Talk:Media Lens/Archive 2

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George Monbiot

Is not a credible source. See WP:IRS Keith-264 (talk) 17:40, 23 June 2011 (UTC)

George Monbiot meets reliable source criteria for Wikpedia. You simply don't like the two sentences he devoted to Media Lens a couple of weeks ago, which he is genuinely "perfectly entitled" to write. The same goes for Oliver Kamm as well ofcause. Philip Cross (talk) 18:57, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
Monbiot is not reliable as any study of his recent journailsm whill demonstrate. As for his comments about Medialens I suggest you let them answer http://members5.boardhost.com/medialens/msg/1308230503.html . On the subject of reliability do you accept this http://neilclark66.blogspot.com/2008/11/wally-of-week-philip-cross.html ?Keith-264 (talk) 19:36, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
Hilarious, but I think you can guess what I think of Neil Clark. Monbiot has stepped out of the approved line of Cromwell and Edwards on nuclear power and Srebrenica, that is all. Philip Cross (talk) 20:02, 23 June 2011 (UTC)

Monbiot lied about them.Keith-264 (talk) 20:09, 23 June 2011 (UTC)

Amended recent edit to elaborate the facts of the case. The source is above. Monbiot forfeited his reliability in his column.Keith-264 (talk) 12:38, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
Sorry that is a widely disputed claim, and NPOV means WP has to reflect it. I added the forum piece (a fair request from the ML editors) in the citation which along with the twitter exchange is likely to be around for some time, unlike the various message board threads. Philip Cross (talk) 12:57, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
Since you agree that there is a dispute I agree to arbitration, do you?Keith-264 (talk) 14:19, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
Go ahead. Philip Cross (talk) 14:29, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
What does 'beyond the nazi holocaust' mean? 12:15, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
Hello Keith, I hope you are well. Thank you for pointing out my gaffe, I have managed to improve the sense of this passage. Assuming the quotes have been used fairly, it looks like Media Lens should be apologising to George Monbiot rather than the other way around. You will remember on the Message Board that one of the ML editors requested that their "Dancing on a Mass Grave" article should be cited in this Wikipedia article as fair representation of their viewpoint. You might reflect as to why the editors' in the last week have been so busy astroturfing on their message board and on Facebook for new Wikipedia contributors o put over the ML viewpoint. Why? A very weak position perhaps. [Modified this contribution after it was copied and pasted onto the Media Lens website.] Philip Cross (talk) 17:06, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
I quote Media Lens saying Herman and Peterson are "perfectly entitled" to question the number of deaths at Srenbrenica following Monbiot's accusation of them saying just that. The editors' choose to focus on my grammatical errors in the above comments on their message board as a diversion from what looks rather damning in the article itself. Why? Philip Cross (talk) 17:21, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
What does 'beyond the nazi holocaust' mean? I suggest that you keep your polemics and inferences to yourself. This is ot the place for a vendetta. Keith-264 (talk) 17:37, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
I changed it. As my comments have appeared on the message board, I defended myself, knowing your virtual acquaintances are likely to visit this page. Inferences? I quote the ML editors' text after Monbiot accuses them of just that comment, which is thus verified and not original research. Further positive quotes from John Pilger and Peter Wilby were added by me, and I located the original source for the Pilger quote preventing it from being deleted by another editor. The Gandhi Foundation website citation of the quote from Pilger's NS article was incomplete when compared with the version copied and pasted here. I have also added third party quotes, as requested by another WP editor, which help establish the notability of Media Lens. These are direct quotes from interviews and sympathetic articles, not attacks. The number of recipients of media alerts was raised after a fairly recent source indicated that they had gone up. A claim of 6,000 had a citation request attached some time ago, and by finding evidence for 14,000 it is now securely included here. The ML request for the defence of itself against Kamm and Monbiot was added. Obviously, Wikipedia editors' will be more aware of those articles as a result, and are now more likely to make their own use of that material. Curious kind of vendetta. Philip Cross (talk) 18:23, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
"...or 'agenda'". I did approve of a certain agenda when I voted Green in the European Parliamentary elections of 2004 and 2009, but the Media Lens editors' only acknowledge 'agenda' as a pejorative term. Philip Cross (talk) 18:47, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
That's a claim not a fact. Have you asked them?Keith-264 (talk) 14:19, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
"That's a claim not a fact." Can you demonstrate otherwise? Philip Cross (talk) 14:44, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
The onus is on you, it's your claim, account for it.Keith-264 (talk) 15:37, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, but one can express an opinion on talk pages, and my claim is not obviously defamatory. You can take it up on the ML message board, it has been rather quiet over their since I cited the source of Monbiot's "perfectly entitled" quote, or you can go to arbitration again. Philip Cross (talk) 15:55, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
Admitting that it's an opinion is a step in the right direction. Keep it up.Keith-264 (talk) 16:01, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

Cromwell, Kamm and Zinn

The entry from Oliver Kamm's blog reproduced on an American academic site is only tangentially about Media Lens. Following a reference to a email exchange between Cromwell and Howard Zinn, the bulk of Kamm's piece is a claim that Zinn demonstrated ignorance of a substantial portion of the scholarship on the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Its former inclusion also gave undue emphasis on the writings of one opponent of Media Lens. Philip Cross (talk) 11:43, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

Anti-corporate

It's not acceptable to go through every mention of Media Lens in other articles and qualify each one with 'anti-corporate', a politically-loaded term which does not even appear in this article. This is a flagrant breach of WP:NPOV, as someone with 40k+ edits must know. Using uninformative ('sighter') or misleading ('fmt', 'tidy') edit summaries doesn't make these edits any more acceptable. Deplorable. Squiddy | (squirt ink?) 08:32, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

I added the following comments to the John Pilger article's talk page yesterday when this was questioned:

I added a wikilink to the pressure group Media Lens in a new 'see also' section with the tag "British anti-corporate website". Another editor then removed it, on the grounds that it was "misleading". I subsequently reverted saying the clue about the corporations in question was in the first word (of the organisation's name). Now I could have typed "British media analysis site", but that is problematic because it is unclear whether ML is included because Pilger is a target or someone with a very similar viewpoint. It is probable that most readers will not have heard of ML, so some indication needs to be given as to its nature, if it is included at all [in an article].

As most or all 'media alerts' attack "corporate power", it has to be a reasonable description. I used 'fmt' and 'tidy' when my edits went beyond merely changing or adding to articles a description of Media Lens. I used "left-wing" a couple of times where the sense appeared to dictate it, but as that term is often used in a negative sense it can be unneutral too. Not saying anything gives the impression that Media Lens is more than two men, a webmaster and a few regular contributors. So that is arguably not neutral either. It isn't an organisation with any members, and the couple of dozen regulars on the message board would scarcely make it a large organisation if it were. So "pressure group" would be misleading, though I think that construction was used in some of my edits yesterday. Editors are supposed to give an indication of the nature of cited material, whether it is mainstream or not. Even their advocates, see the comments by Pilger and Peter Wilby cited in the article accept that they are "marginalised", so "anti-corporate" gives them a better write up than is really merited by their most prominemnt supporters comments. Philip Cross (talk) 10:01, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
The problem with that, Philip, is that is one editor's view of what label is appropriate to describe the organisation, and is therefore editorialising, not allowed under WP:OR and WP:NPOV. To avoid these problems, in places such as "See also" sections or the opening paragraph of an article lead, where brevity is important, either use the organisation's own description of itself (properly attributed, of course), or none at all. --NSH001 (talk) 18:59, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
Their stated "objective" is: "To challenge the claim that the corporate media system is either willing or able to report honestly or accurately on a world dominated by corporate power." So "anti-corporate" looks a legitimate summary based on "the organisation's own description of itself" rather than editorialising. I cannot therefore see why my use of "anti-corporate" counts as "material ... for which no reliable published source exists" to quote the WP:NOR article's preamble.
Media Lens self-description "Media Lens is a UK-based media-watch project analysing mainstream media bias" cannot be summarised as "British media-watch website" because of the potential assumption that they have a connection with Mediawatch-uk, the descendant organisation of Mary Whitehouse's National Viewers' and Listeners' Association. The summary "UK based website analysing mainstream media bias" is too long, and in any case we don't use direct quotes in 'see also' sections or necessarily in articles. Philip Cross (talk) 07:40, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
'Anti-corporate' is an inapposite term on your terms. 'Para-corporate' might work since their point (which you quote) is doubt that corporate interests don't have ulterior motives in the reporting of news. They provide a running commentary on differences between 'official' news and samizdat. Where differences are found their explanation is that corporate power causes it. If another source of bias is found they point that out too. It's the accuracy of news which they're interested in not polemic. Remember that they are explicit in their buddhist worldview. That's not anti-anything.Keith-264 (talk) 09:04, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
Philip, I think this illustrates the difficulty in picking a single word or short phrase to describe any kind of political (broadly construed) group. Nor do I think there is much danger that people will confuse ML with Mary Whitehouse's group, but that is what wikilinks are for, anyway. Thirdly, if there were a need to describe ML in all those other articles, the description used here in the main ML article is the obvious choice, ie 'media analysis website'.
On edit summaries - I'll AGF, but if you make a possibly contentious change and also fiddle with italics in the same edit, then label it as 'fmt' it has the appearance of an attempt to mislead. I recommend describing the most contentious/serious change in edit summaries, and also that you avoid words like 'sighter' which you appear to have made up yourself and which risks conveying little to others. Squiddy | (squirt ink?) 08:07, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

History and methodology

The opening sentence reads as if something has been removed that the sentence refers to. An unwitting edit?Keith-264 (talk) 10:17, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

I don't think so, but can see what you mean. If "ventriloquize" is an Americanism, will "articulate" do? It is a fairly common academic term. Philip Cross (talk) 10:34, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
No! You can't trust academics to write literate English, they've got too many phone calls to make....;O) I prefer 'pander' but I could cope with 'parrot'.Keith-264 (talk) 10:39, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
I agree that "critique" is a preferable term to "attack", but it is mainly used by academic Marxists. Presumably those dons that remain active as 'Marxists' are always on the phone too? You have made some fair changes on the grounds of neutrality, but 'pander' and 'parrot' are not neutral terms either. Philip Cross (talk) 10:50, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
Those terms are paraphrases of other people's claims (when they are using simile) not those of the writer. If you don't like an unemployed anarcho-syndicalist writing like an academic Marxist, how about 'analysis'?Keith-264 (talk) 10:57, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

Not a quote

This edit from March 2006 created an assumed quote which no one appears to have questioned since then. The edit summary did not properly identify the old edit. Philip Cross (talk) 01:21, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

Critics and accusations of genocide denial

Surely one is a form of the other? Why have two critical sections and only one complimentary?Keith-264 (talk) 16:03, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

"Monbiot accused Herman, and by implication Media Lens...." Whose implication?Keith-264 (talk) 16:05, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

There is a serious shortage of positive comments about Media Lens, even from the radical press which totally ignores the website, except for occasional interviews with the editors. This 'pro' and 'con' disparity is inevitably reflected in the article. Noting the warning about 'self-published' sources, have you come across some sources which I have missed?
The two sections of 'criticism' arose because of the greater quantity of such material. 'Reliable sources', or the mainstream media, inevitably gain preferential treatment here, although I have managed to use quite a few of those interviews with radical publications. Note also that the comments cited in the 'admirers' section are all general; Pilger, Wilby and the others have not defended ML on specific issues.
On your other point. I used "implication" because Monbiot does not include ML directly in the passage cited, but it is clear that he means them as much as Herman, Pilger and the rest. Media Lens took it to include themselves at the time, and subsequently, so my new edit does seem legitimate if confusion is to be avoided. Philip Cross (talk) 17:18, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
Isn't that interpretation? I would have thought that comes under OR.Keith-264 (talk) 17:09, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

ML exists because of the unreliable nature of the msm.Keith-264 (talk) 17:47, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

That is an opinion, Cromwell and Edwards holding such a viewpoint is a fact. Have you come across any sources I have missed? Philip Cross (talk) 18:03, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
All of their media alerts.Keith-264 (talk) 19:43, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
Quite a few alerts are mentioned, but note the 'self-published' tag added to the 'history and methoology' section, not by me incidentally. The ML responses are cited in the references, although they do not count as 'reliable sources' for Wikipedia purposes - self-published, self-edited, frankly fringe with limited third-party acknowlegement of their validity - so they are actually quite difficult to write about within WP rules. Readers can at least compare critical articles with the Media Lens response without extensive googling. Philip Cross (talk) 20:24, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

Other possible problems

I think the page looks better but I'd like the to-and-fro to be equally represented. How about a quotation critical of "shrill macontents" being juxtaposed by a contrary quotation? White's been hoist on his own petard several times. Some of the question of the Grauniad's reliability can be examined like this.Keith-264 (talk) 17:08, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

Not really possible to counter Oliver Kamm's comment at the relevant juncture in the article. Just tried to see if it works better elsewhere, but without success. Michael White's comments about ML have not been taken up by other outlets, the usaual problem, and the reaction of MLMB regulars to White rather suggests the accuracy of Kamm's point. Philip Cross (talk) 17:41, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
Nonsense, they've wiped the floor with him with calm reasoned demonstrations of fact and by deconstructing his flippant and inaccurate comments. He called Saddam a Soviet stooge for heaven's sake.Keith-264 (talk) 18:18, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
This is getting off-topic, but I think you are referring to this passage:

Motives were complex, but I would contend that the West had tried to accommodate Saddam, a Soviet-backed regional expansionist state for decades and failed in the search for stability and security, including oil security and Israel ( also a former Moscow-sponsored state) security. [link will be broken within a few weeks.]

White is only guilty of a typing error. Iraq was close to the Soviet Union for some decades, see Iraq–Russia relations and Soviet support for Iraq during the Iran–Iraq war. Philip Cross (talk) 20:07, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
Saddam took what he could get from where he could get it. Arms from the USSR, France, Britain and the USA, Saudi money.... If he was a Soviet ally he was also a US ally; neither state relished the survival of the Iranian republic,remember Dual containment?Keith-264 (talk) 20:20, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

Citing Rupert Read

19:53, 22 February 2012 (UTC)One former supporter, the philosopher Rupert Read, has criticised their reliance on source material written by such theorists including Michel Chossudovsky,[13] a Canadian based academic economist.19:53, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

More guilt by association? Will you be adding MLs rebuttal? Criticisms of Rupert the opportunist?Keith-264 (talk) 19:53, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

Media Lens claims to reject conspiracy theories, but one of their critics has caught them using such a theorist as a source. A credible authority (for the purposes of Wikipedia, remember) has found them using sources he finds suspect. (Monbiot has also raised this point on twitter in the last day or so.) This is worth including in the article.
In adding their self-published response on the ML forum to the references, I am bending the rules. Keith, you wrote in the edit summary when adding the above: "Quick to add criticism, slow to add praise". Where's the (absent) praise? One of the editor's responded to you on the message board earlier this month with the following: "And what about 'Public responses'? Don't they count? There are countless brilliant and cogent replies from members of the public - some have appeared in alerts, on this board, maybe even archived in the forum." Going by Wikpedia rules, they don't, see Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources. Philip Cross (talk) 06:15, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

The Daves don't deny conspiracies exist but they don't agree that it is conspiracy that leads to media bias. Is it fair to call Chossudovsky a "conspiracy theorist"? If he describes conspiracies shouldn't they be investigated [by someone] rather than be the cause of a blanket dismissal? After all there have been plenty of conspiracies since 1945 don't you think?Keith-264 (talk) 07:48, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Sorry Keith you are advocating original research in your third sentence. Chossudovsky is mentioned as a conspiracy theorist by Read, I haven't passed a comment of my own in the aticle about Chossudovsky - which would be going off the point anyway. However, someone who considers 7/7 "an inside job" is normally given the description in the mainstream sources we are obliged to deal with. Watergate is a proven conspiracy; many, perhaps most, of the alleged conspiraciess are wild conjecture. Philip Cross (talk) 08:38, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

No I'm not. Haven't you noticed that most of the cock-ups in history are failed conspiracies? You can read about them in books.Keith-264 (talk) 15:41, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

http://www.newint.org/blog/2012/02/24/-media-lens-rupert-read-second-thoughts/ here's NIs view of Rupe's claims.Keith-264 (talk) 13:08, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

The open democracy website has not taken the same view of Read's piece so a mention can remain. Philip Cross (talk) 16:58, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
I agree but NIs comment should add context to them.Keith-264 (talk) 17:22, 25 February 2012 (UTC)