Talk:Ken Mehlman

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Protected[edit]

The revert war on this article is doing nobody any favours so I protected the page, please discuss your differences here and come to an agreement. Thryduulf 13:44, 24 July 2005 (UTC)

I'm not at all convinced this is the appropriate course of action -- we don't have a genuine dispute, just a user who keeps removing explanation while offering only the barest pretext of an explanation (and only that after being reverted three times by two different users). As I have stated repeatedly, this information is accurate, verifiable, properly sourced, and presented neutrally, per our policies. RadicalSubversiv E 17:17, 24 July 2005 (UTC)

This issue has actually been widely discussed and is relevant enough to be here in my opinion, as long as it isn't presented in an inflammatory manner (which I don't think it is in its present form). The link provided even sources an article where a senior Bush official denies the rumor. Maybe the quote can be added to the disputed line to add balance. 66.36.140.237 02:38, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
Well history has proven that an article quoting senior Bush officials is not a reliable source, because senior Bush officials are are liars, because the rumors were correct, and Ken Mehlman really is gay. 92.108.60.150 (talk) 00:46, 8 October 2014 (UTC)

This nonsense should not be forced into the article. Wikipedia is not a forum for disseminating internet rumours. That Mehlman was asked whether he was gay and refused to dignify the question with an answer is NOT newsworthy and does not deserve to be in the article. It's an easy call: it stays out. Flavius Aetius 05:45, 25 July 2005 (UTC)

The fact that Ken Mehlman is gay most certainly is newsworthy. 92.108.60.150 (talk) 00:46, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
Obviously you're entitled to your opinion, but seeing as you have only four edits to your name, you might find that it carries more weight if you could explain how this content violates our editorial policies, instead of simply stating that it's "an easy call" without any justification. RadicalSubversiv E 08:25, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
Sigh. You're one of these stubborn types, I guess... It stays out because a man being asked whether he is gay at a speaking engagement and refusing to dignify such an invasive interrogatory is not a newsworthy item. It's of no import because it doesn't demonstrate anything. A man was asked a disrespectful question that he refused to answer. That's it. The only reason why one would be so insistent to include the item is if they were trying to run with the internet rumours and were trying to imply that Mehlman was gay. As I wrote previously, Wikipedia is not a forum for disseminating internet rumours or urban legends. You don't see any mention of gerbil tubes over on Richard Gere's page, do you? I wrote that it was an easy call because it is. No way does this item deserve to be included. It's a slam dunk. Flavius Aetius 03:40, 26 July 2005 (UTC)
What is so disrespectful about asking someone if they are gay? It's YOU who is disrespecting gay people be presuming that there is something wrong with it. On the other hand, there IS most certainly something wrong with hypocrisy. 92.108.60.150 (talk) 00:46, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
I wholly AGREE. I watched the Daily Show interview with this guy and was curious what his position in the Republican party represents in terms of the power structure and lines of communication. Instead I read crap about how he isn't gay and doesn't want to talk about it? As a wikipedia user, I'm a little pissed to read not-really-even-gossipy nonsensical sexist crap on a biographical entry.
I don't know any of you and have no idea why you're having a turf war on this guy's wiki entry. You can find me on MetaFilter as Five Fresh Fish. Now cut out that crappy sentence and be done with it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 207.216.201.175 (talkcontribs) on 15 June 2006

What we have here is a single user who continues to compromise the integrity of the article by repeatedly inserting sleazy gossip into the page with only the flimsiest of explanations, even after being reverted six times by three different users. This is a case of someone who has seized on internet gossip regarding Mehlman's sexuality (the source of which was the biased, less than reliable, and left-leaning gay blogger Mike Rogers) and has decided to use this web page as a soapbox to give credence to that gossip. Mr. Mehlman being asked whether was gay after giving a speech at a Republican fundraiser and declining to dignify that question with an answer on principle is not notable and simply does not warrant inclusion in a Wiki article. Brian Brockmeyer 02:03, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

What's so sleazy about being gay? You're a bigot if you think that. History has proven that Mike Rogers was correct, Ken Mehlman is gay, and you're wrong that it doesn't warrant inclusion in the Wiki article. 92.108.60.150 (talk) 00:46, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
Please refrain from personal attacks, especially false ones. The sentence was inserted by an anonymous user. I have restored it when it was removed with only the flimsiest of explanations, as as Func. You meanwhile, removed it twice, falsely marking your edit as minor and using no edit summary, and have still failed to explain in what way it violates Wikipedia policies. You'd have a point if the sentence stated that Mehlman was gay (look at the page history, and you'll find I and others reverted such additions before the current sentence was inserted), but it doesn't. RadicalSubversiv E 03:22, 26 July 2005 (UTC)
Saying that someone is gay is not a personal attack, since there is nothing to be ashamed about being gay -- it's hypocrisy and lying that is shameful. However, your implication that there is something wrong with being gay is a personal attack on all gays. Why were you so sure he's not gay? What were your sources? They were obviously not reliable, were they? You are the one who is spreading false information. 92.108.60.150 (talk) 00:46, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
He was probably been called any number of cursewords also. If he does not acknowledge someone calling him a bastard, should we put it on all the pages? (the Clinton and Bush pages are going to get pretty long!) --Noitall 05:40, July 26, 2005 (UTC)
"Gay" is not a curse word. "Hypocrite" should be a curse word, though. 92.108.60.150 (talk) 00:46, 8 October 2014 (UTC)

As a user who has reverted Radicalsubversiv on this page, I feel compelled to weigh in. The line does not belong here because, like a previous poster pointed out, it does not establish anything. A public person refusing to answer an inappropriate question posed to him as a matter of principle is not a significant occurrence. If Mehlman had answered, 'yes', to the question, then it would be a different story, but he didn't, and to stick the line in is to indulge in nothing more than sleazy tabloid gossip. My two cents. 24.186.219.123 16:47, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

History has proven you wrong. It was totally appropriate to ask Ken Mehlman if he is gay, because his roles with the RNC and the Bush campaign coincided with the Republican Party's attempts to exploit anti-gay prejudices and cement the allegiance of social conservatives, which makes his hypocrisy a relevant issue. 92.108.60.150 (talk) 00:46, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
I agree that no one has offered definitive evidence here that would establish the credibility of the claim. It is irrelevant for purpose of its establishing such validity to know who put it in and who has tried to remove it; the claim must be externally verifiable from at least one reliable source if it is to stand. If there's something more compelling to evaluate, please cite it. The cite previously included in the article consists of nothing more than speculation on the matter of Mehlman's sexual preference. Buffyg 00:05, 29 July 2005 (UTC)
You'd have a point if the text in question states that Mehlman is gay -- it does not, it merely states that he has been asked repeatedly and has refused to answer. That much has clearly been verified. RadicalSubversiv E 00:24, 29 July 2005 (UTC)
Fair enough, but there's nothing there that says that the questions put to Mehlman have been repeated in any meaningful sense. Even the proposed statements appears to be a distortion of cited blog. Reporters ask a lot of questions, including quite a few that haven't been researched. What's noteworthy about this one? I don't see a journalist like Tim Russert asking it on Meet the Press when Mehlman made a subsequent appearance [1]. This certainly isn't a scene from Law and Order with a DA demanding of a defendant whether he killed his wife. People might ask me if I come from another planet, but I wouldn't expect that the question would come up in my obituary as though it required non-ironic consideration. Buffyg 00:47, 29 July 2005 (UTC)
It's pretty obvious that the whole reason Melhman's being protected is that he's a gay Jew. Think of how many Wiki disputes are going on and how many actually get protected. Melhman's a member of the tribe and even though all people are equal, some people (Jews) are more equal than others. The Jews dominate wikipedia, the GOP, and the world.-Dr. Kelly (Originally posted by 24.56.221.16)
I added a log on that anti-semitic commentJ. M. 08:41, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Ken Mehlman's refusal to answer the question if he is gay is absolutely newsworthy as it raises suspicions that he might gay. If he was a Democrat that would have been a non-issue, but given that the Republican Party is extremely homophobic, to have a gay person lead the party is certainly newsworthy. The statement that Mehlman refused to answer the question is written in a Nuetral Point of View (NPOV) so therefore belongs in the article. --Asbl 05:56, 20 August 2005 (UTC)

You sir are correct! 92.108.60.150 (talk) 00:46, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
There is absolutely no reason to believe that refusal to answer the question is grounds for suspicion that he is gay. Also, The Gay People's Chronicle does not say that it was its reporter than asked the question. This is weaseling to add links to a source that does not appear notable and is more inclined to editorialise on a possibility than establish a fact or even provide material reasons to suggest that possibility. Buffyg 13:43, 20 August 2005 (UTC)
I agree with Buffyg. The line is nothing more than unsubstantiated gossip, and thus, does not meet our editorial standards.--Brian Brockmeyer 17:11, 20 August 2005 (UTC)
The fact that he was asked the question is not gossip, but a hard fact that apparently some people are having problems accepting. It would be gossip to speculate on his sexual orientation, something the article does not do. --Asbl 22:01, 20 August 2005 (UTC)
History has proven that it's Ken Mehlman and the Republican Party that had problems accepting that he was gay. 92.108.60.150 (talk) 00:46, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
The fact that he was asked the question is not, however, notable (and you will notice that my objection was on the basis of notability) when there is no further information to occasion the question, which thus appears to be little more than a justification for speculation. I don't know which article you're reading when the article plainly reiterates speculation from the blogosphere:
Internet bloggers have pointed out that if Mehlman, 38, unmarried and never with female companionship, is gay, he is a hypocrite.
Activist and blogger John Arovosis says Mehlman should be outed if he is gay because “Mehlman has already said publicly that the gay issue is fair game for politics. If it is fair game, then the same rules apply to him.”
Precisely! And it applies to all other Republicans (or Democrats, or any other party) who hypocritically fight against gay rights and marriage equality. Outing Ken Mehlman and his ilk is perfectly justified, and the Republican Party is still full of people like him. 92.108.60.150 (talk) 00:46, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
As you've said before, it would be newsworthy if he were gay. If it is possible that he is gay because there's no evidence either way, there's nothing newsworthy and therefore nothing notable. If there were some evidence and not just a stab-in-the-dark question, there might be a news item. Accordingly NPOV is not the basis I'm asserting for objection.
I would, however, note that you are again asserting that the reporter from The Gay People's Chronicle asked the question; the paper says that the question came from "a reporter". Buffyg 22:32, 20 August 2005 (UTC)
Mehlman is unmarried, therefore this because notable or newsworthy? This is ridiculous pushing of a point. The link you're providing to support this is a newspaper citing blogs — I see no evidence of critical treatment of blogosphere speculation; this seems to be calculated to skirt the requirement for credible sources (i.e. not blogs). I challenge you to justify why this is a credible source. Buffyg 13:39, 24 August 2005 (UTC)


Moving our farsical exchange to the article talk page and replying again:

Is the fact that he has never been married not credible? Does that not lead to speculations? With Mehlman refusing to answer questions about the speculation, this leads to even more speculation, and this is relevant, and presented in a neutral point of view--Asbl 16:05, 24 August 2005 (UTC)

As I don't otherwise speculate that unmarried men approaching the age of 40 are queer, I don't see why that would be any more indicative here. By the standards you are proposing, any behaviour that may be taken as vaguely inconsistent with social norms that then becomes cause for gossip is notable. I think not. The fact that Mehlman argues that he need not answer a question when confronted with zero material evidence does not make this any more noteworthy. A chain of "what ifs" is no more compelling than an isolated one. You appear above all to confuse the fact that there is no obvious evidence of his heterosexuality (i.e. a wife and children), which therefore implies that he is gay. That is thoroughly illogical. Maybe it's true, maybe it's not — the point is that is no compelling evidence that he is and hence nothing notable. Buffyg 16:15, 24 August 2005 (UTC)
Nothing in the post says that he is gay. Like it or not, politicians are held to a higher standard than private citizens (he was elected by the members of the Republican Central Committee, that does make him a politician). When a politician refuses to answer a question, especially a personal question, that is news, not gossip. It is the new standard under which we have to live, started in the Gary Hart case in 1987, and intensified during the Clinton Administration in the 1990's. Since the information is presented in a neutral point of view, I think it belongs in the article. Wikipedia does not exist in some ideal world, it exists in the real world. News presented in a NPOV belongs in the article. --Asbl 16:24, 24 August 2005 (UTC)
You are being obtuse in your invocation of "higher standards," which are utter bunk, as are your arguments about "new standards," because you attempt to negate standards of evidence in order to argue about standards of conduct. This is not transparency, this is not scrutiny: this is gossip and rumour-mongering. If there were a story here, you could cite something more than echoes of the blogosphere and argue the logic. By the standard you propose, anything anyone blurts out at a press conference or prints in a tabloid can be reported here (and the fact that there are media organs willing to report entertain anything anyone is willing to ask as though it were a serious question is one reason that organisations with high media profile only talk to credentialed journalists and even insist on approving journalists themselves), a standard which I continue to argue does not even attempt to meet standards of credibility or notability. Wikipedia is not a soapbox or an echo chamber, and there is nothing neutral about refusing to evaluate claims on these terms to preventing it from being such a device. You continue to harp on NPOV (and I also believe that this could be contested on that basis), but you have yet to produce any reasonable argument why this is a sufficient criteria to determine whether your proposed edit should be included, particularly given the far larger range of guidelines and policies that clearly have bearing here. The question I am arguing is not whether you are reasonably reporting the fact that someone asked him whether he is gay and the precise content of his response; it is the question of whether there is anything notable about the question and any basis for believing it has any basis in fact.
The best you've come up with for arguing a possible factual basis is that Mehlman doesn't have any blindingly obvious heterosexual social behaviour and therefore it is reasonable to speculate that he is gay and to ask about this publicly. That's is not a sagacious bracketing of heteronormativity; that's a justification of gossip that not only lacks any affirmative evidence but feeds off of it. Lack of affirmative evidence is nowhere a justification for speculation, the more so where one recognises that very normal and mundane standards of evidence can be applied for verifiability. By the standards you're proposing, lacking clear evidence from the article that he is heterosexual, a reader will already have cause to suspect his homosexuality and begin to speculate on his rank hypocrisy. That is the substance of your source and its sources, and that is why there is nothing notable or credible about it barring a great deal more analysis and far more careful reporting.
On the other hand, I think NPOV only becomes a question when the matter to be reported comes from a credible and notable source. I have argued the point extensively, and I have had no reply. Buffyg 17:24, 24 August 2005 (UTC)
On one hand I believe that Blogs should be reconsidered as viable sources because I feel denying that is like denying Wikipedia is a valid source of information as well. At the moment, however, the rules don't allow blogs (however, people point this out -only- when it suits their purposes. They don't seek down these blog citations in general)... I also feel that in this case finding a non-blogged source would be appropriate. I'm sure there exist some, if you dig. It's also possible to place this in another context (there is much talk, originating from source X). Finally on the matter of being a right wing hack. Pointing out possible political bias is exactly what you, Buffyg, have done to Asbl, with different wording. The problem, Asbl, is you calling him a right wing hack is the same as calling me a Libtard. It'd be better to say, you feel that Buffyg is illustrating a Right wing bias and is unwilling to consider your argument. On the other hand, I don't think they are in and of themselves personal attacks, Buffyg, so much as strongly worded statements of opinion about your position, that come off as attacks --74.237.17.74 04:45, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

Reporting the controversy[edit]

How about saying:

Activist and blogger John Arovosis says Mehlman should be outed if he is gay because “Mehlman has already said publicly that the gay issue is fair game for politics. If it is fair game, then the same rules apply to him.” []

Apparently there is some attempt being made to disparage Mehlman or to protest his appointment as RNC head or to tear up the anti-homosexuality plank in its party platform - or maybe a bit of all three.

Does anyone know how often reporters (or others) keep bringing the question up? Are there any other politicians who refuse / have refused to talk about their sex life?

What I'm getting at is that refused to answer whether he's gay does not sound encyclopedic.

Here's another possibility:

  • Mehlman has been asked repeatedly about his sexuality since Date X, and Group Y argues that his refusal supports Position Z.

Thus Wikipedia would not be taking sides for him (saying he doesn't have to answer) or against him (taking him to task for refusing). Uncle Ed 19:03, August 26, 2005 (UTC)

My response to the above:
  1. I would argue again that the "activist and blogger" form by itself begs credibility and notability in the case of Arovosis and seems to me a backdoor to introduction speculation.
  2. I agree entirely that "refused to answer" is unencyclopedic.
  3. I'm less concerned with the implications of Mehlman being gay than establishing that this is a real possibility in the first place, although it think it may be fair to raise the issue if you make it clear that there is no evidence (e.g. "Absent any unambiguous evidence, various groups have speculated on his sexual orientation for their own purposes. For example...") and go on to trace existing analyses of the demonstrable interests that appear to be served in encouraging such speculation. For similar reasons and in a similar way, wikipedia has reported on the rumours of lascivious adultery that the French occasionally spread about the foreign queens they didn't like (e.g. Marie Antoinette) or Catherine the Great's demise while having sex with a horse.
  4. At the end of the day, I see no basis for wikipedia accepting in any way endorsing the implication that he is gay (as I've already said that there is no unambiguous evidence; citing his lack of marriage, one could argue that he is married to his job, as Elizabeth I of Britain often said she was married to her people). We can discuss speculation as speculation, but that's not what's been proposed as an edit thus far. I also have yet to see any genuinely penetrating analysis of the speculation made about Mehlman, so I'm not sure how to avoid original research of this matter. The Washington Blade article cited below is something quite different and accordingly seems insufficient to discuss this matter.
Those are my thoughts for the time being. Buffyg 20:28, 26 August 2005 (UTC)

How about a link?[edit]

I actually agree with buffyg that the Washington Blade article is not relevant to the above mentioned dispute, as it establishes that Mehlman refuses to answer the more general question about the sexual orientation of the Bush campaign hierarcy, and not the question about him specifically. I have no problem referencing Arovosis as the source of the question. The reader can judge for themselves whether Arovosis is credible. buffyg has no right to make the judgement for them. --Asbl 04:37, 28 August 2005 (UTC)
I object strongly to referencing the blog and the argument you offer that wikipedians have no right to judge sources and claims: you don't get to be encyclopedic without such judgement. Have a look at the "Undue Weight" section of WP:NPOV. Your proposal does not establish the notability or veracity of the source, which is a legitimate criterion for deciding what should go into the article in the first place. See also Wikipedia:Reliable sources and Wikipedia:Verifiability. I continue to assert that if the story had legs, it would have carried beyond the blogosphere by now. Buffyg 06:34, 28 August 2005 (UTC)
We currently live in an age where blogs are becoming an important part of the American media. Why should the right wing blogs, such as the Drudge Report, have any more credibility than the left wing blogs? --Asbl 15:47, 28 August 2005 (UTC)
Once again, I agree with Buffyg.--Brian Brockmeyer 19:45, 28 August 2005 (UTC)
A critical point about blogs becoming key is circulation between blogs and more mainstream media; they are not parallel universes of news. Blogs serve in part to refract stories from mainstream media, and mainstream media have reported on the blogosphere where it becomes clearly (sometimes painfully so) that their reporting overlooks particularly demographics who feel disenfranchised by mainstream media reporting. There is a level at which blogs are not independent media; for general and encyclopedic purposes, they need to be validated by more conventional process (either concession that they are correct or further investigation to substantiate their argument, which may not be adequately referenced). Plenty of this stems from polemics about the entrenchment of leftist political bias in the media establishment, which is, I believe, why you find more developed political blogging on the right. I would generally suggest that blogs attract attention because they present themselves as an ideological foil and because they are able to develop stories that mainstream media overlooks or reports fallaciously. The difficulty is that, in serving as an ideological foil, their indulgence in ideology is frequently a burden of bias, which is why I believe that the vast majority of them are not self-sufficient sources. This is why I insist you argue credibility. What I would like to underline is that a story that appears to have no real evidence and is simply a big "what if" isn't likely to cross over. If you want to take about the blogosphere analytically, kindly source some materials that have done so.
The way I hear your above remark is: "they lowered their standards [and it appears to get some benefit], so why can't 'we' lower ours." Somewhere in there you appear to be asking me to confuse my political and moral beliefs with my understanding of policies and guidelines suitable for contributions to wikipedia, and my answer is "no," by way of reference to that understanding. Buffyg 20:55, 28 August 2005 (UTC)
buffyg is undoubtedly a right wing hack. strikethrough of personal attack Buffyg 18:39, 6 September 2005 (UTC) --- Author disagrees that this constitutes a personal attack, convert to italics Asbl 17:29, 15 September 2005 (UTC) The suggestion of an entrenchment of leftist political bias in the media establishment is complete nonsense, as documented by David Brock in his book The Republican Noise Machine. I hope I am misunderstanding buffyg's statements, but it sounds like he is saying that right wing blogs are credible, and it's OK to quote them, whereas left wing blogs do not have credibility, and should not be quoted. I hope I am misunderstanding the above comments, as it is pure nonsense (or to borrow a phrase from buffyg, "utter bunk") --Asbl 02:37, 29 August 2005 (UTC)
Buffyg said nothing of the sort, but I guess it's easier for you to engage in ad hominem attacks than attempt to refute the substance of his post. In making such a baseless accusation, you've revealed your own political biases and ulterior motives in trying to hijack this article with this nonsense.--Brian Brockmeyer 02:49, 29 August 2005 (UTC)
My ulterior motives is the truth about Ken Mehlman, which is that he did refuse to answer the question of whether or not he is gay. So I do plead guilty as charged to having ulterior motives of spreading the truth. --Asbl 02:59, 29 August 2005 (UTC)


You have thoroughly misunderstood and therefore thoroughly misrepresented my views. I said, "Plenty of this stems from polemics about the entrenchment of leftist political bias in the media establishment, which is, I believe, why you find more developed political blogging on the right." In short: the reason is polemical. I did not assume the validity of these polemics; I said the right has been making them for some time, which is why there is more developed blogging of this sort on the right. Argument about left-wing bias in mainstream media is ongoing; you have people like Eric Alterman asking "What Liberal Media?" and pointing to an assymetry between the imputed liberal beliefs of most mainstream media and the sort of partisanship found at Fox and other right-wing echo chambers, even as you have the Public Editor of the New York Times acknowledging the massive fact of the liberal personal beliefs of the paper. These arguments are developed from reading the New York Times and The Nation critically. I don't intend to adjudicate those claims here; my point is that left wing media bias is alternately an axiom and a polemical bludgeon for the right. I have said nothing about right-wing blogs being more credible; I have pointed out that there is greater demand for them on the right and that, to the extent that they can produce evidence to support specific claims (e.g. in examining the letter about Bush's National Guard service that Dan Rather used for his story, demonstrating that it was an obvious fake), the credibility of some of their claims have established credibility. I have further pointed out that credibility is established in having mainstream media acknowledge, develop, and report stories originating in the blogosphere. Hence my remark, "There is a level at which blogs are not independent media; for general and encyclopedic purposes, they need to be validated by more conventional process (either concession that they are correct or further investigation to substantiate their argument, which may not be adequately referenced)." I meant to apply this at level of particular facts, although this undoubtedly reflects more generally on particular sources.

Please either point out exactly where my right-wing hackery is evident or withdraw your remark, which I find offensive and, moreover, counter-productive. I find this recurring effort to reduce this to matters of bias and to insist on something like equal coverage as a matter of NPOV thoroughly unencyclopedic, which is why I repeatedly asserted that NPOV is an insufficient criteria for resolving this matter. I think it telling that you assume that because I am arguing this against what you believe is a left-wing interest, I must be some kind of right wing hack. It is not a matter of left or right here; it's a matter of demonstrating wisdom and commitment to encyclopedic principle. As you continue to argue this in terms of political bias and not in terms of wikipedia policy, this looks more and more like your attempts to edit the article have a lot more to do with making a point than being encyclopedic. I suggest that you need to either establish why such a view would be incorrect or concede. Buffyg 11:49, 29 August 2005 (UTC)

I said that you are a right-wing hack because there is really no controversy about "leftist political bias in the media establishment". It is just "utter bunk" that the right throws around. I would accept the word "polemic" if the left accused the main stream media of a right wing bias (in fact, that would be ideal, if both sides thought that the media favors the other side). The left's problem with the main stream media is that it focuses on stories that have little or no relevance (runaway bride, Michael Jackson, Natalie Holloway, Laci Peterson, etc.). So there is really no controversy. The accusation of a "leftist political bias in the media establishment" is just that, a baseless accusation.
This is turning into a chat room, and I dont want it to go this way. I would like to keep the focus on Ken Mehlman, so here is the point: Unless you can prove that the blogger who claimed Mehlman refused to answer a question about his sexual orientation lacks credibility, we should include that fact, along with the link, and allow the readers to form their own opinion on how serious to treat this piece of information. I do not accept the argument that just because the main stream media has not picked up on this that the story has no merit. The main stream media has also not picked up on the Downing Street Memo, and it is a story that is well deserved of lots of attention. Do you plan on deleting the Downing Street Memo article because the story has been mostly discussed in left wing blogs and not in the main street media? --Asbl 17:41, 29 August 2005 (UTC)
You have taken leave of your senses if you assert that classification as polemic requires isomorphic arguments defined in terms of right and left; this claim is thoroughly illogical. You can argue if you like that there is no controversy about liberal media bias, but it remains an orthodoxy, however stubborn, for many conservatives. The fact that it is an orthodoxy is a major reason why there are so many conservative blogs try to poke holes in mainstream media reporting. Those blogs have had success in attracting readers and have occasionally succeeded in scooping or debunking mainstream media, which serves to sustain that orthodoxy. You can argue that, attaching to those successes and its reinforcement function, there is a confusion between systematic basis and bias in individual cases for particular stories, but my point is that there is an intelligible history and "logic" (scare-quoted just so you don't confuse me for endorsing the validity of this argument) to the place of conservative blogging and the circulation between it and mainstream media. This may not be fair or, for that matter, ultimately predicated on truth, but it is nonetheless a massive fact. It is all the more reason not to accept at face value what comes from the blogosphere without independent investigation of the facts. Trying to promote liberal blogging as equally valid as conservative blogging misses the point.
This brings me neatly to my other point. Credibility is not assumed (as you appear to argue when you say, "Unless you can prove that the blogger who claimed Mehlman refused to answer a question about his sexual orientation lacks credibility"); it has to be established, otherwise one is easily fooled at every turn. The burden on proof is on you. I don't argue that one should trust one class of sources and not another, but I do say that notability and credibility have to be argued and established in specifics. The specifics, which we have not substantially disputed, are that Arovosis is willing to speculate on a question someone else asked in an unclear context without establishing what occasioned the question. The most you've asserted for an occasion is that Mehlman isn't married, which I've pointed out is nothing like unambiguous evidence. This is speculative rather than investigative journalism and accordingly lacks credibility and notability. Unless you can demonstrate otherwise, wikipedia should not become alternative means of further publication for the claim.
Again I insist that you withdraw your remark that I am a "right wing hack" as an unsubstantiated personal attack.
As for editing the article, let's get back to Ed and see what recommendation he can give us. Buffyg 08:58, 30 August 2005 (UTC)
Rather than repeat what I have already stated, I'd like to declare that the discussion has reached an impass, and I am appealing to Wikipedia higher ups for help.
As for the "liberal media", I maintain there is no polemic, it is just one big lie by the conservatives. Read David Brock's book The Republican Noise Machine. Heck, don't even read the entire book, just read the first 5 pages which you can preview from Amazon.com.[2] --Asbl 23:08, 30 August 2005 (UTC)

Sorry, but that's not sufficient. You launched a personal attack amidst a series of glaring logical errors; withdraw your remark that I am a "right wing hack". If you think you can identify my political beliefs, sexual preferences, or favourite flavour of ice cream by way of my continuing insistence that you establish the credibility of your source (which, as best as I can determine, you have simply assumed) and the notability of the claim, it conveys to me that you entirely misapprehend the principles I argue and the stakes of this exchange. Your attempt to smear me is entirely determined by your continuing insistence that this is nothing more than a matter of balancing partisan POVs. This leads you to conclude erroneously that I am diametrically opposed to you in political belief, which is no more obtuse than anything else you've argued here — it appears that you know a lot more about polemics than you've let on. Buffyg 01:25, 31 August 2005 (UTC)

Buffyg, all the rationale and common sense you write will not convince them. The argument was the same on Spiro Agnew where they want to put an anagram for penis. Basically, it is sort of funny to have the word Republican and gay, or Republican leader may be gay, in the same sentence on a Wiki article. So they won't stop and all the sockpuppets will continue to do their thing. They might stop after Mehlman gets married and has kids, but I doubt it. --Noitall 02:11, August 31, 2005 (UTC)
Noitall appears to be living in denial. Here is a short list of gay Republicans David Dreier, Ed Schrock, Mark Foley, and Jim Kolbe. Those are just the senior elected republicans. There are tons of other gay republicans, such as the Jim West and the Log Cabin Republicans. David Brock who used to be an arch conservative (who wrote the "troopergate" story that spawned the Paula Jones lawsuit) is gay. In his book Blinded by the Right he tells of several gays he met during his activities in the conservative movement -- including Matt Drudge.
None of that is relevant, though, to the fact that Ken Mehman refuses to answer the question whether he is gay. But perhaps it shows why Buffyg et. al. refuse to allow the factual NPOV statement to be included in the article. --Asbl 17:30, 1 September 2005 (UTC)
This remains obtuse. NPOV evaluation comes after establishing credibility and notability. Your argument is reducible to: right wing blogs have been accepted as credible and have made notable publications referenced elsewhere in wikipedia, so if I'm not accepting a left wing blog and can offer an argument for why this isn't reducible to "if right can, therefore left can", I must be a right wing hack. In short, you pass over much of facts and virtually all of the analysis. I believe this account entirely sufficient to summarise everything you've said.
I don't need to assert my bona fides in supporting queer or liberal causes to say directly that what you are trying to do in printing here what is not a self-sufficient set of facts is the result of partisan convictions unacceptable to an encyclopedic effort from anywhere on the political spectrum. At this level, I may find myself in total agreement with one possible meaning of Melhman's reply: I do not believe I have to identify my sexuality here to have an argument about whether it is appropriate for someone to have to identify their sexuality publically before talking about sexuality and politics. To my mind, this lends itself to the crudest treatment of significant questions. Equally so, I could be a right wing hack and still be correct about matters at hand. The fact that you think you are making a decisive argument in flailing around with such claims tells me that you are completely in the dark on the matter about which you are attempting to write. This is precisely why you choose to attack with partisan rhetoric on the basis of an imputed and moreover irrelevant identity trait rather than argue in terms of Wikipedia policies.
Please withdraw your attacks and either get on with cogent argument or demonstrate some grace in concession. If you cannot bring yourself to argue without personal attack and by reference to the Wikipedia policy question I have asked you to answer, I will have to seek intervention against your counterproductive behaviour. We really don't, however, require the intervention of others to settle these matters if we can restore references to Wikipedia policies, guidelines, and principles which we are obliged to share as members of the community. Buffyg 14:00, 2 September 2005 (UTC)
I will not take back a single word. You need to be able to take criticism. Just like I don't sit and cry because you call me "obtuse" and my reasoning "utter bunk", stop complaining about being called a "right wing hack". Whether you are a bona-fide "right wing hack", or a Fox News Liberal is not really important. strikethrough of personal attack Buffyg 18:39, 6 September 2005 (UTC) --- Author disagrees that this constitutes a personal attack, convert to italics Asbl 17:29, 15 September 2005 (UTC)
The bottom line is we agree that there is no evidence that the statement about Mehlman refusing to answer a question about his sexual orientation is inaccurate, but we differ whether that means it belongs in the article. Reasonable people can agree to disagree and request the assistance of mediators to resolve the dispute. I am hoping that mediators will come soon, because I really don't want to carry on this discussion. The discussion has already reached an impass. --Asbl 15:48, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

You have claimed that I am "undoubtedly a right wing hack" without bothering to establish that this is relevant or true (sorry to disappoint your latest stab in the dark, but I have never turned to Fox for news, even when I had a television and American cable TV). Such remarks are not criticism; they are beside the point and are contrary to Wikipedia's civility policies and guidelines. Please take a moment to review:

I am not concerned about whether you think I am your partisan enemy or your false ally. My point is that you haven't the right to inject these polemics into this discussion. What you continue to refuse to do is restore civility by retracting your attack, acknowledge that you have thoroughly mischaracterised my remarks, and are obligated argue what you have just nearly acknowledged to be the issue (and my argument is that your proposed edit illuminates nothing, tells us nothing because its source is content to speculate on possibilities rather than investigate facts, which is why your source is not credible and his reporting unnoteworthy). You have skirted these issues, which is why I have said that your arguments remain obtuse, which is not a personal attack and therefore bears no comparison to your remarks, despite your suggestion. You can withdraw the remarks in an act of good faith, or I will simply excise them, as I am allowed to do with the unapologetically uncivil.

The mediation committee is overloaded. Do we really need to wait for them to get involved before you elaborate an argument that directly addresses my objections? Reasonable people are more likely to agree if they agree to be reasonable in arguing issues. Please take a moment to review the following:

I should think that direct reference to the above ought to allow us to establish more precisely the parameters of our disagreement. Perhaps you might finally do me the courtesy of replying to my concerns on such terms. At least we might finally establish whether this is a reasonable disagreement to bring to the attention of the mediation committee. I refuse to support further appeals for mediation until you undertake this in good faith. Buffyg 18:48, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

I do not think I engaged in a personal attack. For examples of a personal attacks, take a look at your ally, Noitall, who called anon 68.223.147.74 an idiot (look at the article's history), and called me a sockpuppet.
You have agreed with me that the statement in dispute is NPOV. If your only issue is the lack of established credibility of the source, we can certainly phrase the statement such as
Mehlman has reportedly refused to answer a question about his sexual orientation (followed with a link).
I would be OK with insertion of the word reportedly. --Asbl 19:47, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

No, I did not say that your edit is NPOV; I already spoke to this: "You continue to harp on NPOV (and I also believe that this could be contested on that basis)". I said the question of NPOV is to be considered only after the other issues raised. Pointing to the bad conduct of another to excuse your own is childish. (In what sense is Noitall my ally? On the one hand he also believes your edit here to be unjustified, on the other hand he makes uncivil remarks. I don't see where these agreements and disagreements add up to an alliance.) You cannot hope to substantiate the "right wing hack" remark (you will find on closer inspection that you support your characterisation with arguments I've already raised and allowed in my statement immediately preceding your cheap shot) and because it is an irrelevant attack on my political affiliation, which is explicitly said to be exemplary of personal attacks. I cannot accept in good faith your assertion that "I do not think I engaged in a personal attack." Again: withdraw your remarks, or I will delete them. Buffyg 20:15, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

I do not think it is in your interest to delete any comments. If you believe that I engaged in a personal attack, keep the evidence for the mediators. I still do not belive that my statements rise to the level of a personal attack, and that is why I brought an example of conduct which I do believe rises to that level.
We've agreed to cease the edit wars on the article, let's not get into edit wars on the talk page. --Asbl 20:50, 2 September 2005 (UTC)
Please see Wikipedia:No personal attacks#Remedies: "If you are personally attacked, you may remove the attacks or may follow the dispute resolution process or both. In extreme cases, the attacker may be blocked, though the proposal to allow this failed and the practice is almost always controversial." The edits are in the logs. I was simply going to strikethrought the remarks and sign the strikethrough markup, as these remarks have already been discussed at considerable length. Again, I do not accept your comment that you do not believe you engaged in a personal attack. As Brian Brockmeyer pointed out, I said nothing even vaguely resembling the interpretation you attached to the remark, and that remark appears to be an attempt to derogate me based on my political associations. The remark has no support and is completely consistent with the definition of a personal attack; if you are not prepared to offer any further argument as to why this was not a personal attack, your string of objections to my complaint would appear to be disingenuous and an indication that you are arguing in bad faith. In any case, mediation requires mutual acceptance of the arrangement; I have asked that you withdraw your remarks and address the policy issues I have raised, as I believe this prerequisite to any resolution of this issue, and have withdrawn my consent to mediation barring these demonstrations of commitment to civility and good faith. Buffyg 21:26, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

I have no received no further reply on this matter. Barring substantive reply on the policy issues I have raised and (should that reply come from User:Asbl) action on the tokens of civility and good faith on which I insist, I consider the matter concluded and further edits on the subject to be without justification in terms of the Wikipedia policies, guidelines, and principles previously referenced. I am also striking through the comments I find offensive. Buffyg 18:39, 6 September 2005 (UTC)

I see you have removed my strikethrough without substantive response or even reference to the personal attacks policy. Unless you care to withdraw this ill-advised action, my remaining recourse will be to open a user conduct RfC on the matter, arguing that you:
  1. engaged in personal attacks
  2. and did so in keeping with a larger refusal to discuss edit in terms of wikipedia policies and guidelines that is disruptive of Wikipeida
  3. refused to retract them in the interest of good faith or civility
This is where the issue has been logjammed for some time now. I presented a number of principles that ought to determine whether and how the subject matter would be added to the article. We discussed some of the specifics; you imputed to me views that I very clearly do not hold. I said:
There is a level at which blogs are not independent media; for general and encyclopedic purposes, they need to be validated by more conventional process [I meant to say "sources"] (either concession that they are correct or further investigation to substantiate their argument, which may not be adequately referenced). Plenty of this stems from polemics about the entrenchment of leftist political bias in the media establishment, which is, I believe, why you find more developed political blogging on the right. I would generally suggest that blogs attract attention because they present themselves as an ideological foil and because they are able to develop stories that mainstream media overlooks or reports fallaciously. The difficulty is that, in serving as an ideological foil, their indulgence in ideology is frequently a burden of bias, which is why I believe that the vast majority of them are not self-sufficient sources. This is why I insist you argue credibility.
which you summarised as:
it sounds like he is saying that right wing blogs are credible, and it's OK to quote them, whereas left wing blogs do not have credibility, and should not be quoted"
I would summarise my statement as: "evaluate blogs on a case-by-case (generally story-by-story) basis because blogs are closely associated with polemics about media bias, particularly the sort of partisan bias disputes which fueled the development of the right wing blogosphere"; nowhere do I endorse anything like a "right is right, left is wrong" schema. You have without evidence imputed to me a political association and immediately denigrated that association in place of any argument. Remarks about political associations are explicitly declared to be personal attacks. The best you've come up with in a misguided attempt to justify this incivility is that "you don't think so" — which is more of the same problem behaviour that has prevented this issue from being resolved in a productive manner. Please be reasonable. Buffyg 19:04, 15 September 2005 (UTC)
I have done more than just to say "I don't think so". I have given you a real life example of a personal attack. The only thing I will give you is that my remarks were personal. I do not think, however, that they were "attacks". --192.45.72.26 Asbl 21:55, 15 September 2005 (UTC)
You simply pointed to the actions of another as a case of a personal attack — this says nothing about the status of your remark; it was tangential. You have never explained why your remarks ought to be taken as either reasonable or civil. If we're arguing about examples, I have cited an explicit reference to political affiliation attacks in the personal attacks policy. Under what circumstances would it not be offensive to call someone a partisan hack, particularly for a party to which I have no evident relation? Did you really think they would be taking as anything other than insulting? How exactly did you expect me to view this as something completely other than an offense to my intellectual integrity? Buffyg 23:21, 15 September 2005 (UTC)
My first remark about a "political hack" may have been wrong, so subsequently I wrote Whether you are a bona-fide "right wing hack", or a Fox News Liberal is not really important. But again, this is not an attack, as it only refers to your political affiliation, not your intelligence nor your mental capacity. --Asbl 00:33, 16 September 2005 (UTC)
There is no "may" about it, and substituting another remark about partisan affiliation does nothing to correct what was wrong about the first. At best, your "Fox News Liberal" remarks sounds like a lesser insult, which is just an invalid. As I've noted several times now, you don't have to insult my intelligence directly to insult my person, a point which is very clear if you read the policy. Any time that you choose not to engage my argument and remark on me instead, you are headed for personal attacks. In this case, you completely mischaracterised my argument and then claimed that my position arose from an uncritical political commitment. As I said before, this ought not pass for criticism. You are, however, continuing to argue about other cases of insults and attacks (which is beside the point because you miss the point that these do not exhaust the definition of that class of remarks), while you still haven't explained how you expected me to receive your remark in the first place. Buffyg 08:57, 16 September 2005 (UTC)

Bachelor[edit]

Never been married/Bachelor seems to make no difference. Could one side or the other in this idiotic dispute come to talk and explain? Hipocrite - «Talk» 05:09, 4 September 2005 (UTC)

It is indeed "six of one, half dozen of the other." however, bachelor is shorter, and it has the nice advantage that the article on the word contains the phrase "a euphemism for a homosexual man" as one of the definitions for the word. So why not stick with bachelor? --Asbl 21:17, 4 September 2005 (UTC)
Ok, shorter is a plus, but I don't think that a Victorian antiquity has any relevence.Hipocrite - «Talk» 02:52, 5 September 2005 (UTC)

Can we please stop making comments in the edit log that belong on the talk page? This practise doesn't do anything to build up consensus, as people trying to understand the issues behind a series of edits don't go to the history page to get a history of one-line comments that are thought to resolve matters in one stroke. The latest comment is the following:

Mehlman's marriagability [sic] has not been verified. Bachelor -> Marriageable, and Wikipedia shouldn't contain unverified statements

What remains unspoken are criteria for verification of his marriageability (other than his being married). As the OED would have it, marriageability refers to "fitness" to be married, most frequently referencing age. If this is an extension of the nonsense of not knowing whether he is straight until he has a wife and kids (recalling of course that one does find gay men married with children), let's note that there are places that Mehlman can go to get married if it turns out that he's gay, so marriageability would be a nonsensical criteria if people want to argue that we don't yet know his gender object preference. As it is, I would have to argue that Mehlman, straight or queer, is a bachelor and marriageable according to conventional usage, which is sufficient for purposes of wikipedia. Buffyg 11:11, 7 September 2005 (UTC)

I'm not saying that we should wait until he is married with kids. However, he has refused to say anything about his sexual orientation or even whether he is interested in partners of either sex. We must include more than simply age in determining marriageability since a 25-year-old RC priest is obviously not a bachelor. Some indication that he is inclined to marry, either to a woman or a man, should be produced in order to verify his marriageability and therefore whether he is a bachelor. Otherwise, we risk stating more than can be verified. Claiming instead that he has never been married allows us to sidestep the question of marriageability. Ortcutt

Again, the definition of marrieagability does not require any current intent. In the case of the priest, the vow of celibacy rather than the intent to marry is the substantial impediment. Buffyg 09:14, 16 September 2005 (UTC)

So...what else?[edit]

I find it amusing that a three-paragraph article has a 50kb talk page discussing a single disputed fact. Isn't there anything else that we can expand the article with? sjorford #£@%&$?! 13:01, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

How about more info on the republican self-hating gay mafia angle, e.g. Karl Rove, Jeff Gannon, Rush Limbaugh, and George W Bush?

Can anyone elaborate on this statement?[edit]

"Starting in the 1960s, Republicans exploited Southern opposition to integration, as the G.O.P. National Committee chairman, Ken Mehlman, recently admitted." (from one of Joe Klein's recent articles on time.com)

Heavily criticized[edit]

  • Mehlman is heavily criticized for not answering direct questions and for distributing misleading and false information.

Criticized by whom for not answering which questions? And for what misleading information? Assertions like this really need more detail, and a source. -Willmcw 23:00, 4 November 2005 (UTC)

Attempt to put context[edit]

It was a nice try for Anon 206.195.19.43 to put the hypocracy context, but I'm afraid we have to leave it out.

  1. It's POV since we can't actually name someone who has made this charge
  2. Can't put this in the personal section. This would be politics.

--Asbl 21:28, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

Ken Mehlman / Barbara Mikulski[edit]

As a test of your lack of bias, I have added a small statement to Barbara Mikulski's article, copied almost verbatim from the Ken Mehlman article. I wonder how long it will last? 206.195.19.42 21:26, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

A test? I hope it's multiple choice. -Willmcw 21:39, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
206.195.19.42 Anon, you should have done a little better than copy verbatim. With Mikulski there is actual context to add to the story, whereas with Mehlman the only context is that he is a hypocrite for being gay and leading an anti-gay political party. While we can't put Mehlman into the proper context due to NPOV issues, no such issues exist with Mikulski. --Asbl 22:58, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
Interesting. I should've checked here sooner! Maybe this means our anon will now support the Mehlman language. · Katefan0(scribble)/my ridiculous poll 15:54, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
My faith in Willmcw (and the Wikipedia gods) is restored, since the notes on Barbara Mikulski remain in her article. However, Asbl is a jerk. Why can't he assume the Republican Party is perhaps on its way to tolerance of gays, by selecting a man of Mehlman's suspected orientation? MattP 206.195.19.43 18:57, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
You can have your opinions, but please don't call people names. It's just not accepted here -- try reading civility and no personal attacks, two key policies here. · Katefan0(scribble)/my ridiculous poll 18:58, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
Thank you, MattP, for elavating me to a level of a "Wikipedia God".
Why should I "assume the Republican Party is perhaps on its way to tolerance of gays"? If Mehlman actually came out of the closet he would be heavily pressured to resign. We saw this couple of months ago, when Tom Delay had to step down, initially he wanted to put David Dreier as the caretaker Majority Leader, but the party did not allow Dreier the position because he is gay. The Republican party has been hijacked by the Christian Fundamentalist. Until the Republicans start loosing elections, there is no hope that they will change. --Asbl 21:23, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
It's an interesting debate. Some tried to cast Dreier's rejection as concern that Dreier was not party-line enough, but that's a silly claim, since as chairman of the House Rules Committee he is arguably the party's key gatekeeper. Of course who knows. He is remarkably well-groomed ;) ... but then again, there were those rumors going around not long ago that he was dating Daryl Hannah. Sorry, Will, would you like your talk page back? · Katefan0(scribble)/my ridiculous poll 21:40, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

Katefan0, Dreier has a 94% conservative voting record, whereas Roy Blunt, who did get the job of caretaker Majority Leader has only a 92% conservative voting record. So much for the "not party-line enough" bunk. --Asbl 22:45, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

It all depends on who's doing the judging on a "conservative voting record," of course, but those numbers sound about right. Ironically, I think a lot of rank and file Republicans are concerned about Blunt's party dedication and would prefer to see another leadership election (in fairness, though, this is also partially because other people want a crack at the positions). · Katefan0(scribble)/my ridiculous poll 22:48, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

Please don't delete this discussion. Feel free to add to it. It was moved from my talk page by another editor because it is a general discussion on this topic. -Willmcw 01:05, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

Don't delete other peoples' comments, it's considered vandalism. We're slightly off-topic, but there's no need to be rude -- or break the rules. This discussion's largely done anyway. · Katefan0(scribble)/my ridiculous poll 04:37, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
I actually think it is quite topical, this is why I moved the discussion from Willmcw talk page into this page. --Asbl 05:04, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
Once more, don't remove other peoples' comments. If it's done again, I won't hesitate to report the people doing it for vandalism. · Katefan0(scribble)/my ridiculous poll 19:58, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

Why no reference to being Gay?[edit]

Mehlman's outing was apparently a big story at one point yet there is no mention of it in the article. It deserves discussion as it relates to the Republican gay mafia.

Censored item:
Mehlman has been repeatedly asked if he is gay but has refused to answer [3].

I'm confused about why his rumored homosexuality is worthy of encyclopedic inclusion (yes, Wiki editors, you can cite your sources for these RUMORS). Sen. Barbara Mikulski is also WIDELY rumored to be gay, yet no mention is made in her article.

There is an underlying agenda afoot here. Since Republicans reportedly have an "anti-gay" agenda, any hint of hypocrisy must be clobbered over the reader's head. Perhaps the Mehlman article should expand the note on being gay with a preface, such as, "Since the Republican Party is staunchly opposed to homosexuals, it is worthy to mention that Mehlman is rumored to be gay."206.195.19.45 18:50, 21 November 2005 (UTC)Matt

Because it's just that--a rumor. Wikipedia isn't in the practice of reporting "rumors." There was significant discussion about this issue just a few months ago and a consensus was reached.--Brian Brockmeyer 22:28, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
It is not a rumor - it is a widely-reported question that Mehlman has dodged. We have several sources for it. It is entirely appropriate to say that he has been asked and declined to answer. -Willmcw 03:59, 27 November 2005 (UTC)
Again, no rumor is being reported. The report is on his answer to questions about his orientation. Those questions are not rumors, they have been properly reported. -Willmcw 21:55, 28 November 2005 (UTC)
This information seems properly sourced to me. Please stop removing it; there's a clear consensus for its inclusion. · Katefan0(scribble) 03:42, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
Actually, there's not. This was the subject of a months-long discussion before (have you actually read the discussion page?) and sentiment was that being asked an invasive personal question and refusing to answer on principle does not warrant exclusion. Please stop trying to force baseless innuendo into this article.Flavius Aetius 03:47, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

That discussion involved a different set of editors. I now see that out of the first 10 Google hits for ["Ken Mehlman"] (excluding Wikipedia), half mention the question of his orientation. To avoid reporting on a widely discussed matter makes it appear that we are censoring information. Questioning if a person is gay is not a smear. -Willmcw 06:57, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

I'd also point out that consensus is not forever-binding. New people emerge, old people fall away, and sometimes in the meantime new information comes to light or public opinions might change. Regardless of the how's or why's, judging from the edit history on this particular paragraph, there seems to be quite a bit of consensus at the moment for including the information. · Katefan0(scribble) 21:19, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
I'd like to add, though, that I'm more than happy to discuss ways that this information might be incorporated. Perhaps there's another way to reference the information, other than the way we're doing it. But it seems like it should be mentioned in some fashion. Brian, do you have another idea? · Katefan0(scribble) 21:22, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
Flavius Aetius has repeatedly referenced a consensus reached in the discussion above. I have now read through the discussion and I see no consensus having been reached, particularly not one that would lead to simply removing all reference to the issue. I respectfully submit that the issue was never decided with finality -- if I'm mistaken someone please point me to the portion of the discussion where that was decided. Currently the consensus seems to be to retain the information in some form. Do you have an alternate wording that would be more palatable to you? · Katefan0(scribble) 17:04, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

A consensus was NOT reached. buffyg and I agreed to disagree. That is by no means a "consensus". --Asbl 19:16, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

That's inaccurate, Asbl. We couldn't even manage to disagree properly with respect to Mehlman because your injection of personal remarks via partisan rhetoric displaced that topic. I refused further discussion of the merits because you refused to discuss the matter on those terms. I noticed you even went so far as to revert my strike-through of your attacks. I deprecate your views with respect to any previous consensus for your refusal to show good faith and behave with civility, as you contributed on a basis that would appear to preclude consensus. Buffyg 23:54, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
A consensus WAS reached. You were the only one remaining obstinate and trying to force it into the article in the face of numerous editors who opposed. As for the current situation, there have been numerous reverts by multiple editors over the past month whenever someone has decided to try and sneak their agenda into the article and disturb the status quo. That hardly qualifies as a "consensus" for inclusion. The consensus from the previous discussion has not been overriden by any new consensus. There's nothing encyclopedic here. It stays out.Flavius Aetius 02:15, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
As can be seen in the current edit war, your statements fall far short of reality. Grazon's edits stayed for well over a month. --Asbl 02:21, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
And the edits before that, excluding mention of the rumour in one form or another, stayed for over a month-and-a-half before Grazon got in under the radar. Do you have a point? Apparently not.Flavius Aetius 02:34, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
Whatever happened a few months ago, the matter is being discussed now. Mehman's orientation is a common topic of discussion. Why shouldn't we include a mention of the controversy, along with his response? -Willmcw 04:16, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

Why are we even considering including something so light on substance? Is there really a fact or issue here? I think not. 129.74.147.159 17:23, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

Absolutely there is an issue here. He is the chair of an anti-gay party. If he is gay, then he is a hypocrite. The fact that he refuses to answer whether he is gay is therefore newsworthy. Had he denied being gay, then you would have been correct to say that there is no "fact or issue here". However, not answering the question increases speculation, which is fair game given that the anti-gay agenda is an integral part of the party which he chairs. --Asbl 17:53, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

I've made my sentiments known on this page. Mark me down as another against including this nonsense.-Brian Brockmeyer 19:34, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

I understand your objection is that it is a rumor. However our reporting focuses on what happened - that he's been asked and refuses to answer a direct question, one which, while personal, is also a related to his party's political platform. And it's a matter which is widely discussed. -Willmcw 23:42, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
I take issue with the contention that it's "widely discussed" as well. Two of the three cites given come from the Washington Blade, the other from a gay rights group. Not exactly CNN or the New York Times. Perhaps if this was a topic in the mainstream media or being hotly discussed in any other respectable outlet it would warrant a mention, but it's not. Instead, it's nothing more than a baseless rumor propagated by a few gay activists, and to include it here is simply to indulge in gossip, not encyclopedic reporting.Brian Brockmeyer 00:40, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
Type "Ken Mehlman" into Google and see what you get- half of the references involve questions about his orientation. "Working for Change" isn't a gay site. See also [4][5][6][7][8][9]. None of those are gay sites, and Harpers is certainly a mainstream source. -Willmcw 01:04, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
Sorry, but with the exception of the Austin Chronicle, none of those are "mainstream" media (and lest we forget, this is the same publication that ran with the outrageously false "story" that Governor Rick Perry was gay). And "Working for Change" is a self-identified progressive site. What's next, quoting Rush Limbaugh and the National Review?Brian Brockmeyer 01:15, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
Harpers magazine is a very mainstream news source. Progressive sites are sites too, and that doesn't mean their opinions are worthless. World News Daily, while not mainstream, has a very different perspective. And just because a newspaper has ben wrong on one matter doesn't mean they are invalid over all. I think that the number of legitimate webistes (not blogs) and publicatoins which mention the questions about his orientation makes it a clear matter for a biography. -Willmcw 01:26, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
No response? Just more reverting? -Willmcw 21:14, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
  • The three contributors who violated 3RR on this are currently blocked. I would hope that tomorrow there can be a return to discussion as opposed to constant reversion. Wikibofh 21:29, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

Willmcw, your citations are strained for lack of critical reading. I look at Harper's, and what do I get? "Ken Mehlman, chair of the Republican National Committee, once again avoided saying that he is gay." How does Harper's know that Mehlman is gay? They printed that he has avoided saying it, but they haven't substantiated it. The BlogActive materials cited by the Austin Chronicle are rather forthright about this: "While there’s no “smoking gun” with Mehlman, what makes this story most interesting is that despite repeated attempts to speak with Mr. Mehlman, his spokesperson refuses to state, on the record, that Mehlman is straight. Believable? You be the judge." I don't care what publications prints something if they don't give anything more than hint or innuendo or cannot get a credible source to go on record. The Village Voice reports this more honestly than the others: "Mehlman is unmarried, and political enemies gossip about him being gay."

As I've said before, if you want to address the larger context and be analytical about it, that's one thing, but repeating gossip, however juicy, just doesn't cut it. If you want to talk about a "Republican gay mafia" as a recurring belief, then speak about it as such. If you want to indicate that the existence of such a gay mafia is widely discussed in certain circles yet remains an unproven assertion for the level of explanatory power assigned to it, please do so. As it is, this remains a matter of belief and not fact, and the most pressing task is to unpack the fact of belief without confusing force of assertion for weight of evidence. By way of analogy: if I were going to write about the Iraq war, I might cite the Judith Miller article in The New York Times as evidence that there was a belief in the run-up to the war that Iraq was building atomic weapons, but I wouldn't confuse this with valid evidence that such a program existed. This is, in part, a sourcing problem with what the evidence is claimed to support. It indicates a belief certainly, but it does not establish the imputed facts. What I see here for lack of such distinctions is an attempt to reference what is only a part of the story and to do so far too little context. Buffyg 23:16, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

I'm a little confused. You dismiss Harper's as a source because it can't be trusted as to whether or not Mehlman is gay. But it doesn't say whether Mehlman's gay, it says he's repeatedly refused to answer the question -- exactly as does the information you are seeking to exclude from this article. If the WP article says "Mehlman has repeatedly refused to answer questions about his sexuality," and the Harper's article says precisely that... why isn't that a good enough source? I don't understand. The information in question isn't passing judgement on the answer to that question. If you'd rather just have the information say "Some feel Mehlman's political enemies foment gay rumors," (or something approaching that) and use the Village Voice as a source, we can do that too. What's the wording you prefer? · Katefan0(scribble)/my ridiculous poll 04:26, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
I guess I share the same confusion. Many sources that are mainstream, right wing, and progressive (not to mention the countless blogs and forums), have talked about the controversy. I think that the way we are summarizing those sources is very restrained. There is no "gossip" here - no one is saying that he's been seen dating Mr. X. Because his party (and he is the chairman of the party) has notable positions on issues relating to gay men his status is not irrelevent. Is there a way that we could word it differently that would satisfy everyone? -Willmcw 05:11, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

You are dead wrong, Katefan0. The Harper's article does not parse nearly the same as the edit, as Harper's makes but does not substantiate a stronger claim. It does, in fact, pass judgement on the answer because there is no explicit reference to someone else's question: "Ken Mehlman, chair of the Republican National Committee, once again avoided saying that he is gay." It does not say that Mehlman refused to answer a question per se; it says that he refused to make a statement, whose truth is implied: "once again avoided saying that he is gay". One takes away from this that it is not Mehlman's sexual orientation that is in question but his willingness to come out. No evidence is presented, not even complaints about non-cooperative sources. That's at the level of gossip. Refusing to account for that is non-critical treatment of sources, whether for credibility or for content of claims. The controversy is more complex and specific than "he said, she said," as I've tried to elaborate, and the sources cited go further toward acknowledging this, positively or not, than does the edit. Buffyg 15:41, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

I think our text does not go beyond the Harpers citation. There are eight other citations provided as well. How would you summarize them, Buffyg? -Willmcw 03:16, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
Harpers may have made a bit of a leap, but that doesn't disqualify it as a source for him not answering the question. The information we've suggested doesn't pass judgment, even if Harper's does. However, it can still be used as a substantiating source that he's been asked the question repeatedly and has not answered. · Katefan0(scribble)/mrp 21:38, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
That completely misses the point I'm trying to make. The existence of a "Republican gay mafia" is not a matter of fact; it is a matter of supposition and hypothesis, however potent. I see that the edit box is now followed immediately by the statement, "Content must not violate any copyright and must be based on verifiable sources." It may be verifiable that there are widespread rumours, discussed on both the right and the left, about Mehlman's sexual orientation. None of these rumours has been substantiated, but it is easy to verify via sources like Harper's that this fact is treated as a virtual given although it is not a matter of record. If you want to cite Harper's or virtually any other source, you need to account for that gap. We can see from Willmcw that the hypothesis of a "Republica gay mafia" is tantalising: "Because his party (and he is the chairman of the party) has notable positions on issues relating to gay men his status is not irrelevent." This, I would argue, is more relevant yet and must be accounted for. (And, incidentally, I've heard nothing more than facile suggestion on the matter of the contradictions inherent in this imputed hypocrisy.) Perhaps an article on the Republic gay mafia hypothesis is what's really missing, allowing brief summary here to refer to a reasonably more thorough treatment of a complex issue? I've said it before: at the moment, this is at the level of the promiscuous cuckoldry of French queens and the bestiality of Catherine the Great, all of which have been well analysed. Buffyg 00:25, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
In any case, I do think I've commented expansively about that I reckon is prerequisite to mentioning these rumours. Perhaps it would be easier if I were to ask you to clarify where I lose you? Buffyg 01:06, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
You lose me where you say "mentioning rumors". We aren't mentioning any rumors. We're posting a verifiable quotation from the subject. -Willmcw 02:10, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

Yes, you are mentioning rumours, as so many of your citations agree. Take your rawstory.com citation:

But shortly after the gay Kristallnacht in November, when the passage of 11 state-wide anti-gay ballot initiatives helped to re-elect George Bush, rumors began to swirl around former White House political director and current RNC chief Ken Mehlman – rumors that Mehlman studiously avoids addressing, and that other prominent Republicans refused to discuss on the record (at least until GQ magazine came knocking).

The Village Voice calls this "gossip". Worldnetdaily.com only references Mehlman in quotation marks. The quotation would not appear noteworthy unless the question appears credible and relevant. The article does little to establish the context of the question being answered, so one ought not be surprised that reference to the answer is contentious. By way of analogy: some nut with a press pass could ask the President whether there were aliens walking amongst us, diguised as humans. The President might reply that there is no reason to believe such a hypothesis. Absent information about why people believe in UFOs, there isn't much point in referencing such an exchange. Now, the analogy might break down because it is a far more admissible hypothesis that Mehlman may be gay than that we have "visitors," but both remain hypothetical and predicated on rumours. If you don't account for that, you aren't presenting significant operative distinctions. Buffyg 10:15, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

I feel like we're talking past each other. The information we're discussing adding only addresses the fact that he's refused to answer questions. You seem to be arguing against adding that information because the sources go farther, but to me that's a specious argument. We are only summarizing, in this article, the portion referenced in those sources having to do with his refusing to answer the question. That these sources go farther doesn't invalidate that information and is really irrelevant to what we're suggesting should be added. They're only being used as a source for the portion we're suggesting -- that the question has been asked, and left unanswered, repeatedly. · Katefan0(scribble)/mrp 15:49, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

And the fact that you're only trying to summarise part of the story and leave obscure the rest is what I consider unsatisfactory. The sources you tap to support what would appear to be a very limited claim provide a great deal more context, which is neglected here. The fact that you choose to represent only a small part of the controversy is not a specious consideration -- if you're going to make an issue of refusing to answer questions, might you consider the extent to which you are also refusing to acknowledge questions? I can imagine why you might like to consider this irrelevant, but that limited view of relevance also opens the protocol of your inquiry to charges of a distinct flavour of hypocrisy. Buffyg 17:27, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

Well, I am not necessarily averse to treating the issue in more detail, and I've never said anything like that, but I thought opponents of the inclusion of any information at all might take issue with that idea. As for more context, what would you suggest? I'm open to any ideas. · Katefan0(scribble)/mrp 18:46, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
How about an article on the Republican gay mafia myth, the evidence used to adduce its existence, and its verifiable and imputed roles? Buffyg 08:43, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

NAACP Apology[edit]

I hope that with the addition of the NAACP apology, this will put to rest my critics' suspicions that I have some sort of an Anti-Mehlman or Pro-Gay agenda.
I was hoping this would have been achieved when I helped incorporate the sexual orientation story into the Barbara Mikulski article, but apparently it was not.
I have absolutely no agendas other than helping expand Wikipedia. I have contributed to articles about both Left Wing as well as Right Wing politicians and activists. --Asbl 22:33, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

The verb "Refuse"[edit]

Willmcw, I noticed that when you restored Mehlman's refusal to answer the question about his sexual orientation, you did not include the word "refuse" in the paragraph. I think the verb "refuse" needs to be somewhere in the paragraph, but I'm afraid to stir up a hornets nest again. Do you object to the word "refuse"? --Asbl 05:23, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

I think that it's implicit in his response in which he basically says, "I refuse to answer". I was trying to find a wording that would be more acceptable to all editors. -Willmcw 05:29, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
Even though I strongly believe that the word "refuse" should be explicitly written in the article, I would be willing to compromise on this if it will cause a cease-fire in the edit war that raged here.
If an edit war erupts again, I will re-instate the word "refuse" (I will give the benefit of the doubt if it is innocently done by a new user). --Asbl 05:40, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
It is a good thing that Radicalsubversiv and Willmcw got to revert before I did. If I have to revert, I will re-instate the words "repeatedly" and "refused". --Asbl 05:16, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

Where did Mehlman say "Southern Strategy"?[edit]

Sorry, it was not on the Larry King Live show, it was on Wolf Blitzer's show, and it was guest hosted by John King, not Larry King. Sorry for the error. --Asbl 21:15, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

Although I've tried to search for the transcript of the speech delivered in Milwaukee to the NAACP meeting, I could not find it (if anybody does, please include in the article, it is a great reference).
ReReading the CNN transcript, I doubt he would have mentioned the "Southern Strategy" by name in the speech, as he appears to have only reluctantly mention it in the interview. --Asbl 21:31, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

Respose to Buffyg[edit]

Buffyg,

  • The location of your response makes following the discussion impossible, which is why I opened up this section.
  • Let's not rehash the long discussion. We agreed to disagree: Both on the content of the article and whether my statements constituted a personal attack on you. I recommend you drop it, and move on with your life, just like I did not make a big deal and demand an apology for calling my arguments "bunk".

You now have a new set of people with whom to have endless and pointless arguments. Have fun. I will not take part in it. --Asbl 06:10, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

This response is risible. Your reference to my "bunk" remark is pure obfuscation and has already been addressed as such. I addressed an argument as an argument ("bunk"), while you attacked me as a person ("right wing hack", "Fox News liberal"). If arguments are about offering, upholding, or effacing distinctions, you resort here to the last, which is painfully consistent with our previous exchange. Having done little else than offer distinctions, I have nothing to apologise for in that regard and would challenge you to cite a Wikipedia policy or guideline that says otherwise. Your remark that we agreed to disagree was about something quite different than the matter that ought to have been at hand -- it was about the obligations of the civility policy and the definition of personal attacks rather than about anything in the article. I regret to say that under these circumstances I must thank you for declining further participation. 09:28, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

References...[edit]

The references for this article need to be cleaned up. Especially in Personal where there are 8 html links. The appropriate style guide is [[10]]. In particular note:

As with Harvard (author-date) style, and footnotes, full citations of the articles and websites linked to must be included in the ==References== section.

Wikibofh 15:05, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

Indeed, there is no need for so many links. However, due to the edit war that raged here, there was a desire to emphasize that there are many references to the issue, which critics have dubbed "rumors".
I have a suggestion: Lets move all those references to a sandbox page "Ken Mehlman/references" and link to that page in the article. Wikibofh has a point in that the way the references are currently incorporated is tacky. --Asbl 17:11, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
Yes, some editors have said that some material is not "newsworthy" and so a multitude of sources were added to answer that argument. It has also been said that only sites from a particular POV carried the story, and again, the variety of sources was intended to refute that logic. If other editors will stipulate that it has been found newsworthy by other organizations that span a range of viewpoints then there is no need for so many sources for that one sentence. -Willmcw 22:01, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
In my opinion, so long as there is a dispute on the worthiness of including the refusal to answer the question about his sexual orientation, there is a need for all those references. Never know, they may come in handy. --Asbl 22:13, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

FYI[edit]

The accounts involved in this sock check [11] (Flavius Aetius, Brian Brockmeyer, and possibly some anon IPs) tag-team edited here, just wanted to post this to alert those involved in the earlier disputes on this page. They are all sockpuppets. · Katefan0(scribble)/mrp 18:32, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

I have also gathered some evidence, refer to [12].--Ichiro 18:44, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

Open Letter to Mehlman by Alexander S. Peak[edit]

I agree that the open letter to Ken Mehlman written by Alexander S. Peak does not belong as an external link in Ken Mehlman's article because it is written as general complaints about the republican party, and not about how Ken Mehlman runs the republican party (i.e. it would have been written to any person who happened to be the chair of the Republican party at the time). In addition, with all due respects to Mr. Peak, He is not noteworthy enough that his dissatisfaction with Mehlman deserves a link. --Asbl 15:38, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

NAACP[edit]

I don't think the NAACP paragraph belongs in the article. I realize why it's there so can have the 'Mehlman apologizes for Republican racism' 'Republicans are still racist'. But I don't think this kinda of gotcha! writing has a place on Wikipedia. More seriously there is no context given to the fact that it implicitly equates what's important to the African-American community and to the NAACP. Instead the list of bills the Republicans are ranked on have a few civil rights issues (like officially naming June 19, 1865 as “Juneteenth") but mainly are a grab bag of general left-wing issues, mainly on spending but some grab-bag (e.g. "PROHIBIT FEDERAL SURVEILLANCE OF LIBRARY RECORDS" or "ALLOWING EDUCATIONAL TRAVEL TO CUBA"). That's not to say that the NAACP is wrong on these issues but they are staking out explicitly left-wing causes which means the Republicans (who are generally rightist) are of course going to do badly on it. Sometimes this can get ridiculous, the Republicans lost points for voting to confirm an African-American judge. Anyway, for these reasons I think we should cut the NAACP paragraph and replace it with something like "However, only x% of African-Americans support the Republicans" (with x being, I assume, a very low number). Makgraf 00:22, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Also, I don't think Mehlman "reluctanly" used the phrase "Southern Strategy": he just pointed out that other regions of the country had used racist campaigns. Maybe I'm wrong, but whether it was "reluctant" or not is definetely pov and thus doesn't belong. Makgraf 00:42, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

I completely reject your accusations. The NAACP paragraph belongs, because he did that as an official act as part of his duty as chair of the Republican party. The majority of the job of the chair of the Republican party is attending fundraisers, which is not very encyclopedic. The NAACP appearance was actually a very positive thing he did. Unfrotunately, though, it seems to be more rhetoric than substance.
As for the "reluctanly used the phrase Southern Strategy", you can clearly see that if you read the CNN transcript (where he did not bring up the phrase himself, but used it in response to the question). --Asbl 02:24, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Er- nothing you said talked about the NAACP paragraph I removed. His speech to the NAACP (what you were talking about) remained intact. The paragraph taked on afterwards as shown above doesn't belong. I did read the CNN transcript and I disagree with you. Reluctance implies a degree of unwillingness which didn't jump out at me (indeed, I don't think we can find it). Now, you could very well be right and Mehlman did use it reluctantly. But that's your point of view. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, it should be strictly fact based. Your other suggestion does seem like an acceptable compromise (e.g. "During a CNN interview two days after the speech, he mentioned the "Southern Strategy" by name in response to a question".) Makgraf 07:57, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Lets look at the facts. King asked Mehlman about the Republican Party's Southern Strategy, and Mehlman replied with he does not think that the nomenclature "Southern Strategy" is appropriate. I think it is correct to conclude that he reluctantly mentioned it. --Asbl 12:10, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Reluctantly gives the connatation that it was dragged out, that he had to concede the point. My suggestion communicates everything you mention in the previous sentence without having pov leak in. Also, I rv'd the non-reluctant stuff. Makgraf 22:04, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

You haven't said anything as to why the NAACP report card should be in there or to engage my argument why it shouldn't. Makgraf 23:35, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Sorry you did not understand my statements, I'll try to make it more clear. Mehlman, as chair of the Republican party, seemed to indicate a new approach towards the African American community. The NAACP report card suggests that the new approach has yet to take place. Please restore the paragraph you deleted. --Asbl 12:59, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
Did you understand my statements. As I said in my first paragraph if you read the NAACP report card it is a general left-wing list (with a few issues related directly to civil rights, like mandating the collection of race-based statistics). Now maybe making, for example, federal agencies establish offices of environmental justice is a good idea. But saying "no" to that doesn't make you anti-African-American (as it says in this study). Again, this survey really is a good measure of beltway liberalism (not that there's anything wrong with that). But if you measure how much of a beltway liberal someone is of course the Republicans aren't going to score well. It's too subjective and biased to be on wikipedia, poll numbers are objective and belong Makgraf 17:41, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

You lost me. The NAACP is a non-partisan organization. How did you get the "left-wing list" from? If you feel polls are accurate, why did you remove the poll showing President Bush with a 2% approval rating among African Americans (after you inserted it). Again, please revert your deletion, and restore the deleted paragraph. --Asbl 17:55, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

See, but what I'm saying is that while the NAACP may be nominally non-partisan, in practice they are just another garden-variety beltway liberal organization (again, not that there's anything wrong with that). I'm getting my "left-wing" list from actually reading their report card. Again, there may be very good reasons to oppose, say, Janice Roger Brown from getting a judgeship. But it's absolutely crazy for someone to be deducted points on African-American issues for voting to put an African-American on the second highest court in the US'"! As to why I took out my polls that was a mistake (I removed too much). Thank you for bringing that to my attention. Makgraf 19:30, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, but calling the NAACP "just another garden-variety beltway liberal organization" is your personal POV, and cannot sustain removing the information. I would think that even Mehlman would disagree with you, because the original speech was made to the NAACP. He would not have given a speech to the NAACP if he thought of the NAACP as "just another garden-variety beltway liberal organization". I am therefore restoring the original paragraph. --Asbl 20:32, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
Okay. Could you please read what I wrote about. Or, better yet, read the report card. The "report card" quoted ranks people on "garden-variety beltway liberal" opinions. That's the criterion. I'm not saying whether these opinions are good or bad, some of them are actually quite good. It wouldn't matter if the NAACP were a garden-variety ultraconservative organization that gave the same survey with opposite answers, it still wouldn't be an accurate reflection of "issues of importance to the African-American community". Makgraf 23:46, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
To elaborate, you're absolutely right that calling the NAACP "just another garden-variety beltway liberal organization" is POV and that statment would have no place in a wikipedia entry. I used that statement (my personal pov) to give context as to why they would've put out such a biased report. As to why Mehlman would speak there I assume it's because historically the NAACP has done great work and is still widely respected within the African-American community. Thus, it would be as good place as any to repudiate the Southern Strategy (or to say you're repudiating it). Makgraf 23:54, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

I read the report card, and cound not find the text "garden-variety beltway liberal" anywhere in the report card. Please provide the exact page and paragraph number where they say they are "garden-variety beltway liberal". --Asbl 02:40, 6 May 2006 (UTC)

Here, I'll quote myself from the previous paragraph: "I used that statement (my personal pov) to give context as to why they would've put out such a biased report." Obviously they would never use such a term for themselves. Makgraf 17:42, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
So we have established that the NAACP being a "garden-variety beltway liberal" is your POV. I therefore think its report card belongs in the article. Mehlman made the speech to the NAACP, and the fact that they consequently issued that report card is therefore relevant.
Unless you have new information to end, I see the conversation as over. Please do not remove this paragraph. --Asbl 02:17, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
No that's not what I'm saying at all. I'm saying that the NAACP put out a report card marking Republicans on general liberal issues rather than on the issues of the African-American community. You expressed doubt as to why they did that because you think they're a "non-partisan" organization I countered with my opinion that they're "garden-variety beltway liberal" to explain why they'd do such a report. Nowhere have you addressed any of my specific concerns or acknowledged that you have actually read the full report card. Until you do so the conversation is definetely not over. Makgraf 18:20, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

That's enough. You are acting in bad faith. The NAACP is an organization that promotes the interest of colored people (that is what the CP stands for). You have already acknoledged that the "garden-variety beltway liberal" is your POV, so please stop. --Asbl 18:40, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

It is completely outrageous for you to accuse me of acting in bad faith here when you refuse to even address my point. I don't even know how many more times I can say that I'm rving based on the specific report. You are obviously either not reading what I'm saying or deliberately misreading it. The only way to resolve this issue is through either an admin or a vote Makgraf 03:29, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

This discussion has reached an impass. You believe I have not done a sufficient job at addressing your concerns, and I believe your concrens are nothing more than an attempt to impose your POV regarding the NAACP. I recommend we go mediation. Please click on the link and sign the post under Ken Mehlman indicating that you are willing to go to mediation. --Asbl 11:04, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

Third opinion[edit]

This debate was listed on Third Opinion, and here it is:

  1. What source is there that he "reluctantly" mentioned the Southern Strategy?
  2. Mehlman is not in Congress. How is a report card on Republican representatives relevant here? Perhaps linking to an article on Republicans and African Americans would make sense, but this seems a lot like irrelevant information. Fagstein 02:15, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
Thank you for providing us your opinion.
  1. Mehlman's reluctance is seen in the transcript of the interview (I do not think this is contested any more)
Where is it shown that he's reluctant?
  1. Mehlman is the chair of the Republican Party, who made a commitment to the NAACP to improve the relationship between the Republican party and the African American Community. Therefore, the NAACP's positions on Republican members of Congress is relevant.
By that reasoning, any statement from the NAACP about the Republican party would be relevant here. Has the organization said anything specifically about Mehlman? If not, it's tangential and distracts from the article's focus which is Ken Mehlman. He may be chair of the Republican party but he doesn't run Congress. Fagstein 07:03, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
--Asbl 05:09, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
  1. Re: Mehlman's reluctance: He did not mouth the words "Southern Strategy" until the interviewer brought it up, and then challenged that the term is not appropriate
  2. Re: NAACP Reports: I would agree that any NAACP Report published after the speech he gave to the NAACP in July 14 2005 about the Republican party and how they relate to issues of importance to the African American community, would be relevant, as it would be a measure of how much of his speech is he implementing within the party.
I still don't see how "reluctant" is an appropriate word here. You can say "he challenged that the term is not appropriate" but I think saying "he reluctantly mentioned it" is putting a bit of a spin on the whole thing. That's an interpretation of his actions. --Fagstein 18:02, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
Regarding the NAACP, I think we're creating a link where only an indirect one exists here. If a reliable source has linked Mehlman's comments to the report then I think it's fair game, but otherwise it smacks of original research. --Fagstein 18:02, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
I don't see where is the original research. The NAACP publishes the report, not me. Are they not reliable? I think Mehlman's appearance in front of the group gives them all the legitimacy needed for the purpose of this conversation (just to be clear, they did not need Mehlman to come and speak to them in order to gain legitimacy).
As for the word "reluctance", if you want to go and write a whole story about how Mehlman challenged the appropriateness of the term "southern strategy", go ahead. I think saying that he "reluctantly used the term" is shorter and conveys the same thing. --Asbl 18:26, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

Mediation accepted[edit]

Hello; the Mediation Committee has accepted the request for mediation on the article Ken Mehlman. I will be happy to help out here; please see Wikipedia:Requests for mediation/Ken Mehlman for further information. Thank you! Flcelloguy (A note?) 23:17, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

Diversity[edit]

Mehlman has done this, off the top of my head after Dean's 'Republicans are white, christians' thing. We should find the citation though. Makgraf 23:08, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Found one from the New York Sun: [Dean said:] "You know, the Republicans are not friendly to different kinds of people. They're a pretty monolithic party. Pretty much, they all behave the same, and they all look the same ... It's pretty much a white Christian party."
Which prompted the chairman of the Republican National Committee, Kenneth Mehlman, to retort - via Fox News - that "a lot of folks who attended my bar mitzvah would be surprised" to learn he leads a monolithic Christian party. Makgraf 23:15, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Partisan schlock, Makgraf. The people at the bar mitzvahs of Arlen Specter and Norm Coleman might have similar retorts: your "monolithic" belies a prejudice that your impeccable integrity ought to silence. And let's not run desperately away from the matter at hand: you've not even attempted to justify "sometimes"DBaba 06:44, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

DBaba, remember to abide by the WP:Civility policy. That includes not throwing around innuendo that I'm an anti-semite (a lot of folks who attended my bar mitzvah would be surprised at that). I also find it very amusing to be cast as some sort of anti-Mehlman partisan, a suggestion that a glance upwards on this talk page would show to be wrong. As to your comments, the "monolithic" phrase was from Howard Dean (who, for the record, I am not) and was to insult a perceived lack of diversity among the republican party. Mehlman "counter[ed] criticism of lack of diversity in the Republican Party", by citing the fact he was Jewish (with the bar mitzvah quip). As to the use of the word "sometimes", I have no particular attachment to it and the sentence would probably be better without it. Makgraf 08:14, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

The prejudice I alleged there was Democratic, not anti-Semitic: re-read what I said again, and understand it for the first time. (But that's so awesome that you're Jewish; thanks buddy!) Now it's awfully cute that you note "perceived" lack of diversity on the talk page, but you'll actually be owning up to the integrity of which I'm certain your possessive when you remove "sometimes" for being an injection of pure slime, insert "perceived" and "Howard Dean" to qualify that homogeneity we've accused the Republican party of representing, and perhaps even exclude your own "identity" from the question--if we are indeed talking about this article and not your (presumably splendid) childhood and adolescent maturation.

But just to spell this out for you, given that you clearly do NOT prefer partisan to encyclopedic ends:

He is unmarried, and has been subject to rumors in gossip columns alleging homosexuality. While he at first declined to deny the allegations, he later asserted that in fact he was heterosexual.

A resident of Washington, D.C., Mehlman is Jewish.

Any issue with what I've posited? Ahem, why? (While you defensively BS a response you don't even actually believe, I may actually read those civility guidelines: already fear I'll discover my portrait in a circle with a line through it there.)DBaba 09:53, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

Okaaaaay... I didn't really understand what you were trying to say or why you're throwing in the gay stuff. So let's repeat: You said: "unreferenced, so removing assertion that Mehlman "sometimes" cites his religion as evidence of Republican diversity". I found a reference to Mehlman doing just that and so restored it. Dean's accusation may be crazy or slimy or whatnot but they're tangential to the issue: which is that Mehlman has used his religion as evidence of Republican diversity. So what issue do I have with your new paragraph? Well, not really anything: you'd probably want to talk with Asbl about how to change the is-he-gay stuff which I don't really have an interest in (other than changing it to show that he had, in fact, denied being gay). If you want to argue that the article shouldn't have the line about Mehlman using his religion that's cool. But you'll have to do it from the stand of it being unworthy of inclusion not because it's false (because he has). Makgraf 06:58, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
Mehlman should have confirmed he was gay in order to demonstrate that the Republican Party really is diverse enough to accepted closeted self loathing homosexuals as their leaders. Well, maybe they didn't exactly "accept" him once they knew he was gay! ;) 92.108.60.150 (talk) 00:57, 8 October 2014 (UTC)

One instance does not evidence "sometimes"; nor does it set us free of the slimy manipulation of context (e.g., "Asked to comment on Howard Dean's remarks indicating that the Republican party was the Christian party, Mehlman noted that he himself was the spokesman for the party, and Jewish").

"Makgraf sometimes asserts the fact that he is Jewish in order to counter allegations of bias."

Now is Mehl really responding to a "lack of diversity", or is he actually responding to the allegation of the Republican party being Christian, specifically, as per HD's statement? Were you responding to an allegation of being underhanded, or a (perceived) allegation of being anti-semitic?

I'd like you to take a good look at "criticism of lack of diversity". Now can we criticize a lack of diversity in the Republican party, or must we rather allege a lack of diversity? To render "allegation" as "criticism" is to imply facticity.

If you think what stands is fine, then that's fine with me. I trust your judgment. And I won't worry about M's "You have asked a question people shouldn’t have to answer" rendered as "declin(ing) to answer questions about his personal life".DBaba 06:29, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

As I said before: As to the use of the word "sometimes", I have no particular attachment to it and the sentence would probably be better without it. I don't really see criticism as implying factuality but if you want it could be changed to "allegations". The Mehlman quote was orginally the way you stated but was cut when the paragraph was shortened [13]. I'd have no problem with the quote being restored. Finally, if and when I get my own wikipedia article, feel free to ad that I disclosed my religion to counter allegations of bias. Makgraf 04:07, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

It's not a bias to point out that there's a controversy![edit]

I added a line about his possibly being gay because I've heard it several times now on the radio.

I've heard the rumor enough times that I got curious, so I checked it out on Wikipedia. But there was no reference, which seems like a clear ommision.

So, I added it. And it was removed, supposedly, because mentioning the controversy is supposedly biased.

But just mentioning that there _IS_ a controversy is _NOT_ biased! For example, in the Clinton Wikipedia entry, there is mention of the rumors about Gennifer Flowers. It's not biased to just mention the controversy, whether you believe it happened or not! (Personally, it seemed like a smear campaign to me.) But to not mention of Gennifer Flowers is to not fully report on Clinton.

Similarly, to not mention persistent rumors of homosexuality is to not fully report on Mehlman.

Personally, I couldn't care less if Mehlman gay. But the persistent rumors of his homosexuality is a genuine controversy and should be mentioned. (Or, to be fair, omit references to rumors about Clinton.)

Calan, there's already a line about this issue in the Personal section of the article. Makgraf 19:52, 4 November 2006 (UTC)


Bill Maher on Larry King[edit]

Bill Maher shocked Larry King on Wednesday night by mentioning what has only been rumored in Washington for years: Mehlman is (allegedly) a homosexual. “I never heard that,” Larry King responded. Maher says: “You don’t go to the same bathhouse I do.” ... it seems THIS incident can be included in the wiki article ... so someone expound on it properly.

I don't see why... we mention there have been rumours about it before. Why do we need to talk about Ben Maher saying it too, I mean, we don't talk about Wonkette putting up pictures of him dancing and saying he's gay. Makgraf 20:45, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

References about being/not being gay[edit]

Hi. I have absolutely no knowledge about Mr Mehlman and frankly, I don't give a damn about him. However, I did merge back Ken Mehlman/references to the main article. There's absolutely no point in having a separate subpage for references on a specific topic. Either people here believe this is significant enough to discuss in the article (in which case it should be properly referenced with fully detailed references appearing in the main article) or it's not significant in which case the references are simply unnecessary. Pascal.Tesson 00:15, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

References[edit]

I have incorporated the references into the text as much as I can, using the <ref> function, however, some of the numbered refs did not appear to correspond to numbers in the text, and at least one number in the text does not appear to have a reference listed. DuncanHill 21:47, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Removed content[edit]

I restored the content removed which was seveal big chunks - I think it's better to discuss them rather just delete them because they are sourced and discuss Mehlman. Hekerui (talk) 07:32, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

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