Talk:Ken McCarthy

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Factual Information Regarding Individual[edit]

Concerned over continual removal of factual material relevant to Mr. McCarthy's biography. Selective editing tends to mislead the reader about the individual. It would be akin to editing out Eisenhower's military service. Jettparmer (talk) 20:10, 30 December 2008 (UTC) • contribs) 21:34, December 2, 2008

NOTE: The above post was not signed.
Who made this comment?
It is not detailed enough to be useful.
It also makes a charge "removal of factual material" that is not supported by evidence or fact.
Nolatime (talk) 21:50, 27 December 2008 (UTC) Nolatime
I interpolated a signature based on the edit history. I would like to add that there is much "information" here which doesn't have a credible source. His website ( kenmccarthy.com ) isn't mentioned, while the brasscheck websites, which do not yet have a sourced association with him, are frequently referenced. Please respect WP:BLP. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 00:51, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

I'd like to add that the issue of McCarthy having written a book about Jonestown has come up before. There is no such book. If the person who posts and re-posts this false information cannot provide evidence that such a book exits or ever existed (ISBN number, Library of Congress, a copy of the book), I respectfully request that the poster stop defacing this article by the repeated posting false information. Every book that McCarthy has written, contributed to, or been discussed in is fully documented in this article with their ISBN numbers so that their existence can be independently verified and the references searched. Thanks. Nolatime (talk) 01:07, 28 December 2008 (UTC) Notatalk

An additional comment: Over the years, McCarthy, a prolific writer by any standard, has written scores, perhaps hundred of articles, on a wide variety of topics: business, eCommerce, the history of media, economics, the business cycle, financial markets, geopolitics, political dissidents in China and other countries, medicine and public health, agriculture and military science.

If someone wants to undertake the task of doing a complete survey of all his "extracurricular" writings over the years and present a fair, balanced, comprehensive and accurate survey of these writings that would be a real service. To single out one highly controversial topic he has addressed and inaccurately attribute an inflammatory opinion to him on it strikes me as intellectual dishonesty with malicious intent. The portrayal of McCarthy as a long-time promoter of "conspiracy theories" appears to be more a calculated insult than an attempt to enlighten or inform. Nolatime (talk) 01:19, 28 December 2008 (UTC)Nolatime

Ken's work on the book regarding Jonestown is referenced - whether the book was ever published is debatable. He is currently the owner of the Brasscheck and Brasschecktv domains. Both of these domains, including his own statements, describe himself as an "alternative journalist". Reference to the work is here Google Books Link and the original text, internet published is here. Ken's own self interview is published on this site Ken McCarthy. The biography of this individual matches precisely the person who also happens to be an internet marketeer. I would argue that there is overwhelming evidence in support of the portrayal of Mr. McCarthy as a purveyor if conspiracy theories. This is not an attempt to insult or defame anyone, the facts are self evident. Jettparmer (talk) 19:53, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
How he discribes himself is not necessarily relevant; it still cannot be included, if contraversial, unless some unrelated source concurs. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 01:08, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
I strongly disagree with thsi assessment. A person's (especially a living individual) self description on open source documents is relevant. Most of the information in this article is representative of only half of Mr. McCarthy's self description, that of an internet marketer. Almost all of the references made are from open source data and verification must be taken at face value. If a record of McCartrhy's statements exist in the open source record, they are valid for inclusion into his biography. Even his personal book reviews on his Amazon profile page reveal information about his character and opinions. This is the hallmark of a comprehensive biography, otherwise we may as well assign this as a PR piece and thus commercial and in violation of WP:NOT Jettparmer (talk) 16:31, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

Copyright violations, unverified entries in a living bio and wikipedia as a personal attack blog[edit]

Since December 2, 2009, this article has had numerous unverified statements posted to it (some have since been voluntarily removed) by a single editor who seems to have made this activity the primary focus of his wikipedia experience.

I don't understand it and I am appealing to veteran wikipedia editors to look at this case closely.

I have nine concerns:

1. The volume of posts of unverified material appears to be accelerating.

Most recently, Jettpalmer added a picture with the statement that McCarthy is a "Board Member of the First Amendment Trust." On what basis is this claim made? It's stated in the bio box and again in the text of the article.

"He also serves as the trustee for the First Amendment Defense Trust, an organization created after his investigation of the San Francisco 49ers stadium bond issue election.[1]"

Presumably this organization has a web site (or is findable by some other means) which would verify McCarthy's current or even past involvement. Presumably, he has material to support this assertion.

Of what relevance is the footnote Jettpalmer provides to the above statement? It's a link to a page that mentions neither McCarthy nor the San Francisco 49ers stadium bond issue election. http://www.blackboxvoting.org/

2. Jettpalmer made the following statement (Talk: Conspiracy Theory): "I would argue that there is overwhelming evidence in support of the portrayal of Mr. McCarthy as a purveyor if conspiracy theories."

In common usage, the label "conspiracy theorist" is derogatory and from posts made by jettpalmer to various discussions on wikipedia, he clearly demonstrates his personal contempt for what he considers "conspiracy theories" and "conspiracy theorists." "

In (Talk:Jettpalmer) jettpalmer states:

"To date, I know of no proven conspiracy theories - that is a theory of a conspiracy that later revealed itself to be true (faked moon landing, etc.)"

I will not comment on the quality of the thought behind this statement other than to point out that jettpalmer has a negative opinion of anything he has labeled a "conspiracy theory."

This is his right, but wikipedia is not the place to publish opinions or to accumulate unverified facts that support his opinions.

3. Jettpalmer further states (Talk: Ken Mccarthy):

"Even his (McCarthy's) personal book reviews on his Amazon profile page reveal information about his character and opinions."

Jettpalmer's statement indicates that in this case: a) he, jettpalmer, has set himself up as a judge of McCarthy's character, b) he believes that McCarthy's Amazon book reviews are "evidence" that support his judgment and c) he believes that wikipedia is a medium for him to collect and public evidence that supports his judgments.

I don't think this is a commonly held view of wikipedia's purpose and mission. I do think what jettpalmer is doing falls under the category of "original thought."

As the article "What Wikipedia is Not" clearly states: Wikipedia is not a platform for original thought.

Perhaps jettpalmer would be better served creating a blog or web site about his theories about McCarthy and documenting his obviously strongly held belief that McCarthy has, in jettpalmer's words,"been involved in major conspiracy theories almost since the dawn of the internet and...is clearly not only a conspiracy theorist, but a major player in the promulgation of this type of thinking." (Talk: Conspiracy theory)

4. Since December 2008, Jettpalmer has made numerous alterations and additions to the McCarthy article to advance his opinions including the posting of much information that he has not been able to verify.

Guidelines are clear for this: Encyclopedic content must be verifiable.

And standards are higher for bios of living people.

5. To justify his edits and posts jettpalmer stated the following (Talk: Ken_McCarthy)

"(My posts are) the hallmark of a comprehensive biography, otherwise we may as well assign this as a PR piece and thus commercial and in violation of WP:NOT."

Before jettpalmer's recent posts, the McCarthy article was a succinct, useful, and well documented biography of an individual who made verifiable contributions in the early years of the movement to commercialize the Internet.

There was nothing in the original article that discussed, let alone promoted, McCarthy's current business activities. Jettpalmer's claim that without his correcting of the record, the McCarthy article would be a PR piece is not supported by the facts.

Interestingly, hundreds of references to McCarthy's current business activities come up with a Google search. This information was specifically not included in the wikipedia article and has never been part of the wikipedia article.

Jettpalmer states that his interest is in setting the record straight.

However, his efforts so far have been limited exclusively to publishing seemingly random and often unverified fragments of evidence in an attempt to prove his theory that McCarthy is (in his words) "a major enabler of the propogation of conspiracy theories...almost since the dawn of the internet...and a major player in the promulgation of this type of thinking."

I should point out that posts to this particular article have accounted for over 50% of jettpalmer's lifetime wikipedia editorial contribution and all have taken place in the last 40 days. Frankly, I wonder at his sudden energetic interest in an obscure subject he appears to get the facts wrong about so often.

6. In (Talk: Conspiracy theory) article, jettpalmer states the following:

"Ken McCarthy is not only a conspiracy theorist, he is also a major enabler of the propogation of conspiracy theories through his BrassCheckTV websites. He has been involved in major conspiracy theories almost since the dawn of the internet. Jettparmer (talk) 19:56, 4 December 2008 (UTC)"

"He is clearly not only a conspiracy theorist, but a major player in the promulgation of this type of thinking."

These are pretty big claims and even though they do not appear in the wikipedia itself they do border on the libelous.

7. In (Talk: McCarthy) Jettpalmer made the following statement: "Almost all of the references made are from open source data and verification must be taken at face value."

By "Open Source" Jettpalmer seems to mean anything that appears anywhere on the Internet.

I respectfully suggest that Jettpalmer read the "Reliable Sources" guidelines with specific attention to 6.1 Biographies of living persons. The standards are clearly stated and I don't believe he meets them.

"Wikipedia: Reliable Source" clearly states the wikipedia guidelines in matters like this:

"Remove unsourced or poorly sourced contentious material immediately if it is about a living person, and do not move it to the talk page."

External link policy is also clear. "Wikipedia is not a collection of links."

8. Is the photo of McCarthy that jettpalmer put on the site copyrighted or not. Jett-Palmer's claim that is "open source" because he found it on the Internet does not seem sufficient evidence that it is.

9. Finally, jettpalmer states the following (Talk: Conspiracy):

"What is interesting is that amending his bio to include references to these fatual elements almost always results in deletions and post battles."

This is not an accurate portrayal of the facts. Items have been deleted or challenged when Jettpalmer could not verify his posts and for no other reason.

As for "post battles" if there is a battle it is jettpalmer battling with every person who has politely suggested that he refer to wikipedia guidelines.

This does not make jettpalmer's interpretation of the guidelines automatically wrong, but with the exception of some quickly resolved matters, there were no battles regarding this article until December 2, 2008 when jettpalmer took an interest in this article.

Clearly tremendous energy is being consumed by this with the net effect of this article continuously losing its accuracy and usefulness.

Jettpalmer's pattern of actions and statements seems to indicate that he does not intend to follow wikipedia guidelines, or to be fair to him, he intends to follow only his personal interpretation of them.

Has this gotten to the point where it requires some kind of mediation?

Comments welcome.

Nolatime (talk) 01:23, 11 January 2009 (UTC)Nolatime

Nolatime is encouraged to provide full disclosure on their relationship with Mr. McCarthy and to whether this initial posting was intended for commercial purposes. I will address each of the points listed in the claims made.
1) The Brasscheck.com website, owned and created by Mr. McCarthy, is now listed as being controlled by the First Amendment Defense Trust. No public record of such entity exists, however the proxy ownership of Brasscheck indicates that Mr. McCarthy still controls this site and thus is, in fact, the FADT. As evidenced by information posted on this site, concerning the stadium bond Election Investigation, Mr. McCarthy either authored this information or published it on his own. E-mail contacts on the site clearly direct one to Mr. McCarthy's e-media account.
2) BrasscheckTV.com, a site owned and operated by Mr. McCarthy's AMACORD clealry is a purveyor of conspiracy theories. I make no judgements about the quality of these theories - however - Mr. McCarthy's self proclaimed role as an alternative journalist and ownership of these sites is a matter of fact and record. My personal interest in conspiracy theories has no bearing on an opinion or [WP:POV]. BlackBoxVoting was included as it referenced the election issues and the Brasscheck site.
3) Discussion of basis for forming an opinion of a living person may be culled from published, open source elements and does not violate WP guidelines, i.e. linking as a reference to a living person's personal web page without comment on the biography page. I was asked how I came to the conclusion - which seems obvious - that Mr. McCarthy is actively involved in reporting, promulgating conspiracy theories was supported in the Talk:Ken McCarthy discussion. To my knoweldge, this is not a violation of WP policies. The issue is neither neutral or contentious.
4) Please indicate unverifiable information posted to Mr. McCarthy's page - it should be removed
5) As to Nolatime assertion about my lack of WP posting experience. So what? I can't help that Ken peaked my interest, perhaps it was one too many unsolicited BrasscheckTV e-mails from firends of mine which prompted me to wonder where all this was coming from. Prior to my involvement this article was far from up to standards for WP biographies. Aside from pointed discussion on the talk pages, I consider all my contributions well within policy. Some of Nolatime's statements border on personal attacks WP:CIV,WP:NPA.
6) Based upon Mr. McCarthy's own published work, ownership of BrasscheckTV and (yes, some of my opinion) this comment in talk is valid. It is neither a judgement or criticism, it is certainly not libelous.
7) For sources, see 1, 2, and 4.
8) This photo, which is the only prevalent image on the web, of Ken appears to originate from Ken's own site from a seminar he attended. There is no other photograph of him, which is current. I have attached requisite WP tags for fair use. File:Ken McCarthy.jpg, I would welcome a better picture or one which is more current.
9) Arthur Rubin, WP sysop, originally provided mediation - I would welcome a comprehensive review of this biography by an experienced WP editor.
A biography of a living person should be as comprehensive as possible, containing as much of their life's work and interests as possible. Hence the sensitivity directed by WP:POL in this regard. The trouble with biographies, is that the facts of a persons experience, associations and published works may not jibe with an original author's vision.
I look forward to some additional review, however, prior to formal mediation - there are several steps to complete, see WP:DR prior to a fromal WP:RFM
"The most important first step is to focus on content, and not on editors. Wikipedia is built upon the principle of collaboration, and assuming that the efforts of others are in good faith is important to any community. When you find a passage in an article that you find is biased or inaccurate, improve it if you can. If that is not easily possible, and you disagree with a point of view expressed in an article, don't just delete it. Rather, balance it with what you think is neutral. Note that unreferenced text may be tagged or removed because of our policy on Verifiability. Always explain your changes in the edit summary, because other people can agree with you through that. If an edit is potentially contentious, explain why you made the change and how it improves the article if you can. If your edit gets reverted, then start a conversation with other editors on the talkpage. In summary: Don't take others' actions personally. Explain to them what you're doing, and always be prepared to change your mind."
I have made requests for an editor review and biography project review.
Jettparmer (talk) 19:59, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

Changes and deletion made to McCarty article explained in detail[edit]

Explanation of changes made 1/13/09

1.Edited to remove biased language

"His original Brasscheck site is now represented as being under the control of the First Amendment Defense Trust" was changed to a simple, unbiased statement of fact:

All the content of the original Brasscheck site is now the property of :the First Amendment Defense Trust.

Brasscheck.com is not "now represented as being under the control of..." it is owned by the First Amendment Defense Trust as is clearly stated on the web site.

2. Edited to remove clearly inaccurate information, unverified statements and biased language

Ken McCarthy owns and operates the Brasscheck.com and BrasscheckTV.com web domains through his successor to E-Media, Amacord. BrasscheckTV is an internet "alternative news" web site featuring videos regarding controversial topics and conspiracy theories. Ken talks about this site in a July 2007 interview on Alterati;

was changed to a simple statement of fact:

Brasscheck TV features videos on defense of civil liberties, political campaigns, election fraud, :assassination studies, energy policy, food policy, Haiti, health and medicine, impeachment,  :political humor, the financial markets, New Orleans, Barrack Obama, military technology, conspiracy :theories, religion, technological breakthroughs, public relation and government propaganda, fraud in :the war on terror, the Iraq War, the Middle East, the secret government, the Bush family, television :archives, news about US intentions to attack Iran, and war crimes.

These are the actual topics that the web site covers. To list only two of the most controversial of over twenty topics the web site covers is inaccurate and biased.

The domain name Brasscheck.com is not owned by McCarthy so this is an inaccurate statement, one that can be easily verified by searching whois records.

I note that the editor who posted this and other statements has been specifically warned about posting unverified material to this article yet continues to do so.

Ownership - a legal term that has a very specific meaning - of the domain brasschecktv.com and the site itself is unverified. That the site exists and that a quote attributed to McCarthy that he was involved with the site in 2007 do not constitute "ownership" either by McCarthy or Amacord, Inc.

3. Unverified and superfluous external links

Editor includes as an external link what he purports to be McCarthy's StumbleUpon page.

That this account belongs to McCarthy is unverified. Including a link of this kind in a bio is questionable. Should one also include his match.com page and his bowling scores?

Further, in what appears to be an attempt to support unverified information the editor has posted to the site and to support his own narrow portrayal of the subject matter of McCarthy's writings the editor included brasscheck.com and brasschecktv.com as external links.

4. Further:

It is recommended that editors of this article read the following:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:BLP

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Do_not_disrupt_Wikipedia_to_illustrate_a_poiny

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Do_not_disrupt_Wikipedia_to_illustrate_a_point#Refusal_to_.27get_the_point.27

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:What_Wikipedia_is_not#Wikipedia_is_not_a_soapbox

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:What_Wikipedia_is_not#Wikipedia_is_not_a_directory

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:What_Wikipedia_is_not#Wikipedia_is_not_a_battleground —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nolatime (talkcontribs) 03:00, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

The issue of the ownership of the brasscheck.com site and its contents is verifiable in two places:
a. the whois database and b. the very first statement the web site itself.
A trust is not an "organization." It does not have to have an office, a web site, or even public registration. It's a legally created entity that has rights of ownership. Please consult a trust attorney if you require further education on this point. The legal owner of brasscheck.com and its content is "The First Amendment Trust" as described in this article, in whois domain records and on the brasscheck web site itself. To state otherwise is incorrect.
Nolatime (talk) 04:41, 14 January 2009 (UTC)Nolatime
I would like a discussion of why it is that with twenty web sites on brasscheck.com and 100's of articles on the web in other places that are signed by McCarthy that it is helpful or appropriate to single one of the smaller web sites out with two links as was done with the Jonestown material.
The Jonestown site is PART of the Fillmore Museum site which was described in the original article to a degree of detail meriting its significance.
To be as comprehensive and accurate as jettpalmer claims he wants to be, he'd also need to include the following sub-sites on the Fillmore Museum web site: the history of jazz on fillmore (the site is cited as an original source in a published book), the history of zen buddhism on fillmore, the history of aeronautical innovation on fillmore, the history of rock and roll on fillmore, the history of japanese americans on fillmore. Jonestown is relevant to Fillmore history because the Jonestown church was in the fillmore, drew its members from the fillmore and received support from local politicians based in the fillmore.
These are just sub-sites of ONE web site on brasscheck. There are approximately twenty sites. The Jonestown site is just a few pages. The election fraud site is hundreds of pages and is a much more significant work.
Recall that this started weeks ago with a post to the bio by jettpalmer stating that McCarthy supports theories that the US government was responsible for 9/11. I just took at look at the unsigned articles on this topic on brasscheck and I see (in this very order): health advisories for New Yorkers, engineering notes on the construction of the twin towers drawn from media sources, excerpts from a book on terrorism, details on local relief efforts, attention drawn to unsung civilian heroes, background on Osama bin Laden and a link to a group concerned about the impact of the attack on civil rights - all published on or before 9/24/01.
There is nothing on the brasscheck site that even hints at what jettpalmer claims.
Here's the link. Please look for yourself: http://www.brasscheck.com/911/
Why don't the links to all the pages on brasscheck and all the things that McCarthy has ever written or is believed by jettpalmer to have written merit the same attention that he has given this one highly sensational topic? I believe he's cherry picking material to portray the subject of the bio in as negative a light as possible because he doesn't like some of his opinions. He's said as much in these forums and his posts have been consistent with that interpretation.
Nolatime (talk) 05:36, 14 January 2009 (UTC)Nolatime
The Jonestown article seems to be the genesis of the Brasscheck site. It is the most comprehensive and the only section referenced by external sources, hence its inclusion. It also spans the longest period in regard to updates.
Does Ken own the Fillmore site? If so, it should be referenced as an external link and discussed as part of his work. However, it seems substantially more minor than the Jonestown piece.
Ken's other site, BrasscheckTV - his personal site, supports many 9/11 conspiracy theories. Although he may not be the specifci author, he is most assurredly the publisher. I would also direct your attention to his writings on The Emperor's New Clothes on this matter. Jettparmer (talk) 20:15, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
Having read the brasscheck.com items on both 911 and Jonestown, I can see nothing that supports Jettparmer's assertions that Mr McCarthy "promotes conspiracy theories". This editor seems to be attempting to use wikipedia to pursue some sort of vendetta. A virtually dormant account (6 edits during 2006-7, and 8 edits during June/July 2008) suddenly flares into life and makes over 100 edits in just over a month, almost all of them either to the Ken McCarthy article or furthering the allegations being made against him. His first action on 2nd December was to re-insert two unsupported, defamatory and inaccurate paragraphs that originally had been made anonymously in November. Here is the diff: [[1]] Neither of these statements meet verifiability or reliability guidelines, and are clear violations of policy for biographies of living persons. DaveApter (talk) 16:07, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
I am surprised that the activity of my account has anything to do with any personal issue. This, in my opinion, is one reason Wikipedia is still regarded as "questionable" source material. Mr. McCarthy's pursuits, which came to my interest after receiving forwarded e-mails from his BrasscheckTV site, are clearly along the lines of alternative media and conspiracy theory. He has stated so in a published interview and the content of his (he is the sole owner and provider) BrasscheckTV site unquestionably contains conspiracy material. Even the Levees.org site promotes some questionable claims. In ALL cases I have worked to provide a more complete picture of Ken - one which reflects his most current activities and interests. Otherwise, it's not much more than a public relations piece, it it? Jettparmer (talk) 15:17, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
The relevance of the account activity is this: It's an unusual pattern, and often (not always) indicative of a user who is attempting to further some specific agenda. I apologise for any offence, and let's move on to discuss how we can improve the article in accordance with Wikipedia policies and guidelines.
Assuming that the brasscheck.com and brasscheckTV.com sites are worthy of mention (and I'd agree that they are), they should be treated with due weight in proportion to the quantity and significance of Ken McCarthy's other activities. Statements about them should also of course be factual, accurate and verifiable. Many of the edits you made are none of these things. You seem to have the concepts of "alternative media" and "conspiracy theory" collapsed, but they refer to two completely different things.
Accuracy: eg The brasscheck.com article on 9/11 nowhere makes the statements that you ascribe. It contains 27 links, the overwhelming majority of which are to respectable mainstream sources, and it mostly deals with factual matters that did not receive adequate cover in the news media (eg public health advice for cleanup workers, the maritime evacuation of Manhattan Island etc etc).
Proportionality: In the past year Ken has put on the annual 'System Seminar' conference in Chicago with 400 delegates and over 20 faculty members, smaller seminars in Vancouver, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago (again), and London UK. Also conducted and published monthly interviews with Internet Marketing experts, and ran a distance-learning course for start-up entrepreneurs. He has also fund-raised thousands of dollars for victims of Katrina, and provided pro-bono internet support to a variety of non-profit organisations. In that context, how much prominence should be given to brasscheck.com (which hasn't been updated since 2002, and brasscheckTV.com (which might take a few minutes a day to add links to video clips already available on YouTube and elsewhere)? DaveApter (talk) 11:37, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
Noted - Thanks. I don't want to confuse alternative media and conspiracy theory. one should reflect a method of publication and the other is content. Brasscheck is clearly a defunct site, although some of the archival information is very relevant to Ken's passion for alternative media and investigative journalism (some of which appears to meet the criteria for conspiracy theory - ala Jonestown). The newer site, BrasscheckTV may be more problematic. How many subscribers have signed up? What is its Alexa rating? I suspect it is far more influential than all of his System Seminars combined to date in terms of impressions on individuals. So it seems we have an individual who leads two lives - internet marketing guru and alternative media publisher. How to reconcile? BTW - I think the Katrina work is interesting, however, I believe it better supports his identity as alternative media publisher than simple philanthropist Jettparmer (talk) 04:43, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
If you want to state that Ken is an alternative media publisher, I don't see any problem. That's a far cry from saying he is a conspiracy theorist. The latter would clearly be defamatory, and there seems to be no evidence to support it at all. Please either find reliable secondary sources that describe him as such, or let go of it. Your personal assessment of the Jonestown article is neither here nor there, and in any case you seem to have either misunderstood or deliberately misrepresented it. It does not claim (as you suggest) that San Francisco politicians were complicit in the massacre. It reports on allegations (originally made by the District Attorney, and reported in the San Francisco Examiner and San Francisco Chronicle) that they obstructed earlier investigations into Jones in exchange for his influence in getting his followers to vote for them. DaveApter (talk) 14:40, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

Request for comment/RFCbio/manual filed[edit]

I have requested a community-wide comment on the pattern of posts made to this article by jettparmer.

A summary of the facts:

Ken McCarthy is a living person.

Ken McCarthy has been involved in a wide range of Internet publishing activities, commercial and non-commercial since 1994.

In order to make this bio useful and to conform to wikipedia policies cautioning against commercial content, biographical information about McCarthy had been limited to verifiable and historically significant contributions he made to the development of the commercial Internet. In addition, a few significant examples of his web publishing projects were referenced to demonstrate the nature of his non-commercial Internet work which is extensive.

Jettparmer began posting to this article on December 2, 2008. His posts have included the following assertions not supported by fact:

1. He stated that McCarthy was an author of a book on Jonestown. 2. He stated at McCarthy promoted the theory that the US government was responsible for 9/11. 3. He stated that McCarthy was a board member of the First Amendment Trust.

In addition to these misstatements of fact Jettparmer summarized McCarthy's web publishing efforts as being in the support of "conspiracy theories."

In order to support this assertion Jettparmer has selectively posted material to this bio that ignores the overwhelming body of McCarthy's web-published work in order to highlight jettparmer's personal conclusions as to its substance.

Jettparmer has stated in wikipedia discussion areas his contempt for "conspiracy theories," his belief that McCarthy is an "enabler" of conspiracy thinking and a "major purveyor of conspiracy theories since he beginning of the Internet." He offers the validity of his personal assessment of McCarthy's character as a justification for these posts and states his annoyance at the fact that friends of his have forwarded what he claims to be McCarthy's writings to him. In defending his posts, jettparmer has accused this editor nolatime of making personal attacks on him and has characterized the article on McCarthy that existed before his posts as "commercial" and a violation of wikipedia guidelines.

Jattparmer has a record of posting inaccurate and inflammatory information to this article. He has also "cherry-picked" a few web pages from among thousand available and has posted them prominently in the article to support what appears to be a personal agenda. In wikipedia forums he has stated this agenda and his motivation for making these posts.

The original article was limited to verifiable and historically significant contributions McCarthy made to the development of the commercial Internet. In addition, a few significant examples of his non-commercial web publishing projects were referenced to demonstrate the nature of is non-commercial work.

McCarthy has an extensive body of personal writings numbering in the thousands of pages on a wide variety of subjects.

He also has extensive involvement in currently active commercial enterprises.

Both these areas were specifically downplayed in the original article to avoid commercialism and to focus on presenting relevant information to researchers who may be interested in some of the details of the early history of Internet publishing.

Jettparmer has repeatedly posted inaccurate material to this article of a sensational nature and gives the appearance of attempting to distort public appraisal of McCarthy's work by disproportionately focusing attention on a few web pages selected from a very large body of work. He states that he believes this activity follows the letter and spirit of wikipedia good practices and repeatedly refers to wikipedia guidelines as a justification for his actions.

Nolatime (talk) 14:12, 14 January 2009 (UTC)nolatime

Items of questionable accuracy have been removed. Elements relating to Ken's writings are accurate - he did author the (Jonestown work. It is the most prevalent work searchable on the internet and originated on his Brasscheck.com site. This is indisputable. Ken is cited as the author in a peer reviewed journal outlining work on the Jonestown Massacre. The original article contained almost no verifable information - including an incorrect (or fictitious) ISBN number for Mr. McCarthy's only listed published work. Throughout this article's development I have maintained objectivity, abided by WP:POL and WP:CSP. I respectfully submit that nolatime has devolved into personal attacks against me wp:npa and my intentions with this article. The public record on Mr. McCarthy is quite transparent. Given the intractable nature of this discussion, perhaps this article should be deleted. Jettparmer (talk) 22:40, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
As an uninvolved party, can you explain to me how the link you provided verifies that "Jonestown work" was authored by McCarthy? His name is not mentioned on the page, you cannot construe him as the author just because of his association with the site, at least not for referencing purposes. SpinningSpark 01:19, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
Good question. There are three sources to list McCarthy as the author. First, is his statement in the Alterati interview that Brasscheck is his site, thus responsibility for materials published. Second, the publication references throughout the Brasscheck.com site indicate Ken McCarthy as the author and owner. Finally, the work is attributed to him in two publications Controversial New Religions and in Rebecca Moore's article in The Journal of Popular Culture. Jettparmer (talk) 14:42, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
I am struggling to get to grips with what precisely is being disputed. If there is a definite paragraph of text under dispute it might help to post it here. So far I have got that McCarthy wrote some articles about Jonestown and there is some disagreement on how they should feature in his Wikipedia page. Writing on such an emotive, high profile and actually, important, subject deserves at least a passing mention if there are references (as there seems to be) supporting the notability of those specific pages. It is certainly a "sensationalist" issue, but there is no reason the facts cannot be stated without sensationalism. There is an accusation above that inserting this material makes it appear McCarthy is promulgating a conspiracy theory about Jonestown. IMO, the Wikipedia article can only say this if the references specifically draw this conclusion, and then the opinion should be attributed, not be the opinion of Wikipedia. I have not looked at the references in depth, only briefly scanned through the links provided by Jettparmer above. I see a lot of criticism of politicians with various motives, but I did not immediately see anyone specifically stating McCarthy was promulgating conspiracy theory. If refs do exist, then it can be mentioned, otherwise it would be an WP:OR synthesis. SpinningSpark 17:27, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
It seems that the dispute is over the inclusion of this work at all. One user appears to find the inclusion offensive in and of itself, unless I misread the previous commentary. In my research of Mr. McCarthy, his most relvant contributions seem to be in investigative journalism and independent media. He states as much in his writings. The work with E-media was principally about alteranative news and information sources. This provides a rounding out of his contributions, far more significant than his older work as an internet marketer. Thanks for your view. Jettparmer (talk) 19:38, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
Your depiction of Mr McCarthy's internet education business as his "[less]...significant ... older work as an internet marketer" is at odds with his public reputation. It is with this that he is most readily identified in the public domain, and the informal investigative journalism would seem to be something of a hobby. He is the promoter of the most respected marketing seminars in the industry, and has organised between one and five events per year every year since 2002, in addition to the pioneering meetings in 1994-1997. He is generally credited with being a major influence on the careers of many prominent internet marketers and educators. There is also no doubt about his contributions to public benefit campaigns in the Hudson Valley, New Orleans and elsewhere. Jettparmer's single-issue series of edits border on the obsessional and are quite inappropriate to any wikipedia article, especially a BLP. DaveApter (talk) 19:19, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
Happy to change my opinion, except that it is supported by fact. His internet promotion work is only in your opinion "most respected marketing seminars in the industry", care to back that up with a quote from AdAge or Internet News or ZDNET? By the way, 1994-1997 is more than a decade old news, a lifetime in the internet world. Your apparent overzealous defense appears more suspect than my obsession. Jettparmer (talk) 00:59, 20 January 2009 (UTC) WP:CIV
You are correct that it's only an opinion, but mistaken if you think it's only mine. The same assessment has been publicly made by Perry Marshall, Howie Jacobson, Kim Dushinski, Dave Dee, Lloyd Irvin, Darrell Crow and Mike Stewart among many others. All are highly successful entrepreneurs and respected trainers in their own right (just google their names to check) and in several cases published authors. I have no idea about any coverage in the three publications you mention, but as they all cater to the corporate world whereas his audiences are the small business owner and the bootstrap entrepreneur, that's hardly relevant. You are correct about 1994-7 being "an age ago", but did you miss my point about the fact that his trainings remain highly successful and respected 2002-2009?
And I'm not sure what you mean by over-zealous - my handful of contributions to the discussion have just been attempts to set the facts straight and provide some balance. My edits to the article have mostly been to provide citations where you had flagged them up as being needed. DaveApter (talk) 10:25, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
The indent level would suggest a new heading is in order. Your citation of testimonials to Mr. McCarthy's seminars is commendable, but hardly worthy of a WP:BLP mention. If we contain the biography of Ken to this fact alone, then the article is nothing more than a pitch for his seminars - something he accomplishes on his own website. What is pertinent to a biography? A person's background and education, parents - if relevant and their contributions in thought and deed. A lot of people were around at the outset of the internet boom, I would grant than Ken's contributions meet a criteria of worthiness. He also expressed, early on, a desire to support and promote alternative media. This fact stands out in all his published works and even his first major form - E-media. I think we need to reexamine what we want to present as a biography of this person. The relative worth of including him on Wikipedia and if he is included - how to present the contributions he has made, including those which seem "minor" and yet reflect more of the person than an annual marketing seminar. Jettparmer (talk) 04:35, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
You have suggested before that the subject is insufficiently notable to justify a biography article here. If you really think that, then you can post a proposal on the articles for deletion page and we'll see what the consensus is. There is no doubt of his significance as a major influence in the commercialisation of the Internet, and the training and empowerment of small businesses and start-up entrepreneurs. You are quite right that other activities should also be included and given due weight. I had not known about the brasscheck sites until you raised the matter here, and I find them interesting, informative and generally responsible. I still don't understand your insistence on pinning the "conspiracy theory" label on them though. I haven't yet found material there that I would describe as such, but even if I did, that would not justify stating so on Wikipedia - which is not a medium for publishing opinion or original research. DaveApter (talk) 15:33, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

Improving Format for Article[edit]

A substantial rework of this article is worth undertaking. If only to comply with the MOS:BIO format recommended by Wikipedia. Additionally, there are very good guidelines recommended by wp:bio. Some suggested headings;

Contents [hide]

  • 1 Biography
  • 1.1 Early life
  • 1.2 Education
  • 1.3 Work Life
  • 1.3.1 E-Media
  • 1.3.2 Amacord
  • 1.4 Activism
  • 1.4.1 San Francisco
  • 1.4.1.1 Brasscheck Works
  • 1.4.1.2 Fillmore Project
  • 1.4.2 Hudson River Valley
  • 1.4.3 New Orleans
  • 1.4.4 Other
  • 1.5 Current Work (last two years)
  • 1.5.1 BrasscheckTV
  • 2 Works
  • 3 Honors
  • 4 See also
  • 5 References
  • 6 Further reading
  • 7 External links

Thoughts? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jettparmer (talkcontribs) 20:07, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

Doh! Jettparmer (talk) 20:15, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

Is Ken McCarthy A Conspiracy Theorist?[edit]

I think the subject deserves a new heading. Being a labeled a conspiracy theorist is not defamatory. If a person makes claims, which are not substantiated, about specific events and attributes the lack of corroboration to a cover up or suppression by the authorities, then I would consider them a conspiracy theorist. There is one published article, from an academic journal which labels Ken as such a person. Some of his own writing suggests that he has the traits of a conspiracy theorist. Material on websites that he owns and operates also would support this label. How do you reconcile this (which appears to be more influential at present than his commercial business). He is a self proclaimed independent journalist and activist. He has investigated events, reported his analysis of them and been the party to at least one related lawsuit for libel in California. I feel the information supporting this assettion is well established and neither negative or positive. Jettparmer (talk) 04:18, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

What on earth does that mean? We seem to be coming down to name-calling here. Mr. McCarthy is clearly a person who believes in and promotes certain ideas, some of which are merely facts, which people who promote fascism label as "conspiracy theories."
For example, here, http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/206.html
it is clear that an astonished secret service man has been ordered not to protect JFK just before he was shot. Here: http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/385.html
it is clear that the Zapruder film has been altered by someone, particularly because people in the background are not looking at the president and because people in the background are LARGER than people in the foreground.
The terms "conspiracy theorist" and "conspiracy theory" are used in a rather strange way. There are two separate definitions, one of which is derogatory. "Government" propagandists switch meanings in mid-sentence. The sentence will start with a very broad definition of the term, but end up with the suggestion that "therefore it is a crackpot theory," even if it isn't a theory at all, but a mere mention of an inconvenient but observable fact. Wowest (talk) 04:37, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

.

I'm sorry, what are you talking about? Are you serious? I am completely flummoxed by the opening paragraph. I would define a conspiracy theorist as someone who poses an explanation for an event (typically detrimental to society), requiring conscious, complicit action by authority figures or organizations. A conspiracy theory is the collection of these ideas and arguments. Jettparmer (talk) 05:01, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

.

That's amazing! I had forgotten there was a world outside of Wikipedia! Well, you seem like a reasonable person, sir.
I would use the term conspiracy theory more like you do, except a little more loosely, as any explanation of a wrongful act which speculates that more than one person may have been involved. Several thousand American district attorneys seriously evaluate various conspiracy theories every week, and criminal conspiracy charges are frequently filed and frequently result in convictions for conspiracy. However, there are other editors here besides us.
If you look at the conspiracy theory article, part way down, under "Terminology," you will find the "definition" formerly used here by the right wing extremists here. They call it a form of "narrative genre" similar to an urban myth, involving imaginary acts by powerful people. Someone corrected the article somewhat, but that "stuff" is still there. You'll still see it sometimes on an article's talk page. "A conspiracy theory is a narrative genre...." Stick around and watch the related articles, and you'll see what I mean. They are also fond of referencing the essay The Paranoid Style in American Politics. The author goes out of his way to point out that he isn't saying that his political opponents are crazy, but the people who reference the article are in LOVE with the word "paranoid."
I see this as an example of memetic engineering. The CIA actually paid someone to write and publish a book about how conspiracy theorists think. That was a great piece of propaganda. The right did something like this twice before, that I'm aware of. The first time may have been inadvertent, but the term "sexual immorality" was used so much in the 1960 's that if you spoke the word "immorality" the first word that popped up in a listener was the word "sex." The other one was the use of the word "liberal" just a few years ago. The right wing made it into such a dirty word that no liberal would admit to being one.
The fascists (and a few others) around here use it, initially, to insult any suggestion that, for example, anyone in the Bush administration ever did anything wrong, whether alone or in a group, and then change the connotation, in mid sentence, to the older, more explicit form of the meme, "paranoid conspiracy theory," from the late 1960's, which was used, at that time, to intimidate people from considering that more than one person could possibly have been involved in the JFK murder. I used to avoid considering that notion myself. Dumb me. G.W. Bush used the term "outrageous conspiracy theories" recently. It would be appropriate to look up the deathbed confessions of CIA operatives Cord Meyer and E. Howard Hunt (who was convicted of conspiracy following Watergate). Please do look at the videos referenced by my URL's above for evidence that the Secret Service was prevented from protecting JFK from Oswald and/or whomever else it was who shot him. The truth is that we don't know who did what, but LBJ's late mistress, Madeleine Duncan Brown, said that LBJ was part of it, (hyperlink to video blocked as "blacklisted" on Wikipedia), but see also http://www.21stcenturyradio.com/1314-presidents.html .) and when Steven Mark Brown, her illegitimate son by LBJ, claimed a part of his late father's estate, he was kidnapped, falsely imprisoned and tortured to death with some undescribed carcinogen. See the bottom of this page: http://www.rotten.com/library/bio/presidents/lbj/
Also, see, in particular the talk contributions of editors MONGO, Ice Cold Beer, Aude, Arthur Rubin, Tom Harrison, Tarage, BoogaLouie and several IP address only editors in particular, for derogatory use of the terms "conspiracist," "conspiracy theory" and "conspiracy theorist." We believe that one or more of these people may edit Wikipedia as an employee of the U.S. Government or a military contractor.
Anyway, you will get two kinds of opposition for using the term "conspiracy theorist" in this article. The first will be from people who think it insults Mr. McCarthy. The other will be from people who want to quash any suggestion that any "conspiracy theorist" can be sane. Please also see http://www.ae911truth.org/ and/or http://patriotsquestion911.com/ as examples of websites which "they" will not permit you to reference in articles because they prove that "truthers" might, in fact, be sane, educated people. Wowest (talk) 11:18, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for your contribution. May I respectfully point you to WP:CIV,WP:OUT and WP:SOAP guidelines. I think the timbre of your comments violates all of these guidelines and perhaps a few more.
I would submit that a "conspiracy theory", even as you defined it hinges on the critical definition of theory, that is it is as yet unproven. The generally accepted definition of conspiracy theory includes an attribute of unproveability (either because interests involved in maintaining its secrecy are too effective or that the theory is without merit.) It smacks of Pascal's wager, belief in a deity has little penalty but not believing could have dire consequences, should such deity exist. Trouble is, you won't know until it's too late!
If a theory is proven - then it is no longer a theory, your DA example, but a full blown conspiracy - albeit an exposed one. A good conspiracy theory surrounds the death of Jimmy Hoffa, there is general acceptance that foul play was involved - the particulars remain in some doubt. A bad conspiracy theory involves the no plane at the pentagon on 9/11 theory - which has been definitively refuted, if only by the application of Occam's Razor.
May I infer that you would classify Mr. McCarthy as a conspiracy theorist? Jettparmer (talk) 19:40, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Is Ken McCarthy A Conspiracy Theorist? (continued)[edit]

A sense of proportion[edit]

A google search (narrow match) for "Ken McCarthy" returns 2,880,000 results. After google has eliminated "similar pages", there still remain 714 results (astonishing numbers for a non-media personality), most of which refer to this individual rather than others of the same name. The majority of these relate to his work as an Internet and business educator, with the remainder referring to his support for social projects. Virtually all third-party references are complimentary and respectful.

This establishes beyond any doubt that:

  • he is a notable individual
  • he is primarily known for his role as an educator, and secondarily as a social contributor
  • he is widely respected by his public and his peers.

The onslaught on these pages appears to be nothing less than an attempt to smear his reputation on the basis of material (typically not even his own) on a handful of pages out of many thousands that he has published. DaveApter (talk) 11:46, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

The trouble with this label[edit]

There are five separate usages of the term Conspiracy Theory, and (often deliberate) confusion between these meanings is frequently used as a dishonest means of discrediting revelations that some parties find inconvenient, or of smearing the reputations of those who make such revelations.

From the wikipedia article, the term has these five - related but distinct - interpretations:

  1. a neutral descriptor for any conspiracy claim
  2. a narrative genre that includes a broad selection of (not necessarily related) arguments for the existence of grand conspiracies, any of which might have far-reaching social and political implications if true.
  3. frequently used by mainstream scholars and in popular culture to identify secret military, banking, or political actions aimed at stealing power or money from "the people"
  4. to refer to folklore and urban legend and a variety of explanatory narratives which are constructed with methodological flaws
  5. used in a pejorative sense to automatically dismiss claims that are deemed: ridiculous, misconceived, paranoid, unfounded, outlandish, or irrational by the establishment.

The article also notes that "[in]... the 1960s it acquired its current derogatory sense.

In short, uncontroversial identification of a thesis that it meets definition 1 or 3 is then used to move seamlessly to the assumption that it also meets definitions 2, 4 or 5; and thereby to dismiss it out of hand without examining the merits of the arguments. Also to dismiss the author of the thesis as a crackpot.

Because of this confusion, and because of the derogatory connotations of the phrase, I would suggest that it be avoided except where senses 4 or 5 above are explicitly meant. Does anyone object to that? DaveApter (talk) 11:46, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

Balancing the View[edit]

714 individual results is relatively meaningless, I can get more than 1400 unique on myself simply be being a prolific poster - as is Mr. McCarthy. The issue at hand is completing the picture of the individual. He is no doubt a promoter of internet marketing ideas - how relevant in this day and age is open to discussion. He seems to have been in the cadre of folks during the early internet days and made some fairly sage prognostications. He is also an activist. He worked to combat the establishment of a cement plant in his region of the country, supported Katrina victims and has interviewed like minded people Scott Ritter. He also promotes conspiracy theories. This is not a small portion of his activities. I don't have another term to define some of the ideas he has promoted.

That is merely silly. You haven't got 1400 unique references in the Google search results, you have about 70. And almost all of these are, as you admit, self generated. In contrast, many of the pages for Ken are endorsements on the sites of prominent businessmen and respected industry commentators. DaveApter (talk) 17:36, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

Your assertion that there is an attempt to smear his reputation is incorrect. WP:CIV Individuals are complex and noteworthy individuals tend to be more complex. If we accept Ken as simply an internet marketing promoter and a minor figure in the advent of internet publishing, then he fails the notability test, in my estimation. Jettparmer (talk) 14:59, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

Could you please clarify in which of the above 5 senses of the term it is your opinion that he promotes conspiracy theories? DaveApter (talk) 15:18, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
1) Ken McCarthy owns and operates the BrasscheckTV website.
2) The site contains videos promoting information and ideas, some of which may be classified as conspiracy theories Jettparmer (talk) 16:26, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
I am not sure why there is such a dispute about this fact. If the ideas promoted are not conspiracy theories, then Ken's site doesn't promote them. If they can be classified as conspiracy theories - in even the most neutral sense - then he promotes them. Jettparmer (talk) 16:26, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

This is still a BLP[edit]

If Mr. McCarthy wishes to be known as a "conspiracy theorist," that's up to him. Looking at his website, what I see is that he is distributing photographic evidence which debunks official explanations of certain events. And he is an activist. Perhaps you should limit the description to what he does rather than using a label to lump him in with a bunch of crazy, fictitious characters. Wowest (talk) 15:12, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

Your own description supports the title. Again, I stress that this is a non-perjorative assessment. McCarthy provides video which "attempts" to debunk official explanations. None of the video has been vetted or accepted as the explanation, hence it remains a theory, and in some cases, a conspiracy theory. Jettparmer (talk) 16:30, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
If you are now saying that you are not using the term in its derogatory sense, might it be better to avoid it entirely by using a different phrase, considering that it is almost universally interpreted as having pejorative and derogatory overtones? How about "amateur investigative journalist"? DaveApter (talk) 17:31, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
I have always said the term was neutral. It was Arthur Rubin who challenged me on evidence and Wowest who assigned it a strong negative. I believe I and others ( nolatime) have already characterized Ken as an investigative journalist. The term is neutral by nature and does not carry the negative connotation universally. Here we have conlfict of our own biases. It is relevant that the BLP subject's opinions, views and actions be examined in their totality. It seems strongly evident, with material reaching back to the early 1990s, that Ken was a conspiracy theorist. Even his initial article on the Critical Mass bike ride alleges active police / governmental collusion in disrupting part of the ride.
As a side note, the BrasscheckTV site has been updated with a disclaimer about endorsement of videos on its site. This was added within the last few days, as can be determined from cached pages. I wonder if it is appropriate to invite the subject of the page to comment on their own position? Jettparmer (talk) 21:51, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
Why are you so intent to use this particular phrase? It is only ever used in a derogatory sense, and it is inherently "name-calling." Just say what he does. What I noticed is that he helps to circulate a video which shows secret service personnel told not to stand near the President's car just before the car entered the target area in Dallas. Why not just say that? Wowest (talk) 08:51, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
You have no idea what was said in the video regarding the claim of agents being waved off the limousine. Additionally, the time, place and date of the posted video is not clear. You have made an assumption based upon someone else's interpretation of the video - hence Ken McCarthy's posting of this interpretation implies agreement - despite his disclaimer. The term, as I mentioned, is subject to some bias when viewed by various individuals. Apparently you consider it derogatory. I do not.Jettparmer (talk) 14:53, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

Latest post re "internet free speech"[edit]

I have reverted the latest post by jettparmer.

His interpretation of elements of this story's significance are not only not supported by the references he provides, it is contradicted by the them. DaveApter (talk) 14:20, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

Reverted to original with slight nodification. Data is factual and reported widely at the time by the electronic and print media. Jettparmer (talk) 14:55, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

The events doubtless have a basis in fact but your editorialising comments are not, and the interpretation you make is highly suspect. Also the amount of space given to this one item is somewhat disproportionate. DaveApter (talk) 16:19, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

I have removed the latest reversion for the following reason: Large discrepancies between how footnoted items are characterized in article and the actual content of footnoted reference articles. Ex. "The LA Times described the case as defining what laws would apply to speech in cyberspace."[14] The article in fact states "...the case does not set any precedent for libel in cyberspace." http://articles.latimes.com/1998/apr/04/news/mn-35931 Potentially worthwhile contribution. Worth a careful re-write. Nolatime (talk) 20:12, 24 January 2009 (UTC)Nolatime

Review carefully the modified text. This entry is certainly as significant as his work listed as activism. It merited mention in major media, something his activism has not, and reflect an equally important in law as it pertained to internet speech. It is expansive of the article, hardly redundant. It also ties in to his origins with E-Media and time in San Francisco. I welcome any refinement, I hardly think there is any editorializing. Jettparmer (talk) 21:49, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
Your statements in the edit are not an accurate summary of what the sources actually say. DaveApter (talk) 22:59, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
Respectfully disagree, why don't you try to edit the text rather than delete it? I challenge that the material is relevant and important. Jettparmer (talk) 12:35, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

Active Involvement by Subject / Possible Sockpuppetry[edit]

Websites associated with this individual are being removed and aletered as this LP is being developed. I suspect sockpuppetry and manipulation by the subject or proxy in this regard. Entire websites, inactive for more than six years have been removed, others altered and in general a "scrubbing" of the "less than desirable elements of the information". It would appear highly unlikely that this would occur were not the subject playing an active role. Jettparmer (talk) 22:08, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

Subject Sensitivity[edit]

I would like to call a time out in this edit war. We need to review the circumstances (objectively) about this BLP. The Ken McCarthy article is devolving into an edit war. I am at odds over relevant content. Additionally, I suspect some sockpuppetry at work. During the development of the article several of the referenced web sites owned by the subject (Ken) have been changed as if in answer to the facts revealed in the article. Additionally, yesterday, 24JAN09, his entire Brasscheck.com site went dark. The BrasscheckTV site was recently transferred to a DomaninsByProxy ownership status, thus concealing the original owner. I am beginning to feel that this individual really would not prefer to be the subject of a biography. I also suspect that the page originally started out with commercial / vanity intent and has grown beyond itself. I really would like your objective input (and that of any others). It is my belief that the subject is too sensitive and thus the article should be deleted. Thanks. Jettparmer (talk) 12:37, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

Edit War / Vandalism / Undue Weight / Bias[edit]

Do not delete material from the biography. Opinions on weight are extremely subjective. I appreciate an editor's viewpoint on balance - however - the overall representation of writings, publishing or the impact of an individual's work can not be considered without a complete picture. Recommend a better edit. To do otherwise is contrary to WP:NPOV Jettparmer (talk) 16:13, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

Why A Complete View of the Individual is Relevant to Biographies[edit]

I would submit to editors concerned about the article possibly portraying Ken negatively or in an unfair manner to reexamine the purpose of a biography. It is intended to provide a comprehensive view of an individual, their life, background accomplishments and influences. To simply provide one element of a person's work, beliefs or history provides a grossly distorted view. Humanity is made up of complex individuals. Their lives are the culmination of experiences, culture, upbringing, education and individual consciousness.

Ken has already faced this issue when he posted his interview with Scott Ritter on his blog in June of 2007. One poster wrote

  • "I liked it better when I didn't know your politics"

Indicating the potential polarizing effect of revealing one's beliefs in a commercial venue. Ken further detailed his opinions during the Alterati interview. If you examine his work, going back to his time in Frisco, these ideas have been a major part (and remarkably consistent) of his personal philosphy. It seems to have influenced his project to support New Orleans businesses and oppose the cement plant in his part of New York.

I believe in equity and honesty in regard to presenting an individual's biography. I detest revisionist views of any person's life or historical event. The ability to interpret the facts, without undue bias, is a great gift an author gives his reader. I would like the work here to reflect that spirit. Jettparmer (talk) 16:48, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

I think you've done a good job with your latest revision, Jettparmer. It seems to be balanced but avoids namecalling. Wowest (talk) 23:25, 28 January 2009 (UTC)

Thanks. Jettparmer (talk) 02:32, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

Picture![edit]

We need a good shot of Ken for the box. I also liked the quote expansion. It does add to the article. Jettparmer (talk) 20:44, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

Improving on the Class C rating for this bio[edit]

This bio has been rated Class C in quality.

Here's what that means according to wikipedia.

"The article is substantial, but is still missing important content or contains a lot of irrelevant material. The article should have some references to reliable sources, but may still have significant issues or require substantial cleanup."

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Biography/Assessment#Quality_scale

In the interest of raising the rating for this bio, I'm putting out this question: Where else on wikipedia have you ever seen a living individual's Amazon profile being used as a reference in a bio of a person, living or dead?

Strictly speaking, I guess it's "relevant" to the topic at hand, but by that standard so is his shoe size, his current weight, and what he had for breakfast this morning.

What makes McCarthy a subject for wikipedia was his involvement in the early days of the Internet industry and his ongoing Internet publishing and educational activities. By that standard, a compilation of the books he's contributed reviews to on Amazon seems to come under the category of irrelevant. Were he a literary critic or professional book reviewer it might be different

I am therefore proposing to removing this referenceNolatime (talk) 13:10, 25 August 2009 (UTC)Nolatime

The final remaining piece of irrelevance that I see in this bio are the long passages about Brasscheck and Brasscheck TV, in particular the extensive excerpts of an interview McCarthy gave on the subject.
This is a man who was involved with two Academy Award nominated films, had a historical role in the popularization of the web , was an early pioneer of web video, has done a number of important pro bono projects like assisting levees.org and maintaining the only historical record of ships involved in maritime rescue in NYC on 9/11.
All these activities are mentioned briefly and succinctly without fluff or filler. Why then is approximately 20% of this article devoted to an unedited excerpt of a Q & A session about the minute details of one of his minor projects? One could just as well provide an excerpt of every interview he's ever given and every article he's ever written. I see nowhere else on wikipedia where interview excerpts on a minor topic, or any topic, are given such prominence, let alone permitted.
I think it bears mentioning that these excerpts were placed in this article by an individual who also created a wikipedia article on the subject of "Conspiracy Journalism" , a term that appears in no English dictionary and, according to Google, nowhere online but on wikipedia. As soon as I can figure out the mechanics, I will propose that the article on "Conspiracy Journalism" is eliminated.
If someone can give me a rational answer as to why these long quotes belong in a wikipedia article in general and this wikipedia article in particular, please do so. If this kind of thing is proper on wikipedia - publishing extended excerpts of a person's interviews and work - I will begin selecting excerpts on McCarthy's writings in the Internet which span 16 years and other significant aspects of his work: pioneering efforts in web video, working with two Academy Award nominated film makers, guiding the public relations efforts of levee.org and more.
I will wait at least seven days before I make an edit.
Let's raise the quality rating on this bio. Other than these irrelevancies, it succinct and thorough footnoted with reliable, verifiable information.Nolatime (talk) 20:47, 25 August 2009 (UTC)Nolatime
Nolatime, there need to be much better organization of this article prior to moving it past a C-rating. First, I would suggest modeling the structure after other BLPs. The article is disjointed, in places reads like a promotional piece and in others, makes claims which are not substantiated. You need to provide a source for the Academy award claim. There should be a more concise review of his family life, if it is to be included. Most of thus article seems to be part resume and part promo piece. We also need a usable picture. Jettparmer (talk) 19:10, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
I believe you have made this suggestion before. Since this subject is of great interest to you, why not proceed modeling the structure after other BLPs?
You're raised a number of issues:
1. As for your references to "family life," details of a subject's ancestry are hardly uncommon in biographical articles. That this section needs to be more concise is debatable. Based on what standard? Two male ancestors, father and grandfather are mentioned. I doubt the inclusion of this information is the reason for the article's rating. Rather than speculate perhaps you can seek the involvement of an experienced wikipedia administrator who can comment. I would welcome that.
2. What specifically in this article is "part resume and part promo piece"? You state that "most" of the article is made of such. Family details, education, place of birth, employment etc. are all normal parts of all biographical article. A quick look at the web will show that almost nothing of McCarthy's current commercial activities are mentioned in this article - with the exception of activities you insisted be included, specifically brasschecktv.com. Including references to this site in this article directly and materially benefits McCarthy, but this is entirely your doing.
3. To answer the one specific question you raised here, the record of movies nominated for the Academy Award is easily verifiable information. McCarthy's work with Rick Goldsmith whose film "Tell the Truth and Run" was nominated in the documentary category is verified by a collection of web pages they developed together in the 1990s to support the film. The web pages in question are cited in the article. So what specifically is your issue?
It's also public record that Bill Markle received the credit for audio post production for the film "When We Were Kings" which won the Academy Award and McCarthy worked with Markle in the founding and development of Markle's business. This fact too is cited.
Wikipedia guidelines state that "the source should be cited clearly and precisely to enable readers to find the text that supports the article content in question." McCarthy's business involvement with Bill Markle is cited in an article published in the February 1996 edition of The New Fillmore. The citation, a print article which appears to have been posted to the web in 1996, looks pretty clear and precise to me.
Is it your claim that The New Fillmore is not a reliable, third party source? That this article was not transcribed accurately? Are you asserting that the New Fillmore and its editor David Ish has a "a poor reputation for fact-checking...with no editorial oversight." If so, please provide your source for these claims.
Like many print publications, the New Fillmore is not entirely archived online, but its web site verifies that the publication exists and that it is still in business and reachable by phone or e-mail. I imagine that anyone who cares to can pick up the phone and talk with the owners about the publication and its activities if there are legitimate concerns about its existence, its reputation, its fact checking practices, and the article cited in particular, but short of that there's no reason to discount the citation. Again, I'd welcome an experienced wikipedia administrator's comments on this. Nolatime (talk) 01:21, 3 September 2009 (UTC)Nolatime
Nolatime, I have no beef with you or Ken. But the article is full of assertions with no corroborating evidence. The Markle connection, for example is unsupported by direct source information. So you say he was involved in these productions, how about a citation with a credit or reference document? You need to develop a better connection with these articles, otherwise we are playing six degrees of Ken McCarthy. I don't dismiss the New Fillmore, but first person statements are no substitute for third party confirmation. Actually, I added to the article with a better reference regarding Ken's involvement in his college radio station, which still doesn't confirm the stated claikm that he was a PD.
The article reads like a part fan piece and part PR item. The information is jumbled and "inferred" rather than sourced. I would also point out that the diminishment of his Brasscheck involvement misses out on his real current contribution. The site receives far more hits than anything else he has been involved in and ranks in the top 50,000 by ALexa's ranking standards. What we need is a new interview of Ken to really flesh out the bio.
If you recall, we have had WikiAdmins involved. I don't think it is their job to do the research for us, but I think the composition needs a lot of work. I have shown a willingness to help, you appear to disagree with my approach to completeness and neutrality. Stop by my page and we can have a meaningful discussion and you can drop the pseudonym Jettparmer (talk) 02:44, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

Relevance of Ken McCarthy[edit]

Once again we are attempting to paint a picture of a living person while only using part of the public record. The article is listed as c-grade as there are numerous holes in Ken's biography and areas which are not sufficiently substantiated. The original article was a borderline commercial for Ken's internet marketing business and overlooked the entire aspect of his activism and journalistic involvement.

It appears that nolatime and I are the only authors who seem to have an interest in this article. Wikipedia has agreed that there is enough interest to have this bio, I believe it incumbent upon contributors and editors to make it compltet, neutral and accurate.Jettparmer (talk) 19:07, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

Citations[edit]

Several citations about Ken's work in NYC and involvement in various businesses need better citations that the New Filmore article. There is no public source record for his involvement, only vague references to involvement.Jettparmer (talk) 19:12, 26 August 2009 (UTC)