. I have edited his/her contribution on the Disinfopedia. If anyone here would like to review the changes I made there, the article can be found at the following URL:

I also commented on this individual's contributions on the corresponding Disinfopedia Talk page, at the following URL:

--Sheldon Rampton 20:08, 16 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I just zapped it suggesting full references if they want it back in - David Gerard 22:02, 16 Jul 2004 (UTC)


"Can't we all just get along?" Probably not, but maybe we can come to some semblance of a NPOV.

Does NPOV mean spayed and neutered? If every "liberal/conservative sentence" has to "go away, leaving...factual (although very short)" entries, then you've made a gelding out of Wikepedia as far as I'm concerned. The way to handle controvesial articles is to present a NPOV overview of what both/all sides say.

Is my contribution NPOV? Heck no! My viewpoint is not neutral. But why don't the partisans on the other side, along with the more detached, work to IMPROVE the NPOV instead of whining and/or deleting wholesale? Go ahead, Sheldon. Contribute. Come on. Don't worry just because you're a coauthor of the cited diatribe (and not just "a member of the staff," ya dang liar). We'll edit you. What are you really afraid of? A meeting where you can't shout down the speaker? True wiki in full and free bloom? (Or maybe it's just that you hate seeing your prose - denser than the hardened concrete surrounding Jimmy Hoffa's earthly remains - edited.)

The "thinking peace" website gives this excerpt from Banana Republicans, the subtitle of which, by the way, is: How the Right Wing Is Turning America into a One-Party State:

"In a democracy, Alexander Hamilton believed: 'The differences of opinion, and the jarrings of parties . . . often promote deliberation and circumspection; and serve to check the excesses of the majority.' Although these jarrings and clashings sometimes seem messy, contentious and wasteful, in fact they are one of the great strengths of democracy in both peacetime and wartime.

"If, however, a single viewpoint or party is able to drown out or suppress the views of others, a different dynamic sets in. One-party dominated states and hierarchical, command-driven social systems are notorious for their tendency to make disastrous decisions, in the areas of both domestic and foreign policy. China's cultural revolution and the Soviet Union's failed economic development plans are among the most extreme but not the only cases in point. In the field of foreign affairs, Napoleon and Hitler both disdained dissenting advice..." (emphases added)

If that isn't "likening," then what is?

The way I see it, in the name of NPOV, it is the facts about this organization that, for some reason, are being drowned out and supressed in this article. I couldn't care less if Stauber, Rampton, and their gang want to keep their "Disinfopedia" website a place "where never is heard a discouraging word and the skies are not cloudy all day." But this is Wikipedia, doggon it, and I care about this place.

One statement critical of Stauber and his organization (supporting the last paragraph of my contribution), from among the many that can be found, is cited at jsonline:

"'The guy's [Stauber is] a serial exaggerator,' said David Martosko, director of research at the Center for Consumer Freedom in Washington, D.C. 'The guy wakes up every morning thinking how can he change Americans' behavior by frightening them.'"

First of all, I don't appreciate being called a "danged liar."
Secondly, the reason I try to refrain from editing this article directly is that the question of whether people should edit articles about themselves has been discussed repeatedly on the Wikipedia listserv (WIKIEN-L), and the preponderance of opinion seems to be that although it isn't prohibited, people should be cautious about doing so. This is also the opinion of Jimbo Wales, Wikipedia's founder. We don't have that same policy at the Disinfopedia, and I have edited your comments there. If you want to see how I think your misleading characterization of the arguments in our book should be rephrased, you can go there to get an idea. I posted the URL above. I'm sure that notwithstanding your obvious hostility, you should be able to figure this out.
As for the rest of your insults, I'm not going to dignify them with a response. --Sheldon Rampton 08:12, 17 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Jstanley01: 1)Well then, quit lying. 2)This article is not about you. 3)So I'm hostile and insulting. So get over it. It's just a "differences of opinion, and the jarrings of parties," which you purport to believe in. So why the fuss? Heck no, I don't like you, and I'm not going to act like I do. I stated very clearly that I am a partisan from the other side who recognizes that his contribution will lack in the NPOV department. But I also believe you are a relatively reasonable man, who could strain his brain enough to improve this article's NPOV. Go ahead contribute here.
The article is about his organisation; contributing directly may well be seen to be improper.
I note also your criticism is about the founders, not CMD or Disinfopedia specifically. You really need to make it look less like a personal attack if it's worth keeping in the article - David Gerard 08:51, 17 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Jstanley01: Or you need to. I gave you people documentation and links.
It is the book that I cited in the article, I didn't criticise it. Since said book is prominently touted on both Disinfopedia's and the Center's websites, and is written by the organization's two top honchos, what better place is there to gain info on the organization?
If you people wanna revert this article back to dry facts, and let readers think this is just some neutral "media research" organization, go ahead, ride your gelding off into the sunset.
Jstanley seems to be trying to goad me into a debate. Even though this article is not about me, it is about the organization for which I work, and Wikipedia's policy on autobiography states, "Editing an article about yourself or your organization is also generally considered improper and best avoided, on the same principle. Noting objections or corrections on the talk page may be appropriate." That's the policy I am trying to follow. In any case, I am certainly not under any obligation to edit this article directly, and I have better things to do with my time than get in a pissing match with a skunk. I am confident that other Wikipedians can do an adequate job of bringing the article about CMD back to something approximating a reasonable standard of accuracy and NPOV.
I will point out, again, that there is nothing in the passage quoted above from our book that that "likens" Republican policies to the policies of the Soviet Union or Hitler's Germany. In the quoted passage, the word "Republican" doesn't even appear. If anyone here cares to judge this point for themselves, I invite them to read the full excerpt from our book. (Better yet, read the full book, or at least the chapter from which this excerpt was taken.) I think fair-minded readers will conclude that Jstanley has taken a brief passage and is quoting it out of context so that he can misrepresent its meaning. (Or, more likely, he has mastered what Nietzsche once described as "the art of reading badly": his reading of our work is so strongly filtered through his own ideology that he doesn't even realize he is distorting its meaning.)
Finally, I should point out that although David Martosko is certainly critical of John Stauber and myself, his criticism was made before Banana Republicans was even written and relates to our earlier writings about the food industry. It is sloppy and misleading to present Martosko's comments as a critique of Banana Republicans. And if anyone here cares to know about the background of Martosko's organization, we have a profile of them on the Disinfopedia. --Sheldon Rampton 09:12, 17 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Jstanley01 David Gerard's latest edits look good to me. It's disingenuous to pretend this organization is non-controversial. All I'm asking is that you Wikipedians hash through a NPOV handling of the controversy. Getting Rampton's goat is just icing on the cake.

New POV Edit[edit]

User:'s edits are unneccessary and POV, please come someone revert to the last version by Meelar - or tell me how, so I can do it in future. If it's just by normal editing then can someone inform me of that. -Erolos 19:14, 4 Aug 2004 (UTC)

That was me. I just edited it again to tone down perceived POV. My motivation for editing in the first place was because this article about Disinfopedia seemed out of character with the rest of Wikipedia in the form it was in when I came upon it. I've attemped to balance it out.

Sorry, my bad. I didn't read the second paragraph, because the first seemed just to be adding to the already unneccessarily large amount of POV criticism - thanks for removing it. The second paragraph is well-stated. -Erolos 13:47, 5 Aug 2004 (UTC)

recent editing[edit]

I made some changes to this article in order to put it in character with the rest of the Wikipedia articles, so that the article will be informative rather than one sided. I took taak and Sheldons ideas into consideration. Today I received a message from user Texture claiming to have removed my editing, dismissing it as "garbage". One might feel that there are further suggestions and criticisms for my changes that are needed, but I find Textures assertion disputable. What is the general consensus about this around here?

Weasel words...[edit]

"Opponents of both CMD and its Disinfopedia" Can we cahnge this to include specific examples? The "critics of the opponents" were clearly Stauber & co so I changed that bit. Rich Farmbrough 22:08, 15 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Regarding the use of the word "paranoid"[edit]

If any of the Villiage Voice review is authoritative on this subject, then the whole thing is authoritative. However, maybe it would maintain this article's NPOV better if this sentence were added at the end: "You're not paranoid, however, if they really are out to get you." ô¿ô 21:20, 20 Sep 2004 (UTC)

recent edits[edit]

"Critics of CMD have challenged the organization's credibility as research group. They argue that its founders, Stauber and Rampton, propagate a partisan political agenda."

"Critics of CMD" become weasel words in the context of Jstanley's recent edits. The village voice article sited does not challenge the organizations credibility as a research group. I reverted the article to the previous where Brian Cartmel is sited as a source for these accusations (Rich Farmbrough had asked for a source on the opponents). Grice 21:01, 20 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Who is...[edit]

..."Brian R. Cartmell, an internet entrepreneur"? As far as I can tell, neither he nor his livelihood have anything to do with the subject of this article. Is this an advertisement or something? ô¿ô 21:05, 20 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Well the only way Cartmell's critism can stay without breaking wikipedia guide lines is to site him as the source for the accusation and his bringing up the village voice article as evidence. Grice 21:12, 20 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Just go easy on the "weasel" stuff there, fella. If my edits fall short of NPOV, try something novel, like fixing them.
Regarding Cartmell: forget the guidelines. It means ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to me or any other reader what this Cartmell individual thinks when ABSOLUTELY NO CONNECTION between Cartmell and CMD is given.
I'm not about to get into a revert war with you, bub, much less a war of wits. I don't pick on the unarmed. Especially since the entire citation from Villiage Voice is of dubious use anyway. Opponents of CMD, not critics of the founders' books, must be sourced.
If opponents who have had DIRECT DEALINGS (by being criticized, for instance) with the organization itself cannot be found, maybe I've been wrong all along, and all we've got here is a non-controversial non-partisan media research group. Heh. ô¿ô, a.k.a. "The Ferret-Like Weasel" 21:27, 20 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Well Cartmell has been criticized by Disinfopedia, making him more of an opponent than a critic on the sidelines. I've been reluctant to site the criticism since that could be considered an advertisement of Disinfopedia. Cartmells criticism came from his own website, though he seems to have removed it as of this writing ([[2]]). If you feel the citation of the village voice article and Cartmells connection is dubious, the whole thing might have to be removed or completely rewritten. Grice 21:37, 20 Sep 2004 (UTC)
That's cool. It's just that, answering your previous exhortation to me to google about Cartmell: It's not the reader's, nor my, responsibility to make Cartmell relevant to this article. You brought him up. You've got to show that he is relevant or nix the reference. I wouldn't worry about "advertising Disinfopedia" if that's where the info is, though it'd be nice to see all sides. ô¿ô 22:19, 20 Sep 2004 (UTC)

How about this: I'll revert to my previous edit, which nixed Cartmell, and then you can edit all my droll and so-obvious POV out of that. Whaddaya think? You got me curious now. I'm headin' for Cartmell's site. (P.S. "site"-a place. "cite"-to quote.) ô¿ô 22:22, 20 Sep 2004 (UTC)

this page is painfully slanted. it definately needs to be cleaned up by someone who knows a bit more about this organization.

i find this paragraph especially troubling

"The CMD is a left-wing political lobby group which attempts to appear as a public interest organization for fundraising purposes. The small group's purpose is to back odd causes and create crisis for the sole purpose of keeping its' executive staff in salary. It also hpes to impress liberal donor groups. More than half of its' published 2005 budget went to uncharacteristically high salaries alone. It's current target of convenience is the Public Relations industry, in which CMD attacks border on hysteria. CMD attacks take the form of unverified, unsubstantiated and difficult to believe allegations of gigantic corporate conspiracies to control media. Additional disfocused interests range from mad cows to Iraq-war conspiracy theories and routinely publishes a variety of books appealing the the far left fringe who believe everything is a conspiracy."

It reads as extremely biased.

Source on ALEC Exposed[edit]

For those who are interested, here is an excellent source summarizing how CMD put out ALEC Exposed and collaborated with The Nation and Color of Change:

--Dr. Fleischman (talk) 07:30, 4 October 2014 (UTC)

Notice re discussion about SourceWatch use in Wikipedia[edit]

A discussion about SourceWatch as an external link in Wikipedia is underway here. – S. Rich (talk) 18:45, 4 February 2015 (UTC)


Please add a section on the causes of the subject of this article, and a section on the activities of the subject of this article in support of those causes, in support of your attempt to characterize the subject of this article as an "advocacy" organization. The lede summarizes the article. No new info in the lede. Nothing in the lede that is not in the body in more detail. I look forward to reading in detail of your novel characterization of the subject of this article. Meanwhile, "watchdog," the lede prior to your injection of "advocacy," stands. Hugh (talk) 02:40, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

We have five solid reliable source refs for the descriptor "liberal advocacy group". These include the St.Louis Post Dispatch, DesMoines Register, Wisconsin State Journal (their hometown paper), LaCrosse Tribune, etc... Since this is Wikipedia we follow where the refs lead not what the organization cares to use to describe themselves. The organization describes itself as a "watchdog", that's fine and their characterization of themselves should remain but we should use RS to describe how they are referred to. Capitalismojo (talk) 02:47, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Per your suggestion, and using the (very similar) model of the Common Cause article, I have added the full information on the descriptor "advocacy group" to the article body. Capitalismojo (talk) 04:27, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Describing the Center for Media and Democracy in the lede sentence as "nonprofit liberal advocacy group" to the exclusion of "investigative journalism" is patently absurd, and pointed. For god's sake, can we not agree to call a thing what it is? Do you recognize that your proposed lede sets up an obvious question in a readers mind, what causes does it advocate for, and what activities has it done in furtherance of those causes? What are CMD's causes in your mind? Cite bombing the lede sentence to change one word, aren't you clever! I am very sure you will be returning to this article to format all those bare urls and integrate them into the body, or did you leave that for someone else? Hugh (talk) 15:41, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

You can put "watchdog" or "investigative journalism" in the first sentence (with proper sources), but it's known as an advocacy group, even among those who consider the journalism great work. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 16:33, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
As for the NYT sources you used to rewrite the "Characterization" section, the first calls it a "watchdog organization" in background (background not being the most reliable, even in otherwise reliable publications), and the second refers to it only in a correction to an earlier article, and doesn't say "watchdog" or "journalist". — Arthur Rubin (talk) 16:36, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
did you read the ref you are deleting or did you just keyword search the 1st page Arthur?
I read all three pages, although I didn't search to see if there was another incidental reference to CMD. I have to take off for a doctor's appointment; I'll see if you have anything credible to say by this evening. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 16:52, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
be well Hugh (talk) 16:55, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
I see no refs for the inclusion of "investigative journalism" in the first sentence of the lede. Capitalismojo (talk) 17:03, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Thank you in advance for work in cleaning up the many bare urls refs with which you decorated the lede sentence, formatting your bare urls and integrating them with into the body. Thank you in advance for your commitment to quality. I am sure you did not mean to leave this for a fellow editor. Hugh (talk) 17:16, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
HughD, please restore the tags. I'very carefully read all three NY articles, and they don't say what you claim. Either remove the irrelevant references and unsourced text, or restore the tags. I would be pushing 3RR if I did so, but you, having already violated 3RR, would only help your status by a self-revert. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 06:01, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
  1. nyt June 12, 2005, on the web version of the article its on the 2nd page "A watchdog group in Washington, the Center for Media and Democracy, ..."
  2. nyt April 16, 2007 last graph: "...John Stauber, executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy, a watchdog organization..."
  3. nyt June 19, 2005 corrects city in previous, nyt June 12, 2005 Hugh (talk) 07:01, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Even in the unlikely case that that is correct, it's still only one source, NYT background. Pick the best one, and let it go. However, we cannot add your (or even a legitimate) definition of "watchdog group" to the sentence without a specific source. If there were more than one article about CDM, that probably would be different. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 09:21, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
My apologies; it does say that. It says it so much in passing that we cannot be sure it's the same CDM. One reference in the three listings. Only one. I will remove it, now. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 09:28, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Regarding advocacy, one of the refs already in the article talks about CMD organizing and participating in protests advocating against ALEC. Apparently they also created/co-founded a coalition of advocacy groups against ALEC. Capitalismojo (talk) 21:09, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
The group itself says it conducts "nonpartisan advocacy". Please see this link [3]. Champaign Supernova (talk) 05:57, 23 October 2015 (UTC)

Merger with Progressive Magazine[edit]

In April of 2014 CMD anounced a merger with Progressive magazine. Within a couple of months the merger failed or was quietly called off. We have the big initial announcement but nothing on the end result. I can't find a ref on the Progressive website, but this is well known in Madison Wi. What do we do about the ref'd but inaccurate merger info in the lead? Capitalismojo (talk) 03:11, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Dr OVERCITE! Paging Dr OVERCITE! Hugh (talk) 03:51, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

By that remark are you suggesting that we remove the merger info? I can't quite tell. Capitalismojo (talk) 04:18, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

I propose that SourceWatch be merged into Center for Media and Democracy. The content in the SourceWatch article can be better and more easily explained in the context of the Center for Media and Democracy. The Center for Media and Democracy and SourceWatch articles are of a reasonable small size such that the merging of SourceWatch will not cause any problems as far as article size or undue weight is concerned. Hugh (talk) 22:01, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

Merge support as proposer. Hugh (talk) 22:08, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

Merge per nom. Sourcewatch is a major project of CMD. It should be here. Capitalismojo (talk) 23:37, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

Blacklisted Links Found on Center for Media and Democracy[edit]

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External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to one external link on Center for Media and Democracy. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

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YesY Archived sources have been checked to be working Hugh (talk) 05:50, 26 February 2016 (UTC)

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