Talk:Mike Cernovich

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Rewrite this article or delete it[edit]

This article looks like a halfassed rush job written two years ago that nobody has bothered to update since. If you want a good example of why Wikipedia generally isn't considered a reliable source, this article is perfect. Pretty much any weakness or drawback that Wikipedia has, or is accused of having, this article has in spades,

·It's outdated (Its literally a 2016 time capsule) ·It's very sparse information wise, much of the content and information you usually see in BLP is either lacking or completely missing. ·Bizarre weight/cherry picked. If you're here to read about stuff nobody cares about from 2 or 3 years ago, this article is perfect. If you want to read about things usually found in a BLP, you're sorely out of luck. Same goes if you're interested in anything more recent than 2016. ·Bizarre weight 2: Whipping the dead horse. So much of the article revolves around the 16 election. Seriously WHO CARES? (I'm sure whoever wrote this atrocity believes it was the biggest deal ever, though!) A third of Americans didn't give a sh*t back In 16' since they didnt bother to vote, and guess what: They care even less now.

Anyways, Inoriginally came here because I've seen the guys movie and wanted to know a little more. I noticed that the information about the movie was missing, and tried to fix it by adding it. But was immediately reverted. Why? Something about the sources, blah blah. Well no wonder the reliable sources don't call him a filmmaker, they're all from years ago, whereas Silenced just came out.

I can now see why it's such a shit tier article. Whoever is responsible apparently believes that the reputable source from 2016 knows better than the 2018 Reputable Source that is IMDB.

(This seems like a violation of wikipedias own policy on reputable sources: Age matters. Or if not a straight out violation, then definetely ignoring it because "nobody can add stuff to MY article but me" or something like that. Whatever.)

TLDR Please rewrite or delete it. It's awful and the internet deserves better. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:14, 26 June 2018‎

K. Find reliable sources. IMDB isn't a reliable source for this kind of thing, per WP:ELPEREN and Wikipedia:Citing IMDb. He's produced documentaries, but he's also produced protein shake recipes. Who cares? Reliable sources need to explain why it's important. Grayfell (talk) 00:50, 26 June 2018 (UTC)

This article is more of a hit piece than an article. I didn't know who Cernovich was, which was why I came here, and with such prior ignorance, I can say it was obviously written by people who don't care much for him. Objectivity means the reader shouldn't be able to discern the opinions or biases of the author. --AdamSmith343 (talk) 13:22, 11 September 2018 (UTC)

“it was obviously written by people who don't care much for him” - In a way; you could say that I suppose. When a person makes it their life’s goal to make sure people who write things in mainstream sources write crappy things about them, the existence of a compendium of info taken from mainstream sources probably doesn’t do them much credit. The article isn’t authored by Wikipedia editors, it’s compiled. If you think the material lacks proper attribution, do feel free to add it. Edaham (talk) 15:55, 11 September 2018 (UTC)
I have attempted to introduce relevant and neutral information to organize and balance the information in the post but the other users keep reverting it back. Despite my many adjustments I just cannot seem to get interactive feedback or compromise.Chadfelixgreene (talk) 21:09, 28 May 2019 (UTC)
No one cares about your "neutral" attempt at "correcting" your close friend's Wikipedia page. (Personal attack removed) You are not a journalist either, stop claiming you are. 2607:FEA8:9620:1108:4A7:59B1:4539:347 (talk) 11:36, 1 June 2019 (UTC)

This is why Wikipedia has cultivated a reputation for bias. I don't know much about Cernovich, but the article in question is a great example of how not to write an unbiased encyclopedic entry. And when someone points out the obvious hack job of an entry, someone responds with "No one cares about your "neutral" attempt at "correcting" your close friend's Wikipedia page. Simply put, fuck off". I will use this page, and others on Wikipedia, to demonstrate to others why this site is not a reliable source of information. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2600:1702:1b0:ae90:1092:273b:3736:9648 (talk) 01:36, 10 July 2019 (UTC)

Southern Poverty Law Center[edit]

The validity of SPLC assertions has been brought into question by recent journalism and scholarship. This article is about a living person. Due diligence must be paid so as to avoid including defamatory information in wikipedia. Including defamatory statements supported by citations from unreliable sources is not consistent with wikipedia policy. See: — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sbelknap (talkcontribs) 02:25, 21 April 2019 (UTC)

"Brought into question"... by who, now? Is this different from the countless other times this has been discussed at WP:RSN and elsewhere? Grayfell (talk) 02:27, 21 April 2019 (UTC)
Twitter no longer uses SPLC for their Trust and Safety Council:
Sbelknap (talk) 03:05, 21 April 2019 (UTC)
So in other words: yes. This is the exact same waffle which has already been discussed dozens of times, and none of these sources mention Cernovich at all. Got it. See Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Perennial sources#Southern Poverty Law Center, or search the archives or WP:RSN. Wordpress? Seriously? Grayfell (talk) 03:14, 21 April 2019 (UTC)
Twitter dropped SPLC as a source only recently. The wordpress link is to the Montgomery Advertiser 8 part series, which is well-written and interesting throughout. The New York Times article is recent. The turnover of senior leadership at SPLC is quite recent. Recently, there has been both internal and external criticism of the reliability of SPLC designation of hate groups and radical individuals, and this recent criticism of SPLC is not just from the targets of SPLC or right-wing sources. In other words, no. This is new, has not been discussed dozens of times, as you assert. The issue is whether or not SPLC is a reliable source, and this issue is not specific to Cernovich.Sbelknap (talk) 03:26, 21 April 2019 (UTC)
"Twitter dropped SPLC as a source only recently. " What does this even mean? Volunteer Marek (talk) 03:31, 21 April 2019 (UTC)
Twitter has a "Trust and Safety Council" of organizations/individuals that they rely on for advice as to how Twitter assesses whether certain groups are hate groups and whether certain persons are extremists. Twitter bases decisions about access to their platform based (in part) on the recommendations from the members of this council. The link provided above shows that Twitter no longer includes SPLC as a partner for their Trust and Safety Council.Sbelknap (talk) 03:40, 21 April 2019 (UTC)

Changes should be made to fix the neutrality of the article[edit]

This article seems heavily focused to degrade the subject's reputation, especially with the way it's written to highlight the negative aspects of the subject. Changes should be made to make the article more neutral in tone and less biased against the subject. andritolion (talk) 05:14, 2 May 2019 (UTC)

The subjects only notability is his reputation afforded to him in reliable sources. Koncorde (talk) 05:18, 2 May 2019 (UTC)
There seem to be few if any reliable sources cited here. Someone literally cited Buzzfeed, a site best known for making "top 10" lists, as evidence for "misinformation" he's allegedly spread. What was the misinformation? Editor doesn't say. This isn't an article. It's a political smear piece, and we should all be ashamed.Ceran (talk) 03:59, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
In the future, please post new comments at the bottom of the section. Buzzfeed News is reliable, per many past discussions. This is summarized at WP:RSP. Since Wikipedia isn't a platform for spreading misinformation, the specific details of Cernovich's misinformation don't belong here in this article unless we are willing to expand this with a lot more context. Grayfell (talk) 07:36, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
Now that I have researched more heavily, I now understand why the article is written in this way. Tons of sources support the claims made in this article. I'm sorry for causing a disruption with adding POV tag before researching the subject. At first glance, the article seemed to smell of bias, but when I looked into it, I saw that most of the supposed bias could be supported by several sources. Again, I profusely apologize for wasting everyone's time and energy for a fault on my part (not researching the subject enough). andritolion (talk) 15:03, 2 May 2019 (UTC)
The subject is highly controversial, however the controversy can be put into the context of his work and direct quotes. The content needs more detail and more background surrounding it and I attempted to add more objective factual biographical information rather than commentary. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Chadfelixgreene (talkcontribs) 18:49, 28 May 2019 (UTC)
"In context" sounds suspiciously like synthesis. We use reliable sources. If there is no context in the reliable sources it is unlikely to be represented in this article. Koncorde (talk) 23:10, 28 May 2019 (UTC)

Proposed Content[edit]


I have taken the information already provided and cited previously and rearranged it into relevant categories. The controversies seem to fit better listed under Social Media > Controversies.

It is normal for a public figure to have a listing of their relevant work history. I listed his published books, blogs, podcasts, TV interviews and other writings. I included more details on his 'views' in order to flesh out the factual information based on his own quotes.

I think it should be as neutral as possible. I did not realize linking to the Amazon page and quoting the summary was 'promotion' lol. So instead I listed each book as a title and date with a brief description. I did link to IMDb for the films, but this can be easily undone if inappropriate.

I did my best to provide a clear and valid citation for every other statement.

The original was far too sparse and editorial. I would appreciate as much feedback as possible, but I would ask that we do not return it to the original and instead update sections and content as needed. Thank you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Chadfelixgreene (talkcontribs) 18:45, 28 May 2019 (UTC)

Per concerns I have reduced the bibliography of the subject to bullet points with no links or additional information. I have only added factual, objective and cited information to improve the content and organized it into a more standard layout. I would appreciate any feedback. I welcome any content edits, but reverting back to the universally agreed-upon inappropriate version seems unnecessary. Thank you Chadfelixgreene (talk) 3:15PM 28 May 2019
Bold changes are one thing, but wholesale changes and removal of sourced content (or changing of it to whitewash) is not. Koncorde (talk) 19:27, 28 May 2019 (UTC)
I did not make wholesale changes. I reorganized the information already in the article into standard categories and added information. I did not whitewash anything. In face I combined and added additional citation to the original content. The content itself was sparse and editorial. I added relevant content to the subject's work and quoted him directly provided multiple perspectives on each subject for balance. The original only provided negative information in a highly disorganized manner and left out relevant professional information on the subject. Please address the content. The original version, as everyone above has noted, is too sparse, biased on its own. I am following the stated protocols of *adding* balancing information. I did not remove information. I am attempting to create a framework for additional information to be placed. The subject is far more complex than the original content which merely cited his controversies. The current information I have added should be neutral enough to edit around. That is all I am asking for. Please consider editing the content around the structure. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Chadfelixgreene (talkcontribs) 19:36, 28 May 2019 (UTC)
I also apologize for multiple reverts. This is my first article edit and I assumed the process required resubmitting the changes with further explanation in the content. I did not realize *this* was the appropriate forum. Please do not interpret my actions as aggressive. I was frustrated, but I did not mean to be too pushy. I really was just trying to set up a good layout to add or adjust information. The original did not have structure to make such edits. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Chadfelixgreene (talkcontribs) 19:48, 28 May 2019 (UTC)

I am not sure what information you Koncorde are requiring. But I will do my best. The information within the first three sentences resides within the article itself in appropriate categories. All I did was create a standard biographical layout, organize the original information into sections and then added additional sections with relevant professional information. The original post has multiple duplicate statements which I combined in appropriate sections.

I separated Early Life and Career. I moved all controversies into a section titled 'Controversies.' Under Career I added information regarding his written work and filmmaking. I organized his Views section and added several additional others relevant to the information in the original post and literally copy and pasted the original content into those categories. I did nothing whatsoever to the content of the 'sexual harassment' section content or the section already marked as needing another look as it was too dense for the subject.

I added: A list of his books. A list of his films. A list of his blogs. A list of his TV appearances with commentary already within the original article. I added a sentence of biographical information from his autobiographical book under his Early Life and a sentence updating his daughters on his personal life. I reserved the introductory paragraph for as neutral information as possible, adding to the list already present. It is factual that is he best known for his book and film. I added to the list of his views by citing his direct statements both pro and against for each one for balance as best as possible. The career introduction is an objective statement of the timeline of his career.

The current outline does not allow constructive edits and it is obvious the bias is to present only negative controversies where the information does not belong. I am attempting to add content and balance to the information already present without removing any of that information. Chadfelixgreene (talk) 20:05, 28 May 2019 (UTC)

Read WP:NOTEVERYTHING: we don't need to add a list of everything he has ever produced. We need to look at what reliable secondary sources say about him. His tweets and self-published books are not reliable except for wholly uncontroversial information about himself. If he is 'best known' for his book and his film, please provide reliable sources that support that claim. Nblund talk 22:38, 28 May 2019 (UTC)
Chad, your explanation does not explain why you classify him as "centre right" (something no reliable source has ever approached as a description of his politics) or why you have received Alt-Right, which is sourced and is entirely the reason he has any significant notability (along with well documented conspiracy theories). Just on those changes alone I have less than 0 time to consider any other amendments, but per Nblund above, his own opinion about himself can best be summed up as "self described" if there are reputable sources to say otherwise. Claims of "personal fulfilment" and "metaphysical philosophy" would require some quite special sourcing. Koncorde (talk) 23:08, 28 May 2019 (UTC)
These are not the standards provided for most authors or public figures or even controversial figures. See: Ann Coulter. The sources provided in the current version are by no means neutral or authoritative and several contradict themselves. They are simply biased. It seems completely unreasonable to argue that it is inappropriate to list the published books and films of a person listed as a writer and filmmaker in all other instances. The views section is commonly sourced by quoting the subject directly. You cannot reasonably look at the current version and contend it provides a neutral and educational account of the subject in question. Why would you be opposed to *balanced* information regarding the subject? That is the point of a biography, to provide information on all aspects of the individual in question. As has been contended previously, the 'alt-right' label is misused. As I provided sourcing for, the subject originally supported the ideals of the Alt-Right movement, became critical of it and then completely disavowed it. The biased media reports that continue to use that label for him use the word to describe Ben Shapiro too. It is not authoritative or reasonable as a title. The same for 'conspiracy theorist.' Some title him that. It is reasonable to state he is considered *by some* to be a conspiracy theorist. He did write for an established constitutional legal review. He is well-known in the health and fitness world. His book Gorilla Mindset is his best selling book and his documentary Hoaxed is his most notable film. These are facts. The current information in the profile are based on *opinions* others have written about him. I did not remove any information about his actions or statements. So why would you consider *opinions* written about him as solid sourcing but reject mundane factual information such as him having two daughters and being published in a reputable law review? I just don't think this all or nothing approach is rational. Finally, the **structure** of the current profile is not standard, poorly designed and agreed-upon by all voices in this thread as needing revised. I can understand why you would challenge certain statements about him such as being 'center-right' (how he describes himself and based on his actual actions politically) but I don't understand why you would oppose a logical breakdown of his actual early life, his actual career and then discuss the controversies surrounding him. (talk) 14:30, 30 May 2019 (UTC)
Because, per WP:NPOV, we discuss viewpoints in proportion to their coverage in reliable sources. Cernovich is not a reliable source, and mainstream reliable sources describe him as a far right conspiracy theorist who is best known for advocating Pizzagate. Per WP:ABOUTSELF: we can use his self-published works as sources for wholly uncontroversial facts, but not for self-serving claims about how great his books are or how he's "actually center-right". We aren't his publicists. Nblund talk 18:09, 30 May 2019 (UTC)
As per Nblund, but also I don't believe anyone would object to refactoring this article, but what was approached by Chad was not a subtle refactoring of content but a clear ideological sanitising of reliably sourced information and insertion of vanity items. In and of themselves, mentioning of his published media etc and early life is fine and should and could be composed - but it should be sourced from independent sources, oabd reliable ones at that. It is unfortunately, as with the issue with Philip Roth a few years back, that weight of sources is often more significant than primary sourcing (which should only be used for limited factual uncontroversial content). Koncorde (talk) 18:31, 30 May 2019 (UTC)

Also, going to point out that Greene is really good friends with Cernovich. The fact he's trying to whitewash the man's page as a biased editor needs to be heavily scrutinized. I do not think the man has any intent of editing WP in good faith whatsoever. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2607:FEA8:9620:1108:4A7:59B1:4539:347 (talk) 11:41, 1 June 2019 (UTC)

Motives or not, please don't cast aspersions or make personal attacks. I am sure a lot of people are friends of subjects on Wikipedia, but providing they use reliable sources I don't think we have anything to worry about. Koncorde (talk) 11:46, 1 June 2019 (UTC)

Greene is very clearly promoting Cernovich's work and whitewashing the article. I understand it's bad form to lodge such accusations, but there's no way his actions can be seen as being in good faith.

While we're on the subject of proposed content, however, Cernovich himself has publicly stated himself to be "alt-right." Would it not be more accurate to characterize him as "alt-right," rather than simply "right wing?" His entire notoriety comes entirely from his activities in the political fringe (ie Pizzagate). I'm right wing, this dude's very clearly an extremist: "I went from libertarian to alt-right after realizing tolerance only went one way and diversity is code for white genocide." — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2607:FEA8:9620:1108:4A7:59B1:4539:347 (talk) 12:28, 1 June 2019 (UTC) There is no evidence I attempted 'whitewash' anything. As I stated many time previously, I included all original content in more logical categories and added *balance*

I do not know Mike Cernovich personally. But it seems there is a very strong bias towards rejecting *neutral* relevant information in favor of pure negative storytelling. The detractors here have not provided any substantial complaint. They have only refused to allow neutral and common wiki bio info added in favor of negative editorializing.

Its fine.

I am working with wikipedia currently to address this.

However it should be noted by anyone who recognizes why the current version is deeply flawed, disorganized and designed to portray an image rather than give basic bio details that neutral additions or even changes to structure will be blocked by biased bullies intent on political nonsense.LGBTWikiguy 23:59, 4 June 2019 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Chadfelixgreene (talkcontribs)

Unfortunately you have misrepresented your edits, so I cannot agree. Nobody would object to improvements, but your changes under the guise of "balance" are anything but, and I believe you are completely aware of this. I would suggest if you have structural changes and biographical information to add that you do so in piecemeal. Koncorde (talk) 00:58, 5 June 2019 (UTC)

This article[edit]

This is not a forum for discussing Wikipedia in general. This is the talk page for this specific article. Since there are no specific proposals for this article, this is not productive. Grayfell (talk) 02:45, 1 August 2019 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Articles like this (smears) are exactly why I will NEVER contribute to Wikipedia! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:54, 9 July 2019 (UTC)

Cernovich may or may not deserve a bad reputation, but you're right in that this page is a clear attempt to smear the person's character. This is a poor example at an encyclopedic article. But, this appears to be a trend on Wikipedia. This site is NOT a reliable source and people should stop treating it as such. It's beyond salvaging at this point. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2600:1702:1B0:AE90:1092:273B:3736:9648 (talk) 01:40, 10 July 2019 (UTC)
Instead of complaining, why don't you suggest specific problems you have with this article and ways that it can be improved? Liz Read! Talk! 04:01, 10 July 2019 (UTC)
The problem isn't specific to this article. The problem is the site at large. The types of sources that the site deems reliable includes sources that really shouldn't be considered as trustworthy, like opinion pieces and sources that have an obvious political bias. Many of the sources that are deemed reliable have pushed numerous stories that were demonstrably false and misleading. This article claims Cernovich is known for pushing fake news, and this may very well be true, but the very sources that Wikepedia seems to favor do this regularly. But, that's the current state of our culture. No one is interested in truth; everyone seems determined to push a narrative.
And as a result, you have articles like this. I do not like or support Cernovich, but it is clearly written as a smear piece and not as a neutral encyclopedic entry. And there are dozens and dozens and dozens of articles like this on Wikipedia. The idea of an open-source encyclopedia seems like a good idea in theory, until you actually see how it plays out in practice. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2600:1702:1b0:ae90:2de6:6c41:f136:6b2b (talk) 13:50, 21 July 2019 (UTC)

Culture war[edit]

The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

I heard that Wikipedia is now so biased that teachers are starting to find it unfit for use in school. Bias is great, but the individuals running Wikipedia have now been revealed, and so it is time to either decide to kick out biased people, or for Wikipedia to embrace a new official image of not pretending to be neutral in matters of views and values. -- (talk) 07:29, 11 July 2019 (UTC)

To quote one of the greatest minds of the last century; "Yeah, well that's just, like, your opinion, man." The only people that would think Wikipedia is bias are those who don't agree with reliable sources. If you believe all media and authoritative sources other than the ones you favour are bias or "fake news" then it doesn't really matter what Wikipedia does. In the end teachers would not use Wikipedia, and they would not recommend Wikipedia other than for factual information in practical subjects and warn students not to rely upon it. They should use the reliable and authoritative sources that Wikipedia only reflects. Students should not rely upon it, but it can be a great gateway to other sources. Koncorde (talk) 08:48, 11 July 2019 (UTC
wikipedia is biased trash, use it only for science/tech articles — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:48, 13 July 2019 (UTC)
Because science can't be skewed by politics amirite? If there are no actual suggestions to improve this article, I take it this soapbox can be hatted? Koncorde (talk) 08:21, 13 July 2019 (UTC)

Lede fails to mention any positive news about Cernovich even though it exists from reliable sources[edit]

The entire introduction to Cernovich is sharply negative. It does not give multiple sides to a very complex public figure; only the side that condemns him. Many people think he should be condemned; that is not an excuse to only provide that side.

Therefore, I added an NPOV dispute.

The NPOV flag was removed and I was asked to contribute using reliable sources.

Therefore, I added sections from mainstream sources (Washington Post and the Hill) that provided other sides to Cernovich left of out of the sharply negative introduction.

Then I was told that the word "praised" was not necessarily accurate when the Washington Post said "Cernovich has in recent months broken several legitimate stories."

So I changed to "confirmed". User NBlund, you summarize as "Self described journalist publishes true story" and "he recently published some stories that weren't false"; neither is correct; in fact, they note the he broke true stories -- that is investigative journalism and deserves to be listed along with false things he has reported.

Either we need to add balance to the into discussion -- such as the Washington Post's reporting of the stories he broke -- or we need an NPOV flag. — Preceding unsigned comment added by MaximumIdeas (talkcontribs) 02:40, 1 August 2019‎ (UTC)

Your proposal of "balance" seems like false balance. The Washington Post story's second sentence is this: "Cernovich — a controversial far-right figure who has promoted blatantly false conspiracy theories, such as the discredited "Pizzagate" hoax — was the source of a big BuzzFeed scoop Monday night."[1] From the beginning, the source strongly emphasizes that he is primarily known for fake news. The story also goes into detail about the many ethical problems with Cernovich's checkbook journalism. The issue is not just that broke stories, it's how he broke them. That's what the source is explaining.
Your edit also misrepresented the source in a more direct way, since it is not The Washington Post saying he's "broken several legitimate..." it's Buzzfeed editor Ben Smith being quoted by the Washington Post. Context matters, and he is being quoted because he is defending the use of a source which everyone involved recognizes as having a dubious reputation. The Washington Post story also links some other stories as context. One of those points out that Alex Jones also "scooped" the story, and that both Jones and Cernovich produce such a high volume of speculative material that they are almost guaranteed to occasionally get it right. Angry guessing isn't journalism, InfoWars isn't a reliable source, and Cernovich still isn't defined by reliable sources as a reputable journalist. Grayfell (talk) 03:04, 1 August 2019 (UTC)

Thanks you for the comments. I agree, the Washington Post leads by noting his checkered history; so does the Wikipedia article. The difference is that, without my added paragraph, the Wikipedia intro conveys no redeeming qualities; the Washington Post article, on the other hand, is more fair in providing this more complete picture.

You suggest that "angry guessing isn't journalism", but in this case it wasn't angry guessing, rather Cernovich obtained a primary source that was the story. This is why it's phrased as "several legitimate stories" not "angry guessing".

The Washington Post article notes that Ben Smith said that Cernovich has in recent months broken several legitimate stories, but the Post article's phrasing also takes that position itself. "As Smith notes, Cernovich has in recent months broken several legitimate stories" indicates agreement with Smith. Regardless, if you want to add the additional context you mention, that seems reasonable. — Preceding unsigned comment added by MaximumIdeas (talkcontribs) 03:34, 1 August 2019 (UTC)

Per Greyfell; the additional context just makes the Stopped Clock argument, it's right twice a day, but that doesn't make it accurate and nobody is going to espouse it's benefits. Koncorde (talk) 06:52, 1 August 2019 (UTC)
The Washington Post didn't say "Cernovich is like a stopped clock. Right twice a day." Rather they noted his checkered past, as Wikipedia already does as well, and then said "As Smith notes, Cernovich has in recent months broken several legitimate stories". This is simply bringing the balance of Wikipedia's description in line with outlets like the Washington Post.— Preceding unsigned comment added by MaximumIdeas (talkcontribs)
WP:SURPRISEME. Journalists are supposed to break true stories rather than false ones. Dan Rather's lead doesn't list the various times he was correct, it lists the one major instance where he was wrong. The Conyers story does not appear to come up in more recent coverage of him (1, 2), so I don't really think it's lead-worthy. Even if the Conyers story is mentioned, the edit I removed seemed to imply that there was some dispute as to whether or not he was actually a serious journalist. That is not consistent with any of the coverage - which is ultimately about the ethical questions of serious news organizations working with people who were well-known for publishing falsehoods. Nblund talk 15:35, 1 August 2019 (UTC)

Yes, journalists are supposed to break true stories rather than false ones. Cernovich has done both, according to the Washington Post. Right now the lede only says Cernovich broke false ones, and therefore is not balanced. — Preceding unsigned comment added by MaximumIdeas (talkcontribs) 23:01, 1 August 2019 (UTC)

Please sign your posts. See Help:Signatures
"Balance" doesn't mean false balance. This one quote from one source, taken out of context, doesn't belong in the lede just because it creates the impression of balance. Grayfell (talk) 23:18, 1 August 2019 (UTC)
Yes, I agree that "balance" doesn't mean "false balance". Balance means that if someone breaks stories -- some false and some true -- that you mention both; not just one or the other.
If you want to add the Washington Post's whole statement ("As Smith notes, Cernovich has in recent months broken several legitimate stories") to address your context concern, that seems reasonable. MaximumIdeas (talk) 14:42, 2 August 2019 (UTC)
It really doesn't mean that. If that were the case, then we would talk about any of the true stories Stephen Glass, or Jayson Blair wrote in the leads of those articles, and we would have to discuss the times Brian Williams shared anecdotes that weren't fabricated.
WP:DUE says we cover things in proportion to their coverage in reliable sources. That means that a single sentence in the 24th paragraph of a 30 paragraph news article shouldn't be accorded the same weight as facts that are consistently noted as defining incidents in someone's career. This is true even if the more widely covered facts give a bad impression of a person. Cernovich's accurate stories are really only noteworthy because of his long career of publishing blatant falsehoods. Highlighting them in the lead is sort of like talking about all the people Jeffrey Dahmer didn't eat. Nblund talk 15:30, 2 August 2019 (UTC)
Wait, didn't I mention the stopped clock analogy already? The fact he is wrong 22 out of 24 claims doesn't mean we balance the 2 times he may have been right, especially if the sources do not treat his two successes as of a particular significance. That is quote mining. Koncorde (talk) 16:44, 2 August 2019 (UTC)

In the Williams, Glass, and Blair stories, it does effectively note that they covered things correctly as well. For instance, Blair is a former "American journalist". For Williams, "NBC News was awarded the Peabody Award for its coverage of Hurricane Katrina, and Williams accepted the award on behalf of the organization", etc. Nobody would come away from the Williams, Glass, and Blair stories thinking that they had never broken real stories too -- appropriately. On the other hand, as it stands now, pretty much everyone would come away with the sense that Cernovich does not break legitimate stories. When, as the Washington Post notes, he has. ("As Smith notes, Cernovich has in recent months broken several legitimate stories") That misimpression that people come away with is what makes the current page deeply in violation of Wikipedia's neutrality guidelines.MaximumIdeas (talk) 17:15, 2 August 2019 (UTC) Koncorde, not quote mining; the entire Washington Post article is about how Cernovich has broken real stories. MaximumIdeas (talk) 17:17, 2 August 2019 (UTC)

Except it really isn't, is it? It's about him potentially paying for some documents, which is the antithesis of journalistic ethics, to provide them under agreement to BuzzFeed. And while he may have broken some stories, the article is not crediting them as journalism. "Legitimate stories" is what everybody is supposed to do. Doing it is meant to be the job. Now, getting an award for it may be significant per your samples you have, but by and large we do not discuss every thing a journalist does. Koncorde (talk) 18:09, 2 August 2019 (UTC)

Is it? Again: "As Smith notes, Cernovich has in recent months broken several legitimate stories". It is unfair to this public figure, and to readers, to give the impression that he is only a fake news practitioner.

Wikipedia's NPOV guidelines state that articles "must be written from a neutral point of view (NPOV), which means representing fairly, proportionately, and, as far as possible, without editorial bias, all of the significant views that have been published by reliable sources on a topic."

The Washington Post quote is a significant view that has been published by reliable sources on this topic.MaximumIdeas (talk) 19:19, 2 August 2019 (UTC)

You said "entire" it clearly isn't. And picking out a single quote in a single article versus all other content on the same subject is not necessarily "proportionate" or "significant". No one disputes the WaPo reliability, or that the sentence exists. The question is context, and relevance. As stated, a stopped clock is right twice a day. The significance of the stopped clock is that it is stopped, not that it has been right at some time. Koncorde (talk) 20:06, 2 August 2019 (UTC)

The Washington Post did not say "Cernovich, like a broken clock, has been right twice." It said "As Smith notes, Cernovich has in recent months broken several legitimate stories". The context within the Post story, about Cernovich's failures, is already in Wikipedia's intro. This is why I suggest adding the part that is not already in the Wikipedia page. Surely, the fact that he "has broken several legitimate stories" is a "significant view" that is critical to represent. MaximumIdeas (talk) 00:37, 5 August 2019 (UTC)

Again, this is one brief paragraph plucked from a much longer article. Since I do not accept "balance" as a valid argument, I do not accept that this quote belongs in the lede. Grayfell (talk) 01:29, 5 August 2019 (UTC)
Maximum, no, a significant view would be "Mike Cernovich is a pulitzer winning journalist", or something that he is actually notable for or becomes notable for. Assisting in the Buzzfeed article for instance may be notable to him, but it is one single instance in over 15 years to everybody else? Several "legitimate stories" equally might indicate a trend of improvement, but that should be recognised within the main narrative of the article. He is still not notable for the legitimate stories, and it is not a significant view (certainly not for the lede). At best you might get a sentence in the relevant section that "In an interview for the Washington Post, Cernovich emphasised he was making a greater effort to be accurate in the last year. //BuzzFeed editor// recognised he had broken several legitimate stories leading up to his contribution to the John Conyers article that was broken by the website in XXXX". Koncorde (talk) 13:22, 5 August 2019 (UTC)
There needs to be something -- doesn't need to be big -- in the lede saying he also breaks legitimate stories, to avoid the false impression that page currently gives that he is purely a con artist. Perhaps we can have a consensus around the wording that you give above, but in the lede?MaximumIdeas (talk) 20:31, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
When there is a significant view to that effect, it will be represented. At present there is a single sentence in a single article, in 2019, after over a fifteen years of other stuff. 1 marginally positive reference after 15 years is not balance, especially when the "stories" broken are not particularly notable (I mean, they aren't even listed), or in the Conyers case the notability is from how he ended up contributing, and how it is incongruous. Koncorde (talk) 20:50, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
It is already a significant view. There are more such articles in reliable outlets -- a search turns them up. How many makes it "significant", to you? MaximumIdeas (talk) 22:23, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
Just looking for general sources I have found three lengthy articles specifically saying that Cernovich likes to give out unsolicited and overly-fussy fashion advice. (All of them also mention his extreme political positions and conspiracy theories, by the way). Even with substantial sources, this still doesn't belong in the lede. Not every WP:FART belongs in the lede. Being verifiable isn't enough. It's also not enough to just vaguely assert that some reliable sources exist. All sources are judged in context, and we, as editors, don't have to play stupid to self-aggrandizement and naked media manipulation. Grayfell (talk) 22:54, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
Again, that context is already given in the entire lede as is. Nobody is suggesting the fake stuff (the context) not be mentioned. All that is asked is that the significant view that has made contributions as well, be noted. How many general sources, in your view, would make that a significant view? MaximumIdeas (talk) 23:11, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
1,000? 1,000,000? 1? It would depend upon what in and of itself is noteworthy. You don't seem to be understanding this process, so if you think you have a wealth of sources saying he is a notable reliable journalist of significant repute - present them. Koncorde (talk) 23:19, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
Let's be clear, nobody is saying he is a "notable reliable journalist of significant repute" -- I never suggested that, as you can see by reviewing our thread. What I do suggest is noting the significant viewpoint that the Washington Post notes, namely that "As Smith notes, Cernovich has in recent months broken several legitimate stories". Here's yet another Washington Post piece that says: "Cernovich broke some real news" ( ). And yes, this is in the context of fake news he has pushed; and again, that context already constitutes the majority of his Wikipedia lede; what's needed now is the add the significant viewpoint at the center of the context you note.
More on it being a significant viewpoint:
Here is a Daily Caller article linking to The Hill, The New Yorker and Buzzfeed News, saying that Cernovich has real sources and scoops:
Surely, if anything is a "significant view", this is. MaximumIdeas (talk) 15:42, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
What is significant about him occasionally being right? Koncorde (talk) 17:17, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
To be clear, it is not about him being right (everyone is right sometimes) but rather about him breaking investigative stories (something very few people do.) The current lede portrays him as being a pure con-artist. This perception is not accurate, as multiple reliable news outlets have gone out of their way to note. Perhaps we can agree that is significant. I appreciate the dialogue here by the way, and you guys keeping crazy changes off the page, but maybe we can agree that this is a major view that should be added. — Preceding unsigned comment added by MaximumIdeas (talkcontribs) 17:53, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
Then unfortunately at the moment I don't agree. Reliable sources are overwhelming in their analysis of his behaviour and conduct. His breaking of "legitimate stories" isn't particularly quantifiable, and is quickly outweighed by his moves against Gunn and Seder (amongst other things). Again, unfortunately your push for balance remains, as I stated originally, a push for a stopped clock. At present narratively I can see something, but it would be distinctively out of balance for the lede. Koncorde (talk) 20:25, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
Seconded I don't think that is significant - as evidenced by the fact that the Washington Post begins an article by characterizing him as the poster boy for fake news, and waits until halfway down the page to acknowledge that one time he broke a story which, while still bullshit in a way, was not a complete fabrication. It's been 7 days of this argument, and I'm not remotely persuaded. It's probably time to drop it. Nblund talk 20:31, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
This article clearly and dramatically fails Wikipedia's NPOV standard.
There is demonstrably a significant view (backed up by multiple reliable sources) that Cernovich has broken legitimate stories -- as the Washington Post puts it: "As Smith notes, Cernovich has in recent months broken several legitimate stories". In addition, this Daily Caller article linking to The Hill, The New Yorker and Buzzfeed News, saying that Cernovich has real sources and scoops:
Wikipedia's NPOV guidelines state that articles "must be written from a neutral point of view (NPOV), which means representing fairly, proportionately, and, as far as possible, without editorial bias, all of the significant views that have been published by reliable sources on a topic."
This article clearly fails that standard, and even could be considered legally defamatory in many countries, especially given that we are all now aware of the multiple reliable sources covering his legitimate reporting.
You suggest it is "time to drop" the discussion, but we do not have consensus. I will raise this for dispute resolution. I'm honestly new to this process and interested to see how it plays out, but hopefully neutral outside opinions can help bring some NPOV to this lede! MaximumIdeas (talk) 22:43, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
Please do. It is clear that you have a single opinion to push and do not understand that NPOV does not mean the article must be neutral, only that our representation of the articles should be neutral (i.e. without editorialising). We have asked for what is notable or significant about being right occasionally, and very infrequently, when even the articles themselves are often incredibly critical of his methods. Meanwhile the sources you claim reference all those news sources do so in very specific ways that actually do not make the argument you claim which is a form of synthesis (instead they are often discussing whether or not he could be considered anything other than a right wing troll / meme generating conspiracy theorist, or laughing at an amateur beating out a talking head journo to publish leaks). I am not even sure what reputational standard the DailyCaller has in terms of being an RS.
Also please do not throw around legal terms. Koncorde (talk) 23:04, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
Yes, you have asked that, and I answered: To be clear, it is not about him being right (everyone is right sometimes) but rather about him breaking investigative stories (something very few people do.) Re Daily Caller's RS, they cite multiple RS (New Yorker, Buzzfeed News, The Hill) saying the same thing.MaximumIdeas (talk) 16:46, 9 August 2019 (UTC)
They don't. Or at least not in the way you hope to portray them. Koncorde (talk) 22:41, 9 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Our article on Hitler also fails to point out that he was good to his mother. Guy (Help!) 22:45, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
    • Yes, and Hitler's lede also notes: His first six years in power resulted in rapid economic recovery from the Great Depression ... just because we hate someone does not mean that the page cannot mention critically relevant positive things as well.MaximumIdeas (talk) 16:46, 9 August 2019 (UTC)
So Hitler has more to his credit than Cernovich does. Were you arguing that's good or something? Guy (Help!) 16:55, 9 August 2019 (UTC)
The difference of course being that his work as Chancellor was exceptionally notable as part of his rise to power and the subject of both analysis and news reporting at that time, but also vast and widespread analysis since. It is both significant and notable. His treatment of his mother in contrast is likely only of fringe relevance, and covered by few sources, and not a significant viewpoint. Koncorde (talk) 22:41, 9 August 2019 (UTC)
Many of the countless reliable sources about Hitler are independently noteworthy. Psychopathography of Adolf Hitler has ninety-one reference tags, and there are plenty of other relevant articles with useful sources. There are places where details like this belong, because they can be places in proportion to the many, many articles on Hitler Wikipedia has.
Cernovich, by comparison, has only a smattering of reliable stories for any reason at all, and the article's length should reflect that. Most of these sources were published in a relatively short time span clumped around 2017, and most are brief news articles. All of the reliable ones I have seen are skeptical of his legitimacy as a journalist. Per WP:RSP, Daily Caller is not generally reliable. We cannot use a source to imply he has legitimacy when multiple sources specifically cast doubt on that perspective.
Cernovich himself has heavily promoted himself as a journalist, as well, but Wikipedia isn't a platform for public relations. Readers already know where to go if they want to hear or read him talking about himself. Grayfell (talk) 23:09, 9 August 2019 (UTC)
This ↑ exactly. Guy (Help!) 08:55, 12 August 2019 (UTC)

Guy, you say: "Hitler has more to his credit than Cernovich does. Were you arguing that's good or something?" No. I say it's completely irrelevant. What's relevant is that multiple reliable sources discuss his legitimate reporting, and Wiki's NPOV guidelines demand we include "all of the significant views that have been published by reliable sources", yet this lede ignores it. Reliable sources:

-- "As Smith notes, Cernovich has in recent months broken several legitimate stories"

-- "Cernovich now seems to have anonymous sources in the White House, or close to it"

-- "Major scoops by former trolls have short-circuited the bullshit detector of the mainstream media."

-- "Mike Cernovich continues to regularly scoop Bloomberg columnist Eli Lake, who appears to share at least one Trump administration source with the ‘Gorilla Mindset’ author," -- The Hill newsletter

This is what Wikipedia is ignoring, and it is sad if this is kept off just because you or anyone else see Cernovich as Hitler-like. MaximumIdeas (talk) 19:27, 12 August 2019 (UTC)

RFC on Mentioning Cernovich's other reporting in lead[edit]

Should the lead paragraph:

  • include a mention that some of Cernovich's reports have been confirmed by other outlets (as seen in this diff)?
  • exclude any mention of that reporting (as in the current version)

(note: I've changed the initial RFC description from the original for clarity) Nblund talk 23:45, 12 August 2019 (UTC)


  • exclude per the discussion above. Cernovich is best known for reporting falsehoods, and we should avoid whitewashing that fact. I could be persuaded that some specific story (like the Conyers story) might be worthy of inclusion in the lead, but it shouldn't be presented as if it mitigates the far more numerous and more prominent instances where he has pushed complete fabrications. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Nblund (talkcontribs) 23:50, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Exclude - My loose summary of sources is that Cernovich practices cargo-cult journalism. Having a supposed "source inside the administration" doesn't make him a journalist, it just makes him a guy who knows a guy. He "breaks" many stories at a frantic pace, but most of those turn out to be nothing at all, baseless speculation, or just factually wrong. Sometimes he's correct, or sort-of correct, and sometimes other people notice because it is unusual. This shouldn't be mistaken for legitimacy. Journalism (especially responsible journalism) means holding back on gossip, speculation, and rumors until they can be verified or contextualized. Virtually all reliable sources (such as those cited for this issue) fundamentally dispute his ability to verify his own reports. He is not "breaking a story" in anything but the most casual sense of the term. He is passing-along gossip. Some of his gossip happens to be correct, but this is incidental to his notability, and should not be misrepresented as encyclopedically significant. Grayfell (talk) 01:34, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Exclude - as per above and lengthy discussion previously. I have already suggested where such content may make an appearance within the main document narratively, but it is not significant enough to warrant inclusion in the lede. The context of the quotations is very much different to the way that Maximum hopes to present them. Koncorde (talk) 07:08, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Exclude. Wikipedia is not for PR. And I suggest this should be your last kick at the can. Guy (Help!) 07:30, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Exclude - The fact that a conspiracy clock is still right twice a day isn't really information that should be in the lead. If he did break some stories that turned out to be true before anyone else, than I guess that could be mentioned in the main body, but other than that, what would be the point? It's basically saying "hey, this guys says untrue stuff 95% of the time, but he get a good scoop every now and then so keep an eye out for that". There are journalists whose careers instantly ended over a single piece of fabricated information that they published, yet here we are trying to legitimize a guy who writes fake news for a living because he occasionally gets one right. PraiseVivec (talk) 11:20, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Include - Multiple reliable sources say that Cernovich has broken legitimate stories: 1) Washington Post: "As Smith notes, Cernovich has in recent months broken several legitimate stories" link 2) New Yorker: "Cernovich now seems to have anonymous sources in the White House, or close to it" link 3) Buzzfeed: "Major scoops by former trolls have short-circuited the bullshit detector of the mainstream media." link The Hill newsletter: "Mike Cernovich continues to regularly scoop Bloomberg columnist Eli Lake, who appears to share at least one Trump administration source with the ‘Gorilla Mindset’ author," ... Wikipedia's NPOV guidelines state that articles "must be written from a neutral point of view (NPOV), which means representing fairly, proportionately, and, as far as possible, without editorial bias, all of the significant views that have been published by reliable sources on a topic." MaximumIdeas (talk) 19:50, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Exclude. I definitely don't believe this belongs in the lead; that strikes me as assigning way too much importance to what is, ultimately, a minor detail. Cheers, all. Dumuzid (talk) 20:50, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Mixed. This detailed info does not need to be in the lead (I've removed it). But if we have a negative side about this person, then we have to have a positive side as well. But, as I said, we can leave the controversy for farther down in the article. BeenAroundAWhile (talk) 19:58, 15 August 2019 (UTC)

Additional Discussion[edit]

Multiple reliable sources say that Cernovich has broken legitimate stories:

-- "As Smith notes, Cernovich has in recent months broken several legitimate stories"

-- "Cernovich now seems to have anonymous sources in the White House, or close to it"

-- "Major scoops by former trolls have short-circuited the bullshit detector of the mainstream media."

-- "Mike Cernovich continues to regularly scoop Bloomberg columnist Eli Lake, who appears to share at least one Trump administration source with the ‘Gorilla Mindset’ author," -- The Hill newsletter

Wikipedia's NPOV guidelines state that articles "must be written from a neutral point of view (NPOV), which means representing fairly, proportionately, and, as far as possible, without editorial bias, all of the significant views that have been published by reliable sources on a topic."

Would be great to have some more pairs of eyes on this discussion. Thank you!MaximumIdeas (talk) 19:27, 12 August 2019 (UTC)

As has already been explained, this is misleading and disproportionate. This RFC therefore loaded and needlessly confusing. Per WP:RFCST, you should "include a brief, neutral statement of or question about the issue." I would like to emphasize neutral here, as your above comment is not that. RFCs are intended to attract new editors to a discussion, and it is unreasonable to expect them to re-read this entire thing just to make a brief comment. Your summary of the issue ignores multiple other editors' responses and just repeats the same quotes which have been carefully carved from their surrounding context. We evaluate all sources in context. This context does not support cherry-picking a handful of brief, gossipy news sources from years ago to whitewash the article. Grayfell (talk) 20:25, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
I've gone ahead and refactored the RFC. Someone can revert me if this is out of line, but I didn't really think this would get fixed without some hand-holding. Nblund talk 23:51, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
Nblund, I do appreciate the formatting fixes. Thank you. Grayfell, I believe that my summary is neutral; all it does is list the reliable sources involved, and quote Wikipedia's NPOV policy. Tweaked the above just to list the reliable sources directly rather than ask people to go through the Daily Caller link. Thank you. MaximumIdeas (talk) 01:10, 13 August 2019 (UTC)

Epstein lawsuit not mentioned[edit] (talk) 13:42, 14 August 2019 (UTC) A major recent event involving Cernovich is not mentioned. He initiated and was joined by a team of others in a lawsuit to have court documents from Jeffrey Epstein's 2008 sex trafficking conviction unsealed. They won this lawsuit, the ruling was released 3 July 2019 and Epstein, after being left free for 11 years, was arrested 9 July 2019. Another link to the court decision: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:46, 14 August 2019 (UTC)

  • Not done Please provide a reliable secondary source for the information you want to add.Nblund talk 18:47, 14 August 2019 (UTC)

Unseal the Deals[edit] (talk) 14:00, 14 August 2019 (UTC)Following his 2 July 2019 court victory to unseal Jeffrey Epstein documents from 2008 Cernovich, On 7 July 2019, initiated a fundraising effort, "Unseal the Deals" for a lawsuit to have sealed records from congressional sexual misconduct cases unsealed. (talk) 14:00, 14 August 2019 (UTC)

  • Not done The Gateway Pundit is not a reliable source, please provide a reliable secondary source for the statement you want to add. Nblund talk 18:48, 14 August 2019 (UTC)