Talk:Helen Thomas/Archive 4

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Archive 3 Archive 4 Archive 5

Cultural & Religious Affiliation

'Antiochian Orthodox' is just a subcategory of 'Greek Orthodox' = Greek Orthodox Christians of Syrian, Lebanese and Southern Turkish descent = the group she clearly self-identifies with. That subcategory constitutes an acurate description of Helen Thomas's religious and cultural affiliation BASED ON WHAT SHE WROTE. See formative years (Preface, Chapter 1 & Chapter 2) of her biography "Front Row at the White House" (2000) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 89.158.109.242 (talk) 14:32, 1 August 2010 (UTC)

What she wrote was simply this: "In Detroit, my parents set about raising our large family, and that meant long hours, hard work and services at the Greek Orthodox church every Sunday." — p. 19, Front Row at the White House. Calling her an "Antiochian Orthodox" is unacceptable original research unless you can provide another reference that that is the group she "self-identifies with". — Regards — KeptSouth (talk) 09:14, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
I agree wıth User 89... Helen Thomas is of Lebanese and Syrian descent, and she's a Greek-Orthodox Christian. Therefore she belongs to the Antıochian (Greek Orthodox) Church, like all American Greek-Orthodox Chrıstians of Levantine origin (Southern Turkısh, Lebanese and/ Syrian roots). And that´s just a fact, not 'origal research' —Preceding unsigned comment added by 212.156.82.46 (talk) 16:58, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
There is quite a bit of conjecture between your recitation of her ethnicity, and your conclusion that "therefore" she belongs to a certain, specific sect or denomination of the Greek orthodox church. And asserting that "all American Greek-Orthodox Chrıstians of Levantine origin" are "Antiochian Greek Orthodox" does not prove it.
Furthermore, in adopting User 89's postion, you are ignoring the fact that IP User 89 was incorrect when he or said that "BASED ON WHAT [THOMAS] WROTE" in 2000, she is a member of the Antiochian church - she did not say that. All she said was her parents attended a Greek Orthodox Church while she was growing up, no particular denomination was specified. Based on what Thomas wrote, it is also reasonable to assume she was not a member of the Antiochian church, by the way. She has said her family was the only arab family in the neighborhood. It is very possible that they joined another type of Greek Orthodox church because it was the only one around. But again, that is all conjecture, and the best course is to stick with what she has said her parents were: "Greek Orthodox."
Original research is a poor term, but that is what Wikipedia calls such conjecture. Here is the definition, straight from WP:OR It also refers to any analysis or synthesis by Wikipedians of published material, where the analysis or synthesis advances a position not advanced by the sourcesKeptSouth (talk) 09:11, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Agree w/Kept South on this, and not with the two IPs, for the reasons set forth by KS.--Epeefleche (talk) 17:46, 7 August 2010 (UTC)

Speakes

The inclusion and placement of Speakes comment about Thomas seems to me to be a straightforward violation of WP:SYNTH. The placement of that quote, from 1989, shows the intent is to answer a response to a quote made in 2008. Does any source connect the quote from Speakes in 1989 to the quote from Mitchell in 2008? As none is provided, I removed the 89 quote. nableezy - 20:41, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

Well, it's true it might be better placed in the context of the persistent allegations that HT is anti-Israel. Would you prefer to see that all grouped under some such header? IronDuke 20:55, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
It needs to be placed in the context of the source. Where it was placed was not that context. And no, I would not prefer that. I would prefer that we include whatever criticisms of Thomas that people feel must be included in a career section where discussing what in her career prompted such criticisms. nableezy - 21:31, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
Sorry to be dim, not sure what you mean. IronDuke 00:10, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
No need to apologize, we cant all be me. What I mean is that a comment about her from the Reagan administration belongs when discussing her work during the Reagan administration, preferably while discussing something related to the comment, such as particular comments or questions she made that led to such a criticism. nableezy - 00:32, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
I have to concur with Nableezy, here--the two statements have nothing to do with one another and were uttered almost ten years apart. But their placement next to one another implies that there is a connection between the two. This is exactly what WP:SYNTH tells us we cannot do, as it is a form of original research. I can imagine including the quote if there were either a section/subsection/paragraph on 1) Thomas's work during the Reagan administration; or if 2) we were somehow making a whole section on her alleged anti-Israeli bias (which I think would be even harder to sustain, per WP:NPOV and WP:SYNTH. However, we certainly cannot include the quote where it was before. Qwyrxian (talk) 22:09, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
Agree with Nab and Qwyx; and, even if Speakes' comment was connected to what Helen said in 08, the article does not make this connection. The paragraph in question reports what Helen said, then gives some responses to it; then inexplicably moves on to comments about her. Even if there was some relevant connection between the two comments (as two eds above argue there is not), that connection should be reported as currently the paragraph moves without explanation from one subject to the other (from Helen's comments to Helen). 203.45.146.36 (talk) 23:40, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
And to clarify my position based on what 203.45.146.36 says, unless a secondary source makes the connection, we ourselves cannot. Qwyrxian (talk) 23:45, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
Ah, yes, sorry Qwyxirian, of course you are right. My apologies for not adding that proviso. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 00:40, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Conjecture

On July 13 Nableezy added another part of Thomas's statement explaining in the edit summary that "all right, you want specifics add specifics, not just one part of the story".

This is not a give or take (all right!), that I'll grant you your POV and therefore I'll add my POV. Every article needs to be pure and NOPV.

The words "speaking of Palestinians" is conjecture, a POV conjecture and cannot be used. She did not use it and we can't put words into her mouth. There was so much discussion of not even using "Jews" or "Israel" although it is clear that she meant them. Using "speaking of Palestinians" is pure conjecture and cannot be used. Fandriampahalamana (talk) 21:42, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

That is absolute nonsense. She says "get the hell out of Palestine" and she then says "remember, these people are occupied and it is their land." "these people" is undoubtedly referring to the Palestinians. But since you doubt that, here is a source that says that. [1]: Questioned about the Palestinians by Rabbi Nesenoff for RabbiLIVE.com, Thomas said, "Remember, these people are occupied and it's their land. It's not Germany, not Poland." And another, [2]: Turning her attention to the Palestinians, she said, "Remember, these people are occupied. And it's their land," adding the Jews should "go home" to Poland and Germany. I realize some people dont like to use the term Palestinian, but the rationale for removing this quote is utter and sheer nonsense. nableezy - 21:57, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
This exchange further illustrates my point that we are not going to reach consensus when we pick and choose specifics that fit our own interpretations. The back and forth reverting on this issue has been going on for weeks now. I suggest that we settle with (*) above. If there are reasoned objections to (*), let's hear them. Precis (talk) 22:16, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
In case there is no consensus for (*), I would choose F's construct over N's, for the following reason. Note that F's wording has the form "She retired after negative reaction to her remarks X." Now, N adds wording that conveys the extra information "She said X because of Y." I think Y belongs in the article, but not in the lead, as Y has little to do with the negative reaction. Moreover, we don't even know if Y is the unique reason that she said X. Precis (talk) 23:41, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
I agere with Nab that "Palestinians" is clearly meant here. I would disagree, though, with inserting that into the lead. The meat of the controversy lies in remarks which are already quoted there. IronDuke 00:34, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
I dont think any of the quotes should be in the lead, I think it should say "following uproar caused by controversial remarks about Israel and Palestine". Just saying "she said X" without including anything else only tells a part of the story, the part that is the most sensational. nableezy - 01:55, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
That's exactly right, and it's the sensational part that led to her resignation. We don't need, for example, the whole dialogue in the lead, just what got her in trouble. IronDuke 03:00, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
I hope you'll indulge me and answer two questions that rightfully can be called leading questions. Should each section of a BLP, on its own, particularly the lead, be "neutral", as "neutral" is defined by WP:NPOV? Is it "neutral" to only include one aspect of a story? If you dont want to answer those two questions (or if you do, answer this one too), do you have any objection to not including any of the quotes and just saying "following *some description here* reactions to comments made about Israel, Jews, and Palestine"? nableezy - 03:09, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
When have I ever not indulged you, Nab? Anwer 1) Yes. Answer 2) Depends -- it certainly could be. 3) Yes, strong objection. IronDuke 23:46, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
No, she could have been referring to Israeli Arabs. In fact, it is likely that she was referring to Israeli Arabs because otherwise she would have said something like, "Tell them to go to Tel-Aviv or Haifa or Eilat." She wasn't referring to the "occupation" of Judea/Samaria. She was referring to Israel proper.--Jiujitsuguy (talk) 01:10, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
I construed her words to mean "Israel out of Israel [which she calls Palestine], Jews out of the region"—but we mustn't construe editorially. Any attempt to interpret her thinking involves conjecture or spin—imprudent always, totally out of order in a BLP. I can (and do), support the "(*)" version, verbatim (i.e., including all three terms, Israel, Jews, and Palestine). It is minimalist, neutral, free of conjecture. Hertz1888 (talk) 02:28, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Im not construing anything. Even if it were not blindingly obvious that "these people" is a reference to the Palestinians, I have provided 2 sources that explicitly say that she was talking about the Palestinians. And here apology for the comments says "I deeply regret my comments I made last week regarding the Israelis and the Palestinians", though she did not say "Palestinian" in her actual comments. I really cannot believe I have to argue this point, it is so obvious that it takes real effort to miss it. nableezy - 02:52, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Concur with Hertz--Jiujitsuguy (talk) 02:34, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
I agree that all three terms are necessary. Some have argued that "Jews" should be left out because Thomas didn't use that word. But that argument is specious. Consider an exchange such as Q: Is the Earth flat? A: Yes it is. The respondent never mentioned the word "Earth", but his remark is still about the Earth. Precis (talk) 02:46, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

Exactly Precis, you got it right. Those who've argued that "Jews" should be left out are the ones who want "Palestinians" put in. This is called hypocrisy. Fandriampahalamana (talk) 21:24, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

Hi Fan, not only is this not what Precis said, but it's not true. I argued that 'Jews' should be left out (though I no longer hold this position), and I haven't argued that 'Palestinians' should be put in. And anyway, it's not hypocrisy if there is some principled reason for including one and not the other, as seems to be the case with Nableezy (the one can be reliably sourced, the other can't, apparently). 203.45.146.36 (talk) 10:31, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
Are you Nableezy's lawyer? I object to "principled" reasons as it is synonymous with POV. Fandriampahalamana (talk) 16:48, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

‘Principled’ is not synonymous with POV; a principle one might be guided by is NPOV. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 02:42, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

And yes, Precis, I definitely take your point that she made claims about Jews. I no longer think the word 'Jews' should be left out. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 10:38, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

I understand the words you (Precis) suggested to be used but I must object to them based on a whole slew of arguments which I simple don't have the time now to rehash. If someone wants to see what those arguments are just lookup my first 25 comments (now archived) on this talk page. Fandriampahalamana (talk) 21:24, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

Oh come on Fan, just come on! Putting forward a whole bunch of arguments, having a bit of back and forth with someone, then leaving the discussion is not putting paid to the issue! Just putting forward arguments is not enough to justify your revision (especially with my EXPLICIT requests -- plural! -- above to respond to some further issues before making things the way you want them to be) is just not enough. It's just a plainly silly suggestion, Fan. Come on, mate. Seriously. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 10:31, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
I didn't just have a back and forth with someone, I actually clearly explained why certain words put in or left out makes the lead POV. Those arguements still stand and will stand the test of time regardless how many archiving is done. I am not a policeman who needs to be here all the time, especially when I see that others here understand me clearly. Fandriampahalamana (talk) 16:48, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

Oh, I’m sorry, you put forward an argument that will stand the test of time. Well I did too! Come on, Fan, that’s pretty easy to claim – I directly responded to you and you issued no objections. You don’t get to win by just declaring yourself the winner. I found your ‘arguments’ to be horribly confused and that’s the nicest thing I can say about them. As for why, well, that’s in the archive. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 02:42, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

Therefore to solve all POV problems and have the lead clean and neutral, I went along with the using of Thomas's words. I would have preferred a correct interpretation which is clear and based on reliable sources, but seeing that it is not going to happen in an article like this which seems to have very few neutral editors like me, therefore I suggest that only Thomas's words be used and no conjecture be used at all even if it has a reliable source. Using reliable sources that suits one can still be POV pushing and should be unacceptable. Fandriampahalamana (talk) 21:24, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

Nonsense. When she says "these people" it is obviously a reference to the Palestinians. And I provided sources that explicitly say that she was referring to the Palestinians. You can propose to not use reliable sources all you like, but what matters are the policies of this website. And do not accuse others of hypocrisy unless you would like them to critique your editing behavior. And if you did not notice your revert includes "Jews" and excludes "Palestinians". Is that hypocrisy? nableezy - 21:34, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

Hah, Fan, you, neutral? YOU'RE the neutral one? Oh my; as Nab says, just ... oh forget it. My Lord, though, really? 203.45.146.36 (talk) 10:31, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

Yes really, surprise, there are neutrals editors and I count myself among them. Fandriampahalamana (talk) 16:48, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

I know there are neutral editors; it is your inclusion of yourself in that group that surprises me. Your motivations haven’t exactly been hard to glean, Fan. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 02:42, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

It's nice to know that you know already motivations. We'll ask you when we need to know. Fandriampahalamana (talk) 19:37, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
No high ground for you, Fan: you accused others of being NPOV -- my comments (which never actually accused you of being POV, you'll note) came only in the wake of that. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 05:52, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

Anyway, Precis's (*) above is neutral, and you reverted it, so put it back if all you're looking for is neutrality. None of what you say above is any objection to (*). Now, please, do me the courtesy I ask above before you go and make the page how you want it again. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 10:31, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

Like F, I prefer the status quo to (*) in principle, because it succinctly summarizes the "meat of the controversy", as Ironduke put it. But pragmatically, I see a problem of stability. The present selection of quotes tends to inflame those who feel the quotes were taken out of context. To judge from past history, future editors will be continually attempting to tack on mitigating quotes and extra context, and the lead is no place for this. Precis (talk) 00:29, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

Well I don't see that 'the status quo' does succintly summarise the "meat of the controversy," for the reasons I've stated, but anyway you're saying that (*) should be used so I guess I shouldn't argue. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 10:31, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

By the way, I'm changing it back till Fan gives me the courtesy I've given everyone else. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 10:31, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

What courtesy are you talking about? I always clearly explain my edits, always. Fandriampahalamana (talk) 16:48, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

Mmm, that probably was unfair of me; I apologise. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 02:42, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

It's been reverted again, with no explanation, no discussion, no time elapsed, and no consideration given to the various requests made above. This being the case, I shall revert it until someone can finally give me a reason why the shorter version is POV and the longer version isn't; or, at the very least, until some basic standards of courtesy are met by certain gunh-ho editors. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 05:21, 17 July 2010 (UTC)

Ironduke said the reversion was unexplained. Not sure where he's been. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 06:15, 17 July 2010 (UTC)

I don't see you making the case, but perhaps I missed it. Feel free to point it out to me. Oh, and speaking of where I've been, can you say exactly what accounts/IPs you are now or have ever used? It helps to keep track of things. IronDuke 23:03, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

I’ve been making it for a long time. First, see my response to the suggestion that it should be changed in the first place (Fan’s initial change is really the thing that needs to be justified, as it came first; not my reversion to what came before Fan’s changes), in ‘Factual and NPOV suggestion for the lead;’ then ‘ISRAEL should get the hell out of Palestine?;’ and specifically ‘Controversy in lead.’ These are all archived now, because they were left alone by editors for a long time. And I, unlike you, gave people a long time to respond before I made the page how I wanted it to be. No more, I say! Not without the same courtesy in return. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 01:27, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

What exactly needs to be justified? The lead as it stands was not my first choice, as I had made clear numerous times; but it's better then all other suggestions because at least it's NPOV. Again what can be more neutral then Thomas's own words? Her own words, leaves no room for misinterpretation. I find hard to understand any arguments that prefer an ambiguous lead or a controversial one. Fandriampahalamana (talk) 16:48, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

No, but you were the one who initially changed the lead, and that was never justified – not by you or by others since. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 02:42, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

So are as I’m aware, I’ve just been using the one IP address. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 01:27, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

Could you point to a diff or summarize your point, please. Thanks. IronDuke 01:55, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

Yeah, sure. Well the first point is that I'm actually just resisting a change made by, I think, Fan. His arguments for the changes were no good (see archive for elaboration), so until some good argument is made I'm just correcting an unjustified addition.

But the main point (and this is not my own) is that we shouldn’t puts words in Thomas’ mouth. What actually happened is that Thomas was asked a leading question (or, at least, it could be interpreted as such -- and I think it’s only fair that readers get to make their own minds up about that just as we get to do) and she responded. She never said that Jews should go back to Poland, Germany, and America and everywhere else (or that Israel should get the hell out of Palestine). As Precis points out, Thomas' claims were about Jews, but one can less clearly argue that the words of an interviewer should be reported as part of the statement of an interviewee.

In addition, I’ve mentioned that the virtues of the lead I prefer are that it is at the very least correct (she certainly did resign after negative reaction to claims she made about Israel, Jews and Palestine), and that it conforms to wikipedia guidelines (in that it’s a summary of the content – perhaps too summarised, but a summary nonetheless). These virtues, and my criticism of the other suggested lead, have never been successfully challenged (I have had a bit of a back-and-forth with Fan about one of these points, but in the end he left it and the discussion got archived because it was left alone for a fair amount of time).

And look, I’m not saying the above is right, and if you look back at the archive you will see me being very explicit about that. But at the moment the only arguments I’ve heard in response to me are “Epefleeche don’t likey” and the abandoned arguments of Fan. Yet the lead is constantly changed back to the one I criticise, and changed with such haste. I not only give arguments: I wait a fair amount of time for people to respond, to discuss (as is the purpose of this page). Neither of which I can say about those who revert my reversions. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 04:04, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

There’s no such a thing as an abandoned argument, and that's the prime reason for archives, for one to go back and read them. We can't expect every newbie to go read them, but we could expect that from those who are active here for some time. Therefore not being here to answer every comment should not be construed as agreement, especially when other editors are arguing the same self evident rules of upholding all WP rules of neutrality. Fandriampahalamana (talk) 16:48, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

This is just epithets – I’m arguing Wiki rules of neutrality too, and you know it. You may disagree with my arguments; but, as it stands, you haven’t (well, not in a ‘giving reasons’ sense). 203.45.146.36 (talk) 02:42, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

You still have not answered my question. Your lead includes the word "Jews" when Thomas never said that word yet does not include the word "Palestinian". Is that the same hypocrisy you accused others of or not? And if not why not? nableezy - 21:58, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
@.36 (and Nab, a bit). HT's remarks were unequivocally about Jews. It's definitely possible to take a contrary view, but only if you lack an understanding of syntax. What got HT into trouble was not her remarks about Palestinians, but about Jews. That's why it's briefly quoted in the lead (and it takes up very little room). Helps give a great precis of the article. IronDuke 23:09, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
Cmon, you think I dont realize that? We have an editor amongst us who claims it is "hypocrisy" to infer that "these people" is a reference to Palestinians and thus we cannot include "Palestinians" as Thomas never said the word "Palestinians" if we dont include "Jews" (which, oh by the way, my version did). I am inquiring as to why it is not "hypocrisy" to use "Jews" when Thomas never uses the word "Jews" and not include "Palestinians". Perhaps I do this more for my own amusement that any serious concern, but when confronted by such logic I feel compelled to call it out. That and I really dislike being called a hypocrite. nableezy - 23:29, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
Okay, my mistake. IronDuke 23:49, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
Hi Ironduke, I agree with what you say; I am not calling for the abandonment of the word Jews. That is why when I revert the thing, I keep that word. My point is that the article makes an equivocation between assenting to something and saying something. The article claims the former happened when in fact it was the latter. Now you may say that’s not important, but it’s not an idiosyncrasy of mine: lots of people think that’s not a fair equivocation to make – law courts, for instance, strive to avoid leading questions. I think the readers should get to make their mind up over whether or not it matters, just as you and I got to do. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 02:15, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
If people who actually have objections to the above could present them here before rather than after changes are made, that would be appreciated; it would avoid that whole 'reversion-reversion-reversion' back-and-forth that goes on. I may be alone in this, but I find that kind of thing irksome. Thanks 203.45.146.36 (talk) 01:45, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps it is just that you're misreading me; if you think that I want the removal of the word Jews, then perhaps we don't have a disagreement at all. Thanks. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 02:16, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
No idea what any of that means in this context. IronDuke 02:27, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Hi Ironduke, could I get a bit more elaboration? I'll try to spell it out a bit more, but it would be easier if I knew a little bit more about where your confusion lies. You said "HT's remarks were unequivocally about Jews." Right, so I have no problem with saying that she made comments about Jews. I'm saying the sentence should end: "...she made about Israel, Jews and Palestine." So I'm wondering if you actually have a disagreement with me. Perhaps this is to do with the fact that I'm using an IP address rather than a username? Perhaps this is getting me confused with someone else? If so, I again apologise for any confusion I caused; it was not my intent. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 04:06, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Fan says it best below (and you needn't have wondered if I disagreed, I've made it plain). Once again, remarks about Palestinians did not get her in trouble, remarks about jews did. IronDuke 02:16, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
36 here: What Fan says it OR. I know enough about Wikipedia to know that ain't okay. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 05:27, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
Whad'Ya Know? See my comment after your next. Fandriampahalamana (talk) 19:37, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
36, you already know that much about OR? What can I say, I'm kinda blown away by that -- congrats on being such a quick study. Your bald-faced assertion is otherwise meaningless, but good on yer just the same. IronDuke 03:13, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks Ironduke, I appreciate your non-condescending and utterly interesting praise. Anyway, it may have been a bald-faced assertion here, but it's been explained and argued for by others over and over; if you don't agree, if you have some reliable source that confirms what Fan says, put it up. Till this point, no-one has. So please excuse my use of a conclusion that has long-since been argued for. Sorry. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 03:37, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
The sentence should not end with "...she made about Israel, Jews and Palestine", because she did not resign for making a comment about Palestine but for making a comment about the Jews of Israel. Forget about conjecture, the words you suggest is patently untrue; she didn’t resign because of that. Fandriampahalamana (talk) 19:36, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
That's OR. As Precis has pointed out to you numerous times. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 05:27, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
That’s right and that’s why we can’t have it. You're absolutely right that to end with "...she made about ...and Palestine" would be OR. For once we agree. Let's leave it that way. Fandriampahalamana (talk) 19:37, 22 July 2010 (UTC)


The other thing, Fan, which I didn't have time to say yesterday, is that I'm not, nor have I ever, suggested that we claim she retired due to controversy over claims she made about Israel, Jews, and Palestine. I wouldn't say that it's "patently untrue" (I think, in fact, it may indeed be true), but I don't think we should use it as I think it's OR (unless Nab has soundly argued the opposite; I haven't so much been following his debate with you). My sentence is Precis' (*): "...retired following negative reaction to comments she made about Israel, Jews and Palestine." Perhaps you and I could come to an agreement, then -- what if I stopped arguing the use of the word 'Palestine' in that lead? I wouldn't mind having the sentence be "...retired following negative reaction to comments she made about Israel and Jews." This sentence may or may not be POV (I'll leave that to Nab, for the moment -- he seems to be pretty good, and I don't think he'd need a dolt like me to be 'his lawyer'), but at least it's not misrepresenting the facts. I shouldn't accuse you of ignoring my argument that the current lead (which 'uses her words') is a misrepresentation of what happened, but at least you've not made any objection to it the various times I've put it forward. I know both you and Epefleeche do want to use her words in the intro, and prima facie I have no objection to that (as I've said in an archived part of this page); it's just that I think the current wording is unfair (for the reasons I've put forward that no-one has taken issue with). So perhaps dropping the word Palestine, leaving out OR about why she retired, and not using her exact words in a confusing way, would take into account all of our issues? That is, perhaps we could agree on this as a compromise: "Thomas retired on June 7, 2010, following negative reactions to comments she made and Israel and Jews"? Not that I think chucking in the word 'Palestine' would be POV or OR (as I'm making no claim whatsoever about why she retired), but I'm not married to the word. What I'm married to is not misrepresenting what actually happened. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 06:35, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
If people who actually have objections to the above could present them here before rather than after changes are made, that would be appreciated; it would avoid that whole 'reversion-reversion-reversion' back-and-forth that goes on. I may be alone in this, but I find that kind of thing irksome. Thanks 203.45.146.36 (talk) 01:39, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
To Nableezy, I did not claim that it is "hypocrisy" to infer that "these people" is a reference to Palestinians; no that is definitely not hypocrisy; what is hypocrisy, is to infer that "these people" is a reference to Palestinians but not to infer that "tell them" means Jews and Israelis. It is hypocrisy to infer that "these people" is a reference to Palestinians but not to infer that "they go home" means the Jews and Israelis. It is sheer hypocrisy to infer that "these people" is a reference to Palestinians but in her answer to Nesenoff who asked her "so you're saying the Jews go back to Poland and Germany?" and she responded "and America and everywhere else" - that she wasn’t referring to Jews in Israel. Nableezy I didn’t mean necessarily you, but anyone who infers the one you inferred but won’t infer the other, is engaging in hypocrisy. Therefore to solve all these problems, Thomas’s words should be used without any qualifiers so that they can’t be misinterpreted. Why would anyone want a vague and an ambiguous lead when they can have a clear one? Fandriampahalamana (talk) 19:36, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
The "tell them" was in response to "any comments about Israel", the them refers to Israel, perhaps Israelis. But if you insist on using only her own words then perhaps you should remove the word "Jews" from 'and Jews should go back to "Poland. Germany.... and America and everywhere else.' as she never said the word "Jews". nableezy - 21:06, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
But she echoed it: (Nesenoff: So you're saying the Jews go back to Poland and Germany? Thomas: And America and everywhere else.) It doesn't belong in quotation marks, but is the clear reference of her comments. That's non-conjectural. Hertz1888 (talk) 21:17, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Sure, but "these people" is also an unambiguous reference to the Palestinians. nableezy - 21:22, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Not quite comparable or parallel, though, is it, as that word is never stated by either party in the conversation. Hertz1888 (talk) 21:29, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Then why did her apology reference comments "regarding the Israelis and the Palestinians"? nableezy - 21:31, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Who knows? I'm not a mind-reader, nor privy to her motives. You are being interpretive. The lead concerns the original comments and needs to focus on their inherent content. Hertz1888 (talk) 22:02, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
there are a number of sources that specifically say the comment about "these people are living under occupation" was a reference to the Palestinians. It is self-evident that line is a reference to the Palestinians, in fact it is so obvious that it takes real effort to not see that. nableezy - 22:15, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
And there are a number of sources that specifically say that she meant Jews and Israelis with her comment "Tell them" yet you weren't sure that she meant Israelis; in your words at 21:06 "perhaps Israelis". So why are you so sure here that she meant "Palestinians" and want to place it in the lead? It should take you at least as much effort to jump to this conclusion like the one you were afraid of and used a "perhaps". We can't write articles with any "perhaps" because it is conjecture and injecting our understanding into her words. Fandriampahalamana (talk) 22:43, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Nableezy, her apology was written by a professional damage contol writer, but her coments were said by her. We can't use the words written later for her in an apology to conjecture what she meant in her comments. I think it's simple. Fandriampahalamana (talk) 22:07, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

Nableezy I concur with Hertz who said what I wanted to say, but I had already prepared a line by line analysis so here it is.

If you can remove the word "Jews" and the statement would still make sense then it's fine with me. If some words need to be added for clarity they should not be based on conjecture.

"Tell them" means "Israel" (like you said) as the question was: "any comments on Israel"? Using our words "Israelis" or "Jews" would be conjecture.

"These people" means "the people of Palestine" because she is continuing her comment about Israel getting out of Palestine. Using our words “Arabs” or “Palestinians” would be conjecture.

“They go home” means “Israelis” or “Jews” as only people can go. Israel a country cannot go anywhere. Using our words “Israelis” or “Jews” would be conjecture except that in the next exchange it becomes clear that Thomas means “Jews” (like Hertz said).

In that exchange Nesenoff asks her: “So you're saying the Jews go back to Poland and Germany”? To which she answers: “And America and everywhere else”, so she is clearly saying that “Jews go back to Poland and Germany and America and everywhere else but Palestine” So using “Jews” would not be conjecture.

Lastly, Thomas says “Why push people out of there”? Here she clearly means the people who have lived in Palestine and she surely doesn’t mean the Jews but the Arabs, so maybe “Arabs” can be used even if she didn’t say it, but using “Palestinians” would already be pure conjecture. I think it’s pretty clear. Fandriampahalamana (talk) 21:54, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

"These people" is a reference to those "living under occupation". There is no ambiguity there. And sources say she was talking about the Palestinians, I already provided two, including a piece in ynet. nableezy - 22:15, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
In a previous comment of yours at 21:06 you write that: "The "tell them" was in response to "any comments about Israel", the them refers to Israel, perhaps Israelis". So to you it is "perhaps" Israelis, and you aren't definitely sure. Here she is speaking about people living there before, which in context she cannot mean the Jews living there before, therefore we must assume that she means "Arabs"; but that's still far less conjecture then using "Palestinians". And besides she never uses those words nor responds to others using it unlike her response to Nesenoff that Jews go back to Poland and Germany and America and everywhere else. So using "Jews" would not be conjecture but using "Palestinians" would. We can't inject our understandings into her words because that would be conjecture. Fandriampahalamana (talk) 22:28, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
The reason I express ambivalence about whether "tell them" is a reference to Israel or the Israelis is because the usage of them could conceivably be directed at the state, "tell Israel to get the hell out of Palestine", or the people, "tell the Israelis to get the hell out of Palestine". The usage of "people" in "these people" removes any ambiguity as to what "these" could refer to in "these people", it has to be a reference to a set of people. Besides that, there are reliable sources that say "these people" was a reference to the Palestinians. With that your argument about "inject[ing] our understandings" is moot, it is no longer simply "[my] understanding", it is something reported by numerous reliable sources. nableezy - 23:49, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Let me remind you. I said: "what is hypocrisy, is to infer that 'these people' is a reference to Palestinians but not to infer that 'tell them' means Jews and Israelis"; to which you said: "The 'tell them' was in response to 'any comments about Israel', the them refers to Israel, perhaps Israelis".
The complete quote from Thomas is that: "tell them to get out of Palestine", meaning that she doesn’t recognize Israel (therefore calling it Palestine, even though he asked her about Israel), nor does she recognize the right of any Jews living there, telling them to get out. In case we aren’t sure that she meant that the Jews should get out, it becomes clear when she answers Nesonoff’s question: "So you're saying the Jews go back to Poland and Germany"? To which she responds: "and America and everywhere else", so she has made it clear that she means the Jews to get out. All this is clear from the direct exchange and words used, and no conjecture is needed to use "Israel" or "Jews". But to use "Israelis" which wasn’t used in the conversation would already be conjecturing and even you admitted to that when you said "perhaps Israelis", showing that you weren’t really sure, not withstanding you now saying that you were sure but said "perhaps" anyway because you meant that you weren't sure if she meant Israel the state or Israelis the people.
Similarly to "Israelis" not used in their exchange, "Palestinians" was also not used, and we would need an interpretation to say that when she said "these people" she didn’t mean "Arabs" (the equivalent of "Jews") but meant "Palestinians" (the equivalent of "Israelis"). If Israelis is a "perhaps" then "Palestinians" is an even bigger "perhaps", so using it would be taking it a little too far by using conjecture. Besides, that from the last part of their exchange it becomes clear what she meant by "these people" that she meant the "Arabs"; because she refers to them as people "who have lived there for centuries" clearly meaning the "Arabs". To suggest that she meant that Palestinians as opposed to Arabs were living there for centuries would be putting words into her mouth and conjecture and we can't assume anything, but use what we have.
To sum it all up, "Israel" and "Jews" can be used, because it is not conjecture. "Palestine" can be used because it is not conjecture. "Israelis" and "Palestinians" cannot be used, because it would be conjecture. "Arabs" although not explicit in the exchange, can probably be used and I would not object to it.
I hope this is abundantly clear by now to everyone (what is conjecture and what is not conjecture) and we don’t have to rehash this over and over after being archived. Let's use her own words and not add any needless conjecture. Fandriampahalamana (talk) 16:38, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
I won't take issue with anything you said above except the very last bit -- you say "Let's use her own words..." I'm fine with that in certain circumstances, but the way her own words are used in the current lead is unfair for the reasons I have said so many times and which no-one has taken issue with. I mean, it wouldn't be okay to say: 'Thomas retired after having intercourse with an elephant and saying "tell them to get the hell out of Israel"' -- at the least, that's not justified by the dictum "use her own words." It's not her own words that I object to, it's the bit that's not in quote-marks. And I don't think we could use her words and get a fair representation of what actually happened without making the lead unduly lengthy; but anyway, if one must use her own words (not sure why, when her words are in the article and we can have a clearly non-conjectural lead that doesn't have her words), then I'd prefer the bulky thing to the inaccurate thing. That's all I'm saying. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 06:45, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
If people who actually have objections to the above could present them here before rather than after changes are made, that would be appreciated; it would avoid that whole 'reversion-reversion-reversion' back-and-forth that goes on. I may be alone in this, but I find that kind of thing irksome. Thanks 203.45.146.36 (talk) 01:42, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
I think your hypothetical is possibly insulting, and I would advise you to rephrase, given that this is a BLP. Other than that, can't see what point you're maiking. IronDuke 03:14, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
Um, I can't see how it's insulting, as I'm not saying anything about her whatsoever. But whatever, it doesn't matter, I won't say it again, other examples will suffice (if any are indeed needed) -- please elaborate on what about my point you don't understand. I have said it quite a few times in quite a few ways, and until I understand what you're stuck on I will be stabbing in the dark trying to rephrase it in a way that accounts for the bit you don't follow. Thanks 203.45.146.36 (talk) 03:31, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
THe most explicit phrasing of my point that I have given to you so far is, I think, "My point is that the article makes an equivocation between assenting to something and saying something. The article claims the latter happened when in fact it was the former. Now you may say that’s not important, but it’s not an idiosyncrasy of mine: lots of people think that’s not a fair equivocation to make – law courts, for instance, strive to avoid leading questions. I think the readers should get to make their mind up over whether or not it matters, just as you and I got to do." So just go through it and tell me what you don't follow. Thanks. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 03:41, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
I do indeed say it isn't important. You are quite correct when you say that "law courts... strive to avoid leading questions" if by "law courts" you imply "on TV and in movies." In real courts "leading" questions are asked as a matter of course. This has, of course, not a particle to do with Wikipedia policy, or even common sense, for that matter. I also emphatically agree with you that readers should always - must always -- make up their own minds, and that being a complete non sequitur here dims my enthusiastic agreement not at all. IronDuke 23:14, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Hi Ironduke, you say: "You are quite correct when you say that "law courts... strive to avoid leading questions" if by "law courts" you imply "on TV and in movies."" Hah, well that's a fair point, I did oversimplify the issue; but again I think you're making too much of the example and not focussing on the merits of what it was an example of. So, okay, you don't like my 'for instance' (for whatever reason). But that was just a 'for instance' -- do you disagree with the rest? That is, do you disagree with: "[To think that there's an important difference between answering a leading question and making a statement] is not an idiosyncrasy of mine: lots of people think that’s not a fair equivocation to make"?
As for whether it has a 'particle' to do with wikipedia policy, well we don't want to misrepresent the facts, do we? Especially when such a misrepresentation would influence a reader's opinion? If the reader is like me (and, perhaps, unlike the law courts) and does think that there is an important difference between answering a leading question and making a statement, then saying that the one happened when the other actually happened would influence the reader's opinion, right? And surely we don't want to do that? 203.45.146.36 (talk) 10:54, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I believe you making a classic distinction without a difference. If you can find a good RS who thinks the hair-splitting is notable, please quote them in the body of the article. I do not believe--see no evidence--that the reader’s opinion will be affected in the way that you indicate it will. IronDuke 18:54, 31 July 2010 (UTC)
Okay, so you believe I am making a 'classic distinction without a difference.' I take it you mean by that that you don't think there is an important difference between answering a leading question and making a statement? That's okay, that's up to you. But if lots of readers would, then we shouldn't misrepresent the facts in a way that would influence those readers' opinions, right? I mean I can take that premiss as red, no?
Right, so, let's just see what's left. You agree that an equivocation is being made between answering a leading question and saying something, yes? It seems you're saying that the distinction is there but it's just irrelevant. And okay, it's your prerogative to say that it's irrelevant, I'm just trying to get it clear where our disagreement lies. I mean, you could disagree with this and the above, but I take it from what you said that you don't. In any case, it's best to get the premisses separated; it helps for clarity.
So I think we're stuck on whether or not the reader would think that there's an important difference between answering a leading question and making a statement. Perhaps you as the reader wouldn't give it a second thought (I, on the other hand, sure as shit do -- I don't think she meant 'Jews' and I think it in part because she never used the word (I think if she had have come up with the phrasing herself she wouldn't have used Jews as I'm guessing she's well aware that some Jews in Israel/Palestine can't 'go back' to wherever they came from as they/their family never left that area); and I also know I'm more likely to fail to instantly see the implications of certain phrasings when the phrasings aren't my own), but you're not necessarily 'the reader.' Now, obviously, there are lots of readers and we can't pander to the lowest common denominator (or maybe we should?), but if there are a significant number of potential readers who would have their opinion skewed by our wording in this article then (if you agree to the above two premisses) we'd want to avoid that.
Let me try the old 'premiss-conclusion' thing so it's easier to see what's going on in my argument:
1) The article shouldn’t misrepresent the facts in a way that will influence the reader’s opinion.
2) 'The reader' is someone whose opinion is influenced by an equivocation between answering a leading question and making statement.
3) The article makes an equivocation between answering a leading question and making a statement.
4) Therefore, the article shouldn’t make an equivocation between answering a leading question and making a statement.
──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I think that's valid. Now, I'm fully aware that I haven't given an argument whatsoever for 2) -- I had just assumed it was common knowledge. But what type/degree of evidence for 2) would be satisfactory for you? Obviously, 'the reader' shouldn't just be one weird guy (or could it, according to wikipedia policy?), it should be a significant number of people. So any source I find should say that a lot or a significant number of people place importance on the distinction between answering a leading question and making a statement. And obviously the source should be reliable -- perhaps a noted psychologist, or anthropologist, or something from a reputable anthropological journal, or perhaps the regular ol' reliable periodicals would do? And you probably don't want one source: one person can make a mistake. Two, three such reliable sources? I know that people don't often give more than this, but because of your scepticism perhaps you'd want more? I don't know -- you tell me.
Note, though, that the above argument doesn't call for a reliable source to say that there is an important difference between answering a leading question and making a statement in this particular case. But that's okay: if someone says it's always important, that will apply to this particular case (in that this case is a particular of that generalisation). I hope you can concur with that.
Anyway, as I'm lazy, I've not yet looked up if such sources exist to justify 2), so I'm not making up conditions that I know I can satisfy. In fact, I think it's quite conceivable that even if such sources exist I will be too lazy to put in the requisite effort to find them. I had hoped that you'd just know 2) to be true as I think I know it to be true, so this is a sticking point for me. But can we agree that if I do find the sources, you'll leave it alone; and if I don't find the sources, I'll leave it alone? Of course, you can doubt the applicability of my sources -- I may say that source x justifies y because of obvious implications in the source (which was the issue with Fan's sources, if I remember correctly). Then of course you should argue with me and I'd do it for you if you didn't! But can we agree that if I do get clearly applicable reliable sources then that that would settle the issue, and if I can't then that would also settle the issue too? Thanks for your time, 203.45.146.36 (talk) 01:25, 1 August 2010 (UTC)
Also, could you perhaps explain why there is no onus on you to show that people’s opinions won’t be influenced by this misrepresentation of facts? Why ought we not err on the side of caution and not misrepresent facts unless it is proven that such a misrepresentation won’t influence a reader’s opinion? Just curious. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 00:02, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
For someone who self-indentifies as lazy, you sure put a lot of effort into your talk post. Perhaps you could direct it towards actually getting useful sources?
Heh. Didn't see this before. I don't want to say that's not a good point -- it probably is. I'm not sure what to say to it. Let me try and explain what may be the case. Perhaps I was being a little too unfair on myself: I think I just characterised myself as 'lazy' because I kind of like pejoratives. If I was to be more accurate, I'd probably say that what's really causing me to avoid the Google-research thing is a desire (met or not) to be cautious. Basically, because my points on this page are more 'procedural' it doesn't require me to be an HT scholar or an Arab/Israeli expert or a US governance enthusiast -- it just requires that I apply a little bit of philosophical nouse to what other people have said. It requires, if you will, a 'transferable skill' -- whether I'm writing a Masters on the Philosophy of Science or critiquing an argument that assumes two mutually inclusive sentences are mutually exclusive, the same type of thought-processes are required. But the type of research you call for in the section below is, in my opinion, all too easy to be flippant about. I don't consider myself (despite what people may think about me being a POV editor -- check out my edit history, I'm hardly someone who gives a damn about Arab/Israeli affairs or anything of the sort) well enough versed in the issue to do a more-than-cursory examination of the evidence on offer, and I'm worried that any actual expert (not wiki-editor, mind; the bar for which is exceptionally low) would consider even a considerable effort on my part 'cursory' in the context of such a large debate. I could spend hours, or days, or weeks, on the internet, and my fear is that I would still have the type of knowledge that the writer I'm objecting to has; that is, not enough. I have no such fear of pointing out where others have gone wrong if all that is required is to read what they have written and analyse it in a logical manner. So that might explain why I put effort into the one task and not the other; although, 'laziness' sounds funnier. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 02:07, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
Yes! At last we begin to agree. By your own admission, you know virtually nothing about I-P affairs or Helen Thomas, your knowledge is "cursory." Also, by your actions you do not understand WP policy at all. So you should probably... wait... I'm reading your post agin. You are offering something, and that's a"philosophical nouse" combined with an unnamed "transferable skill." If that doesn't smash my reliance on WP policy and reliable sources, I don't know what will. IronDuke 03:35, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
This is just boring attempts at ridicule. Do you have anything worthwhile to say, Ironduke? Surely you can understand that someone may say: "Source x says y. If y, then z. Therefore B" and you don't need to know a jot about what x, y, z and B are to say that's just not a good arugment.
If all you've got to offer is ridiculous attempts at ridicule that have no bearing on the issues raised whatsoever, then please leave the editing to those of us with 'philosophical nouse.' 203.45.146.36 (talk) 03:52, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
I also love the implication here that you are a I-P expert. What journals have you published in? Where do you teach? Priceless. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 08:37, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
"1) The article shouldn’t misrepresent the facts in a way that will influence the reader’s opinion."
  • Wrong. The article shouldn’t misrepresent the facts at all, full stop.
"2) 'The reader' is someone whose opinion is influenced by an equivocation between answering a leading question and making statement."
  • Um, what? I don't know what the reader is influenced by. I see no equivocation (because there is none).
"3) The article makes an equivocation between answering a leading question and making a statement."
  • No.
"4) Therefore, the article shouldn’t make an equivocation between answering a leading question and making a statement."
  • No.
I would welcome you doing anthropological research into the ways on which humans perceive things, but it would be OR in this article. If you have anything specific to HT, I am all ears. Otherwise, don't trouble yourself.
And by the way, the whole "leading question" thing is a red herring anyway. It wasn't leading, it was simply a question. One which she answered. I don't know how else he could have asked it. And it doesn't matter, we're not on TV. You have no case, counselor. IronDuke 00:53, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
1) Okay, good.
2) That's something I said I hadn't yet argued for.
3) Oh, well, that's interesting. Okay, so that's what this is turning on then. I had thought it was 2, but given your response to 1), 2) is irrelevant, so it's really 3) that's in contention. Well it was good to sort that out.
Now, why was it you don't agree with 3)? Because you think that it wasn't a leading question she was asked? Well what would a leading question be to you? As for how else he could have asked it, well I don't see why that's relevant; even if there is no non-leading alternative to some leading question x this does not automatically mean that x is not a leading question. That would certainly be an interesting definition of a leading question!
Actually, thinking about it, 3) doesn't even matter given your response to 1), I think. We are most definitely misrepreseting the facts in the lead: we are saying she said something she didn't say. Now maybe it's irrelevant and maybe it's hair-splitting but the facts are not being accurately reported. She did not say for Jews to go back to wherever they came from; she didn't say Jews at all and I know you don't care and I know she assented to the use but it's plain as the nose on your face that she actually didn't say the word Jews even if that's irrelevant and doesn't matter and what-have-you.
So surely you have no legs to stand on. If you really mean your response to 1) and you know that she didn't actually say the word 'Jews' then on what grounds are you telling me to not make a change of some sort?
Just a quick PS: You say: "I would welcome you doing anthropological research into the ways on which humans perceive things, but it would be OR in this article." But I never talked about doing my own research, I talked about finding reliable sources for what I claim to be an anthropolgical fact. You also say, "If you have anything specific to HT, I am all ears. Otherwise, don't trouble yourself." But why can't you understand the concept of HT being a particular of a generalisation? Anyway, these things don't matter now as 2) isn't what troubles you, but still. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 04:47, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
You aren't getting this. Your thoughts about it possibly being a leading question are irrelevant. My refutation of your thoughts is equally irrelevant. You seem not to understand what WP:OR is. If you can find a RS that feels as you do about this specific case, go to it. Otherwise, the issue is dead. IronDuke 01:42, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
I'm not getting it because you're not making a whole bunch of sense, unfortunately. Look, first, given your response to 1), it doesn't matter whether it was a leading question or not -- all that matters is that the facts are not being accurately reported, whether it's a hair-splitting difference or a difference of great magnitude. You said that we should never misrepresent the facts; which would include facts which are less than a hair's breadth apart as well as facts that are more than a hair's breadth apart. You've admitted there's a hair-splitting difference so (given your response to 1) I'd agree that "the issue is dead."
Also, not that it matters given what you've already admitted, but why do you fail understand how generalisations apply to all specific cases? The phrase "All X's are Ys" applies to all x's; why would I need to find a phrase that relates only to a given x?
Beyond this, don't you see what a crazy precedent you'd be starting? If we have a wikipedia article that says "Thomas flew on rainbows and retired on June 7," and based this on (in an editor's opinion) there being only a hair-splitting difference between flying on rainbows and making the comments Thomas made, the rule 'Find a reliable source that says in this case flying on rainbows and making the comments Thomas made are not to be equated' is what you'd be asking for. Or, more generally, I guess the rule your appealing to would be, "If a wikipedia article makes an equivocation you think is crazy, you need to find a reliable source that says this particular equivocation is crazy.' If that's not your rule, then please rephrase it in a way that you are comfortable with. If it is your rule, Wikipedia would almost undoubtedly be allowed to say that "Thomas flew on rainbows and retired on June 7" as it is very unlikely a reliable source is ever going to write something so specific to a random wikipedia line. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 02:43, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
Okay, Ironduke, I've acquiesced to your insistence on sources. Here, check this out: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/06/us/politics/06endowment.html?_r=1&hp. I will conclude from this that in that the lead in the Thomas article should be changed to read how I've been arguing it should read. Now please don't object to this based on the fact that I'm drawing a ridiculous conclusion from the info in the source -- that would be using 'philosophical nouse.' No, what you need is a source that says explicitly that in this case this is the wrong conclusion to draw from the evidence given. This is not a charicature of your position, Ironduke; this is your position. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 07:32, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
Thanks so much for finally getting a source. As I read it, I'm seeing an article about Charlie Rangel. What is it I'm missing? IronDuke 17:07, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
Well, I think there's less than a hair's breadth of a difference between "Nearly a dozen current or former lawmakers have been honored by university endowments financed in part by corporations with business before Congress" and "The lead in the wikipedia article on Helen Thomas makes an unfair equivocation between answering a question and making a statement." If you disagree with this, please don't just show how my argument from the evidence to the conclusion is invalid or unsound -- that would be using 'philosophical nouse.' No, what you must find is a reliabe source that says I'm drawing the wrong conclusion in this particular case. If this sounds absurd -- well. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 23:31, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
What you are saying is. literally, nonsensical. I can derive no rhyme or reason for it. You've got to sharpen your points. I may be partly to blame here, in that I am encouraging you, but... part of me is just so curious. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to your talk posts at all. I'm trying to get enogh confirmation of that to finally ignore your posts once and for all, or get some sense you have an actual point. Willing to go either way. IronDuke 03:14, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
I agree that it is nonsensical. I am following your rules. You can regard this as what is sometimes known as a reductio ad absurdum. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 04:22, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
Okay, you're just wasting my time now. IronDuke 20:14, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
No, Ironduke -- as you have merely resorted to absurd statements and bland attempts at ridicule, and as I have not only followed your own outrageous rules but also given good justifications for my position, it is you who are wasting my time. Nevertheless, you will undoubtedly fail to realise what has been made plain to you many a time, so I will continue to seek your approval/acquiesence for any changes that need to be made. So please read the latter four sentences of my last post to you (that is, the post directly below this one). 203.45.146.36 (talk) 00:35, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
As much as you keep shooting yourself in the foot, I realise you will probably never be aware of this so I'll still need to get approval from you for any changes that are necessary (despite the relative merits of what we're each saying). So, I direct you to the bottom of this section to see my new suggestion for lead. From what you've previously said, you'll probably contend that my new lead says the same thing as the current lead, so hopefully you'll have no objections to it. And in addition, it's an accurate lead. So, hopefully, wins all round. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 04:39, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
To quote your own great self, Ironduke: "Okay. I'm going to take your refusal/silence on this subject as an admission that you are (possibly very much) in the wrong here. I have no desire to prolong this interaction so, going forward, I'm going to overlook this post of yours, and what may have prompted it, with the expectation that you will not come calling at my talk page, or follow me to pages you have no obvious interest in. I will take your continued silence as consent." 203.45.146.36 (talk) 09:41, 14 August 2010 (UTC)
Hi everyone, been away but am back now. I see that our friend "203.45.146.36" is dying to make changes, and is asking me to explain my position before the 'reversion-reversion-reversion back-and-forth' starts.
My position was made clear in the numerous above arguments (and the archived ones) that I would have preferred a "... resigned due to outrage over her comments about Israel" for which I have already brought numerous times the RS's stating so. But due to the need of some to water it all down by making vocabulary summersaults and insist on the un-grammarly "negative reaction" which won't tell the reader the truth why she resigned, therefore I’m left with no choice but to go with the second best option which uses Thomas's own words which will then make it clear as day to the reader why she resigned. I don't think that my word by word analysis above needs to be rehashed once again.
In short, the sentence should not end with "...she made about Israel, Jews and Palestine", because she did not resign for making comments about Palestine but for making comments about Israel. Simple as pie.
Using her own words seems to be the best way to go because it leaves no room for misinterpretation. Why would anyone want a vague and an ambiguous lead when they can have a clear one? If we can’t agree on our words (based on RS’s of course) then we have no choice but to use her own words, which is as NPOV as can be. Fandriampahalamana (talk) 21:21, 27 July 2010 (UTC)


Fan, it's great you are responding and attempting to give reasons for you position, but please, don't ignore what I've said again. It's simply not enough to state what you said in the beginning when people have responded to you, given objections and proposed their own questions. In your next response, please try to take into account what I actually say. Otherwise I will have to assume that you are not really partaking in a discussion, but are simply being stubborn. I don't want to assume this, so prove me wrong :)
Okay, so, first, you know by now that the sentence I'm referring to when I say 'We should use the sentence that ends in "...she made about Israel, Jews and Palestine"' is in full "Thomas retired on June 7, 2010, following negative reactions to comments she made about Israel, Jews and Palestine." This sentence makes no claims whatsoever about WHY she retired, so your objection that she retired because of this/that doesn't show this sentence to be wrong or flawed in any way. It's entirely possible that you're right about why she retired but that my sentence is entirely correct also because one does not contradict the other! You must address this if the debate is to go forward; otherwise you will simply fail to take account of the objection made to you.
You say that using her own words is as NPOV as can be, and yet you know this is too simplistic a statement. You also know that, in this case, I have argued that this particular use of her words is misleading and misrepresents the facts. I would rehash my piont here if it was archived, but it is actually stated a number of times in this exact section. So please respond to that, too, or at least mention to pretend like you're actually reading replies.
So please, respond to my allegations that your initial argument against my lead just don't work, and respond to my argument that the current lead is no good. I'm not 'dying to make changes,' I'm just 'dying' to actually figure out what we should go with and not responding to what I've said doesn't help that cause. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 10:21, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
What I think you’re missing, Fan, and what I think is leading to all your posts, is that I’m not asking you to explain your position (I knew what that was a long time ago and have long since given responses/objections to it), I’m asking you/anyone to explain what problems they have with what I’ve said. This is an important point as a recognition of it on your behalf would hopefully help us to further the debate rather than constantly re-set it to when the objections to you had not been posted. I really do think that, after all this time, we should be able to further the debate, and actually saying how/why I'm wrong (or even right) is really the only way to do that. Sorry if that sounds snide, I don't mean it to be, I just really hope that we can move beyond where we've been for a good long while now. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 11:10, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
There is no point in not quoting her. She wasn’t misquoted, it hasn’t been taken out of context. The only possible rationale to avoid the quote would be to try to protect HT, and we don’t do that here on an issue this big regarding a person this notable. IronDuke 18:55, 31 July 2010 (UTC)
──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Well that would depend on our argument above. Let's leave conclusions about 'the only possible rationale' until we're sure about that. I absolutely and totally disagree with you as I have no intention whatsoever of protecting HT except from unfairness and POV editing. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 01:25, 1 August 2010 (UTC)
She was not misquoted. There is nothing else to say. IronDuke 00:55, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
Come on Ironduke you have to understand that's not all there is to say. Someone can be accurately quoted and yet the bits outside the quotes (the bits that as a matter of fact comprise the majority of most, if not all, articles on Wikipedia) be false. Let's just have our conversation above because this thread right here is getting a bit ludicrous. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 04:47, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
Are you a wealthy individual, .36? The reason I ask is because you're going to have to start paying for my time pretty soon. I already obviated your point about "bits outside quotes." The quote was not out of context. Your opinion that it was is of no relevance; you must demonstrate it with sources -- for starters. IronDuke 01:45, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
And are you wealthy, Ironduke? The reason that I ask is because you're going to have to start paying me for my time pretty soon. Playlet time:
YOU: "The earth is flat."
ME: "Oh, why do you say that?"
YOU: "Here, take a look at my arguments."
ME: "Oh, I see; they're kinda shit, Ironduke. Here's why."
YOU: "Oh, um ... gotta run! Anyway keep the page how I want iiiiiitt......." [He says while running into the distance].
ME: "What a strange man."
As for "I already obviated your point about "bits outside quotes."" Um, fine, so you disagree with the statement: "She was not misquoted. There is nothing else to say." I disagree too! 203.45.146.36 (talk) 02:43, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
Like you last point best. It's almost Dadaist. You don't understand what's going on! Fun and laughs and scads of wasted time for all!
ME: "The earth is flat."
YOU: "Oh, why do you say that?"
ME: "I have lots of good sources which back me up."
YOU: "Oh, yes, but I have a philosophical nouse, don't you know. Not that easy to come by."
ME: "I daresy you're right. Did you have any sources to contradict me, though?" [He says while hoping this well-meaning person will actually start to pay attention].
YOU: "What part of 'philosophical nouse' do you not understand?"
ME: <Nods, backs away slowly, gets back to actual work.> IronDuke 03:42, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
Oh, oh, I don't understand?!?! Oh, brilliant, oh man, thanks for the contribution! Oh and I see -- all you need is sources! Doesn't matter how the fuck you use them? Well now I get it! Wikipedia is awesome!
Come on dude, if this is all you're gonna do, leave it alone, eh? If you know you're caught and you have nothing left to say to the arguments presented, then just leave it be and no-one has to mention it again. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 04:02, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
I suppose I should have followed my first instinct, which was that having a discussion with you would be a waste of time. My second instinct is that you’ll get bored eventually and wander away, which I may end up precipitating by declining further parley. For the final time (I hope), if you have no real work to contribute, and no understanding of WP policy, I’m not interested in having my work challenged by you. IronDuke 22:48, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
Now this is just absurd. I challenged you that you are putting forth such a strong criterion for deletion that almost nothing could be deleted; I explained how your diatribes on sources give no credence to how those sources are applied; and I took just two of the things that you admitted to be true and have shown how they in themselves lead to a conclusion I was arguing for. You have said nothing to discredit any of these things. You have not objected to them a wit. You have not even attempted. All you have offered me is arrogance that you are right. But arrogance is easy, Ironduke. If, in your opinion, all it takes to be the arbiter of this debate is the kind of pretension above, then:
'Arguing with you is a waste of time. I hope you'll get bored eventually and wander away. For the final time (I hope), if you have no real work to contribute (note: 'I don't like you' is not real work), and do not object to any of the charges above, I'm not interested in anything you have to say.'
Well, that was easy. Do I win too, Ironduke? 203.45.146.36 (talk) 23:46, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
Okay, Ironduke, I've acquiesced to your insistence on sources. Here, check this out: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/06/us/politics/06endowment.html?_r=1&hp. I will conclude from this that in that the lead in the Thomas article should be changed to read how I've been arguing it should read. Now please don't object to this based on the fact that I'm drawing a ridiculous conclusion from the info in the source -- that would be using 'philosophical nouse.' No, what you need is a source that says explicitly that in this case this is the wrong conclusion to draw from the evidence given. This is not a charicature of your position, Ironduke; this is your position. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 07:32, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
To quote your own great self, Ironduke: "Okay. I'm going to take your refusal/silence on this subject as an admission that you are (possibly very much) in the wrong here. I have no desire to prolong this interaction so, going forward, I'm going to overlook this post of yours, and what may have prompted it, with the expectation that you will not come calling at my talk page, or follow me to pages you have no obvious interest in. I will take your continued silence as consent." 203.45.146.36 (talk) 09:41, 14 August 2010 (UTC)
Don't understand. Which bits outside the quotes don't you like; and to what do you want them changed? Fandriampahalamana (talk) 19:39, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
Fan, read above. If it was archived I would re-state it here, but it's in my last reply to you in this very section so I hope it's okay if I just point you towards that. Thanks, 203.45.146.36 (talk) 00:21, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

I went back and read what you wrote. You say that using her own words the way it is currently used is like saying that: 'Thomas retired after having intercourse with an elephant and saying "tell them to get the hell out of Israel"'.

I don’t know how you try to compare simple understandable words that the media used to something totally out in left field about "intercourse with an elephant", that’s why I ask you what exactly don’t you like in it?

You say that you don't think we could use her words and get a fair representation of what actually happened without making the lead unduly lengthy. First, I don’t understand why we can’t get a fair representation as is; it’s not complicated at all. She wasn’t vague but clearly stated her views on Israel as clear as can be. Second if you feel that it must be lengthy to give it a fair representation in your eyes, then that’s fine with me, make it as long as you want, but please no conjecture; conjecture that is in your eyes fair representation will not be fair representation in the eyes of those who hold different views then you.

You say that you’re not sure why we must use her own words when we can have a clearly non-conjectural lead that doesn't have her words. That’s exactly the point that we CANNOT have a non-conjectural lead without her words, because both point of views will fight forever over which non-conjectural words should be used. The only pure NPOV option we have left is to use her own words, clear words which cannot be misinterpreted only by omitting them and using phony non-conjecture in its place.

You say that the lead should say that: "Thomas retired on June 7, 2010, following negative reactions to comments she made about Israel, Jews and Palestine”, although you know full well that she didn’t resign because of making comments about Palestine. If you’re going to tell me that you do believe so, then bring proof to why you believe so, and more importantly as to why you think that we should incorporate that belief in the lead.

Lastly you object to the bits that’s not in the quote-marks. Which bits don’t you like; and to what do you want them changed? Fandriampahalamana (talk) 17:07, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

Hi Fan, thank you for taking the time to respond, truly. I also thank you for the tone of your response, and I only hope that mine matches the respectfulness you displayed towards me. To answer your questions, then:
1) “I don’t know how you try to compare simple understandable words that the media used to something totally out in left field about "intercourse with an elephant", that’s why I ask you what exactly don’t you like in it?”
Well I’m not actually comparing the two statements, as such; I’m comparing the evidential basis of both. The suggestion (made by you, I think) was that the whole lead is okay (bits inside quotes marks and bits outside) because the lead uses her own words. But the ‘intercourse’ sentence uses her own words too; yet the bits outside the quote-marks fail to be justified by the fact that the sentence uses her own words. So the only respect in which the two sentences are similar is that they use her words and yet that fact by itself doesn’t justify the bits outside the quotes.
2) “You say that you don't think we could use her words and get a fair representation of what actually happened without making the lead unduly lengthy. First, I don’t understand why we can’t get a fair representation as is.”
Well it’s because of that whole ‘equivocation between answering a question and making a statement’ thing I’ve been banging on about. There was a guy, Tom, who pointed out that it wouldn’t make much sense for Thomas to mean ‘Jews’ as there are Jews whose families never left the Israeli/Palestine region (how could they ‘go back to Poland and Germany’ if they were never there?), and she probably knew about such Jews given her long and distinguished journalistic career. Now please don’t take me to be giving OR here: I am not saying that Tom is right. People, even knowledgeable people, say things that are nonsense all the time. It would be OR to say Helen isn’t doing that in this case. But the point is that there is more of a question (for me and potentially, if not probably, other readers) as to whether or not she actually meant Jews (rather than a subset of them) if we know that she assented to the word rather than used it. And other readers should get to ask that question and draw their own conclusions. You’ve drawn yours, I’ve drawn mine. We each did it based on the facts, and I’m not sure I’d draw the same conclusion if I thought she had actually used the word. [NB: I agree her comments were about Jews, but that doesn’t mean she used the word; and whether she used the word or not is part of what helps me conclude what she meant.]
Now, that’s what I was saying. Ironduke, however, has recently strengthened my argument. He said that we should never misrepresent the facts, even if such a misrepresentation definitely wouldn’t influence the reader’s opinion. And if one agrees with that (which I’m definitely partial to – just seems like an ‘err on the side of caution’ thing), then we definitely shouldn’t say that she made the comment that ‘Jews should go back to Poland and Germany’ when part of that was not a comment but merely assent. Ironduke says there’s less than a hair’s breadth of a difference between the two, but even a hair’s breadth of a difference is a difference and if we should never misrepresent the facts then we shouldn’t misrepresent this one.
3) “Second if you feel that it must be lengthy to give it a fair representation in your eyes, then that’s fine with me, make it as long as you want”
In response to this, let me just re-post something I've previously said, that’s now in the archive:
“The only detailed lead I can think of that doesn’t misrepresent the facts is:
Thomas retired abruptly on June 7, 2010, following negative reaction to comments she made about Israel, Jews, and Palestine. She was asked, “Do you have any comments about Israel,” to which she responded, “Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine.” She was also asked, “So you’re saying the Jews go back to Poland and Germany?” and she answered, “And America and everywhere else. Why push people out of there who have lived there for centuries?
This is probably a little in conflict with the policy stated by Roma C (above), but honestly I think it’s the only way to get a direct quote into the lead while maintaining accuracy. I expect this is why summaries are called for in wikipolicy – evidence and examples and details of this sort are probably generally left to the body of the article to avoid having to cherry-pick the ‘best’ bits of evidence for the lead. I’m not sure what problem people have with the ‘undetailed’ sentence, as what actually happened (in actual detail) is there in the appropriate place for everyone to see and make their minds up about, but I hope this further discredits the theory that I’m trying to be POV. I don’t mind what actually happened being reported; sure, I prefer the brief summary in the lead, but I don’t have any problem with the facts being in full brazen view. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 03:36, 4 July 2010 (UTC)”
Would you be accepting of the italicised text? If so, then we may be at an agreement! Which would be such a relief!
4) “But please no conjecture; conjecture that is in your eyes fair representation will not be fair representation in the eyes of those who hold different views then you.”
Oh, of course – I hope I never implied otherwise.
5) “You say that you’re not sure why we must use her own words when we can have a clearly non-conjectural lead that doesn't have her words. That’s exactly the point that we CANNOT have a non-conjectural lead without her words”
I mean non-conjectural only in the sense that no-one would say it’s false (which, I know, you do; but I think that’s based on a confusion I hope to clear up below). But what you say next (“The only pure NPOV option we have left is to use her own words”) doesn’t follow. That is, there are yet the questions of both POV inclusion and quoting out of context (as well as, of course, the ‘bits outside the quote-marks’ remaining unjustified). So even using her own words isn’t necessarily NPOV, just as is the case with not using her own words. The issue, in either case, is that we get something NPOV – whether that be something that uses her words or not.
6) “You say that the lead should say that: "Thomas retired on June 7, 2010, following negative reactions to comments she made about Israel, Jews and Palestine”, although you know full well that she didn’t resign because of making comments about Palestine.”
Right, but my sentence doesn’t say that she resigned because of comments about Palestine. She may not have, as you say, resigned because of comments about Palestine; but that is completely consistent with my sentence. I’m not saying why she resigned at all – I wouldn’t know. Which is my sentence is completely orthogonal to the issue of why she resigned. This is what I’m referring to when I talk about mutual inclusivity and mutual exclusivity: my sentence and the claim that she didn’t retire because of comments about Palestine are mutually inclusive; that is, they don’t contradict each other; that is, they can both be true at the same time.
7) “Lastly you object to the bits that’s not in the quote-marks. Which bits don’t you like; and to what do you want them changed?”
See 2. I think that pretty much answers this question.
Thanks Fan, 203.45.146.36 (talk) 03:34, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
To make it short, you say that the only detailed lead you can think of that doesn’t misrepresent the facts is that: Thomas retired abruptly on June 7, 2010, following negative reaction to comments she made about Israel, Jews, and Palestine. She was asked, “Do you have any comments about Israel,” to which she responded, “Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine.” She was also asked, “So you’re saying the Jews go back to Poland and Germany?” and she answered, “And America and everywhere else. Why push people out of there who have lived there for centuries?
I would agree that it doesn’t misrepresent the facts if you took out the "and Palestine", which is patently false. She didn't resign because of her comments on Palestine, but because of her comments on Israel.
Although your suggestion minus the "and Palestine" would be correct and not a misrepresentation of the facts, nevertheless it’s quite cumbersome for the reader to read so much to get an understanding of why she resigned.
What’s wrong with the way it is that: Thomas retired on June 7, 2010, following negative reactions to comments she made that Israel should "get the hell out of Palestine", and Jews should go back to "Poland. Germany.... and America and everywhere else.
The above (which was not my first choice either) says the same thing you suggest. Doesn’t it? Fandriampahalamana (talk) 17:26, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
Hi Fan; thanks for the reply. I must admit, though, I'm a little unsure as to how to phrase my response. The reason for this is that the answers to all of your questions are contained in pretty much all of my posts to you. I take full responsibility for being unclear, but I'm unsure how to be clearer. Maybe short, numbered points? I'll try that. I apologise if again I'm being unclear, but perhaps you could work with me so I can choose the best phrasing of my responses -- then you can agree or disagree with them all you want, but at least we'd both know what you thought of them.
1) I'm confused as to why you keep saying that it is 'patently false' to say she retired after comments about Palestine just because (let's assume) she didn't retire because of comments about Palestine. They're too different issues. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 07:13, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
Don't understand why you don't see it as patently false. I'll use this time IronDukes words (on July 21st) instead. He says: "Fan says it best below ... Once again, remarks about Palestinians did not get her in trouble, remarks about Jews did". So 36, here you have it, we cannot write something that isn't true, in this case that she resigned because of her comments about Palestine. Do we finally agree already? Fandriampahalamana (talk) 19:27, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
Yes, well, appealing to Ironduke may not be the best of ideas. Anyway, look, we have two sentences: 1) 'She retired because of comments about Palestine etc;' and 2) 'She retired after she made comments about Palestine etc.' Do you see how they can both be true, as they make different claims? One is about chronology the other is about causation. So to say that the first is false is not to show that the second is false. It's like saying 'The Black Plague came before the Kennedy assassination' can't be true because the Black Plague didn't cause the Kennedy assassination. Do you know what I'm talking about when I talk about mutual exclusivity/inclusivity? Maybe that's where we're getting stuck. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 06:18, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
I used IronDukes words because I saw that the way I paraphrased it didn’t impress you. BTW both because of comments about Palestine and after she made comments about Palestine, are both untrue; that's not what caused or resulted in her resignation. Again it was her comments about Jews and Israel which caused or resulted in it.Fandriampahalamana (talk) 17:06, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
It's not the phrasing I disagree with; it's the point itself. As for the point, you can say (and may be right) that her comments about Palestine didn't cause or result in her resignation. Still, how can you say that her resignation didn't come after her words about Palestine? Her comments were on March 27 2010; her resignation was on June 7 2010. March 27 2010 comes before June 7 2010. How can you say this is false? 203.45.146.36 (talk) 06:47, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
Don't understand what you are saying. How does what you say justify to write in the lead that her resignation came after her words about Palestine, and let the reader think that her words about Palestine got her in trouble? What's itching you to insist on this? Fandriampahalamana (talk) 17:17, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
Oh, what, oh sorry that’s come out of nowhere – you were saying it was patently false, not that it misled the reader. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 06:57, 14 August 2010 (UTC)
2) I agree my new suggestion is quite cumbersome; that's why I prefer 'my' sentence. But if we can't have 'my' short and accurate sentence, I'd prefer cumbersome and accurate to short and innaccurate. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 07:13, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
I would also prefer cumbersome and accurate to short and innaccurate. But what is inaccurate in the way it currently is? Remember I see nothing wrong in your long suggestion except the addition of "and Palestine" which is not true (see #1). Wouldn't it be better short and accurate to long, cumbersome, and accurate? Fandriampahalamana (talk) 19:27, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
Of course short and accurate (such as my prefered sentence) would be better than long and accurate; as for why I think the current sentence is inaccurate, see 3. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 06:18, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
3) The problem with the current sentence is that it makes an equivocation between answering a (leading?) question and making a statement. If she (as is what happened) answered a question that included the word 'Jews,' rather than made a statement with the word 'Jews', we shouldn't claim or imply that the latter happened when it was the former. We currently do; so, let's not. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 07:13, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
But you agreed with this at least three times that I remember; but if that makes you happy, then take it out; her words alone is enough to make clear what she meant. Fandriampahalamana (talk) 19:27, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
What have I agreed to at least 3 times that you can remember? And what precisely am I allowed to take out? Are you saying the sentence could read "Thomas retired on June 7, 2010, following negative reactions to her comment, "Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine.... Go home.... Poland. Germany.... And America and everywhere else." I doubt it; I’m not sure those words are too conducive to clarity (although that's an interesting suggestion). But those are her words alone; clear or unclear. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 06:18, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
You have agreed at least three times that her comments were about Jews to get out of Palestine. Again you agreed that she meant the Jews. Nevertheless if it makes you happy you can leave the word “Jews” out. Fandriampahalamana (talk) 17:06, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I agreed that her comments were about Jews; however, she never said Jews, she assented to it. She assented to something about Jews. I don't mind the word 'Jews' being there, I just mind the current phrasing. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 06:47, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
You are funny. You agree that her comments were about Jews but yet you don't want it included because she didn't say it, but when it comes to her comments about Israel and not Palestine, you insist that somehow we mislead the reader into thinking that it was comments about Palestine that got her in trouble! Fandriampahalamana (talk) 17:17, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
Ah, no, no I didn’t. I don’t want to mislead the reader at all. At this point I’ve got to ask you if you’re being sincere – where on earth did you get that from? 203.45.146.36 (talk) 06:57, 14 August 2010 (UTC)
[If the above answers are too short, look to pretty much all of my other post for elaboration. Just trying out brevity here in the hopes that it will be less convoluted]. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 07:13, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
Brevity is alway better as I must say that I didn't always follow what you wanted in those long winding answers. Fandriampahalamana (talk) 19:27, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
You and Ironduke both, I fear. I much prefer your response to this problem, though -- letting me know that the length of answers may be something that is obscuring the conversation, so that I can do something about it. Ironduke's confusion (my fault or otherwise) followed by him exclaiming 'You're wrong' is far less productive. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 06:18, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
I hope this more clearly articulates my answers to the questions you have posed. I think it would be mutually benefifcial if we could get to a point where my objections are understood -- for, then, if you agree with them, we'd know; and, if you didn't, you could bash the hell out of them! So if I'm still being unclear, perhaps you could give me some advice as to how to better represent my arguments, or at least how to better represent them for you in this case. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 07:13, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
Hope too that this does it. Fandriampahalamana (talk) 19:27, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, 203.45.146.36 (talk) 07:13, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
U welks. Seriously I hope we can finally agree on the wording, which to me means telling a story as it is without obfuscation; that's the whole purpose of an encyclopedia. For starters "negative reaction" is obfuscation of the truth; but if at least her words tell the reader the truth then I can swallow it with its grammar summersaults; but if her words are also written in such away as to obfuscate, then what are we left? I'll answer it for you; with a POV twisted lead which is unacceptable to Wikipedia rules and pardon my expression, to decency. Fandriampahalamana (talk) 19:27, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
I, of course, agree with all of your above paragraph (except the bit about how 'negative reaction' is a grammatic summersault; don't see that); I never, ever, said anything that even implied an undermining of such an important thesis, and in fact base my arguments on this thesis. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 06:18, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I dunno if this would suit you, but another version of the lead that would be accurate would be, Thomas retired on June 7, 2010, after she was widely criticised for responding to a question about Israel with “Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine,” and for assenting to the claim that Jews should go back to Poland and Germany “and America and everywhere else.” 203.45.146.36 (talk) 03:34, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
It might please me if it was cleaned up from POV connecting words like "assenting to the claim". You must be kidding! Fandriampahalamana (talk) 17:06, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
Well see no that's my exact point: what happened was that she assented! The POV skewing is to say she said it when all she did was assent to it! It's well agreed that what she did was answer a question -- she never said the 'Jews' should go back to Poland and Germany; she said the words 'Poland' and 'Germany' and merely assented to the rest of the claim. I mean that's what happened: look at the transcript. You know what 'assent' means, right? I grant it's not the most common word and I could see how someone might not have come across it, but if you look up the meaning you'll see it is accurate. How is it POV to report what actually happened and NPOV to skew things? 203.45.146.36 (talk) 00:38, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
I don't like being crass, but you make yourself unclear what you want. If it's exactly the point, then you agree with me that your suggestion uses POV words; and if you disagree with me and you don't exactly agree, then fine, explain what you disagree with. I gather that you think that using the words "assenting to the claim" would be a beautiful way of putting it neutrally; to which I ask, "which" claim was she assenting to, surely not Nesenoff’s; and if you mean the Palestinian’s claim, it would be POV to inject it. Fandriampahalamana (talk) 15:48, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
She assents to the claim that Jews should go back to Poland and Germany. Nesenoff asks, "You're saying the Jews go back to Poland and Germany?" and she assents to it. Nowhere in the transcript does she say it; this is the only place where the claim is made, and Thomas' participation is assent.
Also, obviously, I don't agree that 'assent' is POV; the 'exact point' that I refer to in my previous post to you is that assent is NPOV. (Such is the point I've been pushing to you, since my first repsones to you way way back when.)
It is "assenting to the claim" that is the problem. Whose claim? It is putting words into her mouth to push a POV which is the problem. Fandriampahalamana (talk) 17:21, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
Oh, you don’t like ‘claim’? Why not? Note I don’t say she agreed to the claim; if she agreed, that would imply that Nesenoff (or, at least, someone other than her) believes it. ‘Assent,’ however, only needs to apply to one party (in this case Helen), which I why I chose it. But anyway, I’m not married to the word ‘claim’: what word would you suggest is neutral in regards to other parties? Utterance? Statement? Sentence? 203.45.146.36 (talk) 06:57, 14 August 2010 (UTC)
And what words am I putting into her mouth? And are you accusing me of pushing a POV again? 203.45.146.36 (talk) 09:34, 14 August 2010 (UTC)
Not that all this matters anymore, as the page now has a lead which is fine by me. So I no longer have a bee in my bonnet.
Is Kitfoxxe a stooge of yours? What kind of answer is that? Fandriampahalamana (talk) 17:21, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
No, why would you think that? Because he doesn’t agree with you? You realise that most people who have weighed in here have disagreed with you on this. I think it’s literally only Ironduke and Epefleeche who have agreed with you – whereas, when I came to the discussion, there were already loads of people arguing with you.
Further, Kitfoxxe is saying something entirely apart from what I’m saying: he’s just saying that there’s no need for her to be quoted in the sentence. I’d imagine he’s right (although his argument for this statement has not been given), but I have not pushed this angle to you. Indeed, I’ve offered two sentences that I’d acquiesce to which include a quote from Thomas.
But anyway, why do you get to revert Kitfoxxe’s change without giving an explanation as to what you feel is wrong with his explanation? 203.45.146.36 (talk) 06:57, 14 August 2010 (UTC)


Sorry if this response sounds curt; I am just trying to give short and succinct answers, to better convey my ideas. When you asked me to explain what I disagreed with you about, I started to realise just how confusing my long answers have been. To my mind, I have done nothing but give explanations. I hope this is clearer. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 06:33, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

Mukalled quote

I fail to see the relevance of the Mukalled quote to the Repercussions section. If we have to add another quote to this burgeoning section, can't we find something more relevant to the controversy? P.S. For those who think the controversy is about criticism of Israeli policy, please note that while Thomas has denounced Israeli policy throughout her career, the WHCA didn't call her remarks "indefensible" until now. Precis (talk) 07:56, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Mukalled is commenting on criticism of Thomas after the Nesenoff incident. RomaC TALK 00:50, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
Mukalled's quote is "Not all statements that criticize or denounce Israel's policies are anti-Jewish." You claim this quote is referring to a post-Nesenoff critic of Thomas? Did she name any critic who claims criticism of Israeli policy is anti-Jewish? Can you name such a critic? No, I didn't think so. I see no justification for that choice of quote, especially since it pushes the misleading point of view that the controversy was about criticism of Israeli policy. Choose a different quote. Precis (talk) 01:42, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
I don't "claim" the quote is about reaction to the Nesenoff incident, it is. Did you read the source? RomaC TALK 01:57, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

Of course I read the source. You claim that your quote is Mukalled's comment on criticism of Thomas. I asked you to back up that claim. I ask again, who was asserting that denouncing Israel's policy is anti-Jewish? In other words, whose criticism of Thomas is Mukalled commenting on in this quote? The fact that Mukalled brings up Israeli policy in an opinion piece about Thomas does not a fortiori establish its relevance to the Repercussions section. A statement such as "Just because Thomas hates klezmer music doesn't mean she's anti-Jewish" clearly has little relevance to the controversy. Now substitute "Israeli policy" for "klezmer music" and explain why this takes on sudden relevance. If Mukalled were addressing identifiable critics of Thomas who called her antisemitic just because she hated Israel's policy, then you'd have a case. But a response to a straw man is not suitable for Wikipedia. Precis (talk) 06:26, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

Not that I disagree with you, Precis, but does a remark have to be in repsonse to another's remark if it is to be relevant to the 'Repercussions' section? You seem to be saying that Mukalled's remarks are only relevant if they are in response to a criticism of Thomas. This doesn't seem to be a rule guiding the inclusion of other remarks. For instance, who was Obama responding to (other than Thomas)? I'm really not arguing with you here, because I'm embarrassed about arguing with you the last time, but I'm just interested in a little more explanation.
Also, above you give us a Mukalledian comment about klezmer music, say it has little to do with the controversy, and ask how it's different from the actual Mukalled quote. Well the obvious answer is that the controversy has nothing to do with klezmer music and has everything to do with comments that denounce Israel's policies. I presume this is just a slip of the tongue, and you meant it has nothing to do with an analogous controversy involving comments about klezmer music, but I just wanted to check; because, if I'm wrong, your question looks prima facie to be easily answerable. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 08:58, 14 August 2010 (UTC)

Oh, I see, you're responding to RomaC's suggestion that the relevance of Mukalled's comment is generated by the fact that it was in response to a post-Nesenoff critic of Helen. You're saying that, supposing Mukalled was responding to such a critic, who was that critic?

Okay; but, in response to your original post, though, why is it that Mukalled's comments are less relevant than other comments? To me, it seems like the bar for inclusion in this section is 'Someone said it.' A fairly low bar, but what bar are you replacing it with? On what grounds is this irrelevant (or less relevant) than other things other people have said as a result of Helen's comments?203.45.146.36 (talk) 09:26, 14 August 2010 (UTC)

To me, it seems like the bar for inclusion in this section is 'Someone said it.' .. Do you really mean that? Someone says that Thomas was born in 1920; do we see nothing amiss in placing that comment in the Repercussions section? Would we also happily include there anything Larry Speakes ever said about Thomas? Surely there is consensus here that relevance to the section is a factor in setting the bar for inclusion. That brings me to the heart of our disagreement over relevance. You write: ...the controversy ...has everything to do with comments that denounce Israel's policies. I don't see how you can justify that statement, since Thomas has been denouncing Occupation for decades without causing a storm of protest, without being abandoned by the White House Press Corps, without issuing a statement of regret, and without resigning. Note that RomaC doesn't go as far out on a limb as you do . RomaC did not claim that Israeli policy was relevant to the controversy, but merely that it was relevant to reactions of Thomas's critics. I am still waiting for the justification. What are the names of these illusory critics who assert that Thomas's criticism of Israeli policy is anti-Jewish? I close with a hypothetical analogy. Senator T said: "Obama is ruining this country; he should be sent back to Kenya." Journalist M responds: "All criticism of executive policy is not racist." Perhaps you find M's statement relevant, but to me, it fails to relate to the essence of the controversy; rather, it serves mainly to advance the questionable POV that T merely criticized policy. Precis (talk) 12:50, 14 August 2010 (UTC)
No, you're right, I don't really mean that, it was flippant. What I mean is it seems that the bar for inclusion is 'Someone said it in reaction to Helen's comments, or as a clear result of Helen's comments.' It would seem to me that if Larry Speakes said something clearly related to her comments it would satisfy the inclusion-criteria being used in this Repercussions section.
Also, in response to, "I don't see how you can justify that statement, since Thomas has been denouncing Occupation for decades without causing a storm of protest, [etc]," two things:
1) Perhaps I was misleading with my use of the word 'everything.' Perhaps replacing it with the word 'something' more clearly captures what I wanted to say. Still, this would drive a wedge between the Mukalled quote and your klezmer analogy -- klezmer music has nothing to do with the controversy.
2) Humans are weird. Sometimes people aren't consistent with their opinions, or about what offends them. You can think otherwise but are we really going to hash out a sociological theory here? Even if we agreed on one, wouldn't it be OR?
In response to your Senator T/Journalist M analogy, Journalist M's comments are not yet analogous with Mukalled's comments; what M would have to say would be something like, "T's comments weren't racist; all criticism of executive policy is not racist." That could, more conceivably at least, be included in a section on the repercussions of T's statement (as it refers specifically to T's comments).
And lastly, yes, I noticed (after I initially posted a response to you) that RomaC was saying something different to me; although I'm not sure I'm going out on more of a limb than him, as I suspect you're right that he's making stuff up (okay, that's a bit harsh, I'm actually sure he has good intent, but yeah I'd expect you're right that there is no such critic. But who am I to know until Roma responds?) 203.45.146.36 (talk) 23:45, 14 August 2010 (UTC)

The quote seems to lack relevance. It does not reflect the actual criticism. IronDuke 00:21, 15 August 2010 (UTC)

Such is the claim, yes. And I'm far from decided if that's false. In fact, going by the fact that Precis said it, I'm pretty sure it's true. I'm just wondering the reasoning behind the claim. 203.45.146.36 (talk) 01:01, 15 August 2010 (UTC)
I appreciate the concerns on how Mukalled's comments fit. It seems clear that the fallout from the blogger Rabbi incident was in large part a function of generalized accusations of anti-Semitism, but many commentators dispute this, and regard Thomas' comments as directed at Israeli immigrants living in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, which orients them toward Israeli policies, and not Jews. I'm adding a Paul Findley quote that further explores this. Respectfully, RomaC TALK 01:58, 15 August 2010 (UTC)

If the accusations of antisemitism which you mention came from those who view Thomas's remarks as nothing more than denunciation of Occupation, then Mukalled's quote would indeed be relevant. However, these accusations came from those who were incensed not by Thomas's criticism of policy, but rather by her suggestion that the Jews go back to where their ancestors came from. (This should be obvious from the fact that Thomas has been denouncing Occupation for decades without causing such furor.) Mukalled set up a straw man (denouncing Israel's policy is anti-Jewish) and then knocked it down. You have not produced any critic of Thomas to whom Mukalled's quote applies. The accusations of antisemitism came from those who do not share Findley's fringe opinion that Thomas's comments were about policy, not Jews. Thus I maintain that the Mukalled quote is irrelevant. With so many choices, why not opt for a more relevant quote? Precis (talk) 11:47, 15 August 2010 (UTC)

Thomas did not say Israelis should "go back to where their ancestors came from". RomaC TALK 13:54, 15 August 2010 (UTC)
Thomas: They go home. Nesenoff: Where's the home? Thomas: Poland. Germany. Precis (talk) 14:34, 15 August 2010 (UTC)
Gotcha. But you misquote as she said "...and America and everywhere else." Anyway, no "ancestral" qualification in any of that. Thanks. RomaC TALK 14:40, 15 August 2010 (UTC)
Telling blacks to go back to Africa makes no mention of the word "ancestral" either. Why do you suppose Thomas began her list of homes with Poland and Germany? Precis (talk) 19:34, 15 August 2010 (UTC)
Precis, America is not normally regarded as "an ancestral home" of the Jews. I don't know why the people in this article said what they said but you seem to believe and want to argue that you do. That doesn't matter because you're a random person on a website. There are commentators that believe Thomas was referring to immigrants moving into the Occupied Territories. Now I notice you want to edit-war on the content you don't like. Fine. RomaC TALK 00:28, 16 August 2010 (UTC)