Talk:Murder of Seth Rich

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DateProcessResult
August 19, 2016Articles for deletionNo consensus
September 15, 2016WikiProject approved revisionDiff to current version
October 4, 2016Articles for deletionNo consensus
January 21, 2017Articles for deletionSpeedily kept
February 26, 2017WikiProject approved revisionDiff to current version
May 30, 2017WikiProject approved revisionDiff to current version

Washington Times retraction[edit]

Looks like the Washington Times has had to eat some crow:

The actual retraction: "Retraction: Aaron Rich and the murder of Seth Rich"

--Calton | Talk 03:16, 2 October 2018 (UTC)

I opened up that first link with my jaw hanging down, thinking that it was the Washington Post who retracted the story. But no, it was the Times. No big surprise there. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 03:19, 2 October 2018 (UTC)
Per WP:TPOC; Off-Topic.
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
I also was relieved to see that Washington Times was not forced to retract the story that contained the revelation that "On the day he was murdered, Seth was excited about a new job he had been offered on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign". That would be more difficult, since there is video of him saying it. "Seth was excited about a new job he had been offered on Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign" But a vocal few still claim it is not worthy of being included in the Wikipedia article. StreetSign (talk) 17:23, 3 October 2018 (UTC)
Still having trouble with the difference between "it happened" and "it is worthy of being included in the Wikipedia article", I see. WP:IDHT, WP:CIR. --Guy Macon (talk) 05:09, 16 October 2018 (UTC)
I certainly understand that there is a difference between "it happened" and "it is worthy of being included". It goes to (among other things) Seth's "state of mind" when he was shot twice in the back. According to his father, Seth was walking, talking, and pondering the job offer when he was killed. StreetSign (talk) 19:43, 19 October 2018 (UTC)
Seth Rich's state of mind is irrelevant. If he had been discussing the works of Dostoevsky on the phone it would be irrelevant, so why would a job offer be relevant? It seems you need to accept some aspect of the conspiracy to make that leap. FatGandhi (talk) 15:03, 20 October 2018 (UTC)
Since the retraction was covered in the NYT and CNN, I agree we should add it to this article. TFD (talk) 17:35, 3 October 2018 (UTC)

edit warring[edit]

@Connor Behan: If you're just going to edit war instead of taking it to talk, could you save the rest of us the trouble and just go report yourself? Thanks. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 17:23, 28 October 2018 (UTC)

If you compare my two edits, you will see that they are different. Specifically I tried to take your point of view into account. Correct me if I'm wrong but I think the malicious intent of the conspiracy theory is the main thing you want to get across. The fact that detectives investigating the murder of Seth Rich know more about Seth Rich than the CIA is the main point I want to get across. There is plenty of room for us both to be happy and there is no need for that tone. Connor Behan (talk) 17:32, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
The difference between them is minor; much less than the difference between the established text and either of them. This is edit warring and your argument is just as smokescreen for it. If you really cared about finding a consensus, you'd stop reverting at the article and let it sit in the stable version while discussing it here. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 17:35, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
Let's try adding them in smaller chunks, OK? I just reverted be`cause you removed this reference:[1] could you explain why?
Related: Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons/Noticeboard#Russia indictment --Guy Macon (talk) 17:51, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
Good catch. I didn't realize that I removed that. I don't have a preference for which version stays up during the discussion. But so far I have heard no arguments that the "stable" version is better. Most people seem to prefer the re-ordered one. Connor Behan (talk) 17:56, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
I don't know which is better. It's too much information to take in at once. Can you make one change so we can discuss it? --Guy Macon (talk) 18:39, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
Sure. The edit I just made changes the one thing that seems most important. The police investigation of the murder contradicts the conspiracy theory very strongly. The US investigation of Russia contradicts the conspiracy theory quite weakly. The order in which we mention things should reflect that. Connor Behan (talk) 19:33, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
I like it. Let's see if anyone doesn't, so I can kick their ass politely ask them to explain why. --Guy Macon (talk) 19:57, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
Yes, the current change is a good one. Sorry Guy, but if you really want to kick some ass, I'm sure some IP will come along sooner or later to bitch that the police investigation doesn't prove anything. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 23:13, 28 October 2018 (UTC)

I think we are ready for Connor Behan to make another change -- or even two or three in rapid succession, which would still make it easy to focus on one if it causes a disagreement. --Guy Macon (talk) 23:54, 28 October 2018 (UTC)

I'd prefer one or two. All things considered, Connor has given me reason to doubt his neutrality. So I'd like to examine the edits in detail, without having to balance one change against the other too much. I can do two easily enough, but I don't want to take the time and energy to weigh three. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 00:11, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
I am good with that. --Guy Macon (talk) 02:10, 29 October 2018 (UTC)

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence[edit]

The main article contains the statement: "The 27-year-old Rich was an employee of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and his murder spawned several right-wing conspiracy theories,[2] including the false claim that Rich had been involved with the leaked DNC emails in 2016, contradicted by the law enforcement branches that investigated the murder.[3][4]" By declaring this a "false claim", it overstates the case. It may very well be the fact that some people have not presented any evidence of a connection between Rich and leaked DNC emails. But that, alone, doesn't provably make it a "false claim". It's an unproven claim, not a "false claim". 2601:1C2:4E02:3020:2423:80AA:C732:430F (talk) 09:03, 1 November 2018 (UTC)

Since the article is locked (why?), I request that somebody who can do so make some edits to this portion of the text. "The 27-year-old Rich was an employee of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and his murder spawned several right-wing conspiracy theories,[2] including the false claim that Rich had been involved with the leaked DNC emails in 2016, contradicted by the law enforcement branches that investigated the murder.[3][4]" First, the word 'false" should be removed from "false claim", because the claim (while unproven) nevertheless hasn't been disproven. The voice of Wikipedia shouldn't be used to vouch for one side of a dispute. Secondly, the reference to "right-wing" should be removed: It hasn't been established that only "right wing" people might be interested in the suspicion that Seth Rich had something to do with the DNC emails. It may be, alternatively, that "left-wing" people have an interest in discrediting the possibility of Seth Rich's involvement, wanting to push the "Russia did it" idea. (Which, by the way, are not mutually exclusive: The Russians may have hacked emails, and Seth Rich may have leaked emails. The claimed truth of either one does not disprove the other.) Third, the portion which states, "contradicted by law enforcement branches that investigated the murder" is false. A check of the content referred to by the two footnotes ([3] and [4]) repeatedly refers to the lack of evidence, which I do not dispute: However, they do not claim that Seth Rich's involvement has been proved false. To say otherwise amounts to Original Research. In fact, a sentence within the article pointed to by footnote 4 says: "Contrary to Gingrich’s statement, the thin case that Rich was the DNC leaker is in no way substantial enough to outweigh ample evidence that Russia was the culprit." The writer of that is falsely implying that the truth of one would completely disprove the other. It doesn't. 2601:1C2:4E02:3020:2423:80AA:C732:430F (talk) 17:48, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
I'm declining the request because it's easy to find reliable sources that state that the conspiracy theories are both right-wing and false, for example [2]. Regarding: the voice of Wikipedia shouldn't be used to vouch for one side of a dispute, there is no dispute here, all reliable sources say that the conspiracy theories are false. Per WP:FALSEBALANCE, it would be misleading to imply something else to the readers by pretending otherwise. We've debated whether "debunked by law enforcement" is literally true or not before, but I don't think a definite consensus was reached. Geogene (talk) 18:51, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
The problem with referring to claims made with zero supporting evidence as simply "unproven" is that it can be construed as giving credence to those claims even if they are made in bad faith. One could conceivably concoct a claim that Donald Trump keeps 37 Koala Bears imprisoned in Trump Tower. There is no evidence it is true, but you can't prove it false, can you? Calling the koala claim "unproven" would imply that it needs investigation or that it was made with some sort of merit or justification in the first place. Claims made with misleading evidence or no evidence whatsoever--especially in political contexts--should always be referred to as "false" when they are utterly unfounded. If any evidence ever emerges for Seth Rich's involvement--or for any captive koalas--then another term should be considered. FatGandhi (talk) 15:50, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
There's an episode in "Yes, Prime Minister" where Sir Humphrey tells the PM it might be true the Employment Secretary was considering resigning. While the PM thinks that it is a valid claim, Humphrey was just made it up.[3] It is misleading to provide the same credence to wild guesses and reasoned speculation. However I think the tone of this article is over-emphatic which ironically creates doubt in the mind of readers. ("The lady doth protest too much, methinks.") We don't say in Moon landing article for example, "This really happened and anyone who questions it is lying." The emphatic language could make readers question its validity. TFD (talk) 17:30, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
We don't? "Many Moon-landing conspiracy theories have been put forward, claiming either that the landings did not happen and that NASA employees have lied, or that the landings did happen but not in the way that has been told...Vince Calder and Andrew Johnson, scientists from Argonne National Laboratory, have given detailed answers to conspiracists' claims on the laboratory's website. They show that NASA's portrayal of the Moon landing is fundamentally accurate, allowing for such common mistakes as mislabeled photos and imperfect personal recollections.". --Moon landing conspiracy theories
--Guy Macon (talk) 20:39, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
Look, I think most political opinionating is equivalent to pushing tumbleweeds with one's farts, but it's clear that wikipedia leans quite left. Spare me the whole "Well, we're just so much smarter! Smarter perspectives means your views are more likely to be represented." No. Not even close. It's a matter of donorism, litigiousness, sophistry, and most of all, intellectual fashion. Right now, the left are better at all of these things.

Sometimes, you list sources that blow my mind. Five minutes of cursory investigation often reveals obvious bias -- humorous, almost. Factcheck.org, for example, compulsively targets conservatives. Why? Do liberals not bullshit? Is there not a similar onslaught of mendacity coming from the left? And if there is, why doesn't it seem to pop up on here? 71.255.93.231 (talk) 04:33, 26 March 2019 (UTC)

Seth Rich involvement[edit]

"the false claim that Rich had been involved with the leaked DNC emails in 2016," This statement is itself false. Although Craig Murray and Julian Assange have avoided directly disclosing him as the source, it is quite clear that that "law enforcement" sources that deny Rich's involvement are unreliable -- especially the Mueller indictment. https://consortiumnews.com/2019/03/13/vips-muellers-forensics-free-findings/ https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/05/17/seth-rich-the-dnc-and-wikileaks-the-plot-thickens/ A much better wording would be to say that "certain law enforcement officials deny that Rich had been involved with the leaked DNC emails in 2016." It is probably worth pointing out that while right-wing media has run with this story, left wing media takes the same line -- it is only the "extreme center" (Tariq Ali's term) media that takes a different approach. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 38.104.197.154 (talk) 13:31, 18 March 2019 (UTC)

That would be misleading. The proposed revision, "certain law enforcement officials deny", would imply that it's actually believed by law enforcement officials somewhere, if not everywhere, that Rich was somehow involved in the leak, which is not the case. Geogene (talk) 21:21, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
Describing a federal indictment of foreign intelligence agents by a duly-appointed special counsel as "unreliable" while hoisting up "ConsortiumNews"... is not indicative of a good understanding of our sourcing standards. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 23:43, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
I agree that indictments are not reliable sources and that's why they have trials. But there is no evidence that Rich was involved in the emails leak or that he had the motive, technical skills or opportunity to do so. In fact the Consortium article does not mention him. TFD (talk) 02:30, 19 March 2019 (UTC)