Talk:Richard Nixon

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Featured article Richard Nixon is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on January 9, 2013.


Semi-protected edit request on 22 June 2017[edit]

After the line "when Chairman Mao invited a team of American table tennis players to visit China and play against top Chinese players.", please put "This later became known as the Ping-pong diplomacy." This because it's not currently linked on the page. (talk) 19:36, 22 June 2017 (UTC)

Partly done: Embedded wikilink in existing sentence instead of adding onto it. Eggishorn (talk) (contrib) 20:01, 22 June 2017 (UTC)

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In many ways this is a fine article, but I find it strange there is no mention of the subject's predilection for alcohol.

This story is an example of one which discusses it. Any thoughts? John (talk) 19:59, 6 July 2017 (UTC)

I'd like to see what more scholarly sources say about things, rather than popular stories. And, well, we've covered politicians drinking to the extent that it affects stuff. If material doesn't come out until thirty years later, I'm wondering if it really affected stuff.--Wehwalt (talk) 21:26, 6 July 2017 (UTC)
Summers and Swan, 2000, seems to be the source we need here. Here's a Guardian story about the same thing. Prescription drugs as well. John (talk) 08:10, 7 July 2017 (UTC)–
Certainly whether more recent biographies and scholarly studies accept that would be a way of showing that. I don't recall seeing that in Black's bio, which is post 2000.--Wehwalt (talk) 08:50, 7 July 2017 (UTC)

I will continue to look and think but I think this is something that belongs in the article. --John (talk) 07:34, 8 July 2017 (UTC)

These all seem to relate to the same incident. Not counting Ehrlichman's statement while awaiting sentencing for felonies. We don't seem to mention LBJ's drinking, even though the National Park Service rather celebrates it. I just don't think there's enough substance here to be worth adding.--Wehwalt (talk) 08:24, 8 July 2017 (UTC)
Fair enough. We disagree. What do others think? I remember Joe Haldeman writing about Nixon weeping drunkenly in the White House. And of course another article's omissions needn't restrain us from adding something here on this one. Not to be heavy handed but of course completeness and NPOV are FA criteria. John (talk) 09:27, 8 July 2017 (UTC)
A fairly large number of FA regulars looked over this article and didn't seem to think it was necessary, there's WP:UNDUE for one thing. What makes it so gosh darn important that it must be covered at the top level article, rather than in the Presidency article (if it need be covered at all) or some of the other Nixon articles? But in any event, what would you say? A sentence, a paragraph, a section? And without synthesis.--Wehwalt (talk) 09:40, 8 July 2017 (UTC)
I would argue for a well sourced sentence or two. John (talk) 14:48, 8 July 2017 (UTC)
Can you give an example of proposed text and sources? I'd tend to omit this in general. --A D Monroe III (talk) 16:48, 8 July 2017 (UTC)
I'll continue to read and collect sources before I do this. There is no hurry, and as Wehwalt says, the article has survived this long and even been through peer review in this state. I would say at his stage that I'd be surprised if there would be this many good book and Internet sources describing the drunkenness of other presidents. --John (talk) 21:36, 8 July 2017 (UTC)
"These all seem to relate to the same incident." Yes. John, are you sure your not half reading the sources to reinforce a sort of half thought through, heard somewhere, received belief. Otherwise, please come to the table with a definitive position, rather than wasting time. Ceoil (talk) 22:57, 8 July 2017 (UTC)
Pretty sure, thanks. Have a go at reading them yourself and you'll see. John (talk) 06:56, 9 July 2017 (UTC)
I already have, before and now. So what now? Ceoil (talk) 11:13, 9 July 2017 (UTC)

Violent protests?[edit]

I'm unhappy that the article characterises the protests against the war as violent. Can this really be justified? John (talk) 10:20, 9 July 2017 (UTC)

First sentence(s).[edit]

Since Nixon was more than President of the United States -- he is also noted for serving in the House, Senate, and as Vice President, I propose that the first sentence be divided into two and generalised to read:

"Richard Milhous Nixon (January 9, 1913 – April 22, 1994) was an American politician. Nixon served as the 37th President of the United States from 1969 until 1974, when he resigned from office, the only U.S. president to do so."

This would be somewhat more consistent with many of the other articles on American presidents, such as this and this. Thanks, Nechemia Iron (talk) 13:37, 12 August 2017 (UTC)

Many presidential articles that have passed through FAC, such as John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, Andrew Johnson, James Garfield, Warren G. Harding and Harry Truman do not. I'm not aware of any FA reviewer even asking for those words. The reason for omitting them is that it adds five words for no added information at the point in the article at which we are to be the most pithy, especially since in google and other brief formats, we get very little space. It therefore pays to choose words that will provide the most bang for the buck. "Was an American politician who". Well, although four had never been elected to any office, all 44 presidents have been politicians, and certainly all are American, it's implied in the term "United States". It adds nothing.--Wehwalt (talk) 15:38, 12 August 2017 (UTC)
Is the article supposed to be frozen as it was for FAC? Why is this about google? First sentence should probably be a summary of sorts. Nechemia Iron (talk) 18:20, 12 August 2017 (UTC)
No, it is not frozen, but as with most contentious changes, you require consensus. It is a summary. Your first sentence would be a less complete summary.--Wehwalt (talk) 18:37, 12 August 2017 (UTC)
So your mentioning FAC is not relevant? "Richard Milhous Nixon (January 9, 1913 – April 22, 1994) was an American politician." is not less complete. The article is not just about his presidency. Nechemia Iron (talk) 18:44, 12 August 2017 (UTC)
Of course it's relevant. Many experienced writers looked at it then and in the peer review. Among other things, they looked at the first sentence. I suppose that goes to the weight of the consensus. Your version repeats matters unnecessarily, and the first sentence does not establish the significance of the subject. If I don't seem to answer your points, its because the points you are making have shifted from consistency with other articles to other matters.--Wehwalt (talk) 19:23, 12 August 2017 (UTC)
Additionally, William Howard Taft and Franklin Pierce have similar phrasings to Nixon's, and are FAs. At least nine FAs now. Probably a few dozen FAC reviewers between them thought the phrasing was fine..--Wehwalt (talk) 22:50, 12 August 2017 (UTC)
Regarding the RFC: I think you should have allowed more time for the many talk page watchers to weigh in before starting one so quickly. I think it's premature.--Wehwalt (talk) 22:53, 12 August 2017 (UTC)
  • I !vote to leave the first sentence as-is.
The goal of the first sentence of a WP article is to assure the reader that they have the right article, and not some other subject that has a similar name that they've got wrong somehow. A few famous people, like Benjamin Franklin, are notable in many different areas and it may be hard to reduce their notability down to a single phrase. But most famous people, despite the full list of all their varied activities, are primarily known for just one thing. Nixon falls into this group. The phrase for him is "the US President that resigned".
Of course, as quickly as possible after the one notable thing, an intro should get to the most notable of the other things about the subject. We're doing that here already. So, the proposed change is not an improvement for this article. (It might be more "fair" to Nixon, but that can't be part of WP's job.)
--A D Monroe III (talk) 00:43, 13 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Preserve as is, for the same reasons as expressed by A D Monroe III. BorisG (talk) 08:05, 13 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Agree with ADMonroe. I tried to work int he politicain part in my head, and kept coming up with the current lead. L3X1 (distænt write) )evidence( 13:23, 13 August 2017 (UTC)

Closing RFC, consensus is keep as is; and I accept this. Thank you. Nechemia Iron (talk) 13:52, 13 August 2017 (UTC)