Talk:Rachel Maddow/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3


Inaccurate statements

I'm not exactly right-wing (I'm probably left of centre for the UK) and I think the US far right behave pretty damn badly, but come on. She was wrong about her claims about the NYT and Bush and about Palin and they are reasonable criticisms to be in the article. Why do they keep getting removed/neutered when there is a reliable source to back them up? -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 18:15, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

Surely she has said many inaccurate things - comes with the territory of broadcasting on a daily basis. Is there a reason this are significant? This is the crux of the undue weight concern. Especially the Palin part about zero support ... what's the significance? It just sounds like she was being hyperbolic. de Bivort 19:04, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
Fair enough, I'm happy for the Palin point to go, but the NYT thing seems like a significant slip-up. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 19:07, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
This is still original research and I have reverted it because it basically violates WP:BLP. You have taken factual inaccuracies that Maddow has made and used them to create a narrative that somehow demonstrates how she is "distinguished from the right". The sources cited do not use these broadcasting errors to making any claims about her political preferences, but the addition to the article does exactly that. You need to find a representative reliable source that specifically draws these conclusions in order to express them in the article. I suggest you find what you are looking for and then submit a proposal for inclusion here so it can be discussed properly. -- Scjessey (talk) 19:22, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
I didn't put in the comment about "distinguished from the right" that was why I raised it on the talk page as I didn't think that was acceptable and I didn't want to edit-war, see the proposal below. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 19:28, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

The proposal

However, Maddow has made several inaccurate statements against Obama opponents. For example:"President Bush never did one interview with the New York Times during his entire presidency." even though in reality he gave several.[1]

Several problems. 1) Why does this matter? Is there reason to think it was deliberate, which in my view might make it notable. Isn't the idea that she has never made a mistake while broadcasting a complete strawman? 2) "several" would need a citation. 3) Why is this an inaccurate statement about "Obama opponents" rather than about Bush himself? de Bivort 19:31, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
Well she should have done her research. And several can be backed up by:, or we could give the Palin thing as an example as well. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 19:34, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
Once again, the proposed text is a negative narrative. It starts with the word "however", which sets up a contrast with the previous statement and thus conflates the two without having a reference to corroborate it. It then invokes the term "Obama opponents", yet the single cited example (Bush) is not even an opponent. "Even though" is another example of words that fit the narrative you are trying to create. This is fundamentally your creation, and not the work of a reliable source. I'm strongly opposed to its inclusion. Like Debivort, I cannot even see the point of including it even if it were accurate and cited because it seems extremely insignificant. -- Scjessey (talk) 19:55, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
I have to agree that this is pretty small potatoes. And while Maddow has been checked by Politifacts four times, Limbaugh has twelve entries, with three rated "pants on fire," the lowest possible rating. This is an encyclopedia, not a blog, so I am opposed, though not strongly so. Academic38 (talk) 08:20, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
I added them to add balance. They are no more original work then any other section. The page violates WP:NPOV by being overly positive. Scjessey seems intent on creating a rose colored picture of a neutral commentator. Yes Maddow is only at four, while Limbaugh is at 12, but Maddow has had her show for two years and Limbaugh has had his for 20. She should have a controvesry section, and if you don't like the inaccurate statements on Bush and Palin, there is her recent Rand Paul interview and her "vibrating six inches off her seat". Beck, Limbaugh, Hannity have those sections. It's almost like you don't want her to have one out of bias. -- WWJBD (talk) 10:27, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
You cannot compare Limbaugh and Maddow in any equation, never mind this one. Please try to stick to the subject at hand, and not divulge into a comparison between two people who couldn't be more different personally and professionally. That said, I am strongly against adding the references and statements that one user is so adimant to add in the article. What the user stated in the article and what he presented as references are completely different. The user violates WP:NPOV by putting a personal bias and spin in the sentencing; something that is absent in the reference he/she gave. Users must provide reputable sources in articles, but must also be diligent in providing wording that directly reflects what is in the sources. Otherwise, it is just a personal creation and nothing of substance. BalticPat22Patrick 14:54, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
A neutral article is not made by automatically including a criticism or controversy or whatever section. All additions need to be evaluated in terms of their notability, source quality, and representative weight in the article. At this point you have a single source for each error she broadcast. If they are truly notable, I bet you can find a second. de Bivort 15:05, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
Indeed. Notable events will be covered by a significant number of reliable sources. WWJBD456 is also throwing out some bad faith in the comment above, whilst completely ignoring Wikipedia's BLP policies and guidelines on criticism. -- Scjessey (talk) 15:48, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
Actually, the oldest Politifact research on Limbaugh is from April 2009, so the fact that he's been on the air for 20 years is irrelevant. Over the last 15 months, his record is far worse than Maddow's. Academic38 (talk) 16:23, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
It's not even a comparison, Academic38. Maddow is a reputable journalist and reporter, with extensive knowledge on military foreign policy and the IAVA. What does Limbaugh do? Criticize and undermine the administration with thoughtless fallacies and false statements, all the while preaching of his "illegitimacy" to lead. That said, I believe making a "Criticism" section (one that doesn't include reputable and notable info and sources) will not only damage the credibility of the article, but be a haven for those who wish to add information unncessessary for it. I've seen it many times, before and this will not be any different. BalticPat22Patrick 20:11, 14 June 2010 (UTC)

Television in Personal Life

Why on earth are there two sentences about her plans for owning a television in the Personal Life section? Its about as insignificant as you get. I'm new to this page and somewhat new to Wikipedia, so I've refrained from deleting them. But as far as I can tell they should go. RampagingCarrot (talk) 06:05, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

Point well taken -I'm with you. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 09bil98z24 (talkcontribs) 17:23, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

It's unusual enough for the star of a television program to not own a television as to have been covered repeatedly in major reliable third-party sources. It's a telling part of her biography and her style as a television host. - Dravecky (talk) 17:29, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

Out of context

This quote:

Asked about her political views by the Valley Advocate, Maddow replied, "I'm undoubtedly a liberal, which means that I'm in almost total agreement with the Eisenhower-era Republican party platform."[8]

Is out of context. She's using it sarcastically in the source, no? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:18, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

It is not out of context. She was making a point that Republicans in the Eisenhower era had a similar platform to the Democratic platform of today. -- Scjessey (talk) 15:24, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

Excelled in academics and athletics

I have removed this as unsourced. Can we rather add specific accomplishments if notable enough for inclusion? TIA --Threeafterthree (talk) 23:04, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

ps, here is the article to read. --Threeafterthree (talk) 23:08, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
That source describes both her academic and athletic prowess, noting she was a competitive three-sport athlete in high school. We can discuss exact wording but it's far from unsourced. As such, I have restored the deleted text and accompanying reference. - Dravecky (talk) 23:38, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
Described as competive, who played 3 sports, means what exactly, excelled? Again, maybe add specific accomplishments if notable enough, but no need for non specific peacockery.--Threeafterthree (talk) 13:16, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
Not "peacockery", background. Please stop removing sourced information. Beyond My Ken (talk) 13:25, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
This is not what the citation says. If you want to add that she was a competive high school athlete and played 3 sports, that s fine. Not sure how notable that is, but that would match the source better. This is not a fan page. Why would you push this? --Threeafterthree (talk) 13:40, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

Ethnic Heritage

Anyone know her heritage? Maddow plus Catholic could equal Polish or Phillipino, does anyone have any citations? (talk) 04:18, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

No controversy section?

Why is there no controversy section? I can think of at least one incident where Maddow made up facts or failed to verify them before using them on her show —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:06, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

Controversy sections are actually discouraged on Wikipedia, and we are encouraged to merge any controversy sections into the article, as appropriate. If you know of a notable controversy and have reliable sources regarding this, please place in the appropriate section of the article or list here on the talk page for discussion if you are unsure how to proceed. KillerChihuahua?!?Advice 17:59, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

It doesn't need a controversy section but it clearly needs a views and opinions section (talk) 18:14, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

An incorrect sentence

The sentence below is grammatically incorrect:

The couple met in 1999, when Mikula hired Maddow, who was then working on her doctoral dissertation, to do yard work at her home.

I suggest that it be rewritten as two sentences:

The couple met in 1999, when Mikula hired Maddow to do yard work at her home. Maddow was working on her doctoral dissertation at the time. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:21, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

 Done -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 23:31, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

openly gay vs. openly lesbian vs. openly homosexual


I come here from another article where the status quo described Rachel Maddow as "openly gay" and a user changed it to be "openly lesbian". I suggest the term should be "openly homosexual" because her gender does not matter to a lede sentence in this article:

Maddow is the first openly gay anchor to be hired to host a prime-time news program in the United States.

As previous discussion pointed out, Maddow is the first openly homosexual person, male or female, hosting a prime-time news program in the United States.

Any guidance from editors here about what we can do to improve the accuracy with terms over there?

Should I take this up one level and open a general discussion on Wikipedia talk:WikiProject LGBT studies or Wikipedia talk:Gender-neutral language?

--Kevinkor2 (talk) 17:57, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

I'd take it up a level. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 18:20, 20 January 2011 (UTC)
I'd say the meaning of 'gay' in this context is 'homosexual'. But the word itself can be confusing to most people (usually straight or non native English speakers) as it is usually used to refer to gay men despite it actually being a synonym of homosexual. In my opinion, I say stick to the greatest common denominator (not 'lesbian') and the least ambiguous of the terms (not 'gay') - thus 'homosexual' is the right word for it. --ObsidinSoul 18:29, 20 January 2011 (UTC)
If not this sounds good. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 18:53, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

Google hits are a poor research tool, but when they show clear differences they can be useful:

It looks like "openly gay" is clearly the more common term to describe Maddow.   Will Beback  talk  21:41, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

There are problems with using these terms to mean the same thing for everyone. An encyclopedia should be cut and dry but human behavior very rarely is. "Openly lesbian" is, just, not...the best (see the Lesbian article to address this. "Openly gay" for expressing the idea that Maddow is involved in same-sex romantic relationships and not closeted about it is the best term. "Openly homosexual" is a dated phrase. --Moni3 (talk) 22:42, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

As always, we should use the same terminology that is found in the preponderance of reliable sources. -- Scjessey (talk) 00:30, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
I weakly favor the "openly homosexual". We are a global encyclopedia, many are reading English as a second language or are unfamiliar with American slang. - Haymaker (talk) 01:00, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
The term "gay" has been used widely for 40 years on both sides of the Atlantic. It is even a borrow word in other languages, such as French and Spanish: fr:Gay (homosexualité) & es:Gay. I'm not sure about other topics where we intentionally used less common words in case they might be more familiar to readers with poor English skills. Can you point to any?   Will Beback  talk  01:12, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
Well, I can speak for my country. The term 'Gay' here in Philippine English means effeminate homosexual men, exclusively, and is treated as the direct equivalent of our native terms Bakla/Bayot (again terms used exclusively for effeminate gay men not for masculine gay men or bisexuals). On a similar note, 'Tomboy' here is used to mean solely for masculine lesbians, the word 'Lesbian' is rarely used for homosexual women (and if it is, the hispanic form is used Lesbiana), and the word 'Gay' is never used to describe homosexual women. I expect similar usage in other countries. I think we can also all fairly agree that in colloquial usage even among native anglophones, 'gay' is used more frequently to refer solely to gay men (I know my straight native english-speaking friends use it as such, heh). It's technically slang as well and might be inappropriate.--ObsidinSoul 01:53, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
The Philippines is large country with many English speakers. If there's any evidence that Maddow is known more as "openly lesbian" than "openly gay", or any other statistic, that'd be helpful. On a similar note, it's worth remembering that more people speak English in India than in the UK, Canada and Australia combined. I doubt that many of them have hear of Maddow, though.   Will Beback  talk  12:35, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
Heh, I doubt many people have even heard of her here either. It's not a case of what people call her, it's a case of how they will interpret the phrase 'openly gay' if they do encounter it used for Maddow (first reaction would probably be 'she's an MTF? But that's not possible. The article must be wrong!', heh).
So let's backtrack to where it all started, at the link Kevinkor2 posted at the beginning of this discussion (I was actually aware of it too beforehand, as I have both articles are on my watchlist):
An Eastern European editor edited the Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill article to exchange 'openly gay' with 'openly lesbian' in a sentence pertaining to Maddow, stating emphatically in the revision comments section that she is lesbian, not gay. Diff of his/her change here
That is my point :P The understanding and usage of 'gay' outside of the US, Canada, and the UK, (and perhaps Aus/NZ as well) is different. This applies to both English speaking non-western countries (India, Philippines, Singapore) and non-English speaking countries. In the interest of globalizing the article I support the use of 'homosexual' rather than the other two terms. It's the least ambiguous of the three and the most inclusive. 'Homosexual' also has the added advantage of being the accepted scientific term for same-sex attraction in human sexuality). Do note however, that personally I don't mind any of the three words being used really. And I won't protest any revision to the previous usage of 'gay'. :P But all of us here already know the meaning of the word in its contextual usage, what about the rest?ObsidinSoul 14:01, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
Again, we go with what the sources say. It doesn't matter which term is most appropriate with respect to international understanding. Sources use the term "gay" more than any other version, so we should go with "gay" and hyperlink it to lesbian to avoid confusion. -- Scjessey (talk) 15:31, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
Yes it does actually. Either term is not actually controversial. They are synonyms, they have the same meaning in English. The only difference is their meaning in global usage. See Wikipedia:Neutral_point_of_view/FAQ#Anglo-American_focus --ObsidinSoul 21:25, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
What's our source for the non-English connotation of "gay"?   Will Beback  talk  21:50, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
Seriously? :P Gay#Gay community vs. LGBT community. In fact the entire article itself. --ObsidinSoul 21:59, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
Sorry to be so dense, but I don't know what text in there you're pointing to. I don't see anything there about the global usage of "gay" versus "homosexual". Could you quote the relevant lines here?   Will Beback  talk  22:19, 21 January 2011 (UTC)

It's not just that the understanding of gay, lesbian, or homosexual is different in other cultures, even in the western English-speaking cultures, the terms have different meanings from one person to the next. "Lesbian" has even more baggage because it's used by men to make a woman more sexualized than necessary. We're discussing standard uses of language in English-speaking countries here. In this case, "gay" is the most appropriate term to identify Maddow as open about her same-sex relationships. --Moni3 (talk) 23:01, 21 January 2011 (UTC)

To the extent that a subject's one preferences matter when describing preferences, in this interview with a British newspaper the subject calls herself "lesbian" once and "gay" at least four times.[1]   Will Beback  talk  23:11, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
Er. The number of times she uses a term does not exactly mean she prefers one term over the other, unless she says so outright.
Not usage in other countries, but the confusion over its actual meaning. My point is its usage as a term inclusive of lesbians is relatively recent (before homosexuality was recognized, the usage of 'gay' was a whole other story of course). I'm a bit busy to go googling every single instance of the meaning of 'gay' in other countries right now, if you can please do. I already made my contribution with my country's usage. Maybe we could ask editors from other countries? A thing to remember is that a lot of languages, unlike most of English, is gender structured. e.g. you use Doctora for a female doctor in spanish, and Doctor for a male doctor or as a general catchall term for a doctor of an unknown gender or plural forms with both genders. Similarly the words maricon, bakla, etc. in such languages are never used to refer to females, but they are assumed to be the direct equivalent of the english word 'gay' which does not have the same gender restriction. Hence the confusion.
And is it safe to assume we're all males here? Anyone else think we should invite a female viewpoint as well?
If any of you think 'homosexual' is pejorative. I think you should add it to the discussion as well. And one last thing I have to ask, why is everyone pretending that it has always referred to men and women? It didn't. It might be politically correct now for both male and female, but it was previously used to refer solely to homosexual men and it still is used predominantly to refer to men. A lot of english speakers still make the careful distinction of Gay AND Lesbian, a very blatant proof of that exists right on this page - LGBT. It's not GBT, it's LGBT. :P On that note, sorry, I must leave the discussion for now, have things to do.--ObsidinSoul 23:35, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
Is this an academic exercise or are we discussing something concrete like returning "openly gay" to this and the Uganda article? --Moni3 (talk) 01:37, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
I presume that if we can find a consensus here we'd change the label in the other article. I still haven't seen any actual sources that indicates Maddow calls herself or is most widely known as being "openly homosexual", or that the term "openly gay" would cause confusion to English-speakers outside of the US.   Will Beback  talk  06:31, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
  • sigh* Like the instigator of this discussion I actually don't care what she is described as (I didn't even change the original edit which started this from 'openly gay' to 'openly lesbian'). First poster asked for opinions and viewpoints, I gave mine.--ObsidinSoul 06:53, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
I'm going to edit it back to "openly gay". It's the most widely used term, and there's no evidnce that other terms are preferable. Thanks to everyone who contributed here.   Will Beback  talk  07:05, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
(: accepted as first poster. :) --Kevinkor2 (talk) 03:58, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

jewish ancestry

Why is her own admission of having jewish ancestry not "specific" enough to warrant its own category?

The1cambo (talk) 04:31, 12 June 2011 (UTC)the1cambo

If current scientific thinking, we're all "distantly" of African ancestry but it would not be appropriate to tag every American biography as "African-American" on that basis. Without a clear understanding of just how distant this ancestry might be, a single offhand word in a conversation with a comedian, as relayed by a blog, is not the solid evidence required for such a claim. - Dravecky (talk) 06:27, 12 June 2011 (UTC)