Talk:David I. Walsh

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On May 6, 1942 The New York Post reported that Senator David Walsh (D-MA), Chair of the Senate Naval Intelligence Committee, was the Senator mentioned as a frequenter of the New York City male brothel raided by police earlier in the year. --Kstern999 16:18, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

In 1942, Walsh was named as a regular visitor to a club for homosexuals in Brooklyn that allowed well-to-do civilians to meet military personnel. The incident attracted the attention of the press and Walsh's Senate colleagues. Walsh's denials that he had ever visited the establishment were confirmed by FBI Director Hoover at the time, though later Gore Vidal asserted that Wash's homosexuality was no secret in Washington at the time. REF: Improper Bostonians, Beacon Press, 1998, pp. 136-37. Bmclaughlin9 (talk) 17:50, 10 November 2009 (UTC) After considerable digging, I've discovered just how big a deal the 1942 sex and spy scandal was. I hope I've handled it appropriately. Bmclaughlin9 (talk) 22:25, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

POV needs sourcing/better wording[edit]

Throughout the 1930s, Walsh was a less than reliable vote for legislation proposed by the Roosevelt administration. After the 1940 election in particular, he opposed at every step any action that would compromise American neutrality, especially the Lend Lease program.[citation needed]

Walsh had not been enthusiastic about FDR running for a third term in 1940—just as FDR would have been glad to see Walsh lose his bid for re-election that year—and was even less favorably disposed to a fourth term.[citation needed]

OR/POV needs discussion (and possibly a bio editor)[edit]

While the truth of the New York Post's specific allegations appears doubtful, no one disputes the underlying fact that Walsh was homosexual. Yet no one in politics or the press, the Post excepted, was prepared to make an issue of it against the 69-year-old senator.[1][2][3][4]

Addressed OR/POV[edit]

I have addressed the above issues which were pointed out to me when I requested peer review, at least to the extent that I care enough about Walsh to spend any more time on him. Thanks to those who reviewed. Bmclaughlin9 (talk) 20:50, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

LGBT categories[edit]

The sources for Walsh's homosexuality are FDR (in conversation with his VP and in conversation with the Senate Majority Leader) and Gore Vidal. The insinuating language of Attorney General Biddle would mean little without the word of FDR and Vidal, but it's interesting as an example of how the issue was dealt with in another age. Walsh's principal biographer (O'Toole) takes his subject's homosexuality as a given, and he's read the FBI files. If there were categories for "Closeted LGBT...", they would be more suitable, I suppose, but Walsh's homosexuality is, I think, beyond dispute.

Bmclaughlin9 (talk) 16:35, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

Walsh disputed it. He was not self-identified. Span (talk) 03:36, 17 October 2010 (UTC)

If Walsh were alive or recently deceased, his failure to acknowledge his sexuality would be of concern. But Wiki policy supports the use of sexuality categorization in a case like this, where the subject's sexuality is not disputed. Historians are of one mind on this question, and there is more evidence in the article now than when I wrote my earlier comment on this question in March 2010. Bmclaughlin9 (talk) 16:09, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

I would say that it would be worth having a section or a para in the article discussing this - making it transparent that he disputed it and 'word of mouth' rumour suggested "everybody knew". I think approaching it as a exposition of the historical context, rather than "making a case" one way or the other, would add to the article. Very little is "beyond dispute", historians are rarely "of one mind" for very long, it seems. WP policy is one thing, being careful is another. To my mind categories, like info boxes, are not much use at getting subtleties across. I try to use them with caution. If in doubt, I don't add, but that's me. Best wishes Span (talk) 10:39, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

I've restored the categories so they reflect current consensus. We'll have to trust future Wiki editors to remove such Categories is that consensus fails to hold. I'll revisit the wording of the article. Problem is: Walsh never disputed his sexuality on the record because the charge was never made in so many words. He condemned the NY Post story, of course, but certain issues were not fit for public discussion in the 1940s, s the veiled language in the TIME magazine report demonstrates. Partly this is a question of characterization: common knowledge or word of mouth rumor? I'll see what I can dig up from Walsh's statement, which is now limited to calling the charges a lie. Maybe there's more in his statement that would help. Context is also hard to add without editorializing, but I should be able to find some source that deals with the 2 homosexual "scandals" of these years (Walsh and Sumner Welles) that might provide context. Bmclaughlin9 (talk) 14:37, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

I have now restored as well the categories that reflect Walsh's Catholicism, which is now documented. I note, however, that the standard you seek to impose, which Walsh happens to meet, is your standard and not necessarily an appropriate one for wikipedia. You said: "no source given for Catholic religious practice as an adult." Why "Catholic religious practice as an adult"? Whether a person went to Mass or not or made his Easter duty is probably not a suitable wikipedia standard. I think a more reasonable definition would be: "self-identified as a Catholic." I note that non-practicing Catholics are now one of the largest religious groups in the U.S. "Observant Catholics" would be a subcategory of Catholics. Bmclaughlin9 (talk) 03:15, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

There are a great many articles that purport a subject's Catholicism with no source or that suggest they were Catholic because their family were religious or they went to a Catholic school as a child, hence asking for adult practice. Clear self-identification is fine too. See the discussion at Category talk:American Roman Catholics. Asking for sources is not "my standard". I see you have added more copy on Walsh's Catholic beliefs which are now sourced. That is all I was pointing too. Re the LGBT category, Wikipedia:Categories, lists, and navigation templates#Categories says "Unless it is self-evident and uncontroversial that something belongs in a category, it should not be put into a category". Walsh's LGBT status is not clear cut so shouldn't be added in my view. My above comments do not suggest consensus. You've done a lot of excellent work on the article, by the way, it's looking very strong. Best wishes Span (talk) 09:16, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

He was homosexual. (talk) 18:55, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

  1. ^ Charles, 87ff
  2. ^ Fleming, 298
  3. ^ Peabody and Ebersole, 16
  4. ^ As late as 1962, FDR's Attorney General Francis Biddle addressed the subject discreetly. He described Walsh in the mid-1930s as "an elderly politician with a soft tread and low, colorless voice...whose concealed and controlled anxieties not altogether centered on retaining his job." (emphasis added). Biddle, 202