Talk:Michael Richards/Archive 1

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World Trade Center?

Is this the same person who was killed in the World Trade Center attacks? If so, it should be noted. If not, we need a disambig page.

Casualties of the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks: City of New York

Paul, in Saudi

No. Michael Richards (AKA Kramer) has been in the news of late (re: the Seinfeld DVD) and is very much alive and quipping. [1] chocolateboy 19:06, 17 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Ive heard they are keeping him 'alive' with hooks, showbusiness is amazing. unfortuately i cant find my source.Jesus On Wheels 10:59, 17 September 2005 (UTC)

that is so sad. is this a real question? are you kidding me?

Freemason magazine

Where's that "Freemason" magazine picture from?-- 21:13, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)

  • The Freemason Magazine. Duh.

Bad Picture

That's a really bad picture, all blury, someone should get a new one...User:Bronks September 12 2005


The character of Kramer is Jewish. I myself was under the impression that Kramer is a strictly Jewish surname (may well be true in real life but not necessarily in the world of make believe). However, in the episode where he arranges the shindig for Jewish singles he explicitly states that he is not Jewish.

Removed this here: "Altough he is famous for playing a Jewish character on Seinfeld, Richards is a Roman Catholic." What's Jewish about Kramer? Is so, why would the reader find this notable? --Wetman 07:47, 7 October 2005 (UTC)

FYI, Kramer is just a German occupation name for a peddler. It's easy to Google non-Jewish Kramers. --Dhartung | Talk 20:45, 20 November 2006 (UTC)


It's unlikely that he is both Catholic and a Freemason (or a Shriner). Wayback, freemasonry was forbidden by the Catholic Church. Not that it would be ruled out today, but it seems far-fetched.

Actually, freemasonry is still fobidden by the Catholic Church. Its not viewed as a mortal sin or anything but you're still not supposed to join. - Schrandit 16:58, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
Actually, it's more than that. If you join the Freemasons, you are automatically excommunicated from the Catholic Church. 23:13, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
Masonry, despite the stigma placed upon it by the catholic church administration every few years or so, still attracts many catholic members - there are men of most every faith in masonry, and catholics are not excluded from that count - from parishioners to priests and bishops, masonry and freethinking catholicism are not disparate. CigarBandit 02:52, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
yes it is true the catholic church looks down at freemasons. but the freemasons dont. and you can still join freemasons if your catholic or any other religion. freemasons only want you to believe in a higher power it can be anything you wish. parents, gods, aliens, etc.a few priests in my city are also freemasons, or vice versa.
Look, if you are a Catholic you're not supposed to join the masons - if you want to talk about that you can do it here - Schrandit 23:10, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
In the Early Life section it claims that "Richards was raised in the Catholic religion". This is referenced by an article from a Jewish journal, which says that Richards was a Catholic, according to "sources familiar with Richards". Shouldn't we get a better source than this in order to claim that he is Catholic? Atreyu81 02:59, 23 November 2006 (UTC)
Actually, the majority of references about celebrities usually say something like "sources familiar with X". It could mean his agent, or people who have worked with him, etc. Mad Jack 03:09, 23 November 2006 (UTC)
From the Chicago Defender article quoting his publicist (November 22 - "Richards wants to apologize directly to Black community"): "He is Jewish," Rubenstein said. "I don't know about what other reports have said. I am his spokesman and I am telling you he is Jewish. You got that directly from me." Unless his publicist is deliberately making up a lie, or Richards converted to Judaism in later life, we can scrap the "Catholic" label. 01:02, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

My friends, if you wish to go back to Papel History. Pope Innocent I do believe, abolished the Freemason thinking for to it's Prodistundt back tones in it's ritual. But as a Catholic who talked to his priest and arch bishop before joining, I'll let you know that it's looked down on, only because they would prefer Catholic men to join the Knights of Columbus, but there's no ex communication or reamnifacations anymore. CHAMP

What diocese are you in? cause last month the Bishop of Wilmington had ever parish priest remind the faithful how inexcusable it was to join a Masonic group. Not disputing your story but I’d really like to know which Bishop it was that said this. - Schrandit 07:10, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
"The law now in force [214] pronounces excommunication upon "those who enter Masonic or Carbonarian or other sects of the same kind, which, openly or secretly, plot against the Church or lawful authority and those who in any way favour these sects or do not denounce their leaders and principal members." - a quote taken from the Catholic Encyclopedia: Simply put, you can join freemasonry and you can call yourself a Catholic, but just know that you are not a Catholic just because you call yourself one. I can call myself a Doctor but it doesn't mean I am one because I do not practice it. It's the same as a person who believes in abortion who calls themself a Catholic, they are not by any means a real Catholic they are simply heretics. Michael Richards is not Catholic just because he claims to be. 00:27, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

Cheers appearance

I was watching Cheers the other day and he popped up in a minor role as a friend of Sam...

Unfortunately I didn't write down the episode title, does anyone have any ideas where I can get hold of it?

Cheers appearance again...

Sorry to repeat post but has a note here:

(Notice Michael Richards in the cast list as "Eddie Gordan")

Does anyone think that this is worthwhile including?

Vietnam war veteran

I've removed the sentence about him being a vietnam war veteran, and also the category. He was drafted during the war, but according to the article he didn't serve there, meaning that he isn't a vietnam war veteran! Bjelleklang - talk 13:35, 18 February 2006 (UTC)

Recent Vandalism

What Richards actually says is that "50 years ago you would be hung upside down with a fork up your ass", which is just weird and gross, and not necessarily having any racist connotation that I know of (though the rest of the tirade certainly is). The video from CNN with the "Offended Audience Member" being interviewed is really innaccurate compared to the video of the incident itself.


Someone keeps adding "he hates black people" at the end of the first sentence among other things. This article should be locked.

-- NickyBatts 20 Nov 2006 (UTC) The article now just says "Michael Richards is a racist" this page should be locked.

Lock it. Richards screwed up recently, but it's only going to lead to vandalism. -Betaeleven 17:10, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

I think it is important to add that one of Richards's comments was a possible reference to lynchings of black people: "Shut up! Fifty years ago we'd have you upside down with a f------ fork up your a--." From I hope someone adds this info. I don't have time or attention right now to wait until the article is unlocked to add the info above.

I will add a full transcript of the video of the event. I believe this is important due to confusion about the full circumstances, and the extent of abusive terms. 3dom 00:26, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Another consideration is that, odd and offensive as it may be, it doesn't seem as though Richards actually "believed" what he said. For example, after saying it, he continued onstage that it was "shocking" and referred to "what lays beneath" regarding the infamous word. --AWF

3dom, I have to disagree on the insertion of the full transcript. It takes up an excessive amount of space (almost as much as all the writing on his career), and while this incident may certainly have huge implications on his career, the full transcript comes out as fluff. A few quotes are good and I definitely think it needs to be illustrated, but a link and a a quote or two are enough. caz | speak 01:18, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

While I agree you could probably trim a bit of the repetitive content, I think it is important to document the incident in full, particularly in this case as there is debate as to the sincerity of the comments. I believe the transcript serves to show as evidence Richards' was not merely trying to be witty or sarcastic, but had become quite irate and abusive. 3dom 01:52, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

You should add this incident in full including a link to the video of how racist and offensive he got. He tried to change it into a more comedic performance but then went into a rage and that is when he used the "N Word". Before, he had made racist comments about the treatment of Black people fifty years ago. After his apparent calming down and twisting it into a joke, he went back into a rage and started using the "N Word". This incident should be included in full. With every racist remark documented.

what kind of retarded comment is this "record what he said", is he under some kind of trial? I thought there was freedom of speech in this country. And I know you have your opinion, but this incident has nothing to do with this article, do you judge the persons charachter with one action? no you don't.

The Laugh Factory

Should this article be protected because of his racist remarks at The Laugh Factory? There has already been vandalism.--TheBooRadley 16:32, 20 November 2006 (UTC) What I don't like is the white-washing (no pun intended) of his remarks by simply referring to them as "racially insensitive." Saying something racially insensitive would be accidentally or unintentionally letting something slip; Richards let loose a tirade of what is arguably one of the most insensitive racist terms currently in use towards black people, inferring that an audience member ought to be murdered in the fashion one might have killed a slave 50 years ago. That's not "racially insensitive", it's violent hate speech. Midnightguinea 16:39, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

NOTE: There were no slaves 50 years ago...more like 150 years ago.
Lynching of blacks didn't stop with the emancipation of the slaves. Lynchings were common as recently as the 1960's and I would not be surprised if a small handful have been carried out even more recently. — NRen2k5 15:58, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
Note: this is an encyclopedia. We're not here to make judgements. If people want to do that, they can watch the video clip or read one of the various news stories. I just put in a request for semi-protection for the vandalism. —B33R Talk Contribs 16:43, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
And as an encyclopedia the facts should be stated not sanitized. Allow the reader to make their own judgment from the facts. User Brown Hornet
I think this page should at least get a little admin oversight for the next few days - as per the facts, keep the phrasing the way it stands and link to the online video of the act so people can judge that for themselves? - Schrandit 16:58, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
I didn't know we had slaves 50 years ago. 17:58, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
I didn't know that anybody even implied "we" had slaves 50 years ago. — NRen2k5 15:58, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
Michael Richards' outburst wasn't exactly racist. Calling a black person a "nigger" isn't racist, it's a slur. Racism would be to say that the black man is somehow inferior or should be treated differently. And in my opinion Richards didn't quite do that, either. He went on about "fifty years ago…" and not "we should…". (Sorry if my use of the term "black" hits any nerves here. I feel it is more correct than "African American" because of the number of black people of African heritage living outside of America and the number of people of other races who identify themselves as African.) — NRen2k5 15:51, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

A few of us have made a sourced beachhead on the page, but I could see this requiring semi-protection for at least a few days. --Bobak 17:27, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

Just to clear up something, Richards didn't "infur" that the guy SHOULD be killed, but said that's what would have happened 50 years ago. Doesn't make it right, but let's not get mixed up and make what he did even worse.

I'll give it to you that stating he inferred such a thing on the actual article would be unacceptable, but let's be real here: the very definition of "infer" is to say something without actually saying it, and we all know what he was inferring. Midnightguinea 17:40, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
That's actually "implying." Inferring is drawing a conclusion. J21 20:29, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
J21 is right. Just a tip: Speakers imply, listeners infer. Jyroberson 20:43, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

I'm still not sure that this event is encyclopedic enough to deserve a section all its own yet. A Wikipedia article is not supposed to be something that we all run straight to for the latest gossip every time a celebrity does something goofy. It remains to be seen if this is something that will ultimately be notable in the big scheme of things in his career. This isn't quite a Mel Gibson meltdown - yet. wikipediatrix 17:44, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

For what it's worth, I agree. That paragraph has generally been attracting more unwanted attention from vandals too, hopefully that's stopped for now though as the article hasn't been vandalised in a whole 20 minutes! At this time though, I'm more inclined to leave it there, as it is well written and will hopefully stop vandals from thinking "it's not mentioned - I've gotta add it", and then doing a far worse writeup. Still waiting on semi-protection too. —B33R Talk Contribs 17:51, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
You can disregard most of my previous comment. Now that the page is semi-protected, I think it should be removed. If the news sources I've seen are correct and he went back on stage the next night, then it certainly doesn't appear to be career changing or particularly worthy of inclusion at this time. —B33R Talk Contribs 18:04, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
Add the section about the laugh factory back in. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that when you start calling someone a nigger and saying black people should have been killed 50 years ago it will have an effect on your career. And don't confuse gossip with current events. This is not gossip. 19:35, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
I think it deserves at least a sentence and a link - while its not huge news in the long term this is the most publicity he has gotten in a long time and it may have an impact on his career - Schrandit 19:32, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
No. It deserves more than a sentence because it is a current event. As time passes it can be widdled down to the appropiate size. 19:37, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
Is there a specific policy rationale for what you're saying? The simple act of being a current event does not automatically imbue notability, especially on a living person's article as per WP:BLP. wikipediatrix 19:43, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
No, there is no policy. But something like this is clearly noteable and deserves to be mentioned in this article. When has someone calling a black persion a nigger not had an affect on their life or career? Don't leave this out of spite for people who add gossip, this isn't gossip. This deserves at least a sentence, preferably that section that was in there originally because it was well written and informative. 19:59, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
Strong disagree. The article (and video) about Kramer's "racial meltdown" are featured on the front page at the top of the first several popular "news" sites I went to: MSNBC, CNN, Drudge, ABCNews, etc. I'm not pointing to these as encyclopedic sources; I'm simply asserting notability. I also think we're very close to swinging the pendulum to the other direction: we're now so worried about libel that we're asserting that a very offensive tirade such as this that's getting top-of-the-fold attention by virtually every news outlet is not notable. I encourage everyone to actually re-read WP:BLP. It warns against reprinting things from gossip magazines or inserting unsourced or NPOV descriptions of events. Given that this is not gossip and that there are many sources available (including AP), it seems clear that we should have a sourced, NPOV description of the event (no more than a few sentences). See the Kanye West article for an example of how a similar outburst was handled (when West protested the loss of an award on live television). The solution is not to wait 6 months and see if it blows over before adding it to the article, and I think time is of the essence here. Strom 20:01, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
Strong Disagree -- as per Strom. This was very, very questionable of the editors that removed it. I agree with the point made by anon- above: we can always whittle it down. WHat was there was sourced and IMO neutral. --Bobak 20:11, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
"Wikipedia: We protect funny celebrities from themselves!" I'd like to think not. --Bobak 20:17, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
Seriously. This isn't something "goofy." This is the most news he'll make for the rest of his career, in all likelihood. I'm really surprised that this was surpressed. Sylvain1972 20:21, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
By gossip I don't mean hearsay, I simply mean "lurid news". This incident is probably just a blip on the radar of Richards' total life, and yet it was given a huge section all to itself taking up 10-20 percent of the article. That's what's known as "undue weight". wikipediatrix 20:31, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
Actually I completely disagree with you about it being a blip - how can you say its not on the level of Gibson when his statements were far more offensive?
Regardless, Wikipedia's not a crystal ball and its not our job to access the future. The fact is that every major news outlet is reporting this, including international releases by the Associated Press and CNN. So, its certainly notable. It you believe that editors were giving undue weight then the solution is {{sofixit}} and rewrite, not revert entire good faith edits as if they were vandalism.  Glen  20:46, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
I never treated it like vandalism. I haven't reverted it again since more editors have come in and chimed in on the matter. Nevertheless, I still feel very strongly that Wikipedia is not WikiNews, and we aren't obligated to take every daily news story and amplify it into larger-than-life status on their article. As for the difference with Gibson, Gibson committed a crime - drunken driving. That's notable. Being a jerk onstage isn't, necessarily. wikipediatrix 20:56, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
So if Gibson had just been pulled over for speeding instead, and started bitching about jews it wouldn't be noteworthy? There is a big difference between being a jerk and being a racist or saying racist things. Calling people niggers is not being a jerk. He was not telling a joke, he was not doing an edgey comedy routine. He was using racial slurs. And yes, wikipedia isn't wikinews but that doesn't mean wikipedia can't have current events in it. 21:02, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
[Edit conflict] Im sorry but in all the stories of the Gibson incident I never saw one that focused on the drunk driving aspect as being the scandal, how can you possibly claim that that's what made it notable? I'd argue that if Gibson had said the same thing in any situation it would have resulted in the same result from the public. And if you cant see the difference between this and "any news story" then I guess thats where we disagree.  Glen  21:03, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
How do you know this is just a blip? Furthermore a blip can be a big part of someones life. Star Wars kid has had a few minutes of his turn into a big article on him. Should it be wittled down to reflect the actual percentage of his life it has taken up? It is current event so it will be expanded on a lot. People read a news article on him, come here to read about his life and work and add the sutff they read. Once this stops making news it can be wittled down to an appropiate size. By refusing to make any mention of this incident at all you are doing a diservice to wikipedia and everyone who comes here to read about current events. 20:48, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

I agree with this being a notable event for reasons stated above: It's showing up in multiple news sources and its verified that it happened -- a video of it exists and Richard's publicist (or whomever handled the PR for this incident) acknowledged it. So, let's see -- verified video from the horse's mouth on multiple international news agencies = not notable? That's news to me. Frankly I think at this point anybody removing this event from the article should be given a warning or an RfC for repeat vandalism. Professor Ninja 21:10, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

Please read our vandalism policy. Good faith edits are never vandalism as much as you or I disagree with them  Glen  21:15, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
Mmm, perhaps condescendingly assuming I'm not familiar with "your" vandalism policy would be considered a bad faith edit? Or condescendingly assuming a bad-faith contribution on my part instead of the good faith assumption that what I meant was that any edit that so violates the notability policies repeatedly should be considered ex post facto bad faith? Would that be bad faith, Glen? Professor Ninja 22:51, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
He didn't say "my", he said "our". That would include all editors. Even you. He also didn't say anything about bad faith on your part, condescendingly or otherwise. I think you're confused. wikipediatrix 22:54, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
Umm what?! Perhaps you should read the policy before commenting again Professor? I quote:
Are you claiming wikipediatrix does not have the best interests of Wikipedia at heart?  Glen  23:01, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

Can anyone tell me how this current revision helps anyone? The controversy section is now nearly the same size as his entire Seinfeld and pre-Seinfeld TV career. This is just ludicrous, there is absolutely no reason to have virtually an entire transcript on there. This is supposed to be an encyclopedia, there's already links to the video, why is anything other than a basic encyclopedic outline needed? —B33R Talk Contribs 22:19, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

I agree. This is ridiculous, tabloidish, unencyclopedic, and completely unfair to a living person. If the problem hasn't cleared up very soon, I'm going to reduce it to a single paragraph and if anyone wants to complain about it, they can take it to the WP:BLPN. (Edits made in the name of WP:BLP, incidentally, are exempt from the three-revert rule.) wikipediatrix 22:25, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia doesn't have to limit a section based on the size of others. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
You couldn't be more wrong about that. Guess you've never heard of "Undue weight". wikipediatrix 22:46, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
I was going to suggest the other sections are underdeveloped. This is a current event so it is easy for this section to grow with lots of information, useful and useless (feel free to edit the useless stuff like uneeded quotes, etc). I see no need why we need to limit ourselves because the rest of the article is small. 23:00, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
Y'know you cry "undue weight" but have you actually even read the poilcy? The first sentence: "NPOV says that the article should fairly represent all significant viewpoints that have been published by a verifiable source, and should do so in proportion to the prominence of each." On the Prominence of the incident, not how big the rest of the entry is. And most of the section deals with viewpoints, not informational context about an incident. Pacific Coast Highway {Gobble Gobble!Happy Thanksgiving!} 01:43, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
Not going to argue about it. Take it to WP:BLPN if you think I am in error. wikipediatrix 01:47, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

I feel there should be some differentiation made regarding the apology. There was a second performance which he was allowed because he said he would make an apology, but no apology occurred. See the history @ Erik.hensarling 01:14, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Is there really a need to have The Laugh Factory's statement? I mean, who really cares what their opinion is... -Betaeleven 14:31, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

This artical, is bias to say the least. It is put in a way that only reflects a Jerry Springer like tone. It needs to be written in a more constructive manor to show a two sided, but yet sceptic view on what happened. CHAMP

On a different note: Why is "Freemason" in the opening line?

Its hardly so notable as to deserve placement right next to Emmy Award winner and producer! And, looking at Category:American Freemasons (his category) I can't see from going down the list of other members one other article that even has this in the opening paragraph. Was this consensus from a prior discussion?  Glen  21:31, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

I moved it down now. It was wrongly placed (and lacked a following comma too, so it read "Freemason writer"). Bwithh 22:34, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

What's a Freemason writer??? Writing has nothing to with his Freemason title. He's a Freemason. It should be above his accomplishments in acting if anything. I think the artical reads well. Leave it alone, dudes. CHAMP

Controversy censorship

Uh, what's with the censorship of the controversy section (apart from one loaded ethnic slur which apparently doesn't qualify)? (WP:NOT#CENSORED) Bwithh 22:34, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

The censorship has been removed (see also WP:Profanity: "words should never be bowdlerized by replacing letters in the word with dashes, asterisks, or other symbols"). Strom 22:40, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

Addition of Category:Racism

I am opposed to tagging this article with the Racism category. If you look at other articles in this category, it's not a list of racist people, it's meant to include articles on the topic of racism. This article is not about racism. It's about a celebrity. There is no precedent for the Racism category to be used on every person in Wikipedia who has ever been documented making racist statements. We also must consider that this article is a biography about a living person (see WP:BLP). While it is prudent to mention the event, this only adds to the needless controversy surrounding the article. Strom 00:04, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

--Agree. I added the thing below before I saw this. --Macarion 00:06, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
Folks, the category isn't Category:Racist people, it's Category:Racism, big difference. The racism category concerns articles that are notably related to the concept. There are plenty of individuals in the category see: Jackie Mason, Mark Fuhrman, John Tyler Morgan, Johnny Rebel (singer), Joice Heth, and Jack van Tongeren. There's more where that came from. (Netscott) 00:14, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
When you think about an encyclopedia and its coverage of history, do you really think that it's prudent to declare Michael Richards a notable figure in the history of racism? To say the very least, it's way too early to tell. As you can see above, I was a big proponent of covering this event (earlier, editors had totally removed the section and protected the article). However, that category is clearly underdeveloped, given that Hitler and Martin Luther King, Jr. aren't in it. I just don't think that haphazardly putting an underused category tag that smacks of a libel lawsuit is the right thing to do (again, given WP:BLP). If there was an actively-managed "Race-related current events" category, this article would be a great candidate. Strom 00:36, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
I think its clear the category is not designed for general use as you intend. Also, if you read those articles, you'll see that those people have their central occupations based around the subject. An actor who makes racist comments for 30 minutes one evening definitely doesnt qualify (no matter how bad the comments were)  Glen  00:22, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
30 minutes? more like 3 minutes. And by Wikipedia's own definition of Racism, Michael Richards' outburst was not racist. Rather, what he said was just plain old hateful and laced with racial slurs. — NRen2k5 16:10, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

Imagine that, a racist comedian!!! What's this world coming to. I, for one, am not threatened by Mr. Richards comments, but note that it has NOTHING to do with this artical at ALL!

Racism category.

No, he wasn't actually suggesting that the man be lynched. We don't even know if this incident will be remembered at all a few months from now. His remarks weren't any new thing that someone would study if they were studying the history of racism. --Macarion 00:05, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Lynching in the United States

Adding text to the article about his line, "Fifty years ago we'd have you upside down with a fucking fork up your ass" relating to lynching in the United States does not in fact need a source due to the explicit nature of the statement. Wikipedia:No original research specifically allows for inclusion of text that is obvious in nature as this is. (Netscott) 00:36, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

It may not need a source, but it's not necessary. The way the sentence read was to this effect: "Michael Richards was caught on video talking about lynching ... " That's not the appropriate characterization of what he was caught doing. He was caught making a ton of horribly racist comments, one of which was about lynching. I just thought that it mischaracterized it, not as being too racist, but as being primarily about lynching. It was primarily about screaming racial slurs and having an on-stage anti-black meltdown. If you can find a better way to word that (i.e. not at the very beginning), I think that would be alright. I played with putting (see lynching) after the quote, but thought it broke up the sentence too much. Strom 00:40, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
Despite the fact that his statement is an obvious reference to lynching I did a quick perusal of news sources and there is decent support for that addition. I'd rather you in good faith restore the lynching text yourself if you'd not mind. (Netscott) 00:47, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
As I said, my real problem is not about sourcing, it's about mischaracterizing the topic of his comments. Feel free to re-add it in a way that doesn't cast his entire tirade as being about lynching, because that's just not quite accurate. Strom 01:01, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
Michael Richards was probably attempting insult comedy, of which Don Rickles is probably the most famous historically, and most recently Lisa Lampanelli, who lampoons her own relationships with African American men. Howard Stern also got a lot of laughs as a shock jock insulting people of all types, while Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog raised the ire of Quebec, Canada for insulting them during a segment of the Conan O'Brien show. As the article on Don Rickles states, Rickles would usually insult hecklers and audience members as part of his routine. Chris Rock also uses the n-word in his routine (but of course, Rock can get away with it for obvious reasons). If a comic is over-the-top-offensive, it's because the comic is trying to get a laugh, even from the person who is the target of the "tirade" (see roast (comedy)). The Comedy Central roast of William Shatner actually roasted everybody on the dais, from Farrah Fawcett to George Takei to Nichelle Nichols.
Numbchuckles 00:53, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
Numbchuckles, you're probably relying upon your own original research as you add this above talk. Cite what you are saying and source it. I'm citing and sourcing what I'm adding... it's all about notable and verifiable reliable sources. (Netscott) 00:59, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
Netscott, I put this information on this discussion page merely as a well documented historical background for people who might be unfamiliar with the concept of "insult comedy"; they only need to follow the Wikipedia links to Don Rickles, Lisa Lampanelli, and the other Wikipedia articles I mentioned to see that Richards' schtick isn't a new phenomenon. The situation really needs to be seen in the context of where it happened (during a stand-up comic's performance) and to whom (hecklers in the audience) before people start immediately acting upon the suggestion that Richards be categorized on a list of racists or take his words literally or twist his words or feel compelled to vandalize the page. As no mention of "insult comedy" existed on this page hitherto, it seemed like an appropriate time to bring up the topic. (The wikipedia article "hecklers" also has some information on how comics in the past have handled their hecklers, usually with insults.)
Numbchuckles 01:37, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
Are you really going to try and contort what was clearly a meltdown of racial epithets into some sort of purposeful form of comedy? Did you bother to even watch the tape? Did Don Rickles ever walk off and have the announcer come on an apologize afterwards?
Nobody cares that Michaels responded to hecklers — that's perfectly fine, par for the course. The problem was the racist meltdown — targeting the hecklers not just as hecklers, but as African-Americans.
There wasn't anything funny about the bit. The audience clearly saw this. Richards himself clearly saw that he had lost control. It is a sad thing to watch. I don't know that it necessarily means that Richards is a racist at the core, but the comments were clearly racist. And I think we can judge from the audience reaction (the "Oh my god", the sudden silence, the getting-up-and-leaving) that Richard's use of the n-word was clearly not done in a comedic context, and clearly took things in a very ugly direction.
This ain't a Don Rickles act. And if you can't claim to see the difference between how Chris Rock uses the N-word and how it is used when it is shouted in genuine rage by a white man, then you're either an idiot or a liar. -- 05:02, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
He was just trying to be shocking and showing the power words have over people. Comedians do this all the time. Watch Mind of Mencia one of these days. Skits like "Kanye West is a Crazy Nigga" are lined up right next to skits like "Ask Whitey". Richards really got the last laughs over all America, especially all yall who are up in arms editing this article. A washed up ex-actor speaks a taboo word and makes it to the front pages and yall buy it hook-line-sinker. He's a modern day Lenny Bruce but tweaking the PC liberals this time around while simultaneously exposing their hypocrisy. Imagine Chris Rock making a joke about cracker hecklers and being called a negro in return. Would this make the PC grave injustice of the day websites? Eviltwinster 07:38, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
I'm sorry but no. His original comment could be construed that way, but then to shout to the audience that "he's a nigger" repeatedly, and then turn the slurs on another audience member who took offence is not "shock comedy." Onikage725
That's why it's called "insult comedy", not "shock comedy". Nobody said stand-up comedy was easy (note I said he was "attempting" insult comedy), and Jay Leno has talked about nights where he (Leno) was on the road and bombed. On the Richards' tape, you can hear other people in the audience who "get it", as they laugh when Richards' starts his "tirade". When he states "All right, you see? This shocks you. It shocks you to see what's buried beneath you", clearly he's going the Lenny Bruce route like Eviltwinster suggests; check out the film Lenny that stars Dustin Hoffman, I seem to remember a particular scene in the film where the Lenny Bruce character says almost the same thing while doing his routine:
Lenny Bruce character: Are there any niggers here tonight? Can you turn on the house lights, and could the waiters and waitresses just stop serving for a second? And turn off the spot. Now what did he say? "Are there any niggers here tonight?" There's one nigger here. I see him back there working. Let's see. There's two niggers. And between those two niggers sits a kike. And there's another kike. That's two kikes and three niggers. And there's a spic, right? Hm? There's another spic. Ooh, there's a wop. There's a Polack. And then, oh, a couple of greaseballs. There's three lace-curtain Irish Micks. And there's one hip, thick, hunky, funky boogie. Boogie, boogie. Mm-mm. I got three kikes. Do I hear five kikes? I got five kikes. Do I hear six spics? Six spics. Do I hear seven niggers? I got seven niggers. Sold American! I'll pass with seven niggers, six spics, five Micks, four kikes, three guineas, and one wop. You almost punched me out, didn't ya? I was trying to make a point, that it's the suppression of the word that gives it the power, the violence, the viciousness. Dig. If President Kennedy would just go on television and say I'd like to introduce you to all the niggers in my cabinet. And if he'd just say nigger, nigger to every nigger he saw, Boogie, boogie, boogie, nigger, nigger, nigger, nigger, till it didn't mean anything any more! Then you'd never be able to make a black kid cry because somebody called him a nigger in school.I am of Semitic background. I'm Jewish.
The movie Lenny was released in 1974; Lenny Bruce himself died in 1966. If some of you (such as poster have the time, you might be interested to check out the movie from a library (or rent it, or whatever).
Numbchuckles 15:41, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

This is not remotely the same. Your quote shows Lenny Bruce was working on a point about the power of words and trying to change/subvert that power. Richards wasn't making some kind of commentary on racial idioms in American culture. Granted that one statement about "the things that come out" could be interpreted as meaning he was pretending to be a raving racist for effect, but for him to have calculated it that well seems unlikely. He also wasn't doing insult humor either as that's usually about the personality or looks or assumed intelligence of the heckler. It's not about threatening someone with violence or referring to violence done in past times. I don't see how your points are relevant IOW.--T. Anthony 14:31, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

T. Anthony, you have the benefit of the fact that I included the entire snippet of the Lenny Bruce monologue, from the insulting part to the conclusion (more dramatic when you see it on film, and you have no idea where the Lenny Bruce character is going.) If I had not included the conclusion, and cut off the excerpt at "Ya almost punched me out", you might have had different thoughts on the matter.
Likewise, Michael Richards' response was improvisational (unplanned) and he got cut off in the middle of his thoughts during that response; whether he conciously remembers seeing the movie or not, you can tell that he was heading in the same direction, especially when Richards says "You see? You see, there's still those words, those words, those words". When Richards says "They are going to arrest me for calling a black man a n-----?", it looks like he was referring to the fact that Lenny Bruce had gotten arrested on obsenity charges by local police back in the early 1960's solely for vocalizing certain "forbidden words" in his act (as explained in the film).
But in this case, because the whole incident was completely impromptu and unexpected, Richards got a bit disoriented doing the improvisation, unlike the polished performance in the film, and he was unable to take what he started to its conclusion. What was Richards thinking -- Should I go back to my preplanned monologue, what was I saying before I got interrupted, what's a snappy comeback, now people are leaving, maybe I did take it too far trying to get a laugh, ok, say something!
My point? People should watch the Lenny film to gain perspective on the incident, especially before considering editing Wikipedia regarding this incident. Lest anybody accuse me of being a shill for the film, borrow it from the library if they have it. Likewise, get some Sam Kinison footage to see that yelling style, throw in some Don Rickles and Lisa Lampanelli, and you perhaps understand why you hear people in the audience laughing. They get it, in other words it's not to be taken literally or seriously as a threat.
(I should also hasten to point out that I've been careful to say the "Lenny Bruce character", as I don't know if the monologues in the film are taken exactly verbatim from Lenny Bruce's real life acts, and how much "artistic license" the screenwriter had taken to embellish or enhance them. Remember when you're seeing the film that an Academy Award winning actor is doing the portrayal -- of somebody who had died almost a decade prior -- and that the scenes were probably rehearsed and refilmed many times before the director was satisified with the results. )
Numbchuckles 03:48, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
It wasn't part of his act, or "insult comedy" - it was an angry tirade. He was on the Letterman show last night saying that he was "full of rage", or something like that. - JScott06 17:10, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
If it was purposeful and not spontaneous rage, it apparently didn't work too well. Lenny Bruce's approach was calculated and not filled with racial hatred; it was the opposite, it ridiculed racism. I don't see any ridiculing of racism in Richards' comments. They betray this old idea that "things were better before y'all got civil rights." Wahkeenah 14:46, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
Exactly. He didn't go on Letterman saying he was trying to make a point and it went the wrong way. He said he lost it, he was filled with rage, and he was sorry. One could theorize all day and night about what could have been going through the man's head at the time, but his official word on the matter = angry tirade, not planned comic routine. Onikage725 03:58, 23 November 2006 (UTC)


I've already made a number of reverts on this article and so I won't be reverting anymore today but unfortunately this article is suffering from recentism. There's no need for an entire transcript of what transpired the other night on this article (in fact the inclusion of the text is likely a copyright violation). I would advise fellow editors to trim this (currently entitled) "Racism controversy" section down again. Thanks. (Netscott) 01:40, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Strong agree (I'm in the same position with regard to number of reverts). There is no reason for the full transcript to be included in this article. Also see WP:NPOV#Undue_weight and WP:TE##Undue_weight for discussions on this. A good example of well-written coverage of a celebrity's controversial outburst at a videotaped event is this: Kanye West#2006. Note that the issue is summarized in a few sentences with links to articles that contain the entire transcript and videos (or links to videos). There is no need to include all of this detail within the wikipedia article. Strom 01:44, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Including the entire transcript

I added this section obviously as the one above was added... great minds think alike :)

C'mon guys this

  1. adds nothing to the article that a synopsis could not and
  2. Looks ridiculous as it dominates the entire article
  3. takes advantage of this discussion - editors here who believe this shouldnt be included at all - it seems they have allowed a compromise, but this new section abuses that allowance

I am placing this here to see if there is strong objection, otherwise this addition should be reversed  Glen  01:44, 21 November 2006 (UTC) Strong agree that the transcript should be outed. A few quotes & a link suffice, and as it is now it completely dominates the article and add nothing that the quotes and link wouldn't. caz | speak 01:48, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Leave the entire script on the talk page until a consensus. I typed it up from the video as close as I could get. It is better than some of the other transcripts. --Kalmia 01:56, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
No, sorry, better it be taken down than left up. As caz pointed out, it really "dominates the article" and doesn't really add anything. Anyway, if we decide to put it back in it should be trivial to dig it up from the diffs. — NRen2k5 16:13, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
Maybe Wikisource it if you can't agree to put it in the article.--Kalmia 01:58, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Where the transcript starts

seems to infer that it was richards who initiated it, which is not true. WillC 01:46, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

That is where the recording started. If you have anything prior to that that you know of, please add it. --Kalmia 01:51, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Richards: "Shut up! Fifty years ago we'd have you upside-down with a fucking fork up your ass."

[Some audience laughter]

"You can talk, you can talk, you can talk; you're brave now motherfucker! Throw his ass out, he's a nigger. He's a nigger! He's a nigger!"

A female audience member: "Oh my God."

Richards: "A nigger! Look, there's a nigger!"

"Oooh! Ooh!"
(Moderates tone) "Alright, you see? This shocks you. It shocks you to see what's buried beneath you stupid motherfuckers."

A male audience member: "That was uncalled for!"

Richards: "What wasn't called for?"

"It's uncalled for you to interrupt my ass, you cheap motherfucker!"

A female audience member: "Oh my goodness."

Richards: "You guys have been talkin' and talkin' and talkin'."

"I don't know. I don't know. I don't know."

A female audience member: "This guy's going nuts."

[audience members begin leaving]

Richards: "What's the matter? Is this too much for you people to handle?"

[tape cut]

Richards: "They are going to arrest me for calling a black man a nigger?"

"Wait a minute; where's he going?"

A male audience member: "That was uncalled for you fucking cracker-ass motherfucker"

Richards: "Cracker-ass? You calling me cracker-ass, nigga?

A male audience member: "Fucking White boy."

Richards: "Are you threatening me?"

A male audience member: "We'll see what's up."

Richards: "Oh, it's a big threat. That's how you get back at the man."

A male audience member: That was real uncalled for."

Richards: "Wait a minute. He's not going is he?"

A male audience member: "It's not funny. That's why you're a reject—never had no shows, never had no movies. Seinfeld, that's it."

Richards: "Oh, I guess you got me there. You're absolutely right. I'm just a wash up. Gotta stand on the stage."

[Richards mumbles]

A male audience member: "That's it. We've had it. We've had it."

A male audience member: "That's un-fucking called for. That ain't necessary."

Richards: "Well, you interrupted me, pal. That's what happens when you interrupt the white man; don't you know?"

A male audience member: "Uncalled for. That was uncalled for."

Richards: "You see? You see, there's still those words, those words, those words."

[Richards leaves stage]

[A man in suit takes the stage]

Man in suit: "Don't know what to say guys, uh—Sorry about that."

Is this so blatantly racist? Can we at least include the "Alright, you see? This shocks you. It shocks you to see what's buried beneath you stupid motherfuckers." part, where he suddenly moderated his tone? This smells like its being taken way out of context, it's just really unfortunate. -- Jarno V. 09:41 CET, 21 November 2006

I quite agree. There is NO documentation of the context surrounding his comments. The video was subtitled by the audience member extremely quickly that night and immediately put on the web - hatchet job? There have been many suggestions that this tirade was part of a confrontational segment about what shocks people, which puts an entirely different slant on it. He obviously suffered extremely poor judgement and went about it the wrong way, but it's a mistake, rather than evidence of glaring racism. Sle 12:20, 21 November 2006 (UTC) 12:19, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Strongly agree. This transcript needs to seen to show racism in ALL of it's forms. There's White racism and Black racism in this transcript, and it's insulting that only one part is being harped upon. When can racism be one sided? Racism is bad no matter what color/ethnic group is stating it. Richards is wrong to be using the n-word. Those in the audience calling another a c-word is just as bad. Maybe folks should get back to Earth and read the transcript for what it's worth, and look at ALL of the racism being bandied about, not yet another star being outted for being human (for we're all racists to some degree, and it's hypocritical to see others climbing over each other claiming they're not). FResearcher 20:52, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

I got the video here where he does stand up and goes on a racist rant, calling some people in the crowd using the "N" word....

no FResearcher were not all racists to some degree. racists just like to think that because it makes them feel less guilty for being racist. yes i agree with you that racism is bad in any form and the other man yelling at richards obviously was racist too. but when you say "Racism is bad no matter what color/ethnic group is stating it" (and this is true) but then you say "for we're all racists to some degree" those two points kinda conflict with each other. i think youre just a bit of a hypocrite and you should think about your points a little more (especially the last one).

Keep to discussing the subject not the person, this is not a debate forum. This entry is to talk about the transcript and reasons for it's inclusion or not. Also unsigned statements have little to no weight, especially with such controversial subjects (i.e., trolling). FResearcher 21:15, 23 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Good grief! I just read this transcript for the first time after hearing about it. The trouble is that the media feel it necessary to sugar-coat it, and then it doesn't sound so bad. Richards must have been off his medication or something. I can't believe he went on this tirade. It maybe says more about the state of his career than anything. The cardinal rule of seasoned standups is to never let the crowd get to you, "never let 'em see you sweat." Either he let it get to him, as appears likely, or this was calculated, which I doubt. Notice, of course, how much ink it's getting. But I can't imagine this kind of publicity can be a career boost. For him to say, "I'm not a racist..." Sorry, but non-racists don't have the N-word in their vocabulary. Wahkeenah 06:23, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
I agree. I would paraphrase what you said by saying that the cardinal rule of seasoned standups is not to go into wild, unconrolled racist tirades using some of the most hideous words and imagery in the English language. This whole incidently makes me feel really sad, because prior to this I was a big Michael Richards fan, and consider Seinfeld to be one of my favorite shows ever - in part because of his performances. I also agree that this isn't a career boost. Only a maniac would try and boost his career this way, unless he was attempting to go for the KKK audience.HowardW Nov 22, 2006

Article is continuing to heat up

It looks like Michael Richards is appearing via satellite on Letterman, where Seinfeld is scheduled to appear: Michael Richards Apology Tour To Begin On Tonight's Letterman Show. The importance of keeping this article's balance will continue to be critical. We may not always agree on wording or even our interpretation of his comments, but it's good to see so many experienced editors taking an interest. Thanks to everyone for their work! Strom 01:49, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Sources of the day from, if people need them handy:

Letterman appearance

There should be a mentioning of referring to African-Americans as quote "Afro" Americans...its only right to fathom the situation.

I think there should be some reference to Richards' appearance on David Letterman's show. At times, it appeared somewhat incoherent (some in the audience thought it was a joke at first, with some awkward pauses in Richards' on-camera address, and his use of the obsolete term "Afro-Americans" at one instance), with references to Hurricane Katrina, "black/white tension" and other observations about society.

Jerry Seinfeld (who arranged Richards' appearance) noted Richards' actions at the comedy club were inexcusable but that "[Richards] deserved an opportunity to apologize." By the end of Richards' address, he sounded more coherent, and contrite, and drew applause from the Letterman crowd. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 05:10, 21 November 2006

First, was Jerry Seinfeld actually scheduled to appear on the Letterman show way in advance of the Richards incident or was this a hastily arranged appearance to prevent any long term effect to the sale of Jerry Seinfeld's DVD sales?
Second, consider that if Richards didn't get Hollywood helping him to get out of this mess, a lot of people stand to lose a lot of money if some Black leader like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, or the NAACP decide to boycott Richards and anything to which he is associated. I believe a new season of Seinfeld has just been released on DVD and with the Holiday season upon us, this would be the worst time for something like this to happen. Enter: The Damage Control Spin Doctors!!
Third, what Richards said, and his pathetic apology that included referring to African-Americans as "Afro-Americans" (Does this guy even know what century we are in?) and recalling "Hurricaine Katrina", was a thousand times worse than the couple of drunken stupid comments made by Mel Gibson. Yet, Hollywood is rallying to Richards defense while it horrifically attacked Mel Gibson in an effort that appeared to be designed to destroy him. Why the difference in the two responses from Hollywood? There's more than one reason but the main reason appears to be money. Jtpaladin 20:27, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
Though Seinfeld was already scheduled to appear on Letterman, this and other points you bring up have nothing to do with making this article better. This discussion page is for improving the article, not discussing Richards or the motivations behind the subsequent events. If a published source makes the above speculation/comments and you have a citation, we can discuss including them. Jokestress 20:34, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
On the contrary, this discussion and the points I made are all relevant to the article on Michael Richards. This incident will be a major issue in his life so discussing the relevant details are pertinent. I think we need to explore if and how Richards is able to avoid having his career ruined if in fact Hollywood insiders are pulling strings to keep him from ruining the "Seinfeld revenue stream". Also, can you please post a source that shows that Jerry Seinfeld was scheduled in advance of Richards outburst to appear on the Letterman show? It seems quite coincidental that Jerry appears at the exact moment that he's needed to intervene in this matter to prevent revenue losses. Jtpaladin 20:48, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
It is coincidental - Seinfeld was on Letterman to promote the 7th season of Seinfeld, which was being released the very next day. --LeCorrector 00:02, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

Uhm Jtpaladin, i don't see where your comming from saying the richrard's career is somehow not being ruined. I beleive you have to have a career in the first place to ruin. this man hasn't had a steady job in 6 years, and this doesn't appear to be helping. As for the mel gibson controversy, michael richrards was being refered to as "the guy who played kramer" in news headlines. he's hardly at the level of influence or stature that gibson has had for the last deacade or so. --Duhon 22 November 2006 (UTC)

Just so you know, I added this to the last sentence of the Letterman paragraph. I think it was quite notable; otherwise, it sounds as if Richards made his outburst, left the stage, and didn't issue any sort of apology until days later on Letterman.

Richards also stated that he returned to the stage to apologize but, by that time, most of the audience had already left. Cale 04:59, 28 November 2006 (UTC)


While the recent edits say he was permanently, many other articles state things like: "Richards did appear at the club Saturday, without incident, but that was because he had told the club he intended to apologize, according to a Laugh Factory statement Monday." This to me would indicate he's allowed to perform on there on the condition that he apologize, which he has. Given that these two articles seem contradictory, I think any info. on his banning should be removed until it's cleared up if it really is in effect. caz | speak 06:12, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

It's not a reliable source, but Laugh Factory issued a statement on their site that says "We have made it clear that Mr. Richards is no longer welcomed here." [2] Jokestress 06:20, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
Uh... how is information about The Laugh Factory from a press release from The Laugh Factory unreliable? --Savethemooses 06:51, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
Because it's clearly a temporary blurb on their site that will be removed in time and won't be verifiable. See this. I'm sure it will be quoted in a reliable source soon. Jokestress 07:03, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
This is ridiculous. Of course a press release is verifiable. Why wouldn't be? Because it's going to be deleted after some time from the internet? Wikipedia cites all sorts of things on the internet that get deleted, that's one of the main reasons that we use cite.php and link to Just about every single news article on the web will be deleted at some point or another. To take your logic to its extreme conclusion, books shouldn't be cited because they go out of print eventually. Wikipedia guidelines are clear: cite online sources, prefereably with cite.php. If the link is dead, look for an archived version. If you can't find it archived, make note of when it was pulled offline. --Descendall 05:32, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

The whole thing about being banned is just a rumour. Laugh Factory is just rolling with it to deflect any negative press they think they might receive, because, you know, people are stupid enough to want to attack THEM for what Michael Richards said. Sad but that's the state of things. — NRen2k5 23:29, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

A comedian's job is to make people laugh. Do that, and you'll be invited back. Richards wound up getting barred from the club. Doesn't sound like a career-enhancing move to me. When you're on stage being heckled, you've got the microphone and you are the professional and if you respond well then you score heavily. If you lose your cool, you stand to lose even more. Kramer simply messed up. --Uncle Ed 21:02, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Wake up people, he's not banned from the club. Give the guy a break. Wow.

Kaufman joke

Someone should add a link to incident's description -- 22 November 2006

Source for in on Kaufman joke?

I knew the story about his blowup at Kaufman. I had heard that someone said Michael Richards was in on the joke. Does anyone remember the source for this? Was it Zmuda? Another member of the Fridays cast?

At first I thought the current controversy was some Kaufman-esque joke. Plant some hecklers, call them niggers, that's pretty edgy comedy. However after seeing his 'apology' on Letterman it's clear that there is no Kaufman behind this and just a sick sad and broken man. I just wanted to make sure Michael Richards wasn't the only one that said he was in on the joke with Andy because that would be easy for him to do to save face after Andy was dead, but I have a hard time believing it now. Kfort 06:53, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Here's a source for the Fridays bit and follow-up. [3] Jokestress 07:09, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
I know that it happened, I want to know the source that Michael Richards was in on the joke. Kfort 07:13, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
'in on the joke' means that Andy told him about it beforehand Kfort 07:19, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
"No one, as a matter of fact, knew about it, except Jack Burns, myself, Andy, and one of the other producers, John Moffet. The cast did not know." [4] Jokestress 07:21, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
OK, so the only source we have that Michael Richards knew about it beforehand is Michael Richards. I really wish someone could track down Jack Burns or John Moffet and ask them if they knew Michael Richards was in on it. Kfort 07:25, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
I changed the wording to reflect the source, I hope this is acceptable Kfort 07:31, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
Looks fine. Here's John Moffitt with his version of events. [5] Also LA Weekly. [6] Jokestress 07:36, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. Just in light of the recent events it makes me wonder if either 1) Andy told Michael about it because he knew Michael was a great actor with a good sense of humor, or 2) Andy picked a skit with Michael to break character because he knew he had a short fuse. Unless a second source (such as John or Jack) can claim they knew that Michael was in on it (not just that they were in on it) I would prefer that we identify the source of this bit of info since it reflects character.
Michael Richards was lying when he said that he was in on the joke. In fact, I saw that episode of Friday's live that night and it was obvious that Richards was not in on the joke. The guy is not only a liar but he's also a racist. What he said on stage about African-Americans came from his core beliefs as he pretty much made clear during his on-stage rant. This guy needs a long vacation and a lot of therapy, as he alluded to during his "apology". Jtpaladin 20:35, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
Please limit your comments to issues involving improving the article. If you are angry about this incident, as many are, there are many online venues for expressing your frustration. If you have a published source stating Richards was not in on the Fridays joke, please provide it and we'll include it. Jokestress 20:40, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
I'm merely responding to the topic of this discussion which involves racist remarks made by the subject of this article. If you are not aware of his racist behavior, please watch the video of his remarks. Also, watch the video concerning his "apology" on the Letterman show. He refers to African-Americans as "Afro-Americans", an obsolete term much like the word "Negro", and partially blames society and a hurricaine for his outburst. These are all pertinent to the article since it is a major occurence in his life. Jtpaladin 20:58, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
Again, if you have a quotation in a published source you'd like to discuss regarding any of the above, please provide it, and we can consider it for inclusion. 21:09, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
Jtpaladin, I knew that the term "Afro-American" has largely been supplanted by "African American", but are you sure it's actually considered offensive? The African American Wikipedia article (which, granted, ain't scripture) lists it as a synonym for African-American, and seems to indicate it is acceptable if somewhat dated. 05:54, 23 November 2006 (UTC)


Does anyone have a WP:RS that he's of Italian descent? His mother's maiden name is Nardozzi, and if this is his family tree, it appears his maternal grandparents were Italian. But Rootsweb doesn't really pass WP:RS... Mad Jack 07:48, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Mad Jack, haha, were u the one deleting the croatian people's names from my list of Croatian Sportspeople, haha.
Yeah he's probably part Italian with that name, but on that link it says his mother's name is Minni and on the article it says Phyllis
Oh wait actually it says Filomena, she probably englicized her name to Phyllis —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cold water (talkcontribs)

Comments by others

I moved these here for discussion:

Kenny Kramer commented that Richards "had a tantrum. Michael is not racist; he is just not a very streetwise performer".[1] Comedian George Lopez said he believed the reason for the outburst was Richards' inexperience in stand-up comedy. " have an actor who is trying to be a comedian who doesn't know what to do when an audience is disruptive.... He's an actor whose show has been off the air, he shouldn't ever be on a stand-up gig."[2] Hollywood publicist Michael Levine, commenting that comics often deal with hecklers without becoming unglued, added, "I've never seen anything like this in my life.... I think it's a career ruiner for him. ... It's going to be a long road back for him, if at all."[3]
It may not be very long at all, if the notion of "any publicity is good" holds. Some people I have talked to believe that agents put fading stars up to do outrageous things just to keep their faces in front of the public eye and ear.MWS 18:08, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

These don't really add much to an encyclopedic article. A comment from Jerry Seinfeld might be more relevant, since the Letterman coverage happened during his segment, or perhaps from community leaders, but the quotations above seem to be recentism. Thoughts? Jokestress 11:04, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

They should probably stay in -- I think we can avoid accusations of recentism if we accept that the incident is a major one in the life / career of Michael Richards and should therefore have a major presence in his article. Jackie Mason had a similar career event, although in his case we have the luxury of being able to think and write about it years later, and decide how much type to give it. (Obviously it'll take a while for the true effect on Richards' career.) Secondly, all the persons quoted are professional opinions, (with the exception of the "real" Kramer) and therefore interesting to consider. Pablosecca 16:59, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Your argument is a tautology. If we just arbitrarily "accept" that the incident deserves a "major presence" here, we're helping to create a self-fulfilling prophecy and making it into a bigger deal than it is. While Richards' rant was awful, it's not even close to deserving an essay-length section. wikipediatrix 17:45, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
Not essay-length, but I don't think there's a rationale for cutting out the above. As to how big the incident is or isn't, I guess we have to decide that by consensus. Pablosecca 05:56, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

Laugh Factory Banning

Why is the paragraph about Richards being banned from the Laugh Factory with a supporting link keep getting removed?? Can someone please explain! I am getting really annoyed that pertinent information is being removed. Misterrick 17:25, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Probably because, as you just said yourself: it's a paragraph. It doesn't take an entire paragraph to state that he's banned. Reduce it to a simple sentence and I would support its inclusion. Some editors here are very concerned about the undue weight this incident is being given. wikipediatrix 17:30, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
The article states that Richards was banned becaue he didn't apologize during his preformance the following night. The source given for that absolutely does no confirm that he was banned after the second night. When wikipedia is presented with two contradictory sources, the correct thing to do is to mention both of them. I'm going to edit the article to do that. --Descendall 05:18, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

Why people are pissed

The fork up the ass would not have caused such ruckus, the word nigger is what made this a story. It is much more important than the lynching joke. -Lapinmies 18:42, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Interesting conclusion, but I watched the video and have another perspective. I think people left primarily because he kept raging at the heckler(s) even after they apparently began leaving.
The audience comes to laugh, not to watch a tantrum. Richards should have made a joke out of the heckling - preferable with prepared "anti-heckler" material - and gotten the audience laughing. Or just ignored the whole thing.
If he became too flustered to go on, he could mutter thanks and walk off - then he'd just be embarassed instead of getting banned by the club. And he'd have a whole day to ask more experienced comedians for tips on handling hecklers.
But he's a physical comedian: an actor who can look funny, not a stand-up comic. --Uncle Ed 20:50, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
What does any of this have to do with editing the article? This isn't a chat room. wikipediatrix 21:40, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
It's a discussion board and we're discussing!Walrusbeatle 1:27, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
It's not a discussion board; article talk pages are intended to discuss editing changes. Splintercellguy 02:16, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
Are you blind! The tab at the top of the web page is labelled "discussion"! Jees! And what we discuss here will improve the article!Walrusbeatle 15:00, 24 November 2006 (UTC)
It's also counterproductive to be a mother hen. The various discussion can lead to useful changes in an article, even if they start out looking like blogs. And if they don't, you can always push the "Archive" button. Wahkeenah 12:58, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
Most of the audience was actually laughing at the beginning of his rant.
...but uncomfortably. The fact that people laugh at something doesn't mean they think it's funny or even ok.

Incorrect Monk Info

Monk didn't move from ABC to USA. It was always a USA show, they just aired repeats on ABC in season one. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Evil sausage (talkcontribs)

Monk was developed at ABC and moved to USA. See Battaglio, Stephen (August 16, 2002). 'Monk': ABC loss was cable's gain. New York Daily News Jokestress 21:00, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Is Michael Richards Jewish?

I think it would be notable. And I had thought that he was, but maybe I'm just clumping him in with Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld. Answers? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

No, he's Roman Catholic. caz | speak 21:46, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
Actually, we don't appear to have a source that he's Catholic, but regardless, he is not Jewish. It seems to be a mistake perpetuated by people who think every caucasian actor who isn't Mel Gibson is Jewish.... Mad Jack 21:49, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
Although I assume this is a joke I think Richards being in Seinfeld is why people might think he's Jewish. It might be silly but Seinfeld was seen as "A Jewish show" in much of the US and many just assume actors from it were Jewish unless they have compelling reason not to. (And in fairness it looks like most of the main cast was Jewish after all)--T. Anthony 14:47, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
Mad Jack, first of all, that "Jewish Journal" webpage you linked to is not a valid source because that page's primary source is this Wikipedia article (and this article doesn't have fully reliable sources definitely stating Richards' religion/ethnicity) -- it also ridiculously cites an unnamed "television director who has known Richards for years" (as if that is definitive). That is a second rate source by all estimation, and not official in any capacity. Michael Richards IS in fact Jewish, CNN announced today. Plus, he works in show-business (a Jewish dominated industry), and is best known for a role on THE quintessential Jewish TV-show, and is commonly touted as a "Jewish stand-up comic." It is VERY common for Jews to be Catholics, particularly if they are of Mediterranean, Iberian, and/or North African descent -- just because they have converted to another religion doesn't change the fact that they remain ethnic/racial Jews, because being a Jew is BOTH an ethnicity AND a religion -- people simply do not understand this, particularly Americans. Catholicism is a common religion for Jews to convert to, all the while remaining Jews ethnically by marrying 'real' Jews and/or other Jews that have converted to Catholicism. In the USA and elsewhere, there may actually be hundreds of thousands of "Catholics" that remain ethnically Jewish while still professing an alternate faith. For instance, there are plenty of Jewish atheists, Buddhists, Taoists, Christians (Protestants or Catholics), etc. -- however, even though they have converted to another RELIGION, that doesn't change their ETHNIC status, i.e. they remain Jews ethnically, but not religiously. --Pseudothyrum 01:12, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

nicely put Pseudothyrum.

Ignoring the lecture on this above by Pseudothyrum, which cites no reliable sources for Richards being Jewish, it appears that now Richards' publicist is claiming that Richards is Jewish.[7] The Jewish Journal has said that Richards is not Jewish,[8] and this is almost certainly the case. I don't want to get into a revert war with Pseudothyrum, but I think the "Jewish American actors" category should be removed, because it appears to be disputed by a reliable sources while endorsed by another. Especially because of WP:BLP, which seems to command that disputed categories not be included. Mad Jack 01:19, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

Reliable sources? Sorry, but I think you seem to have this a bit backwards. This actor's Publicist and legitimate representative with the media is the ONLY reliable source I see. The publicist saying he's jewish is as good as Richards himself identifying his religion. Regardless, the publicist's statement is being run on the wire - no other media organization seems to be running with the Jewish Journal's story - probably because it is so poorly sourced. I think you should read the whole article in the Jewish Journal. This is clearly a rag, that doesn't meet Wikipedia's standards for legitimate sources. For goodness sake, the writer cites Wikipedia as one of his sources for the article! I'm sorry, but any legitimate journalist using THIS article as a source is NOT to be relied on! Cleo123 04:36, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

Also, stating that he is NOT Jewish when his public statement is that he is could be considered defamatory. You are essentially saying that he has lied about his religion. It is not for Pseudothyrum to prove that Richards IS Jewish. It is for you to find RELIABLE SOURCES that prove he is not. Cleo123 04:44, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

You didn't seem to see what the Wiki article said. It didn't say he wasn't Jewish, it said The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles said he wasn't Jewish. If there are two sides to a story, we should represent both. In this case, we should say the publicist said he is Jewish, and the Jewish Journal said he is not. That's exactly what the article said before you reverted it. We aren't picking one side as right and another as wrong, we are simply stating both sides. As for the LA Jewish Journal as a source, they are certainly reliable and even have a wiki article on them (and according to that article, "In 2005 it received more Southern California Journalism Awards from the Los Angeles Press Club than any other newspaper in its category (under 100,000 circulation)." - making them definitely a reliable source). They don't cite Wikipedia as a source for him being Jewish or not being Jewish; in fact, they explicitly said Wikipedia contained no mention of his religion. Mad Jack 05:08, 23 November 2006 (UTC)
Here is another source that says he is Jewish:
It's the same soure as already cited, more or less. The AP story where his publicist says he is Jewish (and that's already included in the article). Remember, reporting both sides (as is now done in the article) if there is a conflict of information is the proper way to remain WP:NPOV. Mad Jack 05:23, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

No, I DO see what the wiki article said, and I disagree with your POV. Clearly, the Jewish Journal is NOT a reliable source and we can only present 2 sides of the story if BOTH come from legitimate sources. I didn't say that the JJ cited Wikipedia as their source for his religion, but they do cite Wikipedia for other data in the article. I'm questioning the notion that ANY credible newspaper writer would use Wikipedia and THIS article IN PARTICULAR as a source for an article at all! It makes all statements made by the writer dubious & circumspect. As for his sources, he cites unnamed aquaintances and an unnamed director. (That's credible?) If this article had any credible sources behind it - other journalists would be picking up the story. So far all media outlets are going with only the publicist's statement. That should tell you something. Cleo123 05:29, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

It is a reliable source. Check the article on it. It says "In 2005 it received more Southern California Journalism Awards from the Los Angeles Press Club than any other newspaper in its category (under 100,000 circulation)." It passes WP:RS. If you consider it a non-reliable source, that is your right, but what is stated in the Wiki article right now is that it the LA Jewish Journal said Richards is not Jewish. Is that a fact? Yes, that's a fact, the LA Jewish Journal DID say that Richards is not Jewish, and based on the awards for Journalism they have received, they are a reliable source and worth noting. One could easily make the argument that a publicist for an actor, who is supposed to protect the actor's interests and provide a positive image for an actor, would in fact not be a reliable source. It's obvious there's a conflict of information here, and the only neutral thing to do is list both sources and list what they said, which is what has been done. Mad Jack 05:34, 23 November 2006 (UTC)
Also, plenty of reliable media sources uses Wikipedia as a source. That's beginning to be a problem, in fact. What goes towards the Jewish Journal's credibility here, is that unlike some of these sources, they acknowledged that they used Wikipedia, while others frequently just assume the info is true and take it without saying where it came from. Mad Jack 05:36, 23 November 2006 (UTC)
The Jewish Journal article denying Richards' Jewish ethnicity looks like something thrown together very quickly for "damage control," since tensions between the Jewish-American and African-American community are generally quite high these days, and Richards' tirade obviously isn't improving the situation. They'll probably take the article down in a day or two, but someone needs to inform the JJ staff that their article is entirely mistaken. Their article is a horrible piece of journalism if there ever was one; they really shouldn't have rushed to put up the incorrect information regarding Richards' ethnicity before all of the facts were in, and they DEFINITELY shouldn't be using Wikipedia as a source if they consider themself "serious journalism." --Pseudothyrum 09:13, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

Pseudothyrum: your observation as further evidence that Michael Richards is Jewish because "he works in show-business (a Jewish dominated industry), and is best known for a role on THE quintessential Jewish TV-show" is irrelevant and inappropriate. Moreover, may I suggest you consider refraining from capitalizing words for emphasis as it is a distraction. But I find your and Cleo123's principal point that Richards' publicist's statement, reported by the Associated Press and printed in The Washington Post and elsewhere, answers the question--until there is credible evidence to the contrary. Jack O'Lantern (Mad Jack): I've read the Jewish Journal piece and your opinions about it and frankly I find both the citing of it--and your reasoning in support--flimsy. The piece, which reads like an opinion column rather than a serious article, as observed by Pseudothyrum and Cleo123 cites this Wikipedia article which has already changed. This is lousy reporting at best. And to refer to it is circular. None of the wires or serious print agencies cite Wikipedia as source for substantive stories and I would challenge you to specifically cite otherwise. That the Jewish Journal may have received one or several municipal awards does not diminish the sloppiness of a piece which is already incorrect--by virtue of its citing this Wikipedia article--whether or not Michael Richards is Jewish. In fact, it may be that Michael Richards' publicist is incorrect or that the AP was in reporting it, but until other credible and refuting evidence, the AP article should be the lone source. The Jewish Journal piece is not credible and its citation should be removed entirely. Washington DC 10:52, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

Allow me to quote from today's article [9] in which it talks about Richards having hired a P.R. specialist and having seemingly gone on an anti-semitic tirade earlier this year: "As for reports that Richards shouted out anti-Semitic remarks during another standup comedy routine in April, Rubenstein confirmed his client did, but that he was only role-playing. "He's Jewish. He's not anti-Semitic at all. He was role-playing, he was playing a part. He did use inappropriate language, but he doesn't have any anti-Semitic feelings whatsoever," Rubenstein said." Wahkeenah 15:15, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

I don't think any of you understand what a publicist is and what they are suppose to do, especially when their client is on the brink of being accused of anti-Semitism as well as racism. This is precisely why it's non-NPOV to chose what a publicist says over what a newspaper that did its own research says. A publicist can say anything they want to make their client look good (or rather, not as bad). Quite obviously, Richards was raised Catholic and his mother is clearly of Italian Catholic background. I suppose it's possible his father was Jewish, though this seems a little unlikely, or that Richards is a convert to Judaism, though this also seems a little unlikely. Anyway, I'm sure we're going to get more about this in the next few days, since obviously something's up. Mad Jack 15:35, 23 November 2006 (UTC)
Damage control, yes. You'll notice I didn't post that in the article. Meanwhile, I'm sure that saying he's Jewish if he's not Jewish will go a long way toward winning points with the public and with the Jewish and African-American communities. Maybe he'll announce that Richards has an Ethiopian in his family tree, also. Wahkeenah 15:43, 23 November 2006 (UTC)
Martin Lewis over at the Huffington Post seems to consider the Jewish Journal a reliable source and takes it over what his publicist said.[10] Again, the Jewish Journal's claim should obviously be re-added to the article, though I'm unable to do so myself because I'd break 3RR. Mad Jack 15:59, 23 November 2006 (UTC)
Maybe, but I'm not going to add it, either, because the publicist has actually (presumably) talked to Richards about it. Has the Jewish Journal asked him anything, or are they reaching their own conclusions and claiming it to be true? Maybe they have their own reasons for wanting to deny his being Jewish. (If he is, which I don't know). Wahkeenah 16:06, 23 November 2006 (UTC)
Talking with Richards about it doesn't necessarily mean it's true; when it comes to details of personal lives, in some cases people themsleves aren't the most reliable sources. As for the Jewish Journal, it cites a television director who's known Richards for years and a few other sources "close" to him; of course, that's vague, but not necessarily unreliable, and Martin Lewis even referred to their article as "well-referenced"! Again, this is obviously a case where we should just print both claims and leave it at that. What the editors above have done is decide that one claim is definitely correct and the other is not, which violates WP:NPOV. Mad Jack 16:10, 23 November 2006 (UTC)
Patience, grasshopper. The truth shall become known sometime soon. Maybe. Wahkeenah 16:16, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

Jewish Journal column of Nov 21, 2006, on Michael Richards: reiteration and additional discussion

Um, the only reference for this statement seems to be a local newspaper article[11] which relies entirely on quotes from anonymous sources for this claim. That plus the fact that this is an article which also leans heavily on Wikipedia as a source for the most of their bio profile of Kramer suggests that isn't a source we should be using as a reference for such a big claim. Bwithh 21:43, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

I've removed the claim and the reference, as per WP:BLP - I couldn't find any reliable sources on this claim - just a lot of breathless gossipmongering on blogs based on the one local newspaper article; modifying to reflect official statements by PR spokesman. Bwithh 21:59, 24 November 2006 (UTC)
Nonsense, we're supposed to present both points of view per WP:NPOV. Martin Lewis at The Huffington Post says the Jewish Journal's article is "well referenced", which trumps any claim by Wikipedia editors that it's not reliable.[12] Anyway, the bottom line, I can't see any version of this article that doesn't cite the Jewish Journal's article. If you disagree, please get a request for comment or something of that line in here, I'm certainly not backing down. Remember, a publicist is a public relations person who is supposed to do damage control. Publishing their POV when it's challenged is not NPOV. Wikipedia isn't a fairground for Richards' publicist to say whatever he wants. Mad Jack 22:44, 24 November 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I saw that Huffington Post blog comment - "well referenced" means "anonymous sources plus Wikipedia" to Martin Lewis apparently. This is frankly, laughable. And yes, I know a public relations spokesman is. WP:NPOV shouldn't apply to obscure rumours - there's nothing to back this claim up reliably - read WP:BLP. And furthermore, I deliberately rewrote the line to emphasize that the PR guy was claiming this. I'll add the Jewish Journal comment as an unconfirmed rumour for now, but it's not acceptable to simply assume that the PR guy is lying and that the local newspaper gossipmongers have got the facts at this point - particularly as noone in the mainstream media has picked this up so far (as of time of writing, there are 3 hits on google news for "michael richards" and "not jewish" - 1 hit for the jewish journal article, 1 hit for a slightly reworded reprint of the jewish journal article in an aussie jewish online news site, and 1 hit for the huffington post. Bwithh 23:36, 24 November 2006 (UTC)
Oh yeah, btw, I posted about this a few days ago over at Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons/Noticeboard. But of course, no one reponded, because no one cares about this except people who want to make the point that Richards is Jewish and people who want to make the point that he is not, I guess. Mad Jack 22:42, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

It is quite clear that a good source says that Richards is not Jewish, and it violates WP:NOR to guess how reliable its sorces are. Further, Richards' agent is not an unbiased or impartial source. He has a clear axe to grind. We must balance the sources appropriately.--Runcorn 23:48, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

Please explain how the Jewish journal is a reliable source, especially when its astounding claim hasn't been picked up by mainstream media sources. Bwithh 23:50, 24 November 2006 (UTC)
Well, I attempted to write a compromise solution that presented both sides most clearly, but since it was rejected out of hand, I'm now tagging the article as having an NPOV problem for excessive reliance on an unreliable source. Assessing the source as unreliable is NOT original research, please see WP:BLP Bwithh 23:53, 24 November 2006 (UTC)
Note: the Jewish Journal claim was published on the 21st. As of this time of writing, it is now coming to the end of the 24th, and despite much blog gossipmongering, NOONE in the mainstream media has reported this huge claim[13], ][14] Bwithh 23:59, 24 November 2006 (UTC)
It looks to me like we have no solid evidence at present regarding Richards' religion. A statement by a publicist and an article in a Jewish newspaper are not enough to go on. The best we can do is treat them equally for the time being. Note that going back to the Seinfeld days, there are plenty of sources regarding the Jewishness of the other cast members, but nothing on Richards--JJay 00:14, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
I'd be fine with the article presenting both claims as claims (and stating the source of the claims in the main body of the text), without suggesting either is false Bwithh 00:29, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
That's exactly the way it should be handled for the time being. --JJay 03:15, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

Note - the publicist thing was an AP story that was shipped to 300 newspapers across the country, as AP stories are. Every single Google match is a copy of that story. Also see our very own Wikipedia article on The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, which states this paper won the most journalistic awards for a certain sub-group (under 100,000 circulation). It would certainly pass WP:RS. Martin Lewis is a respected journalist, and if he chose to endorse the Jewish Journal's claim over that of the publicist, then obviously that is a POV that needs to be represented in dissent to what the publicist said. As for represneting both points of view equally, that was my original idea. Here is the text as I inserted it two days ago (and we don't need to include anything in early life). If everyone is ok with the below, I'll restore it: "On November 22, 2006, reports surfaced that Richards had made Anti-Semitic comments during a stand-up routine earlier in 2006. Richards' publicist, Howard Rubenstein, confirmed the report, but added that the remarks were made as part of the act, and that Richards himself is Jewish.[20] The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, citing sources familiar with Richards as well as a television director who has worked with Richards for several years, has noted that Richards is not Jewish.[2]" Mad Jack 07:08, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

I don't agree totally with your wording, which doesnt mention that the Journal's sources are anonymous and states its claim as fact. I don't see what the AP news story has to do with the lack of google news hits for Michael Richards not being Jewish (I mean, how to explain this? Mainstream reporters don't read blogs? No, it points to a lack of confidence in the Jewish Journal's unsourced claim. In comparison, the AP news story IS sourced journalism from a major agency ) Reputable sources do not guarantee all articles from them are reliable. Also, Martin Lewis's article says he is primarily a humourist, music journalist, and marketing consultant - and Huffingtonpost is a blog without proper factchecking procedures. Bwithh 08:37, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
Regardless of the outcome of this, I think at the moment it should be culled off from early life and placed entirely under the "Anti-semitic incident section". The only info here related to early life is that he was raised Catholic, and since that seems to be in dispute as well it should go from that section entirely. (The publicist's claim is that Richards "IS Jewish", not that he was raised Jewish or his parents were or anything that would be part of early life). I don't mind if my bit reads "citing ANNONYMOUS sources familiar...". However, I don't see what "claim as fact" would do. Isn't every claim "claim as fact"? I.e. the publicist's claim. What do you mean by Google hits for "Martin Richards not being Jewish"? How often do you see Google hits for someone NOT being something as opposed to being it? And what do you mean by Google? In terms of articles published before November 20, none mention his background. The Journal published their article on the 21st. The publicist made his claim on the 22nd and this claim was repeated in the AP story that passed around through 300 or so newspapers across the country. Nothing points to a "lack of confidence" in the Jewish Journal's claim because no one has commented on it! A newspaper publishing an AP story isn't going to verify if the information in that AP story has been disputed and then write a whole article as to what's going on there. Being Jewish or not Jewish is not a huge claim by any means. The only source that comments on the Jewish Journal - Lewis - takes the Journal's word over the publicist's. As for "anonymous sources", btw - a lot of sources for a lot of newspapers are anonymous, so what? Anyway, going back to what I was saying before, are you OK with removing all bits of religion/ethnicity from early life, and putting in the version I wrote above (with "anonymous" added in if you think it adds something) Mad Jack 08:59, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
The following part of the article "In November 2006, a claim based on anonymous sources was made by the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles that Richards is "not Jewish" and was raised as a Catholic" is complete nonsense and should immidiately be removed, its source is proven to be unreliable and false. Even the wording is ridiculous, someones ethnic origin is not something, you claim based on anonymous sources, its fact and the religion has nothing to do with it. It has to do with your parents ethnicity and its irrelevant if you were raised, atheist, catholit, muslim whatever. Also the article has nothing to do with his early life, november 2006 was not his early life, last time i checked. Geza 09:18, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, I agree the whole bit doesn't belong in early life, however it certainly should not be removed from the article. Especially since it seems Richards' parents, or at least mother's, ethnicity, as you said, is not Jewish. As for "anonymous sources", one is a director who has known Richards, and who I would take to be more reliable than a publicist who has just been hired to defend Richards against claims of Anti-Semitism and racism. I don't know what "its source is proven to be unreliable and false" is supposed to mean, but Martin Lewis disagrees with you, and that's good enough for me. Mad Jack 09:23, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
OK, I've cut it out of early life .... let's see if the version under the controversy section pleases anyone.... Mad Jack 09:33, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
Jack, Since you asked, it means, that the quoted article in the Journal contains: "A biography of him on the Wikipedia web site lists no religion, but does say Richards is very involved in the Masons." You simply cannot use a source, which uses wikipedia as a source, its circular. Based on that quite alone i think the JJ is disqualified as a reliable source as per wikipedia policy. More so being catholic or raised as a catholic has nothing to do with this matter, whereas the article clearly treats it as if the question was about judaism, only religion, and being raised catholic excludes the possibility of jewish origin. Geza 09:55, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
I really don't understand what you're talking about. You'd be surprised that a large amount of media sources use Wikipedia as a source. Unlike those sources, this one 1. explicitly mentions that it does, which some of these others don't and 2. explicitly says that the Wikipedia profile listed no religion! So the information taken from Wikipedia in this case has no relevance to this discussion whatsoever. The information we're taking is that he is not Jewish and that he was raised Catholic, and they explicitly do not cite Wikipedia for that. Mad Jack 17:22, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

I find it laughable that some people are citing a comment made by Richard's recently hired (In the wake of this crisis) publicist Rubenstein as "proof" that Richards is Jewish! Rubenstein was only hired days ago, and he clearly did not know that Richards is NOT Jewish. It is not even clear that Rubenstein has even met Richards in person yet. He is hardly a reliable source, and clearly just assumed that Richards is Jewish.

Uh what? a PR person is going to communicate with their client, especially in an emergency. Bwithh 05:01, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
  • No more laughable than citing that Jewish Journal article which cites wikipedia as a source! Wahkeenah 13:35, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
    • See above. What they cite Wikipedia for has nothing to do with this discussion. They explicitly mention that Wikipedia listed no religion, so obviously they didn't get the information from us! How simple! Mad Jack 17:23, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
      • Maybe over the next few weeks we'll actually get an answer from the horse's mouth, as it were. Wahkeenah 17:31, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Martin Lewis has quietly changed his blog entry at Huffington Post; perhaps due to concerns raised by readers in his blog comments or perhaps due to editorial intervention - in any case, Lewis no longer states the "Michael Richards is not Jewish" assertion as fact. See this google cache of the original version compared with the current version. The title has gone from "Michael Richards is NOT Jewish" to "Michael Richards is not Jewish... or is he?". A key line has also changed from "But - as the Jewish Journal has pointed out in a well-referenced article - Michael Richards is NOT Jewish. He was neither born Jewish - nor raised Jewish." to "However the Jewish Journal has claimed in a well-referenced article - that Michael Richards is NOT Jewish. According to the article he was neither born Jewish - nor raised Jewish." Bwithh 04:57, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
More CYA backtracking: Lewis replaces "But if Howard Rubenstein is to represent his client well - he should at least be accurate about his client's religion." with "But given the many conflicting stories currently abounding on the internet - it would be good to get clarity about what faith Michael Richards was raised in." Bwithh 05:04, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
Excellent. Then our version currently reflects the confusion over the issue, since it is evident such confusion is present and needs to be reflected in the article, if we're getting into the issue at all. Mad Jack 05:30, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
Dunno if he's a reliable source, but comedian Paul Mooney also said Richards isn't Jewish... [15] Mad Jack 05:44, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
Since that paper was using wikipedia as a source, maybe they are backtracking due to the "confusion" here. That amounts to a vicious cycle. Wahkeenah 06:08, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
Gosh, can we can the whole "using Wikipedia as a source thing" here? I'm sure I don't have to tell you for the fifth time that the Journal did not use Wikipedia as a source for A. Richards not being Jewish or B. Richards being raised Catholic, and these are the only pieces of information we are using the Journal for. What they did use Wikipedia for were the bio details that we still have up and that have nothing to do with this discussion. But, again, you already know that, so I'm not sure why you're bringing it up. I agree that "Using Wikipedia as a source" is an absolutely terrific argument, but I'm sure you realize as well as I do that the information they were using Wikipedia for is not the information we're discussing right now. Mad Jack 06:21, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
You're taking on faith that they reported their source utilization correctly. In any case, it would be better for this site to not be at the forefront of ongoing news stories, since wikipedia is not supposed to be an "original" source. Wahkeenah 06:33, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
Well, we know for a fact that, unlike other sources, they admitted that they took information for Wikipedia, and they did. They said that they took the information we are discussing from a director who has known Richards and from other sources close to Richards. If they were honest about their Wikipedia info-taking, why would you think they wouldn't be honest about their other sources? And, if you answer that question, we're getting into the area of original research and analyzing and nitpicking where sources may or may not have gotten info from. The LA Jewish Journal passes WP:RS as a peer-edited newspaper (not to mention it's gotten the most journalistic awards for a certain category), and besides, we're not even reporting what they said as fact, but simply that they said it, which IS fact. As for ongoing news stories, we certainly can't stop sources from using Wikipedia as an information news resource. However, it's nice when they admit they do, like the Journal, and not so nice when they do but don't admit it, like a few others I have seen (unrelated to this case). Mad Jack 06:39, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

Here's an even more emphatic statement by his publicist which was reported in the Chicago Defender: "He is Jewish," Rubenstein said. "I don't know about what other reports have said. I am his spokesman and I am telling you he is Jewish. You got that directly from me."

NOT RELIABLE: The sourced article is from a JEWISH NEWS WEBSITE. It's already NPOV enough, given that the site itself is out there to attack people who 'slandarize' Judaism. On top of that, their 'sources' are anonymous. They can't cite a single actual source that anybody can check and confirm. --Captain Cornflake 21:59, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

  • Meh, using the same argument, his publicist also has a POV and therefore isn't reliable. So, we're either putting both in or we're not putting either one. Enough already. Mad Jack 22:21, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
So why bother having it at all, then? We can just put "It it unconfirmed if Richards himself is Jewish or not" until we hear from a more reliable source. --Captain Cornflake 22:29, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
Isn't that what we have right now, in so many words? "It is unconfirmed" is kind of original research. Saying one source says yes and the other says no basically amounts to that anyway, doesn't it? Mad Jack 22:31, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
Too many words. Maybe just 'it is disputed' with the [1] and [2] afterwards linking to the sources. --Captain Cornflake 22:54, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
You mean something like - first mentioning the anti-Semitic incident - and then stating "It is disputed whether Richards himself is Jewish"? Sure, I guess you should put that in if you want to, I won't object. Don't know about anyone else, but I guess it's worth a shot. Mad Jack 22:56, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
Then it will be interesting to see how many news articles elsewhere start saying "it is disputed whether Richards himself is Jewish." Then, at least, we might get an answer. Wahkeenah 22:59, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

Use of the Term Racist

I think the use of the word racist in the links section in regards to Richards' comments biases any potential reader. We can not know Richards' intention when he made the comments and addressing the marks as such seems to skew judgement on them for their own merit, and on his later apology. The references should be changed to Laughing Stock comments, in line with the section in the article. caz | speak 21:46, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

I agree. It is debatable to say that Richards is racist. Wikipedia should be objective and not claim he is racist, only give examples of his remarks in the context he gave them. Readers should decide for themselves if "HE's A RACIST!! HE"S A RACIST!!" What Lies Buried 22:12, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

I have to agree as well. It takes the kind of "dull mind" Emerson spoke of to not understand that sometimes, in order to properly hurt someone that we want to hurt, one often has to escalate to saying meta-horrible things. We have no idea whether Richards is a racist or not, but we DO know he said some extremely racist things. wikipediatrix 21:58, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Proposed removal of YouTube and Blog links

As a standard practice, many editors automatically revert external links to blogs, youtube, and so forth per WP:EL & WP:SPAM. Remember, Wikipedia is not a link farm. Given the attention this article has received, I didn't want to make any changes without discussion. Both of these links are under External Links.

  • Re the YouTube link, note that the link to source (currently reference #12) has a link to the video and is the original source of the release.
  • The link is A Blog About Michael Richard's Racist Rant -- there's no reason to link to every blog (or any blogs) regarding the incident. They are not encyclopedic sources and, as said above, WP is not a link farm.

What do others think? --Strom 22:02, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

WP:EL is quite clear about this. Remove 'em. wikipediatrix 22:03, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
Chop, chop... I've just added some links about the lynching angle... I suppose those could be trimmed to two or three as well (to say just the USA Today, MSNBC, and Canadian Broadcasting Corporation links). (Netscott) 22:06, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
Agreed. TMZ footage is linked in the notes. Leave IMDb external link (and maybe Yahoo Movies). Jokestress 22:08, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
Here's a link to the actual incident caught on film: (WARNING! LANGUAGE!).. Would that be worthy of being linked to at the bottom? Karozoa 12:30, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

The article and discussion page is somehow changing to the title 'Racist Cracker' from Michael Richards when you click discussion and also the link to Michael Richards's Yahoo! page is titled 'Racist Cracker' instead of Michael Richards at the Yahoo! site. This is inserted into the formatting in some way and needs to be deleted so it stops doing this. - Russell

WP:EL is not clear on this at all. There is no proscription on YouTube with good reason given that CBS, NBC and numerous other major media companies are hosting material with YouTube through partnership agreements. I've restored the link to an excerpt of the Richards apology that was released by CBS. --JJay 01:49, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

Black v. African-American

I've seen no source saying the hecklers were from Africa. Black people is a more appropriate link. BabuBhatt 22:55, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

An African-American doesn't have to be from Africa to be that. They have to have African roots and be American. Black implies African roots as well. Black would only be approporate since we don't know if they are from America. Mick65 01:22, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
Although I do understand why editors would use African American vs. black, the fact is for those outside of the U.S. who are less than familiar with the African American term, they will likely picture an African immigrant newly arrived in the U.S. when this is almost assuredly not the case in this instance. (Netscott) 01:25, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
Mick, i disagree with you, but besides that point Wikipedia should only include sourced material and the source says Heckle Man is black. BabuBhatt 01:29, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
Actually, Mick has it right. It's more PC to refer to someone as Black. We don't actually know if the man is American. Sad moments like these can been seen when people refer to Blacks in the UK as African Americans. Yanksox 15:00, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
How does that make Mick "right"? He was pulling for African-American. BabuBhatt 15:43, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
Mick was saying that we don't know if the men heckling Richards were American or not. (Netscott) 15:48, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
The use of the term "African-American" is presumptuous and unclear in that it implies an immigrant from Africa to America, as opposed to a native American or immigrant from another country. Removing it.

I was the original editor who substitiuted African American for Black. I did this because the term African American is the politically correct term for negroids in the United States. Because this is already a racially charged incident, I saw no reason to describe the heckler as "black". This adjective is sometimes seen as objectionable in the USA because it describes skin color, not ethnic identity. For this reason, I saw the use of the adjective black - as a bit inflamatory in the context of the article. Cleo123 05:14, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure the word "black" is only seen as objectionable when it's used as a noun, similar to the word "gay". In any case, using the obsolete anthropological term "negroid" is almost certainly politically incorrect (and possibly inflammatory). 06:10, 23 November 2006 (UTC)
During the last few decades, the shifting sands of what the politically-correct label is for dark-skinned African-ancestored Americans has become a subject of both exasperation and ridicule by light-skinned European-ancestored Americans. Wahkeenah 16:14, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

The only difference between a black person and an African American is nothing. Anyone who tries to make a difference is ignorrant. Why don't we focus on the fact that the guys in the Laugh factory were just insulted by the comments.

So sure of yourself you can't even sign your mistaken comment, eh? The difference between the two terms is one indicates the person is an American whose family is from Africa. Not all black people are Americans. BabuBhatt 18:48, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

How 'bout you just use American of African descent. It sums up the two main points: the person in question is an American (by their nationality), and they have African blood (West African if I know my history).

The AA term means a black American of African ancestry. I have heard of white Americans of Italian ancestry call themselves Italian-Americans because thy're proud of thier heritage, although it does apply to people from Italy who moved to the U.S. By the way, Africa is a continent, not a country. If a black guy immigrates from Nigeria to the USA, he is Nigerian-American. Got it?~


Nothing more need be said than:

The Laugh Factory has since stated Richards is no longer welcome at the venue. [4] [5]

Anyone disagree?  Glen  05:37, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

Okay, it was changed next edit. However, you are making assumptions - and inserting words into their mouths. - read the statement - no mention of a promise merely an "intention"  Glen  05:40, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

  1. ^ ""Kramer" spews racial slurs". Retrieved 2006-11-21. 
  2. ^ Elber, Lynn."Richard Has Angry Outburst at Club." November 20, 2006. Retrieved on 2006-11-21.
  3. ^ Elber.
  4. ^ Mariel Concepción (2006). "Comedian Michael "Kramer" Richards Goes Into Racial Tirade, Banned From Laugh Factory" (HTML). News wire. Retrieved 2006-11-21. 
  5. ^ Laugh Factory statement from

Lynching Reference

There has been a lot of mis-quoting of the statement "Fifty years ago we'd have you upside-down with a fucking fork up your ass." I made an edit to remove the word "hanging" that was inserted between " [hanging] upside-down..."

Currently the article has this following that quote:

"(an apparent lynching reference [8][9] [10] [11] [12])" I think this is conjecture and editorial and should be removed. There really is no basis for it that isn't speculative. Qwerty2020 10:10, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

All of those sources say it is a lynching reference. While I don't think we need all of them, it's not speculation to say that many media outlets are saying that's a lynching reference. They may be speculating, but we certainly are not by reporting their statements. Jokestress 10:22, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
What else would he be talking about when he starts out with "50 years ago"... that is pathetically obvious and I dare say the sources aren't even needed based upon Wikipedia:No original research allowing for text that the average adult would understand without interpretation. (Netscott) 11:23, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
If it's pathetically obvious, then I say we remove the parenthetical entirely. It doesn't seem necessary, in my opinion. Jokestress 11:34, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
Does your suggestion really make sense given that the object there is to inform the reader about lynching (particularly lynching in the United States) to which he makes reference? (Netscott) 13:14, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
There are lots of instances in wikipedia where things that are "pathetically obvious" to you and me might not be so to someone who lacks knowledge about a subject, and thus citations are included for educational purposes. If that one user thinks that specifically citing lynching is "speculative", then alternatively one could cite an article that goes into the entire megillah about mistreatment of minorities in this country. Somehow I suspect that would be overkill (pardon the ironic metaphor) but it would cover the allegation of being "speculative", since it's not speculative that he's referring to some type of mistreatment of black people that was considered relatively common 50 years ago or so. Now, what could that be? Maybe not lynchings. Maybe separate drinking fountains? Wahkeenah 13:38, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
When you're talking about "we" you're talking about a lynch mob and when you're talking about having a black man, "upside-down with a fucking fork up your ass" you're talking about behavior that corresponds to this, this and this. I'll admit that his reference is a bit subtle...but it certainly is obvious for anyone who knows anything about the history of lynching in the United States (which granted Wikipedia users outside of the United States might not be so familiar with). (Netscott) 13:55, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
Precisely. And I'm just saying that needs to be explained to the uneducated, and examples need to be cited, not omitted on the grounds of "speculation". It is not "speculation" that he was referring to extreme violent physical abuse of blacks by whites, which included beating, lynching and also castration and the like, which may be another violence he's referring to, with the "fork" comments. Wahkeenah 14:50, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
While the sources may speculate that it's a reference to lynching, I'd have to point out that I've never heard of one being done with a fork before. I think that particular crime actually involved rope, not flatware. I've also heard some interviews where someone 'repeated' a 'quote' that included the word "hang". Interesting since Richard's never said that particular word while he was onstage that night. Are we going to cite that interview as well? As for the use of the word "apparent," my first interpretation of Richard's diatribe was that a bouncer would toss him out on his ass (upside-down) and stick a fork in him, he's done, as the saying goes. There's no hanging in that. And bouncing isn't a crime since they can toss whomever they see as disruptive. So, no, he did not make an "apparent" reference to lynching as far as I could tell.Mangler 00:08, 23 November 2006 (UTC)
Ultimately unless a given detail is inherently obvious to the average adult, what we as editors can tell is immaterial. Wikipedia's policies require that a detail like this be verifiably and reliably sourced. There were originally 5 reliable sources cited for the "lynching" aspect of Richards' tirade but in the interest of slimming down the article this was trimmed down to three. So, while your interpretation of the event may make sense to you, adding it to the article without it being reliably sourced would be an example of original research which Wikipedia does not allow. (Netscott) 00:38, 23 November 2006 (UTC)
The more I look at this, the less convinced I am that he was talking about lynching, as such. The part about the fork suggests "done" in modern slang, but what's the deal with "50 years ago"? As code word for "before civil rights laws"? That suggests some kind of white-dominant abuse, but maybe not lynching. So maybe it would be better to just cite what transpired and let the reader put his own spin on it, if any. Wahkeenah 00:52, 23 November 2006 (UTC)
"50 years ago" would be referring to the prevalence in the United States during the 1950s of lynching. See this section of lynching in the United States that specically mentions the case of Emmett Till who was murdered in a lynching in 1955. (Netscott) 01:04, 23 November 2006 (UTC)
Indeed. That leaves the question of the fork. Maybe he's talking partly about lynching and partly about the ability to eject people of color from white establishments, and the license, as it were, to physically abuse them. I'm not saying lynching shouldn't be cited. It's just that, believe it or not, that might be only part of the attitude he copped onstage. White guys often say they are not racists, or not anti-semitic, or whatever, after going into such a diatribe. But it has to come from someplace. If the N-word is not in one's vocabulary, then one will not likely use it. The question in my mind, which only Michael himself can answer, is What was he thinking??? What was going on with this guy? Was he off his medication? Is he suffering from post-hit-TV-show traumatic stress disorder? The specific words he used and the allusions he made are maybe less interesting than the answer to my question... which might be hard to learn, although maybe he'll write a book sometime soon. Turn lemons into lemonade, ya know? Wahkeenah 01:19, 23 November 2006 (UTC)
50 years ago = second class citizen (at best). Fork up your ass? Aggressive for sure, but doesn't even suggest lynching. If reputable sources speculate, then report them, but leave it at that - don't give their speculation credence just because they're reputable. What a toole - he should stick to clowning.-- 02:19, 23 November 2006 (UTC)
Part of what I'm saying is that too much attention is being focused on the words, and not enough on the bigger picture. Is his career in the tank? Was this a "cry for help"? Can we expect to see him on Dr. Phil sometime soon, along with his hecklers, having a hug-fest? Wahkeenah 02:22, 23 November 2006 (UTC)
The citations in the article are valid relative to the lynching aspect of Richards' "performance". I would tend to agree with the anon save for the fact that second class citizens weren't subject to being forceably made to turn "upside down". (Netscott) 02:26, 23 November 2006 (UTC)
The 'Apparent Lynching reference' is ludicrous and has to be deleted. The complete sentence is quoted already, the readers can decide for themselves if its apparent to them or not, or what it refers to the words are already there. Quoting three sources speculating about its meaning is utterly pointless, when the sentence is already there. Delete.
I'd consider myself very well known in American history, and I have to say, I am NOT seeing alynching reference. I don't see how the upside-down part and the fork have anything to do with lynching. 99% of lynchings we're regular hangings. If he said "50 years ago you'd be hanging dead from a tree" THEN I'd say it's "obvious". But this IS NOT. Sabar 08:52, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
Jesse Jackson discussed the lynching aspect with Richards on his radio program Keep Hope Alive and Richards did not deny his comments were a reference to lynching. If you have not done so already please do your best to inform yourself about the lynching aspect. thanks. (Netscott) 15:57, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
I think the reference to lynching is pretty clear. More importantly, it has widely been interpreted as referring to lynching, and Richards has not denied it. It's important that we mention it in the article, as there are some who will not be familiar with the history of lynching in America, and therefore the reference will be lost on them. Yes, I'm aware that lynchings did not generally involve forks per se. But they often involved torure of various kinds. I'm not sure why there's so much resistance to this. IronDuke 16:08, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Laugh Factory section needs to be cut down

The coverage of this incident is disproportionate compared to everything else in the article. And do we really need half a dozen references saying the same thing?Djedi 13:20, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

Given that the coverage of this event has not died down (see CNN's video section) and being that he had to go on national television to apologize about his behavior, I don't think the current size of this section of the article on him is disproportionate. There were other editors who previously were adding an entire transcript from the event to the article and in those cases I totally agreed with what you are saying here. (Netscott) 13:39, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
Is it really necessary to have five links talking about what Richards said? The fact that is said it is not disputed - there is no need for it. Djedi 15:06, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
I've just cut down the lynching refs. There were five there originally due to the fact that other editors were disputing the lynching aspect of what he said. (Netscott) 15:11, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

Couldn't agree more. Wikipedia shouldn't become a tittle tattle gossip column. The incident at the comedy club should be no more than 3 sentences. It is spurious nonsense about an infinitely tiny event. Cut it back by 90%.Iamlondon 18:09, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

  • I disagree. Needs to be covered extensively in the article or possibly spun out to a new article. This is the biggest thing Richards has done since Seinfeld. It has been covered worldwide. Our job is to report that to the fullest extent possible. --JJay 20:45, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
    • I agree with JJay. "Recentism" isn't a bad thing. It just means our coverage of that which is not recent needs to be expanded, not vice versa. There's no problem with having one section be long enough for FA status, except that the rest of the article needs to be brought up to that level Mad Jack 20:50, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

Disabled to edits

Why does the page say what it says at the top and yet this clearly newly registered user had his way with the article? BabuBhatt 15:52, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

It is possible that the User:Curtisaallen account was registered some time ago but never utilized till today. When such accounts are layed away for nefarious purposes they are usually known as sleeper account on Wikipedia. (Netscott) 16:01, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
It really took me awhile to find this out but a look at the creation log shows he registered 22:23, 13 November 2006.--John Lake 09:39, 23 November 2006 (UTC)
What would it require for the program to be changed so that users with no edits so far would be treated as if they were brand-new? Wahkeenah 16:07, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
Hmm, that's not a bad idea. My recommendation is to post it to: Wikipedia:Village pump (technical). (Netscott) 16:11, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
I got a quick answer, and I expect he's right: "I'm not entirely certain that the change would be that helpful. Vandals who use sleeper accounts have already shown some degree of sophistication. All it'd mean is that they'd have to make a single superfluous edit before laying the account to rest for a while." User:GeeJo 16:29, 22 November 2006 (UTC) Wahkeenah 16:34, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
Another user added the idea of requiring a minimum number of edits, maybe 100, before he would no longer be considered a "new" user. At least he'd have to work a bit for the "right" to vandalize. Wahkeenah 21:59, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
Looks like a no-go. I was told that, "There's no way to get an editcount directly within MediaWiki, as the number of edits is not recorded anywhere in the database (that means, there is no editcount table, or editcount field in the user database table). It can be derived through a separate expensive query, like it is done in the Toolserver, but it would be IMO too expensive to make the same query until a certain number of edits are made to the site, and the user gets the autoconfirmed flag." Wahkeenah 02:24, 24 November 2006 (UTC)
It's possible the person made the account to start articles on subjects that were deleted. Contributions to deleted articles aren't included in the list. --WikiSlasher 14:10, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

The real question is

What did the HECKLER said that made Michael Richards so mad. Nobody is asking that question.

  • Unless he directly threatened Richards in some way, it's not relevant. Heckling is an occupational hazard for standups, and as professionals they have to find a way to deal with it. Wahkeenah 16:02, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
  • That's not to say it wouldn't be interesting to know what set him off. But unless it was some kind of personal threat, Richards can't use it to excuse his response. Wahkeenah 16:03, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
What does any of this have to do with the editing of the article? wikipediatrix 16:13, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
Edit/conflict, From following news reports about the controversy what I've heard is that two men were talking disruptively with one of them telling the other that Richards, "wasn't funny"... and that Richards interrogated them and one of them explained to Richards that his friend was saying that he [Richards] wasn't funny. (Netscott) 16:14, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

I agree with User:Wahkeenah and User:Wikipediatrix that this aspect of the event is essentially immaterial. (Netscott) 16:18, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

It does have to do with editing the article, in that it would be helpful to present some information of what set him off. Neither his reaction nor anything else that happened suggest he was being physically threatened, but merely being ridiculed, which is the chance you take when doing standup. But there should probably be something there, so that readers will be less likely to say, "Maybe he was 'justified' in what he said," as the user at the top of this section seems to be saying. Wahkeenah 16:28, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
  • There is no reference in the article to the fact, that all stand up comedians deal with hecklers in a brutal fashion, often using harsh curse words, calling audience members cunt etc. I think its worth a mention, that ANY standup comedian would have mercilessly insulted the hecklers, perhaps not to the extent of the actual insults. Most readers have no awareness of the nature of stand up and heckling and that any person who goes into a comedy club heckling, should expect to be called horrible names, its the nature of the business.

Current event tag removed

the laugh factory incident is no longer a current event. Pacman 17:48, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

Seeing as this is still being reported in the news and seeing how actively this article is currently being edited it is premature to remove the tag. I will not revert though. (Netscott) 17:52, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
Edit: Never mind, I will not revert. Although, It does seem to heavy of an issue not to be called a current event.

Evilgohan2 19:41, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

Weasel Words

The phrase in the article, "...even though many African American comedians use the "N" word all the time," is a monumental example of weasel words. I don't have an account here, but I request that this phrase be deleted. The incident was so far beyond mere use of the word "nigger." 50 years ago we'd have you upside down with a fork up your ass? That's what happens when you interrupt the white man? Black people use the term "nigga" in an endearing way. Trying to equate that use with Richards' tantrum is nonsensical. The phrase I quoted above is unbecoming of Wikipedia and I request that someone delete it. 19:53, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

Heckler Comments

Added the hecklers own racist comments. Obviously the hecklers comments were prompted by Richards own racist comments but it's a sin of omission to ignore the back and forth of the racist exchange. Vegasjon 20:43, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for the inclusion. It's not something that has been included really at all in other mainstream outlets. --AWF

Thank you. Wikipedia is suppose to be as unbiased as possible, not an inquistion by the mob, for the mob. FResearcher 21:19, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

It was determined, and aired on the Today show by Matt Lauer, that the comments heard in response to Richards DID NOT come from the two young men that heckled him. Those comments came from another set of patrons on the other side of the club. The 'sin' in this entire incident is committed by those attempting to shift the responsibility of the incident onto the victims, and is racism personified. User:Rousedabout, 18:20 24 November 2006 MT

Watch the video, the comments came from a heckler, who interrupted the act several times, its irrelevant if the the two people who want to dig some money out of this, said it or not, a heckler said it, who distrupted the act to the point where there was no act, only a dialogue with the heckler. November 25 2006
No one is trying to shift blame. Currently, the article makes it clear that Richards initiated the exchange. The blame lies solely with him. I don't think a reasonable person is going to read this article and come away from it feeling that Richards is a victim of the hecklers.
Richards was called Racist names. That is not disputed. Although I'd say it's unlikely that anyone would take the same offense to "cracker" as to the N-word, the racist intent is still there. Anyway, the inclusion is important because this controversy centers largely around the idea that "no matter how mad you are it's not ok to start throwing out racist slurs". I don't see why this shouldn't apply to those in the audience.

Vegasjon 21:14, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

The history as written is no factual. The fact that you can't agree that the history as written is factually untrue is the clearest sign that of the prevalence and deniability of racism. <Richards responded to a black heckler[7] with racially charged comments, yelling, "Fifty years ago we'd have you upside-down with a fucking fork up your ass" (an apparent lynching reference [7][8][9]), and repeatedly shouting "He's a nigger!" The heckler responded with his own racially charged comments, and by repeatedly saying "That was uncalled for!" before calling Richards a "fucking cracker-ass motherfucker" and "fucking white boy."> User:Rousedabout, 07:32 27 November 2006 MT

Stop being so dramatic. There is no 'travesty of justice' happening. If you have a problem with a misquote, make it a POV issue, not a "the white guy isn't getting blamed enough" issue. --Haizum 11:51, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Creation of a separate page for Laugh Factory Incident

With the growing size of the incident page (and it will probably only grow larger), casting a disproportionate light against the rest of the article, it may be wise to create a separate article for it. Especially with the hecklers threatening to sue Richards. Trilemma 01:40, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

Yes, that is very sensible. That would correspond to what was done on the Mel Gibson article with the creation of the Mel Gibson DUI incident article. (Netscott) 01:44, 23 November 2006 (UTC)
If it "could be dropped separately" after the "furor has gone away" then it doesn't deserve an encyclopedia article in the first place. --ZimZalaBim (talk) 03:49, 24 November 2006 (UTC)
Not necessarily. The thing about wikipedia is that it's a "living" encyclopedia, i.e. its content changes with the news, as opposed to Britannica, which is a captured-in-stone book. Wahkeenah 13:32, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

Appearance in Blackface

A video has recently appeared of a much younger Richards appearing in a short film in blackface as a blind man with a dog. It was shown on Extra! on November 23, 2006. Wikifried 07:50, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

From the 1986 film Whoops Apocalypse. Richards' character Lacrobat pretends to be a blind black man named Conway Nitz III. [16] Jokestress 08:00, 23 November 2006 (UTC)
    • Ted Danson also appeared in blackface at The Friars Club, when he was dating Whoopie Goldberg. That incident seems to have been forgotten by most people. Granted, he did it as a joke and with Whoopies blessing, but it still caused quite the scandal.
      • Yes, it was controversial, but there is no comparison. Interestingly enough, though, I saw Whoopi on Hannity and Colmes last night, and she is withholding judgment until she studies the matter. She's got more thoughtfulness in her little finger than most pundits have in their [name your favorite body part]. Wahkeenah 10:56, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Couldn't edit

What's with this page? I tried to add to a section, it took me somewhere else! And when I pressed Edit Page, the section was gone! But I saw it, its there! -- 19:21, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

i'm guessing this caused your problem:
Editing of this page by unregistered or newly registered users is currently disabled. Please request unprotection, or create an account.

BabuBhatt 06:51, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

"Insult comedy"?

I certainly fail to see why Richards' remarks would qualify in any way as comedy. Even if there is something like "insult comedy", which I doubt, because comedians habitually attack their public, an equally blatant and stupid insult can never be comedy. If, in fact, Richards' remarks would have been comedy, I guess no one would have complained about them. -- 00:18, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia is in no position to determine what is comedy, including "insult comedy". It would be best to just write that Richards "responded" and then describe what he said. We shouldn't speculate about what his intentions or state of mind were during the incident. Rhobite 05:39, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
Besides which, it's evident from Richards' later apologetic statements (once he had taken his medication, or whatever) that this wasn't "insult comedy", he simply lost his professional cool and blew his stack. That doesn't preclude the possibility that, in the moment, he thought he was being "funny". Wahkeenah 05:46, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
I've been removing that original research as best I can... and I encourage fellow editors to do so too if it reappears. The editor who last introduced this original research into the article has been blocked stemming from his edits in this regard. (Netscott) 05:51, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

Italian American category

An earlier version of this page lists his mother's maiden name as Nardozzi, that's a very Italian name. Well, then, why can't I list this page in the Italian American category?

Andrew Parodi 11:54, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

Please see WP:V and WP:NOR. Only information that's been stated in reliable sources can be put it in, no assumptions, even very good ones. Mad Jack 16:58, 24 November 2006 (UTC)
Richards is also considered an Irish surname. It would obviously be ludicrous if someone comes here and add an Irish-American category to this page just because he assumes Michael Richards father must be Irish, similarly one cannot place him in an Italian-American category just because one infers his mother must be Italian. Not to mention as noted it's against of WP:V and WP:NOR. If there's a legitimate, trustworthy source (and wikipedia itself cannot be used as a source; nor are the many pages out there that actually got their info from wikipedia in the first place) stating his ancestry, then there would probably be less objections. 20:14, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

unacceptable verbiage

in the text of the recent controversy, we see a paragraph beginning with: "according to the two niggers who were targeted by the outburst."" Sorry, but this is ridiculous and needs to be changed. I'm going to make an edit, and if someone feels the need to disabuse me of my rationale, or if they need further clarification of why this is prima facie unacceptable, I'd be delighted to go into more detail....

Quigonpaj 05:48, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

More juvenile verbage:

The last paragraph includes: "Fellow comedian Tom Green defended Michael Richards' racial outburst as unfortunate but not indicative of an underlying racial bias, and I think this is much to Tom Green's credit."

It must be exhausting to be an editor on Wikipedia.

I have to disagree. e.g. the fact that Green may or may not know Richards well at this point is likewise just your own original research, and even if verifiable it'd nevertheless be irrelevant. This article should only be based on facts, not about presenting both sides of an argument as _there should be no argument_ on anything since facts are inarguable. Introducing opinions (which in itself is biased as one can selectively choose to present which sources) risks the integrity of the article. As we can see from the actions of editors like Kazahpol, there's already to much bias/using this article as a soapbox. Tendancer 20:30, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

Tom Green response

I moved this here for discussion along with earlier comedian comments.

"Fellow comedian Tom Green defended Michael Richards' racial outburst as unfortunate but not indicative of an underlying racial bias." [17]

If this gets turned into a separate page as discussed above, there might be room for this, but this article needs to keep this controversy in proportion to the article, which means not having these on the main Michael Richards page. Jokestress 09:18, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

It should be noted that the overwhelming response to the Richards incident is negative. It should be noted that the prevailing atmosphere is not unlike that egging on a lynch mob, with Michael Richards as their target. Responsible writing calls for balance. That is why I tried to include a reference to an article in the New York Post by fellow comedian Tom Green ( which is a sort of defense of the underlying character of Michael Richards. My post was taken down. Here is a link to the New York Post article in which Tom Green comes, in a nuanced way, to the defense of Michael Richards:

I hope someone else can find at least a way to interweave that reference into the coverage of the Michael Richards incident, to provide some shading of meaning into what is a stark picture stacked entirely against one character.

Bus stop 09:33, 25 November 2006 (UTC)Bus StopBus stop 09:33, 25 November 2006 (UTC) Bus stop 09:41, 25 November 2006 (UTC)Bus StopBus stop 09:41, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

"Fellow comedian Tom Green defended Michael Richards' racial outburst as unfortunate but not indicative of an underlying racial bias, and I think this is much to Tom Green's credit. See the following:"
this is obviously inappropriate. don't edit wiki articles and write "i think this is good" within the text, please. notably, the whole "laugh factory incident" section reads poorly, and is distractingly long. - no-account —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Kenny Kramer

I am going to add the comment by Kenny Kramer, in defense of Michael Richards in saying that he wasn't a racist. I think it is important, considering Richards is most famous for his portrayal of Kramer. Stevo D 09:20, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

  • You should avoid "testimonials", as indicated in the previous section. They are somebody's personal opinion, and add little or no value to the article. Wahkeenah 13:29, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

Comments on Jews section

I fail to see why this merits an entire section in the article, or even mention.

It's in the news (please sign your comments in the future). --JJay 02:04, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
It is only in the news now (7 months after the fact?) because of the later incident at the Laugh Factory. On it's own, this incident is not noteworthy in the least (a comic insulting a heckler in a comedy club? Gasp! That happens so rarely, we MUST document each and every occurance of it!), and really does not deserve mention in this article. I fear it's inclusion will only serve to manipulate the reader's opinion of Michael for the negative. At the very least, I suggest a "neutrality" tag be slapped on this article (or at least the section).Djedi 06:18, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
I think it's mildly newsworthy, but I do agree it may warrant a neutrality tag as the tone and wording of this section seems biased (and I suspect intentionally so, because after I've reworded it for clarity it was reverted by the original person who introduced it, with only comments rvv + maliciously adding a test1 to my talk page [for now I'm in no mood for childish edit wars and have given him a 3RR warning]): e.g. "The publicist Richards hired after fallout from his comments, Howard Rubenstein, confirmed the report." Howard Rubenstein is the publicist Richards hired after the Laugh Factory incident, but this whole paragraph phrased it in such a way as if Richards hired this obviously Jewish publicist after the Jewish incident. We do not have to side with/against Richards one way or another--and personally I do suspect him to be a prejudiced human being--but it appears in the heat of the moment many folks are forgetting about WP:NPOV and that this is an encyclopedia. Tendancer 07:03, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

Here's where his manager confirmed that he is indeed Jewish:

As for reports that Richards shouted out anti-Semitic remarks during another standup comedy routine in April, Rubenstein confirmed his client did, but that he was only role-playing. "He's Jewish. He's not anti-Semitic at all. He was role-playing, he was playing a part. He did use inappropriate language, but he doesn't have any anti-Semitic feelings whatsoever," Rubenstein said.

Some editors do push the Jewish angle, and especially the Referenced article in the Jewish Journal, which cites this very wikipedia article, clearly intrested only in religion, not his origins, and should never be treated as a reliable source. Inculsion of this article is of poor taste in my opinion. Richards clearly stated thru his publicist, that he considers himself jewish. Until there is PROOF to the contrary, we should not include rumors, hearsay, and anonimous directors who 'stayed in touch' with him. Even the Journal's contains the following "article Paul Rodriquez held a press conference at the Laugh Factory, saying that Richards should know better, because the Hollywood community defended Jews against actor Mel Gibson's anti-Semitic tirades.The implication was that Richards, a Jew, should not be launching racist attacks." clearly one guy thinks hes jewish, another thinks hes not jewish and someone puts one of them into the article but not the other. And yes, this whole paragraph is borderline irrelevant, about rumors of an april incident? Geza 09:59, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

and Bwithh 15:29, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

I'm thinking of a bit that Joy Behar once did. She's Italian and Catholic by upbringing, but has that New York City accent that "sounds" Jewish (unlike Richards, a Californian with no discernible accent). She's on the phone arguing with someone: "I'm not Jewish. I'm NOT Jewish. I keep telling you, Ma, I'm NOT JEWISH!"

If he truely were anti-semetic, I don't see how Jerry Seinfeld could be friends with him. It seems to me that Richards was mocking racists and bigots more than he was Jewish people. Me, I think it's really funny when someone blames all Jews for killing Jesus, since it is such an ignorant thing to say. It has become the comedian's cliché for portraying anti-semetists.

Michael Richards was frustrated by the heckling. So he tried to make a joke out of himself being the frustrated one by expressing a 'in the ol' days you'd all be hanging from trees' kind of attitude. It seems to me that if the audience would have laughed after Michael Richards had called the heckler nigger, everyone would have been in on the joke. But they didn't. So he wanted to save face and took the whole thing a few steps further. But the audience just wasn't in on the joke. Too bad, because it exploded in his face and now people won't shut up about it.

(Hel-ter, nov 26)

Hel-ter that's actually irrelevant here. The merit of your opinion is not in question, but it's the fact that you feel compelled to discuss it here--the camp that's contra to your opinion is even more fervent, endlessly modifying the article without discussion to introduce their opinion/biases into the article, even if subtlely, and that's what degrading the article and causing all this discussion. At this point I vote for all references to Richard's "Jewish-ness" or lack thereof be deleted unless something came from the horse's mouth so it'll end all this editing nonsense. It's obviously at least 50% of the editors are treating the article not as an encyclopedia, but a soapbox for their own opinions concerning the incident. Tendancer 15:39, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
Or as a weblog. That's one major flaw with this site, which undermines its credibility. Wahkeenah 18:24, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

I appreciate you mentioning the merit of my opinion, but you can both respectfully kiss my irrelevant ass. Everything you have posted here are opinions. Maybe that's why they call it a discussion, no? And that's why I didn't just edit the article, but went here. We need to reach a consensus on this, before there can be any talk of some sort of encyclopedic knowledge, don't we? I guess I may come across as someone who wants to have the last word in a discussion by posting this, but frankly, you've really offended me. Wiki is created by everyone.

(Hel-ter, nov 27) -- what else do you have to know? anyway, it is certainly funny those two black guys are asking for money now. typical.
   "Typical" of whom? I think that comment may show more of your views than of the 'vocal elements'. 05:23, 28 November 2006 (UTC)Newbie144

Sockpuppet vandals

Tendancer, Geza, and Bus stop are most likely the same person. Thus far both Bus stop and Tendancer have engaged in vandalism on this page. I would suggest watching their edits closely so as to revert their vandalism ASAP. KazakhPol 19:40, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

  • There is an easy enough way to find out- Wikipedia:Suspected sock puppets. I agree their comments on the talk page are not particularly constructive. --JJay 21:16, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
Here we have a perfect example of one of the "fervent" (to put it very euphemistically) editors. From his history it's obvious he has strong bias with regard to jewish issues, and every edit he has made to the Michael Richards page has been replete with bias--e.g. saying Richard's publicist "erroneously" (where is the proof, has he read WP:V, WP:NOR?) said Richard is a Jew, then furthermore phrased the sentence in such a way to imply Richards hired Rubenstein after the Jewish incident. After dozens of folks edited his biased version (and didn't even delete it as it probably should've been), he reverted it with comments "Do not remove again". Evidently he also thinks (or just want to falsely accuse) anyone who does not think his missive is pertinent to this article is a vandal/same person.

KazakhPol: I've already engaged you in dialogue on your talk page. To which you've ignored and continued to make reverts back your biased opinions, while making false vandalism accusations at WP contributors and vandalizing my talk page. I once again recommend you reread WP:V, WP:NOR, and especially WP:NPOV. WP:3RR may also be useful as you are on the brink of a block. Tendancer 19:52, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

PS. You are getting reported. Tendancer 20:19, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

Sockpuppet Vandals? No, it is just me -- no-one else.

No, actually I am me, the only one. I am in cahoots with no-one else. Is it now vandalism for me to point out that the accounting of the incident at the Laugh Factory, in the Michael Richards article is biased and unbalanced? I am only pointing this out on this talk page. Isn't that what this talk page is for? Here, by the way, is the link to the reference that I tried to add to the article about 24 hours ago. If the "Jewish" speculation has a place in the article, then inclusion of a link such as this does not seem to be too far afield.

Bus stop 20:06, 26 November 2006 (UTC)Bus StopBus stop 20:06, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

Michael Richards on Jesse Jackson's radio show

Michael Richards went on Jesse Jackson's radio show to try to "face the music" I think. I'm not sure how I think it went for him, but maybe in the interest of NPOV a link to where they have archived the audio would be useful to add to this page.BHFeller 18:46, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

Michael Richards is not Jewish

His publicist fessed up. He "adheres to Jewish philosophy" (ok) but is not Jewish and did not convert to Judaism. [18] I'll change the article accordingly Mad Jack 23:21, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

  • "Adheres to Jewish philosophy?" Weasels-R-Us! Wahkeenah 23:53, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

He "adheres to Jewish philosophy"? What the hell is that supposed to mean? Is he wearing a Red Kaballah Thread (TM)? Does he practice Gematria with peoples' phone numbers? When people say he's wearing a nice-looking suit, does he mumble, "Kein ayin horah!" and spit "peh! peh! peh!"? Some of the editors in the above threads so much wanted the "Jewish Journal" to be wrong and for this racist idiot with an Italian-surnamed mother to be Jewish, even though his earlier anti-Jewish rant included that typical old medieval Catholic schoolyard slur about Jews "killing Christ." Well, now it looks like he's not only not Jewish, he also lied to his publicist. It is to laugh.

  • And in a clip I saw today, with Jesse Jackson standing right there, he said that when he was growing up, a lot of his best friends were African-Americans. Gevalt! (There, I just adhered to Jewish philosophy myself.) Well, so far Richards has maligned Jews and blacks. He also happened to be the guy that stomped on a Cuban flag in Seinfeld, although presumably he was just doing what the script called for. Which ethnic group will be next on his Kook's Tour? Wahkeenah 03:35, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

This still doesn't change the fact of his (probable) ethnicity, which is what these categorization issues are usually about -- just as someone else may be a Russian-American, or Japanese-American, it's still more than likely that Richards is a Jewish-American, at least partially; if one or both of his parents have Jewish roots (particularly his mother), then he is still technically classified as a Jew -- in all honesty, his religion and/or "philosophy" really doesn't matter, given that 'Jewishness' is as much about ethnicity/race/family-roots as it is about religion. In fact, being Jewish is becoming more and more about ethnicity these days as many secular Western Jews have long since abandoned their ancestral religion...however, the Hebrew DNA of course remains. --Pseudothyrum 04:08, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

What??? What's to stop me or anyone else from claiming that George W Bush and Dick Cheney are ethnically Jewish? Using this argument you could claim anyone on the planet you wanted to is ethnically Jewish. In this case, the publicist clearly said Richards has no Jewish blood/ancestry (i.e. [19] " "He does not have Jewish blood," said New York publicist Howard Rubenstein, who Richards retained to help manage his PR nightmare."). That's the whole point. I'd guess his mother is Italian-American ethnically and his father a WASP, but I haven't seen a source still. Mad Jack 05:01, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
I read on a respectable news source that Michael Richards' religion is Jewish. As for his comments about Jews, I heard that all he did was tell a Jewish member of the audience to "STFU," or something like that. To me, that's not anti-Semitism or anti-Hebrewism because how are you going to know the religion of someone in the audience? Race is easy to tell, but religion is hard to guess (most of the time) It's just people making something out of nothing. As for Michael Richards saying the he had a Black best friend while growing up, most people say something like that just to try to keep out of hot water (so no one buys that story). I'll be honest, I have absolutely no Black friends, and will not lie and say that I do. The comment I heard that he said to the Jew was bad language, but nothing bad against Jews. Acalamari 17:43, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
No, Richards' publicist has admitted that Richards has not converted to Judaism and is not of Jewish ethnicity. Mad Jack 17:49, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
I see you're talking about "religious ethnicity" again. Never mind. I'll just tell my token Tibetan Monk friend that he is of Tibetan Monk ethnicity, just like Michael Richards told everyone that he a token Black best friend when growing up. I still believe that Michael Richards is Jewish, but I don't believe he had a Black friend. I'm not saying anything bad against Black People, I'm just saying that I don't believe Michael Richards had a Black friend. Acalamari 18:11, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
My gosh, you really ought to read through the article Jew. Anyway, don't take my word for it, see what the publicist said: [20] ""He does not have Jewish blood," said New York publicist Howard Rubenstein". Or [21] "He's not blood Jewish.... He didn't convert". You really ought to let all these millions of people, including scholars, scientists, historians, etc. know that they are all somehow wrong. Mad Jack 18:14, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
My knowledge about Jews comes from Jews that I've met. If all of them believe that they are Jewish by religion only, then that's good enough for me. (Note: I have several Jewish friends, not just a token one.) Acalamari 18:18, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
If you had several friends from Texas, and they all told you Texas wasn't in the US, even though every single reliable source said Texas was in the US, would that mean Texas is not in the US? Mad Jack 18:45, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
An interesting comeback (better than the one that Michael Richards had for those Black guys); but no I wouldn't believe them. I know for a fact that Texas is in the U.S. I have learned a lot about Texas, but this discussion isn't about Texas. Listen, I don't "hate Jews" or anything like that. (Though I assume you expected me to say that.) If you or anyone else here is Jewish, I'm fine with that; I don't hate you. If a Jewish woman fell in love with me, I'd be fine with that too. I was just brought up to believe that religion was a personal choice, not something you inherit. For all we know, those Black guys that Michael Richards insulted could be Jewish. Acalamari 19:02, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Acalamari, why did you say above that you "still believe that Michael Richards is Jewish"? He is not Jewish by ethnicity and he has not converted to the Jewish religion. These facts are now well known. So what are you basing your assertion upon -- and why? Richards ranted against black people -- but why do you insist that such a bad person must be "still Jewish" against all evidence? Check yourself, friend. You are out on an editorial limb here, and your own racial prejudices may be showing. The man is half Italian American (Nardozzi) and probably half British/Irish American (Richards). --Curious Bystander.
What racial prejudices? All I’ve said is that I’ve been brought up to believe that religion is a choice. I’ve also said that I don’t believe Michael Richards had a Black best friend when he was younger. That, last time I looked, is not prejudice against Black People. In fact, by me saying that, I’m actually having a go at Michael Richards for lying. Where is this Black friend he had? Also, I said that I don’t hate Jews. I said that if a Jewish woman fell in love with me; that would be fine. In fact, if she was both physically and personally attractive, I would marry her and have kids. Please do not imply that I am a racist, I haven't called anyone else one. I haven't even called MadJack a liar, which I don't believe she/he is. Acalamari 19:19, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
I have just been doing some research on Michael Richards and Jews. I would like to apologize for my comments. My information about Michael Richards was out of date and wrong. As for Jews, I just read about Jewish ethnicities. I’m sorry that I was wrong, and I hope people can accept that and my apology. Acalamari 21:41, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Not that this matters...

I know this isnt a forum but if you search KKKramer it redirects you here H.E. Pennypacker 01:55, 28 November 2006 (UTC)H.E. Pennypacker

Thanks for the heads up... I've tagged that redirect for deletion. (Netscott) 01:57, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Deleted the redirect, as it was clearly vandalism and NPOV, but now we're left with an ugly blank page. Still, the main problem is gone. --Captain Cornflake 04:40, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Rumor mongering at Wikipedia

I really don't see why anyone is concerned whether Michael Richards is Jewish or not. If Wikipedia aspires to be an encyclopedia there is no place for rumor mongering. I have removed most of my previous posts on this talk page because I was unfocused until now. The entirety of the November 17 incident at the Laugh Factory comes down to the cell phone video of his rant. A Wikipedia article should not be speculating about alleged anti-Semitic sentiments perhaps expressed months prior to this incident. It is irrelevant whether Michael Richards is Jewish or not, and if the editors at Wikipedia don't know how to write a focused article, they should let other people do so. The approximately three times I tried to alter the section on Michael Richards' "Jewish" identity, my changes were removed and reverted to it's previous state. It is perfectly obvious to me that Wikipedia wants to disparage Michael Richards to the greatest extent possible. That is not hard to do, given the raw material at hand, in the cell phone video of the Laugh Factory on November 17. But the end result of the inclusion of the "Jewish" rumor mongering is that Wikipedia debases it's own standing as a respectable encyclopedia. Bus stop 07:16, 28 November 2006 (UTC)Bus StopBus stop 07:16, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

What are we talking about here? The supposed anti-Semitic incident has been A. confirmed by Richards by publicist and B. commented on very frequently in the media thus C. definitely cementing its notability. The issue of whether Richards is Jewish (now definitively resolved) has also been very frequently brought up in the media. There's really no question that it's of encyclopedic value at this point Mad Jack 07:23, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

In point of fact Michael Richards' comments in relation to Jews were explained away as being in the context of comedy. Comedy knows very little in the way of bounds. Jews are often referenced, in the context of comedy, as are every other group - racial, religious, or otherwise. Comedians almost always push the envelope of what is considered acceptable. It would be unusual if a comedian did not explore ground that it was considered improper to explore. Comedians constantly probe that which is considered unacceptable to probe. We know nothing of previous anti-Semitic utterances except for a few rumor mongering people to whom it did not occur to speak up about this until now. The cell phone video of the November 17 Laugh Factory is evidence that can be examined and analyzed. I am certainly not apologizing for or excusing what Michael Richards said on that video. But it is irresponsible to bolster your claims that Michael Richards is a bigot by bringing in shaky evidence from far afield. Leave that to tabloids and other lurid venues. Bus stop 07:48, 28 November 2006 (UTC)Bus StopBus stop 07:48, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Father died when young

This article [22] says his father died when Richards was a toddler so presumably it was his mother's Italian heritage that had the most influence on him while he was growing up- the article also says "he credits his mother for his sense of humor". Right angle 15:47, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

That's a good reference. I would like to see that reference worked into the article. Bus stop 16:34, 28 November 2006 (UTC)Bus StopBus stop 16:34, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

I agree. This article tells us more about his background, and that is all to the good. Any facts about Richards' childhood upbringing and ethnicity would go a long way toward dispelling tthe recent anti-Semitic rumour-mongering. Also, as an aside, those Wikipedia editors who have privately questioned Richards' mental stability have my interest and agreement as well; there is something "off" about his lying and claiming to be a Jew -- to his own publicist!
Could someone add it as I can't edit the article. Right angle 00:19, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Nor do I think Richards is a racist. Or an anti-Semite, for that matter. I think there is an underlying undiagnosed mental problem, and I am strongly opposed to seeing him persecuted for a problem that is beyond his control. That is why I strongly feel that the coverage of the incident should be confined to the examination of the video footage of the one incident at the Laugh Factory on Nov 17. My sympathies are very much with Michael Richards. I see this as a medical incident, not a racial incident at all.Bus stop 20:55, 28 November 2006 (UTC)Bus StopBus stop 20:55, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

See my comment below- I don't think he is seriously racist- but he is clearly not as sensitive to what could offend black people as he might be to the Jewish community with which he has clearly mixed with to a great extent. Whether he has any psychological issues, well, I don't think that's something we should be really discussing here. 00:19, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Link to a Reenactment (Performed by Cryme Tyme)

This is a link to a reenactment of the Michael Richards November 17 incident, performed on November 27:

I added it to the article, since others have already described the incident (reenactment), without a link provided to a video of it. But I consider all of this improper, especially on Wikipedia. Numerous threats have been made against Michael Richards, and Wikipedia's coverage is only fueling that. I think Michael Richards is probably mentally unstable. I do not consider him a racist or anti-Semitic. My fear is that he will at some point in the future be beaten up by somebody. And that will be for a medical condition that is beyond his control. That is why I have urged Wikipedia to handle coverage of this incident with restraint and circumspection. Bus stop 21:40, 28 November 2006 (UTC)Bus StopBus stop 21:40, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

The reenactment is performed by the group Cryme Tyme on November 27, 2006.Bus stop 21:52, 28 November 2006 (UTC)Bus StopBus stop 21:52, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

I think it is in poor taste for this "re-enactment" to be added to the article. Wikipedia should not be in the business of aiding some entertainment company trying to benefit off of Michael Richards' racial tirade. (Netscott) 00:40, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

I think the paragraph "Remarks About Jews" should be removed.

I do not think Richards is a racist. Or an anti-Semite, for that matter. I think there is an underlying undiagnosed mental problem, and I am strongly opposed to seeing him persecuted for a problem that is beyond his control. That is why I strongly feel that the coverage of the incident should be confined to the examination of the video footage of the one incident at the Laugh Factory on November 17.

My sympathies are very much with Michael Richards. I see this as a medical incident, not a racial incident at all. I think all speculation on Wikipedia's page about an anti-Semitic incident that might have taken place months earlier is entirely out of place.

I think the paragraph titled "Remarks About Jews" should be entirely omitted. It only adds fuel to the fire that brands Michael Richards as a bigot. The graphic language quoted in that paragraph is unnecessarily inflammatory, especially as this is being only now presented, months after the supposed date of occurrence. Bus stop 22:24, 28 November 2006 (UTC)Bus StopBus stop 22:24, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

  • The comments on Jews are part of the story and again have received world-wide news attention. Thay are now part of Richards' bio. Your "sympathies" may be with Richards, as you state above, but we do not edit wikipedia articles on that basis. --JJay 01:59, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

I am not editing Wikipedia based on my sentiments, or my sympathies. The earlier "incident" only came to light after the November 17 incident. Therefore it does not need the florid detail and fanfare and a separate paragraph. It is best noted as a small appendage to the main incident. Providing it with a separate paragraph implies it has the solidity of fact that the November 17 incident has, which it most certainly does not. The main reason that the November 17 incident receives as much attention as it receives is due to the cell phone video. I am not trying to excuse the things said by Michael Richards. But I am trying to contain them to what is factually known. Yes, there are sparse allegations of earlier anti-Semitic remarks. Wikipedia need not give any more weight to those allegations than is called for. Bus stop 02:14, 29 November 2006 (UTC)Bus StopBus stop 02:14, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

  • It doesn't matter when it came to light and I haven't seen any "florid detail or fanfare". And I fail to see how you can challenge the factuality of the event since it has been confirmed by Richards and his spokesman.[23] Hence the event is not alleged, but is verified per WP:V and WP:RS. Nothing you can say can change that. Please don't let your "sympathies" get in the way of the truth. --JJay 02:23, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

The florid detail I am referring to are the quotes. The fanfare is the utilization of a separate, free standing paragraph, for what only warrants an appendage to the main paragraph on the November 17 incident. I am challenging not so much the factuality of the alleged April incident, but it's significance. Are you going to argue that every time a stand up comedian makes reference to a racial or religious group that it constitutes hate speech? It happens to be commonplace for stand up comedians to ridicule every group of people yet identified. Does Wikipedia supply a paragraph in each of their cases alleging bigotry? The significance of a given remark derive not from the ludicrous quotes that are found in that paragraph on anti-Semitism. Taken out of context every stand up comedian can be depicted in the most vile characterization. I am challenging the factuality that in April, Michael Richards made any comments in his routine, the import of which were of a genuinely hurtful nature towards Jews. If you do not know that for a fact, then you shouldn't be giving a whole paragraph to that, quotes and all. The meaning of a person's remarks derive from many more factors than the quotes found in that paragraph, and therefore it is misleading. Vocal intonation, timing, what came before, and what came after, are all relevant to the significance of one's words. Wikipedia's biography should reflect that responsibly. Bus stop 03:14, 29 November 2006 (UTC)Bus StopBus stop 03:14, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

  • Well you have repeatedly changed the factuality of the incident by calling it "alleged", both here and in your article edits. The significance of the event is that it has received extensive news coverage around the world. That is not my argument or opinion- it is a fact. Therefore, your speculation about what other comics say on stage really doesn't matter, until what they say creates the same kind of furor as Richards. I'm going to remind you, again, that we build articles here based on sources, not theories or personal challenges or sympathies or users' interpretation of meaning. Find some valid sources that support your ideas and add those to the article. I think the event deserves the coverage in the article. I would strongly suggest that you stop removing sourced sections of the article. --JJay 03:32, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

You have no source for the import of what you are saying -- that Michael Richards uttered anti-Semitic remarks in April of 2006. You are going along with the tide of opinion that is presently heaping maximal blame on Michael Richards for all manner of hate speech. As his publicist, Howard Rubenstein, pointed out, his comments relating to Jews were in the context of a comedy routine. They were not anti-Semitic. Bus stop 04:16, 29 November 2006 (UTC)Bus StopBus stop 04:16, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

  • Most people would disagree with your assessment. But everything you said is accurately reflected in the article at present and sourced. Wikipedia is not in any way putting an original spin on events. It has been reported he made the statements. It was confirmed by his spokesman. He claims it was part of a comedy act. The people in the audience said it was abusive and the room was not exactly laughing. It's all in the article- balanced and fair. --JJay 04:24, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
    • I certainly agree with bus stop here- the remark Richards made about Jews killing Jesus was obviously a tongue in cheek joke that has been repeated numerous times by other comedians (many Jewish). Obviously it may offend religious people but things that would offend religious people are virtually obligatory in comedy clubs. Right angle 11:19, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
  • You don't speak for "most people." Bus stop 06:00, 29 November 2006 (UTC)Bus StopBus stop 06:00, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Neither do you. But even you have admitted that there is a: tide of opinion that is presently heaping maximal blame on Michael Richards for all manner of hate. Our article reflects that tide of opinion - not the sympathies of individual users - through press reports and other sources. Mr. Richards and his spokesman have apologized to that tide of opinion. Again, you need to stop letting your personal bias in favor of Richards interfere with editing this article.--JJay 12:22, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

  • My personal bias does not interfere with the article that I advocate for. I mentioned my personal opinion a few days ago, more or less in the interest of full disclosure. I think this is the third time you are pointing out my personal opinion, even though I've made no further mention of my personal opinion. Please stick to the facts, and the issues at hand. "The tide of opinion" is only the most vocal element. You only hear the opinions that are expressed. Yet I think you have even endeavored to suppress those few opinions that take a more moderate approach to addressing the concerns of Michael Richards' November 27 outburst. I am specifically referring to the numerous times you have taken down my mention of and link to the Tom Green article. Tom Green offers a moderate approach to being critical of these events. He is a fellow comedian. He is familiar with the act of standing on a stage and trying to make people laugh, sometimes when people are heckling you. Unfortunately you seem to want to drown out even the voice of Tom Green. Tom Green also has an opinion to express. Why do you seemingly only want to support the tide of opinion that wishes to heap "maximal blame" on Michael Richards for "all manner of hate?" Is there some reason that you want to support the most vocal element of opinion to be found out there, and suppress the minority opinion, which can be found, if only one listens?Bus stop 17:42, 29 November 2006 (UTC)Bus StopBus stop 17:42, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
I think maybe the whole thing should be put under a heading of November 2006 alleged racist incident, then the whole thing can be dealt with in that- the Jew thing only came out as a result of the Laugh Factory incident from a couple of attention seekers and he clearly isn't anti-semitic unless he cunningly managed to conceal his anti-semitic rage all the time he was on Seinfeld. I personally don't think he is a racist towards black people but he clearly doesn't know (or didn't know) that he had really stepped over the comedic red line with the lynching remark as it was pretty much the equivalent of making a joke about Jews being gassed in the holocaust. I'd guess the problem is that he doesn't mix with black people so he doesn't really have an understanding and empathy of what is going too far as he would do with Jews, but hey, that would probably apply to most of white America. Right angle 00:06, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
Just to clarify, I don't think that most of white America would think it's acceptable or humerous to make jokes about lynching black people, just that most of white America doesn't mix too much with black communities. The thing about Richards/Kramer is his whole attraction was his outrageousness and craziness so he probably felt he had to be offensive and outrageous to fit in with that character but clearly here it just went too crazy. Right angle 00:33, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Either the Jewish remarks section should be removed or incorporated into the laugh factory section, or the last paragraph of the Laugh Factory section should be omitted. It is redundant.Joel79 02:38, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

  • Done. The second para was added by the user above who maintains that this was an "alleged" incident. --JJay 03:00, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

The incident is not alleged, but the significance of the incident is only alleged. As Michael Richards publicist, Howard Rubenstein, pointed out, the use of the remarks so floridly quoted in the paragraph in question, were in the context of a comedy routine. Those select quotes only serve to bolster the case that Michael Richards hates Jews. You don't know that for a fact. You don't have sources for that allegation. Your comments in relation to that should therefore be more circumspect, more modulated. The paragraph at present reads like a lurid account lifted from a tabloid.Bus stop 04:33, 29 November 2006 (UTC)Bus StopBus stop 04:33, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

  • Rubinstein's claim is not supported by statements from Audience members and the club. All we can do is present the event impartially and with balance. That is now the case and Rubinstein's claim is explict in the article. Nowhere does it say that Richards "hates Jews". Your claims and endless posts here are unfounded, misleading ad growing tiresome. Stop distorting the contents of the article. --JJay 12:22, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
  • The distortion of the article results from giving approximately equal weight to an incident which occurred less than two weeks ago, and which was caught on video, with an occurrence of more than six months ago, and of which no known visual or auditory record exists. My personal opinion is that the fact that the few (two?) eyewitnesses who have come forward with accounts of that occurrence are less than believable. I find them less than 100% credible because they failed to come forward with their account until after the November 17 incident. While other explanations can be found for this, I am reluctant to give equal weight to their account, because of the lengthy delay before they spoke up. I find the distortion to be the seemingly great weight that is given to an incident that I think more properly should be seen as something tagged on to the accounting of the incident of greater importance which occurred on November 17.Bus stop 14:45, 29 November 2006 (UTC)Bus StopBus stop 14:45, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Strong agree: The remarks about jews part should not be part of the article, if there is one thing we can agree on that is, Richards is not an anti-semite, his whole life is evidence to that. If the remarks were notable enough, they would have generated some kind of attention at the time, six months ago, not just as an afterthought to this incident. I hope this is settled then and no editor tries to inject their bias into the article by bringing the part back.
  • One minor change I think should be made, however, I thought I would suggest it first in light of all the editing already being constantly performed on this article. In the Laugh Factory segment, the (") should be moved to after (he). The way it is written is confusing because Richards is talking about himself, and then the quote starts with "he", as if he may be referring to a heckler.Joel79 23:34, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Tom Green's statement

Tom Green's statement is important. Tom Green is a fellow comedian, plus Tom Green is familiar both with stand up comedy, and the person, Michael Richards.Bus stop 14:20, 29 November 2006 (UTC)Bus StopBus stop 14:20, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

  • The Tom Green statement seems way to random and arbitrary. Many, actors and commedians have weighed in on this subject. Why do we quote Tom Green as the authority on this incident. In fairness, we would have to include the responses by others who are arguably more qualified to opine.Joel79 23:43, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

  • Have any other comedians who know Michael Richards spoken in support of him? Who would you suggest is as qualified or more qualified to opine? I think Tom Green's comments are interesting because he knows Michael Richards and because he knows the job of stand up comedy. I think Tom Green's comments are interesting. He is actually both criticizing him and defending him at the same time. It is not arbitrary because the quality of his comments are good. Here is more of what Tom Green had to say, from yet another web site:

“Kramer f---ing lost it. But at the end of the day, I don’t think Michael Richards is a racist. ... I think he was just trying to say the craziest and most vile thing in that room he could possibly muster. And I think he dug deep, into the darkest corners of his mind, to say those evil things to those men.

The repercussions of Richards’ actions can have a positive affect and I believe he can be part of this. Richards may not be racist, but there are many people who are. There are many people who hold prejudices against others because of racial or ethnic differences – not just against black people, but against many minorities.

Richards leaves us with an opportunity to examine this bigotry and intolerance. Instead of looking at ways to punish Richards, we should look at how to stop these types of incidents through education and healing instead of hiding such feelings away and pretending they don’t exist. This is a good opportunity to bring the issue to light; it should be discussed, not shunned or hidden away."''


This, by the way, is a different link to a different excerpt from Tom Green's blog entry relating to the Michael Richards Laugh Factory incident. Actually, I would like to add this link too.

I know we are not looking for people in support of Michael Richards. But a good commentator is going to have something intelligent and conciliatory to say. When I say conciliatory, I don't just mean in defense of Michael Richards, but conciliatory towards all parties concerned. We are always making value judgments, while being accurate and relying on good sources. Therefore I think Wikipedia can and should make the good choice of presenting a quality voice such as that of Tom Green.Bus stop 04:17, 30 November 2006 (UTC)Bus StopBus stop 04:17, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

    • Without looking into it, I know for sure that Jerry Seinfeld (probably the biggest celebrity closely associated in the public's eye with Richards), Joe Piscapo (who personally knows Richards and has vouched that he is a good guy), Whoopi Goldberg, Mel Gibson, and others have all made statments on the record.Joel79 21:37, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
    • Actually, I think the comments made by Tom Green are biased in many ways.
One: his comments seem to imply that White People are the only ones who are racist. There’s proof that this is untrue, as one of the Black guys in the Laugh Factory called Michael Richards a “cracker.” Cracker is technically a racist statement.
Two: he refers to non-Whites as “minorities.” This is true in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and parts of South America; but last time I looked, non-Whites are the majority in the rest of the world. I think the definition of “minority” needs to be made clearer; but this is not the place to discuss that.
Tom Green is talking some sense, but I wouldn’t totally trust his comments. Sadly he, like many people, doesn’t seem to understand racism that well. Acalamari 17:25, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

Conflating racism with anti-Semitism

It is the conflating of racism with anti-Semitism that bothers me here. That is sloppy writing. In my opinion an encyclopedia encapsulates subjects or puts in place very explicit transitional explanations between different subjects. Clarity is what matters. Strewing lurid quotes about is just inflammatory and does not shed light on the core subject at hand. It is the cell phone video that is the key element in describing the incident at the Laugh Factory on November 17. I find the quoted matter about Jews to be particularly out of place. Certainly links can be in place leading the reader to those quotes. But explicitly strewing those particular quotes across a paragraph, out of context, is poor writing, and unprofessional. Wikipedia can do better than that.Bus stop 15:16, 29 November 2006 (UTC)Bus StopBus stop 15:16, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

    • Last paragraph needs revision. "He later corrected that; he later said that". This is redundant. Should be changed to "He later corrected that statement by saying..." or something to that effect.Joel79 23:47, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
    • OK, I did that. Thank you.Bus stop 02:49, 30 November 2006 (UTC)Bus StopBus stop 02:49, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

Wording getting away from facts

The wording on the article has in the last day or so moved away from reports on this event and the racial angle is being toned down. Having watched the reports from the two men who were on the recieving end of his tirade they stated that they arrived lated in a group of about 20 people and that due to their number they could not help but make a bit of noise. According to what they said Richards made some comment about mexicans and blacks (I believe they said his words were something to the effect of wetbacks and niggers) making too much noise. This is what they said started them down the path towards heckling Richards. (Netscott) 22:17, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

  • It depends on what you mean by "racial." I don't think the Black "angle" has been "toned down." I felt that the anti-Jewish rhetoric had gone way too far. There is little to no evidence Richards ever said anything of an anti-Semitic nature, except in a context that is considered normal for a comedy routine. Richards is seen saying nothing of an anti-Semitic nature on the cell phone video from the Laugh Factory on November 17. As far as I can tell, only two people came forward alleging that Richards' comedy routine in April contained anti-Semitic elements. And those two people failed to come forward with their claim of anti-Semitism in the intervening six months. One is led to wonder why didn't they make any kind of an issue of this for six months. In my opinion that time gap compromises their credibility. I consider it a serious issue to charge someone with any kind of bigotry. That is why I objected to a separate paragraph for an "anti-Semitic incident" that probably never took place. And I felt the inclusion of the (anti-Semitic) quotes was very misleading. They hardly qualified as quotes, for the reason I've already stated. And no visual or auditory record exists, to my knowledge, of the April comedy act. Also, context is very important in determining if something is innocuous or harmful. I felt that Wikipedia should be more responsible than to attribute those ugly remarks to Richards on such flimsy evidence.Bus stop 23:59, 29 November 2006 (UTC)Bus StopBus stop 23:59, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
I'm not referring to the anitsemitism aspect you're referencing here but the toning down (looks like whitewashing to me) of the section on Richards' tirade. (Netscott) 00:07, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Richards' tirade is quoted. I think the hurtful points are quoted. But I think analysis of the video is important. So, if in your analysis of the video, you see some aspect of it that is being left out, I think you might consider adding it. What particularly egregious aspect of it do you think is not covered well enough?Bus stop 00:16, 30 November 2006 (UTC)Bus StopBus stop 00:16, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

Black White/black white

I call for capital letters starting out the words Black and White. They are names for racial groups. Not in the scientific sense, but in the personal identity sense.

I recently changed the word "black to "Black." Why did someone revert it to "black?"

Is this not the crux of the issue? The giving of respect? Why provide coverage of the Laugh Factory Incident without learning something from it?

And, when I made that change, I left a note asking for discussion on the talk page. Is there some reason why that was too much to ask for?

Bus stop 18:14, 1 December 2006 (UTC)Bus StopBus stop 18:14, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

I don't know who reverted it, but it wasn't me. I always capitalize Black and White when referring to Racial Groups. I have lower-cased words like "Hispanic" and "Asian" in response to Black and White not being capitalized, but on Wikipedia, I do not lower-case those words, as Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. I say captitalize Black and White when referring to the Racial Groups and leave it at that. Acalamari 18:38, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
Have you folks read the WP:MOS?? Wikipedia already has explicit instructions (i.e. use what a group would identify themselves with, if that's unknown then use e.g. "black people", "white people"--do not use "Blacks", "Whites") on what to do in these cases. If you check e.g. Encyclopedia Britannica, you'll likewise notice it use "black people" in lower case. "Black" should only be capitalized in very specific cases e.g. "Black History", "Black Americans" etc; not haphazardly to "give respect" and draw unnecessary attention/distraction from the article.Tendancer 22:00, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

Per section 8.43 of the Chicago Manual of Style, racial designations based on color take a lowercase letter; thus, "black" or "white" (or "yellow" or "red" if you dare, though I wouldn't recommend it). This is more authoritative than user opinions, I think. 1995hoo 00:36, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Pro-Michael Richards news article (and purge/addendum suggestions)

Shriker 19:11, 1 December 2006 (UTC)


I'm a new member so can't edit the Michael Richards wiki page directly. Perhaps an admin can consider a few of these suggestions..?


Under Aftermath

"...The men, represented by attorney Gloria Allred, are seeking "monetary compensation" from Richards though Richards' publicist Howard Rubenstein says there are no plans to pay the men.[22]"

It now appears he WILL be meeting the men.. and I'm sure monetary demans will be made (Gloria Allred wants to get her cut for sure <G>)

Note this December 1 article on CNN (via the AP) "Richards to meet with offended clubgoers"


And something that may be appropriate for the "Analysis" section which mentions support for Michael Richards from Tom Green and Robin Williams (follwing the Laugh Factory incident)

There's a December 1 article in the Celebrity section of the Electronic News network entitled "Michael Richards LIKES Black People".

The article raises some legitimate counterpoints to the charges against him (of being a racist) - i.e. one point: the main cast of "Seinfeld" was all white, but the cast of Michael Richards OWN show was 40% Black. It even - tongue in cheek - makes an arguement that Michael Richards may end up accomplishing the job he was assigned to do by the United Nations a couple years back. :)

      • Pretty amazing stuff. Looking over that stuff, in my opinion, it is absurd to call Michael Richards a racist. I can't deal with it right now. I don't have the time. But I agree with you wholeheartedly. And this has been my feeling all along. Though his words were literally racist, I actually think there is a wider context to see them in, which in fact is not racist at all, but simply an honest addressing of Black-White racial tension in the United States. It is a fact; it exists, and he addressed it. If he did so clumsily, then criticize him for doing so clumsily. In my opinion, he is not a racist. It is better to address that issue than to remain mum. Bus stop 21:54, 1 December 2006 (UTC)Bus StopBus stop 21:54, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
      • Shriker: I put in a reference and a link to Electronic News Network, using much of the language you used in your above post. I think it rounds out the story. It is relevant information. Bus stop 06:42, 2 December 2006 (UTC)Bus StopBus stop 06:42, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

Shriker 20:24, 2 December 2006 (UTC) Thanks muchly Bus Stop - the ENN article certainly balances that section of the wikipage, making wikipedia truly "fair and balanced" along with being factual... now we'll just have see what happens when Michael Richards meets the hecklers, Gloria Allred, and the retired judge (ie to see if they manage to get some money out of him)... ;) 04:04, 3 December 2006 (UTC) ...and now the ENN reference has disappeared (which is factual), but the celebrity support (opinions) are still there...

I added the article now. Juror 8 04:17, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

| aaaaaaaaaaaaaannnd it's gone again. :/ Thanks 'Juror 8' for re-adding that information, but (again) someone has removed it. The continual deletion may be related to the thread on this page: "# 64 The article as it stands is not very good." ; someone appears to be whole-sale removing entire blocks of text instead of just rewriting it....

I didn't remove it, but I must say if I saw it I would've removed it as well. I read the EL you guys are discussing, it's written much like an opinion piece with an extremely non-neutral POV that picks and chooses its sources. One thing many editors still don't seem to understand is this is an article about _Michael Richards_, not people's own opinion of Michael Richards/whether they think Richards is or is not a racist/whether or not they like him/thinks he deserves a break (as this external link being discussed plainly did). Encyclopedias consolidate facts and let them speak for themselves _without intentionally trying to influence POV_, essay/blogs present opinions to try to influence. This particular EL clearly falls in the latter camp. It concerns me that you're basically openly discussing your own POVs and how to work them into the article. I have my own opinions about Richards too, but I would save them for my own blog if I kept one, I would not deem it appropriate to come here and try to shove it down the throats of others. Tendancer 19:45, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

The Hecklers Response...

It is not known wether it was the 'heckler' that responded with 'cracker ass' and other racist may have just been another member of the audience...

Excuse me? Where do you get that piece of information from? I thought it was known that the hecklers responded using the word "cracker." Just to let everyone know, since this page is in my Watchlist, someone called Ciaran646 wrote the unsigned comment above. The comment to this Talk Page is that User's only contribution to Wikipedia at the time of this writing. Acalamari 02:55, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

Your excused! and you thought wrong. it is not known , and if you scroll up on this page you can read about that uncertainty.

      • Why don't you sign your posts? Are these communications originating from beyond the Kuiper belt? ( Bus stop 05:24, 2 December 2006 (UTC)Bus StopBus stop 05:24, 2 December 2006 (UTC)
        • I'm signing my comments. Anyway, we've seen the video of the incident. People know that the hecklers responded by saying cracker. Why are you trying to defend the hecklers when they're just as bad as Michael Richards? Acalamari 17:18, 2 December 2006 (UTC)
          • They responded after he took the gloves off. Their response was perfectly justified. Don't try to shift the blame from the guy on stage who inflamed the incident. Wahkeenah 19:03, 2 December 2006 (UTC)
            • Sadly you have been brainwashed by the far left media. Juror 8 20:45, 2 December 2006 (UTC)
              • You miss the point. They presumably paid to see the show. He's a pro, and he takes his chances with an audience. If he's got jerks in the audience, that doesn't give him license to go after them with vile, extreme epithets, unless they physically threatened him, but there has been no intimation of that. In fact, considering his rant, those men showed remarkable restraint. Wahkeenah 23:54, 2 December 2006 (UTC)
                • Nope. If a member of the audience chooses to be a heckler, they cannot complain when the comedian retorts. Juror 8 03:28, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
        • Two wrongs don't make a right; those hecklers were being just as offensive as Michael Richards. Calling someone "nigga" is not justification for anyone else to use words like "cracker," "honky," "spic," or any other Racial Insult Name (I was using these words just to point them out; I was not actually referring to anybody as these names. I thought I'd better say that before people start calling me racist). Reasonable people don't call other people names, surely most people here agree with that. Michael Richards and the hecklers are as bad as each other. Acalamari 19:45, 2 December 2006 (UTC)
          • No, they weren't. "Cracker" and "honky" are nowhere near the same league as those other two words you mentioned. They are offensive to some extent, but not nearly so much as those others, which carry connotations of white supremacy and slaveholding. Wahkeenah 23:54, 2 December 2006 (UTC)
And none of this matters, why is there even a debate on this? I have my own personal opinions on the Richards incident, however that does not motivate me to believe it's right to interject it to an encyclopedia. There're way too much bias from both sides and some folks are not even attempting trying to present a neutral POV, introducing words and loaded adjectives/verbs like "lashed out", "racially charged", "racist" etc. This is _an encyclopedia_, not an essay/blog/editorial/opinion piece. On some days it seems with each progressive edit the quality of this article only worsens because people stray away from facts and covertly (and sometimes overtly) introduce their own POV. Tendancer 22:07, 2 December 2006 (UTC)
Precisely. The exchange could be reported, but sticking "racist" labels on everything is overkill and POV-pushing. Those terms all have definitions if someone is unclear about them. Wahkeenah 23:54, 2 December 2006 (UTC)
Does anyone remember the Chevy Chase - Richard Pryor word association bit from Saturday Night Live? It started out innocuously, then went to "white" and "black", then they started exchanging silly ethnic terms, getting progressively closer to the line, then it came down to something like this:
Chase: Jungle bunny.
Pryor: Honky!
Chase: N*gger.
Pryor: DEAD honky!
At that point they went back to the bland word association. Luckily for Michael Richards, all they did was yell "cracker" at him, they didn't opt for "dead honky". The "N-word" is what used to be known as "fightin' words". If a white man calls a black man by that vile word, he asks for whatever he gets. Wahkeenah 00:00, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
Wahkeenah, the word "Spic" has nothing to do slavery; it's slang for Hispanic. Also, are you implying that non-Whites are incapable of racism? I know from personal experience that anyone can be racist. “Cracker” and “Honky” are as bad as those other slangs. Why do you believe that slangs for White People are not as bad as those for non-Whites? You yourself sound like a racist to me. If you think that “Cracker” and “Honky” aren’t as offensive as “Spic,” then what slangs for Whites are as bad as that word then? Can you think of one? Acalamari 00:49, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
Both terms were/are racial put-downs used by the people in power, as one means of reminding them of their "place" beneath the white man, which is exactly the message Richards sent in his tirade. "Cracker" and "Honky" are like being hit by a wet noodle compared to those other words. Yes, non-whites are very capable of racism and bigotry. The difference is, there's no power behind it. I am a white guy and I can't think of one word anyone could say about my race that's any more than a grain of sand compared to the beach's worth of hatred contained in the "N-word". Wahkeenah 03:18, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

---you're an idiot. how in the world do you people think any of this is relevant to the this wiki entry????

  • Peace. Be still. Wahkeenah 03:18, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

comments such as "The heckler responded with his own racist statements, calling Richards a "fucking cracker-ass motherfucker", "fucking white boy", and "It's not funny. That's why you're a reject, never had no shows, never had no movies. `Seinfeld,' that's it."" are OBVIOUSLY irrelevant. is this encyclopedia entry about some guy who attended a comedy show? wait, i thought it was about that guy from seinfeld, michael richards. come on people.

There is no question that much of this debate is not particularly helping to resolve the issue of how to write the article. Ironically, by the time we get it ironed out, Richards will have had his love-fest with the hecklers and it will all be over. Wahkeenah 04:48, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
  • It's an attempt to divert attention from the fact that at least 90% of the blame for this incident is on Richards' shoulders. [User:Wahkeenah|Wahkeenah]] 03:18, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
    • Wahkeenah, you didn’t answer my question. I asked if you could think of any Racial Insult Names for White People that are as bad as “spic”, and it seems that you can’t. Why do you keep saying the “N-word” yet still say “Honky” and “Cracker?” Shouldn’t you be saying the “H-word” and the “C-word?” Listen, the hecklers are just as bad as Richards; I don’t know why you can’t see that. No matter what I say, you seem to totally disagree with it. In fact, you sound like one of these Left-Wing people who seem to only agree with people who make anti-White comments. What would you be saying if the hecklers had said “Cracker” before Richards said “Nigga?” Oh, and one more thing, this is not an attempt to make Richards blameless. Acalamari 03:32, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
      • Since I was apparently not clear enough before, NO, there is not one racist word about whites that comes anywhere close to the power of the "N-word", which is so vile I refuse to put it into print, and I do apologize for restating the others, although they are as nothing by comparison. You can call me a "honky" or a "cracker" or a "redneck" or a "WASP" and my reaction is "so what?" And why can't you see that it is NOT the same. We whites in America have always been in the power position. That's what it's about, and the right-wingers of this country either don't get that or don't want to. Have you ever been in a store and had the clerks give you the evil eye, presumed to be a potential shoplifter, because of being a white guy? I very much doubt it. The hecklers are not "just as bad", nowhere close. Did they call him a "cracker" up front? I don't know. But even if they had, they paid their money and they have the right to heckle if they don't think he's funny. There is no evidence that they physically threatened him in any way, although after he went on his rant, they would have been justified in doing so. Instead, they showed restraint. You know, there was a baseball team called the Atlanta Crackers, and none of those Georgia good ol' boys seemed to have a problem with it. Any apparent white indignation over the use of that word is mostly put-on. Meanwhile, Richards' rant was a white-supremacist rant. There is the remote possibility that he thought he was being funny, but Chris Rock he ain't. I also doubt they used the term "cracker" first; it was likely in response to Richards' comments, and was perfectly understandable under the circumstances. One more thing. I don't "only agree with people who make anti-white comments." I don't care for personal insults of any stripe. But people have the right to defend themselves, which I think is something a right-winger would understand. And verbal self-defense is much more civilized than shooting him would have been. Wahkeenah 04:48, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
90% of the blame is Richards'? That's ridiculous. He didn't initiate the incident. His set didn't inlcude racism. He was verbally disrupted by people of low moral character, and responded disproportionately. This is probably because he is not a stand-up comedian, he is an actor. As such, he was improperly prepared to deal with vile jerks in the audience. The "blame" for this unfortunate incident should be equal. There is no clear victim in this case, other than the innocent patrons. Bulbous 05:27, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
Right after adding the above comment, the same IP address zapped a big chunk of the talk page, so I take its entries here to be vandalism. Wahkeenah 05:23, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
Apologies for browser weirdness. Bulbous 05:27, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
Alrighty then. If he doesn't know how to be a standup, he shouldn't be doing it. Heckling is a long-standing expectation of standups. Instant, brutal feedback. How dare you say they were of low moral character, just because they won't say "Yes, Boss" when some white guy throws the N-word at them. Did they go onstage and attack him with gun, knife or fist? No, they just yelled back at him when he went on his rant which effectively proved that their initial criticisms were right: he wasn't funny. Richards is the reason the incident inflamed, whether he "started" it or not. Wahkeenah 05:36, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
The hecklers didn't initiate the incident. If Richards had simply ignored them and continued his act, or shouted back at them without any reference to race, there wouldn't have been any "incident". Comedians are heckled all the time; these disruptions are something they are going to have to deal with, but as you said Richards was ill-prepared. The "incident" started when he decided to shout "nigger", "fork up your ass", etc. at the expense of the audience. While yelling anti-white slurs wasn't the best choice on the heckler's part, it was still only in response to Richards' anti-black slurs. Richards' excuse is that the people who were pissing him off happened to be black, which IMO isn't quite as convincing. Just my two cents. JScott06 07:09, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
Heckling is an unfortunate circumstance of human misbehaviour. Richards, not being a professional stand-up comedian, was unprepared for it, and reacted badly. That in no way excuses the hecklers, who initiated the exchange that ruined the evening for all present. Even if he had used wording that was not racist, the evening still may have been tarred as negative for all the folks that paid to see him. To say that a more appropriate response may have deterred the hecklers from ruining the evening further is speculation. The point is that there are two parties that deserve our contempt: the heckler and the comedian. Bulbous 08:42, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
The hecklers about 10% and Richards about 90%. Wahkeenah 13:24, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
Well Wahkeenah, you fell for that one. You proved my point when I said about Left-Wingers not listening/agreeing with people who aren’t anti-White. As you seem to be anti-White, you not listening to any counter-argument. You seem to think that Whites don’t receive any discrimination…and you’re wrong: there’s plenty of evidence to show that Whites do get discriminated against (Affirmative Action? Diversification of the Workplace?). You also said that “no insult for Whites is a as the N-word,” and lectured us. Are you for bringing back slavery, but it being the enslavement of Whites? You're just as bad as Richards or the hecklers; in fact, you're worse because you are actually being racist; unlike them, who were just using slang. Listen, this is Wikipedia, not a Left-Wing Propaganda Network which you’re rapidly turning it into. End your anti-White, hate-filled comments now; post them on Leftist Forums instead of here. Acalamari 16:13, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
Well, here's the difference, restated again: if they were white and were being disruptive, what would he have said? If they're being disruptive, how does attacking their race figure into it? That's where Richards went wrong. And even if they were being disruptive in the first place, Richards inflamed it beyond all reasonable proportions. If they called him racist names back, he deserved it. Here's why: When a white man throws the N-word at a black man, especially with the embellishments Richards added, he's saying, "Know your place, boy! I'm a white man, and I'm better than you are!" And the black man can either say, "Yes, Boss!" or he can say, "You are NOT better than I, and I will NOT kiss up to you.!" That's what was really going on in that dialogue. Wahkeenah 17:02, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
The core of whites' complaints about affirmative action is that it raises the possibility that all the good jobs won't necessarily go to whites. Their assumption is that whites should get first preference, and minorities should get the "leftovers". The opposition to affirmative action is about an underlying assumption of white supremacy, which affirmative action tends to erode. Yes, yes, yes, this is off-topic. Sort of. Wahkeenah 17:44, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
It also occurs to me that this constant content debate here is based in part on the "raw data" of the situation. We need to see some direct (and hopefully calm) discussion between Richards and the hecklers, and then maybe the "full story" will come out. My guess is that an "appearance fee" for the hecklers might also be a tradeoff against a potential suit (which, by the way, for those keep calling me a "lefty", I think would be absurd and frivolous - so there). Wahkeenah 17:52, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
Actually, White People complain about Affirmative Action when they apply for a job and can’t get it because they’re the wrong color. Even Orientals get affected by that, but that’s not the topic. Anyway, what would you be saying if it had been two White hecklers and a Black Comedian? What if the Black comedian had shouted Racial Slangs? Would you try to justify it saying "Well, Blacks have always been discriminated against, so any discrimination from Blacks to Whites is great!" Or would you treat that comedian like you have treated Michael Richards? Also, you are Leftist: it says so on your User Page, and you do disagree with those who aren’t anti-White. Acalamari 18:52, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
Precisely. They complain because they didn't get the automatic preferential treatment that they think they deserve by being white. There is no white equivalent to the N-word, so the reverse hypothetical scenario doesn't work. And it's not "discrimination", it's a proclamation of white supremacy. There is no concept or history of "black supremacy" in this country. A liberal and a "leftist" are not the same thing, although the right wingers like to paint it that way, in order to equate "liberal" with "communist". I've got a number of opinions that appear on the right-wing checklist. Now, having said all that, I am not convinced that Richards himself is a white supremacist. But I'm not convinced he's not, either. That's why we need to hear some dialogue between him and the hecklers and learn what's going on. Maybe they all' had a bad day that day. And then (at risk of getting back on topic) maybe we can having something useful and insightful (as opposed to "inciteful") on the topic in this article. Wahkeenah 19:15, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
Typical Left-Wing response: “There is no reverse hypothetical scenario,” and “They think they deserve by being White.” Yes there is a reverse hypothetical response; but you Left-Wingers don’t like (or don’t want) to realize that. There is a concept of Black Supremacy, like Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X (who should be respected that he abandoned his hateful views against White People), and, dare I say, the Nation Of Islam. As for Affirmative Action, Whites don’t think that at all (but with reverse-racist views like yours, that could change). Even Left-Wingers like you should agree that a job should go to the most qualified person, and not simply go to someone because they happen to be Black. I do agree with you though that “Liberal” and “Leftist” are different. Liberal means open-minded (which anybody can be, it’s not a Left or Right thing). You say you aren’t convinced that Michael Richards is or isn’t a White Supremacist (Leftists like to throw that term around a lot), which means you either are contradicting yourself, or are trying to confuse everyone else. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Michael Richards and the hecklers are as bad as each other, however you are worse: Richards and the hecklers were not being racist about they’re own kind: but you are. Acalamari 20:19, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
So, by your argument, they should have just said, "Yes, Boss!" Michael Richards' words are those of a white supremacist. It remains to be seen whether he himself is truly a white supremacist. Maybe even he doesn't really know. "White supremacy" is the notion that the white race is inherently superior to all other races and therefore should get all the breaks. Affirmative action tries to addresses the hard fact of supply-and-demand in a fair way rather than allowing whites to monopolize the good-job market. Marcus Garvey and Malcolm X basically gave up on the idea that things could be better for black people here. They were wrong... thanks to the liberals in our parents' generation who fought the conservatives and finally broke the back of institutionalized discrimination through federal legislation 40-50 years ago... which, by an amazing coincidence, is around the time this country "started to go downhill", as per the usual right wing mantra. And you're right, true liberalism requires being open-minded, which is seldom the case with politicians. We the people (i.e. the ones who aren't trying to get elected) are free to be open-minded, which is why it is possible to find kernels of wisdom in the words of both Al Franken and Bill O'Reilly, to name a couple of possibly-absurd examples. Wahkeenah 20:46, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
Wahkeenah, if you don’t mind, I would like to end this discussion. I’m not “cutting and running,” it’s just that I’m using up valuable Real Life and Wikipedia Time on doing this. Plus, I don’t want either of us to be blocked from WIkipedia, and this discussion has become very long and far off-topic, and I’ll wrap up my part of the discussion with this:
I didn’t say that the Black guys had to say “Yes, Boss!” I didn’t even imply it. I am also more than aware about what White Supremacy, Black Supremacy, Hispanic Supremacy, and all other types of supremacy are.
My parents weren’t involved in any civil rights movements in this country 40-60 years ago. If you look at one of the Userboxes my User Page you’ll see why. Also, my parents were born in the early 60’s.
I have a respectable history that confirms this: Marcus Garvey gave up his dream of a Black Empire in Africa due to his lack of support from Black Americans. He did however, convince thousands Blacks in the Caribbean and Europe to go back to Africa. Malcolm X stopped being a Black Supremacist when he visited Mecca (how Mecca made him stop being a Black Supremacist is amazing; mainly because Mecca wasn’t preaching death to the West in those days.) Sadly, Malcolm X was shot and killed by people who were still Black Supremacists.
Finally, you and I are not Liberals, no matter what we might think. You have gone on about slangs, and I have gone against you on it. You are Left-Wing, while I am easily on the Right. Also, Liberals are against ALL forms of discrimination. Any person who says they are Liberal but support Affirmative Action are not Liberal, as they support positive discrimination (which is still discrimination). A true Liberal would be Center-Wing.
I hope that’s it. I wanted to end this discussion, and hopefully, this has done it. If you haven’t already, look at my User Page to see who you were dealing with. I now hope to return to my normal work. I also wish to apologize for any rudeness to you. Acalamari 00:47, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
Affirmative Action is not discrimination, it is an attempt at fairness and balance, in contrast to the past in this country when white males "got everything", and the minorities and women were left with the crumbs. Thank you for directing me to your page. Obviously, I cannot expect you to personally relate to the historical perspective of what I've been talking about. Maybe that doesn't matter. The past is over. Improve the future, that's the important thing. Wahkeenah 02:37, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
Hope you don't mind me stepping in. Just to put it out there, Affirmative Action in theory is not discriminatory. It basically means "seek out qualified minorities," not "choose minorities over white people, even if they're less qualified." However, it gets a little messed up in practice sometimes. -- Tim D 19:53, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
Absolutely. It's not about hiring less qualified individuals. It's about trying to ensure that in hiring based on merit, that one of the "merits" is not "you have to be white." Wahkeenah 20:09, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
I thought we'd settled this. I didn't want this discussion to keep going on. It went far off-topic and doesn't even belong on this Talk Page anymore. Acalamari 16:00, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

The article as it stands is not very good.

It is disjointed. It is in argument with itself. It overemphasizes some things, underemphasizes other things. It is not neutral. It is clunky. It is inflammatory. It is petty. It is tedious to read. It doesn't present a "sweeping" enough picture of the entire significance of the event. It gets bogged down in details, which is the result of infighting. I've rewritten an extensive portion of it, put it up, and it was taken right down again, reverted to it's present state. Will everyone please take a look at what I considered to be a better presentation of the material from the time of the Laugh Factory incident? Here is the way I see it:

At the Laugh Factory, in West Hollywood, California, on November 17, 2006, a verbal altercation broke out between Michael Richards and at least two men in the audience. The two men were Black. A variety of racial epithets were hurled back and forth. It was caught on video by one of the members of the audience. The beginning of the altercation was not caught on the video. What we do see on the video is Richards resorting to the use of several racial slurs and references. He refers to the Black men in the audience as "niggers." He makes an apparent reference to the lynchings that were once commonplace in the American South. The Black men in the audience respond to Richards, calling him a "cracker-ass" and a "white boy." They ridicule him for a declining career in the entertainment business. From what is caught on the video it is clear that Richards has gone way beyond his proscribed professional demeanor. While it is not unusual in such a setting for there to be some animated banter of an adversarial sort between performer and audience, Richards' remarks seem considerably fueled by anger, and therefore not what he was hired for. Richards did not regain his composure, in fact he simply turned and walked offstage. It is generally understood that Richards' heated remarks were precipitated by some degree of heckling from the audience. It is not clearly known who did or said what. The range of opinions and speculation on this include merely the making of too much noise while ordering of drinks to outright remarks shouted to Richards. (

Richards became contrite in stages after the incident. He says he tried to find the two gentlemen later that evening in order to apologize to them, but they had already left the premises. Richards claims also to have tried to locate them over the next few days to apologize to them, also unsuccessfully. On November 20 Michael Richards appeared on the David Letterman Show. Jerry Seinfeld was a guest. Richards's presence was by satellite. Richards apologized. Richards tried to explain that he was only trying to be outrageous. And Richards claimed that despite the superficial meaning of the racial epithets that he used, he was not a racist at heart. (

The two Black men are seeking legal redress for the verbal assault that they had to endure at the Laugh Factory. They have hired attorney Gloria Allred to represent them. Monetary compensation is reportedly being sought. (,CST-FTR-kramer02.article)

The incident has sparked a good deal of discussion about race relations in the USA. An important question concerns whether or not Michael Richards is racist. It is probably not a question that can be answered. There are passionate supporters taking up both sides of the argument. Clearly the overt meaning of the things he said constitute hate speech. But on the other hand, Richards has a history of working with African-Americans. His own show, The Michael Richards Show, had several African-Americans in the cast. And even in the earlier Seinfeld Show, Richards' character (Kramer) is seen in relation to an attorney who happens to be Black, in two episodes of that show. (''

This version is downplaying Richards' role in the affair. According the the two men whom he slurred racially the beginning of the affair commenced with Richards making racists comments in response to noise that the two men's group of 20 was making when they arrived late. Also, it is not "Black" but black... please cease reverting this. (Netscott) 06:15, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

      • Netscott -- I have not said that Richards did not make racial slurs. In point of fact, I did not pass any comment at all on who initiated the making of racial slurs. I avoided that because I don't think it is definitively known. I would agree that in my own imagining of what might have transpired, that it is more likely that the first overtly racial remarks would have been made by Richards. He is, after all, the comedian, and trying to be outrageous. But it isn't definitively known. And most importantly, it is not caught on the tape. Why speculate about further inflammatory things that are not even known? Isn't the tape of Richards' remarks clear enough evidence of a severe racial outburst? I have tried to be evenhanded. I don't think I am downplaying Richards' role in the altercation. There is a point from which the reader of the article has to make their own conclusions, or do further research for themselves. The article at present falls apart because of an excess of detail. That is why I tried to rewrite it. Perhaps you can rewrite it yourself using some of my material. All I am trying to do is provide a sweeping view of the entirety of the situation from the evening of November 17 up to the present.Bus stop 06:46, 3 December 2006 (UTC)Bus stopBus stop 06:46, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
If you want to make such massive changes to the article then I suggest you include what the two men have reported themselves. I doubt they would have gone on national television and lied about such pertinent details as to Richards responding to the noise their group made (particularly when there were so many other witnesses there who saw what happened). The way your version is, it's downplaying Richards' verbal attack by excluding how it all began. (Netscott) 06:49, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
I'm reading it again and your version is soooooo wrong on so many levels.... the whole Richards was "resorting" to racial slurring, like what he didn't have another option?.... so he had to work with all that he had left, which was a racist attack?... give me a break. I'm going to read it closer but your version is chock full of such downplaying nonsense. (Netscott) 06:54, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

      • Netscott -- In point of fact, we don't know how it (the Laugh Factory verbal altercation) began. That is why a Wikipedia article shouldn't be addressing that. Any addressing that is speculation. Do you not think Michael Richards would not have a different understanding of how the bad situation arose? The video does not record the genesis of the event. The reader of the article, if they are so interested, can do research on their own. What they would find, if they did that research, would still only be speculation, or at best an educated guess. Pardon me for saying so, but I think you are obsessed with assigning blame. This is an encyclopedia article. This isn't about vilifying someone. The facts can be glided over. The reader is not trying to find who is to blame. There is a bigger picture. The bigger picture goes beyond Michael Richards, and Kyle Doss, and Frank McBride. I am certainly not excusing Michael Richards for anything seen on the tape. But I balk at the idea of writing an article about that which is not known, or in contention. The responsible writing of the article records the known facts.Bus stop 07:16, 3 December 2006 (UTC)Bus StopBus stop

      • Netscott -- You are misunderstanding, and I don't know why. When I say he was resorting to using racial slurs, I am not saying that there was no choice but to resort to racial slurs. That is your interpretation. It is not implicit in my statement. In point of fact I would agree wholeheartedly that many other options were open to Richards, which he could have and should have taken. And I would guess he now regrets wrong choices taken. When one reaches for a racial slur it is undoubtedly a moment of stupidity. One only makes fun of another person's race if all other creative areas of one's mind have shut down. Obviously, clearly, Michael Richards was having a bad night. If he was not having a bad night on some level or another he could have responded to whatever was going on in some way that minimized and defused the situation. I say that he "resorted" to the use of racial slurs because that is literally what happens. One finds oneself stymied for an adequate and appropriate response to a situation. Race is just so obvious, that you resort to calling attention to a person's race. And in doing so, you pull all the negative stereotypes that you can out of your bag of racial epithets. And on and on it goes. And anger begets more anger.Bus stop 07:36, 3 December 2006 (UTC)Bus StopBus stop 07:36, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

Shriker 07:32, 3 December 2006 (UTC) ...and it seems the celebrity opinions about Michael Richards remain, but the ENN article - with clearly sourced information - keeps getting removed, even after 2 separate people have tried adding it. However one of the primary 'after effects' of the Laugh Factory incident is that now MANY people think he's a racist, and this article clears that issue up to a large degree...

Regardless of the whys or hows the incident happened, the ENN story shows he isn't a racist. If he was, I doubt he would've attended that Def Poetry Jam party (the only white person in the sourced photo coverage of the event, aside from Richard Pryor daughter's husband) and he certainly would've had SOME say in the casting of his OWN television show - yet 40% of its cast are black. (tidbit: one of those cast mates, Tim Meadows, joked (in character) about the Laugh Factory incident on 'The Colbert Report' this week).

I'm just saying 'don't throw the baby out with the bath water' if there are some parts of that section you don't agree with or think should be rewritten. Thnx

Hideous bias on the "Laugh Factory" incident

Is there any particular reason why this article is so obviously slanted in support of Richards? Not saying the article should lambast the man, but it doesn't properly quote his tirade, making it seem as if his outburst was limited to the lynching comment and a few repetitions of the racial slur. He screamed the word several times over, and only after some time had elapsed did the hecklers respond with any comments. Richards then continued to throw the slur at them, and the topper comment about "that's what happens when you interrupt the white man."

Also, besides the laundry list of celebs who back and support Richards, is it possible to mention the media figures who didnt quite approve of the outburts? And the fact that the Laugh Factory is demanding Richards donate a million dollars to charity for each time he used the racial slur (I'm not sure just how "rich" he is, but that would surely put a dent in his bank account ,if not fully bankrupt him).

I've been editing Wikipedia for quite some time now, and I'm well-aware of the inherent bias towards white American interests and personalities (that's why only a very small minority have written articles on notable black figures, while the "encyclopedia" gushes over with info on white celebrities of equal or lesser importance). But this is really, really too much; an outrage and a travesty. And it shows that not only is Wikipedia an unreliable reference work (something I've know for quite some time), but that the collective efforts of its users aren't much interested in presenting ethically balanced and unbiased world views and factual information (something I've known in my heart, but didn't want to admit to myself). --FuriousFreddy 13:15, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

I'm inclined to agree with what you are saying here FuriousFreddy, check the talk in the section just above what you've added here. (Netscott) 13:32, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

FuriousFreddy -- Which article are you referring to -- the one that presently exists on Wikipedia's page for Michael Richards, or the one above which I have (tentatively) proposed?

In either case, the article gives a link to the actual footage of the video of the actual visual and auditory record of the event at the Laugh Factory. Are you arguing that there has to be a duplication, in verbal form, of sound and image? In my opinion, the verbal entry in this article should complement the video. I see little reason why it should have to duplicate it. Perhaps I am overlooking the visually and hearing impaired user of this site. But for that purpose a complete transcript is called for. That is something I honestly have not considered. What I do feel strongly about, and what I've endeavored to do, is to provide verbiage that accurately conveys an approximation of what transpired. I am at this time referring to my proposed article above, not the one that presently exists on Wikipedia's page on Michael Richards.

Bias is a natural tendency. In fact no two people see things in exactly the same way, in my opinion. You say that the article is "slanted in support of Richards." You say that it doesn't properly "quote his tirade." How much quoting would you call for, in light of the fact that the actual video is readily available? Are we trying to accommodate the visually and hearing impaired? Because that is the only reason that I can think of why a transcript of words spoken is called for. Bus stop 14:15, 3 December 2006 (UTC)Bus StopBus stop 14:15, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

      • Aha - so maybe THIS is why the ENN article mention keeps getting deleted (at least 3 times now that I'm aware of)...

I am *definitely* in favor of 'fair and balanced' content on wikipedia, presenting facts (especially!) and opinion (to a lesser degree) that inform readers from both sides of an issue. But it is really appearing to me that there's a concerted effort, and bias, to keep this wikipage content from being well balanced by deleting that article reference.

The reason references to the celebrity support and ENN article are important - and even MORE important, imo, than including so much about the opposing viewpoint (i.e. Richards *is* a racist and has now been caught at it) - is because the general public have been given the impression by mainstream media that he IS a hardcore racist... end of story.

The ENN article clearly shows he ISN'T a racist in the true sense of the word: You're not going to find a racist attending a Def Poetry Jam support party or willing agree to have 40% of your coworkers be black if you have the choice!

Therefore, it seems to me that one or more people are purposely and impartially removing the link to ENN, even though there are PLENTY of news sources on the page that report only the incident which leave the impression that Michael Richards is racist. I believe the mission statement for Wikipedia would include being complete, balanced, and impartial; sticking to facts and interesting asides.

And for anyone reading this who hasn't read through all the threads on this page, including one that includes a link to the Electronic News Network article, it's here:

Thanks - Shriker Shriker 21:00, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

Remove the section on anti-semitism

It has no place in the article and is clearly doing nothing but putting forth allegations which have been proven false. Wikipedia biographies are not the place for weakly sourced, irrelevent attacks on the person. Reasonable doubt1 15:13, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

I agree. There is no place in this article for the allegations of two people who came forward six months after a supposed incident (in April) to claim Michael Richards made anti-Semitic comments. Would they have come forward if not for the November 17 Laugh Factory incident? Why didn't they come forward with these claims at any point over the past 6 months? Where are the other people who one would assume heard the same comments? I am in favor of entirely eliminating a paragraph on "anti-Semitism" from this article. It is based on such flimsy evidence that it doesn't bear inclusion. Bus stop 16:06, 3 December 2006 (UTC)Bus StopBus stop 16:06, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
That smacks of censorship. The real problem is that there is no content in the paragraph, just vague generalities, impeaching by inference, in contrast to the recent fiasco, for which his words and attitude are, obviously, documented. If someone can find what was actually said 6 months ago, then it could be posted, and then could be judged by the reader directly rather than it being "filtered" by someone with their own agenda. If the actual or approximate text of what he said is not available, then I agree it's junk and should be deleted. Wahkeenah 16:21, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
Wahkeenah -- A allegation of bigotry is a serious charge. One does not allege what one doesn't have strong evidence for. All that we have are two people who've come forward with that charge, and there has been a time gap of over six months. Please don't tell me that I am "filtering" anything for my "agenda." My agenda is to filter out unfair accusations, in this instance. I have no other agenda. I am showing the same respect for Michael Richards that I would want shown to me. That is an obligation of a responsible editor of an article for a biographical entry on Wikipedia, in my opinion. If someone wants to turn up as much "dirt" on Michael Richards as they can, they can do a search on the Internet and come up with the anti-Semitic allegation. But that allegation should not be perpetuated by inclusion in a general article about Michael Richards in an article on Wikipedia. I am also opposed to censorship. This is an instance where we weigh the good and the bad of inclusion of accusation of anti-Semitism charges against Michael Richards. And in my opinion this is not worthy of inclusion. Bus stop 16:43, 3 December 2006 (UTC)Bus StopBus stop 16:43, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
The allegations of Michael Richards' anti-Semitism probably wouldn't have arisen had the recent incident not happened, so I see no point in putting the anti-Semitism incident in the article. Also, Bus Stop, don't take any insults from Wahkeenah seriously; I don't, as he's been disagreeing with everything I say. Just read "The Hecklers Response." Anyway, I say remove the anti-Semitism part. If that incident was so important, why wasn't it mentioned months ago? Acalamari 16:52, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
You misunderstand. I am not accusing you of filtering, I am suggesting that those two accusers are. If all they have to say was "he was using anti-semitic remarks", that's just their opinion, and we're supposed to somehow take it on faith. NO. If they have stated specifically what was said, as well as the context, then it's worth further consideration. Yes, such an allegation is serious, but without the actual content, it means nothing and could be removed. Wahkeenah 17:02, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
Wahkeenah, this topic was abou anti-Semitism, not the Black guys. You should have posted the part about the Black guys in "The Hecklers Response" part. Acalamari 17:33, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
Done. Wahkeenah 17:38, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

Wahkeenah -- No one is likely to find any text of the alleged April incident. I don't know why the two people allege that Michael Richards made anti-Semitic comments. I am only assessing what is presently made available to us. It only consists of two people. And they did not speak up, to my knowledge, before the November 17 incident. The only reason anyone would contemplate inclusion of that sort of thing in the present article is because it also falls under the heading of "hate speech." It may make a good theme, but it is unfair to Michael Richards. Bus stop 18:14, 3 December 2006 (UTC)Bus StopBus stop 18:14, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

Then it should be dropped from the article. Wahkeenah 19:00, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

Intro, Mason

Intro (inc. source 3) says he's still a Master Freemason, yet later (referenced with source 10) the article says that he is no longer involved. When you quit being involved in freemasonry do you lose the Master Freemason title? Or is it just dormant? I was tempted to add "former" to the intro but decided it might be better ot hear from an expert here first. Nach0king 17:56, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

  • Maybe he's not really a freemason, but merely "adheres to their philosophy". I'm waiting for him to say, "Some of my best friends are freemasons", like he said about black people right in front of Jesse Jackson, who managed to keep a straight face. Wahkeenah 17:58, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

Excessive Edits

I totally agree with Netscott's last revert as the last edits NEED to be reverted. Folks how can you say please discuss on talk page bla bla bla, and then go ahead and make this kind of monstrous edit yourself: For instance, that version stated:

"What we do see on the video is Richards resorting to the use of several racial slurs and references. He refers to the Black men in the audience as "niggers." He makes an apparent reference to the lynchings that were once commonplace in the American South. The Black men in the audience respond to Richards, calling him a "cracker-ass" and a "white boy." They ridicule him for a declining career in the entertainment business. From what is caught on the video it is clear that Richards has gone way beyond his proscribed professional demeanor. While it is not unusual in such a setting for there to be some animated banter of an adversarial sort between performer and audience."

This paragraph is horribly, terribly unencyclopedic. It sounds like a college essay--we see use of the word "we": you should never see first-person perspective used in an encyclopedia, EVER. Then it's replete with opinions such as 'it is clear', 'while it is not unusual'. Also, at least a couple folks have pointed out the Manual of Style on the usage of the word "Black" (i.e., don't use it, use "black" in an encyclopedia), why do some stubbornly insist on using it? You asked for discussion, it was discussed, proof given; and then you ignore it b/c you don't agree with it, why do you insist on discussing it then??? All of that aside, the paragraph also simply doesn't flow. Some writers on wikipedia are better writers than others, and one needs to be careful on doing massive edits on what others have collectively created/copyedited at this stage of a "mature" article--chances are, you'll make it worse. Tendancer 00:55, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

  • I am inclined to agree with you and Nescott's assessment. Wahkeenah 01:36, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

fix this spelling please

Because I can't. "According to Frank McBride and Kyle Doss, the two men targeted.........During their appearance on The Today Show, McBridge and Doss rejected Richards' apology.... [21]" Is it McBride of McBridge? Thanks.

It's McBride - thank you for pointing it out! It is fixed now. Nach0king 16:03, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

A complete explanation of the Laugh factory event

From the back and forth happening on this section I think it is safe to say that a complete explanation about what happened according to witness accounts reported in reputable news sources that led up to the video recorded part needs to be introduced. I'm planning on working on this is my spare time over the next week or so. In particular I think the part of the story wherein the group of 20 people showed up late and Richards made his offhanded comments needs introducing to better explain why he was being heckled. (Netscott) 22:55, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Ok, I've started work on this. More detail is needed though as the intro is incomplete... I've got to source the bit where the heckler said, "my friend thinks you're not funny." that saw Richards subsequently go deeper into the racial slurring. (Netscott) 01:14, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
"According to Frank McBride and Kyle Doss, the two men targeted by the outburst, they were not heckling but merely ordering drinks after arriving late at the comedy club. " is already in the article, do not try to duplicate this by pushing their version of the events repeatedly into the article every step of the way. Do not write an article where you repeat the hecklers statements numerous times, for POV pushing. Geza 11:27, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Labeling their responses as "also racially charged" is overkill and a misleading (POV) attempt to equate their comments with his vile language. If you bother to "listen" to what they were saying, you'll see that they are merely calling him a racist (and also reflecting on his manhood). Wahkeenah 11:50, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
  • I don't fully agree with what you're saying here Wahkeenah. Calling someone "white boy" in the manner that was done here is certainly in the spirit of racism. (Netscott) 14:00, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
You've got a point. But it was also in "self defense", is nowhere near the N-word in vileness, and is arguably factual: he is white, and he behaved like a child. What I'm concerned about is the attempt to equate their comments with his to somehow let him somewhat off the hook. If he didn't say what he said, they wouldn't likely have said what they said. Now, if they said it unprovoked, that would be a different story. Wahkeenah 14:24, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Fine, then edit the racially charged part out (which by the way was in almost all the earlier versions of this article, most definitely not invented by me), and leave the other parts of my edit alone, especially the redundancy of the heckler's comments. I just checked and you did that exactly, current version seems fine. Also my main concern with the racially charged or whatever part was that in my opinion his comments should be 'explained' a bit as most people outside of the US has no idea that the term 'cracker' was intended as a racist slur. I think some people can have the impression that the heckler merely tried to call Richards stupid or something like that, but he tried to insult him racially back. Geza 12:09, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
I know you didn't add it originally. There have been so many back-and-forth edits, I don't know who did. But the term "cracker" is explained via a link, and in the context used, it's a way of equating Richards to a stereotyped white southern racist, which exactly describes his behavior. I also realized their comments were stated twice in the same paragraph, which did seem like overkill for sure. It might have been written that way to add some more links, but if so, someone can do it in a less-redundant way. Wahkeenah 12:19, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Which Netscott just did, and it looks pretty good now, as it summarizes the entire incident in a paragraph. The one thing possibly missing is Richards' detailed account of what led up to it, as opposed to his vague, general comments on Letterman... if he even knows, as it seems like he went "temporarily insane" or something. Wahkeenah 12:32, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
At this point there is a key missing part that needs citing and that is what Kyle Doss said that in effect was the "final straw" that sent Richards into the tirade. I'm talking about the "My friend thinks you're not funny." line. (Netscott) 12:42, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
The notion that having Kyle Doss' explanation of the lead up to the event where it is in the article is "POV pushing" is really nonsense when we consider that the section essentially leads off with describing Richards' behavior with his own word, "rage". Such wording tends to be sympathetic towards his role in the event. (Netscott) 13:12, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
I'm not quite sure what you're driving at, but the paragraph looks pretty good now, with your fine-tuning of it. Wahkeenah 13:16, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Describing Richards' tirade as "rage" is sympathetic to him because people generally do things that they wouldn't logically (with thought) do. Rage is an irrational state of anger. (Netscott) 13:21, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Some In Audience Laughing; They Found It Funny

The fact of the matter is that a small minority of the audience did find it funny. A small number of people can be heard laughing, and it is a mischaracterization to explain that away as not real laughter but rather the laughter of discomfort. In point of fact it is not even to be said that the entire significance of Michael Richards act, caught on video, constitutes hate speech. There are elements of genuine, acceptable comedy to be found there too. The overwhelming impression is that of an anger fueled, racially charged diatribe. But I am distressed by hearing the politically correct editors drowning out the voices who have pointed out more than once that some members of the audience can be heard laughing. I have listened many times to the video and what I hear in those few voices is genuine laughter. To say it is the laughter of discomfort is to be politically correct. What I hear in those few laughing voices is genuine entertainment. Furthermore: even the laughter of discomfort is the laughter of entertainment. In point of fact stand up comedians commonly elicit laughter by pointing up situations and ideas and imagery that the audience finds uncomfortable. That results in laughter. I think a description of audience reaction should include the fact that "some" people laughed. It may not sit well with the sensibilities of the politically correct among us, but some people did laugh during Michael Richards' tirade. Bus stop 00:04, 5 December 2006 (UTC)Bus StopBus stop 00:04, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Sorry but this is totally irrelevant to the article. Can you even find one reliable source that covers this aspect in some meaningful way? (Netscott) 04:26, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

I put the following line in, but it was promptly removed: "While some in the audience laughed, most did not." There are peals of laughter to be heard on the video. Why is it impermissible to state that? If every other manner of racial slur is permissible, why can't it be stated that a small amount of laughter is also heard, especially early in the tirade? It is a fact, and yet it is being denied.Bus stop 15:07, 5 December 2006 (UTC)Bus StopBus stop 15:07, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Kindly respond to this question: Can you even find one reliable source that covers this aspect in some meaningful way? (Netscott) 23:59, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Netscott -- What do you mean by "covers this aspect in some meaningful way?" The laughter is heard by anyone. It is not "research" to hear, just as it is not "research" to read. There is no interpretation being done on my part in hearing. The video contains what the video contains. Laughter is as identifiable as the words constituting the racial slurs. The only difference is that "ha-ha-ha" is not a word. Aren't you using a technicality to refuse admittance of the element of laughter from the accounting of the incident that night as caught on the video? I am sorry, but I have to respond to your question with a question: What do you mean by "covers this aspect in some meaningful way?" Affirming that laughter is heard needs no corroboration. Bus stop 02:35, 6 December 2006 (UTC)Bus StopBus stop 02:35, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

A meaningful way means discusses the signifcance of the laughing. So far consensus is against having this in the article. The onus is upon you to support your edit of it into the article. Do what it takes to make it happen, find a reliable source that specifically mentions it. At this point you've filled this talk page with a ridiculous amount of bloated cruft about this issue but you've not done anything to support your position. Also I'm not arguing that what you're adding is original research (I don't think it is) I'm stating that it is utterly irrelevant. (Netscott) 02:40, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Netscott -- It is relevant because he is a comedian. I am not pointing out specific significance of the laughter, other than that all the people in the audience were gathered there that evening for the purpose of laughing, and that the man's profession is to make people laugh. Perhaps you "can't see the forest for the trees." The name of the venue is the "Laugh Factory." Why would laughter be any less noteworthy than the racial slurs? I am not putting any spin on the laughter. I do not advocate any particular way that the mention of laughter be entered in the article. I thought my suggestion was bland enough. But I guess not. I am simply taking note of the presence of a small amount of laughter found on the video. It is not irrelevant because everything about the evening was about laughter. It is absurd that you are resistant to noting the presence of laughter, and I think it is because this is not a laughing matter. It is politically incorrect to take note of the fact that the video captures some people early in the tirade laughing. It is bad writing to censor a source. The video is the source. And the video contains both racial slurs and laughter. Bus stop 03:18, 6 December 2006 (UTC)Bus StopBus stop 03:18, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

  • Blah, Blah, Blah... consensus... blah, blah, blah... all talk and no meat. Come back with a reliable source or two and we'll take this point up again. (Netscott) 03:21, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
His point is your whole fixation with the laughter is irrelevant. If it is of any minute importance at all, surely some reliable third-party source would've covered it. If you can find any reliable source that discusses the laughter as you'd like them to (e.g. say CNN remarks there was laughter and hence some people found Richards amusing etc etc)--well that would still be irrelevant to the article, but at least then you have some ground to stand on.
Seeing how you want to push a pro-Richards POV. How would you feel if some editor comes here, and writes "from the video it is evident Richards stared at the black hecklers with considerable rage and hatred", and then writes on the talk page that sentence should be included to emphasize the deep prejudices and hatefulness he thinks must be present in Richard's personality. We'd likewise delete such nonsense on sight for violating WP:V, WP:NPOV, and WP:OR. And say that editor then reverts that nonsense and comes here and wastes others' time and insist folks explain to him how his edits weren't acceptable when it's clear you can see Richards being angry on the video. That is basically what you have been doing, just from a pro-Richards POV. Tendancer 02:50, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Tendancer -- I did not even say that "some people found him amusing." So I need no other source to back that up. The one source, the video, contains laughter. It is ready to see, ready to be heard. I do not ask for any significance to be attached to it. The reader supplies his or her own significance. I am simply using the source to extract the observation that laughter is to be heard. Bus stop 03:37, 6 December 2006 (UTC)Bus StopBus stop 03:37, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

then by that logic there's also no reason to include it since it's "ready to be heard". Anyone can watch the video and decide for themselves if anyone's laughing. It's an absolutely trivial, minor observation unworthy of inclusion unless someone wants to attract unnecessary attention to it, which's what has been done through this discussion. The consensus by this point is obvious. Like Netscott I do not wish to lend this triviality like this any more undeserved attention unless a verifiable source is presented. Tendancer 04:41, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Tendancer -- That is a good point, and 100% true. But bear in mind that the same thing holds true for the verbal exchanges. They too can be heard just by listening to the video. I tried to offer a rewrite that toned down much of the quoted material, with precisely that thought in mind. But my rewrite was rejected, in favor of a much more explicit rendition of each ugly comment in all it's obscene detail. I think I recall my rewrite being referred to as a "whitewash." I honestly did not think my rewrite was any more unbalanced than the rendition that stood before or after my rewrite. But apparently people like the explicit style of writing. And I could understand the potential argument that some people would not be seeing the video and so would have to rely on the reporting of it. But please try to recognize that laughter too is heard on the video. Do you not think the laughter warrants mention? You end your statement by referring to the laughter as a "triviality," which it is not. It attests to Michael Richards' skill and proficiency and relevancy as a comedian. That's why people laugh. That's why people pay money to see him. And furthermore, if the laughter heard on the video were such a trivial matter, you would not be so vehemently opposed to mention of it. It means a lot to you and JJay to keep it out of the article. Would you characterize your reasons for opposing it's inclusion as "trivial?" Bus stop 07:52, 6 December 2006 (UTC)Bus StopBus stop 07:52, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Why is there no discussion here on this Talk page?

I added the following: "While some in the audience laughed, most did not." It was promptly removed. No discussion. It was just removed. JJay's comment in doing so is : "rv unsourced speculation about audience reaction- we need a source for that" What kind of nonsense is this? The source is the video and it's accompanying soundtrack. If this is unsourced, then nothing pertaining to the Laugh Factory incident is sourced. Everything that is being described as being said derives from video of the incident. Can JJay or someone else tell me how the laughter heard on the soundtrack of the video is unsourced?Bus stop 02:29, 5 December 2006 (UTC)Bus StopBus stop 02:29, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Bus stop, what benefit does that line add? What is the point of adding it? Also I don't see what the benefit of your undue weighted addition about what Jamie Foxx would do if he encounters Richards provides for in this article. (Netscott) 02:14, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Netscott -- It is a comedy club. Let's not lose sight of the fact that Michael Richards was trying to make people laugh. That is what he does. He is a professional. He has a track record of successfully making people laugh. He doesn't just make people laugh in meaningless ways, either. He, like most sophisticated, modern, comedians, deal with issues of our day, and of our society, while at the same time using laughter, to cause a cathartic[[24]] experience, to try to advance our culture. To deny that there was any laughter is to deny that there was any value in his presentation. I don't accept that. Even if his racist tirade was of a 95% negative nature, it is still possible that there was a 5% positive aspect to his evening on the stage. And, in point of fact, I think there was a higher than 5% positive contribution that Michael Richards made to his society the evening of November 17. It is a natural human tendency to simplify. I believe he is contrite. He has not at all tried to defend what he did as "funny," or "constructive" in any way. That is why I think we, writing an article about Michael Richards have to choose our words carefully. If someone laughed, give him credit for making that one person laugh. Is that too much to ask? All I am asking is that the biography of Michael Richards on Wikipedia treat him fairly. There was laughter. It is seen (heard) on the videotape. The videotape is damning him royally. Why not let the videotape also exonerate him, even if only to a slight degree? I want to report the fact that laughter is heard. The bigger question is why do some of you not want to report a salient fact? He is a comedian; he caused laughter; report it. He didn't bomb completely that evening. Even if he bombed 90%, give him credit for that one person who laughed. He is a comedian. Bus stop 07:10, 5 December 2006 (UTC)Bus StopBus stop 07:10, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

  • When you're talking about a ratio of 95% to 5% and wanting to include such material in the article you're talking about moving way from neutral point of view. Mentioning such a minor detail due to a 5% response is giving undue weight to that 5%. Bus stop, unfortunately your style is essay like in how you write and utilize talk pages. We're here to write an encyclopedia not essays. Due to this fact your talk is falling outside of talk page guidelines because you're wanting to talk about the "greater meaning" of it all. Kindly refrain from such lengthy diatribe talk and stay focused on improving the article. Do read up on Wikipedia's policies and better inform yourself on how to contribute within the context of those policies, ok? Thanks. (Netscott) 07:42, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Netscott -- If you don't want an answer to a question, then why do you ask a question? In your above post you asked me, "Bus Stop, what benefit does that line add?" Did you not pose that question to me? I merely answered your question. Please don't berate me for answering your question in a thorough and straightforward manner. The line in question is the following: "While some in the audience laughed, most did not." That is a simple and factually correct statement. Let me point out that it is also neutral, because it makes clear that the majority of people were not laughing, and only a few people were laughing. Why do you not want acknowledgment in the article that a few people were laughing? I am not the first person to bring this up. There were other people before me who also made the point that it should be mentioned in the article that laughter is also heard on the video of the incident. Bus stop 09:09, 5 December 2006 (UTC)Bus StopBus stop 09:09, 5 December 2006 (UTC) Netscott -- I am not at all talking about a ratio of 95% to 5%. That is just you misconstruing what I am saying. Humor is not something quantifiable. Significance is not something easily quantifiable. Laughter can clearly be heard. Many other people have pointed this out. You apparently want there to be no mention that some laughs were elicited, along with all the racial ugliness. That is a simplified and untrue picture. The laughter is as clearly caught on the soundtrack of the video as the racial slurs. That is what is known as complexity. Bus stop 09:26, 5 December 2006 (UTC)Bus StopBus stop 09:26, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Well busstop did you discuss it before adding it? You clearly did not so why do you believe other folks are obligated to consult with you before editing your changes??

First of all, who am I responding to? Who posted the above 2 questions to me? Is there some reason why you can't sign your post? Are you posting from somewhere beyond the Kuiper belt?[[25]] Is radio transmission slow over the light years? But anyway, in answer to your question, whoever you are, yes, I did discuss it. I discussed it in my post above, titled "Some In Audience Laughing; They Found It Funny".

  • How do you know "some in the audience laughed, most did not"? Did the video show conclusively X number of people in the audience, and you were able to clearly make out if at least X/2 # of people weren't laughing. And even if somehow you could do that--first that hardly qualifies as verifiable research--why is that even relevant? From what I can tell you added it to push a certain POV you already outlined in your previous talk addition to breaking WP:V it would break WP:NPOV, both of which give ample reasons to delete even if it weren't trivial. Tendancer 02:21, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Tendancer -- If your objection is to my distinction between "some" and "most," then do not bother making that distinction. The fact of the matter is that "some" people can be heard laughing. Therefore we can say that "Some in the audience laughed, some did not." Is that acceptable to you? As far as JJay's objection to it as being "unsourced," I still don't know what he means by that, and his post below doesn't answer that question. The laughter is as "sourced" as anything else recorded in visual and auditory form on the video. Bus stop 03:33, 5 December 2006 (UTC)Bus StopBus stop 03:33, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

You conveniently ignored the points that your addition was 1) irrelevant except for your very own rationale--it's obvious the consensus is against you. Seeing how you consistently insist on discussion then conveniently ignore consensus (see the deal with black/Black and now this), I'm rapidly losing my patience in giving benefit of the doubt that your calls for discussion are raised in good faith beyond simple posturing. 2) several times throughout this talk page including this instance, you've openly stated your pro-Richards POV and how you want to add something to inject your own POV into the article, even if you euphemistically claim you're trying to add balance. I don't know if you have read or just choose to ignore WP:NPOV, but you can count on wiki editors to revert your edits every time if you continue to do this. And yeah if you change it to 'some people can be heard laughing' is can be deemed factual, just as if you were to add 'some people in the audience are male' or 'some people in the audience were white'. Does that make it relevant and encyclopedia-worthy? Absolutely not.
Furthermore, you incessantly insist on adding unsourced material yet demand others explain to you why you didn't provide sufficient source. The very first section of WP:V defines in bold letters the BURDEN OF PROOF on you. And no, one's own original research describing what they think they thought watching a video is not proof. Tendancer 04:08, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Tendancer -- Is there anything constructive in your above essay? Bus stop 11:12, 5 December 2006 (UTC)Bus StopBus stop 11:12, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

  • I agree with the above comments. The audience reaction seems largely irrelevant to me. Beyond that, if it is unsourced it can't stay in the article. The removal doesn't have to be justified. User: Bus Stop, instead of complaining about reverts, or leaving excessively long speculative comments on this talk page, I would suggest you source all your additions, like you have done with the Jamie Foxx blurb. --JJay 02:42, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

JJay -- Unless I fail to understand what the words "sourced" and "unsourced" means, the laughter falls into the same category as anything else reported about in the recorded section of the Laugh Factory incident. We only know for sure of all the racist remarks made because we have as a "source" the video, and it's accompanying soundtrack. The laughter is found on the same "source." How do you make a distinction between the laughter heard on the soundtrack and the racist comments found on that same soundtrack? Please try to respond to the points that I am trying to raise. That is what this Talk page is for, is it not? Bus stop 03:46, 5 December 2006 (UTC)Bus StopBus stop 03:46, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

  • Yes, you do fail to understand. The video is not our source. The press reports are our sources. If you have a source that comments on the Laugh factory audience, please link it here. Please also review WP:V--JJay 03:57, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

JJay -- The video is not "original research." I think you are making a mockery of Wikipedia's concept of "original research." The video of the Laugh Factory incident is everywhere. One cannot avoid seeing the video. It has not only been posted online, in it's entirety, at many sites, but it has also been seen, at least in part, on all the major television news reports. One cannot avoid seeing the video. There is howling laughter to be heard. At least one person is heard letting out peals of laughter. It may not be politically correct to have laughter as accompaniment to a racist rant, but there it is to be heard by anyone who listens to the videotape of the Laugh Factory incident of November 17. Are you selectively reporting what transpired? To deny that there is laughter is to suppress the facts selectively. It may be inconvenient to reconcile laughter with hate speech but reality and truth are more in keeping with an encyclopedia article than the simplified picture that you seem to want to present. Bus stop 05:58, 5 December 2006 (UTC)Bus StopBus stop 05:58, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

  • Well, you are wrong. You don't understand the NOR concept. Again, instead of wasting everyone's time with these long opinion pieces here, find sources that back up your ideas. --JJay 11:05, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

JJay -- I am not wrong. And your use of jargon will not dissuade me from seeing what is obvious: Listening to the tape does not constitute research. The videotape is a source. If laughter can clearly be heard on it, then it warrants consideration for inclusion in the article. Anyone can hear howling peals of laughter on it. Others have commented about it. Bus stop 11:23, 5 December 2006 (UTC)Bus StopBus stop 11:23, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

  • Your interpretation of the tape is the OR. If "others have commented on it", as you claim, then show us the source. The video itself is not a source and I hope no statements in the article are being sourced to it. You need to do a complete review of wikipedia policies before you continue blasting this talk page and the article with your POV edits. --JJay 11:28, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

JJay -- There is no "interpretation" in the fact that laughing is found in the video. It is found in the audio portion of the video. Bus stop 14:24, 5 December 2006 (UTC)Bus StopBus stop 14:24, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

  • When you find a source that confirms your opinion let us know. In the meantime, stop starting new threads on topics that are already open. --JJay 20:01, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
The real question, to my mind at least, is why bring it up, unless trying to prove a point of some kind, i.e. that "some were laughing, so it wasn't so bad". Wahkeenah 00:31, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
Obviously, Bus Stop has some really strong POV issues that he has been trying to force into the article and onto this talk page. At least, he has been upfront about his sympathies. Nevertheless, if he can come up with a good source that states that the audience was laughing, I think the info might be pertinent for the article. As it stands, though, without a secondary source, it is just his POV talking about what he thinks he hears on a video. That is pure OR. --JJay 00:44, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
As I see it, technically, if there was laughter audible, it wouldn't be "original research" to mention it, because anyone who hears the tape could verify it. The "original research" area is in estimating how much laughter there is. And since that's strictly a matter of opinion, it's ineligible for inclusion, unless, for example, a reliable source has put a laugh meter to it... and even then I would question it, because a cellphone is hardly a sophisticated measuring device. Hence there's not much reason for mentioning it in the first place, except to push the point of view that I noted earlier. Wahkeenah 01:00, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Simply add "Laughter was heard." without attaching quantity to it. Reasonable doubt1 01:17, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

That is not really acceptable. What we really need are reliable secondary sources commenting on the "laughter" in the audience. That could include more than just viewing the "tape". It could be based on interviews with people who were there. But I don't remember that being talked about. Has there been any news coverage or even opinion pieces that spun this as: "Richards does hard-edged funny ethnic bit. Audience loves it. A few hot heads get worked up"? I don't think so. I also don't remember much laughter from viewing the tape. I do remember news coverage that said people were rushing to the doors. I guess Bus Stop would say they needed to get air after all that laughing. The facts that are relevant for inclusion are the facts that have been widely accepted and discussed in the press. That is how we build verifiable articles here. We don't build articles based on differing opinions/interpretations/POVs of what may have been seen/heard on a cell phone tape. --JJay 01:22, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
Other noises can also sound like laughter, and given the distortion of a cellphone, it could be very ambiguous. What sounds like laughter could be merely a disturbance, or some other noise. I recall hearing the famous, dramatic JFK statement, "Ich bin ein Berliner", knowing that he had unwittingly likened himself to a pastry, if interpreted literally, and fancied that the roar from the crowd sounded like laughter. That didn't make it so. Wahkeenah 01:29, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Wahkeenah -- Apparently you haven't listened to the video. If you get a chance -- listen to it. You will hear for yourself that it is actually laughter. Listening to the video even just one time will dispel any doubts you may have as to whether or not it is real, genuine, laughter heard on it.Bus stop 14:03, 6 December 2006 (UTC) Wahkeenah -- Michael Richards is a stand up comedian. When he climbed up those steps to the stage he did so in order to make people laugh. He undeniably flopped that evening, badly. But I think he tried to fulfill his mission and make people laugh. Comedy is not just about mindlessness. Most modern, sophisticated comedians try to address pressing social concerns of their society. The laughter that sometimes results from exposing some sensitive issues sometimes has a healing effect on some people. I think it is disrespectful to not even comment on his success, which in this instance was largely failure, as a comedian that night. To not even comment on that aspect of his performance, which is his art, is disrespectful. We are not supposed to be writing an article to vilify Michael Richards. This article is supposed to be written from a neutral point of view. Therefore we are supposed to give him the respect of making at least some very small reference to him as a comedian. There is laughter heard on the video, especially early in the video. As a comedian he most certainly succeeded in making at least some people laugh early on in his routine, until his routine descended into hopelessly vile hate speech. I am not an apologist for hate speech. My "agenda" is to flesh out the complete picture of what happened. The video contains laughter, at least from the beginning to about the mid point. And I do not think it is entirely dismissible as the laughter of nervousness. A full, correct, neutral and respectful accounting includes the audience laughter heard by everyone who listens to the ubiquitous video. Not commenting on his success or failure as a comedian is completely dismissing his worth, and that is not fair. Certainly no one was laughing by the end, and it would be acceptable to me if that point were noted too. But the laughter heard early in the video exists, and it shouldn't be denied. Bus stop 01:34, 6 December 2006 (UTC)Bus StopBus stop 01:34, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

"we are supposed to give him the respect of making at least some very small reference to him as a comedian". The first line in the article calls him a comedian. We are trying to write an article that includes the events surrounding the laugh factory appearance. We are not here to "give respect" or "dismiss his worth". The rest of your comment is just more pure yada, yada. Again, find sources that back up your point of view. Nothing in the article should be based on what you or any editor thinks about Richards, the comedic arts or what happened that night. It should be based on print coverage - and there is a lot to chose from. Start doing research. --JJay 01:43, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

JJay -- I am not "expressing a point of view." The video is a source. What makes you think the video doesn't constitute a valid source? What makes you think that only print coverage is valid? One does "research" when called for. One does not do research without cause. What should I do -- research the identity of what I know to be the sounds of laughter? I already know that it is laughter. Do I need a print source to corroborate that it indeed is human laughter? The video is a source. No one casts any doubt on the validity of the video as a valid source. I think you are misunderstanding Wikipedia's No Original Research principle. I am doing no original research in making reference to the laughter contained on the source, which is the video. You are distorting the intention of Wikipedia's principle. I contend that there is no reason for me to find some reliable print news source to tell me that there are howling peals of laughter, at least at the beginning of the video. Please show me where Wikipedia says that sources have to be print sources. Bus stop 02:16, 6 December 2006 (UTC)Bus StopBus stop 02:16, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Articles should rely on reliable, third-party published sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy.. You should read and understand WP:V and WP:RS before editing articles. The video is not a source. What you think you hear on the video is not a source. If people were laughing during this performance in response to Richards' comments you will have no problem finding a secondary source that makes that claim. The event was covered world-wide. We are not going to have arguments here between editors about what they may have seen or heard on the video. We are not going to have battling POVs. We are relying on secondary coverage of the event, which goes well beyond the video. That's why we have references. --JJay 02:29, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

JJay -- There is no POV (Point Of View) being expressed. And the video is a well published source. I put no particular spin on my reference to the sounds of laughter found on the video. No one needs to affirm what I can hear, just as no one needs to affirm what I see. A source does not need a source. I contend that no additional affirmation is required. The video fulfills the requirement that I am required to abide by of doing no original research, because I have done no original research. Hearing does not constitute research. Bus stop 02:49, 6 December 2006 (UTC)Bus StopBus stop 02:49, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Leaving aside your claim that you have no POV, try this on for size: I don't think anyone was laughing. Or maybe I think one guy was laughing, but I also think he has Tourettes. Maybe I think the video is a fake. Can I put that in the article? Based on your reasoning I can. Well you are wrong. Anyone can see or hear anything they want in the video, but that is not good enough to get into the article. Someone else needs to affirm what is seen and heard. That someone else is a reliable source per wikipedia policy. This is a controversial subject and we need to be extremely diligent about using secondary sources. This is spelled out in WP:V and RS. Closely read Exceptional claims require exceptional evidence and the "primary sources" section of WP:RS. This is very explicit. Furthermore, if people were laughing, as you claim, why hasn't Richards mentioned that in his apology, the Jackson radio show or other statements? Why didn't his spokesperson bring it up? Why wasn't it mentioned in the hundreds of articles on the subject? --JJay 03:02, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

JJay -- You are the one who's got a POV problem. Why else would you feel the need to suppress the truth? I advocate full disclosure, while you advocate the suppression of facts.Bus stop 17:04, 6 December 2006 (UTC) This discussion has gotten WAY out of hand, and completely beyond point. Both sides raise valid arguments: A) Bus stop's point may be trivial and irrelevant and B) The video may be a valid source. However, those two arguments are in conflict. What is the main opposition to his edit? If it's trivial and irrelevant, then sourcing it has *no bearing on its inclusion*! Getting involved in a pointless debate over the validity of the video as a source is just ignoring his point. Do you agree with him, but are rejecting his edit over a (possibly valid) technicality? Or do you disagree with him philosophically, and are hiding behind a technicality to avoid your real disagreement? Bulbous 05:33, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

  • It's amazing to see, as I've seen on other pages, how a single sentence can cause such trouble. The problem here is that it is perfectly obvious the editor is pushing a point of view, and denying it. The reason it's obvious is that there is no other reason to point it out. Wahkeenah 05:44, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Wahkeenah -- Isn't it obvious that some people, such as JJay and Tendancer, are vehemently opposed to the recognition in the article that Michael Richards succeeded in making the audience laugh at some point? That would be too much of an acknowledgment of Michael Richards' worth. They want to condemn him utterly. I call for a complete and fair hearing of the video. They want to suppress some aspects that might show Michael Richards in a slightly better light. The issue is not a technical one. It comes down to suppression of truth verses the neutral stance that Wikipedia espouses as its objective. There is no technical reason to have a source to back up a source. The video is the source. I say report what is heard. Everyone, without exception, hears the peals of laughter during the first half of the video's soundtrack, and that element should not be suppressed. Bus stop 08:59, 6 December 2006 (UTC)Bus StopBus stop 08:59, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

That may be so. If that's what the opposition is, then shouldn't that be the focus of this debate as opposed to technical problem? Isn't dwelling on the technical problem just avoiding/delaying the larger issue of the validity of the edit? Bulbous 05:57, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Bulbous -- Some people are not honest. I am honest. I have honestly stated why I want reference made to the plain-to-be-heard laughter found on the video from the beginning to about the middle. But I've had to argue over technicalities. JJay advocates that only certain aspects of the contents of the video be shared with the public in Wikipedia's article. That is censorship. That is selective reporting. The video is a perfectly valid source. The racial slurs are clearly heard, and the laughter is clearly heard. I've put no special spin whatsoever on the reporting of the laughter. In fact I've just about given up on choosing what words should be used to report the laughter. All I'm arguing for is the insertion in the description of the video of something to the effect that some audience members can be heard laughing, at least at the beginning of the video. In fact the laughter continues to about the mid-point. JJay and others apparently can't bear to allow it to be reported that Michael Richards' performance/tirade did manage to elicit at least some laughter, at least before it plunged yet deeper into an uncontrolled, anger-fueled, racial tirade. Acknowledging that is acknowledging Michael Richards' worth as a comedian. Some people apparently think this article should be about reducing him to the lowest status possible. I do not share that view. I think he made some people laugh. That is what the video records. I call for reporting in a straightforward, unadorned way, that laughter is heard during the first half of the video, coming from only a few people. If you would like to go on to point out that all laughter ceases by the second half, and certainly by the end, that is acceptable to me. But he is a comedian, the laughter is there, and I feel it should be included in the description of the Laugh Factory incident, as recorded by the video. One should not be selective with reporting truth. That is not in keeping with Wikipedia's ostensibly neutral point of view. Bus stop 06:39, 6 December 2006 (UTC)Bus StopBus stop 06:39, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

  • As the above user has admitted over and over, he is trying to emphasize that some people found Richards' racial tirade funny, which presumably partially excuses Richards' behavior. There is no other reason to bring this up except for POV-pushing. Wahkeenah 12:38, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Wahkeenah -- Apparently you are unfamiliar with comedy. Comedy always makes fun of somebody or something. In fact, it is said the only criterion of comedy is whether or not people laugh. Whether or not there is the potential for somebody to be offended is close to nil in importance as far as evaluating comedy. Bus stop 13:05, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

  • I am very familiar with comedy. Your argument is that because some people laughed, they found his racial tirade funny... and therefore, excusable. Richards himself has not made that argument; nor, apparently, has anyone else, since you can't seem to find a citation for it. For you to make that argument, on your own, qualifies as POV-pushing and "original research". Wahkeenah 13:09, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Wahkeenah -- I am making no argument whatsoever. Stop reading into what I'm saying. I am fleshing out reality. An encyclopedia article is supposed to have a neutral point of view. I am interested in presenting the reader with the facts. The reader can do with the facts what they wish. But yes, Michael Richards is a comedian. Yes, he is evaluated on whether or not he makes people laugh. And, yes, there is laughter found on the sound track of the video. I don't need a "citation" to excerpt something from a valid source. The video is the valid source. You and JJay and Tendancer are throwing up the incorrect argument that I need a source to tell me that that is laughter that I am hearing. In point of fact I do not. It is laughter; it is plainly heard by everyone, and you three are endeavoring to suppress the truth. Here is something that I enjoyed reading, and you may enjoy reading: [26] Bus stop 13:38, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

You need a source to explain why it matters that there (may be) laughter on the tape, beyond your own editorializing. And thanks for the citation, as it contradicts your arguments. There is nothing in there that says that anyone laughed at Richards, nor that anyone found his comments funny; in fact, the opposite. Hence its title "No laugh for you" (a play on The Soup Nazi's "No soup for you!") Wahkeenah 13:44, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Wahkeenah -- I did not claim that the article supported any position. Stop reading into things I say. I only said you might enjoy reading it. I do not need a source to say why anything of the sort matters. Nothing else in the article has a source explaining "why it matters." Description is important for self evident reasons. No one explains why an obvious fact matters. It is simply pertinent to a fleshing out of the picture. And why does it matter to you so much that it NOT be recorded in our Wikipedia article that some people are laughing at the beginning of the video? Why does that matter so much to you? Do you have an objection to the inclusion of that particular piece of information? You are going to extraordinary lengths to suppress that simple fact. Why does it mean so much to you? Can you shed any light on why mention of the rather bland and innocuous fact that some laughter is heard early in the video gets your ire up so much? Do you (and JJay and Tendancer) need to demonize Michael Richards to the extent that he no longer can even be mentioned in the same sentence with the word "laughter?" Bus stop 14:31, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

  • You are imposing your own spin on it, which is against the wikipedia rules, and are also asking me to do the same thing, to do my own "original research". Nope, not biting on that one. Wahkeenah 17:17, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Bus Stop, I am not trying to "demonize" anyone. You can't point to one edit or comment that I have made that demonizes Mr. Richards. What you can do - and what you have continually done - is make wild accusations as you endlessly try to inject your POV into this article and fill up the talk page with meaningless opinion and other assorted blah, blah. Frankly, I don't much care what spin the article takes as long as it is properly sourced. Having said that, your whitewashing is not going to fly and your use of the talk page is becoming disruptive. Find a source that says that the audience was laughing and put it in the article. The sources are out there. In fact, I could point you to one right now that supports your position and would justify the edit. However, I'm not going to do that because you need to learn how to edit articles using reliable sources - that is a requirement, not an option - rather than splattering articles/talk pages with your POV machine gun approach. --JJay 18:16, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

JJay -- It is by blocking information that you are attempting to impose your point of view. I have pointed out the laughter on the video. But you are opposed to having that laughter mentioned in the article. It is by blocking information that you are attempting to impose your point of view. The video is the source. It is nonsensical of you to argue that a source is needed for the source. Nowhere does it say on Wikipedia that a source has to have a source. The laughter has a reliable source, and that is the video. The video is found ubiquitously. Anywhere you look -- television, Internet, online news sources -- the video of the Laugh Factory incident is to be found. And just as the racial slurs are available for all of us to make note of, so too is the audience laughter which is heard in the background of the first half of that video. You should not be blocking information from getting into the article as you are doing. Whether you do it to impose a point of view or not is of secondary importance. The article is suffering as a result of your refusal to recognize a valid source of pertinent information. Mention should be made of the presence of audience members laughing on the video. A mere, minimal mention of it would suffice. I don't care what wording is used. I have suggested what I thought was the blandest way of passing comment on it. My chosen wording was intended to not call attention to it, because, in point of fact, I don't think it is important. But it is pertinent enough to be mentioned. It would be a lacuna to leave it out. One brief sentence should allude to the laughter, perhaps also taking note of the fact that not a sign of laughter remains by the time he walks offstage. My only aim is to write a good article, but I also get indignant when I feel that the object of a biography is given short shrift. Bus stop 19:33, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

  • Try to understand this Bus Stop, the view I'm attempting to impose is: use sources when adding material to the article. I indicated above that there are sources you could cite to support your edit. Find those sources. Cite them when adding material. It's real simple. After that, other article editors will decide whether it is relevant. But without sourcing it will be removed (and no you can not source it to the cell-phone video). Here's a last idea. Instead of responding with another 1,000 words on the talk page, reread the bold and underlined parts in this message. Hint: the source I was talking about has now been found--JJay 21:58, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

JJay -- If I am long winded it is because I tend to think out loud in my writing. You not only get to see my conclusions, but you are treated to my thought processes. You say that one cannot source a claim that laughter is heard to the cell-phone video. But I disagree. If I were trying to attribute significance to the laughter then I would need support, in the form of another source, to support that particular significance. But in fact I call for no particular significance to be attached to the laughter. Just taking note of it does not require an additional source. In fact it is possible that whatever additional source that is used might pollute the unadorned fact of the presence of audience laughter at times during the first half of the video recording. I prefer to report to the reader that laughter is heard, and leave it with that. To some readers the presence or absence of laughter will be irrelevant. But to others the reporting of the presence of laughter might pique their interest. That reader will thereby be alerted to something that they may want to investigate further. Anything that is written has a limited scope. It is my feeling that we should not be attaching any significance to the laughter, but rather just noting it by a short and simple sentence. The choices of words are fairly limited. I've suggested saying that "some laughter is heard." But any other bland, generic wording would also probably serve the same purpose. The point is just to alert the reader to the presence of some laughter on the video. I like the phrase "audience member," or "audience members." This article is supposed to help future researchers. All we want to do is alert them that there is a bit of laughter coming from audience members found on the video. Nothing more. In my opinion, that is all that this spilled ink is about. Bus stop 01:56, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Mentioning laughing

Bus stop, please source the part about laughing and its significance. The way you've been trying to enter the text about this into the article has just been wrong. Yes there was laughing intially and I'm inclined to say that people initially thought that this was part of the act (and expected a punch line afterwards, which never came) but without a reliable source talking about this being pertinent to the wider story then we're back to square one and its irrelevance (which I still think is the case personally) as original research. If we read the transcript from The Situation Room the laughing is specified in a closed captioning way "[LAUGHING]" (but not further expanded upon). Can you please find sources talking about this aspect with some relevance? Thanks. (Netscott) 19:24, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Netscott -- There is no need to define it's pertinence. In fact, you should not be shedding light on it's pertinence. Furthermore -- who knows what it's pertinence is? I think that all that the article should be doing is taking note of it. I fail to see how it is original research to take note of what is seen or heard. I haven't clicked on your links in your post, and I will do so. But this is my initial reaction. Bus stop 19:52, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Again no source mentioning it and its significance = irrelevant in the article. (Netscott) 20:02, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
I'm sorry, that suggestion doesn't pass the ridiculous test. You cannot link "significance" to lack of source. That's completely absurd. It sounds to me like you are just shying away from the real discussion here. I don't particularly agree with where Bus stop is heading, but your argument seems ridiculous in the extreme. Consequently, I will provide you with a cite, and according to your position, that should be sufficient for inclusion of the edit. Bulbous 21:28, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
"While there is some chuckling in the audience throughout the outburst, someone can be heard gasping "Oh my God" and various people "ooh" after Richards uses the n-word".[27] There. Now there is a reliable third-party cite that is beyond your critique. Of course, that a cite would be found was never in doubt. A lot of our valuable time has been wasted on this "sourcing" nonsense. Now that the edit has been sourced, please turn your attention to discussion the relevance of the comments, where this discussion should have been taken in the first place. Bulbous 21:42, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
Bulbous, your source is not mentioning the significance of the "chuckling" there's still no established relevance to this article. (Netscott) 05:13, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
If you're not already aware of it you might want to peruse, This NOT policy. Specifically the part where it says, "That something is 100% true does not mean it is suitable for inclusion in Wikipedia."... again, where's the relevance? (Netscott) 05:23, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
I don't personally think there is any relevance. I never did. People could have been laughing because they thought it was all an act, or because they were nervous or embarassed. To read into the laughter is POV. Simply reporting it as sourced is probably not; again, I don't have an opinion on this matter. All I was concerned about was the fuss over sourcing, which took all of about 30 seconds of Googling. It side-tracked everyone from the main argument, which seems to be back on track now. Bulbous 06:57, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Netscott, Bulbous -- I think the relevant point to make is that we should not be looking for a source for the laughter found on the video. Any source for the laughter might (probably will) put a spin on it. We have a source and it is the video. By using the video as the source we get to present it in the most neutral form. As far as the question of it's relevance is concerned, I think it falls into a category of those things whose relevance is self evident. You don't for instance, have to justify the relevance of mentioning that the Laugh Factory incident took place at night. In comedy laughter is always relevant. The ground rules of comedy are that "Did they laugh?" always trumps "Was he or she offensive?" Comedy is almost always about offending someone. But if they laugh, it doesn't matter. Reference to the fact that "some laughter is heard during approximately the first half of the video" is simply reporting what is of self evident relevance. Context is everything. In the context of this article, laughter is the most important thing. The important thing we want to do is avoid spin. And also I would aim for likely search terms. I would avoid a term like "chuckles" because of the low likelihood of someone searching under a word like chuckle. Bus stop 14:43, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Consider this: If they laughed to the end, there would be no incident. In comedy, laughter is the most important thing. It may sound absurd, but the problem is not that he was offensive, but that he was not funny. That is in accordance with the ground rules of comedy. Please check this article out:[28] I get a good deal of my ideas from this article.Bus stop 15:19, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Have you read any wikipedia policies or guidelines? Lack of a source is the acid test for significance here. Without a source, articles can be deleted. Without a source, information can be removed at will. Since Bus Stop can not understand how to cite material, please add that source for his edit. I would like to see the article cover every aspect of the laugh factory event, including the lead-up (i.e. Richards' earlier history of outbursts) and the aftermath. I don't care if we do 10,000 more words on it. But we can not do a proper article if everyone adds their personal take on what they saw/heard on the video. --JJay 21:58, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
Having sourced the edit, I just now wish to see the actual relevance discussed. I don't even personally have a real position on that. My main concern was that the lack of source was drawing too much attention, especially since what was being claimed was not outrageous. Finding a source for what was included should never have proved overly difficult. Although lack of source may imply irrelevance, is the converse necessarily true? Just because a source exists, does that now mean that the point is relevant to the article? Bulbous 22:10, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
No, the converse is not necessarily true and I'm sure other editors hold strong opinions. My view is that it can be a valid point when sourced. Remember that we are dealing with a fairly aggressive, motivated POV pusher here (i.e. Bus Stop). He has repeatedly claimed that there were "peals of laughter" in the audience. We now have a source that mentions "some chuckling". That is quite a difference. I think a mention is fine if described as such, but also offset with sourced descriptions of the other audience reactions. --JJay 22:19, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

JJay -- You make a point I can accept. "Peals of laughter" tends to emphasize the amount of laughter, when in point of fact the amount of laughter is not great. But you will forgive me, I hope, for emphasizing the amount of laughter in some of my posts, by bearing in mind that I was speaking to several people who seemed to be arguing that there was no laughter at all. I was just trying to say, "No laughter -- are you deaf or something?" I don't advocate "peals of laughter" be used in the article. I advocate a simple taking note of the fact that the audio portion of the video contains "some" audience laughter. Am I a "fairly aggressive, motivated POV pusher?" What is my point? That laughter is heard? That is just a matter of reporting a fact. I hope I am not too aggressive. I am just trying to get my point across. I don't think I am any more aggressive than you. Bus stop 02:17, 7 December 2006 (UTC) Bus stop 02:13, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

  • Why is the presence (or absence) of laughter important or relevant? Wahkeenah 02:24, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Wahkeenah -- Laughter happens to be part of human communication. In fact it happens to be abstract human communication. That is why it matters. That is why it deserves a reference in the accounting of the Laugh Factory incident.Bus stop 05:16, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

It's not. We have one user trying to push a POV, another one making strawman arguments--ignoring the numeous comments by Netscott, myself and others already pointing out 1) it's irrelevance 2) its POV-pushing ulterior motives--as if everyone has only been focusing on the verifiability. At this point I've given up believing their discussions are made in good faith to improve the article, seeing how much disruption was already caused through this nonsense. Trolls are better left alone. Tendancer 02:50, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
What constitutes "trolling" is often highly subjective; however, there is one criterion that is fairly airtight: calling someone a troll always constitutes trolling. Bulbous 05:09, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Trolls? Tendancer -- Labeling me a "troll" -- is that constructive? I try to have respectful conversations. I do not feel that I have to come up with a watertight reason for why the mention of laughter is important. As I've said before, it is a matter of fully fleshing out the picture. It is there for the record. In case some future researcher comes across this article, and they haven't actually heard the video, they will be alerted to the fact that a small amount of laughter is heard in the first half of the video that captures this incident. How do you know -- maybe there will be a researcher ten years from now who is interested in the relation between racial insults and laughter. Is that not plausible? I am only throwing up one hypothetical case. My imagination is not strong enough to come up with a reason why some person ten years from now would be helped by mention of this fact, but surely you can see that a brief mention of the presence of the laughter is better than leaving it out. It is no different than all the mentions of racial slurs and all the other quoting from that which is captured on the cell-phone video. Basically what this argument comes down to is what is relevant and what is not relevant. I have not argued that the color of the curtains on the stage needs to be mentioned. The laughter can actually be analyzed from a sonic point of view. I would not be surprised if there were audiology and speech experts and anthropologists who could derive information from subjecting that recorded laughter to analysis. There is potentially a wealth of information in the laughter found on the video. What makes you think that only the spoken word holds significance, or can shed light on something for some future or present researcher? I think, even in the future, it is more likely a person doing a search will more likely come upon a written article, such as the one we are writing, than the audio and visual entity of the video. It is inherently more difficult to search for sounds and images than it is to search for words. The words in the article therefore matter. "Laughter" is a search term. "Audience members" is a search term. Why would you want to leave out potentially valuable search terms? Bus stop 04:01, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Yes, I've reached your same conclusions independently. I still keep trying to get a non-weaselly answer. But I know from past experiences here that it's unlikely to work. It's basically a game they're playing. Note that that user's almost 100% focus has been on this one article. That's a nearly sure sign of a game-player. Wahkeenah 03:06, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

"Game-player?" Wahkeenah -- Have I played "games" in my communication with you? You have tried to get a "non-weaselly" answer from me? To what question? Why don't you at least just ask me the question, instead of accusing me of refusing to answer your question, or of obfuscation, or whatever you think the problem is. It's funny that some of you call me a POV pusher. As if you don't have a point of view? If we didn't have points of view there would be no discussion. Who doesn't have a point of view? My point of view is that I think Michael Richards is a decent person, underneath all the racial slurs. There -- I've said it. But that doesn't prevent me from being honest and fair. I share your interest in truth seeking. I understand, as you do too, the importance of a neutral point of view. I won't get into the name calling thing. Bus stop 04:52, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Yep, I was right. Wahkeenah 08:58, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Irrelevance save one editor

Ok, I believe we can move on now. There's only one editor (Bus stop) out of several that is expressing that the laughing is somehow relevant... that is not consensus. Our time now will be better spent discussing other aspects of editing the article. (Netscott) 15:44, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

It is not irrelevant. It is so relevant that relevance is not even a question. One does not question the relevance of including that an incident occurred during the nighttime hours, or during the daytime hours. No one needs to cite the relevance of something when relevance is self evident. It would be nonsensical to ask if it were relevant or not to include a mention that the Laugh Factory incident took place on the night of November 17.

Laughter is the primary purpose of comedy. Absence of laughter, or in this case, the transition from laughter to the cessation of laughter, is more important than the racial slurs themselves. Had Michael Richards succeeded in being funny, and making people laugh, the racial slurs would have been subsumed in the laughter. The offended Black man calling out says it best, "That was not funny." That is the heart of the matter. But there is a transitional element. There are real laughs heard on the video. They represent one side of the great divide from funny to not funny. In the quest for political correctness, and to vilify Michael Richards, and make everyone who is not Michael Richards feel that they are not racists, the editors (censors), vehemently oppose reference to the laughter heard on the video. These editors cannot tolerate acknowledging that Michael Richards has any worth. To acknowledge that Michael Richards has worth is to compromise their own self image of being entirely free of racist impulses. Too bad some people need to practice censorship in order to convince themselves that they are entirely free from racism. Were they really free of racism they would allow the truth to be expressed in an encyclopedia article such as this.

There is some laughter to be heard on the video and the written portion of this article should make a brief allusion to it. Bus stop 17:44, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Bus stop, we've moved on.. you don't have consensus for that content change... please help improve the article otherwise. (Netscott) 17:45, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
Laughter is certainly more relevant than say any quotes and comments made by Kyle Doss and several other stuff in this article. Say what is the point of mentioning the hecklers by name, what information will the reader gain from this if the hecklers were notable, they'd have their own page by now all of them? Laugter clearly shows that the audience was divided on the issue, it may not the the most relevant thing to this article, but it does have some relevance, certainly more than a lot already included. Geza 20:33, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
Fine, then Kgeza67 find a verifiable reliable source that has covered that aspect in some meaningful (relevant) way. Remember that Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information meaning whatever is added needs to have pertinence. Also, you're deluding yourself if you honestly think that what Kyle Doss and Frank McBride have got to say is irrelevant. (Netscott) 20:53, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
I dont want to include the mention of laughter in the article, i just think it has some relevance. More relevance than stuff already included, but that doesn't mean i will try to force it into the article. More i really honestly say that if Kyle Doss thinks the Richards apology is not sincere, that has no information value whatsoever. He expects a payout from all of this, what should he say, even if he did beleive Richards feels terrible and was sincere? Should he say: 'I accept the apology, the matter is closed, i don't need money, thank you Ms Allred'. There are HUGE quotes in the article from the hecklers, with little information value or relevance. Geza 21:11, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I do see your point to a certain extent. I think that the whole aftermath section could do for some serious thinning out in a number of regards. I thought you were referring to the intial mention of what Kyle Doss had to say about how the whole event commenced which very obviously has utmost relevance. (Netscott) 21:18, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Netscott -- You are perverting Wikipedia's guidelines. Certainly Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information. The crux of this incident is the video. The "incident" which took place is that a comedian wasn't funny. Only of secondary importance are the much ballyhooed racial slurs. They would not be racial slurs if they were accompanied by the sounds of laughter. Comedy always offends. Offense is acceptable in the presence of laughter. Laughter is the lubricant that allows offensive things to pass through a social situation. What is caught on video is a part of a transition from the presence of a little bit of laughter, through the transitional moments of the dropping off of laughter, to the final state of the utter absence of laughter. And you and others are arguing that the brief allusion to the presence of some laughter early on in the recorded incident is not noteworthy? And you are saying that a brief mention that some laughter can be heard on the video is tantamount to the insertion of "indiscriminate information?" Have you noticed that the venue is called the Laugh Factory? Sorry to be facetious but this conversation is absurd. I think some of you need to face up to the fact that there is entirely some other reason why you are blocking mere mention of the presence of laughter on the video. I think you are all running to distance yourselves from Michael Richards. "He is not me." The difficult to accept reality is that he is you. And me. And every one of us. There is no issue with Wikipedia, and relevance, and sources, and indiscriminate information. What I want to insert is that "Some audience members can be heard laughing, early on in the video, but that fades into no laughter at all as it becomes clear that Richards' tirade is not very funny at all." That is simply a statement of fact. It is a description. It has no spin put on it, that I am aware of. It has a perfectly valid source. The source is the video itself. One cannot say that it is original research, because nothing novel is being introduced. It is just a "translation" from what exists in audio/visual form into something that exists in verbal form. It alerts the reader to the aforementioned transition. And, importantly, it provides search terms so that this subject matter can be easily found. This discussion has little if anything to do with rules, and a whole lot to do with sensibilities. If your sensibilities are offended, shouldn't you be addressing that? My proposed statement, above, is just a bland reiteration of what is found in the audio/visual version. Bus stop 23:11, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Body language expert?

On November 29th, I cited a body language expert from the Bill O'Reilly show for expressing her opinion in the Kelly Ripa - Clay Aiken - Rosie O'Donnell fiasco, and was slapped down for it (the reverter was apparently Yogi Bear, as his comment was "Sheesh!"). Now someone is trying to cite that same "expert", again from an O'Reilly show, for this article. Y'all can't have it both ways. Either it's a valid source, or it ain't. Even though I added it to that other article before, I am now inclined to believe this stuff is in the realm of tea-leaf readers and has no business being considered a legitimate source in this or any article (except maybe an article that's about body language experts). Any comments? Wahkeenah 17:28, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

I tend to agree that inclusion of a viewpoint of a body language expert is a bit fluffy particularly coming from cultural warrior Bill O'Reilly's program. (Netscott) 17:32, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
O'Reilly will sometimes temper his hard-edged show with "fluff pieces" like this, which betrays his roots in tabloid news and muckraking. "You can take the boy out of Inside Edition, but you can't take Inside Edition out of the boy." Wahkeenah 17:39, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
Yes it is questionable, but any expert is WAAAY more qualified than 'random heckler dude'(who i think might also be slightly biased), on the issue if the apology was sincere, or not. Removing the O'Reilly reference, but leaving the heckler's comment in about how he won't accept it (of course, he and his lawyer are looking for monetary gain) seems like POV pushing to me. I say the expert can go, along with the heckler's comments on the same issue. Geza 20:41, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
The heckler is a _direct participant_ in the incident. It is disingenuous to claim the heckler's words--regardless of his motives--carry the same weight/noteworthiness as a random subject matter expert who merely commented about the incident on a news show. (Side note: I was heavily editing out POV-pushing edits by the anti-Richards camp in the beginning [to the point some genius even accused me of being a sockpuppet of bus stop, how's that for a laugh], lately the bias seems to have shifted to the pro-Richards camp). Tendancer 22:00, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
Precisely. The words of the participants are much more important (whether truthful or not) than the opinion of some "two-bit carny hypnotist". However, I've used up my reverts today, so unless someone else fixes it, the nonsense about the body language "expert" has to stay for another day. Wahkeenah 00:33, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
I'm thinking that the whole aftermath section needs reworking which is why I've been hesitant to get involved in this latest tussle. That section could use some serious thinning... I'd say may 50% of the stuff there is liable to be valid for deletion. (Netscott) 00:39, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
Stuff that isn't directly involved with the particpants is what I'm primarily thinking could use thinning. (Netscott) 00:43, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
I would think things would settle down in a few days, unless something new happens. Wahkeenah 00:44, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

Body language, just like laughter, is an important part of human communication. If you have a source citing a different reading of Richards' body language, then cite that source. Bus stop 13:03, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

Netscott, Wahkeenah, and Tendancer -- Why don't you cite your own Body language expert? Or, why don't you find some other indication that Richards' apology was insincere? You are taking down (removing) information simply because it goes against your own opinion. You act as though the reader needs to be deprived of information, rather than supplied with information. What does a reader come to the encyclopedia article for -- to be told what to think? The reader can think for himself. And the reader is to be assumed to be capable of doing further research. This encyclopedia article is never going to be the final word on the Michael Richards incident. This article should be a lively place for an interested reader, not a stultifying point of view of three people. The three of you have been extremely controlling. You are not writing an encyclopedia article; you are writing a polemic. The article you are endeavoring to write is highly political, and in the final analysis, trivial. Bus stop 13:47, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

Furthermore: Wikipedia's "rules" should be used to prevent "out-of-bounds" behavior. Wikipedia's "rules" should not be used to strangle the life blood out of writing an encyclopedia article. Let the rules work in favor of writing an encyclopedia article; not against the writing of an encyclopedia article. Bus stop 22:48, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

Bus Stop, you have a very verbose, disjointed writing style that may function for essays but cannot be used for encyclopedic writing. Clearly you don't follow e.g. Strunk and White or some other Manual of Style. Furthermore you often inject your opinions into every edit as if it's fact.

I'll sum up all the things wrong with the last edit:

"Much conjecture has been made concerning the sincerity of Michael Richards' apology, as seen on David Letterman's show. One expert in the field of body language, one Tonya Reiman, appearing on Bill O'Reilly's show, The O'Reilly Factor, has stated of his apology, "you can see the apologetic expression and the submissive gestures. In her opinion, "every part of the tape shows sincerity."[28]

1. We start with a passive-voice, unnecessary sentence that's based entirely on one person's unsourced perception that there "has been much conjecture". Who says there has been much conjecture? By whom? And why is it relevant? 2. Then we follow with a disjointed sentence with 5 commas. Even if it didn't go against majority opinion and belonged, it should've been better written (and in half the # of words) as e.g. "On The O'Reilly Factor, body language expert Tonya Reiman stated of Richard's apology: "bla bla bla etc". 3. Then we end with something that's not even a complete sentence with no independent subject and no verb, while the quotation from the previous one doesn't appear to have even ended yet. 4. MOST IMPORTANTLY, once again you ignored majority opinion. If someone keeps insisting on there be a discussion prior to an edit, writes a book about it, and then goes ahead and make edits regardless of the majority opinion against it--that's not a good faith discussion, that's posturing.

Seriously, if you think there's just a conspiracy here against your edits, you can try editing another popular article in the same style you've been editing this one; others are going to revert your changes as well until you take a more encyclopedic approach. In the mean time, the last edit as written simply cannot stand, I'm going to rv. Tendancer 00:30, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

Tendancer -- You say that I inject my opinions. Can you tell me where you saw my "opinion" in the three sentences of mine that you just removed? Bus stop 00:57, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

I'll just note here that User:Bus stop is quite capable of improving the article (that ref. is rather pertinent due to the fact that Rodriguez witnessed the event). (Netscott) 01:05, 9 December 2006 (UTC)
The first sentence. First it's unnecessary as no pertinent fact is conveyed through its inclusion. Furthermore, it's a subjective opinion to declare there has been "much conjecture". Again who says there has been "much conjecture"? By whom (I count _two_ that has been sourced)? And why is it relevant? In short, through its inclusion it sounds as if you've decided there has been "much" conjecture, and then used your own perception to decorate the paragraph instead of getting right to the facts. I suspect your edits would be far better received if you write with less words and stick just to the facts. Tendancer 01:22, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

Just for the record, what you see below is exactly what I had written (and which Tendancer has removed):

Much conjecture has been made concerning the sincerity of Michael Richards' apology, as seen on David Letterman's show. One expert in the field of body language, one Tonya Reiman, appearing on Bill O'Reilly's show, The O'Reilly Factor, has stated of his apology, "you can see the apologetic expression and the submissive gestures. In her opinion, "every part of the tape shows sincerity."[1]

If the above needs fine tuning, fine. Bus stop 01:38, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

Tendancer -- You remind me of a sailor who is all tied up in the ropes. The "rules" are there for "guidelines." And the rules are there to be enforced if someone insists on engaging in "out of bounds" activity. You, and others, are misusing certain of Wikipedia's guidelines. In any perusal of online material relating to Richards and the Laugh Factory incident, lots of ink is spilt concerning Richards' apology. Should I cite ten instances of this? What would be the point? And who cares? Just because it is an encyclopedia article doesn't mean everything has to be cited with meaningless exactitude. It is an undeniable fact that much discussion revolves around Richards' apology, especially the striking one seen on Letterman's show. Do you know human nature? Have you ever heard anyone question the sincerity of another person's apology? This, as in all such instances, involves doubt as to the sincerity of a person's apology. My opening sentence is really nothing more than an introduction to something that everyone knows about. Is there something wrong with writing with a trace of heartfelt experience? Is there some reason why an encyclopedia article shouldn't be enjoyable to read? And you ask me why is it relevant. Again, as in other discussions we've had, I think it's relevance is self evident. Wikipedia has rules about relevancy. For instance, it is said that Wikipedia is not just a compendium of facts. There has to be a good reason why those facts are relevant. But what do you see as being irrelevant? Sincerity is not relevant to apology? We are discussing a man who is expressing contrition. I see nothing irrelevant. If you feel that something in my above three sentences are irrelevant, please point it out to me. Bus stop 02:25, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

(For Netscott): see I tried to give this guy the benefit of the doubt, but this same old verbiage signals to me the trouble and (especially) the disruption is not worthwhile for the (very) occasional meaningful edits.
a couple quick notes for bus stop--1. you did not write three sentences. You wrote one sentence and 2 fragments. 2. This is an encyclopedia and not an essay/blog where one sees fit to put random things one think may be true as "opening sentence" or preface or whatever as an exercise in writing; and that's just the stylistic aspects of what's wrong with what you have written. Enough editors including myself have already pointed out numerous times what's wrong with your edits, which you usually "respond" by ignoring majority opinion as you did again here, while trying to drown out the comments with verbiage and non sequiturs. I tried to engage you in a meaningful discussion thinking maybe now you're genuinely trying to learn to write encyclopedically, but obviously I was mistaken. 04:55, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

Context matters. Not all encyclopedia articles are written the same. I think when you speak of writing "encyclopedically" you mean "seriously." The context of this article is not a road rage incident in which a racial tirade took place and both life and property were lost. The context of this article is a comedy club. No one was hurt (physically). I don't tolerate hate speech. But one of the expectations in a comedy club is that the normal bounds of language will be tested. The man apologized. His apology is questioned by some. A body language expert had an opinion to express. It's all in the same ball park. Context has a bearing on content. In the context of the late night melt down at a comedy club, a body language expert's testimony is not out of place. Bus stop 16:29, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

  • Find a reliable source to back up your opinions. Wahkeenah 17:49, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

Wahkeenah, Netscott, Tendancer -- Body language is not something as insubstantial as you all like to point it out as. It is a valid field of study. It has applicability. The body speaks volumes. Humans are an extension of animals. We know with considerable certainty that postures and movements in animals are indicative of underlying mental states. Humans display similar telltale signs of otherwise non-explicit mental states. The study of body language is even employed by law enforcement. In critical areas such as airport screening some passengers are singled out for closer scrutiny based on body language signals. These signals are sometimes facial expressions. The face, after all, is part of the body. If law enforcement did not believe there was at least some degree of validity to relying on body language as a window into a person's mental state, and by further extension, perhaps their intents, they would not be using it. Bus stop 02:10, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Netscott -- You removed my entry on body language with a link to Wikipedia's article on pseudoscience. But when I went to the pseudo-science page I found no mention of body language. So, what is your point? The field of body language is used by the FBI. It is used by airport screeners. Computers are even programmed to scan people's faces during airport screening processes to call attention to certain signals that may indicate criminal intent. I think you need to do a Google search on "body language," "law enforcement," to see the seriousness with which others take this broad field of study. You may dismiss it as "fluffy." That is your term. But serious users of the discipline seem to find practical applications. And why are you bothering posting a link to "pseudo-science" when Wikipedia's page on pseudo-science says nothing about body language? Bus stop 03:45, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

I know how seriously body language can be taken. I pointed to pseudoscience because the opinion of one "expert" (one whose POV is likely to be anything but neutral if she's on Bill O'Reilly's show) in this case is sooner an example of it. (Netscott) 04:08, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Netscott -- It is not your province to pass so many judgments. That can be done by a reader of this article. Why don't you find a source for the point of view that you would like to express? I doubt you will find an instance of a body language expert saying that his apology was not sincere. The study of body language is not hard science. But is has certain conventions. That is all that the person who appeared on Bill O'Reilly's show is pointing out. Richards' posture conformed to the conventions associated with contrition. That is all the body language expert is pointing out. She cannot tell you what he had for breakfast this morning. All that the "expert" did was employ the conventions of reading body language to offer an educated opinion on the sincerity of Richards' apology. Once again, you and Tendancer, and Wahkeenah are intent upon suppressing eminently relevant facts. The appearance of Tonya Reiman on that nationally televised program occurred in the immediate aftermath of the Laugh Factory incident. No one says the body language expert's opinion is the final word on the subject. But you three editors are removing information that has direct bearing on the unfolding discussion. There has been countless conjecture in the press about the sincerity or lack of sincerity of Richards' apology. Since you three editors are opposed to the basic implications of the conventions of body language (at least in this instance) why don't you find an argument for the opposite point of view, and add that to the article? I don't think you will find anybody who has any credentials in the field of body language making the opposite claim. The conventions concerning how the body betrays underlying emotions simply wouldn't support that conclusion. Once again, you three are skewing the article. And worse, depriving the reader of the real texture of the events that transpired in the immediate aftermath of this incident.

  • Kindly cease your editorializing, and go do some research, as you have been asked to do many times herein, and which you continue to refuse to do. Wahkeenah 05:08, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

I have a suspicion Wahkeenah and Tendancer are one and the same person. That's OK. If that's the case, I don't mind. Bus stop 05:20, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

  • Wrong. Meanwhile, I have my suspicions about you, as you have edited no other articles whatsoever in the last 2 weeks. Wahkeenah 05:21, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Well, go right ahead. What are your "suspicions" about me? Do you suspect that I am wearing a different color sock on each foot? Does it imply something nefarious about me if I haven't contributed to other articles? I'm sorry I haven't contributed to other articles. Please accept my sincere apology. Bus stop 05:32, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

  • I ask the same of you. Now I would ask you to delete this little exchange, including my responses, as it is crossing civility lines and does not help with the editing of the article. Wahkeenah 05:36, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

There is no consensus if Wahkeenah and Tendancer are the same person. That also does not help with the editing of the article. Bus stop 06:13, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

  • Your apology to me is no longer accepted, and mine to you is rescinded. I don't do sockpuppets. And false accusations of such can get you temporarily or permanently blocked. Mind your words, and your manners. Wahkeenah 06:22, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Wahkeenah -- Why would someone have to apologize for not contributing to other articles? Is there a Wikipedia requirement regarding a minimum number of articles contributed to in a certain given amount of time? Bus stop 07:37, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

  • I thought you were apologizing for slandering my user ID by alleging sockpuppetry. Silly me. You were just being sarcastic. Here's the deal: When a red-linked user "contributes" solely to one article over a noticeable period of time, the wiki guidelines point out that that user could be a sockpuppet or "meatpuppet". That's the basis of my suspicions about you. Not accusations, just suspicions. I also think this is your distraction away from the possibility of your maybe doing some actual research to back up your editorializing. Wahkeenah 07:47, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Wahkeenah -- How would you know how much research I do? Why are you pontificating about something that you obviously can not know about? I do enough research to sometimes contribute something worthwhile to the article. Do I have to live up to standards that you set for me? Bus stop 08:36, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

  • Wikipedia's standards, not mine. Since you never cite any reliable sources for your editorializing, we have no way to know how much or how little research you've done. Wahkeenah 14:19, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Wahkeenah -- Who is "we?" Do you speak for anyone other than yourself? Bus stop 14:29, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

  • Do you? Wahkeenah 14:37, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

not that any of you will probably read this by now, but it seems to me that a lot of this noise could've been avoided. instead of reverting BusStop's edit because of the way he phrased something, it seems more logical to KEEP the information he was trying to add and rephrase it for him. seems to me that several of you were using rules lawyering and phrasing as smokescreen to cut out information you didn't want to be in the article for your own personal opinions.Sabinsx 04:31, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for your comment, Sabinsx. Yes, it was a long time ago. I'd rather not try to reopen the argument. Bus stop 05:47, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Duplicate Reference

I noticed references [3] and [9] are actually the same referring to Richard's Masonic past. I'm embarassed to admit: I want to merge them to a single reference but actually don't know how to do so and can't find instructions on the reference page. Does anyone knows the proper wiki syntax to merge references? Tendancer 17:50, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

  • I don't know either, but I suggest you take both 2 and 3 out of the intro and just put them in the detail where 9 is. They don't really need to be referenced both places, just so they are referenced somewhere, and the detail would seem like the right place, to avoid too much clutter in the intro. Wahkeenah 18:08, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Personal Apology

Just found out that Michael Richards plan two personally apologize to the two hecklers: 22:04, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Bulbous 04:29, 9 December 2006 (UTC) removed comments by Bulbous 04:29, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

Bulbous -- Could you kindly refrain from using this Talk page as a platform from which to broadcast your personal opinions? Bus stop 05:09, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

Can I rm my own comments? Bulbous 14:07, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
Yes. Wahkeenah 02:17, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

What is "rm?" Bus stop 22:55, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

(r)e(m)ove... Bulbous 00:28, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

No problem, either way. Whatever you wish to do is OK. Bus stop 00:49, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

I don't know if that's cool according to the rules or not. Bulbous 03:06, 9 December 2006 (UTC)
My understanding is that you can modify (and presumably delete) your own comments here, but not those of others, unless they are clearly inflammatory and/or off-topic and/or plain old vandalism (like, for example, blanking the page). Wahkeenah 03:09, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

I think it is recommended that you draw a line through your own comments if you want to change them or delete any part of them but I don't remember the formulation before and after the words that accomplishes that. Bus stop 03:13, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

Well, let's just see what happens. Bulbous 04:29, 9 December 2006 (UTC)
Probably nothing, unless you go to an admin and log a grievance against yourself. :) Wahkeenah 04:46, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

I think I found it. I think the correct (recommended) way to change one's words on a Talk page is to use a "strikethrough." It is accomplished like this: bla bla bla Please reverse engineer my typing to see how to do it. Bus stop 12:56, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Certainly you can remove your own comments on the talk page. Of course, they are located in the history so they can be recovered. BUT, for the benefit of other people who may later refer to the talk page, you should generally offer to strike through the words so that they are still readable. Unless the words in the talk page are offensive and uncivil (in which case you can remove them yourself) - see civility you should generally strike through, but if your comments are of no consequence to others (as this discussion above) I would highly recommend simply deleting to avoid clutter. I hope you enjoy Wiki and continue to edit. Your presence is much valued by the community. Regards ToyotaPanasonic 13:19, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

Body Language Expert - Removed?

Could someone explain why Reiman's (the body language expert seen on the O'Reilly Factor) statement was removed from "Aftermath"? I see that Tendancer removed it and labeled it as "discussed" - I don't see any mention of it, so I'm not seeing your reasoning of why it has already been discussed. Sure, it was seen on the O'Reilly Factor, which you might or might not think has even political views, but is it not pertinent? Would it not be relevant information? Hopefully someone is making a compromise edit; it looks like it has come under some close scrutiny. I would just like it back in there; would it not add to the article? TechJon 03:28, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

TechJon -- Thanks for speaking up about that. I put it in. Tendancer took it out. I thought I rewrote it reasonably well. Please scroll up a couple of topics and you can read my comments and Tendancer's comments so far concerning this. Bus stop 03:33, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

  • Yes, it's cleverly disguised in the section titled "Body language expert?" More editors opposed it than favored it, and that's one reason it was dropped. In general, it's just somebody's opinion, with no validation as to their credibility in the alleged science of body language. Its rejection has nothing to do with it being on O'Reilly. Wahkeenah 04:05, 9 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Fluffy is how I was describing it. TechJon, this appears to be your first post on Wikipedia and yet you show more proficiency at it than other more seemingly experienced editors. Under what other names have you edited previously? (Netscott) 04:09, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

Please do not link to open wikis

As per WP:EL, Links to avoid: Avoid Links to open wikis, except those with a substantial history of stability and a substantial number of editors. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 00:49, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Jamie Foxx

Someone's trying to re-post that bit of absurdity again. He's just another actor with another opinion. Should we cite every actor that has something to say about it? Now, if he actually hits him, that's news. Commenting on it is not, it's just National Enquirer stuff. Wahkeenah 04:18, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

I restored Bus Stop's edit regarding Jamie Foxx because I believe it is relevant. If Wikipedia is going to mention white performers who have spoken out in Richard's defense, it is important to also mention black performers who have expressed an opposing point of view. It seems to me from reviewing this "encyclopedia" of a talk page, that editors are getting a little too personally involved here. People seem to be "ganging up" on Bus stop a bit. I suspect that some editors may be too intimidated to offer their support at this juncture. Although I do not agree with some of his edits, I believe Bus stop is only trying to keep the article balanced and nuetral. I agree with "the mob" that the body language stuff isn't appropriate because it seems to push a point of view, but we can't start arbitrarily dismissing all of his/her edits. I see this as a valid edit. I do not think Wahkeenah actions or remarks are particularly civil. Cleo123 04:43, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

I was unable to post my explanation immediately due to an editing conflict with Wahkeenah, who was apparently chomping at the bit to revert any contribution of Bus stop's that might be restored to the article. Cleo123 04:50, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

A rather tangential and irrelevant bit of information ... now if Foxx actually attacks Richards then of course that would change the dynamic. I think this as well about the other opinions expressed by the likes of Robin Williams, Tom Green and Mel Gibson (Netscott) 04:45, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
The reason I see Jamie Foxx's talk as irrelevant is that unless he actually does something about it it's just bravado. (Netscott) 04:48, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Feel free to delete all the other actors' points of view from the article also. Unless they were directly involved in the incident (which they weren't), their comments are just individual opinions and have no relevance to the article. Wahkeenah 04:56, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

  • Never mind, I did it. I left in Rodriguez's comments, because he's a part owner, and I left in the Wayans incident, which seems directly connected as a follow-up. Wahkeenah 05:12, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Regarding that other user, he continues to post his point-of-view pushing edits despite consensus to the contrary, and to ignore challenges to find citations that would support his editorializing. In short, he's playing an endless-loop game. Wahkeenah 04:56, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Wahkeenah -- What do you mean by "opinion?" Are you saying that a threat is just another valid way of expressing an opinion? Bus stop 05:09, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Wahkeenah -- A threat and an opinion are two different things. Opinions in general only take the form of words. A threat tends to instill fear in another person. In fact, whether a threat is carried out or not is irrelevant in this regard. We have freedom of speech. But there is no such freedom of intimidation. Bus stop 05:50, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

  • It's a pretty wimpy threat. Unless he actually does something, it's just words. Have you seen any evidence that Richards is quaking in his boots over what Foxx said? More likely, he's worried that what's left of his career is going down the drain. And Foxx is just trying to get his name in the paper, like the other celebs who've commented on it. Wahkeenah 06:07, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Wahkeenah -- I do not need proof that Michael Richards is "quaking in his boots," to use your terminology. Threats and opinions are two different things. Opinions do not suggest associated physical consequences. Threats intimidate another person. If you don't know the differing definitions of the words "threat" and "opinion" then please look them up in a dictionary. Bus stop 09:01, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

  • Meanwhile, maybe you could read the wiki guidelines about providing citations. Wahkeenah 14:41, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Wahkeenah -- You are mistaken if you think that Wikipedia guidelines provide definitions of words. Definitions of words are found in a dictionary. Bus stop 14:54, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

For what it's worth, I think the article gave a more balanced presentation of the situation when it included support by Robin Williams etc. AND Jamie Foxx's threat. I understand that a decision was apparently made on the talk page to delete celebrity opinions but it seems that "decision" was made hastily by only two editors without giving time for others to weigh in. The fact that some celebrities have gone against the tide of public opinion to support Richards is relevant, as is the fact that he's been threatened with physical violence. Richards may have said offensive things, but he did not threaten anyone with physical violence. Threats of violence are not "opinions". In many states, making threats to harm someone (particularly if done more than once) is a crime covered under criminal harrassment and stalking laws. Mind you, it is a misdemeanor - but STILL a crime. From a legal perspective, whether or not Foxx intends to act on his threats is irrelevant. There is no telling whether or not Richards is frightened. I think any sane rational person would fear physical violence from the black community in this situation, whether it be from Jamie Foxx or someone else. I see the fact that he did not appear "live" on Letterman as telling. Jamie Foxx is quoted telling a reporter the following:

"When I see him, it's on. I'm not going to let him get away with it. If I'd have been in the audience he would've had to put his dukes up. He probably should go get a private island somewhere, cause if I see him..."

I see the fact that Richards is now being threatened with physical violence as a very serious matter and worthy of inclusion in the article. Cleo123 20:09, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Cleo -- I think the Jamie Foxx threat is an even stronger candidate for inclusion than the opinions of the fellow comedians speaking in support of Michael Richards. Bus stop 21:12, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

I agree with Bus Stop the Jaimie Foxx threat should be included, maybe with other threats like the one seen in the video (-We'll see whats up).

Kyle Doss' "Limits to free speech" comment

The following passage was previously in the article:

Doss, appearing with McBride on The Today Show[[29]], expressed that, "No, I think that apology was totally fake; it was forced. I feel like that was a career move. It wasn’t sincere."[2] Doss also expressed, "I think freedom of speech should have some kind of limit."[3]

This comes from a direct participant (obviously) in this story and so in that sense it would tend to have pertinence... what I'm curious to know though is whehter there is any sort of a consensus that this has enough pertinence to appear in the article? (Netscott) 06:23, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

  • Not as easy to judge as the words of those who had no connection with the incident. However, Richards went on Letterman and his comments were quoted here, so it would seem fair to cite the followup comments (ill-advised as they appear to be) from the other participants. We probably want to avoid getting into a daily "he said this, then they said that" kind of thing. Wahkeenah 06:32, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Netscott -- Something to that effect TOTALLY belongs in the article. The reason it belongs in the article is because it is a key element in the TEXTURE of the incident and the surrounding events. Doss's statement that "No, I think that apology was totally fake; it was forced. I feel like that was a career move. It wasn’t sincere." is absolutely essential. I don't think there is as much pertinence to "I think freedom of speech should have some kind of limit." Bus stop 06:37, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

I'd like to hear from users Bulbous and Kgeza67. I think Kgeza67 expressed hesitation about the first quote appearing in the article. I agree with you Bus stop about that first quote... I was moreso curious about the second quote. (Netscott) 06:42, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
Indeed. And the Wayans followup makes things interesting. A hallmark of standup is that it's one of the last bastions of free speech. Trying to pre-empt speech might lead to more rebellions. Wahkeenah 06:53, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

The second quote is not essential. It is just sanctimonious pap. Bus stop 06:56, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

  • Which is why it's worth noting, as it helps to explain where they are coming from. Wahkeenah 07:02, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
I'm inclined to say that the second quote makes Kyle Doss look pretty bad (methinks of George W. Bush's infamous utterance of, "There ought to be limits to free speech." relative to I'm inclined to think that it doesn't directly pertain to this article because Kyle Doss isn't that notable and he's not commenting specifically on Richards. (Netscott) 07:10, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
I wonder what Kyle Doss would say about being lumped with Dubya. Meanwhile, you've got a point about him not commenting on Richards, and maybe just using this opportunity to make optimal use of his "15 minutes of fame". Wahkeenah 07:50, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
I think what he meant by the second quote was 'there should be limits so the same thing could not happen without the person being imprisoned'. I dont beleive any of these two quotes are that pertinent, the Article already contains the fact that they rejected the apology, the first qoute offers very little new information over that. The second qoute could be pertinent if the laws were to change because of this incident, but not right now. Geza 11:02, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Geza -- Apologies are not easy to give. It can take a herculean effort. Therefore the rejection of an apology is not an inconsequential thing. A certain amount of scrutiny refocuses on someone who rejects an apology. Therefore indeed we should be looking at the words with which Doss rejected Richard's apology. Bus stop 12:17, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

I'm actually inclined to agree with Geza that a mere mention of their rejection of his intial apology (there's likely to be another soon) shold suffice. (Netscott) 12:42, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Geza -- By the same token, I don't think most of the quotes of the various racial slurs are necessary. I think Wikipedia should take a prudish approach to addressing this incident. For instance, I prefer the use of "the n word" to the more explicit quoting methods used. If there is anything interesting about this incident, it may mark the inflection point from which the pendulum begins to swing back again in the other direction, away from the reckless use of speech. Notice I say "reckless use of speech." That has nothing to do with "freedom of speech." In fact, recklessness is the enemy of freedom, as concerns speech, as well as other activities. Bus stop 13:12, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

  • Including claims of doing research while not actually citing that research. Wahkeenah 14:15, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Wahkeenah -- How do you know how little or how much "research" I do? Are you looking over my shoulder? Bus stop 14:21, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

  • No one here knows, since you don't provide citations. Wahkeenah 14:36, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Wahkeenah -- What makes you think you speak for all other people here? Bus stop 14:43, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

We as editors are to do our best to write in encyclopedic, sourced ways and to add pertinent information while doing our best to cooperate with our fellow editors who may share radically different points of views from our own. So long as everyone does that, relative to the spirit fo consensus, the Wiki and its readers should benefit. (Netscott) 20:55, 10 December 2006 (UTC)


The closeup from Letterman provides an interesting contrast to his appearance in "better times". I think we should hear some other voices on this in lieu of unilaterally zapping it. Wahkeenah 17:32, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

He looks older because he is older. I don't see how this image "contributes significantly" to the article.
Please see the counter-example: "An image of a living person that merely shows what they look like." in the Fair use policy. bogdan 17:38, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
That's not for you, by yourself, to decide. He might have "aged" noticeably in just the last couple of weeks, for all we know. Wahkeenah 17:45, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
Do you use the image for anything other than to show how the person looks like? If not, that's against the policy. bogdan 17:47, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
Ask whoever put it there. Wahkeenah 18:11, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
I think the picture should be included because it documents his "current" appearance and it pertains directly to the event discussed in that section of the article. Cleo123 20:35, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
I'm inclined to agree with Bogdan. Image fair use should really be discouraged. About the only advantage of that particular image being a part of this article is that because it was taken during the time of his apology readers might be able to view it relative to that fact and arrive at their own conclusions about his state of mind. (Netscott) 20:43, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Damon Wayans Appearance

I do not see the relevance of this incident to a Michael Richards page. Imagine the size of this article if every tangential incident related to some random celebrity (and in the cases of some past edits, non-celebrity non-notables) analyzing/reacting to the laugh factory incident is to be cited here. Either at some point a separate Michael Richars/Laugh Factory page should be created, or this entry should be removed altogether. I'll await others' opinions. Tendancer 20:11, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

Tendancer -- What's the difference how long the article is? If something belongs, it belongs. The reader will quickly glance over what may not particularly interest them. I feel there has to be a reason why something doesn't belong. Have you articulated a reason why the Damon Wayans reference doesn't belong? // And no, I don't think a separate page for the Laugh Factory incident involving Michael Richards is called for. It fits under the heading of Michael Richards. It hardly has the stature to stand alone, in my opinion. Why should the reader jump back and forth between two articles? What is gained? // The mention of Damon Wayans probably has relevance because many see great significance in issues surrounding the "n" word and similar words and terms and phrases as concerns curbs (bans) on their usage. I do not think such thinking is particularly productive, but I respect such cogitation. So, I can see the relevance of the Damon Wayans' reference. Bus stop 21:41, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

Inclusion of the Damon Wayans' incident in the Aftermath section of this article is important because it illustrates the reprecussions of the Richards' incident on the Laugh Factory itself. It also offers a palpable counterpoint to Richards' inflamatory statements, which must be heard if Wikipedia is to present a balanced view of the event. I agree with Bus stop that a seperate "Laugh Factory Incident" page is unnecessary. I suspect that with the passage of time these sections of Richards' biography will be pared down and put into their proper perspective. At this juncture, the incident is a current event and more space is required to provide a balanced presentation. Cleo123 05:22, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

  • Media are suddenly paying attention to Hollywood racial slurs, possibly thanks to the Richards incident, which is now being used as a kind of barometer for "how bad" something is. Rosie O'Donnell has now been on both ends of it, with her righteous indignation at Kelly Ripa's supposedly homophobic attitude toward Clay Aiken, and then her childish mimickry of stereotyped Chinese speech, defending herself by saying she was just trying to be funny. Maybe the bulk of this material should go in a separate article, lumping this along with the other recent incidents about which the media have had a field day or two. Wahkeenah 05:29, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

I think the formation of a seperate page regarding this incident is premature and potentially unfair to Richards. This may well be a minor blip in his career, after some time has passed and the whole incident is put into its proper perspective. For all we know, he may go on to star in another hit series with Daymon Wayans and Jamie Foxx. (stranger things have happened in Hollywood! LOL) Forming a seperate page, creates a situation where that article may not be readily deleted and our record of the incident (which is so fresh) could unduly tarnish the entirety of his career. Cleo123 07:02, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

I don't think Wikipedia needs an article bringing together such incidents in one place, unless there were an underlying principle to it, and I don't know what that would be. Just a collection of such incidents sounds "gossipy" to me. Wikipedia has an interesting article called "Terms Of Disparagement" ( which handles a broad range of similar references to target groups. Does anyone feel it would be appropriate to provide a reference to this other Wikipedia site in the Michael Richards article? Bus stop 07:36, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

  • The underlying principle, in general, is where someone makes a racist or sexist remark, and someone not of that race or sex or orientation tells them they shouldn't be upset about it. You hear this all the time when us white folks say that Indians or blacks or gays or whatever shouldn't be offended by stereotypes, that minorities are "too sensitive". Ironically, Richards comes off looking fairly well in this regard, as he has actually apologized. Rosie O'Donnell, for example, never apologizes for anything. Wahkeenah 13:13, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

One cannot be expected to respond both with immediacy and free of the baggage of history. If that is all that one has done, I don't think an apology is mandatory. Under such circumstances an attitude adjustment is called for on both sides, If, on the other hand, a person takes possession of a term or terms and runs with it and uses it for all it's worth, then an apology is clearly called for. Involuntary reactions that contain hate speech are only indicative of history, not necessarily of ourselves, as individuals. // For instance, Kelly Ripa, a woman, had a man put his hand on her mouth. She was called upon by her own sense of having just been violated to say something effective in response. Even if what she said had the "gay bashing" sort of hate speech to it, that is not something, in my opinion, for which she needs to apologize. // Of course, there is a lot of grey area, so this is not so easy to define. Bus stop 14:32, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

This link is also very good ( but I'm not sure if either one belongs in a Michael Richards article. Bus stop 07:50, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Why The Unprotection?

May I ask why the Michael Richards page has been unprotected? I keep an eye on the Michael Richard page, and already Unregistered Users are vandalizing it; as I thought they would. They're putting in crap like "racist," and also slang words. I'm surprised no one saw this coming. It was bad enough when Registered Users vandalized the page. Acalamari 23:32, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Joey and Pauls POV on the incident

I think it should be noted that in a radio interview, Both Joey Messina and Paul Rodriguez who were at the show told the radio hosts that the only thing they saw wrong was Michael Richards doing what he did as the only reason anyone spoke up was because he had been on stage for about 20 minutes and hadn't had a single laugh throughout his entire routine. Paul Rodriguez said that if he had the same reaction that Richards had, he would take the "Heckling" that happened in stride because "Either you kill, or you don't kill any particular night" and that night wasn't Michael's night, and what he did on video was really uncalled for. I'll look for a link to the conversation that Joey and Paul had on the radio show that day. In the meantime, please discuss whether this is relevant to the article. Raven6247 09:05, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

Is he a notable writer or producer?

This disagreement is becoming borderline lame, but I feel the lead sentence of an article is important and should succintly summarize the content below. The reason that we should not mention Richards' "accomplishments" as a writer or producer is that they are not notable or discussed in the article in any meaningful way. I see this problem in a lot of other articles as well.

The fact that Richards dabbles in writing or has produced a failed show or play once or twice does not bear mention. Maybe he dabbles in cooking or oragami or jai-alai or antiquing as well, but that doesn't make it important. Limit the first sentence to who the guy is and what he's known for.

Unless users who disagree with me can truly demonstrate the consensus one user is claiming, his writing or work as a producer should be omitted from the first sentence.--The Fat Man Who Never Came Back 13:59, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

The Fat Man Who Never Came Back -- He is the writer and the producer of the Michael Richards Show. That is notable. It failed. But it is notable. In fact it is very notable, in the context of the current fury. Two out of the five main characters on that show were African Americans. And it is not unrelated to the successes he has had. It is not jai-alai, cooking, origami or antiquing, to repeat the examples you cited. Those are far afield, and more importantly -- totally hypothetical. The writing and the producing certainly fleshes out the person who is being researched by a potential reader, and it does not do that in a way unrelated to what you are conceding are his notable accomplishments. Bus stop 14:52, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

  • Well, he "has been" a writer and producer. Wahkeenah 15:13, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

Wahkeenah -- He is the creator, writer, and executive producer of "The Michael Richards Show." Bus stop 15:24, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

He wasn't the main writer on that series, and he was one of many executive producers. You haven't even addressed the point that a lead sentence should summarize the main content that follows it. His mostly forgotten work on the Michael Richards show is not and likely never will be a main focus of this encyclopedia article.--The Fat Man Who Never Came Back 15:29, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

Well, THIS encyclopedia DOES have an article on The Michael Richards Show. Cleo123 22:00, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

You're saying "is", as if the show was in the present instead of the past. Wahkeenah 15:36, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

The Fat Man Who Never Came Back -- This is a biography. The lead sentence bears relevance to the article that follows. He has worked in comedy in the following capacities: writer and producer. And in this particular instance, the notable number of African Americans in his creative production certainly bears mentioning. The lead sentence need not be ignorant of the racial tirade that dominates the bulk of the article that follows. A properly written article adjusts itself to it's subject matter. It does not adhere mindlessly to what in the final analysis is just a value judgement. How can you say that The Michael Richards Show is not notable? Is that not a petty value judgement on your part? Bus stop 15:46, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

  • It "bears mentioning" due to your continued efforts to "prove" that Richards is not a racist or to downplay the improv club incident; along with your continued practice of zeroing in on a specific sentence and arguing it ad infinitum. I notice only 1 other edit to any other article under your user ID since November 25th. Single-article users are typically assumed to be pushing an agenda, and your ID has been living up to that expectation. Wahkeenah 16:01, 17 December 2006 (UTC)
Response to bus stop: You seem to be suggesting that, because the lead sentence now alludes to his modest ventures as a writer and producer, the reader will then make the very convoluted inference (based on information that doesn't even appear in the article) that Richards really is tolerant of African-Americans, which will some how mitigate the public's perception of him as a racist? I've rarely heard a stranger and less convincing argument for anything.
They won't, on that sentence alone. But see below. Wahkeenah 16:28, 17 December 2006 (UTC)
Response to bus stop (continued): I agree that the lead sentence "need not be ignorant of the racial tirade that dominates the bulk of the article." Making an oblique reference to the Michael Richards show does not solve that problem. A simpler solution would be to edit the text to say: " known for playing Kramer on the television show Seinfeld and for emiting a controversial racist tirade in November 2006."
And, relative to Richards' primary claims to fame (which are limited to Seinfeld and racist rants), The Michael Richards Show is not notable. This is hardly debatable.--The Fat Man Who Never Came Back 16:18, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

Wahkeenah and The Fat Man Who Never Came Back -- Richards claims to "fame" do not include the November 17 Laugh Factory meltdown. That is your spin on one man's life. He has certainly had far more productive and luminous events in his life. This article does not exist because of the November 17 meltdown. His accomplishments are many and varied. That's why this article exists. You do not speak for "the public," as you seem to allude to in your comments. You are certainly entitled to your opinion of Michael Richards as a racist. But you don't really speak for the public, do you? Bus stop 16:47, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

Wahkeenah -- Your comments are off topic. But I'll briefly respond to them, with the following two comments: I do not have to participate in any minimum number of articles in any given amount of time. If that is what you think, then you are mistaken about that. Let that be my comment number one. My comment number two is that I do not think Michael Richards is a racist. I do not think Michael Richards is a racist, but I am not trying to "prove" that. The word "prove" was used by you, not by me. I am only using the word "prove" in the process of responding to you. Bus stop 16:17, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

There is no rule to compel you to work on a variety of articles. I'm saying it's part of a pattern with your user ID and this article, which most assuredly is on topic. And it is you that brought up the subject, which I expect to be your next talking point in the article ("the notable number of African Americans in his creative production certainly bears mentioning"), if you can get the opening sentence to stick about him being a one-shot writer and producer. Wahkeenah 16:28, 17 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Yes, Wahkeenah, you've pointed out that pattern before, but what is your point? I am permitted to participate in as many or as few articles as I please. You would need to present your suggestions through proper channels at Wikipedia, because my actions, I believe, are perfectly within Wikipedia's present guidelines, both explicit or implicit. If you think I am in violation of some way in which Wikipedia is supposed to operate, then find an appropriate way of expressing yourself. If you feel that I am trampling on the spirit of Wikipedia, then express that in your own words. Find the words that advance what it is you are trying to say. Bus stop 12:49, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

As I see it, a CONSENSUS regarding the opening sentence had clearly been reached long before The Fat Man Who Never Came Back popped up on this page. The editorial history of the article clearly shows that long before the Laugh Factory Incident occurred the opening statement included Richards'accomplishments as a writer and a producer. The sentence has withstood the review of what probably amounts to hundreds of editors at this juncture. There was discussion over whether or not his involvement with the FreeMasons should be included in the opening sentence and a CONSENSUS appears to have been reached. I find it interesting that The Fat Man Who Never Came Back now wants a talk page discussion before any revisions are made to "his" version. Would that he had afforded other editors the same courtesy before making his edit. To my mind it would appear that The Fat Man Who Never Came Back and Wahkeenah are engaging in a very petty attempt to diminish Mr. Richards' legitimate accomplishments BECAUSE of the Laugh Factory Incident. Michael Richards does not "DABBLE" in writitng! As a comedian, he IS a writer. There is no seperating the two. Serving as Producer on a major network sitcom is an extremely formidable accomplishment, regardless of whether or not the series was ultimately cancelled. Richards is known for his work in the entertainment industry, and the industry defines him on IMBD as an actor, writer and producer. Since Seinfeld, he has progressed in his career to the status of producer, which is relevant to who he is. I think it is very sad what has happened to this article since the Laugh Factory incident. There used to be a section titled "After Seinfeld" which discussed his career. It has been replaced with the Laugh Factory incident section, which SHOULD be pared down in size as the event sinks into the past - for it is certainly not what he is NOTABLE for, but rather what he is now notorious for. This is supposed to be an encyclopedia, not a supplement to the National Enquirer. It is unfortunate that some editors appear hell bent on defining this man's entire career based on one incident. For what it's worth, I do not see Bus stop as trying to "prove" Richards is not a racist. I do see other editors, however, as pushing the notion that he IS by trying to exclude information that speaks to the notion that he isn't. I believe that the racial breakdown of cast members on the show he produced is worthy of inclusion in the article. Cleo123 21:52, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

  • 1) Please link to the previous discussion on the inclusion of "writer" and "producer" in the opening sentence.
  • 2) If Mr. Richards has accomplished something in the fields of writing and producing, why isn't it discussed anywhere in the article?
  • 3) Why doesn't the opening sentence mention the Laugh Factory event, which is clearly Mr. Richards' biggest claim to fame since Seinfeld? --JJay 21:58, 17 December 2006 (UTC)
A minor point to ponder: I agree that a good stand-up comedian has to be, by definition, a writer. But Richards is not a standup comedian. He's a comic actor specializing in improvization and physical humor/pratfalls. The whole Laugh Factory incident was precisely the result of Richards shortcomings as writer. Had he actually prepared any real material, he wouldn't have had to grope so clumsily for shock-value, which went so horribly wrong. I'm not suggesting that we put any of this into article--I'm merely pointing out that Richards is and never was known for his writing talents.--The Fat Man Who Never Came Back 22:07, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

His act was not included in Billy Crystal's 1st TV show because he is a "bad writer" or a "bad comic". He began his career as a stand-up comedian and clearly he was successful enough as a comic to ultimately acheive national attention. As for his failure to have a pre-written response" for hecklers, that's not always possible. My understanding is that the hecklers' "party" were very loud and disruptive throughout the set. Perhaps he had run out of his stock material, and went over the edge. I am not defending his remarks, which were deplorable, but as a celebrity I'm sure it was horribly daunting to be treated in such a disrespectful manner. What the public saw on tape was the culmination of a series of events. It is interesting that bouncers were already escorting the hecklers off the premises before filming of "the incident" even began. Cleo123 22:45, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

To respond to Cleo123, I doubt the "some of my best friends" argument or, even worse, the "a lot of my co-workers are black" constitutes much of a defense against accusations of bigotry, but feel free to put in, especially if you can link to a reliable media source expressing the belief that this a valid defense of Richards' character. For the record, when I first removed "writer" and "producer" from the article, it wasn't to "exclude information that speaks to the notion that he isn't" a racist--as I stated before, to even think that the inclusion of these terms somehow deprecates the importance of his outburst is absurd. While I feel the racism discussion is interesting, my only goal was to remove insignificant details/accomplisments from the important lead sentence.--The Fat Man Who Never Came Back 22:25, 17 December 2006 (UTC)
It seems like he is, in fact, a writer. That doesn't mean he's a good one. Ed Wood was an actor, writer, director and producer, and he was laughably bad at several of those professions. Wahkeenah 23:04, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

Wahkeenah, The Fat Man Who Never Came Back, and JJay -- I don't know if you've noticed, but the first paragraph in Wikipedia's article on Ed Wood (see Wahkeenah's reference to Ed Wood above) mentions that he was a director, a screenwriter, an actor, and a producer. This despite that some do not consider him competent at those endeavors. Opinions change over time. Opinions are held by many people, and they have even been known to vary from person to person at any given point in time. If Wahkeenah and The Fat Man Who Never Came Back and JJay were not motivated by a perceived need to "knock" Michael Richards "down a notch," this discussion would not be taking place, and a simple notation of his work in the field of writing and producing would be included in the introductory paragraph of this biography.Bus stop 11:56, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

The difference between Wood and Richards is huge: Ed Wood is widely known for directing and writing all or most of the bad films he's famous for. Michael Richards produced and wrote but a tiny percentage of the work he's known for--0%, as far as I'm concerned, because few watched and fewer remember the Michael Richards Show. The issue, as you know, is not our opinion of Richards as a man... it's whether minor details deserve a prominent place in the intro. Richards' reputation was in his own hands, he destroyed it. Including or ommitting "writer" or "producer" from the lead setence will not restore or further damage that reputation. We're just trying to make sure the article is factual, organized, well-written and relevant.--The Fat Man Who Never Came Back 05:38, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

The Fat Man Who Never Came Back -- I would never have brought up mention of Ed Wood. I only responded to Wahkeenah's above mention of Ed Wood. But I don't understand why you say that Michael Richards produced and wrote "0%, as far as" you "are concerned." You go on to explain your reasoning that that is because "few watched and fewer remember the Michael Richards Show." That to me indicates it was a commercial failure. But it doesn't change the fact that he wrote and produced that show, at least in part. The question is not whether or not we should write an article about someone who wrote and produced one show which was a commercial failure. The question is whether or not to include that detail in an article about someone who already has an article written about him and who clearly deserves an article written about him. I think it would be capricious to leave out that endeavor, since we are already describing a man's life. Our purpose should be to flesh out the man. We are not referring to jai-alai, antiquing, cooking, or origami, as you suggested in your earlier post. We are referring to something very much related to the theatrical comic arts. It is appropriate also in light of the racial incident because of the large percentage of the cast of the Michael Richards Show that was black. I do not advocate explicating that in the article. But any reader who looks into that would probably find that out for themselves. And no, I do not think that lets him off the hook for the things he said at the Laugh Factory on November 17. But it complicates things. I am opposed to the simplification that I think many people have engaged in in their efforts to write this article. I'm opposed to people demonizing Michael Richards. He is one person in a complex picture. Your efforts to eliminate giving him credit for writing and producing, at least in part, the Michael Richards Show, sounds like a simplification process. To me it represents a "dumbing down" of the article. His credits in this regard, however minor, and however much a commercial failure, are very much noteworthy in the overall context of the article and of his life's work. Inclusion of those credits does not mislead the reader in any substantial way. And it alerts the reader to an area for further exploration that may prove fruitful to a reader who is truly interested in delving into the subject that this overall article is about. Bus stop 06:34, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

I will go as far as saying that removing that information which is clearly stated on imdb and various other places, amounts to vandalism. For several years there were consensus on these simple facts, they can be found in the very first versions of the article, in fact these are the first little bits of information that were written about him. Im restoring the old version. Geza 12:46, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
To Geza: Wahkeenah, Bus stop, Cleo123 and others are having a spirited discussion about content, and you're certainly invited to join it, as long as you can attempt to assume good faith. Accusing an established editor of vandalism when he has gone out of his way to explain the rationale of his changes--whether or not you agree with them--does not demonstrate assumption of good faith. Furthermore, it does not matter how long an inferior section of an article has lasted in its inferior state--this is no excuse not to attempt to improve it. If you disagree that the omission of what I would argue are very insiginificant facts from the lead sentence actually improves this article, please join in the debate. Not one of us here is a vandal.
Also, please make sure the sentence you're reverting to is coherent before you restore an old version. Unlike some editors, I realize your intent was good and am not slinging accusations of vandalism, even though your edits degraded the quality of article's language.--The Fat Man Who Never Came Back 16:15, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

After all this, it is still not clear that he's noted for being anything other than Kramer and the guy who put his foot in his mouth in a comedy club. I'm reminded of this old one, from The Joys of Yiddish, by Leo Rosten, which goes something like this: A vacationer is visiting Jerusalem, and arrives at the Tomb of the Unknown Israeli Soldier. The tomb actually bears his name: Moses Cohen. The puzzled tourist asks what the story is. The guard answers, "Ah, as a tailor, he was known. As a soldier... eh!" Wahkeenah 06:55, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

Is there any consensus about what "noted" actually means? In terms of popular knowledge, I would speculate that prior to the recent controversy, the average person could identify a picture of "Kramer" without knowing who Michael Richards is. Those people who pay attention to comedy, for example, are far more likely to be familiar with Richards' body of work. Bulbous 21:00, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
That's a slope that's as slippery as Mount Hood. However, I would assume wikipedia has some guidelines. I tend to think of it as "what is someone famous for?" He's famous for being Kramer, and for this recent gaffe, and that's about it. Naturally, "industry insiders" are going to know much more about him, but this would mean "generally" famous. How's that for a definitive answer? Wahkeenah 22:05, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
Re: slippery: isn't it, though? The problem is, I'm not even sure that(prior to recent events)Richards' was even "noted" at all. Sure, "Kramer" was famous, but I doubt most people could identify who Micheal Richards was. Anyway, just pointing out that the whole argument is heavily semantic and may not have a "correct" solution. Bulbous 22:31, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
Maybe, but if they saw him, they would say, "Kramer!" which presumably counts even they can't come up with his name. And to someone who never heard of "Seinfeld", he probably wouldn't be "noteworthy" at all. But there must be something about it in the wikipedia guidelines. Wahkeenah 22:44, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

Asking Again About The Unprotection

May I ask again why the Michael Richards page has been unprotected? I keep an eye on the Michael Richard page, and Unregistered Users have been vandalizing it; as I thought they would. They're putting in all sorts of things. I'm surprised no one saw this coming. It was bad enough when Registered Users vandalized the page, now we're getting Unregistered ones. I think we should re-protect the page for the time being. Acalamari 23:23, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

I strongly agree. This page MUST be protected. Vandalism is occurring on a daily basis, some of which is extremely defamatory. Most recently links to photos of Richards dressed in KKK regalia have been inserted. Because this is a bio of a living person, Wikipedia needs to take special care in this situation. Vandalism is not being reverted quickly enough in this case. Some derogatory remarks have remained on the page for hours. Cleo123 23:39, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

I agree. Reinstate "protection." Bus stop 02:32, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

Why haven't they done it yet?!!! 20:15, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

At 21:32 on December 19th, someone vandalized the page, and it was nearly an hour before that vandalism was reverted. These page definitely needs to be protected. Acalamari 23:51, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

Big deal. Many wikipedia pages are vandalized on a daily basis. Very few merit any kind of protection. If someone vandalizes the page revert the vandalism. That's what you people should be doing instead of wasting time complaining here. --JJay 00:18, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

This is a different situation, JJay: most articles on Wikipedia aren't about someone who said something offensive. People are mainly vandalizing the Michael Richards Wikipedia page because of his comments. We are not complaining; we have removed the vandalism when it has appeared. We're just saying that the protection should be reinstated, at least for the time being. The Michael Richards incident only happened a month ago, and lots of people will vandalize this page for a few more months while the incident is still reasonably recent. I still say that it should be protected again. Acalamari 00:50, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps what is called for is a special notice alerting the reader to the special situation, namely the high frequency of vandalism that this article has been receiving recently. Such a notice could inform the viewer that a degree of caution needs to be taken at this time in accepting the contents of the article as representative of the best efforts of serious editors at Wikipedia. It could suggest that the reader be alert for anything that seems to be vandalism, and it can suggest that they check back in an hour or so if they have doubts about whether something they read here is the intended article or an instance of vandalism. I am not aware that such a notice exists in Wikipedia's repertoire of such notices, but maybe it would be a good idea. Bus stop 01:11, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

That sound like a good idea. If the notice doesn't exist, what do we do to create or suggest one? It would be a good notice to use on articles that aren't being vandalized enough to get protected, but are getting vandalized to the extent that it's extremely annoying. and changes are continually being reverted. Acalamari 03:08, 20 December 2006 (UTC)
There's a place to formally request protection: Wikipedia:Requests_for_page_protection--The Fat Man Who Never Came Back 03:58, 20 December 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, but I already know that. I was asking about how to get the notice created or proposed. As for protection, I think a few more people should support it before it's requested again. Otherwise, if anyone asked for the page to be protected again, they could be rejected; and I'm trying to get this page re-protected. Acalamari 04:03, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

While you all argue for protection, note, while the page cannot be edited, we are seriously inhibiting the progression of this particularly page - from people bringing new interesting information and insights into information relevant to the michael richard's topic. I suggest we tolerate this be continually re-reverting vandalism so as to not inhibit people adding new information. It should only be used as one of last resort, or where the problem is extremely serious. If you want a good example of a serious problem take a look at George W. Bush's history page. The Michael Richard's page does not even have one tenth of the problems the Bush page has. I think the page should be unprotected; and that it should be in place only for highly extreme situations (e.g. Bush) - and that Richard's does not even come close to the notoriety of the Bush page. Hence, in my opinion it should unprotected.--ToyotaPanasonic 10:16, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

The page isn't protected. It's semi-protected. Anyone who wants to edit it can edit it... they just have to log in, first. Bulbous 18:20, 23 December 2006 (UTC)
No it should not be unprotected; the article was being vandalized by several unregistered Users. I thank whoever requested that the page should be protected again. Acalamari 02:40, 24 December 2006 (UTC)
I see some people supporting protection, and some supporting unprotection. Can someone tell me why semi-protection isn't a perfect compromise? Bulbous 03:06, 24 December 2006 (UTC)
Semi-protection is a protection, just a lower version of it. Semi-protection is what I wanted anyway, as Unregistered Users were doing lots of vandalism. I am happy with semi-protection because it means that only Registered Users like myself can edit the page. Acalamari 18:04, 24 December 2006 (UTC)
That would be good. If I had my way, every article would be semi-protected. Wahkeenah 18:18, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

Consolidation of Aftermath

I pared the aftermath section of the article dowm a little bit. My thought was to dedicate one paragraph to Richards' efforts to appologize, one paragraph to the hecklers' response and one paragraph to the Laugh Factory Aftermath. It seems that other editors are also working towards' paring the amount of article text dedicated to the Laugh Factory Incident down. If anyone objects, I'm glad to discuss the matter. Cleo123 01:22, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

December 2006

  • The photographers need to be attributed, that is a requirement of the image licenses and should not be removed (as seen in this edit).
    • Attribution can be found on the image page. --Oden 16:28, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Regarding the lead-in, I don't see why "[[stand up comedian|stand-up comic]], [[writer]], [[Television producer|producer]] should be omitted from the article?
  • Regarding the "Laugh Factory Incident" I think Netscott's version has better language and above all it has references.
  • Regarding the YouTube film of the "Laugh Factory Incident" I have not seen it, but it is not necessary as the "Laugh Factory Incident" can be referenced from other sources. See also WP:EL and compare with Zinedine_Zidane#Confrontation_with_Marco_Materazzi where Wikipedia does not link to YouTube.--Oden 12:22, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
He was notable as a writer on his own short-lived show... so it's a bit of an undue weight question to have that in the lead. As far as the rest of your commentary I'm in agreeance save for the fact that occasionally there is legal/licensed content available on Youtube (which WP:EL allows for)... not so in this case though. (Netscott) 16:31, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
He also had to write during his whole career to get anywhere as a comedian, but its true he only produced on his show, which ran for 9 episodes. Also i find the current wording odd, about the role 'earning' him emmys, why not just say he won emmys or something. Also what are the objections for stand up comic, it seems relevant in light of the current incident, why the need to remove so much from the lead, to reduce it to like five words, saying nothing about him except for his role in seinfeld. It can be other stuff, but i really feel that the lead got butchered too much and it really needs to be longer than that. Since the article is semiprotected now, we should agree on the lead and other changes. The "The venue has since stated that Richards is no longer welcome." sentence and references should be in the aftermath section, they dont describe the incident. Anyone objecting to moving them to the end of the Aftermath section? Geza 17:02, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
To respond to one of Oden's bulleted points, no one is proposing that "stand-up comic, writer, producer should be omitted from the article" completely. As you can see, I recently added these details to the Biography section, where (IMO) they belong. The editing controversy surrounds whether these facts are important enought to mention in the lead.--The Fat Man Who Never Came Back 18:40, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

undisputed external link

please add this to the external links as I cannot due to the editing being disabled.

ToyotaPanasonic 13:26, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

No, this is a copyright violation. Ashibaka tock 16:08, 22 December 2006 (UTC)
No, this is not a copyright violation because we are doing nothing which is infringing any part of the 'owners' strict rights under copyright: to publish, to reproduce, to adapt, to copy, to perform in public, to communicate in public etc. etc. (Copyright Act 1968 - which is now substantially similar to American laws. IN any case, we are complying with copyrights because the material is freely available in the public domain, and wiki is merely providing a link to it. Or otherwise, please show me the legal reasoning upon which you rely on to say that this is copyright violation. --ToyotaPanasonic 03:39, 23 December 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not supposed to put copyrighted material on its pages, and I think that includes Web Sites as well. I believe this link also falls under "inappropriate links to websites." Acalamari 04:10, 23 December 2006 (UTC)
"Wikipedia is not supposed to put copyrighted material on its pages" ANS: I completely agree, Wikipedia should not put copyrighted material on its pages. But it is allowed to put things on webpages which do not breach copyright laws in the United States. Placing a link to a website does not breach copyright laws (b/c we are not infringing the rights of the copyright owner - we are not reproducing, publishing, etc etc. (see above reasoning). Copyright laws are breached when we COPY something from somewhere without the author's permission. We are not doing so here.
There relevant sections of wikipedia policy are quoted below see Copyrights:
Linking to copyrighted works
Since most recently-created works are copyrighted, almost any Wikipedia article which cites its sources will link to copyrighted material. It is not necessary to obtain the permission of a copyright holder before linking to copyrighted material (My Italics) -- just as an author of a book does not need permission to cite someone else's work in their bibliography. Likewise, Wikipedia is not restricted to linking only to GFDL-free or open-source content.
NO NEED FOR PERMISSION TO LINK; hence no copyright infringement.
If you know that an external Web site is carrying a work in violation of the creator's copyright, please don't link to that copy of the work. Knowingly and intentionally directing others to a site that violates copyright has been considered a form of contributory infringement in the United States (Intellectual Reserve v. Utah Lighthouse Ministry).
Youtube has authorised the use of the video on its servers. Youtube also has strict policy guidelines in place against copyright breaches. I think we can rely on the judgment of a billion dollar corporation whether something breaches or does not breach copyright. Secondly, nobody can argue in a court of law a contributory infringement point against Wikipedia (unlikely as it is) when no copyright is breached, but even if they could argue that the OWNER of the copyrighted work has himself placed the material on youtube for public consumption.
Also, linking to a page that illegally distributes someone else's work sheds a bad light on Wikipedia and its editors. If the site in question is making fair use of the material, linking is fine.
In conclusion, the whole reason Wikipedia has a copyright policy is to prevent lawsuits from draining the organisation's capital. The Michael Richard's issue has passed over. The video of his outburst has little to no commercial significance - it is not a pirated copy of a blockbuster that we are linking - to an illegal site without the permission of MGM where millions of dollars in revenue would be lost as a result of the link. I have given my reasons for it being put up there; I have quoted the pertinent pieces of the law relating to copyright; I have shown that linking to the video is not violating copyright; I have reasoned that the material does not breach copyright simply because it is being allowed to be put up there by youtube; and if all else fails, I have argued in the light of common sense (assuming that copyright is indeed breached) look to commonsense to ask whether the copyright owner would bother to seek damages from a court of law, for an issue that has more or less passed, for material that is widely and publicly available, and for material that has little or no commercial significance. If all those reasons fail, I should like to see reasons why the link should not be up there, and I should like to see it explained rather than vague statements that Wikipedia is not supposed to put copyrighted material on its pages without first explaining how wikipedia is breaching copyright by placing the link there.
Please provide good reasoning WHY the link should not be put up. If not, please put the link up. Regards, --ToyotaPanasonic 09:57, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

This dumb site

If this is supposed to be the 'people's encyclopedia' then why remove the attempts of free speech? don't remove other people's posts. Panda —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 03:31, 25 December 2006 (UTC).

There is no fundamental right to free speech on Wikipedia - see WP:FREE. Bwithh 03:35, 25 December 2006 (UTC)
Panda, vandalism and personal attacks cross the line of editing Wikipedia, and anyone who crosses the line is punished appropriately. If you vandalize or give personal attacks, you will be blocked from Wikipedia. Acalamari 04:35, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

"Cosmo Kramer"

The lead sentence currently refers Richards's famous character as "Cosmo Kramer"? The first name was not assigned to him until fairly late into Seinfeld's run--and even then, it was more of a joke and a piece of trivia. Anyone knowledgeable about the show will tell you the character's name is simply "Kramer."

By the way, from what I can tell, the only reason the Wikipedia article is called Cosmo Kramer is that the Kramer article is already occupied by a disambiguation page. Between Cosmo Kramer and Kramer (Seinfeld), the former is considered the lesser of two evils.--The Fat Man Who Never Came Back 20:57, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Yes, it's kind of a joke, but once that first name was "revealed" (i.e. created late in the series), he was referred to as "Cosmo" from time to time in later episodes. Now, in real life, everyone knows that "Kramer" originally referred to "Kenny Kramer" or some such, an acquaintance of the show's creator. But although that was the character's inspiration, the Kramer on Seinfeld is his own character, and his creators decided (eventually) that his first name is Cosmo. Wahkeenah 21:22, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I know. But the fact that only called him Cosmo "from time to time" further bolsters my argument that his name, properly, is just "Kramer." The Cosmo thing is trivial.--The Fat Man Who Never Came Back 21:34, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
As long as "Cosmo Kramer" is canon in the Seinfeld series, I say leave it in. Acalamari 21:36, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
I don't see that it would matter if it were the very last episode of Seinfeld in which we were introduced to "Kramer's" first name. It is fictional. And the first name assigned to him was "Cosmo." The name Cosmo was obviously chosen because it jives well with the wacky character that we know Kramer to be. It is a creative work. It is not an actual name. Why would you want to shave off the screenwriter's creative input to the character that Michael Richards played? Bus stop 21:46, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
The obvious way to handle this is to spell out his "full name" and then mostly refer to him as Kramer in the article... which would be the standard in any case. For a real life comparison, consider Liberace, whose first name is stated at the beginning although he was, if anything, less known for his first name than Kramer is (and was arguably a fictional character, but that's another story). And Bus Stop is right, the name "Cosmo" fits his quirky character fairly well. Wahkeenah 21:58, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree. Kramer is mainly referred to as Kramer, but his first name is Cosmo. Acalamari 22:03, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

use of the Talk page

The Fat Man Who Never Came Back -- Yes it is vindictive.

What is gained by the addition of this: "User:CloneGuard is a now an indefinitely blocked sockpuppet of User:Mactabbed User:Kgeza67 (as established by CheckUser). (Netscott) 16:58, 11 February 2007 (UTC)"?

Eh? Sockpuppet comments of indef banned users can be erased. Rather important to know I think. Tyrenius 02:19, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

What is gained by the addition of this: "mischievous and rude sockpuppet like User:Wik/User:Kgeza67"? Bus stop 22:20, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Okey dokeyBus stop 02:47, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Please do not act as a proxy for banned editors. Thanks. (Netscott) 01:27, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Yes, you are right, (Netscott). I stand corrected. Bus stop 02:18, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

I'll add some editors here also need to refrain from supporting and encouraging known sockpuppets with a history of making racist edits. Tendancer 07:22, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Tendancer -- It seems to me you spend a lot of time thinking about hosiery marionettes. Bus stop 11:15, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Tendancer's concern is normal particularly when we've been so plagued by these two banned users (and his racial citation is rather pertinent). (Netscott) 14:11, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Netscott -- What are you referring to when you refer to Tendancer's "concern?" His above post links to Cleo123 posting on KramerCosmo's User page on February 11. So what? Is she not permitted to do that? What do you mean "racial citation is rather pertinent?" He is already banned. Pertinent to what? Bus stop 16:13, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

What is of concern is when an editor is expressing themself in a way that is tantamount to encouraging a banned editor to continue to play a role in this discussion. Particularly when that banned editor has made an edit that is undeniably racist in nature (given the subject of this ongoing discussion). (Netscott) 16:15, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Netscott -- It is not for you, or Tendancer, to analyze another person's thoughts. Do you have access to Cleo123's thoughts? Is communication with KramerCosmo banned? Even if KramerCosmo could be labeled a racist, would communication with him be impermissible? What is gained by affixing labels to people? Isn't this issue over? Wasn't this issue over at the point at which I said that "Yes, you are right, Netscott. I stand corrected?" Why is Tendancer perpetuating the above discussion? Bus stop 17:14, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Kindly refrain from falsely accusing me of calling anyone anything. Nowhere here have I called anyone a racist... read closely. (Netscott) 17:48, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Netscott -- Your use of the terms "racial" and "racist" in relation to KramerCosmo is "tantamount" to calling him a racist. It is only a shade of meaning different. (And Tendancer also used the term racist.) In summation: Tendancer perpetuated this conversation after it was over. And you have defended Tendancer's perpetuation. I admitted wrongdoing: I should not have gone to the defense of the banned editor. I realized that, and I admitted so when you pointed it out. The issue was over at that point. I said that "I stand corrected." What more can I say? But Tendancer resuscitated the issue, and you have defended him in that. When Tendancer refers to KramerCosmo's edits as "racist," and you refer to Tendancer's citation as a "racial citation," and you characterize KramerCosmo's edit as "undeniably racist in nature," then you are coming pretty close to calling KramerCosmo a racist. Have you ever heard the "walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck" parable? And that is not even the issue. The issue is that Tendancer's comment was uncalled for and out of place. And you, Netscott, should not be defending Tendancer's uncalled for and out of place comment. That is the heart of the issue. Bus stop 18:42, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

My message to KramerCosmo was an expression of sympathy for another human being, not an endorsement of sockpupetry. I believe that a mistake may have been made in this situation. I do not know how Wikipedia makes such determinations, but it would appear that this involves a range of IP addresses rather than a specific IP. I did not see KramerCosmo editing disruptively or behaving improperly in any way. Moreover, I do not see any similarity between the types of edits Tendancer cites and those of KramerCosmo. The only thing these two users appear to have in common is the fact that they have disagreed with Netscott's point of view.
I did not leave a message for Mactabbed, as I have had no experience with this user. I will say, however, that the racist edit which Tendancer cites appears to be a revert to a "real vandal's version" the user made in error while repeatedly being reverted by Netscott and Tendancer. I suggest editors review the page history. Mactabbed's own previous version does not contain the same racist material. It looks to me like he reverted to the wrong version by mistake, as it is not consistent with his previous edits. Tendancer and Netscott, who were apparently edit warring with him at the time should be aware of that, and yet they have both tried to represent him as a racist. They also seem to be implying that I, condone racism. There is nothing in my edit history to support such a notion and I see this allegation as uncivil.
As I see it, Netscott was investigating the contents of other user's talk pages and their contribution histories. He confronted Bus stop, but had no legitimate reason to drag me into their resolved conversation. Lo and behold! Who suddenly pops up on this page, right on cue, to pick up Netscott train of thought? It is extremely curious the way that the very uncivil Tendancer keeps mysteriously appearing to do Netscott's dirty work. I am a good deal shrewder than this user might expect. It may not have occurred to him that, perhaps, he may have walked right into a trap. I hope that other editors see the same troubling pattern here that I do.
I suggest that Tendancer take a look at WP:Stalk. Considering the source, I find his allegations ironic and amusing. Cleo123 22:15, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
With 8 minutes difference in reverts by banned User:Mactabbed (see Category:Wikipedia sockpuppets of Mactabbed) I don't find the "accidental" explanation very plausible. He knew where he was reverting too. I wasn't specifically 'investigating' other user's talk pages save for the contributions of the multitudes of sockpuppets that User:Kgeza67 employed to harass me whereupon I discovered an edit he made to Bus stop's talk page (that his sock subsequently deleted to try to hide the fact) that corresponded to Bus stop's above message. User:Mactabbed (a user name that is in fact a sockpupet of User:Maior) is a liability to the project and has a very very long history of disruption that actually was decently long even prior to his coming to edit here. Stemming from his gross incivility towards me I just decided to dig a bit and lo and behold I discovered this history of disruption and decided to do something about it and I continue to do so. The stalking accusation against Tendancer is very hollow because it is normal for anyone who's editing here to be examining the talk pages of others heavily involved with this article. Cleo123, as you no doubt were aware User:KramerCosmo is a checkuser confirmed sockpuppet of User:Mactabbed so despite your claims to the contrary you must have known that by leaving a message to KramerCosmo you were in fact leaving a message to Mactabbed. This is why Tendancer mentioned it. (Netscott) 23:24, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Netscott -- Why should Tendancer leave that message here? I find it ludicrous to imply Cleo123 is "supporting and encouraging" anything along the lines of "known sockpuppets" or "racists." I completely accept her explanation that she was expressing "sympathy for another human being," and she didn't have to express that for me to accept that. It is ludicrous for Tendancer to accuse her of anything. I started this discussion topic to defend someone who was banned and I also did it out of sympathy, and compassion, for another human being. But I quickly realized, after receiving criticism from both you, Netscott, and Tyrenius, that it was, at least technically, not the right thing to do. But this discussion topic was started by me, to defend the banned person. And I eventually admitted wrongdoing. It should have been over and done with at that point. Tendancer then decided to make the issue alive again. My comment to Tendancer was just to ridicule him. I thought it was quite clever of me to transform "sock puppets" into "hosiery marionettes." But to my astonishment, along came Netscott to defend Tendancer. And we were off to the races. Bus stop 00:04, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Unless there is disagreement to do so I'm going to shortly archive this section of talk as it is beyond the scope of what this article's talk page is to be used for. (Netscott) 00:08, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Netscott -- I think you should leave it up. Or at least just for about 24 hours. Why did you participate in it if you are so eager to dispose of it? Bus stop 00:13, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Per talk page guidelines this talk is now beyond the scope of "improving the article". It is just recrimination after recrimination and that does not correspond to improving this article. (Netscott) 00:16, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Netscott -- It was "beyond the scope of "improving the article"" when you said the following: "Tendancer's concern is normal particularly when we've been so plagued by these two banned users (and his racial citation is rather pertinent). (→Netscott) 14:11, 13 February 2007 (UTC)" Bus stop 00:28, 14 February 2007 (UTC)


Netscott -- I don't like your heavy-handed ways. You inquired about archiving. I thought I was generous in agreeing to archiving in "24 hours." Why did you bother to inquire, only to do what you want immediately? This is very similar to the way in which you started the "breakaway" Michael Richards article. What does that have to do with reaching consensus? What does that have to do with cooperating with other editors? Bus stop 00:56, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

You agreed it was beyond the scope of talk page guidelines, I responded accordingly. There's no one preventing you from dearchiving the talk... I'm not going to edit war over it, revert away. (Netscott) 00:58, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
Netscott was correct about that discussion having nothing to do with the article. Bulbous 01:07, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Bulbous -- Then why was Netscott an active participant in it? Bus stop 01:16, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Dunno. Maybe he realized after the fact that his participation had nothing to do with the article. I'm just commenting because I myself got burned for editorializing (and rightly so, but now it seems that I'm doing it again). Bulbous 01:21, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
If I'm not mistaken, the entire conversation began because personal attacks were made against people who were prevented from defending themselves. In a similar fashion, Netscott seems to be attempting to deny me the opportunity to respond to his remarks by prematurely archiving the discussion, which was not going his way. Interestingly, Tendancer engaged in a very similar pattern of behavior on the Laugh Factory Incident AFD discussion, trying to abruptly "deep six" unflattering material about Netscott. That's okay. I think other editors are smart enough to see the connection. I don't think it needs to be discussed any further, unless there are more sock related editing problems that affect the article. Cleo123 02:02, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
Not going my way? Give me a break the whole talk wasn't going the way of this talk page per Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines. Cleo123 I see you both you and User:Bus stop furthering the disruption that's been going on here by encouraging the further participation of these banned users. That is bad. You've expressed a lack of knowledge for why these individuals are banned. Well why don't you do a bit of research before you start supporting these individuals and realize that neither were banned lightly. Then cease your encouragment to these two and focus on reducing the disruption here so that we might be able to more effectively improve this article and not waste our time going over and over your "loss" of POV support. (Netscott) 02:10, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
 :: Netscott, I have not encouraged participation by sockpuppets, nor do I believe Bus stop has. As I previously stated, I believe that a mistake may have been made regarding User:KramerCosmo. He was not editing disruptively and I do not see any similarities between his edits and the racist edits cited by the ever disruptive User:Tendancer. User:Bus stop simply responded to uncivil and unnecessary remarks made about people. I really am hard pressed to understand why, after you've had a person blocked you feel it necessary to throw salt in the wounds. I see that as distracting and disruptive. I would also suggest that you cease your encouragement and support of User:Tendancer, who appears to belong in the same category. Cleo123 03:20, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Netscott -- I just had a look at the Archive page. I noticed this suggestion: "If possible it is better to archive talk pages during a lull in the discussion, as it is best to avoid archiving in the midst of an active discussion so that the full context of the discussion is together." Is that the spirit in which you banished the ongoing discussion to the archives? Allow me point out that you that you had as much input into the discussion that you just banished to the archives as anyone. Bus stop 02:23, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Netscott -- Cleo123 correctly points out that you have prematurely archived the discussion. Why are you, Netscott, now invoking the Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines, when you have been ignoring them in your past half dozen or so posts? Cleo123 and I are furthering "disruption?" The only reason why this article has taken on some semblance of a respectable article is because an Administrator has shown up to institute principles that people like Cleo123 and I have been arguing for, for months. "Sockpuppets" are basically a smokescreen, employed by some to divert attention from honest intellectual discussion. Bus stop 02:38, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Netscott -- I hope others look at the dialogue that you have moved to the archives. This may be besides the proper purpose of the Talk pages. But it has been made that way more so by Tendancer and you than by anyone else. Bus stop 02:44, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

May I suggest stopping this conversation at least on this page, as it is contrary to WP:TPG:
The purpose of a Wikipedia talk page is to provide space for editors to discuss changes to its associated article or project page.
Editorial abuses should be taken to another forum. Check out heading on WP:AN for options. If no one objects, I will archive this section. It's not helping the article. Tyrenius 02:45, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Tyrenius -- I think it should be left up for 24 hours. Please delete it or archive it 24 hours from now. Words matter. My feeling is either you should retract your words or you should expect others to point out your error. It is too easy to banish something to Archives after you have been an active participant in it for many postings over many hours. Bus stop 02:56, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

I think the second sentence onwards was not directed at me, but just carried on without a pause as if I'd suddenly ceased to exist, which I suppose is better than if it were directed at me... Tyrenius 22:24, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
By all means... if Cleo123 or Bus stop want to carry on this discussion let them do so in a proper forum. (Netscott) 02:58, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
I am fine with the page being archived at this juncture. I agree that the discussion is of no benefit to the article. I have only responded to allegations by User:Tendancer and User:Netscott, whose actions precipitated this inappropriate discussion. Cleo123 03:27, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
Barely even worth archival per, which states "irrelevant discussions on subject to removal". Only positive may be it helps everyone including an admin witness the type of disruption and vindictive nonsense we are often subjected to on the Michael Richards page, now including yet another series of personal attacks launched against Netscott by a sockpuppet. I also recommend some users here read this as there had been claims due to compassion for sockpuppets as human beings they would object to users such as admin pschemp accusing Mctabbed of using racial slurs and banning him. Tendancer 17:09, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
We've all edited this article and held opposing viewpoints at one time or other. As I see it, most of us have calmed down, save the above poster. Tendancer, you're going overboard. This whole meta-debate is not about the article and should be archived... to the recycle bin. Bulbous 22:45, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Tendancer -- It can't be very easily "witnessed" because Netscott removed most of it to Archive already. Bus stop 17:15, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Tendancer, I quite agree that an admin does need to take a closer look at your history of disruption on this page, which appears to be consistently geared towards supporting User:Netscott's agenda in a less than civil manner. Most recently, you have made a sudden dramatic appearance on this talk page to launch yet another series of personal attacks, strangely consistent with User:Netscott's course of action. Your sudden appearance in this context is quite odd, since you have not made an edit to the article since Dec. 22 [30], when Bus stop expressed the concern that you may be a sock puppet. At that time, you were warned by other editors to stop making personal attacks, such as calling others' contributions "idiotic". [31] [32] None of this conversation should be removed, nor should any of the Laugh Factory Incident AFD discussion be "deep sixed" as you would have had it. Far too many editors have expressed concerns about you, beginning all the way back in November with User:KazakhPol [33]. There needs to be a record of these discussions in the archive. The conversation is not irrelevant as your behavior has affected the article.
I will not even bother to address your latest attempt to distort facts regarding alleged objections to Mactabbed's blocking. People can read the rest of this conversation, which Netscott has hastily buried in the archive. I'm perplexed by your statement: "now including yet another series of personal attacks launched against Netscott by a sockpuppet."
Please, clarify.Are you accusing someone on this page of being a sock puppet? Cleo123 20:24, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for digging up the date of Bus Stop's reverts so I don't have to waste time looking. You mean the same KazakhPol who accused me of being a sockpuppet of Bus Stop? Who in turn first stalked me to other pages just to revert and then reverted my change to this article and with false accusation and WP:NPA violation that I am same as Wahkeenah? I see you and him now changed your mind and decided to violate WP:NPA and WP:CIVIL further by implying I'm same as NetScott. is right here, click it. In the meantime, welcome to continue this discussion on my and your talk page (though you deleted it and seems to pretending it never took place: where I've already responded to all your allegations rather than wasting time here. You should be mindful your last dozen or so last edits have not been of value to improving the article. Thanks! Tendancer 21:15, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Does anyone have anything that they want to actually say or do that will affect anything? Is there an objection to some material being archived. Please de-archive it. Is there a sockpuppet accusation? Please report to Wikipedia:Suspected sock puppets. Outstanding and recent accusations of breaches of WP:NPA, WP:CIVIL or anything else. Please post on my talk page with diffs. Otherwise, the talk page is to discuss material for the article, not user abuse (in every sense). See WP:TPG. Tyrenius 22:24, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Tyrenius -- I'm not sure -- are you asking if there is an objection to the material that Netscott archived yesterday, or are you asking if anyone would object to this material being archived? I definitely objected to Netscott's archiving this discussion yesterday. No matter how much this conversation is drivel, he archived it because he was losing the argument. That is why he deep-sixed it. If I had my way I would bring that discussion out of the archive, reattach it to this discussion, let it sit in the sunlight for a spell, then deep six the whole mess. But, use your own judgement. Thqanks for intervening. Thanks for getting the michael Richards article into the best condition it's been in probably since the Laugh Factory incident. Bus stop 22:38, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Then de-archive it and put it on your, Netscott's, mine, or Cleo's page and we can continue the discussion if me Netscott or others feels like continuing the WP:LAME discussion since you feel it's noteworthy. Tyrenius already clarified you do not need his permission. Please let me know if you need help with de-archiving and I'll do it for you. Thanks! In the meantime I believe there're no more people against archiving this section, so any of us is free to send it into the archives. Tendancer 22:49, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
My point is what is the point of this discussion thread? Is it just to say I was right/you were wrong, or is there anything to be achieved that is going to help anyone or anything in anyway? Tyrenius 23:18, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Bus stop. The previous portion of the discussion should be reattached, then archived. I would hope that there will be no more disruption on the page, however, I am a bit doubtful. There should be a record of this discussion in the archive, for future reference. This conversation is beneficial in that concerns have been documented and there will be an accessible paper trail for an administrator to follow should problems continue. Cleo123 23:32, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
Everyone seems to be in agreement then. Would someone like to do the honours? Tyrenius 23:49, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Change rage wording

Someone please change "rage" (self descried) into just plain rage. The scare quotes do nothing but introduce a POV and discredit michael richard's account.KramerCosmo 23:58, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

KramerCosmo -- You make a good point. I don't think I changed it exactly as you suggested. I simply removed the link to Wikipedia's article on "rage." Bus stop 00:20, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

      • Your change to say "that he later described as a 'rage'" is even better and clearer. Wahkeenah 00:57, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

OK, at least we resolved that problem. The world can now commence being a better place. Bus stop 01:09, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

    • And with minimal rage at that. :) Wahkeenah 01:28, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
  • I changed to say "rage" (as he later described it) because it's not "scare quotes" it's what he actually said, so it's a normal quotation. And I just think "as he later described it", while wordier, is a little more clear than "self described". Wahkeenah 00:38, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
    • I still have the nagging suspicion that the purpose of putting it in quotes, and saying that its self-described is an attempt to discredit his account. Rather than simply stating it as a fact, that it was a rage, quotations are used to make it clear that it is michael richard's point of view that it was a rage, and which gives life to the pervasive POV that it wasn't a rage but a calculated racist remark. Leave it as just rage, without quotes, without the (as he later described it) part, and just leave it as fact. KramerCosmo 00:45, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
      • Hold the phone. If he says it was a rage, then that's what he says. If you leave out all that stuff, it looks like this article's editor is characterizing his behavior, which is POV-pushing. Richards is an actor. You can't say from the video itself whether he was acting or not. If he says later that it was a rage, he's saying he wasn't acting, that he was truly enraged. That assertion, by itself, neither affirms nor refutes whether that rage was racist in origin. Wahkeenah 00:52, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Semi-protect this page again.

I'm suggesting that the article be semi-protected again. Ever since it was unprotected, IP addresses have been vandalizing the page again. Voice of All was the one who unprotected it, and since then, there's been almost-daily vandalism. Who else thinks that this page should be semi-protected again? Acalamari 04:07, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

  • I semi-agree. Wahkeenah 04:13, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Actually, I think it's absurd to let IP addresses do any editing. How many hundreds of hours per day are wasted reverting stupid stuff done by IP addresses? Wahkeenah 04:13, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
Many; I've had to do reverts on pages like this one, Paris Hilton and Fergie (singer) due to anonymous editing. Acalamari 04:17, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
As it turns out, the more pages you edit, and hence the more you're inclined to watch, the more vandalism you then may have to revert. Wahkeenah 04:26, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

"Not a Mason anymore"

Rubinstein appears to have no idea what he's talking about, whether it's Richards' "belief in Judaism" or his "not practicing Masonry anymore". As wityh most organizations, as long as he pays his membership dues, he is still a member, even if he does not go to meetings. As the incident was big news (Masonically-speaking), there would be a source available if his membership was revoked, and there does not appear to be. MSJapan 06:00, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Good point. But there is really no way to verify if he stopped paying his dues, is there? --JJay 06:55, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
Actually, there is a way. If he stopped paying his dues, both his lodge and the Grand Lodge of the State where this lodge is located will have a record. In the absence of such a record we have to go with what the available sources say, and they say he is still a member. Blueboar 18:30, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
  • I know that the lodge and the Grand Lodge have a record. However, they also don't release that info to the general public. That is the point I was making regarding verification. --JJay 18:33, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

Time to Reduce Text?

It seems to me that it may be time to look at reducing the amount of text that Wikipedia is devoting to this incident. It is no longer a current event, and I believe a disproportionate amount of space in Richard's biography is now being devoted to it. I think it is time to "summarize" the event a bit more, but I didn't want to do so without trying to establish a concensus. Any thoughts? Cleo123 23:59, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

Also, does anyone know what is going on with the hecklers' lawsuit? It seems to have dropped off the media radar. Was this just a threat? If so, there's something to address. Cleo123 00:02, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

I've heard nothing about the lawsuit. I think the hecklers' were just mouthing off. If there was a real lawsuit, we would have heard about it by now. Acalamari 00:39, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Regarding Cleo123's comment, I disagree. The coverage is short and should not be reduced in any way. It is the most important aspect of Richards' bio since Seinfeld. --JJay 02:30, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

Cleo123 -- I agree. The Laugh Factory incident was a momentary out of control incident. I don't think anyone considers Michael Richards a racist. I know I don't. I think he has become a convenient scapegoat and symbol for all that is wrong in black/white relations in America. But he is far more important as an actor with a substantial career. The Wikipedia article should not overly dwell on an incident that is minor, though unfortunate. It is an article about a living person, and we should be mindful of his future career. The Wikipedia article should not be overly focused on one incident that is relatively insignificant alongside his accomplishments. Bus stop 02:59, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

The incident was overblown because it was a slow news day. As for the text on Wikipedia, I think we could do with shortening it, and making it less biased against Michael Richards. Acalamari 03:04, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
  • A slow news day? That makes no sense given the amount of international coverage this event attracted. I would also remind User:Bus Stop that it is not Wikipedia's role to be "mindful of his future career". We report on the events in a person's life. This was the only major event involving Richards in the last 5-10 years. It may be distasteful for some, but it happened and is now part of Richards' history. There is no getting around that. --JJay 04:10, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

JJay -- I never said it was Wikipedia's role to me mindful of his future career. And I never said that the Laugh Factory incident should not be reported about at all. What I think I said was that it should not be overemphasized. You say that you report on the events in a person's life, but as I recall, you and/or others have been very selective concerning which events in Michael Richards' life to report about. I recall that his serious (non-comedic) roles were excised from the article, or considerably trimmed back. His acting career unfolded over many years. Those endeavors transpired over many years. He had an out of control incident in one performance, one evening. It probably lasted less than one hour. No one was hurt. He apologized afterwards. It was a minor event. I think it should be mentioned in the article with that perspective in mind. Bus stop 05:30, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

It was a slow news day. If more interesting things had happened on that day, we probably would never of heard of the event. Also, wasn't it a cell phone camera that filmed the event? Had that camera not been there, I'm sure we wouldn't have heard about the incident. Acalamari 04:15, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
  • I'm sorry, but your assertion is pure speculation. We are not here to engage in "what ifs" or "probablys". There was a cell phone camera, the incident was filmed and the coverage went on for weeks. The scandal led to a national reaction and debate that involved comments from politicians, enetertainment figures etc. Richards apologized repeatedly for this, after the fact, on the Late Show and with Jessie Jackson. It is the only event for which Richards has received any real attention in close to ten years. Let's not forget that Richards' last movie appearance dates to 1997, his last TV show to 2000 (and it only ran for a few weeks). The Michael Richards show is completely forgotten today. But everyone remembers the Laugh Factory. It can not be minimized. --JJay 04:32, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

JJay -- Indeed, it should be minimized. Or at least put into perspective. And it is a perfectly relevant point that it is only the cell phone video that vaults this incident into the limelight. It is a Wikipedia article about a living person who works in the theater arts. I think one should not lose sight of that, in the frenzy to pin America's sorry racial history on one man who had a meltdown one evening onstage at the Laugh Factory. History is not so simple, and a Wikipedia article about Michael Richards should not be so simplistic either. Bus stop 05:47, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

I'm not saying what I said has to be written here. What I said isn't even relevant to this topic, and we're rapidly heading off-topic. To get back on track, we can remove parts of the Laugh Factory section that are out of date and no longer relevant. We can also make the section as NPOV as possible. No we can't "minimize the event," but we can avoid maximizing it to the point where all that's been written is a lie. Acalamari 04:37, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
What exactly do you consider to be a "lie". Please be specific. --JJay 04:40, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
What I said was specific. We don't want the section to become so overdone that it's nothing more than NPOV violations and non-truths. We can't minimize the event, but we musn't "maximize" it either. Acalamari 04:45, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

Is there any chance of summarizing the incident and giving it it's own page? Bulbous 04:03, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

Bulbous -- Why do you think it deserves it's own page? Bus stop 04:08, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that I think this section deserves its own page. I was merely wondering if it was a consideration. I'm just thinking, at this point, that there is considerable text devoted to the incident, both in the article and on the talk page. I am somewhat concerned that the incident is overshadowing the main article, almost as if the page title should be "Micheal Richards/Laugh Factory incident". Of course, trimming the text would reduce that feel - but it might not be a well received idea. Bulbous 17:10, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
No. Don't create a new article. That would mean we would have to add more text, not reduce it. Also, it would highlight the incident further. There is no point in creating a new page over the event. It's good enough as it is in this article. Acalamari 04:12, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
I think it was already decided some time back that the incident didn't merit it's own page. Let's let a few more editors, who've contributed to the article in the past, weigh in on this. The reason I opened this dialogue is that I wanted people to start thinking about the future shape of this article.
To be honest, I'm not sure if these senational "tabloid" type incidents belong on Wikipedia at all. They seem to inspire so much edit warring and POV pushing in a forum that doesn't have the editorial leadership structure to properly police itself. I recently did some work on the Meg Ryan article, which also contained a similar "tabloid' incident. The majority of the editors working on the page seemed to have focused most of their energies and resources to that particular section. The long & short of it is that more than 50% of Ryan's biography detailed one interview she did three years ago about a film that was inconsequential in the context of her career as a whole. Ironically, as the incident should have beeen "fading into the past" for Meg Ryan; its Wikipedia "coverage" was growing over time.
I think it is important that the amount of space alotted to any given "incident" be weighed, balanced and put into its proper context within the WHOLE of a biography. The media has let this one go and as a "media outlet" of sorts I think we should begin to do the same. This IS the biography of a living person, and whether you like him or hate him, he deserves the same editorial respect that the professional media is giving him. To give undue focus to an incident that has past could be considered defamation of character. It's not Wikipedia's place to haunt and harass this man forever over this incident. It happened. He appologized. It appears to be over.
I'm not saying the section should be deleted. It is an important event in his life. I do think, however, that the "lawsuit" that doesn't appear to be happening can be paired down to one simple sentence. Likewise, I think it's time for some of the numerous quotations to go. I'd like to see the section reduced by 50% at this juncture. I think vandalism will be reduced if it is less inflamatory and more of a simple statement of fact. Let's see what everyone else has to say... Cleo123 05:39, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
If there is to be any reduction of the section, at minimum the views of those who were targeted by the tirade need inclusion so that readers have a more complete view of what transpired. (Netscott) 15:54, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
Okay, I reduced the section a little bit, trying very hard NOT to be too bold. I've done my best to be respectful of ALL the thoughts that other editors have shared on this page. I still think that the incident can be summarized a good deal more, but I will hold off and see what the reaction is to the minor reductions I've made. Not looking to "rock the boat" - Cleo123 06:10, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
Your edits severely reduced the parts where Kyle Doss described the events leading up to the outburst. That is bad. I've restored the first part of that. Readers need to be aware of what led to outburst. Without the part of the text wherein Doss explains the event as it unfolded the reader is left unable to fully understand it. Please don't remove that part again. (Netscott) 10:16, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
That edit is not "bad". If we are to reduce the article, we need to take an overview of it, rather than remaining with the current he said/she said format. The first thing to go would be specific quotes; particularly unsubstantiated quotes taken from unofficial sources. We don't know exactly what triggered the incident; all we have is one side of the story from a self-interested party. If we are to reduce this text, we should give a general description of the events, without giving voice to the opposing viewpoints. Bulbous 16:03, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

The next text to reduce should be the specific quote reacting to the apology. Unless someone can tell me how including that quote enhances this article, it should be enough to say that the "apology was rejected as insincere" or words to that effect. To include the specific language involved is lending the speaker a podium. Bulbous 16:14, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

I've not restored this section of text to which you refer here in your last comments... the only part that needs inclusion is the explanation for why Doss and party began to heckle Richards in the first place (in response to his "stupid blacks and Mexicans up there" comment). (Netscott) 16:28, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Netscott -- You don't know why "Doss and party began to heckle Richards in the first place." There is no "first place." "First place" is when the video begins. It is an important fact that many conveniently overlook that we don't know the genesis of the conflict. Or, do you know these details from an as yet undisclosed source? Bus stop 16:38, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Netscott - It seems to me that you are missing the point of the goal here, which as I see it is to reduce the size of this section. It seems to me that the best way to do so is with a dispassionate and impartial description of the incident itself. What you have done is to retain biased comments from one POV about the cause of the incident. If we allow this, we would have to EXPAND this article by giving voice to the opposing POV. It's not fair or balanced to have only one side describing the catalyst to the incident. Either we balance the article by eliminating participants' POV, or we balance it by being inlcusive. Bulbous 16:47, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
JJay's probably got it right...this section needs its own article much like what happened with Mel Gibson... especially now as the whole use of the word "Nigger" is more and more in the frontlines since this event. Go ahead and revert me and I'll just go ahead and start a proper article on this event. (Netscott) 16:51, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Netscott -- You say, "Go ahead and revert me and I'll just go ahead and start a proper article on this event." I guess you just went ahead and did what you wanted to in the first place, since nobody reverted you. Bus stop 18:31, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

What are you talking about? I was reverted. After having watched a CNN news report yesterday about the "n-word" as it was used in the report that again mentioned this event I realize now that it really needs its own article. (Netscott) 18:39, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Netscott -- Yes, I see your point -- you were reverted. My mistake. But still -- it was only one revert. Was there more than one revert? I apologize for incorrectly saying you were not reverted. Bus stop 16:03, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Tabloid journalism is designed to sell newspapers. It's method is to create a stir. Wikipedia is supposed to have a neutral point of view. You are not doing the reader a service by expanding on the inclusion of inflammatory comments. An incident occurred. This Wikipedia article should describe the general shape of the incident. It should not dwell on each word used by each participant. And it most certainly should not be saying that Michael Richards started the argument. That is not known. We do not know what transpired before the cell phone video began. That is pure conjecture. Bus stop 17:26, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

  • Careful: I'm seeing what looks like a revert war going on. I certainly suggest discussing the situation here more. Acalamari 16:29, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
    Netscott had no consensus in beginning the article, so I'm going to have to revert him. KramerCosmo 21:32, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
OMG! What has happened here? For the record, I went out of my way when I opened this discussion about reducing the text to leave personal messages on the talk pages of editors who had participated heavily in prior discussions - INCLUDING (Netscott). I VERY deliberately contacted editors on BOTH sides of the fence and WAITED several DAYS for them to respond. (Netscott) did not accept my invitation to participate in the discussion, instead it would appear that he has entered into a revert war, refusing to respond to other editors' valid concerns pertaining to editorial policy and legitimate requests for NPOV references. The archive contains many discussions about creating a seperate article and my perception was that a CONSENSUS had been reached that a seperate article would NOT be created. Now, it would appear that (Netscott) has created a seperate article in an attempt to RETALIATE against the majority editors, who disagree with his POV. The article should be deleted and (Netscott) should be BANNED from editing an material on Wikipedia that relates to Michael Richards. He has demonstrated extreme BIAS and he has very clearly ACTED IN BAD FAITH contrary to the spirirt of Wikipedia. Cleo123 00:16, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

The "article" which User:Netscott posted has been nominated for deletion. All interested parties can cast their vote on the AFD page [34] Cleo123 01:01, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Not sure if I understand all of the vitriol here particularly given that I was engaging a banned editor socking as User:Killroy4... if anyone's at fault here it'd be that banned user for exploding this bit of a fiasco. (Netscott) 01:03, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, but that is not how I see it. Bulbous and Bus stop were CLEARLY attempting to engage in an intelligent conversation with you above. Instead of answering their questions and addressing their concerns, you chose to THREATEN them with the creation of a seperate article. It doesn't matter whether or not it was a sock puppet that reverted you. The point is THEY didn't revert you. They were trying to reach a concensus through discussion with you and you acted improperly by creating a seperate article. I quite agree that this is a fiasco! If you really want to repair the damage that has been done, as the creator of the article, you should vote for its deletion. We can all come back to THIS talk page and try to resolve this content dispute together. Cleo123 01:38, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
For what it's worth, I don't necessarily object to the creation of a seperate article. Our focus here should be on reducing the text in as neutral a fashion as possible. Bulbous 04:52, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
Removing complainants' specific quotes regarding rejection of apology. The specific quote is inflammatory and does not enhance the section Bulbous 01:45, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Bus Stop - I proposed this change two days ago and no objections were made. Please do not indiscriminately revert without commentary on this page. Also, please describe how you think that specific quote is "pertinent" as opposed to biased and inflammatory. Bulbous 02:21, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Breakout article

The version as it is displaying currently is lacking in details that provide for more complete view of this event that the new Michael Richards Laugh Factory incident (currently) covers. This new article came about to reduce the size of this section of this article. (Netscott) 22:55, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

This section of the article is not factual (currently) due to what is known as "deception by omission". Omitting what has been shared by those who were directly involved with this event (the primary targets themselves) does not give the reader a more complete version of how the events unfolded. This section of the article lie puts this a bit more bluntly. (Netscott) 23:26, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

I don't care whether the breakout article stays or goes. But it's okay to reference the seperate "Laugh Factor incident" page in this article. If the breakout article ultimately gets deleted, only then should we remove the link.--The Fat Man Who Never Came Back 23:09, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree. I'm not ignoring the new article. I just removed the factual accuracy tag that wasn't needed. Acalamari 23:10, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
That's fine, but someone else has been removing the link to the new article altogether, which seems inappropriate to me.--The Fat Man Who Never Came Back 23:12, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
I understand Netscott's point. He wants people to be aware of the AFD. This seems like a perfect solution. There is only a one sentence difference between the two articles. (That sentence being the one other editors found objectionable.) Now people can accurately compare the "two" articles. This seems like an equitable solution that should be acceptable to all parties. Hooray for the "Fat Man" ! Cleo123 23:23, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Should we hold off?

User:Bulbous and User:Bus stop, I notice that the two of you have continued to edit the article. I agree completely with the reductions that User:Bulbous has made. (That's exactly where I was going next.) I'm wondering, however, if we shouldn't wait until the AFD process on User:Netscott's seperate article has come to a conclusion? I think it is important for the closing administrator to see the difference between the two articles, at the point when he "branched off" on his own.

Also, if his seperate article is deleted (which I suspect it may be), we will still have to work this disagreement out. We need to acheive a consensus on the reductions. I don't think it is fair to him, User:JJay and User:Tendancer to continue reducing the article without their imput. Whether the offshoot article stays or goes, we will all have to continue to work together. Your thoughts? Cleo123 02:24, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Then again - perhaps, I am being naive. A review of Netscott's recent contributions, would seem to indicate that he is now "advertising" for new editors for "his" article! LOL!!! Cleo123 02:46, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Cleo123, you know your attempts at character assasination are rather contempible. Anyone who's edited on Wikipedia for any time knows that no one owns articles. It is normal per Wikipedia:Article development that "where appropriate, add links in other articles back to your article." (Netscott) 03:12, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Character assasination? Are you kidding? I am operating in GOOD FAITH here, asking other editors to hold off on potentially controversial reductions to the text until the AFD issue is resolved. You, by contrast, have posted more than 10 links in other articles with edit summaries that contain text like this : (wikilink to the new Michael Richards Laugh Factory incident article which could use some additional editors) That is satement of FACT, not an attempt at character assasination.
The fact of the matter is your simply copy pasted the section of the article which was developed by THIS group of editors onto a new page. Apparently, you don't want to engage in an editorial debate with us anymore because your POV isn't prevailing at the moment. Now it would appear that you are "fishing" for a new group of editors to work with you on the newly formed page. I know that no one "owns" a page. I wish that you understood that. You have highjacked OUR work, taken it elsewhere, and now you seem to be trying to "replace" us because some editors disagree with you.
This is very destructive, Netscott, and I wish you would stop. There was progress being made here and you shouldn't have just "left the table" by forming a seperate article. I cannot speak for anyone else, but I personally, will welcome you back to the discussion - on THIS page, where the material belongs. Cleo123 03:36, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Netscott -- You took it upon yourself to start a new article called the Michael Richards Laugh Factory incident. That is permissible under Wikipedia guidelines. But why didn't you submit that idea for discussion among the editors at this, the Michael Richards article? Is it because you knew that most of the editors on the Michael Richards article would fail to support that idea? Clearly you did not want that idea discussed. You said that if your most recent edit was reverted you were going to start a separate article. To my knowledge that was the first time, at least recently, that you or anyone suggested that possibility. And then within moments, you went ahead and started that article. Didn't you circumvent the discussion that should have preceded such a move? Bus stop 03:44, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

You know in my efforts to keep this article in line with respect to the Laugh Factory incident I have now been reverted by socks of two banned users that have since been indefinitely blocked: User:KramerCosmo and User:Killroy4 both of which claimed "consensus" in their edits. I hear all of this talk about consensus but frankly given these oddities I have strong doubts as to any existence of such a thing on this article relative to the incident. As well I've been falsely accused of "Campaigning" for the breakout article I created (which I'm also accused of "owning") and now my seeking additional editor input on this new article through the logical wikilinking of it in appropriate places is being characterized as "advertising". For some time I have thought that this event likely warranted its own article and now that I've done more research right here on Wikipedia and seen how many other articles are pointing here in direct reference to this event my thinking has been confirmed. Let the chips fall where they may... we'll see what the community decides about this at the end of the Michael Richards Laugh Factory incident AfD. (Netscott) 04:14, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
I think everyone is upset to find that we have been dealing with sock puppets. It creates confusion for all of us. Regardless, User:Bus stop and User:Bulbous were the ones trying to discuss that matter with you, not any socks. If you were thinking about creating a seperate article for "some time", you should have opened up a discussion on the subject. I know I left you a nice note on your talk page inviting you to join the discussion about trimming the section down. I showed you and the other regular editors to the page RESPECT. I opened a discussion and waited several days, giving people time to express their views, before doing anything. When I finally acted I was as conservative as possible, trying to be as RESPECTFUL as I could of everyone's views. You should have treated the rest of us with the same respect that you have been shown. If you were thinking about starting another article, you should have opened a discussion. Instead you used this as a threat in the heat of a dispute and then acted on your threat only minutes later. Wikipedia is based upon consensus and respect for the views and contributions of others. Cleo123 06:35, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Netscott -- What you fail to understand is that the context of the article is Michael Richards. The context is not racism. You are putting the cart before the horse. Logically, the distinction is not significant. But meaningfully, it is vastly different. The same article gets written either way, by and large. Maybe a few more details get left out of the racism-oriented article concerning Richards' earlier personal history that are included in the Michael Richards-oriented article. But even the racism-oriented article has to provide some context as to who this man is who is on the stage and saying those words. The difference between the two articles is significant. In one there is a man leading a complex life who has a bad evening and says things that he regrets. In the other article there is a primarily racist incident with a man added on as an appendage. Michael Richards is not lifelong racist. The proper context of that incident is the lifetime of Michael Richards. Wikipedia should not be misrepresenting that fact. Bus stop 14:39, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Commentary: I accept a degree of responsibility for the present dilemma because I encouraged Cleo to reduce the text pertaining to the Laugh Factory incident in the Michael Richards article. But Netscott did not allow for sufficient discussion of the subject of starting a separate article before doing so. I understand Netscott's adamant refusal to allow the details of the Laugh Factory incident to be pared back. I accept that he is right about the need for a thorough coverage of the Laugh Factory incident. But I part company with him concerning the advisability of a separate article from the perspective of the incident. I should not have urged Cleo to remove material from this article concerning the Laugh Factory incident when she asked me what my thoughts were about that. I gave her the wrong advice, as I now see it with hindsight. My revised feelings are that the Laugh Factory incident should be thoroughly covered, but from the perspective of Michael Richards' life. To cover Michael Richards' life from the perspective of the Laugh Factory incident is to put undue emphasis on that incident. Bus stop 15:53, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Bus stop, It is not your "fault" that this happened. It is User:Netscott's fault if it is anyone's. With the exception of User:JJay, everyone had agreed that the section needed to be trimmed back. User:Netscott was personally invited to participate in the conversation. He didn't. He offered no imput until after User:Killroy4 reduced the text. Frankly, I think this was his plan from the outset. Please, do not allow yourself to be bullied here. Cleo123 23:23, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

"Bad faith edit?"

Bulbous -- Honestly, I don't know what you are talking about. I thought I put back words that were there for a long time. What is it that you take exception to? Bus stop 23:07, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

First of all, thanks for taking the time to discuss your change. I have two main objections: Firstly, that I proposed the changes in advance and invited commentary on them. No commentary was made prior to the change, and none was made after the revert. Secondly, the revert restores a completely redundant double citation, so it can't have been made with much forethought. Bulbous 23:13, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Bulbous -- I'm not following any of this very well. Please pardon me. I honestly didn't see your invitation for commentary. But I have a question: why are we tinkering with this article? My intention was to restore the article to the way it was about one week ago. Certainly there have been no new developments concerning Michael Richards. Do any of these changes to this article have to do with the disputed "breakaway" article? As I see it, the only issue on the agenda at this time is whether or not to have the breakaway article. Bus stop 23:25, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the response. There has been a large amount of discussion lately about reducing the text in this session. What I was attempting to do was help reduce the text devoted to the incident without compromising it. My specific edit was designed to both reduce a redundant reference, and also summarize the comments of the "victims" instead of quoting them verbatim. Bulbous 23:34, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Bulbous -- Reducing the text covering the Laugh Factory incident in this article increases the need for a separate article which examines Richards' life from the perspective of the incident of November 17, 2006. I think that is backwards. The Laugh Factory incident properly fits within the context of the life of Michael Richards. The life of Michael Richards does not properly fit within the context of the Laugh Factory incident of November 17, 2006. Bus stop 00:39, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Once again, you have restored the redundant double citation, showing that you have not given this any critical thought whatsoever. Bulbous 01:02, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
I understand what User:Bulbous is doing here. He is continuing with the work that was being done at the point when User:Netscott branched off on his own. User:Netscott's comments above would seem to indicate that he didn't have an issue with the quote in which the hecklers rejected the appology being trimmed. His issue was with the "Blacks and Mexicans" quote staying. I agree with User:Bulbous that Richards quoted appology and their quoted rejection of that appology are unnecessary. It is sufficient to say that he publicly appologized and they rejected his appology. I'm not sure, however, that User:JJay and User:Tendancer will agree with that. A compromise could be that "they rejected the appology, characterizing it as fake and insincere".
Regardless, I am concerned that this may be time wasted. It seems to me that further changes should wait until the AFD process has come to a conclusion. We will need to acheive consensus on any revisions. The content dispute with Netscott will have to be resolved either on this page or in a freestanding article. Cleo123 01:05, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

concerning the "breakaway" article

Reducing the text covering the Laugh Factory incident in this article increases the need for a separate article which examines Richards' life from the perspective of the incident of November 17, 2006. I think that is backwards. The Laugh Factory incident properly fits within the context of the life of Michael Richards. The life of Michael Richards does not properly fit within the context of the Laugh Factory incident of November 17, 2006. Bus stop 00:48, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

The creation of a seperate article has no bearing on this one. Just because a seperate article has been created covering this subject matter is no reason to cease cleanup and improvement of this article. Regardless of the fate of the "breakaway" article, this one needs to be edited for POV and other pitfalls. Bulbous 01:02, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
I understand what you are saying. I'm concerned, however, that you will do all this work only to have an "angry mob" return to this page and revert all your hard work if the free standing article is deleted. Cleo123 01:11, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
I've reverted you Bus stop. I think you got the wrong version there. Bulbous's version more clearly represents the exact point of dispute between the two versions. When Netscott reinserted the "Blacks & Mexicans" quote and was subsequently reverted by Killroy4 he created the seperate article. Cleo123 01:36, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
Also. Bulbous if you want to continue making logical POV reductions, I will not revert you. I think you may be wasting your time - but that's your call. Cleo123 01:47, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Use Of The Talk Page

Could Bulbous and Netscott please use the Talk page before making changes? Other editors, such as Cleo123, have clearly described their intended changes before making them, in order to provide time for discussion. I think this is the far more cooperative and preferable way to edit this article. Bus stop 15:03, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

If you will check the history, you will find that I have not made an edit since 1 Feb, and at that time it was ME who was demanding commentary from YOU, who was continually reverting without commentary. Bulbous 22:21, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
I'm going to have to agree with Netscott on this one. We do stil have a POV problem which still needs to be worked out, as Bulbous has previously pointed out. Bus stop, can you explain why you think that it is important to keep the phrase "It was a career move"? To my mind, saying that they thought the appology was "fake" and "insincere" is sufficeint. I don't think we need to quote everyone in full. We did, afterall, cut Richards quoted appology. Cleo123 23:14, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
I'm going to revert CloneGuards edit, for the following reasons:
1) He has restored the nonsensical redundant double cite.
2) He has removed the "neutrality" tag, when this section's neutrality is clearly disputed.
3) His "editors note" seems to suggest that consensus on the wording has been reached. In fact, this is one of the most contested sections that I have seen on Wikipedia (although I have no doubt there are more hotly contested articles).
Bulbous 23:34, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
Judging by the talk page commentary here I see only one individual (so far) who's not in agreeance with Bulbous' and my edits. I'm not counting User:CloneGuard because I'm about 95% sure that user is another sockpuppet of a banned user. As things stand now, can we kindly re-establish the version where Bulbous' reduced quote is in effect? (Netscott) 00:14, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Cleo123 An important issue is the apology. It has been firmly established that Richards made racist comments. But it has not been clearly established, or established at all, that he offered what was a sincere apology. Doss and McBride should be allowed to express their view on this. Why do you feel that their expressed sentiments should be reduced? I do not advocate that Richards' remarks of a racist nature, said while he was up on the Laugh Factory stage, be trimmed back in any way. I don't advocate that because those statements describe the issue. Bus stop 00:29, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

It's OK, Cleo123. The neutrality of the Talk page is disputed. Bus stop 01:14, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

We don't need to give space at all to hecklers' further maligning of the subject. This is far too much detail for a one-off incident and out of proportion to the size of the article. Wikipedia is not a newspaper. Tyrenius 01:21, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
  1. ^
  2. ^ Access Hollywood (2006). "Michael Richards hecklers tell their story" (HTML). MSNBC. Retrieved 2006-11-24. 
  3. ^ NBC (2006). "Michael Richard's Hecklers Interviewed by Matt Lauer" (HTML). TV News. YouTube. Retrieved 2006-11-27.