Talk:Lawrence O'Donnell

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Any details about O'Donnell's education ... such as what did he major in at Harvard?[edit]

I hope someone will restore my corrections[edit]

I already had attempted to resolve the concerns of Runningninja about the ungrammatical text, apparently before he noticed it. This text was still to be seen, because another user apparently restored the imperfect text, errors and all, after claiming that I had used "original research" and "novel syntheses" of published material in my edit.

I flatly reject the notion that I did any such thing. As has been the case with almost all of my posts on this site, I was attempting to correct grammatical and/or spelling errors and/or organizational problems with the material. In particular, I was trying to move the material regarding "The Ed Show" to a paragraph that delineated other reported instances of Mr. O'Donnell's on-air behavior, where this text clearly belongs; also, I was simply trying to create links for "The Ed Show" and "Peter Schiff" that clearly need to be there.

I refuse to have anything further to do with this article after this nonsense. I urge someone else to accept the responsibility for the needed cosmetic fixes. Rontrigger (talk) 20:22, 30 June 2010 (UTC)


"In 2009 Lawrence O'Donnell hosted The Ed Show. During in which he gave an interview to Peter Schiff and rudely interrupted him several times throughout the interview." Not only is this grammatically incorrect, but it seems biased toward portraying Donnell in a negative light. Perhaps this stub-section should be deleted, and instead add his fill-in to the introductory paragraph (since the keith fill in is up there too)? Runningninja (talk) 03:39, 30 June 2010 (UTC)

Can I just add a little to this discussion by mentioning the Swiftboats section. As it reads, it sounds like O'Donnell was making unfounded allegations that the representative for the WVFT was lying. Maybe it should also mention the grounds under which O'Donnell made these assertions, as the wiki page on this very site makes it clear that there is considerable evidence to substantiate O'Donnell's claim. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:10, 27 January 2013 (UTC)


What's with the discrepancy between the one listed at the top and the one under "Biography"? Callmenaomi (talk) 01:51, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Mr O'Donnell entered Harvard College in September 1970 with the class of 1974. According to The Harvard College Class of 1974 25th Anniversary Report, he was born on November 7, 1951 and was awarded an A.B. degree in 1976. Jds13 (talk) 03:23, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

Jesus returning to earth[edit]

I think the point Mr O'Donnell made (i.e. what he actually said) was that Mormons believe that Jesus will return TO MISSOURI, not just 'to earth', which belief is common to Christians. (talk) 19:22, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

I think that the label malicious is biased as are most of the sources.

I agree on the use of the word malicious. However, the Hugh Hewitt interview records Mr. O'Donnell's own words. Sources that are merely commentary could be biased. O'Donnell's own over wrought words can not be characterized as bias.

One can record what a person says, but this wiki should use primary sources to correct the record or provide NPOV commentary. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:47, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

O'Donnell's beliefs about Mormonism are very much in error. He would not be a reputable source on Mormon theology. Bytebear (talk) 00:53, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

NPOV discussion[edit]

The entry is obviously biased, as it currently stands, i.e. : "...O'Donnell is infamous for his very hostile and abrasive behavior. In a well known incident in October 2004, while a guest on the MSNBC show, Scarborough Country, O'Donnell began screaming "liar" over and over again to fellow guest John O'Neill, a Vietnam veteran, and refused to let O'Neill speak.[2] In May of 2005, while serving as a guest panelist the CNBC program, Dennis Miller, O'Donnell began screaming at fellow panelist, the late Cathy Seipp on the issue of public education and teachers.[3] During an episode of The McLaughlin Group in December 2007, O'Donnell launch into a tirade against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints that was not based in fact or reason (e.g. the Mormons ran into trouble for being anti-slavery and Joseph Smith campaigned on an anti-slavery platform, O'Donnell accused him of being pro-slavery)." I believe that the wording must be changed. -The Gnome (talk) 10:27, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

I Don't See the Bias
The facts are that O'Donnell IS infamous for being hostile and abrasive, and he did shout down John O'Neill and denied him an opportunity to speak, and he did scream at Cathy Seipp on the Dennis Miller Show. Simple facts. No bias.
And O'Donnell recently admitted on a radio talk show (Hugh Hewitt) that he feels free criticizing Mormons because "they're nice people" and wouldn't strike back at him. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:30, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

I think it's biased. I hold no brief for L O'D, or anyone who works for MSNBC (I'm a right-wing-nut and danged proud of it). But "infamous" is a biased word by its nature, as is "tirade". I think his on-air antics are worthy of mention (given that there's a history going back years), but it should be phrased in a more neutral way. -- Narsil (talk) 23:02, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

I think "rant" is the actual term that is being used in the media rather than "tirade"....and believe me, it was a rant. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:16, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

I agree changing tirade to rant makes sense. The links to the Hugh Hewitt interview (Transcript and Podcasts) provides a clear example of L O'D's strident and hostile approach. Likewise abrasive and sreaming are objectively discernible. I'd invite The Gnome to listen to the HH podcast and read the transcript and then subject an objective description. L O'D was clearly unplugged. Interestingly, L O'D remember portrays a Fundamentalist Mormon on HBO's Big Love in a most unsympathetic way. His rant clearly explains where he stands. It would not be objective or neutral to portray his attitudes in a bland way. Neutral does not equal bland. Certainly L O'D is neither neutral nor bland. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:39, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

Neither "rant" nor "tirade" are appropriate. The other NPOV garbage words need to go to. Unless, of course, no one's serious about fairness. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:46, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Just change the wording to a third party commentary. "Media has commented on his rants" or what not. It is POV to call it a rant. It is not POV to say that a third party calls it a rant. Bytebear (talk) 02:27, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

I tried to clean up this section a bit just now. I mostly removed the repetition and unnecessary detail, and I tried to make it flow within the article a little better. I also removed a number of broken links. The reference to the Cathy Seipp thing was actually Cathy Seipp's blog ( but now the link just goes to a blank page on her blog, so I removed it. I'm not sure if that would even be an appropriate source if the link wasn't broken. In any case, I left the Cathy Seipp thing in the article for now, but it's unreferenced. KenFehling (talk) 17:44, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

hatchet job[edit]

Wow. This article is a serious hatchet job. Is this what happens when someone disses Mormons?  :-) Seriously, this article is a disgrace. NaySay (talk) 13:21, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

It is when that person rants like a madman. I suppose you want to sanitize the Mel Gibson article of any mention of antisemitism? Bytebear (talk) 17:54, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

There are all sorts of ranters out there: Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, Sarah Palin, Keith Olbermann, Ed Schultz. I'm sure their articles treat them more objectively than this one does. If he tends to shoot off his mouth (and he's made some very outspoken remarks, and not just these) it's got to be mentioned, but he was also a producer of "The West Wing," he is a reporter and political commentator on MSNBC, he's an actor. And why is it wrong to criticize Mormons, after all? Any more than fundies or Muslim fatwas against Danish cartoonists or Salman Rushdie? To be honest I think the remarks on the relative inoffensiveness of killing dogs is a lot more controversial in this day and age. As an example, is it necessary to produce two remarks after his Mormon remark to criticize him? And although the "strudel" remark is cute and a giggle (although, sadly, very misleading, since Mormons can be a lot tougher on their critics than that), it's a little lightweight for this sort of article, don't you think? Mr. Marty's "hate speech" counter is perfectly sufficient--and it's at about the same level. Things like that. And with all respect, one man's "sanitation" may be another man's "fair and balanced." If only just one of us had the truth. (talk) 16:10, 31 July 2009 (UTC) excuse me I forgot to login: this Nadine Harris, NaySay NaySay (talk) 16:11, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

You can't be serious. Are you saying that those articles don't mention their rantings? There is an article called Criticisms of Bill O'Reilly for crying out loud. An entire article (AKA a POV Fork) designed just to bash one person, and you are complaining about verifiable quote because it sounds "cute?" Bytebear (talk) 17:30, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

Very good. That is EXACTLY what I'm saying. It's a poor excuse for a Wiki article. NaySay (talk) 19:21, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

I would agree with you if only for notability, however, his involvement in Big Love gives him enough of a connection to Mormonism to make it notable. And this isn't a commentator who makes outlandish claims on a daily basis for ratings. Bytebear (talk) 19:46, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

"Aggressive Debate Style" a euphemism for Journalistic Shill?[edit]

This paragraph in his career discussion ----

"His aggressive debate style has led to several notable on-air confrontations. In October 2004, while a guest on the MSNBC show Scarborough Country, O'Donnell shouted "liar" over and over again at fellow guest Swift Boat Spokesperson John O'Neill.[3][4] In May 2005, while serving as a guest panelist the CNBC program Dennis Miller, O'Donnell began shouting at fellow panelist Cathy Seipp on the issue of public education and teachers."

Is this not a prime example of journalistic shill?

"The term is applied metaphorically to journalists or commentators who have vested interests in or associations with parties in a controversial issue."

There are some editors who assume this label is applied to Mr. O'Donnell and therefore is POV, when in fact, the journalistic shill label more appropriately describes the debate style described in this section.

Please stop reverting my edits, but do discuss the topic here. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:08, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

Here's a more recent example which equates his aggressive debate style with journalistic shill. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:17, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

Please review WP:OR. Also, there are references to self published articles, which need third party citations or they should be removed. Bytebear (talk) 23:19, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

Lawrence O'Donnell ≠ Lewis Padgett[edit]

Attention: the pseudonym Lawrence O'Donnell is not same of Lewis Padgett: plural novels of Catherine Lucile Moore and Henry Kuttner write one white the other are signed Lewis Padgett, but, when Catherine L. Moore write white not help of H. Kuttner, she signed Lawrence O'Donnell.
Well: one can said:

  • When C.L. Moore was not maried, she signed C.L. Moore (same what H. Kutner krew that she a man)
  • When C. L. Moore and Henry Kuttner are married, they signed by the pseudonym of Lewis Padgett
  • When C. L. Moore, married, write alone (or white very littel help of H. Kuttner) she signed Lawrence O'Donnell.

I pry you excuse mi for the bad english, but I born in contry what not speak english --Jean-François Clet (talk) 11:05, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

two photos?[edit]

Ok so I confess I'm no expert on the photo policy. But I'm pretty sure that two photos of the same person showing them in almost identical ways is redundant. Plus the one at the top is far more representative of how he appears when I've seen him on TV.

So, dude who put up the second photo, it's totally cool that you got a shot of Lawrence O'Donnell but I think it's redundant for the article. Or is it? Anyone know better? --Qwerty0 (talk) 22:38, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

Alright, so I looked at a number of BLP articles and they do support my instinct. I also found that the image policy does hint toward a stance on redundancy: "Articles that use more than one image should present a variety of material near relevant text. Three uniformed portraits would be redundant for a biography of a famous general." I'm taking out the second photo. --Qwerty0 (talk) 21:19, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

Must my addition of O'Donnell's daughter be publicly sourced?[edit]

I added that he and his wife have a 16-year-old daughter, Elizabeth Buckley Harrold O'Donnell. I got this information from the 1/5/2002 official transcript of The Mclaughlin Group, link: O'Donnell is quoted as follows: "I will have to cite the most honest person I know, my perfect daughter, seven-year-old Elizabeth Buckley Harrold O'Donnell."

I added 9 years to this age and wrote that his daughter is 16. (If her birthday happens to fall between 1/5 and today's date, 1/25, then she is 17, and this must be corrected.)

As of the time I'm asking this question, I could find no other way to learn of and verify the name and age of O'Donnell's daughter.

My question: Does the Mclaughlin reference to the daughter's name and age need to be publicly referenced in the Wikipedia article, or is it sufficient that the link is documented here? Jhnntc (talk) 16:38, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

New sections go at the bottom of the talk page. The source belongs in the article, as you have already done. BTW, you can't determine her age based on the date of the interview, so it's best to leave out her age without a more specific source. Cresix (talk) 03:21, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

Creepy Liar[edit]

I don't understand why people must censor O'Donnell's accusation that John O'Neil was a creepy liar. (talk) 00:24, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

I think he only called him that once. I personally believe it is more important to make it clear how argumentative and disruptive Mr. O'Donnell was than to point out one phrase he used, although you are certainly free to try to work that quote in. –CWenger (talk) 00:37, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
First it is not "censorship". It is hyperbole to describe something as "censorship" just because you disagree with it. Wikipedia can be edited by anyone, but that does not mean that anyone can add anything they wish. Wikipedia has guidelines and policies. One of those pertains to keeping articles (or sections, or statements) proportional to the weight it deserves in the context of the entire event. Yes, he said "creepy liar" one time, despite the POV-pushing earlier comments that he said it repeatedly (he said "liar" frequently, not "creepy liar"). The heated tone of the entire situation is described well as it is in the article right now. I think parsing out a single phrase in such a shouting match is putting too much weight on one word. If we include that, then we'll need to add more to keep it balanced, and may end up with a long string of quotations. O'Donnell stepped over the line in that debate; I think that is obvious without POV-pushing the "creepy" word. Leave it like it is. Cresix (talk) 00:46, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

Show-related stuff[edit]

I just noticed this reversion. Without commenting on the quality of the material that was removed, I'd like to point out that show-related stuff like this is better suited to The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell. This is O'Donnell's biography, so basically it should only have material that is significant within the context of the subject's whole life. I anticipate this sort of thing will crop up again, so it may be prudent to create at an FAQ that regular editors of this article can point to if it begins to happen more frequently. -- Scjessey (talk) 13:46, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

Lawrence's college major[edit]

I managed to obtain O'Donnell's college major via Twitter. He @replied me and I posted the screenshot picture to Photobucket, which uses my username (Chaseeversole) as well. It triggered some sort of filter used to try and block promotion for usernames. Please know that this is not my intention, I didn't know how to otherwise reference this information. Chaseeversole talk) 12:46, 28 May 2011 (EST)

I appreciate that you're trying to improve the article and not self-promoting, but the problem with using that screenshot as a source is actually that it is not reliable. Interviewing someone for the sole purpose of putting it in Wikipedia is original research, and, even though I don't doubt that your contact with O'Donnell is authentic, it's still not a reliable source by Wikipedia's standards because it is not independently published. Please take some time to review the guidelines I have linked to for more information on how to cite reliable sources. Thanks. Feeeshboy (talk) 20:18, 28 May 2011 (UTC)


Given the flood of vandalism - much of it classic WP:BLP violations - I have semi-protected the page for a day. Guettarda (talk) 04:35, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

Views on LDS[edit]

Regarding these edits, there are WP:SYNTH problems and dubious sources

Mr O'Donnell has also been known to attack the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The attacks tend to be focused on belittling the founder and current members of that church. Current members would argue that the statements made were either entirely opinion or blatantly false. He has been labeled as a bigot by several non-Mormon journalists.

Supporting sources

  • Media Research CenterTV
    • Clip of O'Donnell being critical of LDSs, but characterising this as an "attack", or "belittling" is inappropriate per WP:SYNTH.
  • [1]
    • Article from NewsBusters, an MRC blog. No evidence of editorial oversight. No evidence that it counts as a reliable source for negative accusations against a living person, per WP:BLP
  • National Review's "The Corner": [2]
  • Another National Rview blog [3]
    • Is it under full editorial control? No clue. Dubious source for negative information in a BLP.
  • Youtube [4]
    • Clip of O'Donnell from the McLaughlin Group - primary source that's being used to draw conclusions. Fails WP:SYNTH.
  • More Newsbusters [5]
    • Not a reliable source. And anyway, the only things Finkelstein actually says here are that O'Donnell engaged in "an angry, protracted condemnation of Mormonism" and that he incorrectly identified Joseph Smith as being pro-slavery when in fact he ran for president on an anti-slavery ticket in 1844.
  • O'Donnell on HuffPo [6]
    • Drawing general conclusions from primary sources violates WP:NOR
  • Another clip from MCRTV [7]
    • Again, draws conclusions from a primary source.
O'Donnell has a well demonstrated hostility to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (aka Mormons)
  • Joanna Brooks at Religion Dispatches [8]
    • I like Religion Dispatches, and I think it's a perfectly reliable source for Joanna Brooks' opinion. And it's entirely possible that her opinion on this subject is notable enough for inclusion here. But what is her point? "O’Donnell seems to have issues with Mormonism—and a particular obsession with Joseph Smith—that run a bit beyond the norm". Brooks' carefully crafted opinion could be credited to her, but I don't think it's appropriate to use her opinion piece to support that statement. She doesn't say he has a "well demonstrated hostility". Nor does she demonstrate such a thing - she mentions three comments in four years. The statement goes beyond what the source can support.

{{It is typically exhibited along with the use of demonstrably incorrect facts. In a December of 1997 edition of the Mclaughlin Group, O'Donnell became loudly hostile while repeating provably incorrect assertions about the doctrines of the church related to people of African ancestry}}

  • Same Youtube clip from the McLaughlin group. Primary source, inappropriate WP:SYNTH.
In April of 2012 a more calm O'Donnell again deployed unsubstantiated opinion and demonstrably historical errors to criticize the church - this time related to the chain of events that led to the establishment of the religion - during his own MSNBC show
  • Video of his show, posted by Real Clear Politics [9]
    • Nothing in the source to support the assertion that O'Donnell's opinions were "unsubstantiated" and "historical errors" - one might draw such a conclusion for oneself, but we can't, not when writing in Wikipedia's voice. Guettarda (talk) 04:16, 7 April 2012 (UTC)

This is a living person. Yes, his reported statements on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints offended many, perhaps even millions, and they do not promote religious tolerance and civility. Some may even question why he has a job. Wikipedia is very clear that when talking about Living Persons, there are very specific rules to publish. It is obvious the statements were received with disgust. What isn't know is if he believed them or not. If he did, should he be fired? Great question! Archf 1 (talk) 06:08, 7 April 2012 (UTC)

So here's a reasonable question. I watched the McLaughlin Group video and the first clip listed as well.It is beyond clear that O'Donnell does not regard Latter-Day Saints or their religion to be positive.He makes numerous inflammatory statements, several of which I personally agree with, but at the same time, there is a clear level of anger and vitriol in the way he presents his opinion. Regardless, would it be fair to simply state that "O'Donnell consistently attacks various aspects of Latter-Day Saint history and religious practices"? There would be no SYNTH there, nor BLP concern, simply a statement of fact. It isn't like O'Donnell makes an attempt to hide his attacks on these things, after all, he goes on nationally-run shows to voice his opinions. -- Avanu (talk) 06:12, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
I didn't put the comment you pulled off That was Lawrence1138. Archf 1 (talk) 06:35, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
I've removed the para per WP:BLP. No significant mainstream media coverage of this alleged controversy whatsoever. The comment pissed off a few Mormons and they said so in their media outlets (later echoed by extreme right-wing media), but that's it. -- Scjessey (talk) 22:04, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
I've never seen HuffPo called extreme right-wing media (which is ironically itself a non-neutral statement), but perhaps it would help to get a list of acceptable sources. Of course I ask that tounge in cheak given how the right and the left like to denigrate the other side's favoriate sources (e.g. WSJ and NYT are each criticized by people from the other spectrum). Regardless, there are numerous sources easily found by doing Google news and web searches so this "not enough sources" argument seems unpersuasive. Userid333 (talk) 19:43, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
The material has been restored. I removed it again, since the material was removed "per BLP", it should not have been restored without discussion. In cases like this, the onus is on the person restoring the content to demonstrate that it is appropriate. In addition, of course, per WP:BRD, the bold addition was reverted by Scjessey. Even if it wasn't a BLP, the next step would be discussion, not edit warring. Guettarda (talk) 03:41, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
As for the material as it was, I don't mind it being gone. However, it may be reasonable to include some mention of O'Donnell and his attitude on the Latter-day Saints. Its a bit difficult to tell exactly which particular piece of his vitriol might be worthy of inclusion or exclusion here, but considering that is how O'Donnell makes his paycheck on a daily basis, it hardly seems a violation of BLP to simply mention something like "O'Donnell has consistently attacked various aspects of Latter-Day Saint history and religious practices, most recently in relation to the 2012 presidential race." Not a violation of BLP at all, in this editor's opinion. -- Avanu (talk) 03:50, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
It would absolutely not be reasonable. Only when a preponderance of reliable sources show that this is a Significant Thing™ can it be included in the article. This is precisely why WP:BLP exists - to protect living persons from having content inserted in the manner you suggest. -- Scjessey (talk) 10:42, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Interestingly, some of the rejected sources were actually just vessels for transcripts and clips. The primary source material without commentary establishes the condition as was suggested in Avanu's comment at 06:12, 7 April 2012. Userid333 (talk) 19:43, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

Can we all agree that O'Donnell's apology of 11 April on his MSNBC show constitutes sufficient support for the notion that he has made controversial statements on the LDS church? See Userid333 (talk) 19:43, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

Yes. We can all agree that; however, that has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not we include it in the article. -- Scjessey (talk) 12:39, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
Scjessey, I'm not sure what you're 'protecting' O'Donnell from via the BLP policy by leaving this out. He went on national TV, didn't just casually comment, but used unequivocally harsh language to describe Mormonism. It isn't like he's hiding his feelings, and he'd clearly do it again just the same, since he had several opportunities over several years and each time was just as strident in his remarks. I wouldn't use BLP as the foundation of an argument against the material here, but if you have a better policy or content guideline to justify exclusion, I think it would be better. -- Avanu (talk) 00:58, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
You have forgotten the most important thing when dealing with biographies of living people: references. Only when something of this nature is widely reported in a preponderance of reliable sources should something be included in a biography. Even then, it must conform to the WP:WEIGHT part of WP:NPOV as well as WP:BLP. Read the WP:TRUTH essay for more on the importance of verifiability. In this particular case, the comments with respect to Mormons have received very little mainstream media coverage, so even though some sources exist that refer to the matter it would still be undue weight to include it in the article. -- Scjessey (talk) 12:39, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
The comments were made by O'Donnell IN the mainstream media. You love to quote the names of various policies and guidelines, but I'm not certain that you're reading and understanding them. Let's start with the very first thing you claim.
Only when something of this nature is widely reported in a preponderance of reliable sources should something be included in a biography.
Where do you get the idea that something needs to be 'widely reported' in a 'preponderance of reliable sources' in order to make it into a biography or any article for that matter?
It isn't undue weight to devote 1 sentence to a mention of O'Donnell's vehement attitude when asked about Mormonism. It IS entirely possible to describe it in a dispassionate tone. Bringing up the WP:TRUTH essay just seems pointless, since we're not here to debate Truth and its a humorous essay anyway. Considering that O'Donnell spends night after night charging into the fray with a harsh attitude toward those he considers ideological opponents, the idea that we're somehow doing him a disservice by mentioning it is just silly. I suggest you actually read the policies and guidelines again rather than repeat the skewed version of them that you have now. BLP does not mean we never tell anyone that a subject has bad qualities. Right at the top of the BLP page, it mentions the 3 main criteria.
  • Neutral point of view (NPOV)
  • Verifiability (V)
  • No original research (NOR)
Whatever the material is, if it goes in a Biography page, it needs to be neutral in tone, verifiable, and not made up by us, or synthesized from the sources. Well, this material about the Mormons meets all three of those criteria and more. It isn't poorly sourced, and it DOESN'T need to be covered by a "preponderance" of sources, sheesh, nothing would ever make it into Wikipedia if we had such a high standard. You think other media outlets want to spend their entire day rehashing everything said on THE OTHER media outlets? Such a ridiculous feedback loop would be impossible and would only set them up for retaliation on one another.
Again, O'Donnell didn't say these things in private to a friend, or in a letter to a select group of people. He said them on national television, OPENLY, LOUDLY, and unequivocally harshly, with the intention that no one would misunderstand how he felt. You're protecting him against all sense and policy if you entirely wish to exclude any mention whatsoever in this article. -- Avanu (talk) 13:14, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
It isn't undue weight to devote 1 sentence to a mention of O'Donnell's vehement attitude when asked about Mormonism - actually yes, it is. We should never seek to "mention...[someone's]...attitude". We document what's been said by notable sources. If we're talking about a person's "vehement attitude", we're probably too emotionally invested in the topic to be editing it. Especially then the topic is a BLP. Guettarda (talk) 13:22, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
"You're protecting him against all sense and policy..." - That is absolutely incorrect. It doesn't matter if he shouted it while standing naked in front of the White House. What matters is that it must be covered by secondary reliable sources, and it must've attracted enough coverage for it to be significant within the context of O'Donnell's entire life. It absolutely has not met these criteria. The standard for including material that may reflect negatively on a living person must necessarily be tougher than for anything else. WP:BLP was conceived after the ghastly Seigenthaler incident in order to protect living persons, and the policy has been refined since then to put more emphasis on neutrality and verifiability. Having edited BLPs for years, I've become very familiar with the policy (and its related policies and guidelines) and I can tell you that your insistence to include something about this LDS-related thing falls foul of it. -- Scjessey (talk) 14:03, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
@Guettarda, I use words like 'vehement' because I have a vocabulary, not because I'm emotional. We don't just have to use words like 'bad' and 'good'. Scjessey, you glossed right past answering my question and just went to your opinion. I didn't ask for your perspective on the standard, I asked where you got the idea that being 'widely reported' in a 'preponderance of reliable sources' IS the standard. I don't see it in the policy, and frankly, yelling something at the White House is not near as visible as national television. And not just nationally one time, but multiple times. The standard you quote earlier is an impossible standard for almost anything to meet, and I could probably go through and exclude almost anything currently within this article based on your standard. It isn't realistic, and it isn't based in Wikipedia policy, unless you can show otherwise through some particular bit I might be missing. -- Avanu (talk) 14:13, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
I use words like 'vehement' because I have a vocabulary, not because I'm emotional - please re-read what I said. The problem is your desire to "mention...[someone's]...attitude". We don't do that. We don't right great wrongs. We document what reliable sources say. Guettarda (talk) 14:23, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
I believe reliable sources say "O'Donnell consistently attacks various aspects of Latter-Day Saint history and religious practices" or something like that. I should have been more clear, because for sake of brevity, I was using my personal description of his remarks with the encyclopedic idea of sourced commentary about the remarks. I am not saying that a source uses the word 'vehement' verbatim, but the definition of vehement does fit the remarks. I'm not trying to right any wrongs other than having us faithfully do the work of creating this encyclopedia. -- Avanu (talk) 15:45, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
As I said in the comment to which you replied, I'm not talking about your use of the word vehement, I'm talking about your focus on his "attitude". We don't care about people's thoughts, motivations or mental state. Clearly, taking someone to task for their "attitude" isn't what Wikipedia is for. The fact that you can't see this speaks volumes - if you can't step back and see what you're saying, if you're that involved in a topic, you shouldn't be editing it. Especially when it's a BLP, since the stakes are that much higher. Guettarda (talk) 20:45, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
I'm not attempting to 'take anyone to task'. I'm asking for strong policy arguments that support your position or support mine. The facts of the matter are clear. The media continues to report on this, and in fact Time magazine (among others) now report that O'Donnell has apologized for some of these comments because they were shown to be inaccurate. Rather than simply attacking me personally for desiring a limited inclusion of a factual statement, I suggest you stick to policy-based arguments. -- Avanu (talk) 02:00, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Look, if (as your comments below suggest) you believe that it's acceptable for individual editors to make observations about the actions of "the media" (as if such a monolithic entity even existed) and conclude, sans sources, that there's some conspiracy going don't understand our sourcing policy. The sources here are pretty minor: Bill O'Reilly (not exactly a reliable source), Deseret News and KSL TV (local media sources in Utah), an opinion piece in HuffPo and a blog post at National Review. As for "Time magazine (among others)" - you need to cite specific articles, not entire publications (and unnamed "others").
I suggest you stick to policy-based arguments - since you're not a new editor, I assumed you were familiar with policy. Please see WP:BLP for an explanation why we shouldn't use fairly marginal sources or unreliable sources; see WP:WEIGHT for why we shouldn't present material only found mainly in fairly minor, local sources as if it were a major scandal; see WP:SYNTH for why we shouldn't use a number of different sources to stitch together a narrative that makes disparate bits sound like a coherent whole; see WP:NOTADVOCATE why we don't use Wikipedia to take people to task for their "attitude" as you're advocating. And please see WP:IRS if you don't understand why a reference to an entire publication ("Time magazine") is vague to the point of being useless, and unnamed "others" is even worse. Guettarda (talk) 22:54, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
If it is really important for Avanu to get this into the article, perhaps the matter can be raised at WP:BLPN or WP:DRN where more eyes can be brought to the discussion. -- Scjessey (talk) 14:42, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
What is important to me is that we understand policy as written. If we are going to exclude material, let it be done according to the standards set by the community first, and if we have a local consensus as well to exclude it, then so be it. But so far, you have yet to mention the policy from which I've asked for a citation. -- Avanu (talk) 15:45, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
I think it is pretty clear why the LDS-related stuff should be excluded. This passage from WP:WEIGHT fits the issue perfectly:
An article should not give undue weight to any aspects of the subject but should strive to treat each aspect with a weight appropriate to its significance to the subject. For example, discussion of isolated events, criticisms, or news reports about a subject may be verifiable and neutral, but still be disproportionate to their overall significance to the article topic. This is a concern especially in relation to recent events that may be in the news.
This matter is an insignificant event with minimal coverage in the mainstream media. What coverage it does have is largely limited to sources affiliated with the Mormon church or agenda-driven outlets. Compare this with the recent comment made by Hilary Rosen about Ann Romney. I would argue that Ms Rosen's comment was of little significance (certainly less noteworthy than O'Donnell's LDS comments), yet it has received an enormous (and ridiculous) amount of mainstream media coverage and continues to do so. What was once a tiny molehill has become an entire range of the tallest mountains. Consequently, it has become a significant event in Hilary Rosen's life and it receives a section in her BLP. Personally, I think the O'Donnell thing was a bigger deal, but the mainstream media disagrees with me and so must Wikipedia. -- Scjessey (talk) 17:52, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
The difference is that attacking Mormons (and Christians) is perfectly fine with the MSM. Rosen floated her attack poorly and the backlash was quite severe. LOD's attacking of Mormons is significant, if for no other reason that he is such a hypocrite about it. One night he will go off on Mormons (or religion in general) and then the next he will pretend to care about Judism becuase he gets to call Gibson an anti-Semite. You may as well accept that it will eventually become part of this article. LOD can't seem to stop talking about it and now that Romney is going to be the Republican Nominee LOD is sure to call Mormon's idiots on a regular basis. Arzel (talk) 18:00, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
Unless it receives significant media coverage (and I argue that it really should), it won't become part of this article. -- Scjessey (talk) 18:10, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
The difference is that attacking Mormons (and Christians) is perfectly fine with the MSM - please don't use this page to try to advance conspiracy theories or impugn the motives of others. Policy and practice on Wikipedia makes it very clear that we don't base our sourcing standards around conspiracy theories. Guettarda (talk) 20:45, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
Guettarda, please just don't even go there. The Trayvon Martin case shows us that there is clear bias on the part of the media. So much so that they practically stumbled over each other in recognition of it. It isn't the first time that such overwhelming bias has played out even in just 2012. So rather than characterize statements as "conspiracy", ask for sourcing. That IS what we strive for here in our unbiased encyclopedia, yes? -- Avanu (talk) 02:00, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Seriously? In response to "don't use this page to advance conspiracy theories", you advance conspiracy theories? So rather than characterize statements as "conspiracy", ask for sourcing - and yet, you fail to provide sourcing. The onus on people advancing conspiracy theories to provide solid evidence. So let me reiterate: don't use this page to advance conspiracy theories. Guettarda (talk) 22:54, 17 April 2012 (UTC)

Let's try again. The most basic point is the one I just added. It violates none of the guidelines above. If someone thinks this incident wasn't widely reported in MSM they are wrong, as a simple Google search will attest. If you are in the mood for a left leaning view, see the Daily Show's treatment of the commets in question. See O'Donnell is discussed starting at 4:45. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Userid333 (talkcontribs) 22:03, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

More context for Tagg Romney controversy[edit]

The current description of O'Donnell's 'fistfight' demand of Tagg Romney makes him seem like a buffoon who threatens people without reason - maybe the context to why he made these comments (Tagg Romney's talk of wanting to 'take a swing at' President Obama and the fact that a lot of that night's 'Last Word' had been about the alleged 'combat cowardice' of the Romney family. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:40, 23 October 2012 (UTC)

It would be better if this not-important-at-all crap was just deleted. -- Scjessey (talk) 13:43, 23 October 2012 (UTC)