Talk:Robert Fisk/Archive 1

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Criticism

Why are users turning this into a fan page? Every time I try to put up a parody of Robert Fisk, it's promptly deleted by the president of the fanclub.

Good writer - eloquent,literate - who often uses illustrations from history etc that he knows little about. Ends up with messy but eloquent position pieces that are a little scrambled. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 159.105.80.92 (talkcontribs) 10:17, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

Maybe people think that that kind of joke has another better place to be put. Maybe "the president of the fanclub" thinks you better post it in your personal blog, apparently dedicated to soap gossip, and leave more serious stuff to be dealt here.201.19.222.35 00:44, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

Fisking

I object to the reference to the term "Fisking" in this article. It is obviously derived from the word fisting which is a "sexual behaviour that involves inserting a hand or fist into a vagina or anus. It often leads to orgasm."

[Methinks Viajero doth protest too much -ed.]


Robert Fisk is a brave and highly respected journalist, dedicated to reporting the complex reality of conflicts. He dares to speak the truth even when this offends the powerful of the day. The term "fisking" seems to have been coined by extremist hate groups, expressing their disgust towards people who stand upright and speak the truth. During the seven years I have spent in England, and despite reading a lot of news and opinion articles, I have never even once come across this word ; which means that it's use is restricted to these hate groups. The only purpose of it's inclusion here is therefore defamatory. It is also a very subtle violation of the Wikipedia rules that profanity and bias should be avoided.

If I misunderstand the word "fisking", please do explain it to me. If no-body can explain why it would be important to leave it in this article, I will delete it.

- 12. September 2003 pir

I did a Google search and came up an alternative definition:
"A point-by-point refutation of a blog entry or (especially) news story." [1]
and it is indeed derived from Fisk:
The leftist British writer Robert Fisk has been ripped apart so many times by bloggers and others that the act of comprehensive rippage has become known as "Fisking." [2]
-- Viajero 09:49, 21 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I don't think fisking is a slanderous or crude term. It just refers to his methodical way of refuting people's wild claims. Why shouldn't an article about him mention a word that was coined after him? Dan Carkner 16:14, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

Fisking is quite clear on the origin - it is others who repeatedly criticised his work line by line who coined the term. AFAIK Robert Fisk has never "fisked" anyone. Rd232 talk 17:49, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
Even Left Wing bloggers use the term now. So it's only his fanclub on wikipedia who are trying to erase that very popular word simply because it points out how many times Mr. Fisk has been Fisked. Further, the bit about it sounding like Fisting or at all emerging from that term is priceless. I think some people are really showing how desperate they are to keep that term out.

This is probably the most biased article I have read on Wikipedia and thats something. Why is a right wing blog a source? I have never seen "fisking" used anywhere by anyone other than right wing bloggers and you depict it like it was in the dictionary. Its clear the authors are out to get Fisk but dont really explain why.

I fail to see why the source is important in this instance. This isn't a blog being quoted because they have put forward some kind of evidence for why Fisk has been "fisked" - it's simply being stated that "fisked" is a widespread term used and/or referenced in the political "blogsphere". Surely you're not disputing that "fisked" is widespread enough to warrant inclusion? Edders 11:43, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Sources are always important. Yes I am disputing that although the above comment was made about a very different article to the one currently on wikipedia. The current one seems more in line with other bios on wikipedia. Something being used in the "blogsphere" by a handful could hardly be deemed widespread or popular since you wont encounter that term in print, radio, or tv.

Respect

Since when was Fisk "respected"? Al

For quite some time, Al. Look here:

"[...]A remarkable combination of war reporting and analysis by an author who has witnessed the carnage of Beirut for twenty-five years, Fisk, the first journalist to whom bin Laden announced his jihad against the U.S., is one of the world's most fearless and honored foreign correspondents. He spares no one in this saga of the civil war and subsequent Israeli invasion: the PLO, whose thuggish behavior alienated most Lebanese; the various Lebanese factions, whose appalling brutality spared no one; the Syrians, who supported first the Christians and then the Muslims in their attempt to control Lebanon; and the Israelis, who tried to install their own puppets and, with their 1982 invasion, committed massive war crimes of their own.[...]" <http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/stores/detail/-/books/1560254424/revi ews/104-8475646-4571930#15602544247297>

Financial Times, February 24, 1990 "Robert Fisk is one of the outstanding reporters of this generation. As a war correspondent he is unrivalled."

Sunday Times, March 11, 1990 "He is a devastating witness to the failure of politics to guard mankind against itself."

Literary Review, 1990 "One is left in awe at?[Fisk's] industry, commitment and courage in reporting the ugliest of the world's current conflicts."

"The labyrinthian tale of Lebanon's destruction [...] Fisk, a highly honored British journalist who wrote for The Times (London) for 11 years and who still lives in Lebanon, conveys those appalling events of 1976-85 with the passionate intensity of someone outraged at the actions that have turned a country and people inside out." - David P. Snider, Casa Grande P.L., Ariz. From Library Journal

From Book News, Inc. "Witness to the carnage of Beirut for more than a decade, journalist Fisk tells a story of betrayal and illusion, of a Western blindness and arrogance that has led, inevitably, to political and military catastrophe."

[all these can be found here:] <http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/stores/detail/-/books/1560254424/revi ews/104-8475646-4571930#15602544247297>

""Robert Fisk has spent the last 25 years in Lebanon. He brings the skills of a dedicated reporter, the objectivity of an outsider and the knowledge of a local to the subject. The most compelling thing about this incredible book is the quantity and quality of eye witness testimony. Robert tells the story as only one who has been there can. Another striking thing about this book is Robert's desire to be exact and precise. Everything is cited and referenced. " <http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/1560254424/ref=pd_sim_b_dp_2/026- 3917911-9110060>

Reporters Without Borders "A journalist of international renown, a Middle East specialist and one of the first to denounce the 1982 massacres in the Sabra and Chatila refugee camps [...]" <http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=2291>

"Robert Fisk, one of England's premier reporters, and a most thoughtful and graceful writer on the trials and tribulations of the Middle East crisis,[...]" <http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=13260>

"Robert Fisk is a journalist who has dedicated his life to defend the helpless and the downtrodden. He has frequently unmasked the tyrannies and hypocrisies of those who would otherwise be invisible were it not for men and women like him" <http://www.palestinechronicle.com/article.php?story=20020530153745837> pir 17:18, 12 Mar 2004 (UTC)

He is a very well known Journalist, sure... but respected?

By whom? Al

By most people who have followed his career. --Zero 22:10, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Like Osama bin Laden "The latter [Fisk] is one of your compatriots and co-religionists and I consider him to be neutral." [3]
He's respected by those who value truth over the jingoistic propaganda that the right wing loves to spout.

Some of the references above seem to be trying to sell his books.

What does "respected" mean in this context? He's undoubtedly courageous. His factual reporting is well written and vivid. But does that mean his OPINIONS (ie, that everything is the fault of the West) are respected?

Example.

He was beaten up by Afghan refugees in Pakistan. His peice afterwards came very close to saying it's understandable to beat up westerners (even those, like Fisk, who are sympathetic to the refugees and opposed the Afghan war) just because they're westerners. I don't know whether I respect that opinion - but I don't agree with it.

Exile 15:58, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)

This man is a controversial figure, I think we need more info on criticisms of him and his writing.

pir, i think, is a profoundly silly person.

"fisting".

in any case, though i probably won't be the the one to do it, someone who has focussed critically on robert fisk's carrer as a propagandist with a press pass should compose a thoughtfull paragraph or two detailing at least those episodes that have damaged his credibility to it's present, flagging state.

regardless of what form it takes, at least some criticality would be nessesary for this entry to approach a wholeness. i am indifferent to maintaining the "fiskie" entry, but something needs to be there.


Perhaps we should maintain some "criticality" -- what a dreadful word -- toward you. Opening with the claim that Robert Fisk is "a propagandist with a press pass..." does tend to throw any subsequent adherence to a neutral point of view into doubt. Perhaps the "wholeness" -- where do you get these terms? -- you're seeking is best found within the pages of the Wall Street Journal.


Definition

valjero has it correct.

Article needs ballance, criticality

pir, i think, is a profoundly silly person.

"fisting".

in any case, though i probably won't be the the one to do it, someone who has focussed critically on robert fisk's carrer as a propagandist with a press pass should compose a thoughtfull paragraph or two detailing at least those episodes that have damaged his credibility to it's present, flagging state.

regardless of what form it takes, at least some criticality would be nessesary for this entry to approach a wholeness. i am indifferent to maintaining the "fiskie" entry, but something needs to be there.

Promoting of political opinions on awards.

Hello,

I do object to the edits from Guy Montag to the article, which are:

although, as famously demonstrated by Walter Duranty and a long list of others, journalism awards are not always proof of ethical standards or truth in reporting.. This is in relation to the awards that Fisk has produced.

This is a property of *journalism* and not a property of Fisk's awards. So either the same text is added to every reference of journalism, or added to the journalism page, but picking on Fisk's integrity as a journalist because you happen to disagree with him.

In any case, the use of the expression "famously demostrated by X and a long list of others" is a weasel term, and it is not recommended to be used: Avoid_weasel_terms

I agree that we should stick with the facts - which appear to be that "Fisk has received several journalism awards, including the British International Journalist of the Year award seven times". Readers are perfectly able to make up their own minds about how meaningful, or not, that these awards are, jguk 22:35, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I agree, it's also not logical to say "these guys won awards and they were bad, so this guy must be bad too" - which is what the addition gives the impression of trying to say -- sannse (talk) 22:56, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Can we find criticism that isn't from blogs (especially those that are clearly partisan)? It would help balance the article. Secretlondon 11:20, 6 August 2005 (UTC)

I agree that non-blog criticism is more relevant. Fisk is merely a favorite sounding board for extreme rightwing bloggers because his interpretation of events, which he witnesses at first hand, is often so radically different from their own, which they for the most part experience vicariously. Their views add nothing in most cases. --Tony SidawayTalk 12:19, 6 August 2005 (UTC)
I found a short piece of criticism from Simon Hoggart, so I've put that in. --Dannyno 11:23, 16 August 2005 (UTC)

Malkovich

Someone replaced: "This culminated in the actor John Malkovich's public statement in May 2002 at the Cambridge Union Society that he would like to shoot Fisk as well as the British MP George Galloway. [4] Many of his critics accuse him of being sympathetic to Islamic terrorists."

with

Naive actors like John Malkovich made pathetic public statement in May 2002 at the Cambridge Union Society saying that he would like to shoot Fisk as well as the British MP George Galloway. [5].

I've put the original back. --Dannyno 17:16, 16 August 2005 (UTC)

-John Malkovich was clearly joking, although I do agree it illustrates his frustration with Fisk's politics. However, I strongly disagree that this indicates Malkovich is Naive, many groups disagree with Robert Fisk.

So a death-threat is just to be considered a joke? In that case Malkovich' naiveity is confirmed...

I heard Malkovich talk about that in an interview, he came across like he was just joking at the time and was subsequently uncomfortable with what he had said.

I believe he should do much more than feel "uncomfortable with what he had said". But I guess that ~it would be such an effort to a spoiled and rich actor. A excellent actor, but totally disconnected from the suffering of millions. 201.19.222.35 00:48, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

I was there when Malkovich made the statement and, as I recall, it was in answer to a question to the effect of "Who would you like to kill?" I'm not sure whether answering that question constitutes a death threat 192.91.191.29 11:45, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

Criticism

I restored the criticism section after it was deleted, but have reworked it and added a praise/awards section. I think it's fair enough the entry covers the criticism and opposition Fisk gets, it's significant to his life and work.--Dannyno 11:44, 17 August 2005 (UTC)

The criticism section seems fair to me at the moment, well blanced and sourced. --Fluxaviator 07:08, 20 August 2005 (UTC)

I've removed this line: "Fisk is also occassionaly criticised from the left, because he has talked about "the Arab inability to seize democracy." He says "Arabs have faith only in their tribes" and will never be democratic.", which was added to the criticism section. If this goes in, it ought to be sourced. I had a look and can only find an article by Johann Hari where Hari says, of Fisk: "In this newspaper, Robert Fisk speaks for much of progressive opinion when he discusses 'the Arab inability to seize democracy', declaring that 'Arabs have confidence only in their tribes.'" (Independent, 28 Jan 05). But I can't find the source of these alleged remarks, and until we know Fisk did actually say them (and that someone, preferably someone we can cite, has actually criticised him for saying them) I can't see including it can be justified. --Dannyno 09:09, 24 August 2005 (UTC)

Ah, it seems Hari is somewhat distorting Fisk. I found a Fisk article in the Independent of 13 February 2004, where Fisk says:

They had seized upon a devastating and all-too-true fact of life in most of the Middle East: that Arab states are largely squalid, corrupt, brutal dictatorships. No surprise there. We created most of these dictators. We kicked off with kings and princes and - if they didn't exercise sufficient control over the masses - then we supported a wretched bunch of generals and colonels, most of whom wore a variety of British military uniforms with eagles instead of crowns on their hat badges... So we never wanted the Arabs to have democracy... Now there are a lot of Arabs who would like a bit of this precious substance called democracy. Indeed, when they emigrate to the West and settle down with US or British or French or any other Western passport, they show the same aptitude as ourselves for "democracy". The Iraqis of Dearborn, Michigan, are like any other Americans, and they vote - largely Democrat - and play and work like any other freedom-loving US citizens. So there's nothing genetic about the Arab world's inability to seize democracy. The problem is not the people. The problem is the environment, the make- up of the patriarchal society and - most important of all - the artificial states which we created for them. They do not and cannot produce democracy. The dictators we paid and armed and stroked ruled by torture and by tribe. Faced with nations which they in many cases did not believe in, the Arab peoples had confidence only in their tribes. The kings were tribal - the Hashemites come from the north-east of what we now call Saudi Arabia - and the dictators were tribal. Saddam, as all the world is told repeatedly, was a Tikriti. And these ruthless men held power through a network of tribal and sectarian alliances.

Which is somewhat different from Hari's version, no? --Dannyno 09:15, 24 August 2005 (UTC)

The criticism section is a joke, it does not accuratley represent his opposition in the real world one bit. After reading this one would think besides one or two insane people Fisk is universally loved, which is far from reality. I have added more to accurately represent the views of his critics- Moshe constantine Hassan Al-Silverburg
To Whoever deleted my last passage- In the interest of avoiding an edit war I have dramatically decreased what could be construed as controversial, but I think it is important to illustrate the true opposition to Fisk instead of the present watered down version. I will not write more in the section until I can come to an agreement with whoever takes serious issues with my present work.- Moshe Constantine Hassan Al-Silverburg 05:40, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
You can see who made what changes by clicking the article's History tab. Incidentally I removed the palestinian bit just now because apart from being unsourced, just anyone who reports from the Middle East is accused by one side or another (often both) of being biased. Fisk is an Arabist (he speaks Arabic) and has been based in Lebanon for many years (AFAIR), and knows the region well. He reports the truth as much as anyone, which generally displeases somebody or other. Rd232 talk 15:27, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
I understand your point, but don't you think it is important to explain the opposition to Fisk in a more thorough manner. Presently the article only seems to include criticism from the so-called "Blogosphere" and John Malkovich, Fisk is a much more controversial writer than what a reader of this article is led to believe.- Moshe Constantine Hassan Al-Silverburg 23:01, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
This may be true, but it needs to be sourced. See Wikipedia:Cite sources and Wikipedia:Verifiability. Rd232 talk 10:36, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

Critics of Fisk tend to suggest that his writing is infused with a left-wing agenda that includes too much criticism of the excesses of the Israelis and the quite bare-faced lies and inept foreign policy of characters like Bush and Blair. However, if you actually read his stuff, it's very even handed. For example, there's a lengthy section in 'The Great War For Civilisation' on the anti-Semitism of the former Grand Mufti for Palestine and his enthusiasm for and courting of Hitler. Page 408 of the UK edition also features the sentence '..it is important to remember that the one country which chose a truly democratic alternative to the Middle East [after WW1] was the United States of America'. In the same chapter, the efforts of American diplomats in Turkey and the New York Times to expose and report the Armenian Holocaust are praised. Elsewhere, the human rights abuses of Saddam and the Ayatollahs are extensively described. I'm currently only up to page 450 in this book but it already seems to me that Fisk's critics have more of a case to answer than he does. For example, I tracked down and read Andrew Sullivan's article on his otherwise rather dreary blog that seemed to trigger the use of the term 'Fisking'. I thought that he might be challenging the factual basis for Fisk's reporting. But he doesn't. Not one factual element in Fisk's reporting is disputed. Instead it consists of an unconvincing rant alleging that he is an inverted racist. The basis for this accusation is that Fisk took the side of his attackers when he was beaten up by a mob in Afghanistan after America removed the Taliban. What Sullivan seems to have missed is the fact that Islam cuts across racial boundaries. Of course, this simply means that Fisk was assaulted because he was an infidel. But at least one of the crowd who did this seemed to seriously think that Fisk might actually be Bush, which is unsurprising given the poverty and lack of education which hallmarks this part of the world. And all Fisk seems to be claiming is that if he had been through what they had he might have done the same. Sullivan's comments are to be found here: http://andrewsullivan.com/index.php?dish_inc=archives/2001_12_09_dish_archive.html#7786744 After looking at what other critics have to say about Fisk, I have concluded that some (Johann Hari, Simon Hoggart) make interesting and valid points. But others seem to have dubious political motives of their own that need uncovering. Fisk, it seems to me, is more of a Wilfred Owen of prose than a left-wing ideologue and it's the fact that he shows up all the major players for what they are in his writing that seems to rankle with his detractors as it leaves no-one able to claim the moral high ground. A transcript of a debate between Fisk and Hari can be found here: http://www.johannhari.com/archive/article.php?id=464 mjm1

Perhaps some quotes/analysis from the book can be added to the Foreign affairs analysis section. Rd232 talk 17:49, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
I agree with mjm1. Because Fisk is not restained in his opinion of Israel people assume he is some sort of pro-Arab left-wing activist. He isn't. Actually he is just as unrestrained in writing about everyone. In a talk of his I went to recently, he spent a good 10 minutes describing tortures in Saddam Hussein's prisons. And that was just the start. Activist types who went to the talk expecting a standard righteous-indignation-against-the-evil-US lecture were shocked. When someone asked "what can we do to support the Iraqi resistance against the American occupation?", Fisk gave him a real tongue-lashing. --Zero 11:41, 14 November 2005 (UTC)


I am adding in critisms established by [HonestReporting www.honestreporting.com]. Google has many links [6] StoopidEggs2 12:54, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

user:Astanhope removed the POV's I added into the critisms section, which I thought was created for the reason of presenting both side's POVs. Is his deletion okay? Or is a revert acceptable? --user:Stoopideggs2
We really need views/comments/criticism on Fisk from commentators with some reputation. Otherwise it's just arbitrary to pick some comment that somebody happened to say somewhere on the internet. There's one journalist quoted (Simon Hoggart), and other commentators should be of that kind of a stature I think. Rd232 talk 17:48, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

Honest Reporting is anything but. I only needed to look at one page to find this out. They seemed to think that the BBC should have been using the word 'terrorist' to describe the July 7th UK attacks. However, as Phil Rees explains in his book 'Dining With Terrorists', there are excellent reasons why the BBC avoid the use of this term, however much the emotions and reactions bound up with such appalling events might compel one to. The standards of reporting on websites like this one (CAMERA is another example)are simply not as high as those of the media outlets and journalists they criticise, and this detracts from their credibility. The problem is, of course, that almost everyone who reports on the Middle East has an agenda. Fisk does. I do too (in the sense that the balance of reportage I've encountered so far leads me to side with his kind of perspective). But I'd certainly like to read more reputable critiques of Fisk though not from these self-appointed 'Media Watchdogs'.mjm1

I agree that we need commentators with reputation, and that second paragraph was definitely from a random web-user. However, HonestReporting has a creditable reputation. Maybe the way I presented it in the paragraph I wrote does not make it seem creditable; but the site and its authors have just as much credit as those of CNN or the Independent/Guardian.--Stoopideggs2 18:57, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
Well I'm glad you agree with the principle. But Honest Reporting is not a media outlet, it is a media watchdog NGO, of which there are many with widely differing points of view (HR's incidentally is very clear). It's not even clear to what extent HR pieces are written by members rather than staff, never mind journalists. If that is the case, such contributions are little more than blog commentary (without even the benefit of a recognisable author). Rd232 talk 20:25, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
Thank you for clarifying. I understand and appreciate it--Stoopideggs2 05:06, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
Can someone please include a rebuttle of some of the criticisms as they are found, for instance from Israeli historian Efraim Karsh's criticism i would like to defend him saying Fisk certainly did not think Jesus was born in Jerusalem. The actual quote was "If this was a war on terror [...] then Jesus was not born in Bethlehem." Ebcos 13:19, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
Ebcos: I too think its fishy that the notable criticisms are from Karsh and CAMERA -- not exactly without their own agendas. Incidentally, why so much talk of "agenda"? It seems to me to be a high school history lesson that everyone has an agenda, that there is no such thing as actual "journalistic objectivity" and to argue against a presentation of facts that imply a position you don't agree with on the basis that it's not "objective enough" is naive. What a reporter reports on, what they do not report on, who they source, who they don't...these things all are lead by the writer's "agenda". One could likewise allege that the LA Times has an "agenda" because their articles on foreign affairs are so often sourced "The US military says" "A Pentagon official said" etc. Perhaps they are poorly sourced but all of this "agenda" talk is useless. I recently ordered Fisk's book and intend to properly correct and contextualize these distorted "criticisms" such as you mentioned above, Ebcos. Inoculatedcities 15:21, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
Here's a choice quote from the CAMERA article revealing their "agenda": "What is somewhat surprising is that the mainstream American media, committed to objectivity and accuracy, continue to publish the journalist’s deceptive and error-ridden work, seemingly without any fact-checking.[7] I guess because the US mainstream media is vehemently and reflexively pro-Israeli, that makes them "committed to objectivity and accuracy" -- can we at least acknowledge that there are TWO sides to the debate here and not just take it for granted that Fisk is a "Israel basher" as so many have blathered on this page? The issue is a little more complicated than that. Inoculatedcities 15:28, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Paragraph on Fisk's reputation/internet rumours

There's a paragraph [8] which one editor wants to remove as "trivia, and frankly boring", and I think is marginally worth keeping, as illustrative of Fisk's reputation (that people would think he'd been banned by the US govt). Anyone else have an opinion? Rd232 talk 22:27, 13 November 2005 (UTC)

My opinion: the same sort of rumor would have happened with regard to anyone famous. The fact that Fisk is famous is already well-covered in the article. The rumor was dispelled almost immediately and had no lasting effect of any sort. It is nothing but a trivial anecdote that does not belong in a serious encyclopedia article. --Zero 11:20, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
"would have happened with regard to anyone famous" - no, I don't think so. It might have happened with regard to anyone who was known for being critical of the US - but it didn't, it happened to Fisk. That the rumours were not "dispelled almost immediately" is quite clear from Fisk's article (as well as the very fact that he had to write it). As for "trivial anecdote" - you might equally say it adds colour. I'm not saying it'll be worth a mention in his obit (especially if it's not any time soon), but I don't think it needs to be removed from this Wikipedia article at this time. Rd232 talk 11:49, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
The fact that the rumor was false was announced almost immediately. For example, the Israeli mailing list ALEF got the rumor at 23:56 on Sep 22 and the disproof at 21:41 on Sep 23. That was a whole month before the Independent published Fisk's story about it. Fisk wrote about it because of his self-indulgent nature (which he would be better without), not because it was "necessary". --Zero 12:38, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
Taken as a whole the article can fairly to be said to be rather self-indulgent - though your reference to "his self-indulgent nature" is absurdly sweeping. But disproof on one Israeli mailing list is not the issue:
"...within hours, the internet - a vile institution which I do not use - was awash with stories that the United States had banned my entry to America because of my critical articles about the Bush administration or because I had long ago interviewed bin Laden or because I was so horrible that no democracy would ever let me stain its front doormat. This rubbish followed me round the world. In Australia to launch my book, I was asked - on 10 radio and television shows and in four lectures - how it felt to be banned from the United States. I must have spent a total of two hours collectively explaining that this was untrue. I had simply travelled on an old passport that was no longer valid for entry to the US. It was useless. In Scotland, a university academic introducing me to his audience by announcing that my articles 'must at last have got up the nose of the Bush administration' because I had been banned. The internet bullshit followed me to Dublin and then to Cork and then to Belfast. Nothing, it seemed, could switch off the message."
Remember too that this is the guy who some people dislike enough that the internet term Fisking was coined. Rd232 talk 14:38, 14 November 2005 (UTC)

Osama

I think Osama bin Laden actually said he considered Fisk "objective" (mawdu`i), not neutral. Palmiro | Talk 12:45, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

There is no such big difference I think. A subjective perspective will never be neutral. Neutrality implies objectivity. Obviously one can be objective without being neutral, but he will be partial. I think 'neutral' was what Osama bin Laden meant. But Fisk is objective too.201.19.222.35 00:41, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

Removal/Revert of Little Green Footballs info

User:Rd232 has removed the paragraph detailing Little Green Footballs' "Fiskie," an award that implicitly criticizes Fisk's viewpoint. The edit summary "rm irrelevant blog," is pretty harsh, to me suggesting that deleting this criticism of Fisk was akin to removing vandalism, however, despite what in my view is User:Rd232's failure to assume good faith, I will open discussion here on Talk, something I wish my co-editor would have done along with his deletion. I contend that if a website with 672,000 daily hits criticizes Fisk, it is relevant. Is there so much stuff named after him that this item is not notable? Looking forward to your reply... Kaisershatner 01:11, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

In my opinion, opinions on private weblogs do not belong here regardless of how many hits they get. --Zero 02:16, 28 December 2005 (UTC)
Sorry, I realise it wasn't a good edit summary; and I assure you I'm assuming good faith. We just disagree on the relevance of the name of a blog award to an encyclopedia entry about Robert Fisk (it's named after him - so what?). I had asked the previous person who wanted to add the award (Zeq) to justify it here, but he chose not to. Looking at Little Green Footballs (what a mess that article is!) the blog is more prominent than I realised. However, the award name itself is deliberately insulting, and not "criticism". The award has achieved no mention in real media (according to LexisNexis). I still see no place for it here. Rd232 talk 18:38, 28 December 2005 (UTC)
Thanks so much for your reply. I particularly appreciate the tone. I won't take it personally and thanks for providing your reasoning. We agree on two points - (1) the LGF article is a mess (I spent some time editing it today), and (2) we attribute different relevance to the LGF "award." It is true that the name is deliberately insulting and I trust your L/N search is correct (although I would avoid the term "real media," as times are changing). Neither of those things, in my view, intrinsically should lead to noninclusion, but in the end it's a matter of opinion. The fact that there is a "Fiskie" in my view is evidence of the degree of antipathy he has inspired in certain political spheres. I certainly am not arguing it deserves major mention, but my logic is that as Fisk is notable enough to have a wikipedia entry, and there is one thing named after him (derisively), it ought to be in there. I guess that makes me an inclusionist? Maybe a section entitled "Trivia?" would work? It is certainly "trivial." Kaisershatner 19:27, 28 December 2005 (UTC)



Removing Blog links

I don't see the point of adding clearly biased articles to balance out the links. I would also question the wisdom of linking to a blog or 'campaigning group'. I also imagine there's better criticism out there from his peers.


That is ridiculous. Obviously Little Green Footballs is partisan, but the fact you dislike it does not take away from its popularity and impact and not to report on it speaks loudly about your own political views and says nothing about your commitment to neutral dissemination of fact. LGF has a prominent audience and its Robert Fisk Idiotarian of the Year Award is likely worth including in a list of Fisk's detractors. Wikipedia links all manner of political websites including fascists, conspiracy theorists and cults and the intention is to explain subjects comprehensively. --- Jez

Great War for Civilisation

The title of Fisk's 2005 book is a deliberate use of irony. After the First World War, the Victory Medals issued in bronze to all those who had received the 1914 or 1914/15 stars, and to most of those issued with the British War Medal. These were inscribed on reverse "The Great War for Civilisation 1914-19". The medal was authorised in Britain on 1 September 1919. See [9]. Fisk's book starts with a description of some of the consequences of the Great War, in which his father Bill Fisk was a soldier. DFH 21:19, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

Fisk is an extreme Israel basher - his biases are infamous - when I have the time I will begin to edit this article to make it less a hagiography.Incorrect 13:46, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
I have made some rather light edits, removing some repeticious wording and making npov.Incorrect 16:12, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

As an Arabic speaker

The introduction states that Robeert Fisk "speaks good vernacular Arabic", but the main article describes him as being "fluent". Which is correct? Philip Cross 17:30, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

I changed the introductory text to "good vernacular Arabic" as I believe it is an adequate representation of Fisk's abilities. In 1993, when he had already been in the Arab world nearly 20 years, he could not, for example, read simple press releases and newspaper articles in Arabic, as I know from personal experience because he asked me, a casual bystander, to translate for him at Cairo peace talks. I have heard him do reasonably well in Lebanese colloquial, although I would doubt he could conduct a nuanced interview with a decision maker directly in any form of Arabic. Delepaak

"Alleged" ills: choice of words reflecting a right-wing POV

I've removed the word "alleged" from the last sentence in the introduction: "... in his emphasis on reporting the [alleged] ills done to the Middle East by the West from the Great War onwards."

Even a neutral observer cannot deny there have been at least some negative consequences of British-French and later U.S. interference in the Middle East. Examples: - Creation of the state of Israel (nobody asked the actual inhabitants if they agreed giving up their lands ... and please don't start with that baseless nonsense that the Palestinians came from neighbouring countries) - The toppling of an elected government in Iran in 1953 (Iran's Mossadegh committed the greatest sin: he suggested the oil on Iran's territory should belong to Iran and not to foreign companies !) - The sanctions against the Iraqi population in the 90s (in July 1989 before the sanctions, 387 children per month under the age of five died in Iraq. In July 1998 after the sanctions, 6,495 children per month under the age of five died, a 16-fold increase from before the sanctions) and the subsequent occupation of the country.


You should sign your comments, but your entry itself displays a definite passion, which while I think it admirable in a world of apathy, is an approach unlikely to meet with much succes on this site. Boldymumbles 21:19, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

A true passion matched with a passion for the truth by the way. 201.19.222.35 00:37, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

References section

I've started cleaning up the references section for this article. There are still quite a few links that need to be cited properly. Help would be appreicated :) sikander 01:02, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

'Fisking', and the Neutrality of the Quotes

While this article does a reasonably good job of being neutral, I do have three problems with it.

The reference to "fisking" needs to be set in context: this term does not mean what it is supposed to mean, but is actually little more than a right-wing term of abuse. Those who coined the term claimed that 'fisking' was a ruthlessly factual, point by point set of arguments against someone's writing .... but if you examine the original, defining example you will see that these characteristics are illusory. It does seem more likely that the "definition" given by those who use the word was manufactured in order to cover up the fact that they intended the word simply to connote "fisting" (cf the related English-language idiom "shafting"). To make a reference to the word without raising these points is not good: it let's the article down in a very substantial way.

Second, I am worried about the neutrality of the 'Notable Quotes'.

I was surprised enough by Fisk's comments about there being no Hezbollah missiles in Southern Lebanon that I looked up the original reference. I found that his comments referred to a particular type of missile (specifically, one capable of reaching Tel Aviv), a particular quantity (10,000 of them) and that his comments were made three years ago. The quote was cited out of this context, and is now really rather misleading. The present circumstances (recent bombardment of Lebanon) are demonstrating that (a) there :are few, if any missiles powerful enough to reach as far as Tel Aviv (this, from independent military estimates, as well as from the fact that they have not been used), and even the total quantity of smaller missiles is not thought to be as high as the numbers cited.

If Fisk was observing, in 2003, that 10,000 missiles large enough to reach Tel Aviv would be obvious to him, but were clearly absent, then his comment may well have been accurate at that time. By leaving the out-of-context quote in the article it looks like a deliberate attempt to make him look stupid.

There is also another quote from Fisk about his doubts as to whether Abu Musab Zarqawi actually existed: to include this quote after Zarqawi was proved to have existed (by being killed) smacks of criticising Fisk with the benefit of hindsight. Today, it looks foolish for him to have said that, but it was not necessarily foolish for him to have said that before, and including the quote seems like an attempt to ridicule him. Especially since whoever chose this quote decided also to include a later one in which Fisk talks about Zarqawi's death.

I am sorry to say it, but I am not clear about why these particular quotes were chosen, and it begins to look like a systematic pattern of attempts to make him look foolish. There are many quotes that, in context, show him to have been more insightful than any other journalist reporting at the time: why were some of these not chosen?

While I would not want to edit out any signs of Fisk fallibility, the fact is that examples of assessments by him that have been accurate far exceed the ones that are inaccurate: if this article is to criticise him for inaccurate comments, then some attempt has to be made to assess the ratio of accurate to inaccurate comments, not simply pick an inaccurate one.

My third problem is with the "Praise and Awards" section and its counterpart, the "Criticism and Opposition" section. While it is true that his awards are also mentioned elsewhere, the very fact that he has been praised so highly makes the reader ask "What did people say about him, to justify this high praise?", but if such a reader searched the article they would find not one single quote from a person who says why Fisk is so highly regarded. I repeat: there is not one.

This is astonishing, given that, as the article points out, he is "the world's most-decorated foreign correspondent". All that, but no comments from anyone to explain why he got the awards?

Is this counterbalanced by zero quotations from people who dislike him? Not at all: there are several direct quotes, some indirect ones, and several places where he is implictly criticised by the text of the article. Most notable of these is the decision to include a comment by Osama bin Laden in the section "Praise and Awards" - the choice to put bin Laden's comment here looks like a clear attempt to damn Fisk using guilt-by-association.

Finally, one small question: Osama bin Laden has not been seen on video for quite a while: the quote should reference his audiotape.

All good points. I started cleaning up the references today and I was actually going to verify the quotes because they do seem to be added with a POV. For the other points you raised, please feel free to edit the article and clean it up and make it more NPOV. Thanks sikander 03:19, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
Just a couple of points.

1. Just because he said something foolish doesn't mean we can't quote it. 2. The quote about the rockets: I'm not quite sure if he's saying there were no rockets in Lebanon at all or there are no rockets that could reach Tel Aviv. From reading it, it could go either way. My guess is that he was saying there were no rockets there at all. 3. We should start an article on wikiqoute and move all qoutes there. 4. Please sign your comments. DarthJesus 06:50, 20 July 2006 (UTC)


Mmmm as a side note, as a military analyst, within my field Fisk is seen as something of a running joke. I'm surprised that anybody is surprised that Fisk's predictions are so often so wildly incorrect. He 'went native' quite some time ago. AP

"within my field Fisk is seen as something of a running joke"

By your comments, it seems possible/probable that you may find editing this particular article, at least, in a way that observes neutrality, challenging. I hope you can either check your opinions at the door or otherwise refrain from editing this article if you can't do so without resisting the urge to slant it.  ;)

Challenging certainly, impossible of course not. I wouldn't say slanting is quite the right term, at least giving some indication that Fisk is considered hopelessly inaccurate in much of his analysis, as recent events is Lebanon have shown, is a necessity. Otherwise anybody with a modicum of analytical standing might be puzzled as to how such a supposed expert can be so consistently proved wrong by world events. AP

"Just because he said something foolish doesn't mean we can't quote it."

I think the point that guy was trying to make was that the quotes only look foolish because we are presenting ONLY the conclusions, and OMITTING the basis for those conclusions (i.e., the context!). If the foolishness is a by-product of leaving out context, then the context needs to be there, or else the statement has been slanted.

Also, by "sign your comments", Darth Jesus may have meant, "Use the little button on the toolbar above that is labeled, 'signature with time stamp' when you run the mouse over it." Failing that, four tildes in a row will do it.

Antelope In Search Of Truth 08:58, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

The reason I put the Zarqawi quote in their is that saying he doubted he existed or was an "insurgent mastermind" was foolish. There was tons of evidence that he did indeed exist and that he was leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq. Yet Fisk's first impulse was to doubt what the US government was saying. It gives an important insight into his mindset. DarthJesus 16:17, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
The US government assured us and even showed us evidence about the WMDs in Iraq :P sikander 18:57, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
That is very true, but we're talking about Robert Fisk. And since the qoutes are now gone, I don't feel that any further discussion about them here has any point. DarthJesus 21:15, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
Quotes belong in Wikiquote, thats why I put them there. If Fisk was enough of an an idiot to say that Zarqawi did not exist, and it appears he lives up to his reputation here, than someone must have commented on it, and if someone did, then it the quote along with the rleevant commentary might make a good addition to the article. Torturous Devastating Cudgel 21:40, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

Thank you TDC, for cleaning up the quotes (as they are depicted on Wikiquote).

However, as is depicted both on Wikiquote AND the article by Fisk, he does not say that "Zarqawi did not exist". He said that there are "grave doubts" (on the part of he and "many Iraqis") that Zarqawi existed AND that if he did, he did not deserve the title of "insurgency mastermind".

Expressing doubt is not the same as expressing certainty. Come on now..... Not to mention, reducing his statement to expressed certainty that Zarqawi does not exist is not only inaccurate but completely ignores the 2nd claim in that quote: The claim that he and others living in the region doubt that Zarqawi is the "mastermind" for the organized resistance to US occupation (i.e., insurgency).

We all need to be able to see the structure of logical argument if we are going to be depicting and summarizing the claims being made by people without distorting or warping their meaning!

--Antelope In Search Of Truth 17:58, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

I was just reading Wikipedia:Attribution and under
["Original Research"] it says that neologisms are prohibited:
Wikipedia does not publish original research or original thought
Original research refers to material that is not attributable to a reliable, published source. This includes unpublished facts, arguments, ideas, statements, and neologisms; and any unpublished analysis or synthesis of published material that appears to advance a position. Material added to articles must be directly and explicitly supported by the cited sources.
It sounds like "Fisking" will have to go, unless somebody can at least find it in a generally used dictionary. Nbauman 22:13, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Latest Edit

I removed a superfluous parenthetical statement, which was obviously quite biased: "In his graphic account of his own beating, published in The Independent of 10 December 2001, Fisk considered his attackers blameless ('I couldn't blame them for what they were doing,') and excused the attackers of responsibility (thus ignoring the significance of the Afghani who saved him)."Smitty Mcgee 16:25, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

Criticism/Controversy section a little messy

"In this instance his pessimism has been borne out as evidenced by the rising violence in Iraq, the resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan, the failure to address the Palestinian-Israeli crisis, and the 2006 Israeli-Lebanon War."

Removed the above quote from the section on Hoggart's criticisms due to NPOV violation. Also removed "In support of this pessimism..." simply because it makes little sense in the context of the following sentence and is unnecessary now that the POV statement has been removed. Edders

Regarding recent edits to the 9/11 section (8/24/06)

This is an article about Robert Fisk, not Michael Scheur. End of story. Quoting Scheur at length in a Robert Fisk article and justifying it because it supports a view of Fisk's, does constitute original research:

"Original research is research that is not exclusively based on a summary, review or synthesis of earlier publications on the subject of research. The purpose of the original research is to produce new knowledge, rather than to present the existing knowledge in a new form [[10]]"

The [Scheur content] is NOT based on subject of research here, namely Fisk. He is not mentioned or quoted in any way in the source of that content. The very act of content that is not directly related to Fisk is a way of constructing or amplifying Fisk's own point artificially. In Fisk's own article, Fisk has to make his own points.

--Antelope In Search Of Truth 01:06, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

For reference, "directly related to Fisk" means in some way having to do with Fisk. Like something HE said. Something HE did. The subject of this article is not "Affairs in the Middle East".
The content you're attempting to compile here belongs in an article about something like that, not an article about Fisk, his life, what he said and/or did, etc.. It does relate to the *subject* Fisk was addressing, no question. It does not relate specifically to Fisk. Unless you think he IS Middle East politics. lol.
--Antelope In Search Of Truth 15:53, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

The idea that something is only relevant when one's name is specifically mentioned is overly simplistic. If Scientist A and Scientist B agree that Pluto is not a planet but do not mention each other in their reasoning, than their agreement is still relevant, especially if they are both viewed as experts on what defines a planet. Further, the insertion is not about "Affairs in the Middle East" but looking for deeper meaning for Fisk's insistence in history beyond simplistic analysis and stock good v. evil articulation. The logical conclusion of this reasoning would be that a central Fisk demand, essentially that history is important and that explanation for all historical events should be sought and debated, should be discarded. There is no daylight between Fisk and Scheur's view on seeking explanation for historical events (in this instance 9/11) and they agree completely on why 9/11 happened. They both hold contrarian views on why 9/11 occurred. Fisk also is frequently accussed of being a leftist whose views are purely anti-American and pro-Arab, when in reality he has said very positive things about Patrick Buchanan and Michael Scheur, not analysts that one could accuse of being on the left. It thus relates specifically to Fisk because it is a central reason why Fisk is important. [User: rsi73 - have not figured out how to have my user id added automatically yet!]

Why that particular bit of Scheur content does not belong in this article

"If Scientist A and Scientist B agree that Pluto is not a planet but do not mention each other in their reasoning, than their agreement is still relevant, especially if they are both viewed as experts on what defines a planet."
My point here, to use your example, is that the common subject is Pluto, not the scientists. So in the article about each scientist, you'd include what they individually said, and in an article about Pluto, you would compile what they both said. To include that compilation in each of the individual scientists' articles is overkill, redundant and off subject unless one of the scientists refers to the other.
If the line is not drawn there, someone else will add something that Aristotle wrote once or Roosevelt or Bono; articles would be bloated beyond their original subject and someone going to read about a particular subject would have to wade through a lot of extra stuff. That is why people, not just myself, are going to continue reverting, not because the content is not worthy or over-simplistic.....
Also, to add your user ID, there should be a button on the edit-bar (right above) that says "signature with timestamp when you hover the cursor over it.... just hit it to add that. Or use 4 tildes (or is it 3?). Just use "show preview" to see if you got it right before you save the page.
--Antelope In Search Of Truth 20:03, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
Antelope In Search Of Truth has given you a perfectly clear explanation of why the Scheur opinion is WP:OR. Please read the linked policy and stop reinserting it because it's not even a borderline case. For signing and timestamping your posts, all you need to do is type 4 tildes (a tilde is the wavy line beside the number one/exclamation mark key on your keyboard. It looks like this: ~) Armon 00:40, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

reverting

User:Hypnosadist, you have reverted two seperate editors to keep in a section that seems throughly irrelevent to the biography of Robert Fisk. you claim that you wish to discuss this, yet have not mentioned it on this page, while you have reverted it back in twice. What gives? --Irishpunktom\talk 14:35, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

The reverts were also for two different reasons given by the editors.Hypnosadist 14:44, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
Why are you reverting to keep the irrelevent information in? --Irishpunktom\talk 14:54, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
see below.Hypnosadist 15:09, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

--Antelope In Search Of Truth 19:41, 22 September 2006 (UTC)==Invitation to islam== This is praise from the number two and number three leaders of Al qaeda in a major propaganda video. Fisk is a major player in the intellectual battle of the War on Terror, he costantly critcises Bush and Blair and their tactics/ morallity/ and even democratic legitamacy. Now he is praised by the other side in this War, by high ranking members of the Al qaeda no less. This is notable as hell, it does not Prove anything, but it is factual information that helps the reader decide what they think about Fisk.Hypnosadist 14:42, 7 September 2006 (UTC) PS i was writing as you were.Hypnosadist 14:42, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

Fisk is a Journalist and an Author. Calling him a " major player in the intellectual battle of the War on Terror" is bull, because its not a "war" he subscribes to. He is critical of almost every leader in the world - tearing into Nasrallah during the recent conflict with Israel, and suggesting that the "other side" supports him (neatly dividing the world into Us and Them, black and white, Good and Evil, right?) is not supported by the facts. According to the sources I've read Azzam merely noted how Fisk like "countless others" is not hostile to Muslims and Islam, and Adam encouraged the American people as well as Fisk et cetera to become Muslim. Its relevent perhaps to Adams page that an Al Qaeda "leader" (number 3?! wherever did that come from?!!) has "praised" a self-declared Christian who has openly supported the right of the "zionist entity" to live in peace with its neighbours, its not relevent here. --Irishpunktom\talk 15:36, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

Fisk is a major player because he is a Journalist and an Author mostly on the subject of the Middle East (the reason for this whole F'n war) and the notabilty of it not because of his content. Yes being British, Al Qaeda is the other side to me, as they deliberately killed 52 civilians on 7/7 and umpteen different other attacks (that were stopped) that are going through the courts at the moment including 2006 transatlantic aircraft plot. Do i think Fisk is an Al Qaeda oprative, No! With the last edit removing it claiming that we don't know it comes from al qaeda I Give Up!, i have a life and won't edit war with three people tag teaming to keep this info out.Hypnosadist 16:08, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

I also have a life, but this information is going in there. It's sourced, counterbalanced, and in both the articles concerning Adam Gadahn and George Galloway. We can take it to mediation/arbitration if anyone cares to. Hiddekel 17:57, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

To user Rsi73: Please elaborate on what is "POV" about my addition before you revert again. It is a neutrally-written (and in fact counterbalanced by Bin Laden's opinion that Fisk is NOT sympathetic but rather "neutral") addition to a section listing praise Fisk has received from various sources. If you have suggests to make the entry more neutral, please feel free to edit it appropriately, but simply removing the addition is not helpful. Hiddekel 16:40, 18 September 2006 (UTC)


Rsi73 06:40, 19 September 2006 (UTC)You should take a look at the Wikepedia section on logical fallacies. You are engaging in an association fallacy “that qualities of one are inherently qualities of another, merely by association.” You are intentionally associating Robert Fisk with Al Qaeda to engender anger at Robert Fisk. By making this association, you are appealing to emotion, influencing the reader to think negatively of Fisk because a supposed member of Al Qaeda said one thing that could be construed as positive about Fisk. This has no place in an encylopediac listing. If Hitler says something nice about you, it does not mean you are a supporter of Hitler. If David Duke says something nice about George W. Bush’s fashion sense, it does not mean Bush is a racist, or that one should think less of Bush based on this association. You are engaging in a red herring, presenting an irrelevancy to put Fisk in a bad light. It is particularly fallacious because Fisk has condemned Al Qaeda as having committed crimes of humanity.

This type of association fallacy is often described as reduction ad Hilterum. The listing on Wikipedia makes clear what you are attempting to do: “The term reductio ad Hitlerum (sometimes rendered reductio ad Hitlerem; whimsical Latin for "reduction to Hitler") was originally coined by University of Chicago professor and ethicist Leo Strauss. The phrase comes from the more well-known logical argument reductio ad absurdum. It is a variety of association fallacy and may also be described as argumentum ad nazium. The relatively frequent occurrence of such absurd lines of reasoning in Usenet discussions led to the formulation of Godwin's Law in 1990. The reductio ad Hitlerum fallacy is of the form "Adolf Hitler or the Nazi party supported X; therefore X must be evil". This fallacy is often effective due to the near-instant condemnation of anything to do with Hitler or the Nazis. The fallacious nature of this argument is best illustrated by identifying X as something that Adolf Hitler or his supporters did promote but which is not considered evil — for example, X = "promoting expressways", X = "wearing khakis", X = "painting watercolors", or X = "vegetarianism". It is important to understand that those policies advocated by Hitler and his party that are generally considered evil, are all condemned by themselves, not because Hitler supported them. In other words: they are not evil because Hitler advocated them, but rather Hitler was evil because he advocated them. It may also be refuted through counterexamples: • Dwight Eisenhower, who despised Hitler's criminality, admired his Autobahnen and promoted the Interstate Highway System in the United States. • Hitler's arch-enemy Sir Winston Churchill also painted. • U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who asked Congress for a Declaration of War, and his successor Harry Truman, who continued to prosecute the war against Germany, also owned dogs. • German-American scientist Albert Einstein was also a vegetarian. The phrase appears in Strauss's writings in the 1950 Natural Right and History, Chapter II: In following this movement towards its end we shall inevitably reach a point beyond which the scene is darkened by the shadow of Hitler. Unfortunately, it does not go without saying that in our examination we must avoid the fallacy that in the last decades has frequently been used as a substitute for the reductio ad absurdum: the reductio ad Hitlerum. A view is not refuted by the fact that it happens to have been shared by Hitler."


Rsi73 06:40, 19 September 2006 (UTC)Finally, your additional arguments are unconvinicing. Regarding the reference being in articles on Adam Gadahn and George Galloway listings: just because these logical fallacies are in these listings does not mean they should be added to the Fisk listing. Indeed, they should be deleted from the Gadahn and Galloway listings (thank you for pointing this out). Regarding the citation: since you have engaged in a logical fallacy, the legitimacy of the sourcing is of limited importance; certainly the first reference is of dubious origin. I am not sure what you mean by counterbalanced, but it certainly is not a balanced approach to engage in reductio ad Hitlerum. And to say there is balance because Bin Laden supposedly said Fisk is neutral is laughable - quoting someone who describes a journalist as neutral, a person who continues to raise emotion because of the violence he has committed against innocent civilians, is not a balanced approach, it is done to spread hatred from bin Laden to Fisk. Whether Al Qaeda supposedly said neutral or good, the result will be the same: you have condemned Fisk by association. If Hitler said Hiddekel was neutral on World War Two and this was placed in your biography, it would not create warm and fuzzy opinions of you. Finally, unless you speak Arabic, I would be careful about asserting that bin Laden said "neutral"; Arabic speakers have interpreted bin Laden to have used the word "objective" not "neutral."Rsi73 06:40, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

By questioning my motivations without providing any actual evidence for what they are, your entire argument appears to violate the policy of assuming good faith on the part of editors. I'm not making any argument concerning Fisk, and neither is the addition I made to the article, therefore this isn't a reducto ad anything. I added information (without making any argument whatsoever) to a section on praise received by Fisk, concerning praise he received. What conclusions people draw from the information is their business. My motivations are my business, and as long as they don't show through in the form of POV wording of the information I provide, they are irrelevant. Unless you can pinpoint exactly what in the passage exhibits a NNPOV wording, or at the very least weasel words, your accusations of attempting to inspire hatred have no leg to stand on.
Given that, the only question becomes whether or not the praise is relevant to the article, which concerns Robert Fisk and his work. As a significant portion of his work concerns Al Qaeda, it is clear (to me at least) that Al Qaeda's reaction to his work IS relevant. If you believe otherwise, feel free to put forward an argument as to why I am mistaken in this belief. All that your lengthy dissertation proves is that trying to paint Fisk as an Al Qaeda sympathizer based on the passage I added would be logically fallacious. I certainly agree.
Remember, this is not Wikinfo. The purpose of Fisk's entry is to neither inspire hatred nor like of Robert Fisk. It's to include relevant encyclopedic information on who he is and his work, and let people draw their own conclusions (or not). I'm willing to entertain the option that praise is irrelevant (and therefore the section should be removed), but barring that, I see nothing in your argument that actually warrants removing the specific information on praise received from Gadahn.
All that said, before I restore the information I will do you the courtesy (which you failed to do for me) of giving you time to compose a relevant response. Hiddekel 18:04, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

Just stepping into the debate here. If we really want to include the praise from Osama, then it should go in a separate section, perhaps "controversy" or something similar. It is disingenuous to pretend that being praised by a terrorist belongs in the same category as recognition from major non-profit organizations, especially when Fisk himself discounts this praise. Sdedeo (tips) 19:29, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

I'd have no objection to that. Only reason why I put it under "Praise" is because it seemed like the most appropriate place to put it, given that it's not really "Criticism", there is no "Controversy" section, and people seemed to object to previous editors devoting a separate section to it. Another option is to put it under "Career" somewhere. Hiddekel 19:53, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

I question whether it's really relevant? That Osama praised Fisk once seems irrelevent to the careers of either. Serial killers often praise public figures, but we don't usually include that information unless it is directly relevant to their careers (e.g., the Beatles and Manson.) Sdedeo (tips) 19:59, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

Well, let's say that Fisk had become prominent by interviewing and reporting on, say, Charles Manson. Manson's opinion of his work would, IMO, then be relevant to an article on him, and mention of it would be justified, though I would agree that it would not merit a lengthy dissertation on the subject. While Fisk's prominence does not rest solely on his work with Al Qaeda/Taliban, it was a significant chapter in his career, and I think that his subject's assessment of his work is sufficiently relevant to merit mention. In short, there's a genuine linkage between Fisk and Al Qaeda which makes mention by the latter relevant to the life story of the former. Hiddekel 20:35, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

How about this? Sdedeo (tips) 22:47, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

No, I can't make it work. Devoting discussion to a single comment, "Fisk is neutral," is already far too much coverage given the current state of the discussion of Fisk's opinions of, and research on, Osama. I could see it in the context of a larger paragraph on the reception of Fisk's reporting, which would itself be part of a section devoted to Fisk's coverage of Bin Laden, but it gives far too much weight to have it stand alone. Sdedeo (tips) 22:51, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

If this is a concern, my proposal is this: Combine the "Career" subsections "9/11" and "Assaulted on Assignment" into a single subsection, say, "9/11 and Afghanistan War Coverage", add in the references to Fisk's pre-9/11 interviews with Bin Laden, and finally the commentary on Fisk's coverage by Al Qaeda. It will be a large enough section for that passage to be taken in its proper weight, and if anyone has any concerns about that they can flesh it out to taste with other relevant comments on it, if any exist. Hiddekel 00:18, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

I don't think you've addressed the problem of undue weight; without adaquate coverage of the reception of Fisk's work, the comment by Osama sticks out like a sore thumb. I am also worried that the Osama comment should also not be included for the same reason we don't include, say, a murderer's comment on a journalist on the journalist's page. Subjects of journalism surely have opinions about reporters, but I'm not sure if they belong on the reporter's page. Sdedeo (tips) 01:07, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

I've been following the debate and it's turned quite interesting. I must say I agree that including the Al-Qaeda "praise" does indeed stick out like a sore thumb. If I was a strong opponent of Fisk and his reporting, I would love to have the information included because it puts him in a bad light and it seems to introduce a pretty strong POV based on the way the article reads today. I'm not opposed to including the information in itself, but in its current form and with the current overall content of the article, I think it throws the article off balance and introduces too strong POV. galar71 01:33, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

I think we're all agreed that it doesn't belong in the "praise" section. The question is whether or not to include it at all in the article in it's present state. Being praised by Osama is sort of, indeed, like being praised by Charles Manson. I'm pretty sure this article is unique in reporting it; I'm sure Osama has praised other people, but I think it's generally understood that this praise is not "honest" in the sense that it has ulterior motives. Do we include Osama's criticism of Bush in Bush's article? Sdedeo (tips) 01:46, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

Well, first of all, no, we're not all agreed that it doesn't belong there. I have no problem with it being in "Praise", since that's what it is. The section isn't called "Praise From His Peers" or "Praise From People He Respects". However, I understand the concerns of others on that point and I'm willing to concede the issue for the sake of reaching a compromise.
Second, criticism by Osama is not in the Bush article, but I would have no problem with putting it in there, as yes, criticism against Bush from Al Qaeda is quite relevant, since Bush has certainly leveled "criticism" at Osama. And let's be clear what we are talking about: Osama bin Laden did not "praise" Fisk, he described him as "neutral" in his reporting. This is certainly relevant to Fisk as he is one of the few westerners to interview Bin Laden on several diffent occasions. He's famous in no small part because of this. The actual praise came from Adam Gadahn, an alleged Al Qaeda spokesperson. And while no criticism from Gadahn appears in George Bush's entry, it DOES appear in Robert Spencer's (someone closer to Fisk's level of notoriety), whom Gadahn also mentioned by name, this time in a criticism. And again, it's relevant: Spencer is a major critic of jihadism, just as Fisk is a respected and noted journalist and writer on the subject of jihadists (having interviewed Bin Laden on three different occasions, which is highly unusual for a western journalist to say the least). By the way, the praise by Gadahn, while technically appearing nowhere else (at the moment), is part of a running revert war in George Galloway's article, which was apparently inspired by this discussion; I'm not involved as I believe the relevance to Galloway is weaker.
The bottom line for me at this point is that, having not heard any reasonable arguments for the total suppresion of the information ("undue weight" in this case is really a matter of subjective judgement, which while warranting some attempt to place information in its proper context is no excuse for obliterating it entirely), to simply dump the information down the memory hole is suppressive and not acceptable. So no, the question is NOT whether this information should be here, at least as far as I'm concerned; it's simply a matter of where it should be presented, and how it should be worded.
Now that we've cleared up what I'm in agreement on, one thing I read mentioned here was that Fisk repudiated the praise he received by Gadahn. That's the first I've heard mention of it, and if someone has a source (or perhaps even if they don't) I definitely think that this information should be presented alongside the praise in question. Balance is fine: dumping sourced information because it might put someone in a negative light, at least in some people's opinions, is not. If you have a link to this, post it and I'll even do the new write-up myself if you don't care to. I want to reach an agreement here, but thus far I simply do not agree that the information doesn't belong in the article. Hiddekel 03:11, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

Why don't you edit the article and propose a version that does not pretend "praise" from a terrorist organization is comparable to awards from distinguished non-profits? Sdedeo (tips) 03:13, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

I intend to do so tomorrow. I'm waiting until then for a response from Rsi73 before I proceed, as I want to avoid another George Galloway if at all possible. Hiddekel 03:21, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

Rsi73 07:47, 20 September 2006 (UTC)(UTC)Whether or not you are intending to besmirch Robert Fisk was not the main point of my “lengthy dissertation” (as you politely described it). What matters is impact or outcome, whether it is intended or not. By committing this association fallacy, whether intentionally or unintentionally, you are associating Fisk in a positive light with a mass murderer. If one is alleged to be neutral on the murder of nearly 3,000 innocent people in New York City, what kind of reaction is a reader going to have? We as the writers and editors have an obligation to produce an article that will not cause reader’s emotions to be unsettled causing them to lose their objectivity. When you say “what conclusions people draw from the information is their business” is a dangerous precedent that can cause great damage to objective reasoning and ultimately the truth. Your argument is essentially that a lie or inaccuracy or red herring can be printed and it is up to the reader to find out whether it is true or not. (And in this instance it may be you are printing not even what Al Qaeda supposedly said: see below neutral v. objective). But unfortunately, the reader is so angry at that point or does not have the means or time that an endeavour of truth-seeking is out of the question. In this case, you are attempting to publish an association fallacy that has no place in an encyclopaedic listing. It should not be here because it does not shed light, it only sheds heat. If you look at the Criticism section, you will see several criticisms of Fisk that are reasoned, logical, and can create a fair and open discussion on Fisk’s merits or de-merits. I was happy to see that you agree “that trying to paint Fisk as an Al Qaeda sympathizer based on the passage I added would be logically fallacious. I certainly agree.” I also agree and that is why this association fallacy does not belong in this article; it belongs in campaign literature. And in the context of a political campaign, this is demagoguery, plain and simple.

And remember, bin Ladin did not say “neutral”, he said “objective”, which gives bin Ladin’s supposed statement a completely different meaning. Journalists are not supposed to be neutral or pro/con in a military conflict; they are supposed to report the facts and be objective. There of course is great controversy over the meaning of journalistic objectivity (US journalists and European journalists have different views). Journalistic objectivity is already discussed in another section of the Fisk article. And if it is unclear what Al Qaeda said about Fisk, what is the relevance of putting it in the article?

And I have to ask you again, why is the putative statement relevant? You say it is relevant but do not explain very cogently why. Is anything that Al Qaeda supposedly says relevant? Is anything that Al Qaeda says, both factual statements and untrue statements, relevant? Your main argument about relevancy appears to be that a “significant portion of his (Fisk's) work concerns Al Qaeda” is not borne out by reality. If you look at the books Fisk has written, none are only about Al Qaeda and the only book that touches on it (The Great War for Civilisation - The Conquest of the Middle East) puts much more emphasis on other areas like Lebanon, the Iraq’s wars, and the Armenian Genocide. In addition, his newspaper articles cover a multitude of issues, with an emphasis on Lebanon and Israel. So this argument is not very convincing on relevancy. Do you have any tangible reasons why the association fallacy is relevant?

I don’t agree that putting this association fallacy in another section of the article will solve the problem. It will continue to stick out as a sore thumb. And if the reason is to de-emphasize its importance, than why have it in the article at all? Either it is important or not; either it is an association fallacy or not; either it sheds light or not; either it is accurate or not.

I of course would look forward to reading your new proposal, but I do not see how you will succeed in making it accurate and not an association fallacy.Rsi73 07:47, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

First of all, as I said before, this is an encyclopedia article on Fisk, not an essay or an opinion piece. The information I presented made no argument, intentionally or unintentionally, and therefore made no association fallacy, intentionally or unintentionally. It was presented in NPOV, which is the standard Wikipedia uses to determine issues of neutrality, not the possible conclusions someone, in your opinion, might be led to draw from the information provided. Since I will once again make no argument in the modifications I am going to make, that's how I will (once again) make no association fallacy nor any other fallacy.
Second, I think I've made it quite clear what makes the information relevant: Fisk is a noted journalist, noted particularly for his work involving Al Qaeda, Bin Laden, and the war in Afghanistan (which is why it is mentioned in his article). He is one of the few western journalists to have interviewed Bin Laden on multiple occasions, a fact from which he derives no small amount of his fame and acclaim (which, again, it why it is mentioned in his article). The opinion of the subject of his work on his work is clearly relevant to a section concerning his work. Either include it or exclude his work--either is fine with me.
Finally, according to the source I provided, Bin Laden said "neutral", not "objective". If you have an alternative source that indicates otherwise, you can insert it into the piece I will now be writing on this. Hiddekel 19:45, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

Rsi73 10:02, 21 September 2006 (UTC)You don’t seem to get the point. Just because you supposedly are not making an argument does not mean you are not engaging in an association fallacy. You are associating Fisk with Bin Laden in a negative way by having a mass murderer say something positive about Fisk. Your other additions prove you are continuing to associate the two. When you say “Fisk is one of the few Western journalists to have interviewed Osama bin Laden - three times (all published by The Independent: 6 December 1993; 10 July 1996; 22 March 1997).[citation needed] Nonetheless, Fisk described the September 11, 2001 attacks of the "9/11 killers" as a "hideous crime against humanity” you are again implicitly attacking Fisk. The use of “Nonetheless” implies that even though Fisk met with bin Laden (and perhaps got friendly?) he still condemned mass murder. Also, by adding Galloway to the article (unless I missed something, Galloway is completely irrelevant to a listing on Fisk) you are implying that Galloway and Fisk are of the same ilk. Galloway and Fisk have no connection and are quite different in their views, background, and experiences.

By using the phrase “War on Terror” you again give away your POV. Fisk has criticized this phrase because it is meaningless (you cannot have a war on a tactic) and so Fisk would not say that he has reported on the “War on Terror”. Your last paragraph is the most laughable: by asserting so aggressively that Fisk condemns Al Qaeda ("Me thinks he doth protest too much") is to imply that perhaps he does. I can’t imagine putting in anyone’s encyclopaedic listing, that the person condemns violent crime. Of course they do! It is not useful information.

To conclude, your section is not encyclopediac and I will borrow from the analysis on the Galloway page that led to the bin Laden aspersion being deleted from that page as well: • It contains no new information about Fisk, but at most quotes by third parties about him. Wikipedia can not contain every quote by every person about every other person, especially when it is not objective or fair analysis. • The section is clearly intended to disparage, contrary to wikipolicy. It has been deleted.

Wait, you mean you mean that interviewing bin Laden 3 times and other terrorists praising him doesn't make Fisk evil?!?  ;)
--Antelope In Search Of Truth 22:17, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
Fisk being praised by Al Qaeda is new information regarding Fisk's work, which, unlike Galloway's work, directly concerns events they are a significant part of. The comparison is invalid. And your claim that the section is only there to "disparage" is absolutely outrageous in light of the fact that I made it clear in my modification that Fisk in no way accepted the praise and has repudiated the perpetrators of 9/11. As for "War on Terror", I put it in quotations for a reason. I'm restoring the information and will try once again to conform to your concerns regarding POV, but I will reiterate: this is not Wikinfo. The fact that information might shed a negative light on someone, in some person's opinion, is NOT grounds for suppression of that information on Wikipedia. Hiddekel 02:20, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

I find all this kind of humorous; just because some terrorists want to say they like the guy...... that doesn't necessarily say anything about him. Richard Simmons could say he likes Bush but that doesn't make Bush gay or an exercise/fitness "celebrity".  ;)

That said, I suppose this information is notable, in that it relates to Fisk, but I would not agree that it necessarily reflects on Fisk's work. I think there are indications that these guys are throwing Fisk's name around in an propaganda attempt to promote themselves or their faith. But I'd have to really look through everything they said (and the works of Fisk that they refer to) in order to get a better idea.

--Antelope In Search Of Truth 19:41, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

more reverting

Rsi and Hiddekel are now in an edit war again, and really we should stop reverting until this discussion is hammered out here.

The problem as I now see it is not that the quote casts negative light on Fisk, but rather that it is the source of the quote that casts a negative light. This seems to be the fundamental conflict here. The question is why it is being included. Is Osama known for the rigor of his media criticism? I have to go back to the fact that the presence of this quote has little to do with informing the reader -- if we want to discuss Fisk's reporting on the Middle East, there are real critics and supporters -- and quite a bit to do with the "ah ha gotcha" of being praised by Bin Laden.

I have to agree with Rsi's reversion here. The fact that Hiddekel has to immediately explain that Fisk is against terrorism seems to demonstrate pretty clearly that the quote is not about what Hiddekel claims it to be -- Fisk's reporting -- and all about linking Fisk to a terrorist, protraying him as aligned with terrorism, etc. Sdedeo (tips) 17:48, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Well, here's the problem: I disagree that the explanatory passage needs to be there. For the sake of compromise, I've been trying to accomodate the concerns of Rsi73, yourself, and others about the information possibly shedding Fisk in a negative light. But that doesn't mean I agree with those concerns, and let me be explicit in saying that I don't: it isn't Wikipedia's responsibility to lead readers in any particular direction, it's simply to present information in a NPOV format and let the chips fall where they may. If the information is presented in a NPOV format, the editor's responsibility is finished in that regard, and if someone thinks a piece of irrefutably true and relevant information makes someone "look bad", frankly, tough. This article is not a PR piece for Robert Fisk or the anti-war movement that has adopted him as a champion, and neither is Wikipedia in general.
To the central question, and really the only relevant one: the encyclopedic nature of the information, and therefore its relevance. This article, at least in part, examines Fisk's work. Much if not most of Fisk's work directly or only slightly indirectly concerns Al Qaeda and bin Laden. Al Qaeda and bin Laden are both notable. Therefore, their response to Fisk and his work is relevant. And that's really all there is to it. If someone disagrees, I'd be pleased to hear their argument--on that subject alone. I'm through wasting time with the irrelevant question of whether the information will make Fisk look like a Bad Guy in someone's mind, as it seems that my attempts to accomodate people's concerns in that regard are now being used against me. Thanks for that. Hiddekel 21:55, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Do you consider Bin Laden a reliable source for media criticism? Sdedeo (tips) 22:12, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

No. But there's no need for him to be one for what I wrote above to remain logically valid. He's a relevant source for opinion on Fisk's work regarding Al Qaeda specifically, being the guy who much of that work centers around. Hiddekel 03:54, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
Looking over other journalist pages, I am unable to find an example of positive praise by a subject being included. Can you provide one? Sdedeo (tips) 04:40, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
After five minutes of searching I came up with Dan Wahlers and Gordon Sinclair. I'm sure that more detailed searching through the dozens if not hundreds of journalist articles on Wikipedia would result in more examples, but I'm not sure how such an effort would affect my argument one way or the other. Hiddekel 02:37, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

Rsi73 00:47, 27 September 2006 (UTC)To add to this discussion, bin Laden cannot be an objective or reliable source for media criticism because he is a participant. Fisk is not a participant, he is a commentator and analyst. The same would be said for George W. Bush: he is a primary participant and thus would not be an objective or reliable source for criticism of Fisk's reporting. So what is needed, is to present critics who are closer to being objective or reliable, who do not have a political agenda and ulterior motives. Many have eloquently argued that Fisk is overly emotional, non-objective, wrong on predictions, and automatically anti-US and Israeli - it is those who present these arguments in a reasoned, fair, and balanced way that have a place in a Fisk biography. And they are included in this article. One who respects or likes Fisk does not have to agree with these critics, but it is hard to argue that these critics are not bringing something to the table for fair debate. And when Hiddekel says that bin Laden's comments about Fisk are "irrefutably true" it makes me ask - since when would Hiddekel consider anything that bin Laden says to be irrefutably true? Is what bin Laden says about Bush irrefutably true? Looking at bin Laden's background (murder) would it not be more plausible to say that bin Laden's comments are "irrefutably false"?

Also, the notion that "most of Fisk's work directly or only slightly indirectly concerns Al Qaeda and bin Laden" is so patently false to be almost laughable, especially for those who have read Fisk books on Ireland (2 books) and Lebanon (1 book), and even his last book that covers nearly every military conflict in the Middle East in the 20 century, and only a small percentage is devoted to Al Qaeda. So this accusation is simply ignorant. Hiddekel's paragraph addition that Fisk really, really, really, does not like terrorism confirms what is wrong with your first paragraph - it lacks objectivity and betrays a point of view. And Hiddekel is now saying this about his qualifier that Fisk really, really, really, does not like terrorism: "let me be explicit in saying that I don't", and thus confesses that he believes that perhaps Fisk actually does sympathize with terrorism and bin Laden's violence against civilians. I am starting to get confused.Rsi73 00:47, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

I will repeat my opinion, giving you the benefit of the doubt that you truly merely misunderstood: the core information regarding Gadahn and Osama is fine on its own. It's not biased; it implies nothing other than what is said outright, that Adam Gadahn praised Fisk and bin Laden thought he was neutral, and I never believed otherwise or claimed to. If you think it's biased I'm willing to counterbalance the information with a reiteration of Fisk's repudiation of terrorism, in an attempt to compromise, or you can go ahead and do it yourself. But the information itself belongs, for the reasons I've stated above. I have no idea why you think that this position betrays a bias against Fisk. Hiddekel 03:54, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

OBL Quote

I've just looked at the 2 versions in dispute and I'm going to side with Hiddekel. The OBL quote is notable and the 9/11, Osama bin Laden, and the War in Afghanistan section makes it clear that Fisk doesn't approve of OBL's methods. I really don't see what the problem is. If some editors feel it makes Fisk "look bad", tough, it's still a fact, and removing it ends up becoming POV pushing via whitewashing. Armon 00:23, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

Surname

I as a Swede thought that this guy was Swedish, cause his name could just as well be Swedish; Robert is a very common name here, on the other hand, I don't think I've head the second name used as a surname. "Fisk" in Swedish means "fish", so I wonder, is he of Scandinavian ancestry? --Shandristhe azylean 20:00, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

Many Brits are of Scandinavian ancestry. See Danelaw -that might explain it. Armon 14:36, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

Criticism from Wall Street Journal

If you want criticism of Fisk that is not from a blog, here's an essay that was originally published in the print Wall Street Journal. Of course this was written before the Daniel Pearl episode. Nbauman 18:21, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

[11]

WAR APOLOGISTS

Hate-Me Crimes
A self-loathing multiculturalist gets his due.

BY MARK STEYN
Saturday, December 15, 2001 12:01 a.m. EST

Having successfully introduced the novel legal concept of the "hate crime," progressive opinion has now taken it to dizzying new heights: the hate-me crime. In a traditional hate crime, you beat someone up not just for his fake Rolex but because you hate him on the basis of his race, creed or color. With the new hate-me crime, you beat someone up because you hate him on the basis of his race, creed or color--and hey, that's cool, he's OK with it, so feel free to take another swing.

The other day, Robert Fisk, of the British newspaper The Independent, was set upon by a gang of Afghans. Mr. Fisk has had decades of experience in the Muslim world and is a widely acknowledged expert on the subject. That's to say, since Sept. 11, he's got pretty much everything wrong. (Sample Fisk headlines: "Bush Is Walking Into a Trap," "It Could Become More Costly Than Vietnam," "How Can The U.S. Bomb This Tragic People?")

...

You'd have to have a heart of stone not to weep with laughter. Even as a mob is trying to kill him, he absolves them of all responsibility. It's "entirely" America's fault. Noam Chomsky, eat your heart out. Any old Ivy League professor can give droning speeches about America's "silent genocide"; any European Union minister can swan off to U.N. gabfests in Durban to apologize to Robert Mugabe for Western civilization. But, at a stroke, Mr. Fisk has dramatically raised the bar for standards of Western self-loathing....

Six year's later, who would disagree with Fisk's headlines? "It Could Become More Costly Than Vietnam". Yup. --Tagishsimon (talk)

Ctiticism section and bad facts

I think that it would be useful to add to certicism of Fisk by including a few examples of actaul bad fract form this reporting perhaps under a subseciton of ctiticism calle "Bad Facts"

for a start, his assertion that Israel used nuclear weapons (a "secret uranium bomb") in Lebanon here: http://news.independent.co.uk/world/fisk/article1935945.ece

refuted here: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=2&article_id=79896# —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Athena's daughter (talkcontribs) 21:15, 8 March 2007 (UTC).

Assessment comment

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Robert Fisk/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

You might as well want to advertise in the links beneath the article Robert Fisk's french publisher, A&R. They have a blog in which they talk abour Robert Fisk in the french medias: http://robertfiskaetr.blogspot.com/

Last edited at 21:58, 16 March 2007 (UTC). Substituted at 15:41, 1 May 2016 (UTC)