Talk:Joan Juliet Buck

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Controversy section[edit]

This section is completely overblown. No doubt there was a controversy, but it was not the defining fact of this woman's life. It does not merit the coverage it's currently getting: close on half of the entire article! It's a classic case of recentism: in ten years' time who's going to care what Buck said to Piers Morgan on CNN February 9, 2012, or what the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles or the Philadelphia Inquirer said about the piece? And I'm sorry, but edit-warring over whether to include Michael Totten's comment while including a ton of other quotes is just silly! Here is an old version of the article. It's a balanced, easy-to-read biography with a short section on the controversy. Between then and now the article has grown from 5,000 kb to 22,000 kb with almost no additions to the other—more relevant—sections. That Controversy section in the old version might usefully be expanded by another couple of factual sentences, but the rest of what's there at the moment ought to be edited with extreme prejudice. --Scolaire (talk) 09:19, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

Since there was no response to this, and the edit-warring has continued, I have gone ahead and edited it. --Scolaire (talk) 08:31, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

I respectfully disagree with the assertion that the Assad controversy was not the defining fact of the subject's life. Given the amount of comment, attention, discussion and debate that it has attracted in the media, it is by any reasonable measure the defining fact of her professional life. I argue that all references be restored. Redactor1802 (talk) 12:37, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
So, if this hadn't happened, she wouldn't have had an article? Then how come she had an article for years before it happened? It is a significant part of her life, yes, but my edit describes the controversy to the extent that it was a significant event in her life. The other "references", as you call them, don't add anything to the facts of the case; it's just quoting more and more media figures for the sake of it. Scolaire (talk) 18:20, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

The same two users have continued to expand the section, and to edit-war without any discussion here on the talk page. Therefore I have edited it down slightly more than I did the last time. The section is now purely factual, and doesn't give "her side" or "her detractors' side", except for the initial reaction to the initial article. So there is no longer any need to add any more quotes to "balance" it one way or another. If you want to create an article about the controversy, please do, and write whatever you want. But anything that has been added to this article has been unencyclopaedic and messy, and I will continue to remove any such cruft in the future. Scolaire (talk) 08:32, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

Scolaire, I completely disagree that you are editing with the intention of making this article "neutral." I added a relevant section about the press reception to Buck's "mea culpa" article. I see no reason why this was removed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 1shmt (talkcontribs) 15:08, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
One, I didn't say I am editing to make it neutral - I am editing to make it readable. If you think it is relevant that the second article was also criticised then just say so without the flowery quotes. Two, you write "Michael Young said..." as though Michael Young was a household name; he doesn't exactly jump out from a Google search, and Now Lebanon isn't exactly a world-renowned publication either. Scolaire (talk) 10:55, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
I wholeheartedly agree with Scolaire's points about the Michael Young and Now Lebanon adds being unhelpful to the article. The section already says the Vogue article "caused a furor within foreign policy circles", that "publications and web sites including The Wall Street Journal and The Atlantic attacked it as an ill-timed 'puff piece' that ignored human rights abuses under Syria's Ba'athist regime" and we note that Buck was clearly fired from her job over it. More is just character assassination.--Aichikawa (talk) 18:35, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
Again, that's not what I said! I said "if you think it is relevant that the second article was also criticised then just say so". I am more and more coming to think that I should not have removed all reference to criticism of the Newsweek article. It should probably be added as a single short sentence without quotes, and citing a well-known and reliable source (The Guardian perhaps?) Scolaire (talk) 08:20, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Turns out the Guardian piece was actually a blog as well! I have simply said that "bloggers on The Guardian, The Tablet and World Affairs websites were critical of the Newsweek article". I think that that is factual, relevant and verifiable. Scolaire (talk) 11:54, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

Michael Totten[edit]

IPWAI has just (once again) added the following: "Michael Totten responded in World Affairs, that although Assad was not a war criminal when Buck wrote her piece, he was a totalitarian dictator." Responded to what? To Buck's assertion that her contract with Vogue had not been renewed? When IPWAI made that edit before, it followed a quote from Buck that there was "no way of knowing that Assad, the meek ophthalmologist and computer-loving nerd, would kill more of his own people than his father had and torture tens of thousands more." That sentence has (rightly) been removed, so the "response" no longer makes sense. Scolaire (talk) 08:24, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

Also, on reading the cited source, Michael Totten did not write that in World Affairs; he wrote it in his blog, which is on the World Affairs website. There's a world of difference. Scolaire (talk) 08:39, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

Ditto on the Michael Totten. See my comments in the above section.--Aichikawa (talk) 18:36, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

Buck "publishing" her story on Asma al-Assad[edit]

Isn't it technically impossible for a writer to publish a piece in vogue without it being assigned and edited and approved by Vogue?-- (talk) 21:51, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

You mean, "Vogue published a piece by Buck" was better than "Buck published a piece in Vogue"? I tend to agree. Scolaire (talk) 08:14, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

Balance issue and questions[edit]

Scolaire, I think you might be caving into IPWAI and 1shmt a bit. Not all of the reaction to Buck's Newsweek piece was negative. Here's the liberal Israeli Haaeretz [1] and CNN's Erin Burnett (not a blog) also had Buck on her show and complimented the piece saying it was better than the Vogue piece [2]. The latter was in an earlier edit.

Also, blogs also revealed earlier than Buck's Newsweek piece that she was fired from Vogue, but we can't use because they are blogs?

Lost in the description also is that Vogue also objected to Buck saying that Asma was picked because she was thin, a clear overstepping of the line in the magazine's eyes (Do but don't say we do). Many blogs mentioned this.--Aichikawa (talk) 16:45, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

The Haaretz link tells me that "the full text is available for subscribers & registered users", so you're going to have to tell me what that says that's sympathetic and usable. That Haaretz was "less condemning" is certainly not usable. The Daily Beast link shows a CNN presenter interviewing Buck and saying the Newsweek article is worth reading and she "liked it better than the original." Well D'uh! What else is an interviewer going to say? That's simply not encyclopaedic.
Neutrality is not a matter of saying something "nice" for every criticism that's mentioned. Basically there are four or five facts that are relevant: (1) she wrote an article; (2) the article was criticised; (3) she wrote a second article; (4) it was also criticised (plus (5) she tweets). I have presented these four or five facts in a concise and neutral fashion. If there was a sixth fact—that somebody called the Newsweek article incisive or groundbreaking—that would also be added. But the fact that a couple of people didn't find it as bad as others did, that's not worth adding. By the way, if you do have a mathematical view of neutrality, what I added to the sentence on the Newsweek story gave her side of the story, and I put the criticism bit before the Twiiter bit, so the five facts as presented are positive, negative, positive, negative, positive. You still have no complaint.
Blogs revealing earlier than Buck's Newsweek piece that she was fired from Vogue? Vogue objecting to Buck saying that Asma was picked because she was thin? Who cares? Not notable facts. Not encyclopaedic.
If you think I am "caving in" to certain editors then you don't know me very well. I didn't "cave in" to you, did I? I had another think about what is worth saying and what is not, and my latest edit is the result. My advice to you is to try to lose the battleground mentality and be more collaborative. Scolaire (talk) 18:37, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

What is and what isn't encyclopaedic? If a CNN presenter goes out of her way to bring someone onto the program, I think that's encyclopaedic, especially if there are three blogger-critics that are cited for the counterargument. How about taking out World Affairs as Michael Totten isn't exactly neutral (he supported the war in Iraq past the point it was popular)[3]. About a battleground mentality, you know as well as I that that other editors to whom I referred were NOT the bending type whereas I have and it's not like you're exactly polite on here either: Preach by your acts not by your words, my dear.

Below is the Haaretz article in full that you didn't want to get a free subscription to read (you can always make up a name or use a secondary email account to sign up for these). --Aichikawa (talk) 19:13, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
[Article text removed, per WP:COPYVIO]

Thank you for providing the whole article. I've deleted it again because even having it on the talk page breaches WP:COPYVIO. However, I read it carefully first. Unless I'm very much mistaken, all it is is a summary of the Newsweek article. It doesn't say it's bad, it doesn't say it's good. It doesn't have anything whatever to say about the merits or the quality of the Buck article, therefore it doesn't add anything to this article.
As to what is and what isn't encyclopaedic, you say "If a CNN presenter goes out of her way to bring someone onto the program, I think that's encyclopaedic". But at least once every hour of every day a CNN presenter brings someone onto a program. Does every interview on every CNN (not to mention every other surrent affairs channel) programme go into an encyclopaedia article? Clearly not. And how do you know she "went out of her way"? I imagine JJB was only too glad to go on TV and get an easy ride like that. So no, it's not encyclopaedic.
"Other editors to whom I referred were NOT the bending type whereas I have". Where have you? Can you show me diffs? I can't remember ever seeing it. This, this and this are not "bending" edit summaries. They are combative and unreasonable. You already know that I will not revert your edits without explaining myself on the talk page, but if you edit without prior discussion you forfeit any right to demand that I not revert without prior discussion,
"It's not like you're exactly polite on here either". Again, where was I impolite? Can you show me diffs?
Whether Michael Totten supported the war in Iraq up to a certain point or past a certain point has no bearing on the fact that he is a writer for a current affairs magazine and that he expressed an opinion on JJB's article. I did not, as you put it, "cite him for a counterargument"; I cited him for a fact. Had I simply said "some people criticized the article" somebody would have stuck a {{who}} tag on it. So I cited three writers. Three is better than two. As I said before, neutrality is nothing to do with balancing the number of "nice" and "not nice" comments. Totten's stance on Iraq has no bearing on his criticism of the article, and your suggestion that it does is frankly disturbing. Is this article a biography or a political battleground? Scolaire (talk) 21:32, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Oh, and whether Vogue was equally to blame is another matter of personal judgement and has no place in a factual account of the controversy. Scolaire (talk) 21:41, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

Read it again. What it says in Haaretz which the blogs have not is that "Joan Juliet Buck were heavily criticized for publishing an image-improving profile". That is in the subhead, what accompanies the title of the piece. So, you SHOULD be able to conclude, that it's far less opinionated than any of the bloggers you cite. Your argument against using it as support can be used against your own arguments FOR the three bloggers. See here:

"But at least once every hour of every day a CNN presenter brings someone onto a program. Does every interview on every CNN (not to mention every other surrent affairs channel) programme go into an encyclopaedia article? Clearly not."
"But at least once every minute of every day a blogger presents something on their blog. Does every opinion on every newsblog (not to mention every other current affairs blog) go into an encyclopaedia article? Clearly not."

As far as your conduct here, it's all there if you bother to re-read what you wrote. It's gonna take me some time to dig these up and link them, but if you seriously can't be self-critical enough to go through them and know, I guess I'll have to. Groan.--Aichikawa (talk) 21:58, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

"Both IPWAI and Aichikawa appear to think that if they simply post on a noticeboard, the 7th Cavalry will ride in and settle the issue in their favour."
"And I would prefer if he would stop linking my name with his as though we were allies against the forces of darkness."

"Well D'uh! What else is an interviewer going to say? That's simply not encyclopaedic."
"Who cares? Not notable facts. Not encyclopaedic."
"I will continue to remove any such cruft in the future." (Shows ownership issues.)
"This case is bizarre! It was filed by Aichikawa, who then tweaked it so that it appears to have been filed by 1shmt." (At the beginning of an opening statement in a dispute resolution)

--Aichikawa (talk) 15:28, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

Wall Street Journal 3/7/11 "article"[edit]

Just noticed that this, cited in the Controversy section, was an opinion piece, not an article-article. Can someone come up with a replacement or can we just take out?--Aichikawa (talk) 14:12, 24 August 2012 (UTC)--

Took out.-- (talk) 19:41, 26 August 2012 (UTC)

Including bloggers as sources in this[edit]

Hey, BernardZ (talk · contribs). The inclusion of Guardian and The Tablet bloggers were a concession to users like yourself who insist on having them represented in this article. But we could take them out to be consistent. Besides, World Affairs quoted Micheal Totten's PERSONAL BLOG. Talk here before changing, thanks--Aichikawa (talk) 19:22, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

Are you Joan Buck? You write like she does and you seem to be defending her seems to be your main aim.

BernardZ (talk) 16:31, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

No, but are you the Israeli lobby? Or another competitive journalist? You seem intent on trashing someone for political purposes. You don't even put your content in chronological order, so intent you are. And if defending Buck is my main aim, would I be be allowing for the comment by Michael Totten, Iraq War supporter, would I?--Aichikawa (talk) 20:12, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
I am very suspicious too of your editing. What is interesting is to you being anti-Assad means the Israeli lobby. I wonder if people getting shot now in Syria by Assad's helicopter gunships and tanks agree. 400 died now in the town of Daraya. IPWAI (talk) 03:12, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
I have NO idea what you just said. Placing the brunt of blame on Assad's atrocities on an American writer who has since expressed regret for helping to profile Assad's wife in a positive light and is clearly anti-Assad is pro-Israeli lobby as it scatters blame when the Assads cannot be found. It's about aggression in the face of fear, that macho sexist helplessness that is the mark of all fascists, including the Israeli lobby. --Aichikawa (talk) 13:54, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
You sound so much like Buck IPWAI (talk) 02:02, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
I don't care.--Aichikawa (talk) 14:26, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
I noticed that despite what you say here, you did delete Michael Totten's comments? Clearly there is much more to your editing then claimed — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:01, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
You know, I did give into you guys, the Israeli lobby, on that one but then someone came up with a quote from a source who WASN'T a blogger, Mrs. Conrad Black, so went with that. No anti-Israel conspiracy here. --Aichikawa (talk) 12:54, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
Aside from that fact that the need to leave it out is old news. [4]--Aichikawa (talk) 13:25, 31 August 2012 (UTC)


Is a primary source SPS in any case - it is not a "reliable source" except under those limited rules. The idea of Wikipedia is to find a secondary source making the claims which are made. Collect (talk) 19:14, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

It's been fixed. Another reason to give this article semi-protection status.--Aichikawa (talk) 20:16, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

It hasn't been fixed. You added a source written by one of the participants of wow, Liz Smith. That's as self-promotional as anything else. You have the same problem with the other material you added about Stoppard, etc. I've reverted those edits. We can't add everything Buck has done unless someone else in a reliable source has commented on its noteworthiness. And try to keep your edit summaries civil.--Bbb23 (talk) 20:19, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
And Liz does not appear to even mention Juliet -- meaning that ref is pretty much worthless here. Collect (talk) 20:40, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
Unfortunately, Aichikawa does not seem interested in hashing out these issues here and obtaining a consensus for his edits but has resorted to edit-warring. I've issued him a warning for that. Otherwise, I don't have much else to say that you or I haven't already said.--Bbb23 (talk) 21:13, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, I don't stare at the Talk page every minute. And I haven't included "everything Buck has done." Exaggerating things doesn't help the tone here.--Aichikawa (talk) 15:18, 4 September 2012 (UTC)

Styling the introduction[edit]

I noticed across Wikipedia that introductions to many Good articles do NOT contain reference links, or any references at all, in their sections, instead relying on the non-intro content to do this.[5] [6] I'd like to do this for Joan Juliet Buck, the references at the top make the reading harder but I'm a little afraid to do this given how many slow, acrimonious editors are staring at this article that I think will just delete the content even though its given below. What do people think? Forge ahead to a smoother future or give in to ignorance?--Aichikawa (talk) 15:24, 4 September 2012 (UTC)

Perhaps learn how to communicate more civilly would be a good start.--Bbb23 (talk) 23:35, 4 September 2012 (UTC)

Avoiding the controversy[edit]

This woman's main source of fame is her article about Assad's wife. Something she has been universally condemned for. However, a few notably two editors here are wiping out all shred of this condemnation. I think we should call in the administrators how much more damage are they doing in the wikipedia? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:06, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

If you never read magazines, suddenly pick up the online stuff about the Vogue article, and have issues with women, yes. Or if you're a blind and don't see any of the arguments above that preceded your not-so-original line of argument, yes.--Aichikawa (talk) 14:36, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Aichikawa, please play nice. Drmies (talk) 23:28, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
You know what I'm saying.--Aichikawa (talk) 17:07, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
Yes, you're being uncivil.--Bbb23 (talk) 00:14, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
And you, Bbb23, are too defensive. The whole of Wikipedia got your comment to my note above on styling the intro, thank you.--Aichikawa (talk) 14:31, 15 September 2012 (UTC)

Personal Details[edit]

There is no birth date for her. This is a little strange in a biographical article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ilio costalis (talkcontribs) 21:33, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

If you can find a reliable source for her birth date, great. Biographies of living persons on Wikipedia had strange and strong standards for what is placed in them. Collect (talk) 23:31, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
Nothing particularly astonishing, but Google Books did find three references listing her birth year as 1948. I'm omitting one because the actual snippet of text isn't available in the preview. See: [7] [8].
Okay, added.--Aichikawa (talk) 22:35, 13 October 2012 (UTC)

Walter Duranty Prize[edit]

Let's keep out. The award was created by a right-wing media blog, and doesn't add anything new to that section, which we agreed not to extend.--Aichikawa (talk) 22:21, 13 October 2012 (UTC)

I don't have a problem keeping it out. I didn't know that the award was from a right-wing blog, but I didn't like the fact (initially) that it was sourced only to the award-giver, so I added that reference to the National Review Online. That said, I didn't know who they were, either, and after some digging, it sounds like they're a biased source as well: "National Review and National Review Online are America’s most widely read and influential magazine and website for Republican/conservative news, commentary and opinion." ([9]) So, unless someone has a different viewpoint, I'm in agreement.--Bbb23 (talk) 22:56, 13 October 2012 (UTC)

Nobody and no institution or organization is unbiased, so that's a criterion that is mostly useless except when you have a "source" that is both extremely biased and very fringe. It seems that notoriety should be one of the major criteria, and a prize created by a news/commentary website (not just a blog), PJ Media, that gets almost 2 million unique visitors a month is not obscure, especially when you consider that the prize was created in cooperation with The New Criterion, a literary journal that in the past has created another prize, a Poetry Prize. This Poetry Prize, like the Walter Duranty Prize, does not have its own Wikipedia page, but is mentioned on The New Criterion's Wikipedia page. When you click on the Wikipedia page for one of the authors who has won a Poetry Prize from The New Criterion, e.g. William Virgil Davis, it mentions the Poetry Prize. The Walter Duranty Prize, created by the same publication, should be treated no differently. 02:28, 14 October 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dechrwr (talkcontribs)

There are "Criticism" sections in Wikipedia articles for individuals for a reason - Precisely to accommodate criticism like the Walter Duranty Prize. Dechrwr (talk) 02:33, 14 October 2012 (UTC)

Beating a dead horse here, Dech-Right-winger (that's what "rwr" stands for doesn't it?). The original al-Assad article was written in 2011. Already have fellow right-winger Barbara Amiel (and wife of convicted ex-felon Conrad Black)'s comment. If you wish to replace that with this obscure self-serving Duranty thing that's one thing but otherwise let's leave and get on with our lives.-- (talk) 18:53, 14 October 2012 (UTC)

Asma Al-Assad section again[edit]

Why do we care whether or not Buck was politically active at the time of writing that Vogue piece? Does being politically active mean you are an all-seeing eye and know everything? Think we should take out.--Aichikawa (talk) 22:37, 13 October 2012 (UTC)

I agree; I took out.-- (talk) 18:54, 14 October 2012 (UTC)

Intro change[edit]

I don't think we need to mention the al-Assad article in the intro. We don't mention Isaiah Washington being kicked off Grey's Anatomy, and that's more famous. Is it possible to think outside sexist social parameters?-- (talk) 20:52, 25 April 2014 (UTC)

Another example: Lara Logan, whose example is more egregious, has NO mention of being laid off from CBS in her intro due to her Benghazi misreporting.-- (talk) 19:45, 12 May 2014 (UTC)

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