Talk:Media Lens/Archive 6

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Robert Shone

What is the evidence that Robert Shone is a "significant view" on this topic? The article is getting over-long and we need to start trimming non-significant views. In the case of the Iraq war section we don't even have an explanation of Media Lens' viewpoint on Iraq body count despite them having a published book which covers the issue, and have been widely cited in the mainstream press and by academics on the issue, added to the fact that they are the topic of the article so by definition are a "significant view", yet we include Robert Shone's opinion, cited only to Znet, it makes no sense. Dlv999 (talk) 13:22, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

"Cited only to Znet" is a point which could be applied to the academic sources you have added. Condensing the content of links is generally preferable if length is not seem unjustified. Other users can check if one has been fair in summarising, and the material does not read as being laboured. Media Lens' has yet to respond to the most recent Lancet study,(1) which has a substantially lower estimate than the conclusion in 2006 which they are fond of citing, may make their comments obsolete. An article appearing (by David Blair) in the Telegraph does not mean the content is false, as the man almost said. Obviously this research may not stand in the long term either
(1) See David Blair "Iraq war 10 years on: at least 116,000 civilians killed",, 15 March 2013
You could not say any of my sources were "cited only to Znet", because none of them were published by Znet. They were published in recognized peer reviewed academic journals or books under academic imprint (sources that wikipedia regards as the highest quality). There is no evidence from the citation supporting Shone's opinion that he is a significant viewpoint on this topic suitable for inclusion in the article. Having an opinion published in Znet does not provide evidence of notability for inclusion in Wikipedia articles. As this is the only citation given we need some evidence that his opinion is significant e.g. he has been quoted in mainstream news report on the topic, he has been cited in academic literature on the topic, he has had a book published by a recognized publisher on the topic. Absent this evidence the opinion should be removed. (Telegraph article is not relevant to the discussion as it does not mention Shone/Media Lens - if and when RS discuss this in relation to ML it will become relevant to our article). Dlv999 (talk) 14:25, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
I meant that the sources are not necessarily cited by others, that applies to some or perhaps all of the academic sources you have added. You will note that I have not used this means to try and argue for material favourable to Media Lens to be removed. The Green Left Weekly interviewer thought Shone's piece was worth mentioning in the interview with Cromwell The passage criticising Monbiot taken from Jonathan Cook's piece was recently expanded. The article, on the "Dangerous Cult" of The Guardian, reprinted on Counterpunch from Chossudovsky's Global Research site, has been ignored by mainstream outlets, and as far as I know, has not been cited by academics as yet. I am not objecting to his piece being included here.
If the new Lancet study, cited by the Telegraph, means Media Lens' writing on the earlier study is out off date, it is a basis for not adding it, whereas you have suggested it needs to be included. Media Lens itself is not peer-reviewed. There is no prohibition on what can be mentioned on talk pages in debating what is relevant for inclusion in the article itself, so the fact David Blair does not honour Media Lens with a mention is beside the point. Philip Cross (talk) 15:37, 26 March 2013 (UTC).
If Shone had a book published by Routledge on the topic or an article in recognized peer reviewed journal we would not be having this conversation. He hasn't, he has only had his opinion published in Znet, which is not enough to show he is a significant viewpoint. Green left weekly is in the same position as Znet, they are not publications that offer evidence that opinion is notable for inclusion in article on any given topic. Just for the record are you of the opinion that Media Lens opinion can be added to all the Wikipedia articles that they have expressed an opinion on that has been published by Znet? Dlv999 (talk) 16:14, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
On the whole I've found Dlv's edits an improvement to the article, since they tend to rest on higher quality sources (in the Wiki view of things) although I'm not as impressed by peer review in corporate media, which given the Medialens analysis of corporate media as inherently biased, ought to be treated with circumspection. Nonetheless it has seemed to me for quite some time that a lot of the material on the page comes from cliquish souces of questionable accuracy. I'm looking forward to the need for consensus improving the quality of the article, because Dlv and PC have become more adept at negotiating Wikipolicy snakes and ladders to make their points. I hope to learn a few things too. Carry on chaps;O)Keith-264 (talk) 07:55, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
I am also looking forward to collaborating to improve the article. "Peer review" can describe different activities. In this instance I was specifically talking about peer reviewed academic journals, of which our core policy states "Where available, academic and peer-reviewed publications are usually the most reliable sources". Dlv999 (talk) 09:30, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
The key word is "usually", Znet articles will have passed through the editorial process which is the point where sources are admissible for inclusion. Peer reviewed articles are often checked by academics of like mind, so Keith-264 need not be too worried. Philip Cross (talk) 10:09, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
The point is that peer review is as vulnerable to bad faith as anything else. ML's media analysis is that systematic bad faith is the foundation of the corporate media so peer review is not a panacea.Keith-264 (talk) 12:39, 27 March 2013 (UTC)

Oliver Kamm (again)

I have restored his comment about Media Lens to the summary, and reduced the citation, the content of which is largely replicated later in the article. The removal of the citation from the introduction messed up the references section which gained a automatically generated passage in red. Monbiot's point gained some comment from elsewhere, but Kamm's cited writing on the group is more substantial than the Guardian columnist's passing reference in his article about Herman and Srebrenica, unless his 'Media Cleanse' piece is now excepted as legitimately included; the self-published tag has recently been removed. Both men's pieces thus have a case to be referenced in the summary, especially given the later emphasis in the article. Philip Cross (talk) 13:27, 29 March 2013 (UTC)

In the Wikipedia view of things, a primary source (in this case a blog) from an involved person(i.e.non-third party) is rather low on the hierarchy of sources. There is a vast amount of content in the article supported by far better sourcing, for example, all of the academic scholarship published in peer reviewed journals, all of the articles published in mainstream media publications (as appose to blogged material by one of their commentators). Your views on the blog being "more authoritative" than other sources in the article seems based on your personal views and not Wikipedia policy/source evidence. The "authority" of journalists as sources in Wikipedia is actually quite restricted, essentially they are used for ascertaining facts in current events, and here we are talking about journalism that takes the form of third party factual news reports not opinions/blogs. Outside of current events in topics such as history, science, healthcare, mathematics, ect. even third party journalism would not normally be considered reliable let alone "authoritative", in those instances we rely on academic scholarship.
There is actually a wider point here that has already been raised above. Using a single primary source from an involved party as a sole citation for such an egregious claim against living people is a violation of our WP:BLP policy. It requires that an allegation must be noteworthy, relevant, and well-documented to be included. The standard for proving this is that multiple third party reliable sources have reported it ("If you cannot find multiple reliable third-party sources documenting the allegation or incident, leave it out.")
You must explain how a single primary source citation from an involved party constitutes "multiple third party reliable sources" or remove the material from the article entirely. Dlv999 (talk) 14:48, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
Kamm's Times blog is not a primary source, he draws on the scholarly work of others. His analogy with Media Lens and Irving were first made years ago on his original blog, and may well by now be past the limitation in the UK on bringing forth a libel writ. The Monbiot Guardian article effectively supports Kamm, and both were published by serious publications which are taken on Wikipedia as being reliable sources. Michael White's piece effectively supports Monbiot in his dispute with Media Lens. Kamm and Monbiot's point is that there isn't a debate because the ICMP findings are conclusive, despite what Media Lens in relying on Herman have tried to claim, so it isn't a surprise scholars have not commented. There is no further point beyond the ICMP findings to make on the number of casualties at Srebrenica. Editors are not supposed to give undue weight on opinions which are fringe or have the support of tiny minorities. This is clearly the case about Herman's supposed research in this area, but does not apply to Kamm and Monbiot. See the responses of Martin Shaw and Marko Attila Hoare (both Balkan scholars), among others, which Monbiot requested and are on his website and elsewhere.
The amount of scholarly material supporting Herman on Srebrenica is negligible or non-existent, but you have expanded Media Lens self-published reference to him. Jonathan Cook's "Dangerous Cult of the Guardian" piece, originally published on the Global Research website and reprinted by Counterpunch. The former is an especially dubious website which probably no Wikipedia editor would claim to be wholly reliable, but you have recently expanded the passage cited from Cook's article. This piece has not been referenced by third parties, and makes claims against individuals, so there is probably a strong case to remove it, if one were to so choose. It is debatable how far Cook is third-party given his regular contact with the Media Lens editors (usually briefly available on their message board) and his occasional articles on their website, but no one would be countering Monbiot without the passage derived fromn the "Dangerous Cult" article. Philip Cross (talk) 16:12, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
  • The Kamm blog is a primary source according to our core policy which states "examples of primary sources include.... editorials, columns, blogs, opinion pieces..." Just because a blog/opinion makes reference to another work does not make it a secondary source.
  • The Monbiot article does not support the BLP-violating Kamm allegations - "their apparent denial of genocidal acts utilises the same methods used by Holocaust deniers such as David Irving."
  • The White piece does not support the BLP-violating Kamm allegations.
  • Your other points appear to be Red Herrings that have no relevance to the point under discussion (the sourcing requirements under WP:BLP for allegations against living people). If you want to raise these issues start a new discussion and I will happily discuss them with you. The issue here is that WP:BLP states that multiple third party reliable sources are required to indicate that an allegation is notable and relevant for inclusion of BLP content. We only have one primary source from an involved party. The claims are particularly egregious so I think it important that we adhere to our policy in this case. If you can find the requisite "multiple third party sources" I have no problem including the allegation, but until then it should be removed. Dlv999 (talk) 16:36, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
Hermann et. al.'s point is that the ICMP findings are not definitive and ML's point is that Hermann et. al. are free to question them, particularly given the partial nature of some of the claims and the use to which they have been put. Kamm, Monbiot, White and Hoare are dubious sources, Monbiot in particular after his fatuous claims about McAlpine and craven climb-down, which is an acknowledgement of unreliability. The point of the Hermann, Chomsky, Medialens critique of the media is that they would say that wouldn't they? Must we go through this ritual of sifting the masturbatory claims of opinion-artists again?Keith-264 (talk) 16:41, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
Keith-264, Herman and his acolytes are out on a limb, and are fringe sources in Wikipedia terms. That is the point. Monbiot incidentally comes close to comparing Media Lens to David Irving in "Media Cleanse", but does not quite cross that line. You will find few if any attempts to add articles or papers supporting Herman in his article's edit history, with the exception of my addition of a reference to Media Lens. One supposes members of his extended circle of supporters looks at regularly.
Wikipedia does not consider "Kamm, Monbiot, White and Hoare" as being "dubious sources" as the 'corporate media/dangerous cult' meme is given no credence here as part of editing policy because it lacks neutrality. That they are four of Media Lens' many hate figures is irrelevant here. Philip Cross (talk) 17:29, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
You don't speak for Wiki, that's POV in a nutshell and DLV's exposition of Wiki policy seems definitive, particularly on the smears of Omnibot et. al. Must we go through this ritual of sifting the masturbatory claims of opinion-artists again?Keith-264 (talk) 19:01, 29 March 2013 (UTC)|17:40, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
The above was added by Keith-264, and I have chosen to let it remain. Now I have just found a scholarly article by Gerald Caplan PhD. Writing about Herman and Peterson's The Politics of Genocide (to which Monbiot in his article was responding) we find that Herman and Peterson were depending on other genocidal deniers for their claims about Rwanda. This too, Media Lens have not differentiated themselves from. Caplan writes:

The main authorities on whom the authors rest their fabrications are a tiny number of long-time American and Canadian genocide deniers, who gleefully drink each other's putrid bath water. Each solemnly cites the others' works to document his fabrications – Robin Philpot, Christopher Black, Christian Davenport, Allan Stam, Peter Erlinder. It's as if a Holocaust denier cited as supporting evidence the testimonies of David Irving, David Duke, Robert Faurisson or Ernest Zundel.

The original article is "The politics of denialism: The strange case of Rwanda - Review of ‘The Politics of Genocide’", Pambazuka News, #486, 17 June 2010. [Keith-264 now intervenes - Philip Cross]

This is the place I put the comment that unaccountably disappeared so I'd appreciate it if you left it here for the purpose of continuity.

I don't know where my reply went so the gist of it is that you don't let things stand and "masturbatory claims of opinion-artists again?" refers to corporate pundits, not wiki editors.Keith-264 (talk) 20:55, 29 March 2013 (UTC)Keith-264 (talk) 22:37, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
Now its Kamm and Caplan, with perhaps Monbiot too. Oliver Kamm is not the sole source to have compared Herman (who Media Lens have defended) with David Irving. Philip Cross (talk) 18:21, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
Philip, lets try and keep this discussion focused on the relevant points. We have an allegation against living persons (The Edwards) "their apparent denial of genocidal acts utilises the same methods used by Holocaust deniers such as David Irving." We only have one primary source from an involved party (the Oliver Kamm blog). WP:BLP requires that "If you cannot find multiple reliable third-party sources documenting the allegation or incident, leave it out."
Unless multiple reliable third party sources are produced (which directly support the claim) it must be removed. You have produced a source that does not even mention Media Lens (or Edwards and Cromwell). It cannot be used in the article let alone as a supporting citation for a BLP claim against Edwards and Cromwell/Media Lens - That would be original research. Dlv999 (talk) 19:21, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
Oliver Kamm makes a claim against Herman and Peterson which invokes Holocaust denial (in an article about Media Lens), and so does Caplan. You are quite right Caplan does not mention Media Lens, but both articles refer to claims against the same two people and the book they co-authored. It isn't therefore unique in itself, and I wasn't suggesting it should be used in this article. I removed the direct reference to David Irving, either Kamm did not invoke him on this occasion, or it has been cut since last October. Philip Cross (talk) 19:51, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
The Caplan article is not about Media Lens, or David Edward and David Cromwell, nor does it even mention them. Thus for the purposes of this article it is not relevant. Lets go back to what WP:BLP policy says:
"If an allegation or incident is noteworthy, relevant, and well-documented, it belongs in the article – even if it is negative and the subject dislikes all mention of it. If you cannot find multiple reliable third-party sources documenting the allegation or incident, leave it out."
The "multiple third-party sources documenting the allegation" are to prove that the allegation is "noteworthy, relevant, and well-documented". You can't cite a source that is not relevant to the topic of the article to prove that the allegation is relevant to the article. In general only the sources that discuss the topic of the article are relevant to the content of that article. If someone is trying to use a source that does not discuss the topic it is WP:OR the source does not itself indicate relevance.
As an aside there is currently an RFC on another topic I have watchlisted discussing a similar situation (strong accusation published as opinion in a mainstream press). Though the analogy is not perfect, I think it gives an idea of how these issues are approached. Dlv999 (talk) 08:08, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
I don't know where my reply went so the gist of it is that you don't let things stand and "masturbatory claims of opinion-artists again?" refers to corporate pundits, not wiki editors.Keith-264 (talk) 20:55, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
I'd be grateful if you stopped interfering.Keith-264 (talk) 22:33, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
Restored mention of Oliver Kamm's article without the Holocaust denial comparison. This article would have no direct mention of the problem with Media Lens stand in defending Herman and Peterson without his article, Monbiot's mention of them in connection with Srebrenica (and Rwanda) is more oblique. Philip Cross (talk) 09:56, 31 March 2013 (UTC)