Talk:Johann Hari/Archive 3

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Archive 2 Archive 3 Archive 4

Contents

Disputed copyright

You better take that to Wikipedia:Images and media for deletion. Charles Matthews 17:02, 22 November 2006 (UTC)


I think some of your tightening up is useful here, Felix. I've added the line about the Enlightenment again, but softened it somewhat as a compromise to say Hari "defines himself" as it - was your objection that it seemed POV?

Re: the picture, you have consistently failed to answer my point - find another wiki entry of a living person with so poor quality a profile pic. A holiday snap taken with a mobile phone while the subject was unaware is not suitable for an encycopedia picture. Your inability to answer this point, despite it being put to you repeatedly, shows I'm afraid you have no answer.

I am afraid your personal animus is clear here. You have called Hari "a little tyke", tried to insert false and libellous information into this article, and now you are trying to find the most unflattering possible picture. Aren't you a bit embarrassed to be so childish?

If we can't find a decent quality public domain picture, then we should leave it blank.David r from meth productions 00:10, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

Edited some more, hope you like them, dave. The picture should stay-not least because we should be striving to keep pictures in wikipedia articles and that this one is public domain, unlike the others. The picture is easily recognisable as him, and even shows him working as a journalist-a bonus point in my book. Your repeated deletion of this picture, and now infobox has been reverted by 2 editors now, so I think you should desist. I don't see how this picture is either a 'holiday snap' or 'taken with a mobile phone' and what does the subject's awareness have to do with it? (most politicians pics are not posed for example) I have made nothing but good faith edits here, dave-I think you should read WP:assume good faith.Felix-felix 11:41, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

Felix, I resent the fact that you have responded to my last post by addressing me as 'Dave'. You could call me on 0161 256 1624 and verify that I am Jessica. You could answer the points that I raise and address me politely. Since you're clearly determined to do neither, I am going to delete your ludicrous picture until it becomes clear to you that I am an independent person with views of my own.

Of course there is an assumption of good faith in Wikipedia, how else could it function? It is precisely because you have so many times (as detailed above by Dave) demonstrated your bias and bad faith faith in the editing of this article, that I appeal to Charles to curtail your destructive activities in respect of the Hari entry Thelionforreal 13:33, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

Felix, I think calling for good faith when you have accused everybody else here of being a sock-puppet, long after they have verified that they are not, is hilarious. I could labour this point I won't.

You have consistently failed to repsond to my challenge to find a single other wiki entry with as poor quality a picture of a living person, ebcause you can't.

If a picture is too poor quality to be published in a newspaper or magazine, it should be considered too poor quality to put on wikipedia. No newspaper would publish this picture. Yoiu have demonstrated repeatedly (not least by hurling insults and placing false information in the entry), I'm afraid, that you are not acting in good faith, and are obviosuly looking for the most unpleasant picture you can find.

I think it's sad. I would like I to just agree on a form of words for the entry, agree on a picture, and leave it. Let's compromise, shall we?

Re: your trimmings, I think they're good. The two I disagree with are: (1) the line about the Enlightenment, which is absolutely core to Hari's thought and writings. (Listen to the Little Atoms interview linked at the bottom of the entry), or go through his archive for articles on this. I've phrased it as 'he defines himself as...' so its NPOV. Why do you keep deleting this without amking an argument for doing so? (2) I think it's important to say he thinks nuclear disarmament is more important than in the Cold War, and why. It's a fairly unusual position, most people associate CND with the early 1980s etc. I've done it in a short line. Again, you delete this without giving a rational case. Please make arguments for your cuts and let's find a consensus

(And please stop claiming that any consensus against you is of sock puppets, when you have proof it is not, and everyone can see it. I have abided by consensus when it went against me, e.g. on length of the article. I didn't accuse all the people of being you when they weren't. The consensus is against you on the silly picture you want to insert. Let's find a real consensus and move on.)

David r from meth productions 13:55, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

Dave, you do realise I'm not going to phone anybody up, as 1)it proves literally nothing and 2)might compromise me and 3)certainly compromises whoever owns the phone number.So stop offering it-you're just increasing the chances of an internet wierdo getting hold of your (or one of your friend's) phone number, this could be dangerous. Puppet status is obvious from the contribution history, as I'm sure you've realised by now.The picture quality is fine, he's recognisable and working, whether a newspaper would publish it is not a wikipedia criteria, and anyway, I'm not sure that a newspaper would reject a photo of this quality.
I remain baffled why you think that this Enlightenment stuff is of interest to a wikipedia reader, but I will go through his stuff again before i edit that part further. The cold war part is implied in the first sentence ("still a vital issue") so it seems like repetition to me, but we could cut the first sentence instead if you like.Felix-felix 15:46, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

How would you be "compromised" by calling someone, Felix? I used to think you were just somebody with a nasty animus towards Hari; now I'm a bit more suspicious.

More to the point, how is somebody supposed to prove they are not a sock-puppet, Felix, excerpt by agreeing with you? Jessica is not a sock-puppet. She has shown she is not a sock-puppet. I haven't called the people who posted here agreeing with you sock-puppets; you should stop doing the same.

I don't know what the statement "puppet status is obvious from the contribution history" means; can you explain?

You have failed repeatedly to find me another picture of a living person on wiki that is such abysmally poor quality. Look at tomorrow's newspapers, and find me in any of them a single picture of such dismal quality. You won;t be able to. It is unpublishable, and has clearly been selected to be as unflattering as possible, breaching the POV rules of wikipeadia. Selecting a picture to prove a personal agenda is not acceptable.

Since you have failed to meet reasonable criteria and have demonstrated, I'm afraid, such hostility and bad faith towards Hari, and because the +real+ consensus is plainly against you, I will keep deleting the picture.

Re: the Enlightenment, I am glad you agree and hope you will stop removing this sentence. Hari has written so many times on this subject, and cleasrly sees it as central to his political philosophy. I think it's reasonmable for you to suggest "still a vital issue" should be altered to avoid repetition; let's ditch "still".

I am eager to achieve a consensus and compromise here on all issues. I hope you feel the same.David r from meth productions 20:39, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

As before, dave the picture is fine,the quality is fine, it would be publishable, so back it goes. You can find contribution histories of editors-if have not realised this already, I think you'll be rather embarrased when you lok at them. I will not be bound by false consensus, dave-as I have repeated ad nauseum here. I have not areed anything about the spurious sentence about the Enlightenment-I said I'd go through some more of his stuff.

Felix, you've again responded to my comments by calling me Dave. This is ludicrous and offensive, as your picture is ludicrous and offensive. I have deleted it again.

What is the status of Dave's attempts to clear copyright on the orginal picture? Thelionforreal 13:13, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

Hi Jessica - I e-mailed Hari, and he said he places the picture in the public domain, as I said above. I'm not sure about copyright law, which would say whether this is sufficient, but my sister knows a copyright laywer so I'm going to call her tonight and ask about that. I also asked Hari if he has any other pictures, but I think he's still in Mexico as he hasn't replied.

You're totally right to keep deleting the picture, it's very revealing Felix can't find a singfle other wiki entry of a living person with so poor quality a picture. It breaches POV rules since Felix has clearly trawled the web to find a picture that expresses his hostility to Hari - anotehr argument he cannot answer.

On a different point, Felix, please stop deleting lines without offering an argument. I have offered arguments about the Enlightenment line and the nuclear weapons line; you have deleted them without any argument. That is not how wikipedia works. Please abide by consensus, stop abusing other people here, and start making the case for your cuts. Until you do, they'll be reversed David r from meth productions 15:24, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

Finally leaving the office! Just checked in before I leave to make sure you hadn't added the picture back Felix, and it's to your credit you haven't. It was painful for me, when the consensus was against me on cutting back the entry I had spent loads of time writing, but I swallowed hard and accepted that everyone else disagreed with me. I'm glad you are now graciously doing the same, and hope we can find a compromise on the other issues. The only two remaining are the Enlightenment line and the nukes line. I've made my arguments; I look forward to hearing yours and finding some middle ground.

I think I have found a comcpromise on the pciture. I just called the copyright lawyer, and she said if Hari goes to the 'Creative Commons License' website and places the pciture there, showing that he renounces the copyright in writing, then it is legally fine for us to use it. Hari has written, I noticed, that he is not in Mexico any more, but he's not answering his phone or replying to e-mail so I guess he's writing from the States or somehwere else. Anyway, I've left messages suggesting he goes to the CCL site and does this, thus resolving the copyright problem on the original picture. This will at last resolve this. In the meantime, unacceptably poor quality pictures whose selection reveals an obvious POV obviously shouldn't be used.

One last thing - maybe I'm being thick but I still don't get your point Felix when you say, "You can find contribution histories of editors-if have not realised this already, I think you'll be rather embarrased when you lok at them." What's that about? David r from meth productions 20:00, 24 November 2006 (UTC)


If the wiki authorities think this picture is useable, then although I disagree, of course I'll abide by their decision and leave it in place until hari has sorted out the other photo. (I have heard back from him and he said he'll sort it out some time this week).

Please note that when the wiki authorities go against me, I abide by them. When they go against felix, he ignores them. Charles made it clear weeks ago that the entry was fine and did not need any more cutting, but he has continued to cut great chunks out of the entry. Perhaps you will now claim Charles is a sock-puppet, like everyone else?

Okay, Felix, I'm looking for compromise - do you want to make the case for the cuts you keep making? I will make the case against.

Re: the Enlightenment line - you don't seem to understand the connection between Hari's belief in the Enlitghtenment and so many of his other beliefs, so I've looked in his archive to find some illustrations.

On the connection between the Enlightenment and his belief in free speech:

W"estern societies are technologically and intellectually sophisticated because they are built upon 18th-century Enlightenment principles. The most basic of all these principles is that ideas should be openly discussed. Good ideas - ones that make things work or describe reality more accurately - will catch on, and bad ideas will be defeated in argument. No, it doesn't work in every instance; but the broad truth of these ideas has been the basis of all the progress we have enjoyed for centuries - and it's why totalitarian societies that suppress free speech so often remain trapped in poverty."

http://www.johannhari.com/archive/article.php?id=418

On the connection between the Enlightenment and his anti-religious views:

"But there is a deeper philosophical repugnance to Ratzinger lying beneath these individual decisions. His recent lecture was devoted to the premise that the free pursuit of reason will lead all people to a rational belief in the Christian God described in the Bible. (You know – the God who explicitly supports slavery, commits genocide against the Amelkites, stones prostitutes, and feeds small children to bears). The Christian God is Reason Personified, while the Muslim God is “beyond reason” – hence the fuss. But this intra-superstitious squabble is not the real outrage.

However much he swears it is not, this argument is deeply anti-Enlightenment. The central insight of the Enlightenment is that there are two fundamentally different ways to understand the world. One is divine revelation, where a being contacts you from another realm and discloses some truth. (Another word for this is ‘hallucination’). The second method is reason – observing the world empirically, and drawing conclusions from the things we observe. The ultimate expression of reason is the scientific method. These approaches are fundamentally contrasting, and you cannot simply weld them together with contorted theological trickery.

By claiming that divine revelation leads to reason – indeed, is its central underpinning – Ratzinger is subtly attacking the core principles of the Enlightenment. There is nothing we can observe in the world that leads us rationally to conclude a magical creature created it. But Ratzinger wants to be able to claim the fruits of the Enlightenment, like science, without following its basic principles. Whenever people do try to stretch reason to accord with faith – as he demands – they invariably produce contorted, corrupted unreason like the absurdity of ‘intelligent design theory’ (which should be dubbed Creationism 2.0)."

http://www.johannhari.com/archive/article.php?id=985

On the connection between the Enlightenment and his opposition to postmodernism:

"The great Enlightenment goal of pursuing the truth wherever it may lead us – even to ideas we find totally unexpected, or initially horrifying – is under siege. To its right, it is being assaulted by religious fundamentalists who want to ring-fence their own ludicrous propositions from critical inquiry. It is ‘offensive’ to ask if Jesus really walked on water, or Mohammed really was visited by an angel who dictated the Koran to him, so shut up. To the left, it is being assaulted by a postmodernists who argue that rationality is simply a police-state of the mind, demanding we follow its own arbitrary rules. Who are we to say that countless other forms of inquiry – divine revelation, myth, even hallucination – are inferior?"

http://www.johannhari.com/archive/article.php?id=871

On the connection between the Enlightenment and Hari's opposition to alternative medicine:

"The defenders of alternative medicine - like the scientific illiterate Charles Windsor - say it is "a spiritual cure" that treats "the whole person and his relation to the cosmos", as opposed to "cold, rationalistic science". There's only one problem: their treatment is - like the Jesus Diet - an absurd lie. It doesn't work. The journalist John Diamond - when he was dying of cancer - offered to give £10,000 to a charity of Prince Charles' choice if he could offer a sliver of proof for his claim that alternative treatments could heal a cancer patient.

Richard Dawkins, one of Britain's most eminent scientists, explains why, by definition, alternative medicine doesn't work. If a particular alternative treatment can be shown before a panel of qualified doctors to work, then it isn't called "alternative" any more. It's just medicine. "'Alternative' is another word for 'ineffective'", he says... Some people might shrug and assume alternative medicine is a harmless Western indulgence. But how can it be harmless to profit from selling lies to sick and dying people? Materialists can offer you cures; spiritualists can only ever offer you honeyed lies. How can we consider it harmless when our public figures say that real medicine - which has eradicated horrific diseases like smallpox from the human condition - is equivalent to "spiritual" non-medicine, which has eradicated no diseases ever?"

http://www.johannhari.com/archive/article.php?id=521

I could go on, but I hope this makes the point. The Enlightenment is at the core of his ideas - the beliefs in free speech, opposition to alt medicine and postmodernism and religion etc, flow from it. That's why the line matters.

I'm keen to engage in rational arguments about the edits, Felix, so we can reach a consensus.David r from meth productions 15:02, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

I am also keen to engage in rational arguments about the choice of picture. Dave, thank for sorting out the copyright issue on the mugshot. Charles, I strongly feel that the current picture is inappropriate for Wikipedia because of its poor quality and also because it is offensively unflattering to its subject. The picture that Dave and I are proposing to use is standard and innocuous. Please could we have some adjudication here? Thelionforreal 18:20, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

Once you have a better image we can replace the current image. There's nothing wrong with the current image. It is not in any way "offensive". Why is it taking so long to obtain the other image anyway? If the image is from Hari himself, he should send an email to Wikipedia, so that {{PermissionOTRS-ID}} can be used to confirm the license. I guess forwarding an email from him would work as well. jacoplane 19:01, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

Oh, ok, I'll tell him to e-mail you, thanks Jacoplane, I appreciate that and didn't know about it. He was out of the country in rural Mexico I think reporting on something so not contactable...

Jessica - if Felix doesn't try to find genuine compromises so this page can settle down, we can apply for arbitration, which given his obvious abuse of Hari and everyone else here I don't think he will come out well from. Let's give it a week, try to find a genuine compromise, and if we can't then we can go to the arbitration page - do you agree? David r from meth productions 22:27, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

Yes, arbitration sounds like a good way forward if discussion fails and I'd support you on that. Thanks Jacoplane for your advice and for confirming that we can replace the current image once we've cleared copyright. Dave, let me know if there's anything I can do to help move things forward here. - Jessica Thelionforreal 12:27, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

I thyink it's fascinating that after making changes every day for months on end, faced with a situation where he actually has to make the case for his changes and find a consensus rather than simply impose them unilaterally, Felix goes silent... David r from meth productions 13:24, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

Yes, fascinating. Jacoplane, I've just realised that I didn't address your earlier point about my comment that the current photograph is 'offensively unflattering'. Of course the photo is not 'offensive' in itself. My point (as you'll see from the discussion above) is that Felix has pretty systematically tried to denigrate Hari through his edits on the text, and has then (when some of his attempts to edit the text met with opposition) gone on to find the most unflattering picture posible of Hari. It is this repeated action of editing with the objective of denigrating a reputable journalist which I find offensive. Thelionforreal 14:59, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

Remember, dave WP:assume good faith, and I think I've made my feelings about your puppets well know already.Puff pieces have no place in wikipedia either.Felix-felix 15:25, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

Hilarious! In the very same post where you talk about assuming good faith, you accuse Jessica of beign a sock-puppet - when she has provided proof she isn't!

Don't you see the irony here?

Anyway, let's find some compromises. I've put the case for the Enlightenment line you keep deleting. do you want to put the case against, so we can find middle ground?

Do you want to make the case for your other cuts?

And I still don't understand your statement, "You can find contribution histories of editors-if have not realised this already, I think you'll be rather embarrased when you lok at them."

Of course I'm aware of contribution histories. There's nothing in mine to be embarrassed about; I really don't see what you mean, can you explain?

David r from meth productions 15:42, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

I really find it very revealing, Felix, that you have been making about six edits a day for over a month, but now you are finally asked to rationally justify your edits and discuss them, you go silent.

Are you waiting until the page is unfrozen so you can continue as you did in the past, with unilateral edits and no attempt to engage in discussion, and bogus dismissal of real consensus?

(Please note that when people posted here in agreement with you, like 'Bedesboy', I did not accuse them of being sock-puppets, as you do with everyone who agrees with me. When the wiki authorities go against me, I abide by their decisions, unlike you, who ignores them. I could go on, but I hope my point is finally made and you will start being reasonable!)

Ah - just got an message from hari saying he has got a CCL license for the original byline picture

It's at http://www.ourmedia.org/user/120455

Hope you can put that back now Jacobplane...David r from meth productions 20:26, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

Dave, I don't really see why not answering a post on here after 15:42 is going silent, although draw all the conclusions you like.

Are you waiting until the page is unfrozen so you can continue as you did in the past, with unilateral edits and no attempt to engage in discussion, and bogus dismissal of real consensus?

The page above speaks for itself dave, and as I've pointed out on numerous occasions, I won't be bound by false concensus, generated by sockpuppets or meatpuppets.

When 'Bedesboy' made an edit on this page, you deleted it twice, as I recall! Anyway, back to the article-you've taken up even more space on this page posting pieces from Hari articles where he (sometimes) mentions the Enlightenment, although I notice the one on alternative medicine doesn't even mention it. Your entry in the articlestates that he is a 'defender of the Enlightenment' from whom is he defending it? Is he an Enlightenment scholar? And where in any of his pieces does he discuss or even mention Voltaire, Locke, Rousseau or indeed ANY Enlightenment thinkers or authors? The entry is spurious and the article remains massively overlong, we need to be trimming it, not expanding it-and certainly not trying to give a fairly trivial op-ed writer an intellectual gravitas he simply does not have. Also kindly read and reflect on WP:Vandalism and then refrain from calling me a vandal.Personal attacks have no place here and you have been warned about that before.Felix-felix 08:58, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

This discussion really needs to be broken into more sections - it's difficult to follow. I think it might be relevant to mention some of Hari's comments on the enlightenment but the sentence "Hari is a defender of the Enlightenment as a system of rational thought" is too problematic because The Enlightenment is not a system of rational thought, it's a movement including many different thinkers who produced at times contradictory work. Might be safer to say he links his arguments to ideas produced in the enlightenment. With the two photos, I may be looking at the wrong ones here but I honestly don't see a problem. Seems to be me people who are favourably inclined towards Hari want the more professional pic and those less favourably inclined want the unprofessional pic but I honestly don't see what's wrong with the one that shows him actually doing some work, I would have thought for a journalist that shows them in a favourable light - if you think he doesn't look good in that photo, honestly, my graduation pic makes me look worse! Why not just have both - other biographies, for example George Monbiot's page, include a posed pic and one taken off the cuff so to speak. MuttGirl 13:49, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Seems fair enough to me.Felix-felix 15:04, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Can I point out to Jacoplane and Charles, who are hopefully following this discussion, that Felix's attitude towards me is in violation of the Wikipedia priniciple of respecting other editors. He refuses to answer any of my comments and persistently accuses me of being a sockpuppet or meatpuppet of Dave which is completely untrue. I think I have a right to have my comments taken into account and hope they will be.

MuttGirl, er, welcome this discussion. I personally think it's fair to say that "Hari is a defender of the Enlightenment as a system of rational thought". This isn't sumarising the Enlightenment as such but simply stating where Hari's attraction to Englightenment thinkers lie. I'm glad that you admit that the picture currently posted is 'unprofessional' and comparable to a poor quality graduation picture. I hope that the Wikipedia adminstrators will come down in my favour in allowing Dave to upload the old picture which is now cleared in relation to copyright. Thelionforreal 15:28, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

If you read the edit by MuttGirl again, dave-I think you'll notice she thought the picture is quite good. And why not have both photos, if the other one really does have it's copyright cleared (if!)? MutGirls point about the Enlightenment is true too-saying he's a defender of it is a non-sequitir as well as being untrue.Felix-felix 15:47, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

If I was you, Felix, I would now be accusing MuttGirl of being a sock-puppet. Unlike you, I accept that there are real people in the world who disagree with me, however, so hi MuttGirl - as Jess says, welcome to the discussion.

I've suggested as a compromise we say "Hari defines himself as a defender of the Enlightenment, which he sees a system of rational thought that is under seige." That is undoubtedly true. This is not a stray judgement - the National Secular Society, founded to protect the values of the Enlightenment, nomintated him for its Secularist of the Year award in 2006 alongside Salman Rushdie and Ayan Hirsi Ali. You may say it is "untrue", Felix, and he is "a fairly trivial op-ed writer" (as well as a "little tyke"), but that is your POV and some very serious people who dedicate their lives to these issues disagree. if you can find serious people with creidibility on this issue who disagree, by all means link to them and list their criticism.

Here Hari is on this subject:

"The emancipatory philosophy of the eighteenth century – the font of modernity – has been torn at by a mob of post-modernists, Islamic fundamentalists, New Agers, and market fundamentalists. The very people who should have defended it, the left, have been too busy chattering about deconstructing the latent racism or sexism of the Enlightenment to notice...

Far from being the source of oppression, the Enlightenment provides the oppressed with the only effective tools to fight back. It provided the philosophical basis for the anti-slavery movement and for liberation movements across the globe today. "Why," [Francis] Wheen asks in response to Theodor Adorno's claim that the Nazis represent the culmination of Enlightenment rationality, "are we so shocked by the Nazi atrocities? Because they are an outrage against human rights. And who developed this concept of human rights, which has been proclaimed again and again to the great benefit of mankind, whether by the American founding fathers or Amnesty International?" The thinkers of the Enlightenment, of course."

http://www.johannhari.com/archive/article.php?id=348

I could quote literally dozens of article along these lines showing Hari has written at length on the Enlightenment, but Felix has reasonably chided me for taking up so much space.

Felix, you say, "Your entry in the article states that he is a 'defender of the Enlightenment' from whom is he defending it?"

This question reveals quite starling ignorance of Hari's writing. Let me give you the list. (a) Those who oppose the core Enlightenment principle of free speech - see about 10 articles he has written. (2) Religious fundamentalists - see the entire 'Against religion' section on his website, with about 30 articles (c) Postmodernists - see about a dozen articles (d) The porponents of soft anti-Enlightenment erosiions of science, like alt medicine - see at least 5 articles.

All of these are cticisied by hari in explicit terms for opposing the Elightenment. This is undoubtedly a connecting thread throughout his work, and it has been externally recognised. As I say, if you can find critics of it, by all means add their criticisms too, but it clearly deserves a place in the entry.

You then ask, "Is he an Enlightenment scholar?" No, he is according to the National Secular Society one of the five most distinguished non-scholastic defenders of the Enlightenment in Britain in 2006. Where in the article does it suggest he is a scholar?

So can we find a consensus around "he defines himself as a defender of the Enlightenment"? Perhaps a link to the National Secular Society nomination would help provide external evidence for this too.

Re: the photograph, I'm pleased to say the wiki authorities havce agreed that the picture I porposed is far superior and should replace the one Felix found. I am in favour of removing the current one because it betrays Felix's obvious hostility to Johann Hari, proven in the abuse he has directed at Hari on this page. Go to google images and search for images of Hari. the one Felix has chosen is literally and by far the most unflattering. (Indeed, as somebody who knows Johann, I must admit I wasn't sure it was him at first; he just doesn't look like that). It therefore breaches the POV rules. The wiki authorities have now adjudicated on this and assure me the change will be made as soon as Hari makes the right copyright commitment on this website. (apparently he pushed the wrong button).

I have always abided by Wiki authority decisions when they go against me; Felix just ignores them. I hope this attitude will now change.

Shall we move onto some of the other controversies to find a compromise there:

(1) The nuclear weapons line, which Felix wants to cut and I want to leave at two clear distilled lines. (2) Where we should list the countries he has reported from - in the intro, or further down? (3) Whether we should quote Medialens? I'm not averse to quoting critics, including these ones, but by adding this long quote from one particular critic who Felix happens to agree with while cutting all other quotes from critics, Felix is making the Iraq section one of the longest and imbalancing the article. For example, he wants to reduce Hari's views on drugs to one line, while giving Iraq two paragraphs with one dedicated to critics. That's not an accurate or fair representation of Hari's work, and betrays Felix's POV. If you want to include the Medialens quote, then we need to (a) restore the other quotes from critics in other sections, and (b) point out that many opinion polls from the time of the invasion suggest a majority of Brits were in favour of the invasion, thus suggesting the criticism may not have much validity. If that's done, then I'm fine with this section; otherwise it should go. (4) Any other areas of contention? I suppose one is the length of the article. Felix appears to be the only person who now claims it is too long; several posters have suggested it has already been cut too far. Felix, do you want to make the argument so others can respond rationally?

Also, responding to two other points by Felix, you say, "I don't really see why not answering a post on here after 15:42 is going silent, although draw all the conclusions you like."

Every other day, you have made around six edits. (Anyone who wants to can check the edit history). Mysteriously, on the set of days when you have to justify your edits in line with wiki rational principles rather than impose them unilaterally without an argument, you go silent. Yes, I think we can draw some conclusions from that.

In response to my question, 'Are you waiting until the page is unfrozen so you can continue as you did in the past, with unilateral edits and no attempt to engage in discussion, and bogus dismissal of real consensus?', you say: "The page above speaks for itself dave, and as I've pointed out on numerous occasions, I won't be bound by false concensus, generated by sockpuppets or meatpuppets."

That is a candid admission that you are waiting until the page is unfrozen so you can start on your previous course of disregarding consensus and imposing your own POV on the entry. I hope Jacoplame will bear this in mind when it comes to the question of when to unfreeze the page; until felix changes his attitude, it seems, sadly, we might just have to keep it frozen to prevent him breaching wiki principles.

In the meantime I will keep seeking compromise. Felix, do you want to make your case on the above points so we can try to find a compromise?

(Oh, and you still haven't explained your mysterious comment, "You can find contribution histories of editors-if have not realised this already, I think you'll be rather embarrased when you lok at them." What was that about?)David r from meth productions 18:32, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Oh, just remembered a fifth point of contention: whether to include the fact Hari is the youngest person ever to be nominated for the Orwell prize.

Felix kept deleting it, the wiki authorities suggested about a month ago that we return to the subject, so here we are. i think it's a very interesting fact; as somebody pointed out above, loads of books list their Orwell Prize nomination on their cover, it's so prestigious. What's the argument against it, Felix?

I really want to find compromises; if we can't we'll have to go for arbitration.David r from meth productions 18:48, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

And again... Felix, who found time for six edits a day when he didn't have to compromise or discuss, now can't find any time at all... David r from meth productions 13:24, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

A quiet day at work I see, dave! The line about the Enlightenmentshould go for reasons outlined by Muttgirl and myself above. It is not 'central' to his writing (which is lightweight liberal op-ed) he is not 'defendng' it, as not one of the groups that you have listed above is 'attacking' it-postmodernists or religious fundamentalists, and as Muttgirl pointed out, the Enlightenment was a broad movement, not an idea. The fact that Hari mentions it in a few articles, (but not, you'll notice, any of the actual writers/thinkers involved in it..) does not make him a 'defender' of it, prominent or not.This article isn't a love letter to Hari, it's supposed to be an encyclopedia article. As for the national secular society award, lets see some proof, and if it's a real award (and not another bloody nomination..!) why not put it in the awards section?
Re the photo, I'm with Muttgirl on this too-I think this photo is superior to the old one, if the copyright issue is cleared and you are definate about putting the ghastly previous picture back, I think both should go in. I don't really see what you mean about it not looking like him, he's far more recognisable from the current picture than the last one, and you can see him working too.
I have always abided by Wiki authority decisions when they go against me; Felix just ignores them. I hope this attitude will now change I have to admire your cheek dave!
As for the rest of your points 1) I think that the current para should be shortened to something like; He has written that nuclear disarmament in line with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is still a vital issue.[44] The spurious 'criticism' should be cut-but if you insist on it staying then 'mocked' is too POV. 2) The list of countries is most logical in the beginning of the international affairs section, to my mind. 3) I think that the medialens criticism should stay, although I understand that you only want to keep fluffy or barmy criticism of Hari in the article, dave. The section on the war isn't that long, but the final Hari quote could be cut to shorten it. I was thinking sabout rewriting that part anyway. 4) The article is too long, 3 real editors have made the same comment-only you (and various puppets) disagree, dave. The trimming will continue. 5) Did Hari win the Orwell prize? No? No other nominees have runner-up to the orwell prize in their articles-we've reached consensus on this before, dave (remember how Charles Matthews thought it should be cut?) again this isn't (or shouldn't be) a puff piece, however much you would like it to be one.
You wrote; I really want to find compromises Well, I'm glad you've seen the light, daveFelix-felix 15:30, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Still you don't explain your incomprehensible charges about contribution histories.

Still you breach basic wiki guidelines about assuming good faith towards literally everyone who disagrees with you.

Still I won't descend to your level by accusing MuttGirl, Bedesboy etc of being sock-puppets; I don't think they are, any more than Jessicca or anybody else who has agreed with me here.

And still, I'm afraid, you try to instert POV claims into this entry.

You think Hari is a "trivial op-ed writer" with nothing to say about the Enlightenment. The National Secular Society believes he is one of the most prominent and valuable defenders of the Enlightenment in britain:

http://www.secularism.org.uk/secularistoftheyearprizeaward200.html

They dedicate their working lives to this issue and have some credibility on it; you do not. If you can find credible sources on this issue who disagree, rather than people who think hari is "a little tyke", please post them here.

The Enlightenment was of course a broad movement, but it agreed on some core principles: reason, adhering to available evidence, scienctific inquiry, opposition to revelation as a means of understanding the world, etc. It was not so broad as to have no values. The values it does have are indeed attacked, quite openly, by postmodernists, religious fundamentalists, etc. The values it has are indeed defended by Johann Hari, to a degree to NSS considers on a par with major global figures like Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Salman Rushdie. If you don't understand these basic and uncontroversial claims, I suggest you read any of the academic literature on it.

For example, you state that postmodernists do not attack the Enlightenment, so it makes no sense to say Hari is defending it from them. This is the first para of the wiki entry on postmodernism:

"Scholars and historians most commonly hold postmodernism to be a movement of ideas that has both replaced and extended modernism by countering and borrowing from a number of modernism's fundamental assumptions. For example, modernism places a great deal of importance on ideals such as rationality, objectivity, and progress -- as well as other ideas rooted in The Enlightenment, and as positivist and realist movements from the late 19th century -- while postmodernism questions whether these ideals can actually exist at all."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postmodernism

Read anything about postmodernism - anything at all - and you will find evidence for this.

As for the idea religious fundamentalism is opposed to the Enlightenment... Again, uncontroversial. Obvious. Gary Wills for exmaple decsribed the victory of the religious right in 2004 as a "defeat for the Enlightenment". Look up what the Ayatollah Kohmeini said about the Enlightenment.

http://www.niemanwatchdog.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=ask_this.view&askthisid=0068

Felix, I'm afraid you are trying to squeeze your POV into debates you clearly know nothing about.

You also seem to misunderstand the nature of live intellectual debates, consistently arguing that if you do not talk solely about the founders of the movement, you are not continuing its values. For example, you questioned Hari's commitment to feminism because his agenda is not identical to the Suffragettes'; now you question his commitment to the Enlightenment because he does not write about Locke and Voltaire. Movements evolve. It would be nonsensical to call for women's votes in britain now; we have them. Those values are being applied and defended in different areas now. You really can't say somebody is not part of an intellectual movement because they are not writing exclusively about its origins. It's a basic intellectual fallacy. Richard Dawkins is a key Enlightenment thinker, and Hari has defended him in explictly Enlightenment terms repeatedly (e.g. http://www.johannhari.com/archive/article.php?id=773 )

Please offer counter-arguments if you can, rather than assertions.

Re: the picture, the wiki authorities in the form of JacoPlame have adjudicated and found that the first picture is far better and should replace the original. I'll abide by their decision, as I've adbided by their decisions when they went against me.

Yet still you propose to unilaterally edit large parts of this article, e.g. cutting the quote where Hari says he was wrong about the war, or blithely declaring "the trimming will continue".

You don't seem to have understood why this page was frozen, Felix. it is because edits were being introduced in a manner totally contrary to wiki principles. they were disregarding consensus and POV rules and being unilaterally imposed by you. If that continues, the page will just stay frozen, and I'll have to appeal for adjudication. But if you keep simply unilaterally declaring that you will impose your will whatever evidence is shown to you, i am left with no choice.

I am looking for serious compromises. I have offered evidence about the Enlightenment; you have offered merely assertions. You don't even seem to have read what was written properly: for example, you ask if the NSS nomination was a nomination or an award, when i repeatedly point out above it was a nomination.

If you don't start talking compromises in the next few days, you leave me with very little choice but to appeal officially for adjudication through the proper channels, where your consistent breaches of wiki rules will be listed. I don't want to do this, I think it's a real shame if adults can't find sensible compromise based on facts.

You have taken to inserting outright fiction into your claims again (remember Harrow School?). You now claim, "Did Hari win the Orwell prize? No? No other nominees have runner-up to the orwell prize in their articles". None of the others were the youngest person ever to be nominated, were they? But because it contradicts your blatant POV that he is "fairly trivial", rather than pretty impressive, you want to slash it out. "we've reached consensus on this before, dave (remember how Charles Matthews thought it should be cut?)". Er, no, he said we should come back to the issue in a while - and that was a while ago. You also seem to have missed that several posters, like QuineFan, entirely disagreed on this, showing that far from a consensus, opinion tipped away from you and your hostility. (I forget - have you accused him of beign a sock puppet too yet?)

I have proposed several compromises - e.g. you can have the Medialens quote if we restore lines from otehr critics and add the contrary opinion poll evidence. You haven;'t offered any serious compromises, as far as I can see. Do you want to suggest some? And answer my points about the Enlightenment? And apologise for insulting Jessica repeatedly, in a way I refuse to do with those who agree with you?

You claim I want a "puff piece". Anybody who wants to can check the archive to see that version of this article I proposed included accusations that hari was fat, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, a defender of paeodophiles, naive, "ignorant", "a Stalinist" and "beneath contempt"... etc. Some puff piece. Also, you claim I only want to include fluffy critics of Hari. Like Noam Chomsky? David Starkey?

Oh, and please explain your comments about contribution histories, I'm genuinely curious to know what you're on about.

David r from meth productions 17:11, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

This article is becoming more controversial than some of the articles on the middle east! I wasn't so much saying you shouldn't include the sentence about the enlightenment, its just the phrasing I take issue with. It is misleading to refer to the enlightenment as a "system". If you decide to keep it, I'd change the sentence

Hari is a defender of the Enlightenment as a system of rational thought which he believes is under attack from several angles

to something like:

Hari has defended rationalism and what he sees as Enlightenment values, which he believes are under attack from several angles

I'd call the section something like 'Atheism/rationalism" - that seems legitimate to me as he writes about issues around that area a lot.

I'd assume the contribution history comments refer to wikipedia advice on identifying sockpuppets - that they are more likely to be users whose contribution history shows that they have newly arrived only to join one side of an argument on one particular article, without showing previous interest in other articles. I think my account shows that's not what I'm doing!

MuttGirl 18:01, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Exactly, just like all the other real editors here and unlike the numerous sock and meatpuppets.
Dave, your link shows that he didn't win secularist of the year-and the prize is not for the most prominent and valuable defenders of the Enlightenment in britain.This also puts him on a par with Flemming Rose, ironically.
I believe Charles Matthew's actual comment was; I think the Orwell Prize nomination is inessential. As these articles build up, these things do become more like factoids that can be cut out without real loss. Although, once again, dave, I have to admire your bare faced cheek in reinterpreting the facts.
If you're not afraid of having criticism in the article, why are you so against the medialens criticism?
And, I'll point out dave, that I've insulted nobody, not even you. I will not, however, have exchanges with meat- or sock-puppets.
Dawkins as an Enlighenment thinker? I've never heard of him being so termed-although the name of the Brights movement aludes to it. I still overblown hyperbole in an article that's overlong-but Muttgirl's compromise would be acceptable at an impasse.Felix-felix 19:14, 29 November 2006 (UTC)


Hi MuttGirl - I really didn't want you to think I was accusing you of being a sock-puppet, i dont for a minute think you are, and you're very welcome.

In fact, you are a star, because you've made Felix agree to a genuine compromise!

So we're all agreed on the line MuttGirl suggests, resolving the Enlightenment controversy.

Excellent. Let's move on and try to find a similar compromise with some of the other issues.

Felix, you say, "If you're not afraid of having criticism in the article, why are you so against the medialens criticism?" I'm not against havign the Medialens criticism at all; I'm in favour of it. But I think it needs to be part of an article that has many criticisms, and the repsonses to those criticisms.

What I'm opposed to is your vision: no quotes from any critics except the group Felix happens to agree entirely with. That's the imposition of POV, and not acceptable. For example, you proposed cutting back Hari's stance on drugs to one line, cutting all criticisms out of the nukes section and others, but having several paras on Iraq including a quote from the people you agree with.

If we are going to include a long quote from Medialens - no bad idea - then we need to have (a) long quotes from other critics elsewhere in the article, and (b) a link to some responses to Medialens, not least the plausible evidence from many polls that a majority in Britain did support the invasion.

Does that seem like a reasonable compromise to you?

I finally get what Felix was saying about contribution histories. But using that logic, several of the people who have inetrvened on felix's side are sockpuppets too - not an allegation I have made, or believe. If that's the best you can do to keep making your un-wiki smears, Felix, you'll really have to do better.

Your current line is 'I haven't insulted anyone - except the little tyke who we're writing about, and everyone who disagrees with me, who is a sock-puppet.' You don't see the ironies in that? Do you really find it so hard to believe there might be half a dozen people in the world who quite like Johann Hari and think he deserves a non-biased wikipedia entry?

MuttGirl, please stay and propose more compromises! We love you! What do you think about including the fact Hari was the youngest person ever to be nominated for the prestigious Orwell Prize? Do you feel the entry is too long? David r from meth productions 19:27, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Hey. The Orwell Prize should stay in. The terrible photo should come out. Also some of the writing standard in the article is a bit below par. After we've all finished this little barny someone might wanna try make this piece more readable. Reading the article I come away with an impression that there is an obsessive focus on critical response. It seems that the article is unable to assert one of of Johann's opinions without immediately offering an example of someone who disagrees with him. He is, as Felix says, an Op-Ed writer - it can be taken as read that someone, somewhere will disagree with him on any issue he chooses to agree with. On issues where the disagreements have been either public or particularly controversial (Niall Ferguson, Iraq) criticism is valid but only to describe how this affected Johann - ie. changing his mind on Iraq, his public disagreement with Ferguson. The bit about his disagreement with that Bjorn guy on Katrina seems extraneous, as do other tagged on critics. This article should surely be a statement of Johann's beliefs as well as significant controversy and/or disagreements they have caused rather than an outline of both sides of every single debate he happens to get involved with. Thom Costello129.67.49.59 23:53, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Please remember to sign inFelix-felix 08:30, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

Felix, please respond to my offer of a compromise on the Medialens quote. Then we can move on to compromises on the next few issues.

Please note, the page says, "This page is currently protected from editing until disputes have been resolved". You keep saying things like, 'I'm going to cut this' or 'I'll rewrite that'. This page isn;t going to work like that any more; it'll be refrozen if you go back to your old ways.

It's going to work through discussion and consensus, as wiki is supposed to. So any changes you've got planned, propose and discuss them here, and we'll find compromises where we can, as we did eventually on the Enlightenment. Once your arguments were exposed to the light, it became clear that many of them were factually wrong (e.g. postmodernists don't oppose the Enlightenment), but also that my proposal was too sweeping and imprecise, so we found a compromise in the middle.

That's what we have to do with all the changes you've got planned. So get them out in the open now and wel discuss them sensibly. The days when you could unilaterally impose changes, and teh rets of us had to hurry behind to see what you'd done, are over.

So - let's begin with my proposed compromise on medialens... David r from meth productions 14:29, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

And again... Felix has plenty of time for unilateral edits, but none for edits in line with wiki principles of discussion and consensus. Depressing.

Anyway, Hari e-mailed explaining his pocture is now here http://www.flickr.com/photos/75377964@N00/?saved=1

placing it clearly in the public domain.

David r from meth productions 17:45, 1 December 2006 (UTC) No, i think that your 'compromise on the medialens quote won't work-seeing as I would want to add other opinion polls showing that the war didn't have backing of the majority of the UK populace. Opinion poll data added like that has no relation to medialens criticisng Hari.Felix-felix 18:06, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

What you're saying is the opinion poll evidence is contradictory. That isn't so complex a point it can't be made! We can link to the polls that support the Medialens position, and those that contradict it. (both exist).

On the wider point, my feeling is that we should either quote most of the critics, or none of them. What we can't do is only quote the critics Felix-Felix happens to agree with; this isn't the Felixapedia.

The nature of compromise, Felix, is that if you don't like the one proposed, you think of another. You aren't doing that. It's a bit tiring thinking of compromises for one.

I am offering two compromises:

Either (1) Quote Medialens and other critics equally, and link to the polls supporting Medialens and the polls contradicting them

Or (2) Simply put a link to Medialens and say 'Medialens criticised this', without a quote.

If you have a third compromise - rather than, as you usually do, simply insisting on your own way, in defiance of everyone else, which is contrary to wiki principles - I'm keen to hear it and will consider it with an open mind.David r from meth productions 04:42, 2 December 2006 (UTC)


The wiki authorities have suggested mediation rather than arbitration at this point

I haven't had time to do this yet, and I think it's something we have to jointly ask for. Felix, you and I clearly aren't going to agree independently - I've offered you more than eight compromises, and you've refused them all. However, when MuttGirl - an independent thrid party - intervened, we reached our first real compromise. it worked. So I think official mediation would help even more. We both, I'm sure, have better things to do than endlessly squabble over a frozen page, so shall we apply together for mediation? What do you say?

Please answer this Felix, we can't carry on like this. David r from meth productions 12:48, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

What's the plan then, dave?Felix-felix 17:17, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

If you agree, then we both read the mediation page and follow the instructions. Do you agree? David r from meth productions 17:18, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, okFelix-felix 17:52, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Great - I have a meeting now, but if we both get it done tonight, taht would be great. Thank you David r from meth productions 18:01, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Okay, done, have appealed to the mediation cabal as a first step. Hope we can now find some compromises at last! David r from meth productions 22:53, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Proposed Changes/Edits

Firstly this talk page is too long, and archiving it is a little tricky as the discussion is all in one section. I propose creating sections ( such as ones corresponding to setions in the article), to make future archiving and editing of this talk page easier. If we do so from now-I'll archive the rest of this page shortly.Felix-felix 09:59, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

It's archived now-let's try and keep discussion to topic so it's possible to follow and archive. if you want to discuss a new section-just make a new section here to do it!Felix-felix 19:10, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Picture

When the copyright on the indy portrait picture is sorted out, I have no problem with it's inclusion in the article. I think that the present yorkshire camp picture should stay as well-as it depicts him at work, and looks more like him to my mind as well.Felix-felix 09:59, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

I'm afraid your suggestion here is absurd and contrary to Wikipedia practice. The point of including photos on an entry is to give a clear, uncluttered and lifelike representation of the subject. Thus look at, for example, the entries for Jon Snow, Jeremy Paxman, Germaine Greer or Tony Blair. ALL these photos are closeups of the subject's face, with the subject looking towards the camera. Your ridiculous pap-shot of Hari shows him at such an angle that his face is barely visible. This is of no use to the reader and wholly inappropriate in what is supposed to be an online encyclopedia. David r from meth productions 17:21, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Sorry to have been away for a few days, my broadband connection was down - very traumatic! It's interesting to read how the debate has progressed, and I'm pleased to see that Wikipedia has adjudicated in favour of my preferred photograph - can't understand why Felix calls it 'ghastly' unless he is suggesting that mugshots are of their nature ghastly. I do not support the inclusion of the current picture, for the reasons that I have already set out; it's revealing that Felix says it looks more like Hari 'to his mind' - his mind seems focused on presenting Hari in the poorest possible light.

I'm not suprised to see that Felix has continued to abuse me in my absence, saying that he won't have any exhanges with me/puppets. As I've already pointed out, this extremely unfair given that I have never met Dave in my life. I'm sorry that I don't have a long and convincing edit history (so far my edits have been restricted to the photograph) but I think that in order to thrive, Wikipedia and other editors ought to make new editors feel welcome and their contributions valued. From what I seen so far it needs new blood.

Not sure where to put this comment - tell me if I should be starting a new thread: I think the adjudication system seems to be working well in areas where consensus cannot be achieved between Felix and Dave. Clearly when there are two people involved with different and strongly held views and a certain degree of personal animosity blosoming between them, consensus cannot always be achieved. Felix has persisently resisted Dave's calls for compromise in relation to the edits being discussed at much length above. I therefore support Dave's request for official adjudication in relation to the editing process. Thelionforreal 18:29, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Sorry to hear about your broadband, dave-I wondered where you'd gone. Two editors support both pictures going in a true compromise, which I thought you would support.Felix-felix 19:14, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Felix ought to note that if I was actually Dave, then I'd be much more familiar with the history of this and other disputes on this page. Charles, please can you respond to my request for adjudication under 'picture', above - Jessica Thelionforreal 19:24, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Jacoplane and Charles, please can we have some adjudication on this, in which I hope that Felix's continued offensive behaviour towards me will be taken into account. Two editors, myself and Dave, oppose the use of two photographs. There are two people on each side, and Felix's most recent rude remarks make it clear that he is not interested in compromise or debate. What is the way forward? How do we start the adjudication process? Thelionforreal 14:33, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Two editors favour keeping two photos, one opposes, dave. You may want to check the Wikipedia:Sock puppetry guidelines again.Felix-felix 23:30, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
I watch this page, but the basic idea is that editors sort things out, and learn to be less adversarial. If you want my opinion, in abstract terms two pictures are better than one; but has the whole provenance business really been resolved? There is a whole rolling debate going on about free images. Charles Matthews 12:43, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
Where do these discussions go on? (For my own interest, really.)Felix-felix 16:37, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
On the wiki-en mailing list is one place. See [1] for a fairly recent thread. Charles Matthews 17:55, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
Ta muchly.Felix-felix 12:08, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Jacoplane has already ruled, in discussion with me, that the original picture is best. That debate is over. I also notice that felix has tried to delete a massive part of the archive of this discussion where he argues in defence of inserting lies into this article (e.g. that hari went to Harrow School, and that postmodernists do not oppose the Enlightenment!) persumably because he does not want anybody who adjudicates his role on this page to be able to read the history of this. I have of course restored this to the archive - I just wanted people to be aware of what he's trying to do. - Dave

No, dave that's all in Archive 3, which I created-remember to avoid personal attacks, sign in and stick to sections. If the indy picture copyright can be sorted, then consensus was that both pictures would be included, as I think we have discussed before.Felix-felix 11:33, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

That wasn't the consensus, it was your view, opposed by some others. Your definition fo consensus seems to be "what I think, and anyone who disagrees is a sockpuppte"

No, dave-it was consensus amongst editors. Please review the archives.Felix-felix 17:22, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
And sign in! I will start removing unsigned edits soon.Felix-felix 17:22, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

Yesterday I received this e-mail (I just got back from holiday this afternoon so couldn't post it before) from hari:

"Hiya Dave,

sorry it's taken me so long to get back to you, have done a circuit of Mexico/Gaza/NYC and been a bit chaotic and inbox is overflowing with shite. I finally checked out the wikipedia thing. It seems fine to me, thanks for that, but for one thing, that picture isn't me. I've never been to a peace camp in Yorkshire, and I don't own those clothes, not sure how that happened. It's somebody who looks a bit like me I suppose. Unless i have been sleepwalking again! I tried to delete the pic but it wouldn't let me, almost certainly my techo-illiteracy kicking in, will leave it to you, as ever!

Love & I owe you a pint

J"

I thought it was a bit of an odd picture all along. So not only have you inserted false information into Hari's bio that I had to correct, you have also inserted false pictures! You should go back to your source, assuming you didn't just trawl the web for an unflattering picture of somebody who looks vaguely like Hari.

Just as well Jacoplame had already ruled on this, I suppose. But if you keep refusing consensus and compromise (anybody can read through the archive and see I have offered at least eight substantial compromises, Felix has offered one, grudgingly, after the intervention of others) then this page will never be unfrozen and the fake picture will remain. David r from meth productions 22:55, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Really! It's a false picture now!C'mon, dave-you can do better than this. I'm perfectly happy for both pictures to be included, once the copyvio is sorted out.Felix-felix 11:08, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Eh? You can e-mail Hari to verify this e-mail is from him via his website. Are you suggesting Hari is lying? That's a pretty serious charge. You need to provide evidence he was indeed in a peace camp in Yorkshire, and this is him. You won't be able to. Go back to your source (if indeed you had one and didn't just trawl for an unflattering picture of a vaguely similar person) and get them to double-check. I think you'll owe (another) apology. It's extraordinary but unsurprising that you would be "perfectly happy" to include a picture you know to be a fake, given your record of isnerting lies into this article.David r from meth productions 12:49, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

You couldn't make this stuff up.It's obviously him-even you thought so, and you seem to be a friend of his...Felix-felix 13:44, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

I always said it was a unpublishably bad, blurred picture. Hari says he's never been to a peace camp in Yorkshire and doesn't own the clothes the person in this picture is wearing! It therefore isn't him.

On a different point, you say it's "obviously" him; do you know Hari? You keep talking about what he looks like; I have long suspected your vendetta was personal.

Now please answer my request for facts and my request for mediation above. David r from meth productions 16:56, 4 January 2007 (UTC) Read WP:ATTACK, daveFelix-felix 09:57, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

Supposedly fake photo

I'm afraid this picture is completely genuine-it was taken at the Camp for Climbate action at Drax power station in Yorkshire. The picture blurb is here [2], and here is Hari's article in the Independent about it [3]. It's obviously Hari, and I think the picture ought to stay in the article.Felix-felix 10:49, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

I don't know why. but Muttgirl removed this (perhaps by accident?) on her last edit-I've just restored it.Felix-felix 15:13, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

It is not "obviously" Hari. I know him, and my first comment if you look back was that it looks only vaguely like him. It has obviously been mislabelled by someone. Hari says he doesn't own those clothes, so even with the admission that you put the wrong label on the fake photo (there is a big difference between a "peace camp" and a protest against global warming) it's still fake. Look at the rules on bios of living persons. It says anything controversial should be left out. I think a picture that the subject denies is of him clearly falls into that category. Feel free to e-mail hari to verify his e-mail above. (MuttGirl may have deleted it because she's tired of your POV impositions on this article. I await accusations of sockpuppetry...). - Dave

Are you serious? It's clearly Hari-you thought it was him, as does everybody else-he has at the camp the photo is labelled as him and he wrote about it. Muttgirl is clearly not a sock or meatpuppet-those are very easy to spot, dave.The photo should stay in.Felix-felix 10:27, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

You really need to read the rules on biographies of living people, Felix. Anything contested or controversial must stay out. Hari says he doesn't own the clothes he is pictured as wearing. How can it be him?

Fortunately, this is a redundant debate anyway since the wiki authorities had already ruled this picture should be replaced with the original mugshot. - DaveDavid r from meth productions 23:46, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Hari's support of the war

Dave, you wrote What you're saying is the opinion poll evidence is contradictory. That isn't so complex a point it can't be made! We can link to the polls that support the Medialens position, and those that contradict it. (both exist)." Whilst this is true,(although only in a very technical sense-opposition to the war in the UK was always huge) it's pretty irrelevant to an article on Hari-and could easily become wildly divergent. As pointed out previously, some of Hari's output has been genuinely controversial-and his support of the Bush invasion of Iraq was probably the most controversial-criticism here is more relevant than spurious 'criticism' by bloggers (or people in comments boxes!) on, say climbate change or nuclear disarmament. If you want to leave a quote in about why Hari supported the invasion (which I think that we should) then a quote supporting criticism of this stance is also appropriate. Medialens had a long and fairly high profile exchange with him about this, so I think that they're a good source of this criticism. Adding 'rider' sentences after this about various opinion polls would be divergent with the article-especially when pages dealing with this already exist, for example views on the 2003 invasion of Iraq.Felix-felix 09:59, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

So you're neither accepting either of the two compromises I offered, nor offering to moderate your own position in the slightest. What a surprise.

Since the opinion poll evidence - both that supporting and contradicting the Medialens stance - is integral to the argument, how can it possibly be "irrelevant" to this article? What you think is "irrelevant" is anything casting doubt on the Medialens position.

Just as you dismiss people who disagree with you here as "sock-puppets", you dismiss criticisms from David Starkey, Bjorn Lomborg, bloggers etc. as "spurious". In what way are the views of these people "spurious"? Did Hari make them up himself? The only argument you offer for the non-spuriousness of Medialens is that they had a "long and fairly high-profile exchange" with Hari. How are you measuring "fairly high-profile"? Are David Starkey and Bjorn Lomborg, both published authors, not "fairly high-profile"? Have various bloggers not had "long exchanges" with Hari on various issues? Do Medialens stand on a higher epistemological vantage-point than your average blogger by virtue of, er, having their own website? Oops, no - as usual it's because they agree with Felix-Felix. And yet Medialens themselves link to the work of six or seven bloggers - apparently some bloggers are less spurious than others.

I have attempted to arrive at consensus by offering compromise. Until Felix does the same we will remain at an impasse. David r from meth productions 18:30, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Medialens aren't bloggers, and are well known-certainly enough for you to put Hari related criticism in their wikipedia page. Hari had a long exchange with them which is available on their website, longer than the one with Niall Ferguson which you seem so fond of. And Hari is notorious for his support of Bush's invasion of Iraq-trying to gloss over it is unencyclopedic. You seem to think that compromise means accepting one or other of your suggestions to gloss over criticism of Hari's stance on the invasion. It's pretty transparent, dave.Felix-felix 19:01, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

A crucial point to address in coverage of Hari's stance on the invasion of Iraq is his equally high profile u-turn, in which he publicly state that he had been wrong in taking this stance. It's unusual for a journalist to do this, and certainly needs to be mentioned. Thelionforreal 14:38, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Yup, and the article reflects that, I have no problem with that, dave.Felix-felix 16:30, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

I'm certainly not trying to gloss over Hari's support for the war; I opposed the war myself, and I there was more about Hari's stance in the longer version I posted a few months back, e.g quoting Chomsky's criticisms of him as "a Stalinist", which you cut out.

You, by contrast, are trying to gloss over his apology for his stance on Iraq, declaring above that you want to cut the small quote from it.86.142.181.223 18:52, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

If you agree about the medialens quote, why cut it? Putting in lots of other feeble criticisms to dilute the serious stuff about Hari's role in cheerleading this genocidal war is diverting and unencyclopedic. Why not give actual examples and we can discuss them.Felix-felix 13:37, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
And I don't think I've cut any Chomsky quotes out.Felix-felix 13:40, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

It is your POV that David Starkey's criticisms of Hari, say, are "feeble". POV has no place in Wikipedia. We either quote a range of critics, or none. we can't just quote the ones you (or I) agree with.

Your position is that you want to quopte Medialens in full, quote no other critics, and even cut the text of Hari's apology for supporting the war. This reveals your very obvious POV. It's not acceptable in wiki rules.

This division of the debate into sections doesn't work; you have placed things I said without the things they are a response to, so it doesn't make sense, by the way. - Dave

The sections work fine, as long as you stick to the subject in each section, dave-then I don't have to keep cutting and pasting your comments to their respective sections.I don't want to quote Medialens in 'full' the one sentence quote is fine-although, as I've said, if you think there's a better one let's discuss it.
Perhaps we should also discuss hari's apology (and it's great that he has made one at all)is half hearted-apologising for Bush mucking up an invasion which he would have supported if it had been done better-should we discuss this? Oh, dave, remember to sign in.Felix-felix 10:13, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

That is explicitly untrue. You have invented the quote "better", literally invented it. Look at his apology; he says precisely the opposite of what you claim - that it was a bad idea all along. You haven't actually read him, have you? It's quite helpful that you have revealed this; it shows why you have so totally misrepresented Hari all long - Dave

No, dave-I was paraphrasing. And sign in.Felix-felix 11:48, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

You were paraphrasing falsely. Hari wrote:

“The lamest defence I could offer – one used by many supporters of the war as they slam into reverse gear – is that I still support the principle of invasion, it’s just the Bush administration screwed it up. But as one anti-war friend snapped at me when I mooted this argument, “Yeah, who would ever have thought that supporting George Bush in the illegal invasion of an Arab country would go wrong?” She’s right: the truth is that there was no pure Platonic ideal of The Perfect Invasion to support, no abstract idea we lent our names to. There was only Bush, with his cluster bombs, depleted uranium, IMF-ed up economic model, bogus rationale and unmistakable stench of petrol, offering his war, his way. (Expecting Tony Blair to use his influence was, it is now clear, a delusion, as he refuses to even frontally condemn the American torture camp at Guantanomo Bay).

The evidence should have been clear to me all along: the Bush administration would produce disaster. Let’s look at the major mistakes-cum-crimes. Who would have thought they would unleash widespread torture, with over 10,000 people disappearing without trial into Iraq’s secret prisons? Anybody who followed the record of the very same people – from Rumsfeld to Negroponte – in Central America in the 1980s. Who would have thought they would use chemical weapons? Anybody who looked up Bush’s stance on chemical weapons treaties (he uses them for toilet paper) or checked Rumsfeld’s record of flogging them to tyrants. Who would have thought they would impose shock therapy mass privatisation on the Iraqi economy, sending unemployment soaring to 60 percent – a guarantee of ethnic strife? Anybody who followed the record of the US towards Russia, Argentina, and East Asia. Who could have known that they would cancel all reconstruction funds, when electricity and water supplies are still below even Saddam’s standards? Anybody who looked at their domestic policies.”

Yet you tried to summarise this statement as “half hearted-apologising for Bush mucking up an invasion which he would have supported if it had been done better.” [See archive]. Your summaries of Hari’s arguments are consistently so far from what hari has actually said I can only assume you haven’t read them, or are deliberately misrepresenting them. Everyone can see what you're doing, Felix David r from meth productions 22:41, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Do you think that no-one else can read, dave? It's a pretty good paraphrase of the above passage.Felix-felix 11:10, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Okay, that's useful. You have revealed that you maliciously misread Hari's work to fit your own agenda, very clearly. Nobody who can read can think hari is saying he would have supported Bush's war if only he had done it better. He is saying Bush could never have done it better, very clearly: "There was only Bush, with his cluster bombs, depleted uranium, IMF-ed up economic model, bogus rationale and unmistakable stench of petrol, offering his war, his way."David r from meth productions 12:51, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

I can read, dave-and I still think it's a pretty good paraphrase of the passage.Felix-felix 13:46, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Yet more assertions. Please answer the factual questions and the request for mediation above. David r from meth productions 16:56, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

What factual questions, dave?Felix-felix 17:07, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

The questions are in a clearly labelled section. The question are - how do you justify your assertions in light of these facts:

Here are three factual statements. I have provided evidence for them. Please, Felix, provide contrary evidence if you can, or accept you are wrong. Do not make assertions. Offer facts.

(1) Bjorn Lomborg is, according to Prospect Magazine, not a "minor figure", but one of the twenty most important intellectuals in the world. This makes his criticisms of Hari worthy of inclusion.

See www.prospect-magazine.co.uk/intellectuals/results.htm

(2) David Starkey is, according to Prospect magazine, not "a minor figure" but one of the most important intellectuals in Britain, according to Prospect Magazine. His TV shows receive five million viewers. This makes his criticisms of Hari worthy of inclusion. He did not offer them "in a letter to the Independent", as Felix asserts, but on a TV debate on the subject viewed by over a million people, in which Hari represented the disarmament side.

See www.prospect-magazine.co.uk/article_details.php?id=6227 and the archive for date of the Hari/Starkey debate transmission

(3) Your idea that total nuclear disarmament by the US and Britain is "uncontroversial" is not backed by the facts. There are fewer than 10 MPs in Britain (out of 651) who support nuclear disarmament, and no Congressmen or Senators at all in the US who do. Odd, for an "uncontroversial position". Even in the only mainstream British political party to make a fuss about the renewal of Trident, the Liberal Democrats, 55 percent of its voters wanted to keep the deterrent and only 34 percent backed disarmament (see politics.guardian.co.uk/homeaffairs/story/0,,1803481,00.html).

Please respond with facts, in line with wiki principles, not assertions. David r from meth productions 17:11, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Spurious Criticisms

As I've opined before-I think that alot of the criticisms added at the end of each para are pretty spurious and add nothing to the article, they're often from inconsequential bloggers (or comments boxes) and usually concern otherwise fairly non-controversial liberal pieces by Hari.Although many are not in the present frozen version-some still are. Specific examples include;

  • Prison polices-criticism by stephen Pollard.
  • Nuclear disarmament-criticism by David Starkey.
  • Global Warming-criticism by Bjorn Lomberg.
  • Religious section-accusations of anti-semitism and islamophobia. (Although the Delai Lama calling him fat does have novelty value!)Felix-felix 09:59, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
'Opined' is teh word. Assertions, assertions, never any facts. David r from meth productions 17:49, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

The criticisms are spurious in that the issues (nuclear disarmament, climbate change, etc) are relatively uncontroversial-and Hari is not a prominent commentator about them. Starkey and Lomberg are relatively minor figures (published or not, although I can understand why you might want to think that published writers are "high profile",dave) but the'controversy' in each of these sentences is vanishingly small, and has no interest to the average reader.Felix-felix 19:03, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

You reveal astonishing ignorance in suggesting that climate change is not a controversial issue. Thelionforreal 14:40, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Keep your hair on, dave. It is not a scientifically controversial issue-some climbate change deniers are knocking around, but that 'controversy' is manufactured. In any case, Hari is not an environmental campaigner, he's an op-ed writer and the 'criticism' that you want to keep is inconsequential, and of no interest.Felix-felix 16:34, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Felix, Starkey and Lomborg have both been named as two of the 100 most important intellectuals in britain and the world respectively by Prospect Magazine. Apparently, this makes them "relatively minor figures" in your view. You clearly know as much about them as about postmodernism. Yet again you are trying to breach the rules by imposing POV. Also, if you think total nuclear disarmament to the zero option is not controversial, you really know nothing at all about the subject - Dave

Once again, dave-I'll remind you to sign in, and also to try and keep your temper. Personal attacks against me don't move the issue of improving this article forward. The basic point remains, that the article is overlong-not least because of spurious criticism bloating paras on non-notable aspects of Hari's writing. So the odd letter written by Starkey of Lomberg is of little interest to a reader (no matter what prospect magazine thinks of them) trying to get a feel for what Hari is notable for, especially as the page has about 50 seperate links to Hari's personal website, which carries all his stuff anyway. Nuclear disarmament is neither a remarkable part of Hari's writing or controversial.Felix-felix 09:13, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

I repeat: I have never criticised you personally; I don't know you, or anything about you. I am criticising you as a wikipdian, because you keep stating your POV as if it were fact, contrary to wiki rules. This is not personal criticism. (If you want an example of real personal criticism, I'd suggest calling somebody "a little tyke" fits the bill - sound familiar? I would also say accusing a fellow wipipedian of being a sockpuppet, long after they have provided a way to verify their identity and you know they are no such thing, is a good fit).

For example, you say advocating full nuclear disarmament isn't controversial. That is flatly untrue. Four members of parliament (out of 651), no Congressmen, and no other national columnists in Britain apart from george Monbiot advocate it. When it was put to the British people in 1983, it lost an election. It may not seem controversial to you; if so, you must live in a very different world to the rest of us. Please answer this with facts rather than assertions.

You say Starkey and Lomoborg are "trivial", when in fact they are some of the most important intellectuals according to Prospect Magazine. You don't acquaint yourself with the basic facts; for example, you state that Starkey wrote a letter to the Independent about Hari. He did not. He appeared on an hour-long TV debate about it against Hari.

You summarise Hari's apology on Iraq below in a way that reveals you obviously haven't ever read it. You say postmodernism doesn't oppose the Enlightenment. You say hari went to Harrow School. It's quite hard to argue against you Felix when you have such a limited relationship to basic facts, and even when your errors are pointed out, you cling to them. The possibility of achieving consensus when you haven't tried to investiagte the subject is very difficult.

On the subject of spurious criticisms, it is now painfully clear that a criticism is "spurious" when Felix Felix disagrees with it and essential for inclusion when he agrees with it. Please go back and read the POV rules, and offer arguments rather than assertions.

If you continue to cling to the preposterous idea that total nuclear disarmament is "not controversial", amongst others, you really leave me no choice but to go for adjudication.

- Dave

Again, dave try and stick to sections and avoid personal attacks, which you have been warned about (and blocked for) before. To reiterate-the article is massively overlong and gives an impression of gravitas to Hari who is a not particularly noteworthy op-ed writer. The whole article is padded with spurious criticism of Haris articles, many of which are not noteworthy, to give a false impression of controversy. Hari is not a noteworthy environmental or anti nuclear campaigner or even writer-and these are simply not worthy additions to an encyclopedia article about him. Your invokation of a prospect magazine list is completely irrelevant-if these people were as important as, say Chomsky or Foucault-they would still be irrelevant.Dave, please sign in, or I may start removing your unsigned edits.Felix-felix 11:56, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Of course Dave was right to cite the Prospect list. You said their criticisms shouldn't be included because Starkey and Lomborg are "relatively minor figures", when in fact they are some of the most important intellectuals in the world! Once Dave had proved this point, you are now saying even if they were important intellectuals (like the people you agree with, Chomsky and Foucault),. you wouldn't include them. You are shifting the goalposts in a desperate attempt to justify imposing your POV! It's quite funny really. Happy New Year Felix, sometimes you are good for a laugh Thelionforreal 16:18, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

I don't think tat an uncited prospect magazine list hits WP:NOT even if this historian and climbate change denier are on it. As I said above-it doesn't matter who they are, but what they said or did which is important-and this is certainly not notable-for anyone who is trying to find out about Hari. My New Year was fab, dave-I hope yours was too.Felix-felix 17:28, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

Prospect list - Lomoborg - www.prospect-magazine.co.uk/intellectuals/results.htm Prospect list - Starkey - www.prospect-magazine.co.uk/article_details.php?id=6227

Jessica is right. Every time one of your arguments is proved to be false, you pretend you didn't make the argument and invent anotehr reason to impose your POV on the entry. You said Starkey and Lomborg should be deleted because they are "relatively minor figures." It is shown they are major figures, so you say that even if they are major figures, they should be deleted because Hari doesn't write on a high profile on these issues. I'd say a TV debate seen by over a million people is high profile, but then no doubt you'll invent another reason to impose your POV and claim you never said it mattered whether Hari had a high profile. Again, everyone can see what you're doing Felix. I'm glad you had a happy new year. I hope this year you'll read the wiki guidelines and stop trying to impose your POV on the article. David r from meth productions 22:45, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

No, they're not major figures, and the criticisms, as detailed at length and depth before are spurious.Felix-felix 11:11, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Anotehr set of assertions. please see the subject at teh top of the page. David r from meth productions 13:07, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

No, it's the original point, dave. It doesn't matter who they are (I used Chomsky and Foucault as examples, remember?) if what they did is unimportant or unnotworthy, then it shouldn't stay in.Felix-felix 14:01, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

That's simply untrue, as anybody who can read this archive can see. You said they shouldn't be quoted because they are "relatively minor thinkers". Now that has been proven to be false, you are changing the criteria, to say their points are "spurious" (a blatant statement of POV).

Please repond to my request for factual responses and mediation above. David r from meth productions 16:56, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Well, firstly, as you can see from the above, it's not changing the subject, and they both are minor figures, prospect list or not.Felix-felix 17:04, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
And spurious is not POV, you may want to read that too. WP:POV Felix-felix 17:06, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
You keep referring to some mythical "above" where you have offered facts, rather than assertions. Where is this "above"? I offered the Prospect list as evidence, along with the masisve veiweing figures for Starkey's shows. What referenced facts have you offered? David r from meth productions 17:48, 4 January 2007 (UTC)


I have read it many times. I think you might want to read the section called "biased writing". You are trying to remove quotes from everyone you disagree with, and quote at length the one group you do agree with - Medialens. It's hard to think of a more blatant example of biased writing, based on your view that Hari is "a little tyke!.

Now please answer my request for mediation and factual responses above. David r from meth productions 17:09, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Awards

I'm all for a (bullet pointed?) section on awards he's actually won. I still don't see why previous nominations are of interest. No other orwell prize nominee has this mentioned.Felix-felix 09:59, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

Re mentioning the Orwell prize - haven't we already covered this issue to death. Why does Felix refuse to move forward on issues about which compromise has already been achieved Thelionforreal 14:42, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

I thought the Orwell Prize thing was removed with good reason. Charles Matthews 15:42, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
Me too.Felix-felix 16:34, 6 December 2006 (UTC)


I have to say that I don't see why any nominations for awards are notable at all.Felix-felix 15:39, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

George Galloway

I notice, dave, that you remerged the section with Galloway and Che Guevara, with the edit summary; Makes much more sense to have Che with Galloway; they are both crits of the communist left I split the section as they have nothing to do with each other, and I'm confused by your summary. Neither are "critics of the communist left", one was a revolutionary communist, the other is an elected British MP. Galloway isn't, and never has been a communist, although he has criticised Hari, Guevara was and obviously never even knew about Hari.What on earth have they got to do with each other?Felix-felix 11:55, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

Felix, you've failed to actually understand what I wrote, partly because I lazily used an abbreviation. I was pointing out that Hari's disagreements with Galloway and Che are +criticisms+ of the communist left, not critics. Sorry, thought this was obvious. Galloway is part of the communist left, check out the Guardian interview where he explicitly associates with the Soviet Union and says he would call himself a Stalinist if it didn't "make a rod for my own back."

I've offered compromises and consensus, you have so far offered nothing except an insistence that you get your own way and everyone else shut up. You continue to insist that the one set of critics you agree with should be the only ones given a lengthy quote.

I'm afraid it's hard to think of how you could be more obviously trying to impose your POV onto this article.

I think I've been quite persistently trying to compromise, and you've been quite persistently refusing and insulting other people who post here.

I've had a heavy workload over the past week and will have up to teh New Year. Let's try for anotehr week to get some compromises and then go for arbitration - can we at least compromise on those principles? I know givenm your track record of defying wiki rules (insulting other users, showing a clear hatred of the subject of the profile, attempting to insert POV, inserting libellous falsehoods into the entry) this will probably go against you and you will no doubt resist even this, but I can't see any other way forward86.129.145.129 14:14, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Dave, Galloway is not, and never has been, a communist. The merge of these two entirely different strands makes no logical sense, and I suspect that you made the revert just because I had edited the tidy up. You have offered one compromise, consisting of a choice between two unacceptable demands. I think that the medialens quote is a good example of the criticism that he faced over his support for the invasion. If you can think of a better one, why not suggest one that we might incorportate. I don't think that diverging into issues already covered elsewhere is encyclopedic, and I would imagine would any other wikipedia editors. And why not give the personal attacks a rest, dave? You might notice that I didn't use your recent absence as a green light to have a go at you, as you did to me not so long ago. And don't forget to sign in.Felix-felix 16:24, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Felix, here's a direct quote from Galloway: "If you are asking did I support the Soviet Union, yes I did. Yes, I did support the Soviet Union, and I think the disappearance of the Soviet Union is the biggest catastrophe of my life."

http://politics.guardian.co.uk/interviews/story/0,11660,792915,00.html

We can split hairs but it is plainly accurate to call Galloway 'communist-supporting'. Clearly, Hari's opposition to Galloway stems from the same place as his opposition to Galloway. They are hardly "entirely different strands", as you claim. It seems logical to me to link them.

You say, "I think that the medialens quote is a good example of the criticism that he faced over his support for the invasion." I agree. I am in favour of quoting it - along with many of the other critics, and including some of Hari's responses. I would like to quote one of the Iraqis who criticised his retraction over Iraq, for example.

The difference between us is that you want to quote only the people you happen to agree with, and not mention Hari's response to those criticisms. That's not acceptable. You can set up a blog to make those points, but wikipedia is not a forum for Felix-Felix's personal opinions but for impartial facts. Quote several of his critics from across the political spectrum, from David Starkey to Medialens, and give them equal weight, or none of them. Anything else is POV.

Simply saying "I insist on having my own way" is not a compromise. You call for me to stop personal attacks, immediately after a post in which you insult Jessica yet again in personal terms by addressing her as 'Dave', implying she is fake, when you have been offered the means to verify her identity. Pointing out your track record of inserting falsehoods etc is, by contrast, not a personal insult; I'm not calling you (say) fat or stupid, I don't know you personally so I'm not in a position to throw any insults. I am commenting on your role as a wikipedian here, which is a perfectly legitimate source of comment and bears directly on the content of the article.

I may not post for a few days, work is very heavy. The reason i criticised you after you disappeared, Felix, is that when you could arbitrarily impose your edits on the article, you posted six times a day, but when the page was frozen and you had to discuss and abide by wiki principles, you went silent and have said far less. That is revealing about your approach to wikipedia. That criticism doesn't apply to me, so I'm afraid I can't give you credit for not mentioning it because I've been a bit more sparse this week.

We have two options: let's find some serious compromises and get the page unfrozen, or go for arbitration.

Your failure yet again to suggest any serious compromises (I, for example, am prepared to accept the consensus is against me on the Orwell Prize; what are you prepared to give up?) suggests that you leave us with no choice but to appeal for arbitration. It's a real shame to waste the time of wiki volunteers like this and I'd rather try to bash out an agreement with you... 86.142.181.223 18:54, 12 December 2006 (UTC) 86.142.181.223 18:52, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Once again, dave-I must remind you to sign in. So do we agree that Galloway has never been a communist? Does that mean that it would be more sensible to have him in the section on domestic politics (as he comes from the UK) and Guevara in International (he was not)? I think that Galloway's support for the former USSR was from the viewpoint of opposing US imperialism the rest of the quote goes; If there was a Soviet Union today, we would not be having this conversation about plunging into a new war in the Middle East, and the US would not be rampaging around the globe." The main point being, I suppose that if he hd stood on a chair and yelled "I love Stalin!" it would STILL not make him a communist. This just seems like common sense (unless you're trying to incidentally trying to get in a dig at Galloway).

We both have quiet and heavy days at wor, dave-that they don't coincide is not surprising. Bemoaning time wasted by admins on this site sem a little brazen, dave-when you have been the only one to ask for adjudication, rather than seek concensus, but no matter. lets try and keep the discussion to sections, as it gets hard to follow.Felix-felix 13:37, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Both Che and Galloway supported communism. That is the basis on which Hari criticises them. Therefore it seems logical to me to group them together.

However I think this is a rather minor debate and I would be prepared to compromise on it. Placing Galloway in the UK politics section doesn't seem quite right though, since Hari's criticisms of him are for his stance on international affairs. But I'm not wedded to the idea of putting the two together, i just think it seems sensible, if you suggest another place for it I'll consider it with an open mind.

To say I have not been trying to seek consensus is extraordinary, Felix, It's exactly what I have been trying to do by repeatedly suggesting compromises. Your idea of compromise seems to be insisting everyone else agree with you.

I can't sign in when I'm at home, i keep forgetting to write down my login details from my office computer. You know who I am when I write obviously so I don't see the problem, but I'll try to remember tnought when I go in - Dave

How about the Gallow bit in public disagreemants, and the Che part in inernational? (Although the Che part is pretty minor IMO) If you can't log in, you still need to sign your comments as you were doing before.Felix-felix 14:59, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

I personally think they go together, but I'm prepared to compromise on this. the trouble is that at the moment our compromises are all one way Felix, so I will compromise here but repeat: what are you prepared to compromise on? Are you going to answer the extraordinary point you made when you said Starkey and Lomborg were trivial? - Dave

See above-try and stick to he sections, and remember to sign in.Felix-felix 09:16, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Very revealing; I offer a compromise, and ask "what are you prepared to compromise on?" and the answer... nothing.

And a week later, after some of your blatant misrepresentations are shown... still nothing. No retraction, no suggestions for compromise, nothing at all.

In light of all this, I have now applied for adjudication. Anybody interested should go to the adjudication page to discuss this.

Adjudication rejected, dave. Are we agreed about the Galloway section going in domestic politics? Is the Che qoute even necessary? It's unremarkable.Felix-felix 11:59, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Not sure where Dave is, but hope he's back soon.

They have recommended mediation before adjudication. That is no sanction of your behaviour, Felix; people who know about wikipedia tell me if you refuse to comply with mediation then adjudication is inevitable. I think the Che line is important. With your extreme bias you might find it hard to believe but people often accuse Hari of being excessively left-wing; I think the Che point is important in relation to this.

You think hari is an "unremarkable writer", yet you seem unaware of the most basic facts about him. You are entitled to your opinion, but enough distinguished people disagree, from the Orwell prize committee to the National Secular Society to the people who give out the National Press Awards, for this to be clear POV. You are constantly trying to impose your hostile attitude on this article. You have been offered loads of compromises by Dave and refused them all.

Charles Matthws on behalf of wiki has told you not to delete well-soiurced stuff for the sake of it. With an attitude like yours, blatantly defying wiki rules, this page will never be unfrozen.Thelionforreal 16:19, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

The Che line is completely irrelevant to anything-it's a line from one of his articles-the intro on politics underlines his soft left liberal politics. Deleting cited material is fine if it's irrelevant-for a 'wiki rules' stickler you certainly don't seem to read WP policies or guidelines very much.Felix-felix 17:39, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

I don't think it is irrelevant. It is certainly mkroe relevant than the fact Hari "seems to have enjoyed Francis Wheen's book 'How MUmbo Jumbo Conquered The World', a line you tried to insert into the entry. Anti-communism is one of Hari's core beliefs, and this Che section (he has written about Che and Cuba many times) demonstrates that.

It's revealing that you think opposing the insertion of blatant lies (Harrow School, anyone?) and POV into an article makes somebody a "stickler". David r from meth productions 22:47, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

I wrote that line infrustration at your use of links which didn't support your overblown hyperbolic statements. And now anti-communism is another of Hari's core beliefs? He seems to have alot of them, doesn't he? It's irrelevent, dave-like about 70% of the article.How many different ways can I say it?Felix-felix 11:15, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

So you admit you have inserted unserious and nonsensical statements into the text of the article "out of frustration"? That is an admission of vandalism. David r from meth productions 13:07, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

It's obviously not vandalism, dave-check out the guidelines.WP:VAND Felix-felix 13:55, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
And, more to the point, what's that got to do with Galloway or Che? Stick to sections, dave, your proclivity for inserting huge chunks of text is making this page very long again, and so these sections can form seperate archives, remember.Felix-felix 13:57, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Are you suggesting that inserting statements you do not believe should be in the entry, and are plainly absurd, "out of frsutration", is not vandalism? It's not me who needs to read the guidelines. David r from meth productions 16:56, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

No, dave, the passage was neither, have you even read the vandalism page? Give it a spin.Felix-felix 17:03, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Yes I have. It says inserting nonsense, like trivial references to irrelvant things that you do not intend to remain in the article, is vandalism. Take a look.

Now please answer my request for factual responses and mediation above. David r from meth productions 17:06, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Where does it say that, dave?Felix-felix 17:54, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

"The most common type of vandalism is the replacement of existing text with obscenities, page blanking, or the insertion of bad jokes or other nonsense." Your statement was nonsense; it was not intended to be kept in the entry, it was a dig at me. Wiki entries are not for you to pursue your personal vendettas in.

Now can you please start offering some factual links and evidence for your assertions below?David r from meth productions 18:04, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

But it wasn't nonsense was it? Just a non-notable sentence.If you want to quote guidelines and policy-read it first.Felix-felix 20:21, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Of course it was nonsense. it made no sense in the context of the article. It would have perplexed any reader. You could list literally thousands of books Hari has "enjoyed"; it was gibberish. David r from meth productions 23:04, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

But it made sense didn't it? And it actually fitted the citation you supplied-about Wheen's (terrible) book.Felix-felix 10:01, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

No it didn't make sense in the context of the article, at all. I twould have perplexed any reader, and struck them as a nonsensical statement, which it was. i.e. vandalism. 86.149.160.84 14:41, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

Spelling

Minor I know in relation to some of the debates here, but seeing as the page is protected, please could someone correctly spell "renewable" in lieu of "renawable" in the Global Warming section? Many pedantic thanks. The Geography Elite 18:52, 11 December 2006 (UTC) I've also noticed a few technical shortcomings further down, such as a missing full stop in the bit about clinical depression and a spelling of "he" as "eh". The Geography Elite 18:55, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

Thanks to the Geography file for that, will do. - Dave 86.129.145.129 14:14, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Lede

The intro of this article needs to be worked on, at the moment it is a bit gushy in praise of Hari. (award-winning in first sentence?). Catchpole 21:20, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

Seconded, although I'm of the opinion the entire article is far too long and gushy.Felix-felix 11:58, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Felix, when the article accused Johann Hari of being pro-paedophile, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic and fat, you thought it was too gushy! The only thing that would please you is if it read "Johann Hari is a little tyke and unremarkable writer who supports genocide. Here are Medialens' criticisms of him and no replies from anyone." Dave is right, you really need to go and read the wiki rules.Thelionforreal 16:13, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

Dave, all that spurious criticism was put in by you to give a misleading sense of controversy. He's unremarkable and most of the sections in here fail notability.Every actual editor who has commented on this article has noted that it's either too long or to 'gushy' (I'm paraphrasing again..).Felix-felix 17:43, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

They have done no such thing. Charles Matthews, for example, said the opposite, and instructed you to stop cutting well-sourced material for the sake of it, a consensus you blatantly defied. (Have you accused Charles of being a sockpuppet yet?)

Criticisms by two of the most important intellectuals in the world, according to Prospect magazine, are not spurious. You have a habit of making POV assertions as if they were fact. I have offered sources to prove Hari's critics are high profile and deserve inclusion. You have offered just assertions. How about giving me some facts and links, in line with the wiki rules? Let's start with your assertion that the complete disrmament of all nuclear weapons by the US and Britain is "uncontroversial." Facts to back that up please, to counter the many I offered disproving it? David r from meth productions 23:01, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Stick to sections, dave.Felix-felix 11:16, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

So you implicitly admit your statement was false, and Charles Matthews (along with Jessica, ThomCostello, QuineFan and others) said no such thing. Your inability to answer basic rebuttals is very revealing.David r from meth productions 13:08, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

See spurious criticisms section, dave.Felix-felix 13:58, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Please answer the request for facts and for mediation above.David r from meth productions 16:57, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Sexuality

This article doesn't mention that Johann Hari is openly gay (apart from category) - does anyone think that it would be worth including? I know it's not always appropriate, but given that he is a strong supporter of gay rights and has written many articles on the topic, isn't his sexuality an important piece of information for readers? 81.101.137.167 16:29, 31 December 2006 (UTC)Nick, 31/12/2006

I think that is relevant as the article mentions his support for gay rights. He did refer to his sexuality in a debate on BBC Radio 4 a couple of days ago - sorry can't remember which programme. Pontificake 23:21, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

I agree. It's kind of obvious from the article, but a line stating it would be useful Thelionforreal 16:10, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

Fair enough, but as above it seems obvious, much like, for example his weight. In these enlightened times, do we really need to spell this sort of stuff out?Felix-felix 17:45, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

Now you are referring disparagingly to hari's weight, having trawled the internet to find the most unflattering possible picture - which now turns out to be fake. I'll add it to your list of insults revealing your blatant POV. David r from meth productions 22:48, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Felix - Actually I'm not sure that's true - you can tell his weight from his picture but not his sexuality! Plus, in the context of Hari's opinions, his sexuality plays a far more important role than his weight. Anyone doing casual research (who was unfamiliar with the subject) most likely doesn't need to know that he's large, but not knowing he's gay would be a pretty major omission. Surely hinting at it throughout the article isn't the role of wikipedia? Nick 81.101.137.167 22:52, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

It seems to me a perfectly reasonable point. How about: "Hari, who is gay himself..." at the start of the section about gay rights?David r from meth productions 22:57, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

No strong feelings about it, you certainly can't tell his sexuality from his picture-but he does write about both his weight and the fact that he's gay-both of which are mentioned in the text of the article (or were at some point..). But, whatever, really.Felix-felix 11:18, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Please answer my request for mediation and factual responses above. David r from meth productions 17:06, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Please start offering facts, not assertions

There is a persistent problem in this discussion page. Felix-Felix, who has inserted falsehoods into this article (like the ludicrous claim Hari went to Harrow School, or the fake picture currently on the page) and now admits to vandlising the entry by inserting unserious lines "out of frustration", will not provide any factual backing for his assertions.

(And no, these are not "personal attacks". I don't know you, or anything about you. They are criticisms of your practice as a wikipedian.)

I'm aware you don't know who I am, dave-your personal attacks are against me as a wikipedian-try reading WP:ATTACK.Felix-felix 17:16, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

I am well aware of these rules. They say clearly, "Remarks describing an editor's actions and made without involving their personal character should not be construed as personal attacks." That is precisely what I have done. I have commented on your actions, which include inserting defamatory lies and fake pictures into this entry.

If you want an example of personal abuse, I suggest you look at your comments directed towards Jessicca, who you have repeatedly accused of being a sock-puppet after she has provided you with the means to show this is wholly wrong. David r from meth productions 17:43, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Here are three factual statements. I have provided evidence for them. Please, Felix, provide contrary evidence if you can, or accept you are wrong. Do not make assertions. Offer facts.

(1) Bjorn Lomborg is, according to Prospect Magazine, not a "minor figure", but one of the twenty most important intellectuals in the world. This makes his criticisms of Hari worthy of inclusion.

See www.prospect-magazine.co.uk/intellectuals/results.htm

(2) David Starkey is one of the most important intellectuals in Britain, according to Prospect Magazine. His TV shows receive five million viewers. This makes his criticisms of Hari worthy of inclusion. He did not offer them "in a letter to the Independent", as Felix asserts, but on a TV debate on the subject viewed by over a million people, in which Hari represented the disarmament side.

See www.prospect-magazine.co.uk/article_details.php?id=6227 and the archive for date of the Hari/Starkey debate transmission

I have dealt with this in the spurious criticism below,dave.Felix-felix 17:16, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Where? I see no factual responses to this, only factless assertions expressing your personal POV. David r from meth productions 17:43, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

(3) Your idea that total nuclear disarmament by the US and Britain is "uncontroversial" is not backed by the facts. There are fewer than 10 MPs in Britain (out of 651) who support nuclear disarmament, and no Congressmen or Senators at all in the US who do. Odd, for an "uncontroversial position". Even in the only mainstream British political party to make a fuss about the renewal of Trident, the Liberal Democrats, 55 percent of its voters wanted to keep the deterrent and only 34 percent backed disarmament (see politics.guardian.co.uk/homeaffairs/story/0,,1803481,00.html).

Again, this is ridiculous-public opinion is massively in favour of total ('global') nuclear disarmament, as would the politicians in the above survey-I think that they're being asked about unilateral disarmament. This is not a noteworthy part of hari's writing and he's not a leading or notable figure in the movement. This is supposed to be an encyclopedia article, not a puff piece.Felix-felix 17:16, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

You have offered more assertions. Can you please offer some facts? Where are your links showing that public opinion is "massively" in favour of total disarmament, or your evidence that most politicians agree? I specifically asked for hard facts, of the kind I offered, not assertions.

Also, you say support for nuclear disarmament is not a noteworthy part of his work and he is not a prominent campaigner. In fact, he was chosen by Channel Four to be the representative of the disarmament case in a high-profile debate on the subject viewed by over a million people (see archive for transmission date etc).

Please try justifying your argument that this is not "prominent" work with facts and figures, not assertions.David r from meth productions 17:25, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

As you like, dave;(in the order they come off google) Opinion polls around the world [4], Los Alomos Study Group 2005 66% of americans believe no nation should have nuclear weapons [5], "public opinion polls showing that an overwhelming 82 percent of all Americans backed the (Comprehensive test ban) treaty [6]. Poll results for question "do you want Europe to be free of nuclear weapons or not?" [7], "For instance, 57 percent of respondents thought that the world would be more stable if all nuclear weapons were eliminated. Respondents 60 years of age or older were surprisingly the biggest supporters of complete nuclear disarmament—67 percent believed that eliminating all nuclear weapons would contribute to international stability." [8], "The American people are strongly in favor of eliminating all nuclear weapons."[9]

I realise that you wont accept this evidence for a second, dave-but you asked, and here it is. I strongly suspect that you won't be able to fing any polls showing rejection of anything but UNILATERAL disarmament, which is specifically not what Hari talks about.Felix-felix 20:46, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

That's better. At least some facts to discuss.

Felix, (a) Hari does support unilateral disarmament by Britain, look at his articles, he was opposed to the renewal of Trident which amounts to unilateralism, he was proposing this on the BBC only the other day

(b) Even the most overwhelming of these polls show at least 33 percent of people oppose nuclear disarmament. Some suggest as many as 47 percent oppose it. Where a third to a half of the population and almost the entrie political class oppose something, it's fair to call it "controversial". It is not true to call it "uncontroversial", as you do.

You say, "you won't accept this evidence for a second." I do. I accept it entirely. (As it happens, I am in favour of unilateralism myself). The evidence is accurate, and it shows a substantial division.

Opposing renewal of Trident does not amount to supporting unilateral disarmament-and is a position which has been popularly voiced recently.It is not noteworthy. Support of total nuclear disarmament has the support of the vast majority of humanity. Thus Hari also supporting this position is not noteworthy.Felix-felix 09:56, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

After a (very) brief flirtation with facts, we are back to assertions.

Firstly, disarming Trident would indeed be an act of uninalteral nuclear disarmament, by definition. It would be one country, on its own, dismantling its nuclear weapon. What is the argument that it is not unilateral disarmament?

Secondly, I see you have given up the argument that Hari is not a prominent supporter of disarmament, given his role representing that position on a major TV debate watched by over a million people. I see also you have given up the claim it is "uncontroversial", since using your own facts, a third to a half of people in the US oppose it, along with the entire political class. You now fall back on saying it is supported by a majority of people in the world. But plenty of things are supported by a mjority of human beings but remain controversial by any definition - the creation of a Palestinian state, to to name but one.

If it was "uncontroversial", it would have happened by now. In fact, any political commentator will tell you that alas it is very, very far from happening. The world is moving in the opposite direction.

You are plainly motivated by a desire to leave out any of Hari's left-wing credentials, so you can impose on this article your bizarre POV that Hari is a right-winger. - Dave86.149.160.84 14:52, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

On the question of evidence, do you now accept the overwhelming evidence that Bjorn Lomborg and David Starkey are not "trivial" figures? David r from meth productions 23:00, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

A poll in Prospect magazine? No. But even if it was Walt Whitman and Walt Disney-if the matter is trivial and nonillustrative-then it should't go in-as repeated ad nauseum in the relevant section.Felix-felix 09:56, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

The Prospect survey is one more piece of evidence than you have ever offered for your asserion that they are not important. Nor is it the only evidence: the viewing figures for Starkey, the sales figures for Lomborg (his book 'The Sceptical Environmentalist' is one of the best-selling books by a university press ever), etc.

Lomborg and Starkey were first introduced into this discussion because you said Hari's support for disarmament and environmentalism were not contested by anyone.

When that argument was proved wrong, you claimed the people who contest it are "minor".

Now that has been demolished, you are shifting the argument to claim that whoever contests it, it shouldn't be included because the whole matter is "trivial and nonillustrative"!

I'm afraid your persistent shifting of your argument when facts prove you wrong show that your real agenda: to impose your POV, no matter what the facts are - Dave (not in the office today so can't sign in) 86.149.160.84 14:52, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

No, dave-I made this argument from the start-as anyone who can read will be able to see.Felix-felix 15:08, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

That is simply untrue. Anybody who wants to can read through the archive and see which of us is telling the truth. Could you now respond to my factual rebuttals? To repeat:

Firstly, disarming Trident would indeed be an act of uninalteral nuclear disarmament, by definition. It would be one country, on its own, dismantling its nuclear weapon. What is the argument that it is not unilateral disarmament?

Secondly, I see you have given up the argument that Hari is not a prominent supporter of disarmament, given his role representing that position on a major TV debate watched by over a million people. I see also you have given up the claim it is "uncontroversial", since using your own facts, a third to a half of people in the US oppose it, along with the entire political class. You now fall back on saying it is supported by a majority of people in the world. But plenty of things are supported by a mjority of human beings but remain controversial by any definition - the creation of a Palestinian state, to to name but one.

If it was "uncontroversial", it would have happened by now. In fact, any political commentator will tell you that alas it is very, very far from happening. The world is moving in the opposite direction.

Please answer with logical arguments and facts, not assertions.

- Dave

Dave, if you don't sign in-I will start to remove your unsigned posts.
In answer to your first assertion, non-renwal of Trident does not amount to unilateral disarmament-it amounts to non-renewal of Trident, which will be usable in its current form until 2030 at least and is only one ICBM system.
Hari holds a view that most of the rest of humanity hold-including the political class (your figures were for unilateral disarmament, remember? Should we include every TV appearance Hari has done? I think not.Felix-felix 10:35, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

As so often, you are deliberately misrepresenting Hari's position. He is in favour of disarming Trident, as he said on the radio the other day. Nobody else would be simultaneously disarming; therefore, by definition, it is unilateral disarmament. What is your response?

Are you saying most of the American and British political class is in favour of multilateral nuclear disarmament? Why then is the entire Congress and the President in favour of increasing the US nuclear arsenal, and the vast majority of the British political class in favour of renewing Trident? If you were correct, they would be holding summits to try to reduce them in line with everyone else.

Nobody is suggesting quoting evety TV appearance Hari has amde - an abusrd straw man. The TV appearance is cited because Hari was chosen, before a million people, to represent the disarmament case. This seriously undermines your claim that he is not a prominent defender of the disarmament cause.

You also ingore my argument that plenty of things are supported by a majority of human beings but remain controversial by any definition - the creation of a Palestinian state, to to name but one. Please answer this. - Dave 86.129.127.242 15:59, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia defines controversy as "a matter of opinion or dispute over which parties actively argue, disagree or debate." This makes clear that your defintion of nuclear disarmament as "uncontroversial" is false. Using your own statistics, it is disputed by half to a third of the US population, and there is a great deal of active disagreement over this issue.

Please answer my point that plenty of things are supported by a majority of human beings but remain controversial by any definition - the creation of a Palestinian state, to to name but one David r from meth productions 15:02, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

List of disputed points

I think there should be a section on this page that simply lists the points that are still being disputed without giving arguments for or against. That will help other people join the discussion/follow what's going on and if a point is resolved it can be mentioned here so people don't have to search back through the archives.

Here's a preliminary list, feel free to edit or add points.

1. Which photo(s) should be included (link to photos?).

- Resolved, since Felix's photo has been shown to be a fake and was already ruled inappropriate by JacoPlame on behalf of the wiki authorities. He also ruled that the original mugshot was by far the best available picture to use. 86.149.160.84 14:59, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
No, the photo is genuine, as I've proved above in the picture section.Felix-felix 15:41, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
It's very revealing that your definition of 'proof' is an assertion thatr something is "obviously" the case. - Dave86.143.155.116 23:39, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
I think Felix is correct about the photo. Having been to the same year of the same university as Johann, I am able to say that it looks an awful lot like him. Clearly that doesn't prove it but the Indy article, combined with the Flickr date properties, is better evidence than solely text from an e-mail (that is unverifiable as originating from Johann). Of course this still leaves the issue of which photo is suitable or whether both should be included, which I don't really feel qualified to take an opinion on given the wider links to photo policy.Greycap 23:55, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
Hi Greycap - welcome to the page. I hung around King's bar a lot so we've probably met... I think it looks a bit like him, but he says he doesn't own those clothes, and I don't think he's lying. Do feel free to e-mail johann, at j.hari@independent.co.uk, to verify the e-mail really is from him. - Dave
Dave, it clearly is him, and there's evidence to prove that he was there.Remember to sign in, too.Felix-felix 14:01, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
My opinion on this is that while it looks very much like Hari, it is certainly a controversial point. Bearing in mind that it is not particularly important to include it (in my opinion, I am ignorant of Wiki policy on this point), if Felix feels strongly about inclusion of the photo and considers Hari's email unverified, then I think he should email Hari to verify as suggested by David. Mr-Thomas 00:42, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

2. Whether Hari being the youngest person ever nominated for the Orwell Prize should be mentioned.

3. Whether criticism by Bjorn Lomberg should be included.

see my input for pt. 10. Mr-Thomas 00:42, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

4. Whether criticism by David Starkey should be included.

see my input for pt. 10. Mr-Thomas 00:42, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

5. Whether Hari's position on nuclear disarmament should be included.

see my input for pt. 10. Mr-Thomas 00:42, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

MuttGirl 12:57, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

Hurrah for MuttGirl! Welcome back

I'd add:

6. Whether Medialens should be quoted, while simultaneously cutting out other critics, and leaving out Hari's response to Medialens and the salient opinion poll data.

I think to do this would violate NPOV. Mr-Thomas 00:42, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

7. Whether Hari's apologia for Iraq should be cut, as Felix proposes I proposed no such thing, I think it's inclusion is important.Felix-felix 15:18, 5 January 2007 (UTC) - Anybody who wants to can look in the archive and see Felix's proposals to cut it right back. I'm glad you now retract this position. - Dave

8. Whether Hari's criticisms of Che and Galloway should be grouped together as criticisms of the communist-supporting left.

I think they are important to include (esp. Galloway, obviously), but I don't necessarily think that they should be lumped together. If others decide that the Che part is irrelevant I would not be devastated if it were removed, although I wouldn't recommend it myself. Mr-Thomas 00:42, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

9. Whether Hari's 2006 nominations as Secularist of the Year and Gay Journalist of the Year should be included

Could these be lumped together in the awards section - eg "he has won x, y, and z. He has also been nominated for a, b and c.Greycap 23:55, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
I think that's a great idea Greycap. Unfortunately Felix-Felix kept removing this, without offering any argument. - Dave
No, that's not true is it? In fact, we actually reached consensus about the non-relevance of nominations ages ago, with Charles Matthews, remember? And remember to sign in, dave.Felix-felix 14:03, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Greycap on this. I think they are relevant (nominations for awards do acknowledge ability/importance). Mr-Thomas 00:42, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

It's clear that I shoudl compromise on a few and Felix should compromise on a few - but he has rebuffed literally every offer I have made.

The only offers he has ever agreed to come from you, MuttGirl. Any suggestions for compromsie would be much appreciated - Dave

86.149.160.84 14:59, 5 January 2007 (UTC)


Hi, Muttgirl;

10. Removal of the environmental and nuclear disarmament passages altogether (which is the underlying point to the spurious criticisms of Starkey and Lomberg, really)

I don't think they are spurious. I don't see a compelling reason for removing them (or the input of Starkey and Lomberg), given that Wikipedia is not a paper encyclopaedia. I don't think they are excessively detailed, and they give valuable insight into the subject. Mr-Thomas 00:42, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

11. Removal of the entirely overblown enlightenment passage.

This seems less overblown than it has been previously - and I suppose it's something Hari does mention explicitly as a plank of his beliefs in various articles.Greycap 23:55, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
thanks Greyplank. You can expect to be accused of being a sockpuppet by Felix now... - Dave
I think this is a pretty important aspect to Hari's writing (it informs a lot of the rest of it, and is a pretty important part of someone's political philosophy nowadays, especially within the left). Mr-Thomas 00:42, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

12. The gay and women's sections should be cut down-specifically the quotes and paraphrases from individual articles.

I agree that there is probably room to trim these two sections.Greycap 23:55, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
I don't agree about that, but what do you think could be trimmed? - Dave
I think these sections are pretty useful for understanding Hari. I don't feel strongly either way about trimming, but I do think they should remain generally. Mr-Thomas 00:42, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

13. The removal of his views on certain television programs. And the spurious criticism of those views.

14. Removal of spurious criticism by Oliver Kamm for praising Chavez.

15. Cutting out as many quotes as possible, most of which could be replaced by short summaries of his position.

Quotes are often as good as short summaries, and give a better feel of the writer. However, so long as this is done well and fairly I don't have a massive problem with it. Mr-Thomas 00:42, 28 January 2007 (UTC)


How's that for starters?Felix-felix 15:33, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

Paraphrasing

The problem with your proposal for summaries, Felix, is that you've shown yourself to be incapable of honestly summarising Hari's views. I urge readers to look at this:

Hari wrote:

“The lamest defence I could offer – one used by many supporters of the war as they slam into reverse gear – is that I still support the principle of invasion, it’s just the Bush administration screwed it up. But as one anti-war friend snapped at me when I mooted this argument, “Yeah, who would ever have thought that supporting George Bush in the illegal invasion of an Arab country would go wrong?” She’s right: the truth is that there was no pure Platonic ideal of The Perfect Invasion to support, no abstract idea we lent our names to. There was only Bush, with his cluster bombs, depleted uranium, IMF-ed up economic model, bogus rationale and unmistakable stench of petrol, offering his war, his way. (Expecting Tony Blair to use his influence was, it is now clear, a delusion, as he refuses to even frontally condemn the American torture camp at Guantanomo Bay).

The evidence should have been clear to me all along: the Bush administration would produce disaster. Let’s look at the major mistakes-cum-crimes. Who would have thought they would unleash widespread torture, with over 10,000 people disappearing without trial into Iraq’s secret prisons? Anybody who followed the record of the very same people – from Rumsfeld to Negroponte – in Central America in the 1980s. Who would have thought they would use chemical weapons? Anybody who looked up Bush’s stance on chemical weapons treaties (he uses them for toilet paper) or checked Rumsfeld’s record of flogging them to tyrants. Who would have thought they would impose shock therapy mass privatisation on the Iraqi economy, sending unemployment soaring to 60 percent – a guarantee of ethnic strife? Anybody who followed the record of the US towards Russia, Argentina, and East Asia. Who could have known that they would cancel all reconstruction funds, when electricity and water supplies are still below even Saddam’s standards? Anybody who looked at their domestic policies.”

Felix tried to summarise this statement as “half hearted-apologising for Bush mucking up an invasion which he would have supported if it had been done better.”

He defended this, even after being challenged.

So I oppose summaries by Felix because his overwhelming hatred of Hari (who he calls a "little tyke", makes disparaging references to his weight, etc) makes him incapable of not imposing his POV on them.

It's also startling that you are now backtracking on the only compromise you have ever agreed to: accepting the section about Hari's views on the Enlightenment. After your arguments were shown to be factually wrong and almost comically ignorant about postmodernism, you accepted the facts; now you propose they should be cut.

I have offered several compromises Felix. Until we compromise, the page will not be unfrozen. Do you want to suggest a compromise for once? - Dave 86.143.155.116 23:44, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

Dave, you seem determined to make this page unreadable by repeatedly inserting huge chunks of text in for little reason, especially when they're still here on the same page-hence my splitting this off into a new section. The basic point you make above, dave-is irrelevant (even if you think my paraphrasing is inaccurate, which I don't) as that is a comment I made on a talk page, not in the article.Felix-felix 10:41, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

It's very revealing that (a) you think quoting what a person actually says has "little reason", and (b) you think that summary is accurate, rather than a ludicrous distortion. - Dave David r from meth productions 23:50, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Image

The image was deleted since it had no source information. The image page stated it had been "uploaded from flickr" but no source was given. Images like this should be deleted from Wikipedia. It is hard to determine whether or not it was him. David says that according to Hari this is not him and if that is true we definitely wouldn't want to use the image. In any case, the new image which shows his likeness much more clearly should be available soon. JACOPLANE • 2007-01-5 23:46

Thanks Jacoplame. I tried to explain to Felix-Felix that this was your position, but he refused to accept it. He has repeatedly defied wiki administrators: Charles Matthews told him not to delete any more well-sourced passages, but he ignored this and deleted more than half the entry. - Dave

Ok, I'll upload it again, and be more careful with the source information. We have only dave's word about Hari's denial of being there, even though he wrote about it in the Independant, does this seem likely?Felix-felix 10:43, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

See what I mean, Jacoplame? Felix, you don't only have my word for it, you can e-mail Hari yourself to verify it, it will take 30 seconds. Hari denied being at a "peace camp" in Yorkshire, which was true. He reported on a global warming demonstration, a pretty different thing, and given how many things he reports on, I doubt what you said rang a bell. But also he said he doesn't own the clothes he is pictured wearing. You really need to look up the rules on biographies of living persons Felix, controversial or contested material must be left out. This clearly falls into this category. Your determination to break the wiki rules at every turn is pretty shocking really. - Dave

PS Do not delete this. I can't sign in here because I'm not in the office, where my login details are stored. I am leaving ym anme and it's clear who I am. 86.129.127.242 15:53, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Dave, if you do not have your account details (although you only need to remember a password!) Log in with 4 tildes anyway. I have just removed an unsigned edit, and will do so from now for all unsigned edits. Secondly, are you seriously suggesting that the photo is not Hari? He wrote about being at the Drax camp, which is where the photo was taken, and is obviously him. This whole thing is becoming completely surreal...Felix-felix 11:46, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Felix, Hari doesn't own those clothes. He doesn't own that bag. It's not him. The person at Drax obviously just mislabelled a picture of somebody who looks a bit like him.

You say it is "obviously" him. But you also stated Hari "obviously" went to harrow School - a preposterous lie.

Are you seriously claiming your obvious and extreme hostility towards Johann Hari is not skewing your judgement?

The wiki authorities have ruled on the picture. I know you have no respect for the wiki rules or authorities, but the page just won't be unfrozen if you continue to assert your right to vandalism. You have already admitted to inserting nonsensical sentences into the entry "out of frustration". It's just tiresome now, Felix.

Why don't you start suggesting some serious compromises? I have offered plenty and been rebuffed every time. You tell me one of the above items on the list you'll give up, and I'll find one of mine I could bear to surrender.

For example, you give up your point (10), and I'll give up my point (8). I don't want to, I think my point is important, but the nature of compromise is that you give things up.

If you don't like that compromise and reject it (as you have with every otehr one), suggest a few more from the list David r from meth productions 23:56, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

No, dave-you have never liked the photo-but are you suggesting that there was a Hari lookalike at the Drax camp? Really? One who looked like him so much that even a close personal friend like you was fooled? Has Hari actually denied it is him? Or was it evasive remarks about clothes and not attending peace camps?
As for the rest, we are waiting for mediation are we not?Felix-felix 10:38, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Yet again, an offer of compromise from me is met with... a refusal from Felix. (Yes, we are awaiting mediation. I foolishly thought you could behave like an adult while we wait).

Hari's exact words were "that picture isn't me". Hardly "evasive", you only had to scroll up to see that. The wiki rules on living persons are pretty clear, and JacoPlame has already ruled on this. The picture is a blurry snap taken from far away, you don't have to be a "lookalike" to be mistaken for somebody else in those circumstances. The issue is resolved as far as the wiki authorities and wiki rules are concerned.

Your obsession with breaching the rules to insert an unflattering picture of somebody (who isn't even...) somebody you hate is becoming creepy.

I repeat: Are you seriously claiming your obvious and extreme hostility towards Johann Hari is not skewing your judgement?

An update on felix's extreme eccentric (or worse) political opinions. Go to the Gilad Atzmon page and check out the discussion.

Felix is expending vast amounts of energy arguing that there is no anti-Semitism in the following statement: "[W]e must begin to take the accusation that the Jewish people are trying to control the world very seriously...American Jewry makes any debate on whether the 'Protocols of the elder of Zion' are an authentic document or rather a forgery irrelevant. American Jews (in fact Zionists) do control the world."

David r from meth productions 12:25, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Well, at least you signed in this time dave-even if you didn't stick to sections. I don't think that Jacoplne 'ruled' on anything, dave, and the picture is not blurry or taken from far away. I don't know why you think I'm hostile towards hari, dave-I'm just more critical of him than you-and try to remember to avoid personal attacks, as warned about at the top of the page, and that you have been blocked for before.Felix-felix 15:12, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Protected edit request

Can an admin please fix the lead bolding (or lack thereof) of the subject? Cheers, Daniel.Bryant T · C ] 14:08, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Done. Khoikhoi 01:54, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Could you also change ... the [[Sunday Times]] ... to ... ''[[The Sunday Times (UK)|The Sunday Times]]'' ... ? Thanks. --Geniac 14:48, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

Could you add {{wikiquote}} to the External links section, as there is a quote article available for this subject? Thank you. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 09:45, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

Felix-Felix describes Hari as an "advocate [of] the destruction of untermenschen"

Readers following this discussion may be interested to know that Felix-Felix has revealed his POV again in the discussion of the Medialens article, where he accuses Hari of advocating "the destruction of untermenschen."

He says above, "I don't know why you think I'm hostile towards hari".

I am beginning to reach the conclusion that rational engagement with Felix-Felix is impossible, and that will affect the editing of this page quite seriously. I reiterate: this is a man who says it is not anti-Semitic to write, "[W]e must begin to take the accusation that the Jewish people are trying to control the world very seriously...American Jewry makes any debate on whether the 'Protocols of the elder of Zion' are an authentic document or rather a forgery irrelevant. American Jews (in fact Zionists) do control the world."

I will no longer be engaging Felix in discussion. He ignores evidence, inserts lies into entries, and compares Johann Hari to Nazis while defending blatant anti-Semites himself.

Instead, I'll wait for mediation. If (as I suspect) Felix refuses to engage with mediation, I have been told I will probably be accepted for adjudication. With a track record like Felix's, I am confident this will bring a conclusion that sides with those of us who respond to evidence and do not deny blatant racism when we see it.

David r from meth productions 19:10, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Avoiding personal attacks again, then , dave?Felix-felix 16:06, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Actually, I just remembered what I actually wrote on the Medialens page, which was; I always thought the "pro-war left" was a perjorative, and thus had no problem with the term, although I take your point, it was originally a self description, and none of them are actually left wing at all, they are all vaguely liberal except when they advocate the destruction of untermenschen. This page needs alot of work anyway, so edit away. I remember being quite pleased with that turn of phrase, which struck me as rather pithy. Once again,dave, it looks rather diferent in context, non?Felix-felix 17:28, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

It is in direct response to a comment on Johann Hari, so you are explicitly describing him. You accuse him of advocating "the destruction of untermenschen", a ludicrous slur on a par with the other ludicrous slurs you have tried to insert into this entry and your disgraceful defence of a blatant racist. (You also then complain about people insulting you, after you compare a dedicated anti-racist to a Nazi).

For these reasons, as I have made clear, I am not going to engage with you, any more than I would engage with a nutter yelling insults at a bus stop. I regret I assumed you were a rational and sane person for so long, and I have no doubt you can only abuse the wikipedia system for so long before you are booted off. I feel sorry for you really. - David R 86.129.145.38 17:45, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Remember to sign in, dave, and to avoid personal attacks.Does this mean you're no longer interested in the mediation?Felix-felix 08:27, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Of course I will engage with mediation. I just don't engage with people who defend blatant racists, while accusing consistent anti-racists of "advocat[ing] the destruction of untermenschen". Do not address me again. We can talk via a mediator (assuming you are not banned from posting here for your persistent libels about Hari). David r from meth productions 12:34, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Goodness, dave-keep your hair on-and remember about the personal attacks.Felix-felix 13:29, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

I don't understand why Hari's page has not been unfrozen and why felix-felix hasn't been booted. He seems to pursuing, through the pages of wikipedia, an interest in Hari that is not based on a commitment to objective descriptions and reporting. Johann Hari is a controversial left-wing figure, that much is true, but comparisons to Nazis are based on factual untruths and the intent is a.) to slur Hari and b.) propagandistic. The paragraphs from Hari's article that recant his former pro-war position are absolutely necessary to any discussion of the man; they are the paragraphs relevant to Iraq future histories, and a useful source for researchers to quote pinpointing the tipping point in intellctual opposition to the war in Britian.

Felix-Felix, why does this subject interest you so much? What exactly is your intent here? Your interest in Hari seems either sectarian or personal and neither are appropriate for the pages of a wikipedia. User: portablevanland

Well, the 'comparisons to Nazis' is mainly in daver's head, but comes from a fairly hysterical reading of a comment on the medialens discussion page which I thought was a fairly funny description of the so-called'pro-war left'. I've made no attempts to 'slur' Hari, and I've always said that his (partial)recant of his support for the war should be included, as you'll see if you bother to look back over the discussion. Apart from that,discussion should be about the article-not on unprovable ascribed personal motives.Felix-felix 09:08, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
And, dave, as far as slurring Hari, I've not even made anything of his questionable taste in Aussie dramatists, such as van Badham Felix-felix 16:32, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

It seems to me also that any constructive progression with this page is being deliberately prolonged and put off by Felix, who seems to be motivated by spite. The only way for this page to be allowed to evolve to an adequate final product seems now to be to stop Felix's personal vendetta against Johann and now, it seems, against Dave. ThomCostello 12:24, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

No, dave-I'm waiting for mediation, as we have discussed before.Felix-felix 12:48, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Another example of Felix-Felix abusing people who defend factual descriptions of Hari, since it is highly implausible that he has he has seen the work of Van Badham. David r from meth productions 18:55, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Portablevanland, Thom, I appreciate what you're trying to do but really it's best to ignore this guy until wikipedia can deal with him. People who insert libels into articles and defend blatant racists can't last long on wikipedia. - Dave 86.143.155.219 19:25, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

The question of the length of this entry

Felix persistently claims this article is too long. I was looking around and it seems to be the standard length for prominent op-ed columnists, and to include the usualy number of critics referenced. Check out Peter Hitchens, Ann Coulter or Polly Toynbee. Peter Hitchens' is remarkably similar to the original entry I laid out here that was subsequently shredded, contrary to the epxlicit instructions of the wiki authorities, by Felix. Nobody on the discussion pages of these entries has suggested they are too long. - Dave David r from meth productions 23:46, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

They are all older and more notable than Hari, with longer careers. Pretty straightforward, really.Felix-felix 16:38, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
AFAIK, there is no policy or guideline about covering a subject in depth, provided that all statements are well written and comply with verification requirements, and that the subject of the article is notable. See generally "Wikipedia is not a paper encyclopedia." Are there concerns about the sourcing of the article or "undue weight" concerns, or is this just an argument about whether Hari is notable enough to deserve a long entry? TheronJ 17:16, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
This stems from a longer version of the article, the current version was protected after much trimming by me, and in the midst of much restoring by daver. Relevant comments from other editors can be found here [10] and mainly relate to WP:LENGTH but also to WP:NOT. My main objections are to a tedious repetition of the form 'Hari is a prominent defender of x, so-and-so said thats silly.' Felix-felix 09:32, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

For anybody following this, it's worth pointing out Theronj is an impartial third party who has offered to mediate. I have accepted; Felix has yet to do so.

I will work on the assumption that Felix's response above is an acceptance of the principle of mediation by Theronj anyway (perhaps this is optimistic) and put my response.

I don't see that, say, Peter Hitchens is much more noteable than Hari. Age does not correlate with notability. They seem to have comparable profiles in British public life.

Hitchens' article lists his political and philosophical positions, and frequent/prominent responses to them, in exactly the way this article did until Felix (contrary to the explicit instructions of wiki administrator Charles Matthews) told him not to. Nobody on Hitchens' entry has suggested this is an improper way of describing a journalist's life and work.

The position of various editors here on the question of length has, as Felix's link shows, been mixed. (Felix of course accuses everyone who disagrees with him of being a sockpuppet, but they have provided evidence to show this is not the case and they are independent people).

If the article did not include critics of Hari, Felix-Felix would have called this article a press release. But including a huge number of very high profile critics (e.g. the twelfth most important intellectual in the world), with quite severe criticisms, is also dismissed by him as a "love letter", on the grounds these extremely high profile and well-sourced critics are "spurious".

I fear this is because Felix-Felix is predisposed to despise Hari (who he accuses of wanting the "destruction of untermenschen", a position so absurd it amounts to evidence of loathing). He would see any article that did not simply reflect his eccentric politics and intense hatred as a "love letter". This explains his desire to reduce the article to almost-nothing, and include only teh critics he agrees with.

This is not a sensible basis for a wiki entry. I think Peter Hitchens' entry is however a sensible, uncontested model for us to use in seeking a consensus on the entry of a controversial, high profile journalist. David r from meth productions 18:54, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Felix describes Hari as "a self publisising [sic] careerist, and a particulary unpleasant one at that."

Dave, you really must remember to sign in!FelixFelix talk 08:30, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Just as a factual note for anyone who's been following this debate: Felix has talked about his "warm fondness" for Hari here, but on another website he has described Hari as "a self publisising careerist, and a particulary unpleasant one at that." David r from meth productions 01:18, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

You've been warned about personal attacks before, dave!Felix-felix 07:14, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
A good example of a personal attack is calling the subject of an article you're trying to edit - after agreeing to a consensus period - "a self publisising careerist, and a particulary unpleasant one at that." David r from meth productions 18:29, 9 February 2007 (UTC) 15:06, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
Remember to sign in, dave. I note that the post you link to was on a message board unrelated to wikipedia. You appear to still be confused about the no personal attacks guideline WP:ATTACK ("Comment on content, not on the contributor", it's on the first line.) Felix-felix 15:42, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

Felix has denied above that he has tried to insert deliberately unflattering and weird pictures of Hari into his entry. Yet when he wants to demonstrate the 'unpleasantness' of Hari, he chooses to link from the word 'unpleasant' to... precisely the unflattering picture he tried to paste here. Another factor for editors here to bear in mind.David r from meth productions 01:13, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

  • David, I apologize - Felix has accepted mediation, and has been commenting on the mediation page. I assumed you were watching that page, which was my bad. I will post something here in a moment about the mediation. Felix - my proposal would be that you consider this post to have fallen before the "start fresh" proposal, since David hasn't seen it, and since that oversight is my fault. Thanks! TheronJ 19:01, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Mediation update

Both Felix and David have agreed to mediate. Since many (but certainly not all) of the issues appear to be personal to the two of them, I have started mediation discussions on the mediation page, here. Anyone else who feels that they have something to add is welcome to join in. Thanks, TheronJ 19:04, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Reported on or from?

"He has reported from many parts of the world. These include Iraq, war zones in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Israel/Palestine, Venezuela, Rwanda, Peru, Syria, France and Northern Ireland".

When was he supposedly reporting from Northern Ireland? I take that to mean that he was physically in that area witnessing events then sending copy back to his editors. It is also a stretch to call ireland a "war zone" post 2000-2001 (period his journalism appears to have begun).


Hi - you're right, the order in which they are listed is wrong, he has reported from war-zones in Congo - not warzones in the other places, as far as I know, so Congo should be listed last or it can be easily misunderstood. He reported from Northern Ireland when he was at the New Statesman, I believe, i recall articles from the IRA-dominated estates and an interview with Martin McGuiness, I'm sure this will be on his website www.johannhari.com - DavidR

Hi, it wasnt so much the order, more like was he actually in those places or just reporting on them. I did look on his site (thanks) and found this story, which appears to place him in Ireland interviewing Sinn Fein supremo Martin McGuinness in early 2002. The article being reproduced in The New Statesman - 04/02/2002. Thanks for your assistance DavidR —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 82.29.229.116 (talk) 22:19, 14 February 2007 (UTC).

Copyedits

{{Editprotected}} there is a place where a space is needed after a full stop and the headings do not meet with WP:Manual of Style (only the first word should be capitalised. Itsmejudith 20:51, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Done the headings. I cannot see where the space is needed after a full stop - it's a big article, please say where this is. Proto:: 15:24, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Locked

This article has been locked for ages; it's getting rather annoying. Is there any point in the future when it will be open for editing? — Emiellaiendiay 05:25, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

I agree it's annoying Emi, but the page was being vandalised a lot by a user who has a vendetta against Johann Hari snd who mislead the users here, inserting libellous information about Hari's schooling and - a more insidious example - inserting deliberately unflattering and weird pictures of Hari into his entry. (He denied they were deliberately unflattering, but I caught him on another website where when he wanted to demonstrate the 'unpleasantness' of Hari, he chooses to link from the word 'unpleasant' to... precisely the unflattering picture he tried to paste here.)

Theronj kindly agreed to mediate so we can unfreeze it without the page being hijacked by an anti-Hari agenda again. Unfortunately he seems to have gone awol since, I hope he's not ill or anything. I messaged him a few days ago but no response... David r from meth productions 22:13, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the reply. Is it possible to block this user? — Emiellaiendiay 00:30, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
What was that about personal attacks, dave?FelixFelix talk 08:39, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

I have made nothing but factual statements. Emie raises a good point though. David r from meth productions 13:19, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

On the contrary, many of the statements you've made above are false (the 'vendetta' and 'libellous comments' as well as 'weird pictures'-whichever those were..)-although even if they were factual, would still violate WP:NPA.You have been warned about this before, dave.FelixFelix talk 14:59, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

I don't engage with people who defend blatant racists while calling anti-racists Nazis; anyone who wants to can read through the archive and see the clear evidence for Felix inserting into the entry the false and libellous claim that Hari went to Harrow School, one of the most elite public schools in britain, when in fact he is from a working class family and went to a nearby school!

They can also see the pictures he tried to insert which on other websites he cites as the epitome of Hari's unpleasantness, but which he claims here are merely the best possible pictures available.

I hope theronj, when he returns, makes proposals; in the meantime, I'm not going to engage with racist-defenders and vandals, no matter how much they disingenous splutter about wiki rules which they bel;ieve protect them from a simple straighforward factual summary of the evidence. David r from meth productions 16:57, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Again, dave-WP:NPA and why is mistakenly saying that Hari went to Harrow boarding school, when he went to the associated John Lyon day school (which is 'nearby' what, precisely?) libellous? It would be nice if you entered into the spirit of the mediation..FelixFelix talk 18:12, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

It is preposterous to suggest these schools are the day and boarding versions of each other. This reveals you are either (a) lying, or (b) utterly ignorant. They are different institutions in different places. Pick up the phone and call either of them, as I did when you first raised this issue: you'll find they had a connection about a century ago. "John Lyon? No, it's nothing to do with us," the secretary at Harrow School said. Go on, call them. So the fact is: you inserted a whopper into the article. And it's not a one-off. You inserted photographs which you claim here are simply the best you can find, but that you admit on other websites are the epitome of Hari's "unpleasantness". On other websites you hurl abuse at Hari, comparing him to a Nazi and calling him "a self-publicising careerist and a particularly unpleasant one at that," yet to wiki users who object to your attitude you claim you have "warm feelings" and "affection" for Hari. Your plain motive all along has been to defame Hari via wikipedia and to lie about it; it's now plain for all to see. - DavidR86.151.42.250 00:37, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

Dave, we're supposed to be in mediation-try and calm down. I think you're wrong about the 2 schools, as a quick look on their entries will reveal.FelixFelix talk 07:34, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

(a) You inserted the simple falsehood that he went to Harrow School, to mislead readers into sharin your hatred of Hari ("destruction of untermenschen", "a self-publicising careerist and a particularly unpleasant one at that" etc) (b) A call to the schools - the number is 020 8872 8000 - will confirm that you are factually and entirely wrong. Anybody who want to fact check this person should make the call, it takes about twenty seconds.

It's very revealing that Felix has nothing to say in response to this point: On other websites you hurl abuse at Hari, comparing him to a Nazi and calling him "a self-publicising careerist and a particularly unpleasant one at that," yet to wiki users who object to your attitude you claim you have "warm feelings" and "affection" for Hari. Your plain motive all along has been to defame Hari via wikipedia and to lie about it; it's now plain for all to see.

This will be my last post responding to Felix except through mediation, because his malicious arguments lie in tatters.David r from meth productions 12:18, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

Again, dave-I think that cooling down would help with the mediation and the spirit in which we will need to go forward together in editing the Hari article. A simple look at the articles for the 2 schools will show how closely associated they are, mistaking one for another isn't the end of the world, or a smear for that matter. I'm not really sure how posts on unrelated messageboards is relevant to the article, either, dave.FelixFelix talk 13:33, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Sorry, everybody - I ended up busier than I thought I would be. (That's no excuse - it's totally my bad). I swear I will take the couple hours it will take to get things started in the next day or two. TheronJ 17:10, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Thanks theronj. Other users have suggested barring Felix; let's see if he agrees to a reasonable impartial mediator and your suggestions, or whether he starts hurling abuse at you too. - DavidR David r from meth productions 12:18, 27 February 2007 (UTC)00:37, 27 February 2007 (UTC)



Doesn't Wikipedia have a limit on how long you can keep a page locked? Anyway, if it is to be this way, I'd appreciate it if someone with the power to do so would make the following changes:

  • Add a References section (<references/>), preferably the small font kind, if possible
  • Turn all the [11] kind of links into footnotes
  • Add Johann Hari to Category:LGBT journalists

Thanks.

Emiellaiendiay 08:46, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

Request for Comment: Disputed Photo

Description of dispute

This is a dispute regarding whether this image is appropriate for inclusion in the body of the Johann Hari article. The previously involved editors may offer more details below, but basically, the dispute is this:

  • Felix-felix would like to include the picture. He thinks that it is a good illustration of the subject, Johann Hari, pursuing his profession (journalism), and would therefore be a positive addition to the article.
  • According to its posting on Flickr,[12], the image is licensed under the Creative Commons 2.0 attribution license,[13] which means it's the only GDFL-compliant image currently available. (The editors are working on obtaining releases for more images, and hope to get a copyright release on this image[14] shortly. In addition, the editors could probably come up with fair use rationales for "promotional" images if the free image at issue is not usable).
  • David r opposes the use of the image at issue. Dave reports that Hari has confirmed to him in e-mail that (1) the picture isn't him, and (2) the clothes in the picture aren't his. In addition to believing that the picture isn't Hari, Dave also opposes the picture because Dave believes the picture to be unflattering. Dave has offered for Felix or I to e-mail Hari and confirm the e-mails, but we believe him.
  • Felix believes that (1) the picture is clearly Hari on its face (see generally the other Hari photos on Google images); and (2) the Flickr caption [15] identifies the photo as Hari, and reports that the photo was taken at a protest in the UK. (Hari wrote a piece about this protest[16], so there does not appear to be much dispute that he was there). He is concerned about the implications of allowing a subject of an article to veto a photo that he believes clearly is the an accurate photo of the guy in question.
  • The question of whether to use the image therefore raises a number of sub-issues: (1) Given that the photo resembles Hari, but that it's disputed, what are the WP:ATT requirements, and have they been met. (2) Does this raise WP:BLP issues, and how can they be resolved? (3) Does the existence of this photo prevent the editors from using promotional images under the fair use guidelines?

Thanks for commenting, TheronJ 14:59, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

It seems clear to me that the photograph is one of him. See this one for a comparison. Its existence does preclude us from using a fair-use one. Hari can send us one he regards as more flattering if he wants to, then the problem will be solved. Interesting issue, though, and not one I've come across before, where the source was saying the clothes weren't his. He needs to stop stealing other people's clothes if that's the case. ;-D SlimVirgin (talk) 22:47, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Statements by editors previously involved in dispute

David r from meth productions

It's worth bearing in mind three other factors:

(1) My understanding is that the picture was taken at a very crowded protest event where hundreds of people were milling around, and clearly the photographer has picked out somebody who looks a bit like Hari.

(2) There is a perfectly good and undisputed picture that we are getting copyright clearance on in the next few days - DavidR

Felix-felix

(1)The camp had only 600 people as recorded both here [17] and (by Hari) here [18], so the chance of finding a doppleganger seems a little unlikely, to put it mildly.

(2)The picture is not unflattering and shows Hari at work.

(3)No-one is against the indy portrait mugshot going in when it's non-copyvio, I (and other editors) just want this one too.FelixFelix talk 18:53, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Comments by other editors

  • While images do have some exemption from the rules of WP:ATT, that's not a total exemption. Usually, we'd be able to assume that the subject of an image is what is claimed, but I think the fact that a dispute exists means we'd now have to have a reliable source to cite that claims the image was of Hari before we could use it in this context. JulesH 15:16, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
  • If the alleged subject of the photo disputes that it is him, then there is a problem. If it could be reliably verified that it is indeed him, a citation could be used, but I suspect proving this reliably would be extremely difficult. Find another photo, or go without. Crockspot 16:48, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
  • The policy of Attribution applies to any and all material in Wikipedia, including photos. As there is no way to verify the author or the subject of the photo in question, and has not been published in a reliable source or a self-published source that attest to the identity of the person in question, it fails to comply with policy and should not be used. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 20:50, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
  • See Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons where it says "Unsourced or poorly sourced contentious material ... about living persons should be removed immediately and without discussion." We have to use extreme caution in biographies of living persons because one lawsuit could wipe out Wikimedia. Keeping in a wrong picture after being told it's wrong may be a lot worse when being sued about it than just putting in a wrong picture by accident. Since there are so many biographies, even a small chance that it's wrong is significant: we don't want even one lawsuit. The number of people present has little relevance to the chance of the picture being a doppelganger, it seems to me. I compared the Google images photos and see some resemblance, but don't see how someone can tell it isn't his brother or some other person who happens to look a lot like him. You might want to ask Wikimedia what standards to apply. How do you know the Google images are correct? Maybe they're pictures of the same wrong person. I can think of two types of expert who might help out: (1) people who have met him multiple times, and (2) professional experts at judging whether two photos are of the same person, if there is such a thing. Unless the photographer is one of these types of expert, the photographer's statement may be no more use than someone else comparing to the Google images. I suppose there's no use putting a caption like "A person, who may or may not be Hari, taking notes." It would imply it's probably him and probably therefore be unacceptable. And come to think of it, I suppose we'd probably have to have a published statement from such an expert; without such a published statement Wikipedia NOR policy wouldn't let us say on the article page "Expert Z claims this is a picture of Hari", and since it's contentious, maybe we couldn't make any stronger statement than that nor just put the picture there implying it's him. --Coppertwig 22:45, 12 March 2007 (UTC)


  • Since the photo is disputed, I would disagree the photo be used unless it's reliably verified. Apparently we can't know who the photographer is. Obviously, it looks like Hari in the photo, but in a strict sense editors here are unqualified to definitively judge who it is in the photo. I would agree that using communications from Hari himself to settle content disputes would in most circumstances violate the WP ban on original research. But the photo at Flickr was taken by an anonymous photographer, and Flickr is not a newspaper publisher or similarly edited, published fact source. When WP editors try to assess an anonymous photo's authenticity via comparison to other published photos, or by assembling other clues including whether Hari can be assumed to have attended the protest, they are essentially performing original research also. In this circumstance, WP:ATT has to come into play. I suggest that the photo not be used, and I'll bet another will eventually come along which can be used instead.Professor marginalia 15:26, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
Well, I'm not sure the photographer is anonymous, I could try and contact him/her, I suppose, if this would help.FelixFelix talk 14:54, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

That's 8 against using it (including me, Mr Thomas and Jessica), 2 in favour (including Felix), and 1 potentially in favour if more evidence could be found. Is it fair to say the consensus is against use and we can move onto the next subject, or shall we wait for more comments? I'm happy with either David r from meth productions 17:13, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Quote from a blogger

We don't care if people are criticised by bloggers - everyone has been criticised by bloggers - they are not notable. Secretlondon 08:41, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

Request for disambiguation

{{editprotected}} Under the section "Other issues", in the last sentence:

Hari has written about about his experiences of clinical depression, and Seroxat.

Please change the link to clinical depression.

Thanks, Smalljim 14:35, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
(Repairing links to disambiguation pages - You can help!)

YesY Done Harryboyles 12:40, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

{{editprotected}} Under the section "Other issues", in the final sentence of the fourth paragraph:

He has also written critically of the Catholic Church's stance on birth control and Christian evangelicals who believe in the Rapture.

Please change the "evangelicals" link to be evangelicals.

Edit reason: Repairing link to disambiguation page - You can help!

Thanks from me too -- Paddles TC 11:29, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

I unprotected the page, so you can make the edits yourself. Hopefully the protection is no longer needed after 4 months. CMummert · talk 13:29, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
OK thanks, I'll make the change. Paddles TC 13:56, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

Dave

Probably worth signing in, and then we can discuss changes to the page rather than studiously ignoring each other, which whilst that may have it's plus points, is likely to end up in edit warring, methinks.FelixFelix talk 13:51, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

Alternative medicine

He doesn't argue that the belief in alternative medicine is due to increasing irrationality and, to be fair, he doesn't assert it either. He doesn't even mention the Enlightenment or irrationality or indeed anything increasing at all. He dissaproves of alternative medicine, which is sensible. And not terribly noteworthy.FelixFelix talk 11:19, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

Hi Felix - you agreed to the existing Enlightenment section, it's a shame you're disputing it now - daveR

Well, dave, you started making edits to the section on the war and the Orwell prize,(without signing in , I note),which we also agreed on-so after I noted that a section was factually incorrect-I changed it. Are you going to start signing in now?FelixFelix talk 14:55, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

I've been off work for the past three weeks ill, so I don't have the password. Let's not be childish - I trimmed the war section, which is what you said you anted so I thought it was easily within the consensus, and you agreed to a full Orwell Prize reference, so I was putting it in. - Dave

You might want to change it to something a bit easier to remember then dave, as this seems to be a recurring problem. You added the stuff about Hari being the youngest nominee, which we had discussed and agreed not to put in, if you recall-and I think that trimming is a generous way to describe those edits.FelixFelix talk 17:53, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

Really? Cutting one quote isn't trimming? What would you call it? And what's the issue with signing in - you can see who I am! Re: the Orwell Prize, actually you agreed that we should put it all in, in the spirit of compromise, but frankly I have much better things to do with my life than quibble over this point. - Dave

Felix, it really saddens me that having agreed to a compromise after six months of agonising negotiation, you are now trying to unpick it.

There were factual errors in what you inserted: I have already explained to you that there are several liberal pro-war people who have said they were wrong, including Norman Geras, Peter Beinart etc.

We had an agreement; please stick to it. If you want to insert the Medialens link I will reluctantly agree, but that cannot be at the expense of cutting everything else about Iraq. By any standard, Noam Chomsky is a more famous critic than Medialens, who very few people have heard of.

Please stick to the agreement that you made. - Dave

Dave, don't forget to sign in. You asserted that Geras and Beinart recanted before, and I asked you for examples, you didn't supply any, so I went ahead with the proposed para. I'm happy to leave that sentence out pending your supply of said examples, but I think that it puts Hari in a favourable light, as you like. We do indeed have an agreement, and I am sticking to it. Chomsky is indeed more famous than Medialens, but I don't think that the citation supports the sentence, in fact I don't think that Chomsky said anything about Hari's support for the war directly, he was criticising Hari misrepresenting of a conversation they had, I think. As we said before the links of the medialens correspondence illustrate the point without cluttering the article.FelixFelix talk 11:10, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

Peter Beinart wrote a whole book about why he was wrong, discussed here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Beinart

Have a read of Geras' blog, he often refers to having been wrong.

Felix, I am really saddened by your reneging on the agreement we made after six months of discussion. I compromised on several issues in return for your agreement that you would not delete even more. If you insist on continuing to delete sections you agreed to keep in, then I will assume our agreement is void, add back the sections I agreed to remove as part of the compromise, and appeal for arbitration. I was told by several wiki authorities that I would have a very strong case for arbitration if you refused to abide by our negotiation. You reneging on an explicit deal will not bode well for your case in arbiotration.

I really don't want it to come to this; I very much want to stick to the compromise which I was pleased you agreed to; so let's stick to what we agreed. Please stop these unilateral and unconsensual edits. - Dave

Dave, I don't think that any of my edits renege on what we agreed on in arbitration, if you think I have, please let me know. As for Beinart and Geras, I'm happy to take your word that they've recanted-I can't read any of Geras's stuff without feeling physically sick, and as I said, leaving that sentence out is fine by me. If you want to apply for arbitration, dave, you must do what you feel is right-my only interest is in improving this article. And don't forget to sign in! FelixFelix talk 18:46, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

Felix, I'm afaid the war para you are trying to insert is considerably worse than the existing one. It does not contain vital information, like the fact Hari opposed the WMD rationale, or the reasons why he said he was wrong.

I do not think the Medialens stuff is relevant or interesting, since they are a very obscure group who hardly anyone has heard of compared to the other critics cited (Niall Ferguson, Bjorn Lomborg etc). However, I am prepared to compromise on you inserting them provided that is the only change you make to the entry about the war.

I am being pretty generous I think in offering a compromise, since you are already breaching the compromises we agonisingly made over six months where I conceded a lot of ground and you condeded very little, and you are now trying to unpick that very little. (Anybody who wants to see proof can read through the arbitration page, where this is very clearly an accurate description). Please accept this generous compromise, and stick to it this time.

- Dave86.153.142.84 20:32, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

Dave, remember to sign in, I don't want to have to start removing unsigned edits from this discussion page. The war para that I've restored is by far the better one, as discussed here already. Medialens are hardly obscure (they get a much better page ranking than Hari's homepage, for example), but the point in using them here, is that their public correspondence with Hari encapsulates his position on the war-as we've discussed before. The reference to Chomsky is misleading and incorrect, again, as I've said before. So suggestions would be gratefully received as to how to make the para more factual and representative, but the current version is certainly clearer and more concise (not to mention more factual!) than the last. FelixFelix talk 23:28, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

Niall Ferguson etc

Dave, I've cut back this section again, as I don't see what it adds to the article (which still reads like a hagiography!) that the links in the current version don't. Not to mention that the whole thing wasn't that remarkable to begin with. I'm sure you'll disagree, but arguments and suggestions would be welcome this time. And don't forget to sign in! FelixFelix talk 23:36, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

Felix, I already made arguments and suggestions for compromise, which you have totally ignored, to my disappointment. I have restored it: please respond to my arguments in my post directly above. - Dave 86.153.142.84 12:09, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

Also, you agreed explicitly to the Niall Ferguson passage. Please read the rules of wiki is not a paper encyclopedia. 86.153.142.84 12:10, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

Dave, really, you should try and remember to sign in. I still don't see why an exchange of letters warrants an entire section, when a sentence with links not only gets the point across more succinctly, but also more accurately.I don't recall agreeing to the section, although I'll refrain from trimming it again for 24 hours for you to remind me where I said that I agreed to keeping the section as it stands. The war section that I replaced is considerably better than the one you keep reverting to, and ALL the relevant information is to be found on the relevant links. Of course, Dave, you seem to have a fairly idiosyncratic idea as to what is appropriate or encyclopedic to put in WP articles (such as this edit, for example)-so forgive my cynicism. So I'll restore the section on the war, and wait a day before doing the same for the tedious Fergusson section.FelixFelix talk 10:34, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

You have gone back to your familiar style of making assertions and acting as if they are arguments. The problems with your war section are:

(a) It does not mention that he always rejected the WMD argument (b) It does not explain why he said he was wrong (rather important!) (c) Medialens are a very obscure group who you are quoting because you happen to agree with them (indeed, it is positively idiosyncratic to think medialens are more important and famous than, say, David Starkey or Bjorn Lomborg, as you have tried to claim) (d) It does not provide quotes, which previous wiki commenters have said were a strength of the entry (e) it doesn't mention that his perspective was shaped by visiting Iraq, and extensive interviews with Iraqi refugees

I have generously offered to compromise on point (c), even though I clearly don't want to. You have ignored this offer of compromise, ignored all my arguments, and tried to unilaterally impose your view, in an unwikipedian manner. That is not acceptable. Please discuss these arguments. If you continue to try to unpick the consensus we carefully built up over six months, as I say I will restore all the parts I conceded, and appeal for arbitration.

You claim this entry is 'hagiography'. The common way to deal with hagiographic articles is to include well-sourced criticisms of the subject. I did precisely that - and you took it all out. Any hagiographic quality is due to your editing, not mine. You clearly do not understand the rules that since Wiki is not a paper encylopedia, cutting for space should not be pursued in the maniacal fashion you prefer.

I can't find the original discussion we had. If you post the link, I will show that you clearly agreed as a compromise to leave the other parts alone. Your refusal to abide by comprtomise and consensus is very clear, and will work against you in any future arbitration, I am assured by the wiki authorities.

- Dave86.153.142.84 22:43, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Remember to sign in dave! To deal with the points you raise in turn;

  • This is dealt with in the links in the section which detail Hari's own justification for his support and criticisms of these justifications.
  • It does indeed link to the very article in which he recanted, giving his reasons.
  • Medialens are hardly obscure (I first encountered you, dave, as an editor on that article, and they have a much higher hit rating than Hari's site, for example ), but that's not really the point, as you know. They had a lengthy and public correspondence with Hari about his support for the USUK invasion of Iraq, and the links detail all of this for the interested reader. I asked you if you could suggest anyone else who we could use as a better illustration, and you didn't. If you can, please do.
  • I'm strongly against quotes, as the article is over long and the style stultifying tedious."Previous wiki commenters" have also commented that the article is overlong [19] and hagiography-like, with too many quotes. [20]
  • That's true, it doesn't-but, as before, the links do. Not that it's relevant anyway, but the interested reader can get this from the linked articles.

I rather thought that you had agreed to my point about using the Medialens correspondence to illustrate Hari's reasons for supporting the war, rather than lengthening it with 'tit for tat' passages which are neither enlightening for the interested reader, nor flattering for Hari. As I've said before, dave, I regard this episode as Hari's darkest hour (out of a number of pretty gloomy ones!) and regard my edits as good faith ones, made in the interests of clarity. I will, however, not allow a whitewash of his support for the invasion, which, to his credit, he has renounced.

I think that you can't find "the original discussion we had" regarding Fergusson, because we didn't have one-I certainly can't recall agreeing to anything (and I've searched the 3 archives and mediation page). I'm aware of what wikipedia is not if you read the page, you might also notice that it is also not an indiscriminate collection of information (pay attention to point 5). And as Charles Matthews noted [21] you might also want to look at WP:COI as well. A minor exchange of letters does not warrant verbatim quotes, especially when the entire minor exchange can be summed up in a sentence and the actual letters and columns linked to.

As I've said before (and I'm happy to be proved wrong) I don't think that I've failed to abide by any compromise or consensus-but, as I've also said, many times, you must do as you feel is right, dave-because that's what I'll do to improve the article.FelixFelix talk 17:27, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

As a gesture of goodwill, I'm leaving the Fergusson section as it is for another day to let you find where I agreed to leave it as it is-as I've said, I don't think that I did-but I'm willing to be proved wrong....FelixFelix talk 17:33, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

Can you give me a link to the long arbitration page? My link for it no longer works.

Then I will show how you are grossly and blatantly defying the agreement we made, as you are clearly well aware. I accepted huge compromises on the conditioon that the rest remained the same; you are now unpickign that. If you continue to try to hack away at the entry, trying to unilaterally impose you own vision of the article in defiance of other wikipedians, then I will impose my own preferred version and call for arbitration between the two. - Dave 86.153.142.84 21:50, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

We agreed on no such conditions, dave-as I suspect you know. And as I've said before, you must do what you feel is right regarding arbitration, I will simply continue to improve the article.FelixFelix talk 16:11, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

As I said I would, I've shortened the Fergusson section in the absence of a response, dave.FelixFelix talk 17:21, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

You have refused to provide the link I asked.

I am going to be away for a few weeks from tomorrow morning. If you have made any more changes to this entry by the time I get back, I will restore everything I accepted cutting as part of the compromise and appeal for arbitration. 86.153.142.233 00:01, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

You'll find, dave, that the page in question is linked to in one of the links that I supplied above, which means you'll have to go through the painful process of actually reading them, rather than treating them like the WP guidelines and completely ignoring them. I will continue to edit the page as before, dave-you must do what you feel is right.FelixFelix talk 08:59, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

Oh, and don't forget to sign in....FelixFelix talk 08:59, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

Award

Adjusted as per helpfully supplied link.[22] FelixFelix talk 07:47, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

Er, no, the link doesn't say that. It is a list of catgeories. Check out the Independent description of the award (I'm sick of doing the digging work for a person like you, who defends racists and smears journalists who win awards for their bravery and humanitarian work as quasi-Nazis). It's interesting though that somebody you describe as a supporter of "destroying Untermenschen" should win an Amnesty award though - so I can see why you are desperate to efface the evidence!

I leave tomorrow, I will be away for a fortnight but have asked a friend to keep an eye on this page to stop your more blatant vandalism and reverse it, and when I get back from the US I will sort out getting a request for comments on the disagreement between us (every previous request for comments found a massive majority in favour of my arguments) and, if you still defy this, arbitration, since you could not more clearly have abandoned the compromise we made and started, once again, imposing your own POV regardless of the will of any other wiki users or the wiki rules.

- David86.143.154.210 18:10, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

Adjusted back-as per helpfully supplied link-and remember about those personal attacks, dave-and don't forget to sign in!FelixFelix talk 17:53, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

I really do pity you, Felix. I've restored the link to the Independent description of the award that you tried to delete (!). I'm off to LA - best of luck defending racists and sneering Amnesty award-winners as Nazis... My friend will be watching this page and deleting your vandalism. - David86.143.154.210 18:00, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

Adjusted again, as per helpfully supplied link, which I'll keep here-it doesn't need to be cluttering up the awards section.[23]

"blanking"

Hi, since most of the article was unsourced I've blanked it. Please do not revert me :) Schiste 19:23, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Actually, what exactly are you up to? It is not the case that the article was largely unsourced. Charles Matthews 09:11, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
I second Charles Matthews's comments. — Emiellaiendiay 07:09, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
I looked into this: it was based on an OTRS ticket, which I have seen. Charles Matthews 15:34, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

There was a ridiculously POV account of Gari's row with Nick Cohen, obviously written by a Cohen groupie. I've tried to make it less POV, and I am happy to discuss how to make it consistent with wiki principles here. Obviously it needs to reflect both sides of the disagreement.

I have also moved the information about Archer to a more logical place, obviously a student job for a few months when he was 20 is not as important as Hari's reporting from, say, Congo.77.97.249.234 23:55, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

Academic qualifications

Is the description of Hari receiving a 'double first' correct? I am led to believe the correct usage is where someone gets a first class degree in two different triposes at Cambridge, see - Double_first#First-Class_Honours i.e. "A Cambridge "Double First" originally referred to a first in two different Triposes."

Hari apparently got a first in SPS. Does this comprise exams in two Triposes? My initial feeling is that it does not - but as a Natsci, perhaps I'm not best placed to judge.

If however SPS is one tripos, then doesn't that mean he should more correctly be referred to as having achieved a 'first' in SPS. Rather than a 'double first'?

I suspect that the usage in this article may refer to him getting a first in his part I and his part II. Would that be correctly referred to as a double first? Am I the only person who thinks your part I grade is pretty much irrelevant (unless you're so bad they throw you out of college!)? 82.211.95.178 18:05, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

It's correct usage to use it to describe a first in Parts I and II. SPS has a Part I and IIA and IIB. All are assessed by exams at least in part - see here: [24]. Greycap 19:13, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
Thanks Greycap. However, that still leaves the question of the 'two tripos' issue vs Part I and Part II together to resolve. As I said before, I'm not an expert on the way one describes single vs double firsts, but I tend to think that the term 'double first' doesn't really apply to describing part I and part II exams in a single tripos.
Isn't it right to say Hari got a first in the early part of his degree (parts I and/or IIA). Then went on to get a first in his finals (ie. part IIB)?
The useful link that you provide only refers to SPS as comprising one tripos. Thus if all of his assesments were in one tripos it doesn't really make sense to use the 'double first' terminology. That is, unless however, you can show some evidence that the term 'double first' also properly applies to first in more than one year. I'd be really interested to know if that were the case!
As something of an aside, I think that such a change in terminology would reflect something of a slide in the 'standard' set by the original terminology. It is clearly far more difficult to get firsts in two different triposes at the same time, rather than simply getting a first two years in a row!82.211.95.178 10:43, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
It is a change in usage from the original, I'll grant you (and as such would represent a slide downwards) but in my own three years there it was used exclusively to mean getting a first in Parts I and II. I can't reference this comprehensively but here for example is a Cambridge University site in 1997 talking about a Master of Queens with a double first in the Economics Tripos. [25] Here similarly is a reference from Newnham's site about Margaret Drabble having a starred double first in English (and nothing else) [26]
(It's how I describe my own degree which is only in history, so I hope I'm right otherwise I've been guilty of overegging my qualifications... :) Greycap 10:53, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
Cheers for clearing that up! Yes it is a slide downwards (oh the erosion of academic standards - is nothing sacred?!).
By the way, I think you're doing yourself a disservice when you say your degree is "only in history". I'd consider that to be a 'proper' subject - unlike SPS which, let's be frank, is a bit of a joke! 82.211.95.178 15:31, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

"Hackwatch", Nick Cohen and Francis Wheen

I added the reference to Wheen writing the "Hackwatch" column in Private Eye in the magaine's WP article; it is slightly dubious to link to it as if it is an external source; I do not now recall my reference. 'Close friend' is difficult to substantiate, and given that it is a reference to an article in a magazine given to code words (part of the Eye's appeal) is likely to be taken the wrong way in what is intended to be a purely encyclopedic article. Philip Cross 12:16, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

Hi Philip - I've added page references from Nick Cohen's What's Left, where Wheen is explictly thanked as an advisor on the book. Since hari's review of the book is what was under discussion, this is obviously a highly significant fact. What do you think?

- DavidR —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.129.124.228 (talk) 21:11, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

There seems to have been a formatting problem, Hari's reply to Cihen wasn't appearing in the main text. It was only after I deleted the references to Private Eye and Wheen that it appeared again. Is there any waqy you can restore these references Philip? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.129.141.214 (talk) 02:30, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

David R, you simply used the shift key in the wrong place. Philip Cross 18:13, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for sorting that out, Phillip. My name is David Rose, if you look in the archive I've given my contact details so anyone who wants to can verify my identity and see who I am. I don't appreciate having my good faith impugned, which is against the wikipedia rules. I haven't impugned yours, I could accuse you of being Nick Cohen or all sorts of people but I will assume you are who you say you are. I would appreciate the same courtesy, and have given you a way to prove it is true should you wish to. Alternatively you can e-mail me at methuselahproductions@hotmail.com and I will send you my phone number so you can call. - DavidR —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.158.41.123 (talk) 13:01, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

Sorry. Philip Cross 17:46, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

I appreciate your apology. I've got angry with people on this page before too... - DavidR —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.153.140.188 (talk) 16:17, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

Section on Depression

I snipped this out on the basis of irrelevance-any objections?FelixFelix talk 14:22, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Yes, I think it's a valuable section and highly relevant to udnerstanding Hari. I'm happy to discuss it here - why do you think it's irrelevant? - DavidR —Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.129.156.202 (talk) 23:27, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Don't forget to sign in, Dave..Why is it any more relevant than anything else he's written about? He's written a couple of articles about it, and the entry basically said that-why is that notable?FelixFelix talk 12:18, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

Please apply standard hard-arsed BLP requirements

Mr Hari has emailed asking if anything can be done about some of the rubbish that keeps being put back into the article. This one needs severely hard-arsed BLP attention for highest-quality sources. (e.g. Private Eye, though responsible for some top-notch investigative journalism in the back, mostly runs industry gossip in the front sections, so some bits are good sources and some are much less so. If the page number's in single digits, I suggest treating it with a very jaundiced eye and looking for a better source.) Soonest attention possible to this one would be best, I've been meaning to get around to it for ages but haven't managed it. (I've also pointed Mr Hari at this notice.) - David Gerard 10:13, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

However, I'll point out that if we're detailing the Private Eye allegations themselves, then the Hackwatch reference is the primary citation, and as such is the correct one to use. As long as we're careful to make sure that it is allegations that we are describing, then there is no BLP vio.FelixFelix talk 18:40, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

Niall Ferguson controversy.

Felix, I'm afraid the sentence you are trying to insert is not a proper summary of Hari's argument. You want to put, "Hari pointed to the violence of colonialism." But everyone accepts the violence of colonialism, including Ferguson. Rather, Hari was arguing that Empire was a totalitarian system, on a par with Stalinism. It's a very different point, and it's what he and Ferguson were arguing about. Your attempt to abbreviate it is actually ironing out the key element under dispute. - DavidR —Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.129.156.202 (talk) 23:36, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

Don't forget to sign in, dave. The point stands, Ferguson says no such thing about the Raj in that exchange, and, in fact, implies the opposite- and it doesn't need expanding, as you're want to do, especially as the articles/letters are linked to. I have to say I'm inclined to lose the whole section altogether.FelixFelix talk 11:10, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Felix, your obsessive cutting of this article, after we agreed a compromise based on keeping what remains, is backtracking on our pact. If you insist on cutting chunks we agreed to, I will start assuming our agreement has been abandoned and restore the chunks I prefer. Wikipedia is meant to be about compromise, not imposing your own view.

To say "Hari pointed out the violence" is a bed sentence and does not summarise what he was saying. Obviously Ferguson accepts colonialism was violent (have you read his book Empire? you obviously don't know anything about him if you think he doesn't). That's not what their dispute was about.81.129.156.202 12:16, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Your idiosyncratic ideas about the published dispute are all very well, dave, but not supported by the said published articles and letters. In the argument, Ferguson conceded nothing about British violence in India. He may well think so, or have published opinion to that effect elsewhere-that is irrelevant as far as this entry goes-and constitutes OR. I'll revert to the previous, more accurate edit.FelixFelix talk 15:29, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Also, re Jeffrey Archer: it's false to say Hari worked for Jeffrey Archer. He worked as a student for Archer's publisher, and was assigned to his book along with several other novellists' work. The entry without this information is misleading. - DavidR —Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.129.156.202 (talk) 00:48, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

You really shouldn't forget to sign in dave. The above detail is OR, unless you have a reliable source for it.FelixFelix talk 11:10, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Neutrality

I stumbled across this page yesterday for the first time and couldn't believe its vacuity, so tagged it for lack of neutrality. I'll briefly explain why. Firstly, the range of subjects on which Hari's views are cited as in any way relevant or authoritative is far too wide: clearly, anyone who thinks that Hari's views on the enlightenment (he is not a philosopher) and on the environment (he is not a scientist) carry any weight whatsoever is not a neutral observer but a big fan of Hari and big fans shouldn't be writing Wikipedia entries. They are merely records of Hari's subjective views and presenting them in this manner lends them a credence that they do not necessarily merit. Were Hari to write an acclaimed book on the enlightenment or the environment this should definitely be noted, but not his individuated political views. Presented in this manner, the entry just looks silly. Second, the tone in the encounter between Hari and his critics is also largely irrelevant and misrepresented. The Nick Cohen section is presented in an oddly pro-Hari way and the very critical article in 'Private Eye' undermined by hearsay (that Francis Wheen wrote it) and innuendo (that Wheen's motives for writing it were suspect). All things considered, this is a very poor Wikipedia entry and the writer(s) should be ashamed of themselves. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 82.25.186.206 (talk) 12:19, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Hari has been twice nominated for the Secularist of the Year award, which is for oustanding contribution to Enlightenment values in British public life. I think it is therefore not necessary to be a "big fan" of his to say his views on the matter "carry any weight whatsoever". Ditto on the environment, he has written cover stories for the Independent on it several times, a leading national newspaper, making his position worthy of note. Look at the entries for Melanie Phillips or George Monbiot. Neither are scientists, but their entires discuss their views about global warming. Virtually all opinion journalists' entries contain a summary of their "subjective" views (what other kind are there?) and this one should be no exception.

Re: Wheen. It is not hearsay to say Wheen wrote the entry; it has been confirmed to me in e-mail by Ian Hislop, editor of the Eye. It is highly revelevant to describing a comment on a person to note any conflicts of interest. Nick Cohen's best friend agreeing with Nick Cohen about a review of a book in which that friend is thanked at great length is different to, say, an entirely independent and different person agreeing with Nick Cohen's views about a review of the book. If we list Francis Wheen agreeing about the review without noting this link, it gives a misleading impression that several well-known people independently concluded the review was deceitful, which is not the case. Far from beign "neutral", it would be biased against Hari.

The entry contains both positive and negative views about Hari in equal measure, listing criticisms by very high profile people like Bjorn Lomborg, David Starkey and others. I think as far as wikipedia entries go, this is a fairly good one, despite vandals persistently trying to insert false information about Hari. - DavidR81.129.156.202 13:21, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

To respond to your points individually: if Hari's association with/knowledge of the enlightenment and religion relies on his association with a prize given by the National Secular Society, then that is how the entry should be pitched and not as a list of religious faiths that he rejects, which looks silly (to say that a secularist rejects Christianity or Buddhism is tautological). The claim that Hari's opinions are relevant because parallel views of other journalists does not make Hari's views relevant (perhaps the entries for Phillips et al are full of irrelevant or uninteresting material as well). Perhaps the Hari entry could be improved by being a genuine summary, rather than some sort of manifesto-like list, which, looks very sychophantic. 2 points about Wheen: The first is that it was based on hearsay (it has not been verified that Wheen actually wrote it) - an email from Iain Hislop to you that nobody else has seen, does not count as verification by any standards. The second is that is based on innuendo (assuming that if Wheen did write it, which we don't know, that his critique of Hari, could not be objective or neutral). The reason the innuendo is particularly suspect is because the article in 'Private Eye' does not actually devote any space to defending Cohen, but rather focuses on other aspects of Hari (e.g. his litigious nature and the fact that he was in personal correspondence with Jeffrey Archer while in prison - these are, to be sure, ad hominum, subjective criticisms, but they can have nothing to do with defending Cohen). Your final point about giving space to Hari's critics merely underscores the problems with this entry: they treat the individual in question with far more importance than he merits and only a non-neutral observer would do that, hence my neutrality dispute. Placing Hari's views as somehow comparable to leading historians and philosophers (btw, Hari did not 'interview' Negri or Derrida - at least not according to the link provided to show that he did - and the former cannot be described as a 'postmodernist' by anyone who knows anything about him). Can I add that I feel slightly aggrieved that the neutrality tag was removed by you, presumably simply because you responded to my complaints. I fail to see how your response could ever consitute a resolution to the neutrality dispute and removing the tag seems an act of rather breathtaking arrogance. I am not a Wikipedia vandal, just someone very irritated at such a poorly crafted, fawning entry for a person of such questionable relevance. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 82.25.186.206 (talk) 13:49, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for your reply. Re: your general point, you think hari is "of questionable relevance" and not interesting. That's fine, but Amnesty International think he's the best journalist in britain last year, Debrett's think he's one of the 100 most important people in country, etc. It doesn't matter whether you or I agree, it's whether an encyclopedia is bigging him up or reasonably reflecting general judgements about a person. Given these credentials, the fact he writes front-page pieces for a national newspaper, etc, does make him and his views worthy of note, I think. Rather than name-calling ("breath-taking arrogance", "shame" etc) let's engage on these issues. The awards and national prominence suggest he does indeed deserve a wikipedia entry which relates these basic facts about his reporting and views, on a par with other major journalists'. It is of course possible every entry on a major opinion journalist, from Mark Steyn to Nick Cohen to George Monbiot, is totally flawed, and summarising their views and criticisms of them is "very sycophantic", but it seems to me more likely that your judgement is wrong given that all these thousands of wikipedians who compiled these entires disagree.

Hari did interview Negri, I don't know if he interviewed Derrida, I can find a link for thje former if you like. I don't think Derrida is a postmodernist either. Re: Wheen, this seems like a redundant conversation now since wiki administrators here have made it clear that Private Eye is not a legitimate source for BLP and won't be included anyway. By the way, I think it's a bit odd to say Hari has a "litigious nature" when he has threatened to sue one person once, after a particularly outrageous libel. Does Jon Snow have a litigious nature for doing the same with the Mail on Sunday once?

I'm sorry about removing the neutrality tag, by all means leave it there while we discuss these issues. I wasn't suggesting for a moment that you are a vandal, just that there have undoubtedly been vandals trying to insert things into this page, as a look through the history will show you.- DavidR81.129.156.202 14:13, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Ok. At no point did I suggest that the entry should be removed - that is a complete reductio of what I said. Clearly, a columnist like him merits an entry. My point is that the entry is completely over-the-top in terms of its size (it is too lengthy and reads like a list of his personal opinions, often on topics that surely lie beyond his expertise, knowledge and authority) and in terms of its tone (it presents the opinions as if they are of some necessary weight, something amplified by lining him up with genuine experts who are not just opinion-based columnists but actually objectively recognised authorities in their field). A more suitably sized and toned entry would be, to my mind, like the one I've just found for A.A. Gill. I think Monbiot is a special case as he is really a single-issue political campaigner rather than an opinion-based journalist and as I said last time, the fact that other journalists have overly long entries does nothing to justify the rightness of an individual journalist having one. As I said, the link which follows the interview claim is a link to an article that does not verify the claim in any way, so either verification should be found or the claim should be dropped (I actually think the latter because of lack of relevance - why are Hari's views on Negri or Derrida of any note whatsoever. He is not a philosopher). It strikes me as very odd that Private Eye is not regarded as a suitable source - even were the piece to have been written by Francis Wheen and even if his motives were to slag off Hari, this still strikes me as an acceptable practice among journalists. It would be best to put it in a separate section on 'controversy' so that there are no worries that it is being used to verify something in the Cohen dispute. I don't know whether or not it is odd to describe Hari as having a 'litigious nature' - what I do know is that somebody wrote it in Private Eye and there seems no reason not to note that. Lots of Wikipedia entries reference Private Eye as a source and given the lack of any substantial criticism of Hari on this entry, it seems to be crying out for a citation. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 82.25.186.206 (talk) 14:36, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

There have been no judgements by admins that private Eye can't be used, nor that 'Hackwatch' is unreliable and unsuitable for BLP-David Gerard-the admin in question suggested "treating it with a very jaundiced eye and looking for a better source"-and that was presumably when it was used as a secondary source, rather than a primary one. As for the hagiography like style of this article, and the multiple criticisms you make above, I can only agree, and shamefully admit that I've failed to improve this page from it's current sad state. Dave r (aka Niko, [27]) is a personal, and determined friend of Hari.FelixFelix talk 15:43, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

I really hope that isn't true - no real friend of Hari would give him such an obvious hagiography as it just makes him look desperate. There should be some way of cleaning this entry up to meet some basic standards of relevance, objectivity and interest, though it will difficult given the current situation. As it stands, and from what you say, this entry should itself be a matter for Private Eye... —Preceding unsigned comment added by 82.25.186.206 (talk) 16:01, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Hmm, do you think they'd be interested?FelixFelix talk 17:12, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

I've never hidden the fact that I'm friends with Johann Hari, as anybody who read through the discussion on this page will see. Actually, there were far more extensive criticicisms of Hari in this entry - accusing him of being soft on paedophiles, for example, which is enought get a brick through your window where I live - but they were cut out by Felix-Felix because he felt they were too long.

You may think these issues are "beyond his expertise, knowledge and authority", but that is your POV. The example of any area where he is ignorant given by you was the Enlightenment, when in fact he was named as one of the six most prominent defenders of the Enlightenment in Britain. Wikipedia is not here to reflect your point of view or mine, but to reflect general sentiments and facts.

The Wiki authorities have indeed said Private Eye is not a legitimate source on which to base an entry (especially not one that is the subject of legal action), as David Gerard will confirm if you message him. There is no "controversy" on this issue, and the administrators have assured me they will immediately delete any allegations sourced to Private Eye.

By all means alert Private Eye to this entry, they will find it is almost exactly like all the other wikipedia entries about opinion journalists, like Nick Cohen, Polly Toynbee, Melanie Phillips, David Aaronovitch etc. they can run a story saying all opinion journalists' wikipedia entries are rubbish (including that of Francis Wheen if they like, but they will disagree with the vast majority of wikipedians who write them up. -DavidR 81.129.156.202 22:48, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Oh dear. This has become, quite frankly, beyond parody. You are a friend of Johann Hari yet are committed to writing and editing such an obviously hagiographic piece - that really is astonishing as is your failure to see anything disgraceful in that. As is the fact that your only justification for such an obvious admittance that this entry is a blatant instantiation of your own POV is that some other people have created entries that parallel everything wrong with this one. I gave several examples not of Hari's ignorance but of areas where is not a noted authority in addition to the Enlightenment - I maintain that being a noted champion of secularism does not make one an authority on Enlightenment values (which, incidentally, is a bit of an intellectual cliche that serious people avoid using in such sweeping terms). I stand by that. Hari is not an expert on the environment, on philosophy, or on British colonialism. That is not POV, that is fact. It may also be a fact that Hari has opinions about these issues, but it does not follow that these opinions should be noted as to imply that he knows anything about them and as it stands, this is exactly what the entry does. The entry should be cleaned up to reflect this obvious bias. As it stands, this entry remains clearly tainted by your POV, which you might not mind (as his friend) but disinterested others take exception to (clearly I am not the only one). I have seen other entries on which Private Eye has been cited as a source (i'm not sure if you are drawing a distinction between source and 'base' - I never said the entry should be based on the Private Eye article and was unaware that the said article was undergoing legal action (you seemed to imply the opposite with your denial of Hari's litigation). Finally, were Private Eye to run a story on this fiasco, the focus would not be on the quality of Wikipedia entries for journalists, but rather the fact that they seem to get their friends to write them for them (or at least don't discourage such practices, which amounts to the same thing). If you are a friend of Hari, you shouldn't be writing his Wikipedia entry and that is the bottom line. The fact that you (and Hari) can't see this really baffles me. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 82.25.186.206 (talk) 08:39, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

Do you think somebody who calls Hari a "self-promoting careerist, and an especially unpleasant one at that" should be editing this entry? If not, then I hope you'll condemn Felix-Felix, who has described Hari in that way, and has accused Hari of being in favour of "the destruction of Untermenschen" and other bizarre statements. If friends of Hari shouldn't be making alterations to this entry, nor should people who despise him.

I only came along to this page after Felix started imposing a hateful agenda on it. If he agreed to a pact to never touch this entry again, I would happily do the same. Frankly, I have much better things to do with my time, and Johann has urged me to do them and forget about it. (Far from "getting me to write it for him", Johann said he finds it touchingly hilarious that I care enough, on one of the three brief conversations we've ever had about this entry.)

This entry is not hagiographic. It includes long criticisms of Hari, most of which have been cut by Felix-Felix. If you think hagiograophies accuse people of being soft on paedophiles, you have a very strange view of hagiography. You may think hari's views on the subjects you list are not worthy of note, and that's a perfectly fine POV - but it is a POV. Every opinion journalists' entry includes a summary of their views; opinion journalists are noteable for their opinions. If only professional historians' views on history, for example, were ever noted on wikipedia, it would look very different (and so would every other encyclopedia.) Given that it is standard practice to list the opinions of opinion journalists in their wiki entries, for obvious and sensible reasons disputed by very few people, this entry seems pretty good to me. I sincerely call on you to give the hyperbole a rest ("shame", "disgrace", "beyond parody") and start engaging with the issues so we can be constructive. - DavidR81.129.156.202 18:03, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

Dave, I have never written anything of that nature about Hari - i'm not sure what you are getting at, but I have no reason to despise him. I haven't actually even read that much of his writing (which is actually part of the thrust of my point). I don't have any kind of hateful agenda; my only emotional response at seeing the entry was irritation at its obviously biased and pompous agenda. I hate to be repetitive and/or pedantic but the fact is that there are NO criticisms of his views (and no mention of him being 'soft' on paedophiles as you put it). Yes, every op-ed journalists' page contains points of view, but these entries can either be done in a relevant, objective manner or in a sychophantic, fawning manner and it seems clear that it is down to you that Hari's is the latter rather than the former. Finally, I must point out that I keep raising 'issues' that you choose to ignore and my use of words like 'shame' and 'disgrace' do not conflict with this. This entry IS a 'disgrace' for the reasons I have detailed above but that you have refused to address adequately, by merely ignoring them or attempting to present them in a reductio manner. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 82.25.186.206 (talk) 22:47, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

Sorry, I wasn't saying you despise Hari at all; I have no reason to beleiev you do. I thought it was clear I was talking about Felix-Felix, who unquestionably does. (He has called him "a self-publicising careerist and an especially unpleasant one at that", and worse. This is why wiki authorities have said he "has a long history on that page, including repeated incidents of misrepresentation and falsehoods." )

You say:

"I hate to be repetitive and/or pedantic but the fact is that there are NO criticisms of his views (and no mention of him being 'soft' on paedophiles as you put it)."

You have to direct that criticism at Felix-Felix. If you look through the history, you'll see I inserted all those criticisms, and Felix-Felix deleted them all, saying the entry was too long. I'm very happy to note that you'd like to put them back.

Please, let's stop throwing around words like "disgrace" and try to think of practicalk solutions to the problem you raise. Is it fair to say we have reached some sort of agreement (between us, I think Felix will object) to putting back some criticisms of Hari?

Also, to return to my question above: it's totally reasonable to say a friend of Hari's shouldn't have to be invovled ine diting this page. Do you agree also that somebody motivated by utter hatred of Hari also shouldn't be doing so?

- DavidR 81.129.156.202 11:53, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

New Draft based on POV concerns

I have edited the Hari page in accordance with my worries about its non-neutrality. The changes i've made have mainly involved slimming down the entry, making it far more concise and integrated and removed of the irrelevant material that renders it so hagiographic. I'll leave the POV tag on for the moment until I get some feedback on my changes and whether these changes meet the neutrality requirement. Dave, I would appreciate it if you refrained from altering this page until we have some feedback on my changes and whether they are regarded as neutral. I am very interested to see whether anyone except you regards the changes as expressing a POV rather than removing one. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 82.25.186.206 (talk) 09:36, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

Excellent start, and much improved. His journalistic practice was also criticised by Carol Lipton in Counterpunch [28], in the run up to the invasion of Iraq-perhaps this is also worth a mention?FelixFelix talk 14:10, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

Sources are required

Per WP:BLP, statements and claims about living persons must be sourced and sourced well. Unsourced statements are subject to immediate removal. Poorly sourced statements are subject to immediate removal. Repeated addition of unsourced or poorly sourced statements about living people make be viewed as disruptive and can result in a block or topic ban. This article has been tagged and cleaned up per BLP concerns. Any unsourced edits will be removed immediately. Thank you for your understanding. Vassyana 13:08, 13 September 2007 (UTC) (Updated/revised 23:06, 13 September 2007 (UTC))

This talk page

WP:BLP violations are also being removed from this page. The policy applies to all spaces on Wikipedia. Thank you for understanding. Vassyana 13:15, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Protection

I have protected this page for a week in an attempt to foster a better consensus about controversial and potentially BLP-violating edits before they are made. My concern is this - whatever negative material may be needed for this article, recent edits have very actively removed a lot of material, not all of it with good justifications. Furthermore, the sources being used for criticism - Private Eye, Counterpunch, etc - are ones of questionbale reliability and notability, which requires great care in using them. And while it is very problematic that personal friends of Mr. Hari are editing the article, it is no less problematic that people who obviously have strong biases against him are editing the article. As this is a biography of a living person who has complained in the past about his treatment, care is required here. That does not mean that the article should be a hagiography, but it should also not be a hit piece. I encourage carefully thinking through the statements people oject to - both positive nad negative - and discussing sourcing over the next week. Hopefully there will be a consensus when the protection expires. Phil Sandifer 16:51, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

Fair enough. Hari is male, I'll point out (my year editing this article hasn't been totally wasted..).FelixFelix talk 17:24, 14 September 2007 (UTC)
Whoops. :) Phil Sandifer 17:37, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

I've been trying to reach consensus on this page for ages, but every time Felix-Felix makes a compromise agreement, I'm afraid he then reverses it a few months later and insists imposing on his own way. In no way is Private Eye a reliable source, as several administrators have stressed above; it is a gosspi mag, no more relaible than the National Inquirer, which we would never quote in the wiki entry about Brad Pitt. Its allegations, which are the subject of legal action and were made immediately after Hari criticised leading figure in Private Eye, must not be used here. Re: Counterpunch - the article does not question hari's journalistic techniques, as Felix claims. It shows that Hari referred in a column to a story that was reported across the world's newspapers, including the Washington Post and the London Times, that later turned out to be untrue. As soon as it turned out to be untrue, Hari printed a correction. No opinion journalist in the world checks with primary sources a story that has been so widely reported. Felix is always talking about how some things are too trivial to include; this clearly falls into that category.

I'm happy to discuss any other issues, and I've agreed to many painful compromises concerning this page - whereas Felix has, I'm afraid, never offered a compromise, and refused to abide by the few he has been cajoled into making by wiki administrators. He is determined to impose his view that Hari is "a self-publicising careerist, and an especially unpleasant one at that" into this article, and it's not on.

Let's try to form a consensus around positive things we can include. The argument that "hari sin't important, he only deserves a paragraph" is rather undermined by the fact Amnesty thinks he is the best journalist in the country etc etc. so let's try to move beyond that.

(Please also note that whenever people have intervened on this page in agreement with me, Felix has accused them of being a sock-puppet; I am going to behave in line with higer standards and assume the new unnamed writer on this page is not a sock-puppet. I hope Felix will start doing the same in future.)- DavidR81.129.156.202 17:52, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

OK, I'll ignore dave's usual personal attacks, and let the record speak for itself as far as previous mediation goes.
  • As far as addressing criticism of Hari's journalism-this topic is current as Hari is threatening legal action against the website Harry's Place for criticising his journalistic practice, in the wake of his spat with Nick Cohen. As I understand it, detailing allegations, as long as they are sourced and dealt with in a dry factual matter, is not defamatory or a WP:BLP vio. As such, using the Hackwatch Private Eye citations is perfectly acceptable, what David Gerard was saying, I think, was that to say "Johann Hari did blah, blah, blah (ref Hackwatch)" would be dodgy, but "Private Eye alleged that Hari didn't conduct himself properly as a journalist (ref Hackwatch)" would be OK.
  • As far as Dave's assertions about the Counterpunch article go, by all means read it yourself [29]. Lipton does indeed criticise Hari's journalism, for example;
"He (Hari) wrote in this highly charged and dramatic piece that "Joseph was "explaining that his trip had shocked him back to reality". Yet Hari never states to whom Joseph did the "explaining", or where. He recounts Joseph's story as if it were his own, clamining that Iraqis were "willing to see their own homes demolished" in order to end Hussein's tyranny, and proceeds to issue a trenchant indictment of the entire antiwar movement, accusing its members of being "the real imperialists", for ignoring the "true wishes" of the Iraqi people."
(Hari's correction of this was merely a rider added to his website saying something about Joseph being a 'bullshitter'-that, however is beside the point about him being criticised by Lipton.)
  • Many editors have criticised the ridiculous length of this article, my humble self being merely the most persistent, I have yet to use a meat or sockpuppet-other editors of this article cannot honestly say the same, I think.FelixFelix talk 18:26, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

I'm very confused and a bit disappointed. My edit was, I thought, a decent attempt at rectifying what I thought a very poor article. My complaint was never that Hari merited only 'a paragraph' and my draft of the entry cut only irrelevant or repetitious information and, as it happens, made the whole thing read much better. I am perplexed as to why it has been rejected in favour of the previous version, which is both hagiographic and unwieldy. I don't know what a sock puppet is but am pretty sure i'm not one. I think that this whole situation is insane: nobody can seriously suggest that the current entry is not very hagiographic and in desperate need of alteration. And my draft did not use Private Eye (which Dave R had said were NOT subject to legal action but now says are) as a source for anything else than the fact that Private Eye had been a critic of Hari, which it had and needs no other source for. I don't see why that should be removed: Hari is actually one of very few journalists to be the subject of 'Hackwatch' twice in 4 years, which seems highly notable. This whole Wikipedia business is new to me (thankfully, it seems), but I feel pissed off enough at the treatment of my quite reasonable worries about this awful entry, that i'm going to have to try and contact some sort of administrator to sort this out. As far as I can determine, Dave R has ignored my last two posts (apart from attributing to me views I do not hold - that Hari should only have a paragraph) and I don't understand why. Dave, what was wrong with my version of the entry and, if there is nothing wrong with it, are you willing to back its reinstatement? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 82.25.186.206 (talk) 22:32, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

hmmm ? [30], your draft did not use private eye ? ~~ —Preceding unsigned comment added by Anthere (talkcontribs) 04:06, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps you might want to read the edit above a little more carefully, Anthere!FelixFelix talk 04:28, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
For the record, I thought that most of the trimming that you did improved the article greatly. There is a heavy admin presence on this article because Hari himself has emailed complaining about it. Although he has no more say as to what goes in than any other editor, Biographies of living persons must avoid defamatory material, as it leaves wikipedia open to being sued, and thus bankrupt. The admin protected this page for a week to give the editors (us) a chance to achieve consensus about how the article will go forward-which is an entirely reasonable thing to do, although I have to say that dave r, as a single issue editor with a WP:COI conflict, is unlikely to see issues with the article in the same way most others do. I think that your edits were rolled back, not because the admin disapproved per se, but because you had made alot of edits in a short period and removed (correctly in my opinion) a fair amount of material, in an article that is being contested. A sockpuppet is one editor pretending to be another editor to try and support their own position, usually by creating 2 (or more) user accounts. They're not usually too hard to spot, by writing style [31], and by looking at the users contribution history [32]. Editors who use them usually don't realise that wikipedia is not a democracy, and decisions are made by consensus, not majority vote. Dave r is adept at attributing views to people that they don't hold, as a quick review of the past discussion (and archives) will reveal. On another note, if you're going to be editing here for a while, why not get a user account? Editing wikipedia is enjoyable and satisfying, much more so on pages other than this one ;) FelixFelix talk 04:24, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

Felix, the BLP rules are quite clear that you cannot insert defematory material and get around it just by saying 'other people allege...'. Further, you are willfully misunderstanding the wiki administrators and their statements above. By saying a source nees to be taken with a great deal of scepticism, they are very obviously saying it does not fit the criteria for BLP and should not be included. BLP sources have to be very reputable.

I don't know what the legal status with Harry's Place is, I've tried contacting Johann but I think he's away. (His website says he's taking a break, although it also says he was in London a few days ago, so I'm not sure what the situation is.). That is not the key issue though. The key issue is whether Private Eye meets the BLP rules, especially since their criticisms were written immediately after Hari criticised the magazine's editor himself. It clearly does not, since as the wiki adminstrators put above it is basically an industry gosspi mag, and the only other source Felix has given has (a) also been judged to be suspect by wiki authorities above, and (b) is laughably trivial. The Counterpunch criticism is that hari repeated a story that had been in hundreds of the world's newspapers, that later turned out to be wrong. When this happened, he printed a correction. The quote you give simply says they put it in foreful language; it doesn't change the substance of the criticisms at all.

I wasn't dsaying the anonymous user was a sopck-puppet. I was making a point about Felix: every time somebody has appeared on this page agreeing with me, Felix has smeared them as a sock-puppet. I was pointing out that I won't say the same about you in an attempt to stop him doing this in future; it really wasn't a comment on you at all.

What's wrong with your entry, anonymous user, is that it leaves out many, many issues on which Hari writes frontpage stories for national newspapers and campaigns on a national level, so I think it is incomplete. (It also includes criticisms of Hari from Private Eye that don't meet BLP regulations, a seperate issue discussed above). I know you think hari isn't qualified to speak about those things, but that's your POV, and can't be imposed. Many of the campaigning organisations believe he is a prominent voice - Campaign Against Climate Change, Amnesty International, etc.

That said, I understand your worry that this entry does not have enough criticisms of Hari, and I share it. If you read through the history you will find literally dozens of criticisms of Hari by big names like David Starkey that I inserted and Felix-Felix cut. Can you and I form an agreement that we'd like to see those criticisms restored? This seems like a positive way forward and a way to deal with the problems with the article that you and I can agree with. I really want to find an agreement here. You seem to me sincere, and I'd like to believe you would adhere to agreements, unlike Felix-Felix who has disregarded them every time they have been brokered by wiki mediators.

As I say, I'd be happy to never edit this page again if Felix would make the same agreement; I don't think friends or enemies of Hari should be editing wikipedia, but it's a bit of a Prisoner's Dillemma which will abstain first. - DavidR81.129.156.202 12:09, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

Just for the record I did think the revision here by 82.25.186.206 made the article feel stilted and abrupt. It was in my view a bunch of loosely related sentences strung together, and I don't think it was well written or easy to read. The current version is better. I only thought I should include this to prevent DavidR seeming like a lone voice on this issue. Mr-Thomas 23:26, 15 September 2007 (UTC)


BLP and NOTE dispute

This is concerning allegations inserted by the user Felix-Felix. To give some context, as reading though the page's history will show, the user Felix-Felix has described the British journalist Johann Hari (recently named as journalist of the year by Amnesty International) as "a self-publicising careerist, and an especially unpleasant one at that", accused him of being in favour of "the destruction of Untermenschen" , inserted into his entry fictitious claims he went to the most exclusive public school in Britain when in fact his father is a bus driver, and, most crucially, inserted poorly sourced and legally disputed claims that he "fabricated" a story he wrote about. This is a pattern of falsehood and animus that really worries me.

Dave, as I've requested you do before, please stop these personal attacks which range from grossly misrepresenting my edits to outright falsehoods. Please provide links to my edits if you disagree.FelixFelix talk 08:02, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
I have already linked to your insults directed at Hari and the edits that flow from them. You called him "a self-promoting careerist, and an especially unpleasant one at that" on the Medialens message board, as discussed at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Johann_Hari/Archive3#Felix_describes_Hari_as_.22a_self_publisising_.5Bsic.5D_careerist.2C_and_a_particulary_unpleasant_one_at_that..22 You called him "a little tyke" at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Johann_Hari/Archive1#This_is_not_a_CV_or_a_Vanity_article You accused him of being in favour of "the destruction of Untermenschen" at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:MediaLens#.22Weasel_words.22 . I have also included many links to your edits, if people click on 'Archive3' and scroll to the bottom, they will find a directory of the falsehoods you have inserted into this entry. I will stop exposing your intense personal hatred of Johann Hari when you stop trying to impose it on this wikipedia entry.David r from meth productions 10:29, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
Dave, this is really poor-the first link is to an accusation that you made about me, and a false one at that. The second is to me calling him 'a little tyke'-which isn't an insult or smear, but slang for a child (or Yorkshireman, which I didn't know), and as you know the third referred to the 'pro-war left', and remains a pithy observation that I stand by. You appear to be unable to demonstrate that I have a personal hatred of Hari, for the simple reason that I haven't. The COI here is yours, not mine. Will you stop your personal attacks against me now?FelixFelix talk 15:25, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
Are you seriously denying writing that on the Medialens message board? At the time, following me pointing it out in the wiki dicussion, you actually went back to the message board and posted an entry saying: "We are being watched", with a link to my statement! You cannot have forgotten; you are deliberately lying, as you have so often on this page. When you accused Hari of advocating "the destruction of Untermenschen," you were explicitly discussing Hari and (ironically) Cohen. Anyone can click on the link. I am shocked by the blatant lies you are prepared to tell, it is appalling.David r from meth productions 18:52, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
I certainly am denying it, as its untrue, as I suspect you know, dave.The link above works, dave-and anyone can see that the discussion on the medialens discussion page was about the 'pro-war left' in general [33]. When are you going to stop these personal attacks, dave?FelixFelix talk 20:07, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
They can see it is in direct response to somebody talking about Hari and Cohen, who you are in the process of attacking. I am really shocked by your lies about the Medialens message board. You know you are lying; I don't know how you can do this with a straight face. Don't you feel embarrseed to do this?David r from meth productions 21:09, 26 September 2007 (UTC)


Felix-Felix is currently arguing that he can insert a new section, designed by his own admission to suggest Hari's journalistic standards have been seriously impugned. He does not have BLP or NOTE standard sources for these claims, as three wiki administrators have said (you can find these above and in part three of the archive).

There are four 'sources' felix claims to have.

(1) Private Eye. This is a British scandal magazine, which Hari was attacked by literally a week after he criticised its editor in print. One wiki administrator has said on this page it should be viewed with "a very jaundiced eye", another has said it is "at best 50 percent accurate", yet Felix is insisting on using it as a source. This fails both BLP and NOTE, since Private Eye attacks virtually all prominent journalists sooner or later.

(2) A website called Counterpunch, which meets BLP standards, but has an extraordinarily trivial charge against Hari. They complain that he repeated in an op-ed column a story that had been reported in hundreds of newspapers. Even they concede that once it became clear the story was fake, he published an immediate and unambiguous correction. This fails NOTE.

His 'correction' was no such thing, it was a 'rider' added to the bottom of the article n his website saying that Joseph was 'probably a bullshitter'.FelixFelix talk 15:29, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
I cannot think of a more unambiguous correction than that. The Independent does not have a corrections section, but Hari's website - the only site he controls - does, and as soon as he was informed of it, he printed a plan statement saying the guy was a liar and, indeed, linking to the very Counterpunch article you are talking about that criticises him.David r from meth productions 19:03, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

(3) A journalist called Nick Cohen, who was responding to a very critical review of his book by Hari. This is (rightly) included in the entry already, since it passes both BLP and NOTE.

(4) An obscure pro-war website, which is written by friends of Cohen, who simply repeated his charge. This fails NOTE.

Well, its an award winning website; Harry's Place, which is more notable as Hari used to be a regular contributor there.FelixFelix talk 15:29, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
Oh come on. By any standards a blog read by (on its own account) 8000 people a day is obscure, and the fact that Hari wrote a few posts for it is neither here nor there. You're gettign even more desperate now.David r from meth productions 19:03, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

I believe this is an inadequate basis on which to build a section suggesting Hari's journalistic standards have been seriously questioned by wiki-standard sources. Felix-Felix disagrees. We are deadlocked in our disagreement. Any outside comment would be very welcome. David r from meth productions 23:35, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

As before, I support the removal of the reference to Private Eye. It is essentially meaningless if Private Eye gets onto a journalist's case, as Dave suggests. Charles Matthews 10:16, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

Thanks Charles. Felix, when will you start listening to the wiki administrators? -DavidRDavid r from meth productions 10:26, 25 September 2007 (UTC) 10:20, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

The reference in Private Eye is twice in 4 years, for the same thing, is alot, especially for one of Hari's short career. And, contrary to dave's assertion, Hackwatch and Street of Shame don't attack individual journalists most of the time, it's usually the newspaper titles (for example, this issue has one reference to an individual journalist (Linda Lee Potter) in a 2 page spread). As the accusations in Private Eye are the same as the one in CounterPunch, mentioning them together seems appropriate and notable. That the Harry's Place legal bunfight is about the same accusation, again, it all seems notable and reasonable to have them in the same section. The para as it stands makes no mention of what that accusation is, to avoid a WP:BLP vio, although I could reword the para to make it clearer that the accusations all concern the same thing, if that's helpful.FelixFelix talk 15:14, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
Come off it. Private Eye sniping at someone is well below the encyclopedic threshold. Twice in four years? That's clutching at straws. What would be helpful, here, is if you'd leave it at the Nick Cohen spat, which seems quite enough for us. Charles Matthews 16:48, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

Thanks Charles, I totally agree. Even if it didn't so glaringly fail BLP, it obvious fails NOTE. And Felix is just making it up as he goes along now. Counterpunhc's allegations are not the same as Private Eye's. All Counterpunch complained about is that ahri repeated a story reported in hundreds of newspaper that much later turned out to be false - whereupon Hari printed a full and unambiguous correction! Not much of a criticism really...

It is right to report the Nick Cohen row, which is the core of this. The rest is flim-flam.

David r from meth productions 18:54, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

Felix, I suggest we agree that if we do not have a resolution in the next week we should go for arbitration.

We have tried mediation, we have tried requests for comment, both have failed so fat. This is not fair on other wikipedians who might want to contribute to this entry.

Go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Arbitration_Committee to find out more info. Perhpas more people commenting, or wiki administrators reiterating what they've already said about your unacceptable sources, will help.

But if not, do you agree we should give it a week then apply?David r from meth productions 23:46, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

I cannot apply for arbitration alone. I can keep reversing your changes, and you can keep reversing my reversing, which will be a watse of everyone's time, or we can go for arbitartion now. Please agree to the saner route - or are you afraid the finding will be agaisnt you, since you are so clearly ignoring the statements by wiki administrators and so obviously breaching the rules? -DavidR David r from meth productions 10:26, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

I don't think arbitration will help you; the arbitration committee covers editor behaviour and not the contents of articles. Sam Blacketer 10:33, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
Oh, okay. Sam, is there anything you can recommend to resolve this once and for all? Is there a wikipedia mechanism to get a definitive decision on this? Obviously this could drag on for a long time...David r from meth productions 10:59, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
The way of brokering agreement on article content is formal mediation. As far as I can see there is a consensus that Private Eye and the other websites are not reliable sources for the paragraph. It is possible there may be better sources for a more moderately phrased version of the same argument (I have not checked). Incidentally a letter in this fortnight's Private Eye roundly criticises their coverage of Johann Hari; although it is from a declared friend of his, it does reinforce my doubts about the sourcing. Sam Blacketer 14:23, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
Sam, why don't you think that the sources aren't adequate for the para as it stands? Phil seemed to think it was fine.FelixFelix talk 14:57, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
Actually, Phil explicitly stated "the sources being used for criticism - Private Eye, Counterpunch, etc - are ones of questionbale [sic] reliability and notability". Such concerns about the sources have been raised by multiple experienced and respected editors. Please consider their comments and concerns. Strong sourcing from clearly reliable sources is non-negotiable for contentious or derogatory material about living people. Vassyana 15:16, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
How is the passage either contentious or derogatory?FelixFelix talk 15:30, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
And, to quote Phil, "Yes, I agree - which is why I'm OK with a "was criticized by" approach - it seems to address the notability of the source without getting into the question of quality. Phil Sandifer 23:50, 23 September 2007" [34]FelixFelix talk 16:56, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
He still clearly impugns the reliability of those sources, along with other editors. I would recommend that perhaps running this by the folks at WP:BLP/N may be helpful. It's largely monitored by experienced editors with a solid familiarity with BLP. Vassyana 18:08, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
Wilco.FelixFelix talk 21:11, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
I must admit, that response made me smile. :) Vassyana 01:07, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
You're right, Vassyana. Who thinks sources of "questionbale [sic] reliability and notability" should be the basis for wiki statements and links? Thanks for the BLP tip, I have posted a description of our problem there, Felix you may want to go and put your side of the argument there too.David r from meth productions 18:49, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

The passage is both contentious and derogatory because it is, by Felix's own admission, designed to give the impression that serious aspersions have been cast on Johann Hari's journalistic standards. In fact, there are no BLP or NOTE-standard sources (except for Nick Cohen's, in very specific circumstances, which I inserted into the entry in an appropriate place) to back up this impression. Yet you propose to pepper the entry with links to highly derogatory, poorly sourced and legally contested material against Hari nonetheless.

'Journalist attacked by Private Eye and obscure blog' should not be included in this entry for the same reasons Demi Moore's entry does not have a section detailing that she has been criticised by the National Inquirer and the Weekly World News. We would especially not then link to their accusations that she was (say) a child abuser, and try to get away with it by claiming we were merely factually describing what had happened.

So: you are choosing sources that everyone agrees do not meet BLP or NOTE, and bigging them up with a discussion in an encyclopedia entry, along with links, as an expression of your intense personal hatred of Hari. That's both contentious and derogatory.

David r from meth productions 17:48, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

From the BLP comment page:

Personally I would never cite "Private Eye" or "Harry's Place" in a bio here. I do not consider either of them to have the verifiability required of a high quality source. Whether a link to "counterpunch" is valid or not I'm not so sure, if the subject of the article is notable then any link to a verifiable source of information may be worth including, however the assertion that the link supports must be worded so as to reflect the link - there's a lot of difference between saying "x was one of several journalists misled into reporting a hoax that appeared on a wire service" and saying "x reported a pack of lies", and I suspect that in the case in question the former statement may be a more accurate representation than the latter. DMcMPO11AAUK/Talk/Contribs 06:05, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

Another possible compromise

I was just purusing the article history, and found a version of the article where the Private Eye allegations were sourced to the paper copy, not to a web reprint. What do people think of this as a compromise? Just note that Hari has been criticized by Private Eye, cite the paper version, and leave it at that. (As we really shouldn't be linking to random mirrors of copyrighted content anyway).

Is this acceptable to people? If so, what other issues would that leave? Phil Sandifer 18:11, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

Phil, you may not be really familiar with Private Eye. It is a British institution, and has got some big stories right (Robert Maxwell); but it has very low standards for inclusion, and pursues feuds with quite a vindictive edge. It fails WP:RS by a mile - it is fun to read, but WP should just ignore it. What is more, Hari is very active at OTRS, and WP:BLP must be scrupulously followed here. I have watched Dave and Felix-felix slug it out numerous times. We might get somewhere, if they stopped needling each other. But in this case I fear Felix-felix is just after getting the maximum of derogatory material into the article. I think a strict cut-off at the yellow press end of the spectrum is not really negotiable. Charles Matthews 19:03, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
I think that's a little unfair, Charles-I certainly believe that Hari's journalism deserves to be criticised, and the cited articles were, I thought, a good, and encyclopaedic way of reflecting a serious concern that many hold about his reporting. I think my history of edits on the article simply don't reflect the idea that I try and get the "maximum of derogatory material into the article", as numerous good faith edits ought to demonstrate. As for the idea of cooling off-I'm certainly game.FelixFelix talk 11:33, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
We all agree criticisms of Hari's journalism should be included, and indeed I inserted criticisms from such distinguished figures as David Starkey and Bjorn Lomborg, which you sadly edited out for reasons I never could understand. The question is whether the specific criticisms you are trying to insert meet BLP or NOTE. There is a clear consensus here that they don't. You have produced no evidence at all that it is "a serious concern" that "many hold"; by contrast, the evidence to the contrary - being named Amnesty International's journalist of the year, to give one example - is absolutely overhwleming. I am afraid it is clear to anyone following this discussion that you are indeed, as another wiki administrator has said, trying to get the "maximum of derogatory material into the article", and I'm grateful to everyone who has posted here to stop this from happening. David r from meth productions 19:38, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
Dave, as you know these spurious 'criticisms' are inserted by you to give Hari's writing an impression of controversy, as I, and other editors, have repeatedly pointed out, they are not serious criticisms of his work, like the CounterPunch article for example. I've offered a 'cooling off' period above-don't take advantage of it if you don't want to.FelixFelix talk 05:39, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
How are criticisms by some of the world's most distinguished intellectuals of Hari's views "spurious"? I thought a cooling-off period would mean you stopped throwing insults and began to listen to wiki administrators. Please start. David r from meth productions 08:45, 30 September 2007 (UTC)
Fair enough - I'm not really familiar with it - my knowledge of it comes from David Gerard's earlier comment that the back half is OK, the front half is very dodgy. Which, for me, was putting it in the awkward category of "notable but not reliable." I defer to you on this one, though. Phil Sandifer 19:14, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
I agree with everything Charles says here, including "and" and "the". Meanwhile a lowering of the temperature and of the tendency to drag up past sins by both David R and Felix-Felix would be helpful. Sam Blacketer 23:01, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
That's a totally fair point Sam. I will stop discussing Felix's past; I think my point has been made. Apologies if you think I've gone too far in making this point, I thought it was important but I can understand if I've been too shocked and irate.David r from meth productions 11:19, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for everyone's time and comments. I really appreciate your proposals for compromise Phil but I'm afraid I agree with Charles that this particular solution wouldn't be appropriate. We would still be legitimising the impression that hari's journalistic standards have been seriously impugned, when there are no BLP or NOTe standard sources for it. It's also worth bearing in mind the allegations Felix wants to include were in the front half, and - in the section that you cite, Phil - David G was raising the reliability of the back half precisely to make the point that these allegations shouldn't be included. I don't say this as a reproach but just as a clarification.David r from meth productions 21:05, 26 September 2007 (UTC)


Coverage in Slate

Please see Civil Disobedience on the Web by Michael Weiss. Sam Blacketer 19:28, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

Looking at this again I think the section in the article at the moment is misleading. It gives the impression this was a spat over opinions of George Orwell, rather than a dispute over whether Nick Cohen's book was accurately described. The Slate article, although it is written from a perspective hostile to Hari's actions, could perhaps be used to discuss the incident's more substantive implications. Sam Blacketer 19:39, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
I tried to add that reference, but it was removed. I assume coverage by the mainstream media makes the above discussions moot. What is the current objection to it's inclusion? -- 67.98.206.2 22:32, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

The proposed addition repeats a libellous and untrue statement about Hari, and which he has initiated legal proceedings over. The fact that a blogger writing for Slate has repeated it is neither here nor there, and no legal defence. He is simply repeating statements by Private Eye, which are not admissible as evidence in wikipedia, and are contrary to British libel law. By repeating it here, you repeat a falsehood, and leave wikipedia vulnerable to prosecution. My understanding is that hari has contacted wikipedia in the past about attempts by a malicious user to insert legally actionable material into this entry.

I think Sam's point is well-taken though; I've tried to redescribe the disagreement, let me know what you guys think about how we can improve it. David r from meth productions 23:04, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

Michael Weiss is an associate editor for Jewcy; he is not just "some blogger". Slate Magazine is a WP:Reliable Source, which found Hari's threats of a lawsuit against a blogger notable enough for an article. That he made such threats certainly isn't a "falsehood." If someone from WP:OFFICE shows up and says this information can't be in his bio, fine, but I don't see anything in the achives of this talk page to suggest this has ever occurred before. -- 67.98.206.2 23:58, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
OK, I take that back, there was this office edit.[35] Still, that's not really relevant as this material is sourced. -- 67.98.206.2 00:01, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Quite a few OFFICE people have said these allegations shouldn't be included in this entry, since they are libellous, the subject of legal action and based on allegations from Private Eye, which is not a reliable source. (Weiss makes it very, very clear he is repeating the Private Eye allegations - and he doesn't repeat the actual words of their allegations, presumably because he knows they would leave him vulnerable to prosecution too.)

By repeating the very serious and defamatory slur that prompted Hari to sue, you are leaving wikipedia vulnerable to legal prosecution. As somebody who donates to wikipedia, I'd hate to see the money used in pay-outs for repeating false and libellous information.

I have tried to add a reference to the legal affair you think is important that nonetheless does not repeat the intial libellous accusations. I hope this is a happy compromise. My unerstanding from hari's website is that it was the Independent, not Hari himself, who threatened to sue the site for their libellous statements, so I've reflected that, and tried to be careful to not leave wiki open to legal action. I'mn open to advice from wiki administrators on this.David r from meth productions 01:35, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Hi Sam - I don't think your proposed correction was quite right, because it said the Harry's Place comments "impilictly critiicsed" teh review. In fact, they explicitly attacked Hari's journalistic reputation, which is why the Independent's lawyers threatened legal action, and I think it's important to make that clear... What do you think of the phrasing I've put in? - DavidR86.129.144.15 11:46, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

The point about the Harry's Place comment is that it was explicitly made in connection with Nick Cohen's response to the review, but commented speculatively about what would happen if a journalist acquired a reputation for fabricating. Presumably the Independent lawyers got involved because of the implicit connection between the two, but it was an implicit connection and not a statement that Hari had actually acquired such a reputation. I think we have to be aware of the fact that it's also a WP:BLP violation to claim, without supporting sources, that what was written on Harry's Place was actually defamatory of Johann Hari. The author of the piece strongly asserts that it was not. Sam Blacketer 11:55, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
Another problem is that to refer to Harry's Place as being written by "friends of Cohen" is a little like "poisoning the well". At the very least the friendship between Nick Cohen and the author should be cited. Sam Blacketer 12:03, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Thanks Sam. I totally take your point. Obviously we can't repeat the defamatory allegation about Hari, so I thought the best way to do that was to refer to the fact they went further than Cohen, the Indie lawyers intervened, and the comment was withdrawn. That side-steps the issue of whether the comment was defamatory - because it's extremely hard to discuss that without repeating the libel, which leaves wikipedia vulnerable to prosecution - and simply sticks to a straightforward factual description of the sequence of events. Is there a better way to do that? I'm very receptive to suggestions.

I know the Harry's pLace bloggers are friends of Cohen but can't find a web ref so I've switched it to "admirers" of Cohen since there are hundreds of blog posts proving that. I think it's very important to say that, because they were not impartially assessing the truthfulness of Hari's arguments but rather strongly inclined to one side.David r from meth productions 12:58, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

You're rewrite doesn't seem to reflect what the source actually says about the incident. I have rewritten it slightly, with what I hope would be an acceptable gloss of what the blogger said, just not in so many words.. I don't believe, as an encyclopedia, we have much to worry about in repeating what a reliable source says. Hari would be better off suing Slate.com first, and when they print a retraction, then it would be fair enough for us to remove the information. -- 67.98.206.2 16:06, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
As David R says, we need to make sure that we do not repeat the substance of the removed blog post. I have sort of reverted to David R's version but removed the 'peacock terms' and also changed the description of Harry's Place from 'friends of Nick Cohen' to 'supporters of the war' because it seems better to explain their position in political rather than personal terms. Sam Blacketer 20:06, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Anonymous user, you say: "I don't believe, as an encyclopedia, we have much to worry about in repeating what a reliable source says. Hari would be better off suing Slate.com first, and when they print a retraction, then it would be fair enough for us to remove the information."

That's not how the libel alws work. If you repeat a libellous statement, then you are as legally responsible as the person who first made it. If some lunatic said, say, 'Tony Blair is a paedophile', you can't repeat it, saying 'X lunatic says Tony Blair is a paedophile.' Libel is libel. And that statement is totally libellous and the subject of legal action, and as such leaves wikipedia vulnerable to prosecution.

Sam's proposed section isn't my ideal wording by any means but I'd acceopt it as a rough compromise and, Sam, i appreciate your time and effort here. David r from meth productions 23:15, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

In the U.S. you can certainly say "Mr. Blair threatens to sue Mr. X for claiming Mr. Blair was a pedophile," and in fact that would be the headline on page A12 of the New York Times, and our encyclopedia could certainly take note of that. As my former President Nixon learned, it's the cover up that gets you. Wikipedia (do y'all spell it Wikipaedia?) has it's servers based in the state of Florida, last I checked, and our laws here aren't such that the landed gentry can simply force the courts to shut the peasantry up. -- 67.98.206.2 07:13, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

protected

Look guys, I do not know who is correct and who is not correct, so by default, I reverted to the last protected version. If there is an newer version to which everyone seems to agree, please set in place the last agreeable version. And let's protect this page for a while for the dust to settle. Please consider that an office action. If you want to talk about it, you may reach me at my wikipedia email address, with in mind the fact I will not *mediate* on this article. Thanks Anthere 22:33, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

For those who have no idea what that means, see WP:OFFICE. JACOPLANE • 2007-10-14 00:15
The last WP:OFFICE version went back to this version. If there's a legitimate libel issue, that's certainly the version we should run with. Otherwise we're left with an article that's largely sourced to his personal blog (22 out of 39 article sources) some bio but mostly his personal opinions (which violates WP:SOAP) while willfully ignoring criticism which he has WP:Nobably[36] threatened a lawsuit over, which violates WP:NPOV. Typically article subjects of WP:OFFICE actions are not allowed to have their cake and eat it too. -- 67.98.206.2 07:00, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

Thanks Anthere.

Felix, why aren't you signing in?

This entry contains a number of criticisms; it did contain far more, but you edited them out, calling them "spurious", despite the fact they were from some of the world's most distinguished intellectuals. I thought we had finally got this sorted by the intervention of several administrators telling you it was unacceptable for you to try to get the maximum amount of derogatory material into this entry.

It is plainly unacceptable to include a libellous and obviously untrue politically-motivated smear about Hari in this entry. It not about silencing the "peasantry", it is about preventing smears from appearing on wikipedia and entering public discourse.

It is not about "willfully ignoring" criticism, but ensuring that we do not repeat libellous and false criticism that violates basic BIO rules. To call this a "cover-up" is both silly hyperbole and missing the point. Since wikipedia is accessed in britain, it is covered by british libel laws, and you are proposing to make wikipedia vulnerable to having to pay serious damages for printing a very libellous and false statement. Why do you want to damage wikipedia in this way?

I've suggested as a compromise we mention that the Independent threatened to sue this blog for going further in this criticism, and the blog retracted, without us actually repeating the libel. I think that's a reasonable compromise, sicne I think we'd be better not mentioning the affair at all, and you want to describe the whole thing, including a string of falsehoods.

If you compare this entry to other opinion columnists', like say Nick Cohen, Mark Steyn, Melanie Phillips, George Monbiot, Peter Hitchens or David Aaronovitch, I think it stands up quite well. By definition, opinion columnists are well known for their opinions, so obviously all these entries discuss them in depth with lots of links to their work. How else could an entry about opinion columnists work? I'm happy to restore the criticisms that you took out, Felix.

David r from meth productions 09:03, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

You seem to have confused me with someone else; there's no "string of falsehoods" I'm trying to insert here. The edit I made is here, and the one quoted sentence is fairly mundane for something from the blogosphere. Not including the sentence Hari threated to sue over really whitewashes the whole affair in his favor. When someone who makes a living giving their opinions wants to sue someone else for giving their's, that's notable; it's not simply a matter of WP:WHYDOYOUHATEWP. There's a whole section on a similar affair involving Alisher Usmanov, which likewise repeats an allegedly libelous and false statement -- and that gentleman is the 281st richest person on the planet. He could not only sue the WP:OFFICE for libel, he could at a whim have everyone in the WP:OFFICE drug from their homes in the middle of... but, I digress. Hari is perhaps a victim of bad timing with his threat having come to light at the same time as Usmanov's and the two threats have been inexorably linked by sources. I don't see a reason for a double standard here. -- 67.98.206.2 17:58, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

As somebody who donates money to wikipedia, I don't want to see them making damages paymouts to either Usmanov or Hari; soembody should go and remove the libel from there too. Repeatign a libel is as serious as being teh first person to make the libel. By the way, Hari wasn't trying to stop anybody expressing their opinion about his work (he often links to people who are very critical). He was trying to stop somebody spreading a made-up lie that could damage his repuation and career. There's a big difference, and it's called libel.

It's not whitewashing for wikipedia to protect itself from legal action by refusing to print a statement that is (a) false (even the people making it immediately withdrew it) and (b) libellous. As I say, it's a pretty generous compromise to discuss the affair, with a link, which I would personally oppose but would swallow as a compromise, provided the actual libel is not repeated. David r from meth productions 21:09, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

The sentence in question is neither false nor libelous; if anything the sentiment -- which I'll paraphrase again ever so little -- that a serious journalist shouldn't habitually make things up without losing his or her job is a near universal belief. As my source makes clear it was not removed for being a false statement, the blogger simply did not want the legal headache of fighting a lawsuit, however frivolous: "Without the resources to combat a libel charge, David simply removed his post."[37] As an WP:ENCyclopedia we should, based on this source and the reality of the comment which prompted the threat, thus properly warn our British readers that even the slightest feint of a rebuke launched in Hari's general direction could land them in court. To suggest, by way of omission, that what the blogger actually wrote resembles an actual libel in any way shape or form creates a wikiality which is a disservice to the reader. -- 67.98.206.2 22:06, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

Your personal sources constitute original research, I'm afraid.

The statement was made in an article about Hari, (wrongly) criticising him for imputing views to Cohen that Cohen doesn't hold. It plainly implied Hari had made them up and indeed had "a reputation" for doing this - a statement for which there is absolutely no evidence at all. (Indeed, there is lots of counterveiling evidence: we are talking aboiut the best journalist in britain according to Amnesty International, etc etc, the quotes Hari produced showing Cohen does say all these things, etc etc). It is not "frivilous" for a journalist to defend their reputation against such a disgraceful and politically motivated slur, as loads of blogs normally unsympathetic to Hari pointed out.

You are suggesting we should repeat a statement but warn it contravenes British libel laws? This would be an admission fo law-breaking and leave wikipedia seriously vulnerable to prosecution (it is accessed in Britain, therefore covered by British laws), and it would knowingly repeat a false libel, both of which I think are very bad ideas.

I think you and I could go around in circles for a long time on this; guidance from the wiki administrators following this page would be very helpful. I have suggested a compromise, which is far from what I'd like but that's the nature of the compromise: mention that friends/allies of Cohen's went further in their criticisms, the Independent threatened to sue, and they withdrew their statements. That gives readers who want to know about it plenty of information, and a link to find out more, without repeating the libel and leaving wikipedia vulnerable to prosecution.David r from meth productions 12:14, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

I don't know how you can keep misconstruing what I've written. Slate Magazine is not my "personal source." I rejected the notion that the statement is in any way libel, even by British standards, though I will now except your, and perhaps Hari's, imagination. No one has ever brought suit in Britain against an American website under British libel law. And the truth about the claims and counter-claims between Hari and Cohen has been the topic of much speculation; you may be right, but our sources for the dispute, like most of the article, are currently entirely Hari's personal blog posts writings. I would be interested to learn more though, should you have any reliable sources which take an overview of the debate. -- 67.98.206.2 19:39, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Don't feel bad about that - ever since I joined this discussion in September, David R has done nothing but misconstrue and misrepresent my suggestions, all of the while dodging the issues at hand (see the 'reiteration' below). —Preceding unsigned comment added by 128.32.78.173 (talk) 20:15, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Reiteration

Hello all,

I entered discussion of this page back in mid-September, having stumbled upon it and thought it worryingly hagiographic - a completely unapologetic Johann Hari Fan Club, which gives his opinions on a variety of topics that surely go far beyond his notable areas of expertise. A cursory check through the discussion archives demonstrate that I am not alone, though seemingly every attempt to edit it properly have been blocked by the indefatiguable David R. I've already suggested that David R should not be involved in the editing of this page because of his bias - he is an admitted personal friend of Hari. His response to that suggestion was that nor should people who actively dislike Hari. The thing is, I actually don't have any gripe against Hari, just against annoying hagiographic Wikipedia entries. I thus again call for David R to take a while away from this page (a few months perhaps) and let other contributors come to a consensus about the merits of the entry. FelixFelix who I notice has been quiet of late could perhaps do the same, as it deprives David R of the ability to claim significant bias on those who just want a balanced entry (and a balanced entry does not mean the inclusion of those who have criticised Hari, but rather a scaling down of the bizarrely long list of opinions attributed to him). Back in September, I made the following edit: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Johann_Hari&oldid=157838503 I would be interested in the views of others. Would this edit be acceptable, apart from the 'Private Eye' libel issue, which could be rephrased or maybe even dropped? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 128.32.78.157 (talk) 17:57, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for your post.
Several other wiki editors who do not know Hari or me, like MrThomas, suggested that edit was worse than the existing article, and I agree.
As I argued at the time, opinion columnists are noted for their opinions. Given hari's prominence (best journalist in Britain according to Amnetsy International etc) this is not an especially large entry. Compare it to that for Peter Hitchens, Melanie Phillips, Nick Cohen, George Monbiot, Mark Steyn, Polly Toynbee or any other major opinion columnist and I think this is the right length.
You are right though that there aren't enough criticisms. If you look through the history of the page, I inserted several serious criticisms from leading figures like Bjorn Lomborg and David Starkey and Sara Payne, which Felix-Felix bizarrely edited out. (Unlike the libellous criticisms that Felix-Felix tried to isnert, these were properly sourced). Far from wriiting a hagiography, I have inserted many criticisms - only to see them removed, to my noisy objections.
I'm very happy to discuss the proposal for both Felix and I to abstain - indeed, it was my suggestion some months ago - but I think it's essential to secure an agreement about not including libellous falsehoods in this entry first. There can be no question of 'maybe' dropping the Private Eye issue - there are several wiki office administrators who have come onto this page and said that set of allegations is totally unacceptable and fails the most basic BLP standards, and will be reversed by them if reinserted, as you can see if you scroll up. Nothing would make me happier than to not have to deal with this though! So let's get a consensus on not including libel and not chopping teh entry to pieces and I'll happily depart the stage... —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.129.135.166 (talk) 18:43, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

I'd like to see what people other than yourself and 'MrThomas' say about my alternative version. All it does is remove superfluous material and then merge sentences together to improve the flow and make it less like a list of his opinions. MrThomas said the reason that he preferred the previous version to mine was that it read better. I don't happen to think this is the case and, in any event, it doesn't address the issue of slimmed-down content, which is what was at stake. What I said in my last post was that a more balanced version was needed, NOT that additional criticisms be inserted, because the insertion of such criticisms only serves to make the entry even more hagiographic, by appearing to increase the relevance of Hari's views on various topics. By analogy, were Stephen Hawking to happen to say that 'David Icke's theories are rubbish' these should not be included in Icke's Wikipedia entry in such a way as to imply that there is some meaningful intellectual engagement between the two people in question. There is no need for additional 'critics' to be cited, but there is a need for this entry to be toned down substantially. In this regard, i'd like to hear some views on a slimmed-down alternative from people other than yourself who give substantial reasons for the views they express. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 128.32.78.173 (talk) 20:11, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Sorry, I accidentally forgot to sign in; the previous entry was mine too.
I don't think the article is at all hagiographic. Compare it to the other journalists I included (have you checked them out? it's quite important) and I think that case is pretty clear; this follows a familiar format for describing opinion journalists. It's possible all the wikipedians compiling all these entires are wrong and we should do op ed journalists' entries differently, but I don't think that's the case.
The analogy you use - about Stephen Hawkings criticising David Icke in an aside - doesn't apply to the criticisms I was trying to insert. David Starkey argued in an hour TV long programme against Hari, giving a detailed critique of his views on nuclear weapons, for example.
I don't think your proposed edit cuts "superfluous information" but, as MrThomas said, very important information about issues where Hari is one of the most highprofile campaigners in britain. Have you checked out the rules stating that wikipedia isn't a paper encyclopedia and therefore things shouldn't be cut just to make space? That's important too, it pretty comprehensively answers your argument for lots of cuts. David r from meth productions 22:00, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
Sourcing a person's opinions to blog entries that have not been published under any editorial oversight can be problematic and easily run afoul of WP:SOAP, WP:UNDUE and WP:NPOV. WP:SOAP because wikipedia thus could act as a conduit for anything the blogger chooses to say; WP:UNDUE because the article could treat the bloggers opinions about different topics out of proportion from the opinions a real world editor would choose or has chosen to publish; and WP:NPOV because it could lead to cherry picking exactly which opinions reflect either most positively or most negatively upon the blogger's character, depending on our own biases. I'm not an expert on this man or his writings such that I can offer any expertize, but those should be the guiding principals here, in my humble opinion.
As a side note, I've seen demonology occur just as easily as hagiography; I once saw a WP:BLP on wikipedia of a blogger who at some point made one blog entry which opinionated in favor of free speech for a certain notorious holocaust denier, and as the result of a team of editors willfully ignoring all the aforementioned principles, you could read his wikipedia article and come away with the impression that the blogger had personally co-founded the Third Reich. The bio was eventually deleted for failing WP:N but it was a real fiasco. -- 67.98.206.2 19:45, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

I really don't see how any of the proposed changes to this entry could be classed as contributing to any demonology of the subject. Saying his views on some things are not relevant to his entry is not saying the guy's views are of no weight or that he is somehow a bad guy, merely that he is not a noted authority in several of these areas and the manner in which they are depicted suggests that he is. As it stands, this entry reads like a manifesto for the Johann Hari fan club, not because it fails to contain criticisms, but because it gives a misleading account of how weighty and well-known his views across far too broad a range of issues. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 169.229.6.169 (talk) 17:42, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

I broadly agree with the first anonymous poster above and broadly disagree with the second.
If a national newspaper puts Hari's reporting and views about these issues on their front page, as it has with virtually all the issues under discussion in this entry, then they are worthy of discussion in a wikipedia entry. Especially since Amnesty International says this is the best journalism in Britain. If you think the newspaper and Amnesty are wrong that's soemthing to take up with the editor of the Independent and the head of Amnesty, not with wikipedians who are using a reasonable gauge of what's worthy of inclusion.
(I agree however that you are not trying to demonise Hari either, and it's not fair to accuse you of that.)
Have you checked out the entries for other opinion journalists that I linked to? This is actually shorter than most of them, and more critical too, since it include three major criticisms by four major sources. Have you checked out the rules on wiki is not a paper encyclopedia? I think they pretty comprehensively answer your anxieties about length. I think your criticisms on that point are absed on a misunderstanding of this wiki rule, which is pretty basic David r from meth productions 18:38, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Yes, I have checked the other op-ed journalists entries. The one major difference between most of them and Hari is that he is substantially younger than them. To say that this merits a smaller entry is not, however, ageism: it simply reflects how much people have been able to accomplish. You have continously cited the Amnesty International prize as evidence that Hari is regarded by some as one of the most highly thought of journalists in the UK, but I don't see this as compelling evidence at all. Amnesty International, whilst no doubt a laudable political institution, are nevertheless still a political institution and the awards they give out reflects the interests they hope to serve: in other words, Hari's award is not evidence of his standing as a journalist but rather of his own political views and the volume at which they are expressed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 169.229.6.169 (talk) 19:14, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for your comments and for checking out those entries. I haven't only cited the Amnesty award (for which the only criteria is high quality writing on reporting on human rigths abuses - a category that includes tens of thousands of journalists. It has judged that among thjose tens of thousands, he has particular standing. They are not rewarding "volume" but quality; it was specifically for his reporting from the war in Congo). Debretts picked him out as one of only two journalists named as among the 100 People of the Year in 2007 (the other was Matthew Parris - the rest of the list included people like Cristiano Ronaldo, David Cameron and Daniel Craig), and Debretts has never been accused of having a political agenda!
Wikipedia isn't about age but about salient, documented facts. The fact that a national newspaper puts these opinions/ reports on their front page, and several other award bodies recognise him as one of the most important journalists in britain, indicates that they are worth describing in a wikipedia entry.
Have you checked out the rules concerning wikipedia is not a paper encyclopedia, by the way?
David r from meth productions 19:23, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Unprotection

I have been told things were settling down. Let me unprotect the page then. Hope it is really settled :-) Anthere 21:01, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

So there was no office action then? I presume I can re-add the reliable source to the article. -- 67.98.206.2 06:26, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

No, the office froze the page precisely because you were trying to add legally unsustainable material to the page. (I'm sure you were acting in good faith, and don't want to to imply otherwise.) The page was frozen until the argument appeared to be resolved. Since you appeared to have nothing to say in response to my arguments, they assumed you had either been persuaded, or no longer felt able to sustain your case. If you start adding the legally unsustainable material again, they will remove it and freeze the page again, which I think isn't fair on wikipedians who might want to improve this entry.

It's not going to be possible to add legally disputed material to this page, as wiki office people have made clear repeatedly. Check out the archive (part 5) for several of them saying the Private Eye smear-job on hari, for example, (written by a friend of Nick Cohen who didn't declare his interest, and has been condemned by his own publication for it!) must not under any circumstances be inserted into this entry. It's not reasonable to leave wikipedia vulnerable to prosecution by repeating charges that are currently pending a court. That includes the Slate repetition of the poorly-sourced and libellous smear, which is written by a friend of Nick Cohen's and Francis Wheen's (who wrote the original smear-job), and whose blog was quoted in the original smear-job. Repeating a libel is in British law as bad as being the first person to make the libellous statement, and as somebody who gives money to wikipedia, I don't want to see it going towards paying damages for repeating a false and appallign politically-motivated smear.

We should try to resolve the other problems you have with the entry through discussion though, and I'm keen to do that. So let's go back a step. What's your answer to my argument above, reposted here:

I haven't only cited the Amnesty award (for which the only criteria is high quality writing on reporting on human rights abuses - a category that includes tens of thousands of journalists. It has judged that among thjose tens of thousands, he has particular standing. They are not rewarding "volume" but quality; it was specifically for his reporting from the war in Congo).

Debretts picked him out as one of only two journalists named as among the 100 People of the Year in 2007 (the other was Matthew Parris - the rest of the list included people like Cristiano Ronaldo, David Cameron and Daniel Craig), and Debretts has never been accused of having a political agenda!

Wikipedia isn't about age but about salient, documented facts. The fact that a national newspaper puts these opinions/ reports on their front page, and several other award bodies recognise him as one of the most important journalists in britain, indicates that they are worth describing in a wikipedia entry, as they are here. If you feel it lacks balance, by all means add (non-libellous) criticisms. I have added a few myself just now, including the fact that a number of right-wing Zionist groups have issued reports condemning him. I'm keen to add more to ensure this is a balanced entry.

Have you checked out the rules concerning wikipedia is not a paper encyclopedia, by the way? I think it very comprehensively answers your concerns about length.David r from meth productions 09:38, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

I was looking for a WP:3 on this. -- 67.98.206.2 14:22, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

Fair enough. There's already been about nine opinions on the Private Eye issue, all but one against. Obviously, on a legal issue, it's not relevant how many people want to insert a libel, wiki:office will have to over-rule them, because it's wikipedia that would get its ass sued.

On all the other issues I'm very happy to debate this and try to find a compromise. it would be helpful if you could respond to my arguments too. Have you checked out wikipedia is not a paper encyclopedia yet?David r from meth productions 14:38, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

All I know about Mr. Hari, from the other side of the pond, is his part in the whole libel brouhaha I read about on Slate. I don't have any opinions otherwise as to what is or is not in the article. I'll still advise you that letting his blog be a source is a double edged sword, but that's not my concern here. -- 67.98.206.2 21:37, 24 October 2007 (UTC)
Hari doesn't have a blog. He has a website, which simply consists of reproductions of articles that are published in places like the Independent, the New York Times and the New Republic. If you'd prefer you can find all the articles on their respective sites instead and link to them there, it'd take a while but it might be worth it if you're concerned about using Hari's website as a source.David r from meth productions 21:41, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

Sorry, it's slightly confusing because I think there are two anonymous users posting here and I've been working on the assumption you're the same person... If you can sign with your initials that's be really helpful.

On the issue of libel, libellous claims - obviously invented as a political smear against Hari for recanting on the Iraq war, as you can see if you trace the allegations back to their origin - can't be added to a wikipedia entry, because that leaves wikipedia seriously vulnerable to legal action. It's worth checking out the background to this: these slurs were invented by the writer Francis Wheen, who made them after Hari criticising Wheen's best friend Nick Cohen for his bizarre conversion to full-blown neoconservatism. It was repeated by the equally pro-war website Harry's Place, who are also very good friends of Cohen's. The Slate article is written by another good friend of Wheen and Cohen, trying to spread the smear further. It's a pretty ugly business really, and doesn't belong lingering on wikipedia to smear Hari further.

These claims are already the subject of legal action and it would be madness to start repeating them, which would make wiki as culpable under British law as the first person to make the claims. It would also be unethical, since it would be repeatign a disgraceful and obviously untrue slur. That's why the office keeps freezing the entry, it seems to me. Wiki administrators have made it clear these smears do not belong in this entry very clearly. David r from meth productions 12:02, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

Just think of me as 67.*; I'm the only one with that prefix here. I've restored the discussion about the Slate article which was recently archived. The coverage by Slate makes the previous decision that Private Eye wasn't a reliable source moot. It's certainly a complicated situation when someone becomes notable for threatening libel lawsuits, especially when such a lawsuit would be dismissed as frivolous in a heartbeat in any U.S. court. -- 67.98.206.2 18:11, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

Hi 67. Hari hasn't threatened "lawsuits". The Independent newspaper threatened a lawsuit to protect the reputation of one of their writers from a grotesque and politically motivated smear. This isn't considered "frivilous" in britain, virtually any UK journalist would react to a serious smear like that in the same way. There's a perfectly reasonable debate about whether libel laws should exist, but where they exist, the slurs against hari were a blatant infringement of them.

I disagree that the coverage by Slate makes the former discussion moot. It is a straightforward repetition of the Private Eye allegations, which administrators have already judged - ad nausem and at length - to be not worthy of inclusion here. The writer of the slate piece makes it clear he is simply repeating Private Eye, he's not adding anything new or even trying to vouch for its accuracy. He hasn;t subjected it to any extra editorial oversight. Just because a blogger for Slate repeats something from an unreliable and obviously false source doesn't make it suddenly reliable.

This is quite apart from the fact that wikipedia cannot repeat a libellous charge, because it woudl leave itself vulnerable to prosecution. -DaveRDavid r from meth productions 21:23, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

You keep saying it was the Independent who threatened to sue the blogger, but you've yet to provide a source to back up that claim. The Slate piece states repeatedly that Hari was the one who threatened to sue ("standing up to the threats of Johann Hari and Alisher Usmanov" and later "his libel threat"). The piece isn't simply regurgitating what was in the less-reliable source; it doesn't even mention Private Eye until the eighth paragraph. The Slate piece also notes that the so-called libel has a basis in fact ("Chief among Hari's whoppers in the Independent piece..."). I seriously doubt calling someone who lies a liar can be a basis for a libel suit anywhere. Again, look at Alisher Usmanov; we repeat a so-called libel there too. The circumstances are no different. -- 67.98.206.2 21:50, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

Hi 67. I have provided a source. Even the original Private Eye story that started all this said it was the Independent who threatened to sue, not Hari.

You say, "The piece isn't simply regurgitating what was in the less-reliable source; it doesn't even mention Private Eye until the eighth paragraph." But it is clear that Private Eye is his only source when you read the piece. Nobody else has ever made this allegation except people directly repeating Private Eye, and it is clear he he done no original research. (It's revealing he doesn't link to Hari's response, where he answers the allegation that his quotes from Cohen are "whoppers" with direct quotes from Cohen, showing he said exactly what hari said he did. For example, it was alleged that Cohen did not say the world was right to support Saddam. But here's what Cohen wrote: "The world had little choice but to support Saddam's unprovoked war on Iran. A victory for the Ayatollahs would have left the Iraqi, Kuwaiti and Saudi oilfields at Iran's mercy.")

You say: "I seriously doubt calling someone who lies a liar can be a basis for a libel suit anywhere." That statement is true. But Hari doesn't lie in his journalism; his response, and any basic analysis of who is spreading this smear and why, shows overwhelmingly that this claim is untrue, which is why the allegation was withdrawn by Harry's Place, and why even Private Eye had to humiliatingly print a letter showing they were lying and had disgracefully hidden their confolict of interest by allowing Cohen's best friend to write about this without even mentioning that fact. Far from being as liar, Hari has been given awards for his scrupulous and highly factual reporting by experts in their respective fields. For example, Amnesty International, which is the gold-standard for fact-gathering about human rights abuses, called him the best journalist in Britain.

So: Hari was accused of serious journalistic malpractice by people maliciously smearing him to save their friend from the humiliation of a debunking review, and Hari's employer acted to preserve their professional reputation. Inserting this blatant libel into this entry, which is the subject of legal action, would leave wikipedia vulnerable to prosecution. You have (to your credit, showing your honesty) admitted you don't understand British libel law, even suggesting we insert the libel and admit it is libellous under British law. It's really important to get a grasp of this so we don't end up squandering the cash that perople are riasing in that little bar at the top of the page...

If the Usmanov entry repeats a libel, then I implore you to remove it immediately. As I've said before, as somebody who gives money to wikipedia, I don't want to see it being paid in damages to a Russian billionaire, and repeating a libel is in British law as serious as making the libel for the first time.

(sorry, just realise I forgot to sign in. This is me...) David r from meth productions 20:53, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

No, the Private Eye source[38] says: "Hari went ballistic, demanding that unless these “libellous comments” were taken down immediately he’d take legal action. The lndie lawyers, he revealed, had assured him that he could sue and win." So, again, it was Hari threatening to sue, though he may have walked down the hall and gotten legal advice from the Independent's lawyer. Private Eye may have been one source for the Slate article, but story was all over the blogosphere and it would be completely uncharacteristic for Slate not to do the footwork of rechecking the facts here regardless. I'd also be surprised if Private Eye didn't print a letter to the editor from Mr. Hari rebutting their article's conclusions, if that's the "letter" you are referring to (again, I wasn't around for the last round of debate on this); and I'll concede there could have been a conflict of interest with the Private Eye's reporter. I wouldn't have a problem putting that in the article to balance POV concerns. But those facts don't undermine the conclusion that at the end of the day, as Slate put it, "Hari has gone from being a critic unhappy about a meticulous and unflattering fact-checking to being held up as an opponent of free speech."

I suppose though that the issues here have enough levels of complexity that we can ignore the contents of the original blog post which got all this rolling if we leave open the question of whether the threatened lawsuit could have had any merit. Although, to be honest, I can't see how Hari could pull the trigger here (by suing the foundation) without absurdly compounding his original mistake. But fair enough; I don't feel like gambling upon his learning curve here. -- 67.98.206.2 16:50, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for your post 67. I appreciate your tone, and that you are sincerely interested in getting a good entry here rather than pushing an agenda.

I was wrong about the Private Eye post. As somebody who knows Hari I know that it was the Independent who threatened to sue, not Hari, but I misread the Private Eye story. (I was so disgusted by its smears I only read it once, to be honest. My bad.)

The line from the Slate piece "Hari has gone from being a critic unhappy about a meticulous and unflattering fact-checking to being held up as an opponent of free speech" is literally untrue since Hari was +not+ subject to a meticulous fact-checking. As you can see if you read his response, he was in fact right on all the substantial points, and backed them up with extensive quotes from Cohen. (It's very, very revealing that the Slate guy doesn't link to Hari's response; he knows it leaves his argument in tatters). The writer of the Slate piece is a right-wing Iraq hawk, angry at hari for saying the war was a mistake, and still backing Nick Cohen as one of the very few pro-war journalists who have not recanted.

Hari wasn't angry at being fact-checked. As you can see if you check out his website, he links very often from his website to blogs that fact-check him and acknowledges his errors swiftly. He was instead angry at a smear-job by a writer who fabricated the claim that he has "a reputation for makign things up", when he is in fact a highly scrupulous and careful journalist who has been given awards for his close and detailed reporting by bodies with a repuation for thorough fact-checking. (What would you do if somebody fabricated gross claims about your professional reputation?)

Whether or not you think hari would sue is, as I think you admit, irrelevant. The Independent protects the reputation of its writers when they are subject to nasty politically motivated smears that can be easily disproven. I don't think it's for you or me to gamble with money donated to wikipedia. Putting libellous claims on wikipedia, that have already been retracted by the people who made them under threat of legal action, is a very bad idea, I think. The Nick Cohen row is already covered, with links to both sides. Don't you feel that is enough here? I know quite a few admins thought it was. David r from meth productions 00:36, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

Shall I recommend the page be unfrozen, or do you feel your concerns haven't been answered yet, 67? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.152.200.180 (talk) 12:45, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Ooooooooooooooooooooooooh. Thats SO Johan Hari! —Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.109.217.207 (talk) 23:23, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

Errr, no, it's me. I've given my contact details in the archive so you can verify my identity as a (very) different person...David r from meth productions 13:13, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

  • Whether or not Hari makes things up is not something I feel qualified to speak about, not having read most of his stuff, but he wrote an article on JRR Tolkien that was reprinted in Ireland's Sunday Tribune (archived on his website [39]) which is one of the most remarkable smear jobs I've ever seen. I'm no Tolkien nut, but the piece employed every trick in the book from weasel words to arguably offensive language (using 'autistic' as a term of dispraise, for example) and, for me anyway, it showed a disturbing lack of respect for the reader's intelligence. There are serious complaints to make about Tolkien (like that he can be very boring), but the article Hari wrote was a contemptible piece of work. I can't take him seriously after that. Lexo (talk) 00:48, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

Another try

Ok, if David R agrees to cease his attempts to preserve this currently hagiographic entry, I think the page can be unfrozen for editing towards a neutral, sensibly sized entry that flows better and does not represent the subject as an authority on matters that he is not or contain spurious criticisms designed to further his high profile. Any thoughts SamuelSpade79 (talk) 23:07, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

That's a daft misrepresentation of what I'm doing here. My belief is that if a view or argument is presented on the front page of a national newspaper, then it is objectively noteworthy enough to be included in a wikipedia entry. If a criticism comes from a major intellectual like David Starkey or Bjorn Lomborg and is a considered response to hari's position, it is not spurious. If a person is described as the best journalist in britain by Amnesty International, writes fro the New York Times, and is described as one of the 100 most important people in the country along with Daniel Crag and Cristiano Ronaldo by Debretts, then they objectively deserve a reasonble-length wiki entry.

Hari's entry should be compared to other op-ed writers like Nick Cohen, Melanie Phillips, Mark Steyn, and Peter Hitchens. (You can randomly select any list of op-ed writers you like.) Opinion journalists are notable because of their opinions. It does not imply they are "experts" to discuss them. None of these people are "experts" but their views are discussed at length in their wiki entries because their views are very high-profile and seriously influence national debates. If this entry is hagiographic, then every opinion journalist's entry on wikipedia is.

It's also important to note SamSpade is not a wiki administrator, as I understand it, and therefore doesn't have the power to unfreeze this entry. It is currently frozen because a user was (in good faith, not bad) trying to insert highly libellous material, and it could have left wikipedia vulnerable to prosecution. I'd like to see it unfrozen too and have e-mailed anthere about this onyl two days ago, but it shouldn't be on the basis of another wiki user motivated by a desire to chop the entry to bits. Several wiki administrators have expressed their broad satisfaction with thsi entry as it stands as a reasonable compromise. David r from meth productions (talk) 13:45, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

I never claimed to be a Wikipedia administrator. Someone I presume is an administrator asked above whether the page should be unfrozen - I was merely replying to that post. As to the content of your claims, I maintain that this entry is hagiographic and hope that a consensus can be built, involving people other than yourself who has a clear bias (being Hari's friend). If you think other entries are hagiographic, that's fine; go and amend them. In the meantime, for the sake of impartiality and general decency, that you should take a break from editing this page and come back in a month or so and see what new consensus has developed regarding its appropriate length, structure and content. SamuelSpade79 (talk) 18:18, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Actually, discouraging others from editing is not compatible with basic site policies. Especially when carried out by personal attack - see Wikipedia:No personal attacks. Please try to edit without laying about you. Charles Matthews (talk) 19:39, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

I appreciate what you're getting at, but it shouldn't be construed as a 'personal' attack and I wasn't suggesting that he should be discouraged from editing altogether, just making an appeal to common decency that he recognise the moral principle that Wikipedia entries should not be written primarily by friends of the subject and that he allow the opportunity for a consensus to develop on this entry without attempts to block every proposed change. What's wrong with that? As with every other entry, administrators can block any edit they deem unsuitable anyway, so what i'm proposing seems wholly reasonable. SamuelSpade79 —Preceding unsigned comment added by 128.32.78.182 (talk) 20:14, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Thanks to Charles. Sam, I'm sorry if it sounded like I was implying you were trying to pass yourself a wiki administrator; that's not what I was saying. I was just clarifying for any other users your position because I thought it might not be clear.

Rather than getting into a personal discussion of myself, I think the best way forward is for you to respond to my arguments, which I'm very happy to discuss and retract if they are shown to be flawed. I've numbered them here to make this easier:

(1) My belief is that if a view or argument is presented on the front page of a national newspaper, then it is objectively noteworthy enough to be included in a wikipedia entry.

(2) If a criticism comes from a major intellectual like David Starkey or Bjorn Lomborg and is a considered response to hari's position, it is not spurious.

(3) If a person is described as the best journalist in britain by Amnesty International, writes for the New York Times, and is described as one of the 100 most important people in the country along with Daniel Crag and Cristiano Ronaldo by Debretts, then they objectively deserve a reasonble-length wiki entry.

(4) Hari's entry should be compared to other op-ed writers like Nick Cohen, Melanie Phillips, Mark Steyn, and Peter Hitchens. (You can randomly select any list of op-ed writers you like.)

(5) Opinion journalists are notable because of their opinions. It does not imply they are "experts" to discuss them. None of these people are "experts" but their views are discussed at length in their wiki entries because their views are very high-profile and seriously influence national debates. If this entry is hagiographic, then every opinion journalist's entry on wikipedia is.

Thanks.David r from meth productions (talk) 22:46, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Responses to each point:

(1) I completely disagree. If that were the case, nobody would consult Wikipedia because the entries would be far too lengthy to be of any use. Plenty of views are published in each British newspaper (broadsheet and tabloid) that would be superfluous to a Wikipedia entry. When it comes to opinion journalists of whatever stripe and whatever publication, they should get an entry reflecting their stature within the profession and the views for which they are either best known or on which they are a noted authority.

(2) To say that David Starkey criticises Johann Hari on, say, a point of history, is spurious as the former is a noted historian and the latter is not. Pitting Hari against experts distorts the entry by giving his opinions credibility that they simply do not have. Any spats he has with fellow op-ed journalists are a different matter.

(3) Agreed, but see (4)

(4) What counts as a reasonable length entry for a subject should depend on criteria intrinsic to that subject, not comparison with other subjects. Many of the subjects you have mentioned are much older than Hari and thus will have written more stuff - that's not ageism, it's just common sense.

(5) Yes, opinion journalists are noted for their opinions and the entry should provide a guide to the opinions that make a particular journalist well-known. But there has to be some sense of proportionality and neutrality, otherwise the entry lacks any credibility. This entry is hagiographic as it stands, blatantly so. At the moment, I am uninterested in the question of whether those of others are. If there was a chance to build a consensus on this one, i'd be happy to look at the others and throw in my tuppence worth. SamuelSpade79

Thanks for your reply, Sam. To got through your points one by one:

(1) You say: "Plenty of views are published in each British newspaper (broadsheet and tabloid) that would be superfluous to a Wikipedia entry." I agree. I am talking about views which are flagged up as especially important on the front page of a national; newspaper, not every view he has ever expressed in a newspaper. I agree that would be going too far. You then write: "When it comes to opinion journalists of whatever stripe and whatever publication, they should get an entry reflecting their stature within the profession. " Again, i agree. The evidence is clear that hari has a very high standing within the profession: he was named best journalist in the country by Amnesty, most iomportant journalist by Debretts' etc etc. Your argument makes the case for a longer entry, not a shorter one.

(2) "To say that David Starkey criticises Johann Hari on, say, a point of history, is spurious as the former is a noted historian and the latter is not." But Starkey wasn't criticising Hari on a point of history, but on their conflicting views on nuclear weapons. (They represented the opposing sides in an hour-long Channel Four discussion of the topic.) On this matter they are cometing as equals.

(3) I welcome your agreement and hope we can build consensus on this point.

(4) You say: "What counts as a reasonable length entry for a subject should depend on criteria intrinsic to that subject, not comparison with other subjects. Many of the subjects you have mentioned are much older than Hari and thus will have written more stuff - that's not ageism, it's just common sense." The problem with this argument, I believe, is that you are assuming quantity is what matters in assessing a journalist's output. It's obvious true that say Melanie Phillips has written more words than Hari. But Hari has been judged to be the best journalist in britain by Amnesty etc etc (I won't repeat the list every time, for the sake of us all!), and I think that is a far more salient fact than pure word count or length of years in the job. The author of the Nancy Drew novels has probably written more words than Ahrundati Roy, and over a longer period, but it's not the number of words but their public notability that matters for wikipedia.

(5) You say: "Yes, opinion journalists are noted for their opinions and the entry should provide a guide to the opinions that make a particular journalist well-known. But there has to be some sense of proportionality and neutrality, otherwise the entry lacks any credibility." I agree. You then say: "This entry is hagiographic as it stands, blatantly so." I disagree. It lists in a neutral fashion notable facts about Hari: the kind that have appeared on the cover of national newspapers.

Yopu then say, "At the moment, I am uninterested in the question of whether those of others are. If there was a chance to build a consensus on this one, i'd be happy to look at the others and throw in my tuppence worth."

But that fact that virtually every other op-ed writer's entry is similar to this suggests something, I believe. It is possible that the thousands and thousands of wikipedians who wrote them are wrong, and have misunderstood what wikipedia should be like, and you are right. But that seems to me unlikely. It seems to me that most people judge that an opinon former's wiki entry should list their opinions broadly, along with noteable criticisms of it. I don't think the opinions should be left out, lest it seems wiki is presenting the person as an "expert". It states very clearly that the journalist is a journalist; nobody could miss it.

I'm very happy to carry on discvussing these points and to engage with your answers. I appreciate your tone here, which has been constructive and prepared to engage in arguments about the substance of the entry.

David r from meth productions (talk) 23:35, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

I wonder if a fresh perspective might be useful? I stumbled upon, some months ago and quite by accident, the dispute over this page. As a relative newcomer to Wikipedia, I found the whole process fascinating, and at times good theatre. However, it also has had a more serious, and at times quite nasty side. At least one contributor, as it seemed to me, was pushing quite an aggressive line, which sometimes looked like an attempt to smear the subject.

The debate, I now see, seems to have settled down somewhat. However, there are clearly outstanding issues. The central one of recent note seems to be the question of whether or not the entry is "hagiographic". It is this I would like to speak to, briefly, if I may, rather than rehashing some of the more deadlocked points engaged on by David r and SamuelSpade79.

On balance, taken as a whole and in its particulars, I'm unsure how the current article might reasonably be described as "hagiographic". This is not to say that there are not arguable points to be made about both "proportionality" and "neutrality" (the criteria that SamuelSpade79 alludes to). However, to my eye these seem to be minor questions of emphasis rather than indicators of significant or blatant hagiography or bias. I think it bears repeating, to ALL contributors, that what is vital is the neutrality of the article, not of the contributors themselves. And, more or less, its neutral.

To repeat, this is not to say there aren't problems.

Overall, I think some of the article could be slimmed down. But I don't think this is essential. So, while the material about nuclear proliferation, say, might be losable, its presence doesn't significantly threaten the neutrality or proportionality of the article. Johann Hari is a columnist; he is paid to have views, and his stances on anti-theism, say, or the situation in the Congo are significant because these are clearly relevant matters in general political and intellectual discourse, and for the world in general.

Whether this is proportionate to his status is a moot point, in a way. However, I don't think a neutral reader would read this article as suggesting that Hari is of much greater significance than he actually is. It doesn't really suggest he's Orwell, or even Christopher Hitchens. Nor would the length of the article itself suggest such a thing. Rather, he comes across as what he is: a young, mid-ranking journalist and columnist whose views on a range of subjects are notable. And most (if not all) of the views represented here are fundamental to the intrinsic worldview of the subject, and are therefore informative of him.

Hari's position as a European social democrat, and his position relative to the government, are essential information. His views on sexuality, as a gay man hostile to positions of "gay difference", is essential to his perspective, and in line with the broad "Enlightenment" values of his writing. Its important to record where he's reported from. Its essential beyond essential to record his views on the Iraq war, the source not only of future public "disagreements", but also a likely source of some of the hostility shown to him here in the past. His views on the Congo, Israel Palestine, and the instruments of globalisation such as the IMF are worth recording. Some of the other stuff (prisons, paedophiles, drugs, nuclear proliferation) could be argued either way.

Views on the Enlightenment and Religion: whatever your stance on these questions, it can't be denied that they are significant issues in our current cultural and political debate. I'm by no means on all fours with Hari's views here; and arguably his views aren't as "notable" as those of, say, Hitchens or Dawkins. They are notable enough, however. And the fact that Hari writes from an pro-Enlightenment, anti-theist and anti-postmodern perspective is intrinsically significant to his politics and his role as a columnist.

I sense that for some people the articles emphasis on "Public Disagreements" is a problem. I share this view in part, because they do seem unbalanced. To take one key case, the Littlejohn spat as presented here is a little misleading. Go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxmlaur5UsA and watch it for yourself - its not quite how Hari remembers it. I hope that Dave r can agree that relying too much on Hari's own view, in this instance, does undermine the general authority of the article.

The others, however, are more tricky. The claim by SamuelSpade79, and others if I recall, is that these "disagreements" lend spurious credibility to Hari's views, and elevate them beyond their intrinsic merit. I don't quite buy this; after all, if Johann Hari is invited to engage Niall Ferguson in public debate about the empire, they're engaged after all in the same marketplace of ideas. Whether this adds anything to this article is another matter; I tend to feel it does, on balance. The Cohen section, while disputed for other reasons not to be gone into here, is of course notable as it reflects some of the tensions on the pro-war left. But the fact that Hari finds George Galloway objectionable is not significant, unless there is a publicly notable point of contention between the two men. Is there?

The crucial point about these "disagreements", in my view, is that they should transparently appear to relate to publicly notable issues. The problem of balance might be a slight tendency in the article to over-load Hari's side of the debate. There is nothing, in my view, that is not midly correctable, and nothing that overall or in particular significantly threatens neutrality or that is "blatantly" hagiographic.

Of course, these are matters for consensus, as SamuelSpade79 points out. However, given some of the attitudes to the subject expressed in previous discussion, I don't blame Dave r for being protective. I think he should continue to contribute to discussion and editing; I also think he might relax some of his positions in the interests of consensus. Zafio (talk) 15:42, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for a very thoughtful sets of comments, Zafio. I am atill stuck at work (!) and I'm doing especially long shifts for the next ten days to pay off a rent backlog so I don't have time to respond in full but I will think seriously about the points you have raised and will reply as soon as I can. I'm guessing Sam will also want to reply and I'm keen to respond to his concerns too. Thanks again.David r from meth productions (talk) 20:21, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

An addendum to the broad overview I've written above. I've just looked over the discussion again. An anonymous user - who, unlike me had major concerns about hagiography - made the following edit http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Johann_Hari&oldid=157838503. The user writes, "I'd like to see what people other than yourself and 'MrThomas' say about my alternative version".

A bit late, but here's my view. Now, I think this edit is excellent - it reads fluently and is concise, and gives most of the important info. In these terms, it has clear advantages over the current version, to my eyes.

Without excessive addition, however, it might incorporate the following:

1) A brief allusion to Hari's views on Israel/Palestine. 2) Some extra mention of Hari's reporting from the Congo. Hari's interest in this "forgotten war" is important - its one of the reasons I subscribed to his feed. 3) The notable secularist section I like, because its concrete, and doesn't suggest Hari is an authority on the "Enlightenment". However, Hari's pro-Enlightenment views might still be noted here - it follows from his secularism. This is also key to his anti-theism, and his anti-postmodernism. So how about a revised "Notable Secularist" section?

That wouldn't settle everything. There might be room for the discussion about the precise wording of the section on sexuality; and I'm not touching the Private Eye discussion with a bargepole. But this what seems to me to be the important issues.

Dave r, I note that you've argued against this edit, with support from MrThomas. However, might you consider using this edit as a basis for gaining a working consensus? I think this would be a step forward. My view is that these changes are intrinsically useful to creating a better article, even though I don't accept the current version is hagiographical in any way. Zafio (talk) 12:54, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

Just a short note to say that I wrote the edit you refer to (back in September I think) before I signed up for a username, so I would (unsurprisingly) be keen to use that version as a basis for coming to a consensus. I'm really busy at the moment but will provide full comments on your very thoughtful take on the entry in the next couple of days. SamuelSpade79. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 169.229.6.173 (talk) 18:33, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for both your comments. I'm afraid I don;t agree with using that edit as our starting point. As MrThomas said I think it reads in quite a disjointed way, and leaves out a lot of important facts (e.g. Hari has written several front page stories about global warming for the Independent, and it may be the issue he writes about most in all his work, yet this entry cuts it entirely, which seems strange to me.

I would prefer to use this edit as the basis for discussion:

http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Johann_Hari&oldid=164157600

It is more up to date, lists other wars Hari has reported on (e.g. the Central African Republic), etc. It would seem perverse to not point out that Hari has been granted a very rare interview with Hugo Chavez, another front page story, for example.

But like Sam I'm under the cosh and don't have time to develop a detailed argument now. I hate my jobDavid r from meth productions (talk) 20:43, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

I thought that edit might have been yours SamuelSpade79 - didn't want to be presumptuous of course. Thanks both of you for stating your position here; i'll be interested in hearing your more considered views - when time permits, natch. 78.144.109.50 (talk) 22:52, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

This entry doesn't look like Hari is an expert. It looks like he is a journalist. I don't get what the criticisms of this entry are about, nobody would read it that way. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.129.144.22 (talk) 10:51, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Well, part of what you say is self-evidently wrong, since several observers have read it that way - leaf through the archive if you want evidence that i'm not the only one. You are correct only in your observation that the entry does indeed state that he is a journalist. Do you mean to imply that being a journalist entails a lack of expertise? Anyway, some thoughts on the very thoughtful and useful comments from Zafio and apologies for taking an age to get around to this. I still think the entry reads in a hagiographic manner and Zafio does not, but let's put that to one side.

First, I agree with Zafio that my edit is superior to the version currently displayed and feel this should be the basis upon which consensus should be reached. I'm not saying my version should be accepted as it is, but think it definitely reads better, because the sentences are integrated and it looks less like a manifesto-like list. I also think my use of labels like 'Notable Secularist' are more precise than 'Views on the Enlightenment', which might reasonably be taken to imply that these views are somehow of some weight, as if Hari is some kind of philosopher (he is described as a 'writer' after all, which is a very nebulous term, and thus makes precision of description very important for the entry). I'd be happy to lengthen the entry to include other notable bits of information, but not give gratuitous space to Hari's opinions on global warming. I also think that it is more perverse to describe the omission of Hari's interview with Chavez 'perverse' than the omission itself. Hari's reporting from various locations can be of course included if thought relevant by consensus, but it would surely only justify an extra sentence or two. The bit on Galloway should definitely go and the bits on Ferguson and Cohen rephrased in a more objective light. Having watched the link provided by Zafio, the segment on Littlejohn also requires a definite rewrite because as it stands, it seems to clearly misrepresent the situation.

Ultimately, I sympathise with some of what Zafio says about my worries about proportionality and neutrality being questions of 'emphasis' in the entry rather than content (though I don't agree with this on all of the content). The trouble is that, at the moment, there are enough problems with emphasis to render the entire entry problematic. SamuelSpade79 (talk) 19:21, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for your comments.

I'd like to start by saying that I believe Sam is seeking a genuine imporvement to the entry, and has good wikipedian motives. There have been people who tried to edit this page maliciously (well, one person), and I don't think that desribes Sam, so we start from the position that we all want a good entry, i think.

That said, I strongly disagree that the entry is hagiographic. It includes well-sourced criticisms; if I had my way, it would include more. The anonymous commenter above makes a good point: it is clear from the entry that Hari is an op-ed columnist and writes on that basis; we can make it even clearer if you like. The idea that it falsely presents him as an "expert" is bizarre, nobody reading this would think we were saying he is an expert.

I'm eager to look for compromise: I don't see the difference between 'View on the Enlightenment' and 'Notable Secularist'; so I'm happy for starters to concede on that.

Re: Littlejohn - just on a factual point, the clip you've linked to is two minutes of a segment that took fifteen minutes, so it's wrong to say the desfription here is innaccurate It is sourced to a national newspaper and describes the 90 percent of the interview not on YouTube.

I think we need to establish consensus on what's worth including. If a view has been described on the front page of a national newspaper, then I think it objectively meets the criteria for WP:NOTE. Sam, it would be helpful if you could read these carefully: they are quite clearly on my side in this matter. Therefore Hari's views and reporting on global warming, his interview with Chavez and reporting from Venezuela, his reporting from Congo (which caused Amnesty International to name him journalist of the year), his reporting from the Palestinian territories, his reporting from Central African Republic etc are all objectively worthy of conclusion.

The Ferguson and Cohen passages are described objectively. If you desperately want to cut the Galloway passage, then I would reluctantly concede - even though I would much prefer to keep it - in the interests of compromise.

At the moment, Sam's proposed edit cuts even a mention of the war Hari reported on at length and was named best journalist in the country for. He has suggested "perhaps a sentence" on this. That is a sign, I think, of how off-kilter and excessively cut his proposed edit currently is, I think. Like MrThomas, I believe we are better editing the existing entry rather than the radical cut Sam has proposed, albeit in good faith. I am prepared to find compromises on this: losing the Galloway section, and changing the name of the Enlightenment section, for example.David r from meth productions (talk) 00:47, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Nobody had, as far as i'm aware, ever impugned my motives, so saying that you think i'm acting in good faith (which you are apparently supposed to anyway on Wikipedia) strikes me as a backhanded compliment.

I'll keep my response brief until Zafio (and others?) wish to come in.

First, to repeat what I said above, the claim that 'nobody' would regard this entry as hagiographic is obviously wrong: I do and i'm not the only one and the opinion is, though contestable, clearly not 'bizarre' as you suggest. So, the claim made by the unsigned user was not 'a good point' as you state.

Second, fair enough on the Littlejohn clip - I haven't seen the whole thing and until I do won't challenge you. I'm glad that you don't see a problem with changing the label to 'Notable Secularist'. It seems worth pointing out though, that if you don't see the difference between the two it is a consensus and not a compromise, as you subsequently imply.

Third, as i've said, i'm perfectly happy for my edit to be extended to include a list of places/wars etc that Hari has reported from, though it should be simple, brief and not have superfluous information. At no point did I suggest that my edit was to constitute any kind of final word; quite the opposite, it should serve as a basis from which to establish consensus.

Fourth, there is definitely a case for a redrafting of the Cohen and Ferguson sections (i'd be interested to hear other voices on this) and the need for a justification for retaining the Galloway section besides the fact that you find it interesting. I don't myself see the interest of the animus felt by Hari towards him and nor did Zafio.SamuelSpade79 (talk) 01:36, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Interesting responses, both.

The question of hagiography seems to be a sticking point. I suggest we do "put it to one side", as SamuelSpade79 suggests, at least for now, as each of our positions on this is fairly clear. The key aim would still seem to be to achieve some kind of working consensus. For what its worth, I see strong arguments on both sides - and clear room for productive compromise.

Perhaps I should clarify why I favoured - and still favour - SamuelSpade79's edit as a basis (and nothing more) to achieve such consensus. In my view, the strength of this edit is in its form, rather than its content. SamuelSpade79 puts its well when he writes "I'm not saying my version should be accepted as it is, but think it definitely reads better, because the sentences are integrated and it looks less like a manifesto-like list". This is my feeling as well. And in fact, looking at other Wikipedia entries for op-ed columnists, they too seem to be written in paragraphs rather than lists. Dave R's own examples illustrate this very well.


As a simple formal issue, I strongly favour this edit for these reasons. Dave R, with support from MrThomas, argues that it is "disjointed". (I'd be interested to hear what others say, and perhaps to hear from MrThomas again). I find it hard to agree, but let's all agree that the formal issue of *how* it is written is distinct from the question of content or what it omits. It would be helpful if both Dave R and SamuelSpade speak to this, when they reply.

In arguing for SamuelSpade79's edit, I specified content that I thought would be informative and useful. Dave R also argues, and argues on the most part well, that there are other things that are "worth including". I agree, in principle if not in every detail. I also agree, Dave R, that WP:NOTE supports your case in this regard. However, it is also clear that SamuelSpade also agrees in principle that his edit is not the final word, and that additional content is negotiable - he just takes a more restricted line on notability than you and me. This is one reason why I think accepting his edit as a basis for a working consensus would be extremely useful. I would argue on your side for many, if not necessarily all, of your suggested inclusions.

The Notable Secularist section: I'm glad Dave R is happy to reach consensus on this. What's the difference between "Notable Secularist" and "Views on the Enlightenment"? Well, "Views on the Enlightenment" does sound lofty. You might include that in an entry on Theodor Adorno or Jurgen Habermas, but not on an op-ed columnist. That's all, I think, SamuelSpade was objecting to.

However, SamuelSpade79 has not yet responded to my suggestion of an expanded "Notable Secularist" section. As an op-ed commentator, I think the fact that Hari writes from pro-Enlightenment, anti-theist and anti-postmodernist perspectives is informative, and gives a clear sense of his position on several debates. Anti-theism is a clearly defined position that is an important part of our current discourse; and one doesn't have to be an expert on postmodernism to take a critical stand against it. All of these positions, as I've said before, derive from his secularism.

The Littlejohn clip: Interested to hear that its part of a much longer discussion - I'd love to see it, the clip on YouTube is cracking telly, albeit on a serious issue. However, I *will* challenge Dave R on this one, and on both counts you defend it on. First you say it is sourced to a national newspaper. Agreed, but this is still Hari's account of the show, and is therefore not neutral (even if he is in substance right). Second, you say that Hari's account refers to the 90% of the discussion not on YouTube. Well, not exclusively. One paragraph in Hari's article clearly alludes to the YouTube clip, in paraphrase. And this paraphrasing, which itself is paraphrased in the Wiki entry - paraphrased at two removes therefore - is slightly misleading. Hari did not cite the figure of £37.77 to Littlejohn, he cites the sum of "£33 pounds a week".

Note I'm not questioning Hari's account - it may well be a reasonable paraphrase of what happened before, during, and after the broadcast. What is misleading, however, is to take Hari's account in place of the primary source. Can you establish beyond doubt that Littlejohn replied to a direct question on television with "I've no idea"? If not, perhaps best to link to Hari's article and the YouTube clip, let the reader know about the bare bones of the spat, and leave it at that.

A final word. I don't know why SamuelSpade79 thinks the Ferguson and Cohen sections need to be rewritten - they seem fine. May I reiterate SamuelSpade79's claim that "further justification" is needed for the Galloway section. Without such justification, it should be removed as it stands.

Consensus is very achievable here I think. I would also like to hear what others have to say.Zafio (talk) 15:17, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for your comments, from both of you.

If by taking Samuel Spade's suggestion as a basis you mean we can add important and substantial facts to it, then I'm not averse to using it. I don't especially see the point, but obviously I'm prepared to use it as a template if it helps to get consensus, just as I am prepared to see the Galloway section cut, even though I would prefer to leave it in. But the additions to Sam's edit would have to be substantial. For example, it's essential to include Hari's reporting in Congo (which led him to be named best journalist in britain etc etc) and his analysis of why that war happened. This can't be dealt with in "perhaps a sentence", as Sam has proposed.

I think the important principle to follow here is that we must abide by Wikipedia:NOTE, which state wikipedia's rules governing what deserves to be included here. By these rules, anything which features as a front-page story on a national newspaper clearly counts. This includes Hari's interviews with Chavez, his campaignign on global warming, and more.

I think the best thing we can do is for us all to read these rules and use them as the basis for our discussion here.

If using Sam's edit as the bare bones on which to include important facts helps, then although I don't think it is necessary, I'm prepared to support it in the name of compromise and consensus.

I agree with Zafio that consensus is achievable here if we're all prepared to compromise a bit, which it happily seems we are.David r from meth productions (talk) 19:15, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

A brief note on WP:NOTE, which David R continues to claim to support his general views on the article and apparently refutes mine (he also has on occasion implied that I am not familiar with its guidelines). It seems to me quite clear that it sets guidelines not on content but on form and furthermore, it only provides a basis for framing a discussion and quite evidently does not provide any ipso facto endorsement of the notability of any of Hari's views; this is for Wikipedia contributors (us) to determine through discussion and debate, the presentation of good argument and/or necessary evidence. Thus, for example, one of the guidelines concerns the temporal bearing on an inclusion being noteworthy and, again for example, Hari's writings on the environment (or anything else really) can be interpreted either way. There is nothing intrinsic in the guidelines to justify David R's position or refute mine. Again, it provides only a framework for us to argue about and come to a consensus. The guidelines actually seem especially vague when it comes to the entries for op-ed journalists because it occasionally predicates notability on 'if [the issue] has received significant coverage in reliable secondary sources that are independent of the subject'. The reason this is vague is that it is a bit of a thorny issue whether or not Hari's (or any other journalist of his ilk) receives such coverage outside their own column inches. Anyway, my central point is that David R should stop referring to these guidelines as in any way vindicating his position, which they (in themselves) do not. What he must instead do is provide clear arguments for the notability of individual issues. Consensus is clearly in sight as we all agree on the framework laid down in the guidelines and will evaluate the issues on that basis.SamuelSpade79 (talk) 21:29, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

To respond to Zafio briefly, your characterisation of my worries about the Enlightenment stuff and your examples to illustrate it is precisely right. I think it is noteworthy to make Hari's stance on anti-theism (and maybe even anti-postmodernism) clear, but this can be done quite briefly and definitely without references to interviews with Derrida, Negri or whomever else (these can be perhaps be footnoted, but to have them in the main text is grossly misleading as it implies some sort of meaningful sparring between an mid-ranking op-ed journalist and some of the most discussed philosophers of the twentieth century). Regarding David R's worries about reducing Hari's views on the Congo to 'perhaps a sentence'. Maybe I put the point too strongly, but I don't think a lengthy account of Hari's 'analysis' of the war or anything else would be justified unless made much more succinct than the current edit leads me to believe it would be. SamuelSpade79 (talk) 21:50, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Dave R: you write that "If by taking Samuel Spade's suggestion as a basis you mean we can add important and substantial facts to it, then I'm not averse to using it". That's exactly what I do mean. And, while Samuel Spade takes a sharper line, it looks to me at least as if he endorses this as well - as long as "clear arguments for the notability of individual issues" are provided. So, are all three of us agreed on this then? And does anyone else want to endorse, or comment, on what looks like an emerging consensus on the way to proceed?

Congrats, folks, I think real progress has been made in the last few exchanges. A real willingness to discuss and compromise is being shown by all. Dave R in particular has taken a significant step in the interests of consensus. Thank you, I think this is constructive and laudable, and I hope Samuel Spade agrees.

The details, the "individual issues"? Later...Zafio (talk) 01:00, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

Picture

Johann Hari 01.jpg

Blimey, admins only! What a controversial guy he is! Anyway, I've uploaded a fairly low grade pic of Hari for your consideration. Laurence Boyce (talk) 10:57, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

'Samuel Spade' is SO Felix Felix

can somebody check the IP addresses please?

Jess. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.149.162.18 (talk) 23:16, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

Dave, that's a bit rich coming from you! FelixFelix talk 18:24, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Feel free - check all the various ip addresses i've been using - England, Scotland and most recently California. I'm no Sockuppet. SamSpade79 —Preceding unsigned comment added by 216.9.106.60 (talk) 20:45, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

I don't think that's fair, Jess.David r from meth productions (talk) 10:00, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

It is rather unfair, but more importantly, it's wrong. And it comes at a curious point, just as clear consensus is emerging on the content of the entry, which we will now get back to. —Preceding unsigned comment added by SamuelSpade79 (talkSamuelSpade79 (talk) 15:28, 13 December 2007 (UTC)contribs) 15:25, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

Compromise discussions.

As a compromise, I'm prepared to (a) use the template suggested by Sam, (b) ditch the Galloway section, (C) accept the extensive trimming of the environment/nuclear sections involved in Sam's template, and (d) relabel the Enlightenment section and cut the references to Derrida and Negri interviews.

In return, I think it's essential to (a) not alter the Cohen and Feguson sections, which are balanced fairly and neutrally between the views of the people of involved, (b) include a sentence about Hari reporting from Venezuela (which is what he was nominated for the Orwell prize for, making it clearly pass WP: NOTE) and interviewing Chavez, (c) include a note about his extensive reporting from gaza and the West Bank (with links to his critics on the Israeli right if you like), and (d) include the following short note about Congo:

"Hari has reported from the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in which 4 million have died. He argued that "armies of business" had invaded Congo to "pillage its resources" and "send them back to the West.""

Fair deal?David r from meth productions (talk) 21:23, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Sounds like an excellent deal. SamuelSpade79 (talk) 13:00, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

Pleasure doing business with you! Anyone know how we go about getting the page unforzen now there's a consensus? David r from meth productions (talk) 01:46, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

Oh bugger, I forgot to include one last thing in the compromise package. I don't think the reference to an article Hari wrote five years ago about seducing homophobes is worth including, given all the subjects we're leaving out. I'll trade you soemthing you want to take out if we can lose that too Sam. If we ditch that we can keep teh Venezuela and Israel passages to a single sentence... fair deal? (Promise this is the last one!)David r from meth productions (talk) 01:02, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Just take the seducing homophobe article reference out completely - no need to trade. Its one of the first things you get when you 'google' him, but it doesn't really add anything of note. It seems to have been written in an attempt at shock value and is probably something he'd be anxious to forget about since he has turned towards more serious writing. Anyway, it can definitely go. I'm still keen on keeping the stuff on Venezuela as succinct as possible - you can draft, then i'll edit and we can argue about any compromise necessary. SamuelSpade79 —Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.110.20.209 (talk) 19:20, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Yes, it's a funny article but not especially interesting. How do we get the page unfrozen? - David —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.129.128.228 (talk) 01:37, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

Mark Steyn

I removed that text from the article on Steyn, since the controversy such as it is, is Hari's mistaken accusations. When this page is unlocked feel free to add it here. Lobojo (talk) 11:54, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

This guy Lobojo is a vandal, inserting blatant POV into entires like accusing people of having "verbval diarrhea" in entries etc. Everything he says should be disregarded.David r from meth productions (talk) 02:12, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

Unfreeze PLEASE

Can somebody please unfreeze this page so we can build on the consensus about using my alternative version as a framework with the additions agreed on in the conversations above. SamuelSpade79 (talk) 13:36, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

I'll second that. Good to see meaningful compromise and consensus in the last round of dicussions between Dave R and SamuelSpade. Bodes well for future editing, although we're only going to see how that pans out when the page is unfrozen! Does anyone know who we can approach for advice on this? Zafio (talk) 14:43, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

You will need to contact User:Bastique in order to lift this protection, as it is under lock by the Wikimedia Foundation. --wL<speak·check> 03:31, 11 February 2008 (UTC)


Improve this page

The OFFICE process is not a ban on editing: Jimbo Wales said it should operate like this; "I would recommend protection or semi-protection at this point, but with the idea that even if protected admins are (as compared to normal protection) actually encouraged to come help with the article."

The template says "Please discuss changes on the talk page first."

Rich Farmbrough, 16:01 12 February 2008 (GMT).

If you had looked above, you would see that we have had very extensive discussions on the changes - we just want to actually add them now. SamuelSpade79 (talk) 14:25, 13 February 2008 (UTC)


Removing libels

As has been discussed ad infinitum above, libels must not be inserted into this entry. It's a bit disappointing that the first thing that happens after the page has been frozen for four months to prevent libels, is somebody tries to reinsert the libels. If you do this, the page will juyst be frozen forever. Please stop exposing wikipedia to the risk of beign sued, and preventing any other wikipedian from posting here.

David r from meth productions (talk) 00:32, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Less than 2 weeks. Sigh :-( Anthere (talk) 01:05, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

I've replaced the passage about Hari working for Archer, which isn't libellous, and was sourced, to boot. I'm afraid I can't see how this can be construed as libellous. Also replaced the POV tag.FelixFelix talk 11:59, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

It was sourced to Private Eye, which several wiki administrators said very clearly is not a legitimate source for an encyclopedia. We had this discussion for ages; look in the archive, it was resolved with an acceptance that Private Eye will not be used.

For example, wiki adminsitrator David Gerard told us to view Private Eye "with a very jaundiced eye" as a source. When you kept trying to use it, wiki administrator Charles Matthews wrote: "Come off it. Private Eye sniping at someone is well below the encyclopedic threshold."

(Their claim is also untrue. In reality Hari worked as a student for a publisher, and he was assigned to loads of authors, one of whom was Archer. He didn't "work for" Archer and wasn't paid by him; he met him once. If we're going to include trivial details about his student jobs - and you'd have to find a legitimate source for it, which you currently don't have - then I'd want to include an awful lot more information you have dismissed as trivial too.)

Please abide by the judgements of the wiki administrators.

Anthere, I second your sigh.David r from meth productions (talk) 12:03, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Dave, I hope the new year finds you well. I'm still baffled as to why you find the passage libellous-it's sourced (I don't see how you can construe this as 'sniping'), there's no doubt that Hari did work on Archer's book, and your OR musings about his work details are neither here nor there. Thus I've replaced it-if you have a different source to cite, lets use it. Don't edit war , Dave-let's improve the article.FelixFelix talk 12:26, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

To User:Felix-felix: http://drinksoakedtrotsforwar.com/2007/08/17/from-page-5-of-private-eye/ is an indirect cite from Private Eye; and is nothing like a reliable source. I give you formal warning here that any future violation of the letter or spirit of WP:BLP will expose you to administrative sanction. Charles Matthews (talk) 14:02, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for that Charles-but could you explain to me how the edit that I restored is a violation in letter or spirit of WP:BLP? Much appreciated.FelixFelix talk 15:07, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Enough. I'm blocking you. Charles Matthews (talk) 16:00, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Thanks Charles. While I agree with you that Felix's position is "faux naïf", I think it's worth me answering his point for anybody else who is following this: it is a violation of BLP because

(a) it is from a deeply unreliable source - a scandal sheet that administrator after administrator has said is not up to encyclopedia standards, any more than the National Inquirer is.

(b) it is simply false. Hari did not "work for" Jeffrey Archer; as a student, he worked for a publisher and was asigned to a range of authors, meeting Archer a grand total of once. Implying a left-wing writer chose to work for a notorious crook and right-winger, when he didn't, is plainly just a smear. It belongs, I'm afraid, on a long list of smears against Hari offered by this editor: that he is "in favour of the destruction of Untermenschen" (despite awards from Anesty International), that he went to the Harrow School (despite his father being a bus driver), that he is a "self-promoting careerist, and an especially unpleasant one at that", etc etc.

(I do think this history has to be pointed out for other wikipedians to understand the decision that admins have taken here.)

After literally more than a year of trying patiently to reach compromises with this user, and being rebuffed every time, I can see no alternative to Charles Matthews' choice, regrettable as the banning of anybody from wikipedia is. I am afraid I think we will have to be alert to this user emerging in another guise. The fact that seveal of the most senior figures in wikipedia are monitoring this page is extremely helpful and appreciated, and should help to ward this off.

I am keen now to implement the compromises agreed with other users concerning this page; it's worth noting that disagreements with every other user have been resolved with compromise and discussion, and it is only with this user alone that this has been impossible, despite alas more than a year of effort.David r from meth productions (talk) 20:15, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

I'm afraid I missed both the unblocking of the page and the insertion of the material that sparked the above debate. Let's not let it distract from the ultimately productive and consensual discussions that took place in late 2007. We can now, as agreed in the autumn, use my original edit as a basis upon which to build. I'll attend to this (if editing the page is not disabled again) in the next few days, then we can resume arguing about what else gets to go in.SamuelSpade79 (talk) 12:53, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

Hi Sam - sounds like a good plan for me. let's use that as the framework and argue it out from there... David r from meth productions (talk) 14:16, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

As an occasional user it is extremely confusing to read that allegations from Private Eye (That Mr Hari threatened to sue for but didn't)lack the rigour for an encyclopedia, when the article in question is nothing more than a blatant puff. To an outsider the article on Mr Hari appears to have the balance and depth of a Persil advert. If you really want Wikipedia to have credibilty then surely it's time to remove this kind of nauseating self promotion. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 90.203.188.192 (talk) 14:48, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

I can relate to the above comments and have voiced those concerns myself several times. Nevertheless, the best way to move forward and make the entry more neutral is to trim it and remove obviously self-serving puff rather than to raise the Private Eye issue again. Personally, I think that it doesn't raise much in the way of libel worries (it is fully documented at Sourcewatch, for example: http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Johann_Hari), so the real test is notability. But the problem with arguing that it is notable is that such a claim jars a bit with the really important claim that most of the information contained in this page is not notable. If you are concerned about the quality of the entry, join the editing process once I change the page in the next couple of days.SamuelSpade79 (talk) 16:44, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

Exactly right Samuelspade79, I'm sure the reason people keep having a go at this preposterous article is because it is a flagrant piece of egomaniacal advertising. "Views on the enlightenment" - give me a break - he might as well tell us what his favourite yoghurts are. In my opinion this kind of guff makes Wikipedia look very silly. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 90.211.93.189 (talk) 16:59, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

To avoid confusion: "notability" applies to topics here, not fact-by-fact. The requirements of neutrality are thought of in another way. "Puff" suggests too much prominence given to minor matters, and/or lack of a neutral tone. The opposite failing would be to emphasise negative aspects in a muck-raking way. The requirements of the policy on biographies of living people effectively rule out the tabloid approach. Charles Matthews (talk) 12:16, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

I'm not sure why there would be any 'confusion', Charles - maybe you misread my post? And I don't think the anonymous user (nor I) were eliding any distinction between notability or neutrality, since the two can on occasions bleed into or overlap with each other. Thus, the inclusion of an abundance of topics that fail the notability test can comprise a whole that fails the neutrality test. SmauelSpade SamuelSpade79 (talk) 13:20, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

To the anonymous user above (who sounds an awful lot like GWP, who has just been banned) - I tried to insert serious criticisms from all sorts of people, but the consensus was that - even though they came from very distinguished intellectuals like David Starkey - they weren't notable. I didn't agree but I'm prepared to go with the mood in order to get some progress on this page. This entry certainly isn't any more a 'puff piece' than entries for any other senior journalist, from Melanie Phillips to David Aaronovitch to George Monbiot to Mark Steyn. It follows a familiar journalists' format.

Re: Private Eye - take a look at the BLP rules, and the archived discussion of this issue. Half a dozen wiki adminsitarors have said that Private Eye clearly falls below the threshhold these rules stipulate, and I think it would be impossible to make a case that it doesn't. Their claims are demonstrably untrue in their own terms, and obviously based on personal animus. Private Eye even had to print humiliating letters pointing out that they only started these criticisms after Hari publicly criticised their editor and ex-editor, and that they were "smearing honest journalists just because they criticise you and your mates." We wouldn't include claims from the National Inquirer, and we can't include claims from Private Eye, it's that simple. David r from meth productions (talk) 12:35, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

Felix ruled by admins to have "a deep lack of understanding of WP:BLP and WP:RS. I don't feel comfortable about letting anyone with such problem to edit Wikipedia."

It might interest anyone who regularly follows the discussion on this page to know that wiki administrators, after studying Felix's behaviour here, have concluded, "Instead of admittance of wrongdoing and promise not to do in in the future, we see a deep lack of understanding of WP:BLP and WP:RS. I don't feel comfortable about letting anyone with such problem to edit Wikipedia."
Details at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Felix-felix
Should Felix try to return to altering this entry after his current three-month ban is up, this is worth bearing in mind. (Felix, please stop trying to delete this note; you are currently banned from ediitng this page due to your persistent abuses.) David r from meth productions (talk) 21:31, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

This article on Hari is so poor it defies belief.Honestly who cares? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.146.146.212 (talk) 14:53, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Took a quick peek to see how things were getting on - clearly there's been some drama.
But, as we left it last time, there had been promise of compromise. I STILL find it hard to reason why the page, even as it stands, is regarded as so very slanted and POV. Clearly the Archer issue doesn't mass muster on any grounds whatsoever. But more generally, I'm still puzzled as to why other users consider this page as "egomaniacal" and "self-serving". And not simply because both adjectives tacitly insinuate that Hari himself is involved in the supposed puffing...
I've argued before that the article is essentially (that is, more or less) neutral. I'd also like to state my disagreement with SamuelSpade's claim that "most of the information contained in this page is not notable" - to say "most" seems to me very strong. Still, lets use your edit as a template for building a good article, as discussed in late 07. And for the anonymous user: I've argued, in agreement with SamuelSpade, that "Views on the Enlightenment" is a somewhat portentous heading for this paragraph. SamuelSpade's "Notable Secularist" heading seems much better. And, if you look back at earlier discussions, you'll find that Dave R has happily agreed to compromise on this. (Although, in terms of finer detail, I suspect he'll fight his corner strongly, as he has every right to do).
Still, I'm rather tickled that you think that an op-ed journalist's stance on enlightenment values (at a time when said values have a very interesting place in public discourse) is of little more consequence than his taste in yoghurt. You weren't being flippant, were you? Zafio (talk) 21:30, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for your comments Zafio. I don't think many people at all view it as excessively slanted; it seems to me to be one or two wiki users making this complaint, one of whom has been permenantly banned because his hatred was so extreme and is clearly still posting using almost exactly the same words without signing in. This entry follows a standard journalists' format: summarise their views, give prominent criticisms and biographical details, etc. It compares perfectly well to say Melanie Phillips or George Monbiot or Polly Toynbee or Jonathan Freedland or Mark Steyn. SamuelSpade has made some specific criticisms which are valuable; I don't class him with the people who are posting one-line insults for the entry. The poster who says "who cares?" invites an obvious response: you do, since you feel the need to post here, and other people who care include Amnesty International, the Orwell prize jury, the Independent newspaper, Debrett's.... etc.David r from meth productions (talk) 01:00, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Actually, it is at least three who view the page as "excessively slanted". SamuelSpade, as David R rightly says, has provided valuable criticisms. However, I do notice he's dismissed Charles Matthews clarification that notability works on a topic-by-topic rather than fact-by-fact basis. But, despite your claim, neutrality and notability are separate issues. Unless there is something in the wiki rules that specifically says different? Without any precise clarification of this sort, I think to treat notability as if its a neutrality issue is to approach things from quite the wrong direction. It, at least, muddies the waters.

Despite this, I'm taking the liberty of editing some of the article based on SamuelSpade's earlier edit, which David R agreed might prove the basis, and nothing more, for revising the article. This doesn't suggest that I think SamuelSpade's edit reflects the essential notable information. Naturally, too, I've not reverted any of the contentious, Private Eye material.Zafio (talk) 14:30, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

Hi Zafio - as I've said before it's not how I would have done it, but I'm happy to compromise with wikipedians who have reasonable arguments, and when the consensus is clearly against me. The only bit I've taken out is the bit about an article six years ago talking about seducing neo-Naizis, which was satirical and, of all his articles, far from the most notable. There's a lot of things I'd put back in before we got round to that. Is that a fair compromise? David r from meth productions (talk) 21:48, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

Thanks David. Thought I'd leave it to you to remove the neo-Nazi thing, although I seem to remember SamuelSpade and yourself horse-traded it a while ago. However, removing it does leave the material on Hari's sexuality a trifle thin - and the phrase "self-described homosexual" is rather quaint! So I've rewritten this a little, using some of the phrasing of the older edit.

Thanks for the compromise. But naturally I'd be happy for you to put in other material you see as appropriate. That's Wikipedia. I hope you like the revised Notable Secularist section, which I think reflects Hari's views well, and I hope is satisfactory for both you and SamuelSpade. I've quite intentionally retained a claim about Hari's belief in enlightenment values, as I think this is notable in context.Zafio (talk) 23:54, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

It seems strange to link to three responses to an article Hari wrote in the links as three seperate entries. If you can amalgamate it all into a single line (i.e., here's the article, and hjere's lots of responses) then fine, it can stand. - DavidR86.143.158.2 (talk) 20:27, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

Removing libels

Hello, I'm the author of several of the anonymous bits here, my name is Richard, I don't have an account and I don't want one. It's highly amusing to read the level of paranoia exibited by some users, - I've never had an account and never been banned. Incidentally,Dianna wasn't murdered and man did land on the moon. Do some of you think it might be an idea to, you know, get a life? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 82.44.143.26 (talk) 12:23, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

As has been discussed ad infinitum above, libels must not be inserted into this entry. It's a bit disappointing that the first thing that happens after the page has been frozen for four months to prevent libels, is somebody tries to reinsert the libels. If you do this, the page will juyst be frozen forever. Please stop exposing wikipedia to the risk of beign sued, and preventing any other wikipedian from posting here.

David r from meth productions (talk) 00:32, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Less than 2 weeks. Sigh :-( Anthere (talk) 01:05, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

I've replaced the passage about Hari working for Archer, which isn't libellous, and was sourced, to boot. I'm afraid I can't see how this can be construed as libellous. Also replaced the POV tag.FelixFelix talk 11:59, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

It was sourced to Private Eye, which several wiki administrators said very clearly is not a legitimate source for an encyclopedia. We had this discussion for ages; look in the archive, it was resolved with an acceptance that Private Eye will not be used.

For example, wiki adminsitrator David Gerard told us to view Private Eye "with a very jaundiced eye" as a source. When you kept trying to use it, wiki administrator Charles Matthews wrote: "Come off it. Private Eye sniping at someone is well below the encyclopedic threshold."

(Their claim is also untrue. In reality Hari worked as a student for a publisher, and he was assigned to loads of authors, one of whom was Archer. He didn't "work for" Archer and wasn't paid by him; he met him once. If we're going to include trivial details about his student jobs - and you'd have to find a legitimate source for it, which you currently don't have - then I'd want to include an awful lot more information you have dismissed as trivial too.)

Please abide by the judgements of the wiki administrators.

Anthere, I second your sigh.David r from meth productions (talk) 12:03, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Dave, I hope the new year finds you well. I'm still baffled as to why you find the passage libellous-it's sourced (I don't see how you can construe this as 'sniping'), there's no doubt that Hari did work on Archer's book, and your OR musings about his work details are neither here nor there. Thus I've replaced it-if you have a different source to cite, lets use it. Don't edit war , Dave-let's improve the article.FelixFelix talk 12:26, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

To User:Felix-felix: http://drinksoakedtrotsforwar.com/2007/08/17/from-page-5-of-private-eye/ is an indirect cite from Private Eye; and is nothing like a reliable source. I give you formal warning here that any future violation of the letter or spirit of WP:BLP will expose you to administrative sanction. Charles Matthews (talk) 14:02, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for that Charles-but could you explain to me how the edit that I restored is a violation in letter or spirit of WP:BLP? Much appreciated.FelixFelix talk 15:07, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Enough. I'm blocking you. Charles Matthews (talk) 16:00, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Thanks Charles. While I agree with you that Felix's position is "faux naïf", I think it's worth me answering his point for anybody else who is following this: it is a violation of BLP because

(a) it is from a deeply unreliable source - a scandal sheet that administrator after administrator has said is not up to encyclopedia standards, any more than the National Inquirer is.

(b) it is simply false. Hari did not "work for" Jeffrey Archer; as a student, he worked for a publisher and was asigned to a range of authors, meeting Archer a grand total of once. Implying a left-wing writer chose to work for a notorious crook and right-winger, when he didn't, is plainly just a smear. It belongs, I'm afraid, on a long list of smears against Hari offered by this editor: that he is "in favour of the destruction of Untermenschen" (despite awards from Anesty International), that he went to the Harrow School (despite his father being a bus driver), that he is a "self-promoting careerist, and an especially unpleasant one at that", etc etc.

(I do think this history has to be pointed out for other wikipedians to understand the decision that admins have taken here.)

After literally more than a year of trying patiently to reach compromises with this user, and being rebuffed every time, I can see no alternative to Charles Matthews' choice, regrettable as the banning of anybody from wikipedia is. I am afraid I think we will have to be alert to this user emerging in another guise. The fact that seveal of the most senior figures in wikipedia are monitoring this page is extremely helpful and appreciated, and should help to ward this off.

I am keen now to implement the compromises agreed with other users concerning this page; it's worth noting that disagreements with every other user have been resolved with compromise and discussion, and it is only with this user alone that this has been impossible, despite alas more than a year of effort.David r from meth productions (talk) 20:15, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

I'm afraid I missed both the unblocking of the page and the insertion of the material that sparked the above debate. Let's not let it distract from the ultimately productive and consensual discussions that took place in late 2007. We can now, as agreed in the autumn, use my original edit as a basis upon which to build. I'll attend to this (if editing the page is not disabled again) in the next few days, then we can resume arguing about what else gets to go in.SamuelSpade79 (talk) 12:53, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

Hi Sam - sounds like a good plan for me. let's use that as the framework and argue it out from there... David r from meth productions (talk) 14:16, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

As an occasional user it is extremely confusing to read that allegations from Private Eye (That Mr Hari threatened to sue for but didn't)lack the rigour for an encyclopedia, when the article in question is nothing more than a blatant puff. To an outsider the article on Mr Hari appears to have the balance and depth of a Persil advert. If you really want Wikipedia to have credibilty then surely it's time to remove this kind of nauseating self promotion. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 90.203.188.192 (talk) 14:48, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

I can relate to the above comments and have voiced those concerns myself several times. Nevertheless, the best way to move forward and make the entry more neutral is to trim it and remove obviously self-serving puff rather than to raise the Private Eye issue again. Personally, I think that it doesn't raise much in the way of libel worries (it is fully documented at Sourcewatch, for example: http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Johann_Hari), so the real test is notability. But the problem with arguing that it is notable is that such a claim jars a bit with the really important claim that most of the information contained in this page is not notable. If you are concerned about the quality of the entry, join the editing process once I change the page in the next couple of days.SamuelSpade79 (talk) 16:44, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

Exactly right Samuelspade79, I'm sure the reason people keep having a go at this preposterous article is because it is a flagrant piece of egomaniacal advertising. "Views on the enlightenment" - give me a break - he might as well tell us what his favourite yoghurts are. In my opinion this kind of guff makes Wikipedia look very silly. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 90.211.93.189 (talk) 16:59, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

To avoid confusion: "notability" applies to topics here, not fact-by-fact. The requirements of neutrality are thought of in another way. "Puff" suggests too much prominence given to minor matters, and/or lack of a neutral tone. The opposite failing would be to emphasise negative aspects in a muck-raking way. The requirements of the policy on biographies of living people effectively rule out the tabloid approach. Charles Matthews (talk) 12:16, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

I'm not sure why there would be any 'confusion', Charles - maybe you misread my post? And I don't think the anonymous user (nor I) were eliding any distinction between notability or neutrality, since the two can on occasions bleed into or overlap with each other. Thus, the inclusion of an abundance of topics that fail the notability test can comprise a whole that fails the neutrality test. SmauelSpade SamuelSpade79 (talk) 13:20, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

To the anonymous user above (who sounds an awful lot like GWP, who has just been banned) - I tried to insert serious criticisms from all sorts of people, but the consensus was that - even though they came from very distinguished intellectuals like David Starkey - they weren't notable. I didn't agree but I'm prepared to go with the mood in order to get some progress on this page. This entry certainly isn't any more a 'puff piece' than entries for any other senior journalist, from Melanie Phillips to David Aaronovitch to George Monbiot to Mark Steyn. It follows a familiar journalists' format.

Re: Private Eye - take a look at the BLP rules, and the archived discussion of this issue. Half a dozen wiki adminsitarors have said that Private Eye clearly falls below the threshhold these rules stipulate, and I think it would be impossible to make a case that it doesn't. Their claims are demonstrably untrue in their own terms, and obviously based on personal animus. Private Eye even had to print humiliating letters pointing out that they only started these criticisms after Hari publicly criticised their editor and ex-editor, and that they were "smearing honest journalists just because they criticise you and your mates." We wouldn't include claims from the National Inquirer, and we can't include claims from Private Eye, it's that simple. David r from meth productions (talk) 12:35, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

  1. ^ "opinion.telegraph.co.uk - We must all be more sensitive". Retrieved 2007-10-06. 
  2. ^ [n "Stories of prior knowledge of 9/11 more than urban legend - fair comment Insight on the News - Find Articles"] Check |url= value (help). Retrieved 2007-10-06.