Talk:If Americans Knew

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Editors' vote on CAMERA and FAIR[edit]

Please only vote if you have have contributed more than once to the article as of March 11, 2009

CAMERA No FAIR Yes StN (talk) 22:52, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

Can I vote more than once? IronDuke 23:10, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

CAMERA—No (for reasons stated in section above), FAIR—depends. Presently, the quote is offline so it cannot be verified. MeteorMaker (talk) 05:22, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

Both can be included, with appropriate attribution, and accurate representation of what they say. NoCal100 (talk) 03:12, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

Speaking of which, I can't find the quote "selective and biased use and interpretation of information" anywhere in the CAMERA article. MeteorMaker (talk) 16:28, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

I'll vote, based on my edits of the subject in the article and talkpage on March 10; date limit seems pretty arbitrary. CAMERA -No; FAIR - yes, if it can be V'd. CasualObserver'48 (talk) 16:40, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

I'm very sorry, CO, but you don't have franchise here. StN was quite clear about who gets to vote and who doesn't. I'll also say that I, for one, am glad we can settle this with a mindless vote, rather than tiresome discussion and compromise. IronDuke 16:45, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

Well, I certainly have a "franchise" here. CAMERA and FAIR are equally reliable. Jayjg (talk) 23:21, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

Jay, if you click on the link for FAIR and see where it leads, there is no byline that I can see, and a disclaimer at the bottom of the page: "FAIR does not endorse every opinion expressed or vouch for facts presented here, except by ourselves." Is the opinion in question even expressed by them? IronDuke 15:10, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

Both FAIR and CAMERA seem to be notable organizations. Both have some degree of bias, so anything they say should be cited as their opinion or the opinion of someone associated with them. --John Nagle (talk) 16:15, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

And in this particular case...? IronDuke 16:44, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
As Jay quite simply points out, and the reply reinforces, please provide something which notes such a valid temporal or policy reason for your particular limitation of my 'franchise'. CasualObserver'48 (talk) 17:46, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
That was a joke, actually. Sorry it wasn't funnier. Did you have a specific reason you liked this specific FAIR cite here? IronDuke 18:57, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
Truly, not even close to funny. It is nothing fancy, but it is what that RS says, which is what IAK claims. That FAIR says it is easy to make the case for pro-Israel bias seems important, and largely unacknowledged in the mainstream, although several recent academic works point the same way[1]. I also like their characterization of the other view, being 'usually grounded in terminological quibbles'. That pretty much nails most of CAMERA's output on the head, and a reason for my 'no' on CAMERA. CasualObserver'48 (talk) 01:28, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
But who wrote what you quote? Byline? And what of the dsiclaimer: "FAIR does not endorse every opinion expressed or vouch for facts presented here, except by ourselves." Can you say for certain that the opinion expressed is by FAIR? IronDuke 19:45, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
I have no idea, seems too much OR to determine, and for me, it really doesn't matter. What I do know is that FAIR published it, and that is what it says [oops] implies. Might you ask the same question of a simple characterization cited from JVL, or CAMERA? In the real world, would a professor ask to know the specific author of a simple characterization from Britannica or Wikipedia. This section is not rocket science, it is 'praise', and it was only included, as I remember, because the criticism section alone had plummeted from the balance of NPOV, with some editors seemingly giggling with glee as they fell. As to the 'disclaimer', it looks like a typically American CYA catch-all, but since FAIR is generally considered to be 'pro-Palestinian' also, I doubt they really disagree, if that is your concern. I know I didn't answer your specific questions, but I don't have them. CasualObserver'48 (talk) 01:08, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
The disclaimer is indeed, quite troubling. If FAIR does not stand behind what it publishes on its website, or vouch for the "facts presented here", then it considerably reduces its value as a Reliable Source. Jayjg (talk) 01:29, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
"I have no idea..." I think you should have an idea before weighing in here. You are now !voting to include a cite whose validity you've no real sense of. IronDuke 02:56, 28 March 2009 (UTC)
The website allows anonymous browsers to post comments. So what the disclaimer means is basically: "FAIR does endorse every opinion expressed or vouch for facts presented there by themselves but if some random loon posts a comment it's not our fault." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:35, 28 March 2009 (UTC)
Any evidence to support this assertion? IronDuke 02:54, 28 March 2009 (UTC)
Well, the disclaimer supports that assertion. Try reading it. For the hard of thinking, here it is again with the relevant bits either in bold or struck out and an additional sentence that you've curiously left out for some reason. "FAIR's blog spotlights some of the more interesting media criticism and media news we've seen on the Web lately--as well as recent reporting that we thought merited comment. We don't endorse every opinion expressed or vouch for the facts presented, except by ourselves. Not all outlets archive material indefinitely, so some links may have expired. Registration may be required by some news sites." They're not talking about their website, reports or studies as a whole, they're talking about their blog (talk) 15:53, 28 March 2009 (UTC)

The praise of IAK on FAIR's website was listed as one of its Media Views. As stated on the page that describes "Media Views": "Media Views was FAIR's annotated newswire - a forum for featuring interesting media criticism, media news and reporting that we thought merited comment. The Media Views format is now retired. FAIR will continue to post analysis and critique, information on breaking stories, news updates, criticism, commentary and more on the FAIR Blog. Click here to join in the conversation. Our past collection of Media Views will remain as an archived resource on this website." The "we" and "our' unambiguously refer to FAIR. These are FAIR's views. That is, they are views that FAIR endorses.StN (talk) 05:48, 28 March 2009 (UTC)

That sounds like FAIR 'claiming', rather than the expressed concerns about 'disclaiming'. Sounds good enough to me. CasualObserver'48 (talk) 07:25, 28 March 2009 (UTC)


There is an excessively long excerpt in the Positions paragraph that is hardly encyclopedic. This needs to be re-written in an acceptable manner.
Best Wishes AnkhMorpork (talk) 12:33, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

Applause at a speech[edit]

The last paragraph of the praise section is a bit strange - it states that Weir received applause after giving a speech at a public library in Connecticut. Is this really encyclopedic? Does it really provide any information to the reader? I really don't understand why we're including this. GabrielF (talk) 04:00, 12 December 2012 (UTC)

Concerns about unbalanced accusations against living person[edit]

I visited this page after seeing how unbalanced and unprofessional the page on Alison Weir was. I was horrified to see that any old accusation can be included without any refutation, response or balance, but was heartened to see that this can be put right. An editor is persisting in putting in quotes with no balancing information. The first quote, for example, makes accusations that are countered by a leading world expert in that field. That editor has also several times thrown out personal accusations at me. It seems to me that we should be talking about edits, citations and facts, not trying to attack editors. The person accused me of threatening editors when I pointed out that material was potentially defamatory against a living person. I think that should be a relevant concern to raise. My understanding is that even quoting or republishing potentially defamatory material is potentially defamatory itself. At the very least, the spirit of fairness requires that a response or counter viewpoint be given. Similarly, the second quote includes all kinds of accusations about all kinds of authors (and wier), based solely on the (marginal) source's assertion, without providing any further support or any response from or on behalf of those authors. That seems appallingly unbalanced, unprofessional and inappropriate to me. [Pardon if this should have a section header?]SM-Mara (talk) 15:57, 2 June 2016 (UTC)

When "professional" editors meet volunteers and amateurs, there is always going to be a clash of styles. :)
Since Alison Weir's goal in life is to influence the political, cultural, ideological and emotional relationship between the American people and the Israeli people, it is of utter interest to point out that she has recommended the works and opinions of notorious anti-Semites and neo-Nazis like "Shamir" and Atzmon and that she has been publicly criticized for it.
--Edelseider (talk) 19:07, 2 June 2016 (UTC)

Not sure what you are trying to imply with the "professional" comment, but I'm getting tired of your personal insults. Please stop. I have asked you repeatedly and will complain further.

I hope that most wikipedia folks are not fans of the idea of banning or outlawing speech, is that what you are advocating here?SM-Mara (talk) 19:13, 2 June 2016 (UTC)

I have serious concerns with two quotes that Edelseider keeps inserting into the article, which introduce very serious, damaging and possibly defamatory allegations against at least five authors. If these are included, I would argue forcefully that they require balancing information. That may mean long sections on each topic and may or may not be worth the space. The article should probably remain brief. However, it may be appropriate to include them if balancing information and additional evidence/citations are provided...

The quotes are these:

1. Socialist activist Andy Newman, in an Op-ed in The Guardian, stated that "an article by Alison Weir... defends the unsubstantiated and implausible claims made by the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet about Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinians in Gaza to harvest their organs. Weir implied, with no evidence, that Israel is at the centre of international organ smuggling. She then explicitly argued that the medieval "blood libel" – that Jews kill Christian children – has a basis in fact."[31] The 'Aftonbladet claims' refer to Donald Boström's accusations of Israeli organ harvesting.

In fact, Weir's articles cite Nancy Scheper-Hughes, professor of medical anthropology at University of California, Berkeley and director of Organ Watch - a leading expert in that field. It makes no sense that "socialist activist Andy Newman" should be cited as the only expert on whether the allegations about organ trafficking had merit, while Scheper-Hughes, a leading expert, should be ignored. Similarly, the articles also do not argue that "Jews kill Christian children" but reports on a controversy brewing in Israeli media at the time.

If this quote from Andy Newman is included, balance would require that quotes or facts from the actual articles be included too, as well any available response or refutation to Newman's accusations.

2. Anti-fascist researcher Spencer Sunshine writes "IAK’s criticisms of Zionism and Israel dovetail with traditional antisemitic narratives, and Weir often cites antisemitic writers and publications as her sources. When asked if the work of antisemitic authors including Israel Shamir, Gilad Atzmon, and Kevin MacDonald were truly legitimate, she replied, “Yes. I suggest people read their work for themselves.”"[32]

Simply quoting these accusations from a marginal writer is inadequate. This statement makes allegations about Weir and three other authors, who are probably all living persons (I'd have to check that out, not really familiar with them). If it's going to be included it needs more support and balance. It's absurdly inappropriate to just repeat such damaging allegations against so many people without giving a chance for each to be fairly addressed. Specifically, to include this quote in an appropriately balanced fashion would require that the section also:

  • demonstrate that each of the three additional authors cited is "antisemitic" (evidence)
  • include those authors' response or any response/refutation by other commentators defending them (balance)
  • prove that Weir unconditionally recommended their work, including whatever work might be proven antisemitic (evidence) (The quote above doesn't prove that to me as such, since recommending people read an author for themselves doesn't necessarily connote approval of everything they've written)
  • prove that whatever work was demonstrably antisemitic had been published before Weir's alleged recommendation (evidence)
  • include any response by Weir or on her behalf to Sunshine's allegation (balance)

Accomplishing all of that seems to me quite a digression for this article and I believe this quote is inappropriate for this reason. Perhaps a better thing to include would be a quote directly from Weir recommending certain authors and a balanced reference to whatever criticism/support there may be of the author.SM-Mara (talk) 05:27, 3 June 2016 (UTC)

I think you have a fundamental misunderstanding of what Wikipedia is, so I suggest you read WP:VNT. The onus here is on you; unless you have prove that the sources used in the part of the article you dislike are unreliable, then you have no leg to stand on. (talk) 16:47, 3 June 2016 (UTC)
On this general point, I cannot agree. Articles, especially where they mention living people, must not just use content based on reliable sources, they must also adhere to neutral point of view and other policies and guidelines. MPS1992 (talk) 19:46, 3 June 2016 (UTC)
I fail to see the lack of neutrality on this article. Weir endorsed book by known anti-semites, and we have a source stating this. (talk) 01:01, 4 June 2016 (UTC)

@Only in death & @MPS1992 -- If neutral point of view and conservative approach in applying labels like "racist" or "anti-Semite" are called for, should someone remove the Spencer Sunshine quote from this article OR add some kind of additional sourcing and response to balance it? It is, after all, making extreme allegations about four (living?) people. To user, I can't see that the quote provided demonstrates that Weir "endorsed" these books, as the quote to me sounds like simply saying people should read the works for themselves, i.e., free speech -- leaving aside for the moment the repeated allegation that these authors are antisemitic. Thanks.SM-Mara (talk) 01:44, 4 June 2016 (UTC)

Third Opinion[edit]

A Third Opinion has been requested. I count at least three registered editors and an unregistered editor who have offered comments. The unregistered editor may be one of the registered editors logged out (if so, please remember to log in; if not, you are advised and welcomed to create an account). In any case, this dispute is not eligible for a Third Opinion; there are already at least three opinions. If the editors wish to resolve this collaboratively, they may request moderated dispute resolution at the dispute resolution noticeboard. Robert McClenon (talk) 16:35, 4 June 2016 (UTC)