Talk:Harvey Milk/Archive 8

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Time to move the article to FA

I've come to this page after reading a message on the Fringe theories noticeboard. My view on the People's Temple connection is that it is not a major aspect of Milk's career and should only carry a minor mention if any. My view on the article in general is that it is good, having been written up mainly from a good biography. The aim should be to move it towards FA. I don't mind helping out a little on that. A first point is that some of the headings don't read exactly NPOV and should be toned down a little. "Heroic things" is a minor event relating to someone called "Sipple". Would "Sipple affair" be a better heading? Itsmejudith (talk) 12:40, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

"Heroic things" is text within the section - a quote from Milk. It gives it some style - what I hope is part of the brilliant writing part of FAC. I can put that in quotes if you prefer, or just rename it.
I have several concerns about FA now. It is a good idea to get a Peer Review and take it through GA prior to FAC. Generally, I like to have input from as many editors as possible, if the editors are interested in improving the article. I'm continuing to review microfilm from Bay area newspapers to give it a full treatment, and I will be adding some images owned by the San Francisco Public Library soon, I hope. Since one of the components of the article is that it must be stable, the edit warring and constant POV reverts by Mosedschurte will almost ensure at this point that it will be quick-failed at GA. If it goes to FAC and the article earns multiple "Oppose" votes based on the POV, poorly sourced, detailed, and written information in the article - which it most certainly will, since I would oppose based on that - and Mosedschurte continues to impede its progress, then it will not be able to be re-nominated until the offending passage is removed. Yesterday, I placed the non-notable information in a footnote, and Mosedschurte placed it in full text. I just don't know what to do anymore. --Moni3 (talk) 13:10, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
Yes, you're quite right about GA first before FA. But no reason not to set that as the ultimate goal. I'm happy with "Heroic things" in quotes. Now, Mosedschurte, why are you so insistent that the People's Temple connection is relevant to this article? It doesn't seem that Milk was very closely linked to it, after all. Itsmejudith (talk) 13:14, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
Moni3 is right about first moving through PR then GA before taking this article to FAC. In the meantime, I peeked in today and was stunned to see the article had deteriorated. The synthesis, undue, OR sentence—which has been repeatedly deleted although only one editor wants it included—actually took on even more synthesis with the "like some other politicians" construct. Information from multiple sources—several dubious, and including primary sources—is being strung together to create an impression. This is classis synthesis and OR. We have an WP:SPA engaging in personal attacks, tendentious editing, WP:SYNTHESIS, WP:OR and disrupting an article and refusing to respect or develop consensus. If this doesn't stop, admin action will be needed. Mosedschurte, please do not again insert that text until/unless you gain consensus; proposed text can be worked out on talk. There is zero consensus for your addition, and several opining against it. I draw your attention to WP:3RR; 3RR does not give you license to revert up to three times a day or to continue to revert daily. A slow edit war makes you just as culpable as four reverts in a day. Until you have consensus on how or if to add any of that content, edit warring to include it is still edit warring, even if only one edit. Please cease and develop consensus on talk for text additions. If you want to work in well-sourced text (example Time magazine), please do so based on talk page consensus for how to reflect such information according to due weight and no original research. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:10, 17 September 2008 (UTC)


Re: "Now, Mosedschurte, why are you so insistent that the People's Temple connection is relevant to this article? It doesn't seem that Milk was very closely linked to it, after all. Itsmejudith (talk) 13:14, 17 September 2008 (UTC)"

It's not the connection overall that I think is notable or worth mentioning in an article on Harvey Milk. In fact, the part about Peoples Temple volunteers supporting Milk in 1976 by handing out fliers and working for the Milk campaign does not seem particularly relevant at all to me, though certainly also somewhat interesting. Note that I'm not sure Milk himself even ever personally dealt with the Temple on the flier/campaign work, and his aides may have done so. Most of this part was not added by me.

The part that most certainly is notable, certainly more than much of the many interesting details in the Milk article now, is the reverse: Milk's attendance and support of the Temple in 1977-78, especially after Jones had fled for Guyana following allegations of criminal wrongdoing.

Note that this used to be its own section of the Milk article and a larger part, an Rfc was then started, and others agreed at the time that the larger text needed to remain. While there is quite a lot to include, I had even then narrowed it to a tiny section for the Milk article.

But over the last few days, even a far smaller paragraph (used to be one sentence) has been repeatedly deleted, eliminating all mention from the article altogether.

As it stood before all such facts were deleted from the Milk article it was a tiny well-sourced NPOV paragraph to be added at the bottom of the Supervisor section. All objectionable sources have been removed. The sources now were:
(1) Time magazine;
(2) Raven, by SF Examiner journalist Tim Reiterman, the most respected book written on the Peoples Temple by a San Francisco Journalist who covered SF Politics and Jones in the 1970s and 80s;
(3) Shilts (4) VanDeCarr, Paul "Death of dreams: in November 1978, Harvey Milk's murder and the mass suicides at Jonestown nearly broke San Francisco's spirit.", The Advocate, November 25, 2003 (5) Coleman, "The Copycat Effect"

The additional link to the actual copy of Milk's letter has been deleted.

Instead of going into any detail on the subject, I suggest only simply the following short well-sourced NPOV phrased paragraph to be at the bottom of the "Supervisor" section, which includes an explantory sentence on Milk's intentions previously added by Moni:


While serving on the Board of Supervisors, Milk attended and spoke at at the controversial Peoples Temple, including after Jones and many Temple members fled to Guyana following allegations criminal wrongdoing. [1][2][3][note 1] Although Milk defended Temple leader Jim Jones in a letter to President Jimmy Carter in 1978[4], he and his aides distrusted Jones. When Milk learned Jones was backing both him and Art Agnos in 1976, he told friend Michael Wong, "Well fuck him. I'll take his workers, but, that's the game Jim Jones plays."[5]
  • The part that most certainly is notable, certainly more than much of the many interesting details in the Milk article now, is the reverse: Milk's attendance and support of the Temple in 1977-78, especially after Jones had fled for Guyana following allegations of criminal wrongdoing.
Why is this notable? --Moni3 (talk) 20:44, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
Because of the notoriety and particular actions of the group. For the same reason that a far less notable group, Manson's family, has a very large section in the Dennis Wilson article, even though they were a minor part of Wilson's life and he stopped interactions with them well before the Manson murders. Or, as a much better example, for the same reason that, if a New York City councilman attended and spoke at events with Mohammed Atta and the 9-11 bombers and defended them generally in a letter to the U.S. President prior to the 9-11 attacks, that would be notable.
As stated before, the Peoples Temple caused the largest loss of American civilian life prior to 9-11 in U.S. history and it resulted in the only murder of a U.S. congressman in U.S. history. One month after Milk's last speech at the Temple (and 9 months after the letter to the President defending Jones) the group caused the events at Jonestown, which was one of the most widely known events in U.S. history, as commented upon directly by George Gallup (Gallup poll).
And no one is now saying that Milk's attendance at, speaking at, or defense to the President of the United State of the Temple deserves large mention or even a section in the Milk article. Or even really anything more than a 1-2 sentence well-sourced description, much like the above. As it stands now, the article has such far far less notable items as the Book of Leviticus being read on the Florida State senate floor, though I certainly would not argue that such is not notable enough for deletion either.Mosedschurte (talk) 21:02, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
Mosedschurte, please read WP:TALK and WP:TP and thread your responses correctly; the burden to correct your threading should not fall to others. And please use the preview button to avoid multiple edit conflicts. Please don't compare an article of this caliber to the uncited poorly assessed article, Dennis Wilson; it's not an example of a high-quality Wiki article and there is no reason to hold it as an example of good editing or writing for this article. And finally, please put to rest the utterly fallacious comparison between Jones/SF and Atta/NY. Atta and the 9/11 bombers didn't live in NY, didn't have a following in NY and weren't a part of politics in NY. Your analogy makes no sense; anyone involved in SF politics at that time would have brushed up against Jones, and his kookiness wasn't known until later. Please read WP:SOAPBOX and provide exact quotes to back text you want inserted, based on Wiki policies, not soapboxing. If you can't provide high quality sources and quotes, then please stop repeating arguments that have already been rejected. Thank you, SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:13, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
First, I never held out the Dennis Wilson article as "well written." Rather, I used it as a demonstration of where interaction with a very notorious group (though far less notorious than the Peoples Temple) became notable enough to garner a large section on the matter. Regarding the example of a New York City councilman attending and speaking at events with Mohammed Atta and the 9-11 bombers and defendeing them generally in a letter to the U.S. President prior to the 9-11 attacks, no one has suggested that they were part of NY politics before hand and this was irrelevant to the analogy. The reason such would be notable is entirely irrelevant to any involvement they would have had in NY politics before. It was instead the historical notoriety of that group and they actions they later took. The sources used are:
(1) Time magazine;
(2) Raven, by SF Examiner journalist Tim Reiterman, the most respected book written on the Peoples Temple by a San Francisco Journalist who covered SF Politics and Jones in the 1970s and 80s;
(3) Shilts
(4) VanDeCarr, Paul "Death of dreams: in November 1978, Harvey Milk's murder and the mass suicides at Jonestown nearly broke San Francisco's spirit.", The Advocate, November 25, 2003
(5) Coleman, "The Copycat Effect"
The exact text is:

While serving on the Board of Supervisors, Milk attended and spoke at at the controversial Peoples Temple, including after Jones and many Temple members fled to Guyana following allegations criminal wrongdoing. [6][7][3][note 2] Although Milk defended Temple leader Jim Jones in a letter to President Jimmy Carter in 1978[8], he and his aides distrusted Jones. When Milk learned Jones was backing both him and Art Agnos in 1976, he told friend Michael Wong, "Well fuck him. I'll take his workers, but, that's the game Jim Jones plays."[9]
Mosedschurte (talk) 21:23, 17 September 2008 (UTC)


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