I am nominating this featured article for review because of the many recently discovered problems with facts that are not supported by directly cited sources. This FAR is part of a general cleanup of articles about Madonna's albums and songs, ones in which sources were misused and even fabricated. Because of the high visibility of this article, and because of its status as a biography of a living person, we are very much encouraged to get it right. Let's make sure the article is as accurate as possible. Binksternet (talk) 17:29, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
Just a note that I have a policy of not participating in FARs of articles that I promoted at FAC, so I'll be sitting this one out, but I share the concerns that have been raised on article talk and elsewhere, and note that I have not been able to decipher why I didn't request a source check on this FAC (I waived source checks if the nominator had previously had one, but I can't figure out why I thought this nominator had). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:42, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
I wish to add links to the original discussion and the workpage:
Yes, I think so. We'll need to make a master list of refs that are OK and not OK so we can track which ones have been fixed. The partial source audit will be a start to that list. --Laser brain(talk) 00:52, 27 February 2012 (UTC)
I think you might be reading my comments backward. We do currently say she died at 30, which appears to be true. The problem is that the source we cite (FoxNews) states 31. So we need to use a correct source. --Laser brain(talk) 17:22, 27 February 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, I'm turned around. The cited Fox News source is wrong in this case. I will move a book cite into that position. Binksternet (talk) 17:28, 27 February 2012 (UTC)
Ref 4(c), fails verification:
Article text: "Madonna later attended Rochester Adams High School, and was a straight-A student and a member of the cheerleading squad."
Source text: Does not mention her being a "straight-A student".
Article text: "Her father married the family's housekeeper Joan Gustafson, and they had two children: Jennifer and Mario Ciccone."
Source text: Does not mention Jennifer and Mario.
Ref 20, incorrect/fails verification:
Article text: "Madonna signed a singles deal with Sire, a label belonging to Warner Bros. Records."
Source text: Does not mention who the label belongs to, and the article text is correct anyway. The label belongs to Warner Music Group.
Did it in 1982? Gimmetoo (talk) 20:59, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
Ref 22(a), fails verification:
Article text: "Her debut single, "Everybody", was released on October 6, 1982, and became a dance hit."
Source text: Does not mention the single "Everybody" at all.
Ref 32(a), fails verification:
Article text: "Madonna further came under fire when she performed the song at the first MTV Video Music Awards where she appeared on stage atop a giant wedding cake, wearing a wedding dress and bridal veil, adorned with her characteristic "Boy Toy" belt buckle. The performance is noted by scholars and by MTV as an iconic performance in MTV history."
Source text: No mention of some details (such as belt buckle) or "noted by scholars". Not at all sure what that's referring to.
Ref 20, fails verification:
Article text: "Her first documentary film Truth or Dare (known as In Bed with Madonna outside North America) was released in mid-1991. The documentary chronicled her Blond Ambition World Tour and provided glimpses into her personal life."
Source text: Does not mention alternate title or anything about "glimpses into her personal life".
Ref 25, fails verification:
Article text: "The title track, 'Like a Virgin', topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for six consecutive weeks."
Source text: Shows the tracking going to number one, but not for how many weeks.
Ref 32(b), misapplied/redundant.
Ref 57, fails verification:
Article text: "However, she was allowed to retain her fee of five million dollars."
Source text: Does not mention the fee at all.
Fox News source reliability. What makes Fox News an expert on Madonna? I don't see any sources cited, and I get no sense of who the editors/authors are, what importance they put on getting this right, fact checking, etc. Should we just jettison the Fox News source and use the reliable book sources? Binksternet (talk) 18:50, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
At least one Fox News biography source can be traced via quoted comment from Madonna, where she says she arrived in NYC with $35. The Metz/Benson book, The Madonna Companion, quotes Madonna saying "I was only 17. I had $35 in my pocket and knew no one. I told the taxi driver to take me to the middle of everything. I was let off in Times Square." However, the Fox News bio does not dip into Metz/Benson for its information about older brothers Martin and Anthony, nor about Adams High School or the thespian club; these are not in the book. So we know that Fox News is using more than one source. It's wrong, of course, about Madonna's mother dying at 31. What else is wrong? Her older brothers and her thespian involvement are all verifiable in other books. I'm not seeing any obvious mistakes except the mother's final age. Binksternet (talk) 19:47, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
I'm pretty close to getting a sustained period of time to go through at least the first section. My plan is to eliminate that source. I don't see anything that's not covered by other sources that are proven to be more reliable. I've seen Fox News do okay on some things, but it looks like whoever assembled this bio was just making quick work of it. --Laser brain(talk) 21:24, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
Refs 21 and 22 (in the current version) are probably switched. Ref 21 does mention "Everybody", with a release date of April 24, 1982, which was the date given in the article though much of its history, and ref 22 is more focused on the recording contract. Gimmetoo (talk) 13:30, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
Life and career 1958–81: Early life and career beginnings is done except for book sources. --Laser brain(talk) 21:09, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
I'm only part way through "1982–85" and running out of enthusiasm. Since I don't have access to any of the book sources, it's impossible for me to verify half of the refs. The density of problems in the ones I can check is taking the wind out of my sails. So many of the refs simply don't cover what they are stuck on, and it is taking me hours of rooting around in the other sources on the page to find something that covers it. Hopefully some other folks are willing to grab some sections and help save this, and hopefully someone has Taraborrelli and the other books.. otherwise it looks pretty grim. This is a complete clusterf---. --Laser brain(talk) 00:55, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
Courage! I will jump in and help but give me a section or more that you will leave alone; I will do some hunting and fixing. I don't have any books on Madonna but I can poke at search engines pretty well. Binksternet (talk) 02:34, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
Sorry for the late reply. Really, you could grab anything Artistry and downward. I've gone through my local library and requested Taraborrelli, of which there seems to be one copy in the entire city library system. --Laser brain(talk) 20:28, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
Okay, Artistry and downward. There's only one Taraborelli book in Oakland's library system and it is already on hold in case it shows up again, but I'm guessing the copy is probably lost, not an unusual occurrence here in my burg. There are four copies in San Francisco's library system, so that could be a better deal for me. Binksternet (talk) 20:39, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
Citation needed tag; concerns over verifiability; unsourced sentences. Citations should be next to the sentences they support. On a minor point, please don't use curly quotes per WP:PUNCT; besides most of the quote marks are straight, and they should be consistent throughout the article. Consider bundling multiple citations per WP:CITEBUNDLE. DrKiernan (talk) 07:57, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
Welcome to the party. The primary editor has vanished, so any help you could offer would be valued. --Laser brain(talk) 20:28, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
I've copyedited, and have spotchecked available internet sources numbered between 1 and 81 (so far, maybe more will follow). There are two dead links and one unverified quote (ref. 19 in Musical style section). DrKiernan (talk) 16:28, 25 April 2012 (UTC)
Am I right in thinking this is going on the main page in a few hours or so, and the article is still in review of it's FA credentials? How are things coming along? I'm not very active anymore, but I used to edit this article quite a bit. I just researched into the background of why this review is in process, I'm disappointed. — R2 19:43, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
Ah, I see. Probably wise in the circumstances. — R2 20:22, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
The Face cover article from August 2000
On August 4, 2011, Legolas2186 added a quote in this series of edits, referencing The Face magazine but fabricating a volume and issue number of 32 and 8, not the correct 3 and 43 which can be seen here and here. The tumblr site is the "official" archive of the magazine, the other site is a back order sales site (which does not have the issue in stock, unfortunately.) My guess is that Legolas got the quote from allaboutmadonna.com where they have transcribed something that appears to be an interview here. A big problem with that quote is that I cannot be sure it is accurately transcribed. It certainly does not give the author or page numbers or volume or issue. Legolas made up the volume and issue which makes me suspect that the page number and author, "Johny Davies", are incorrect as well. I don't know! Because of my uncertainty, I have deleted the page number and the author from the citation. Anyone who has a physical copy of this magazine issue is welcome to thumb through it and find out the pages and author—I would appreciate it. Also, is the article title simply "It's My Love-You-But-F**k-You Record!" or is it preceded by "Madonna" as in "Madonna: 'It's My Love-You-But-F**k-You Record!'"? (The word "fuck" is printed as "f**k" in the title.) An examination of the cover image makes me think maybe the latter is the case. Binksternet (talk) 19:38, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
Furthermore, the article in The Face as transcribed by Madonna fans gives the quote differently. Legolas wrote, "As she explained, 'I sing about shattering an image that you have of somebody...'", but the magazine does not have the words "I sing about". Those appear to have been fabricated for convenience. Binksternet (talk) 01:25, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
Ingrid Sischy interview in Interview magazine, April 2008
The content of the Sischy interview was misinterpreted. In our article we have Madonna's voice "in higher register ...with employment of double tracking." The Sishy interview (as transcribed by Madonna fans here, and it says nothing about singing in a higher register or double tracking the voice (there's something about double-tracking Madonna's guitar playing, an expert guitarist doing the same part in unison but later, which is often a euphemism for "we dumped your lousy instrumental part and got somebody much better to play it.") I ditched the bits about high register and double-tracked voice.
Issues brought up in the review section focused mainly on copyright compliance. Dana boomer (talk) 14:19, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
Comments please - anyone have any thoughts? Dana boomer (talk) 00:00, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
The remaining problems are not so bad that the article should be demoted, in my opinion. A little more work to match quotes, facts and sources should do it. Nothing sticks out as terribly wrong; it's just that the sourcing needs sorting. Binksternet (talk) 16:38, 25 April 2012 (UTC)
I'm of two minds on this. The print sources have been difficult to come by. The sections that we've looked at have been largely fixed, but there may be hornets' nests waiting in others. I'd feel much better about it if someone could get their hands on Taraborelli and do some spot checks. Since it's a BLP, we need to be extra careful. --Laser brain(talk) 03:55, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
Dang. Just today I looked up a reference to an article printed in The Face magazine in August 2000, and I found that Legolas2186 fabricated at least the volume and issue numbers. See Talk:Madonna_(entertainer)#Edit_request_on_5_May_2012. You could be right that there is a hornet's nest waiting, hidden in the article. Binksternet (talk) 19:28, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
So do you guys have opinions on whether the article should be delisted (given the likelihood that there are additional problems lurking in the sources) or if there is someone out there who wants to go through the sources one by one, which is what sounds like needs to happen? Dana boomer (talk) 20:38, 8 May 2012 (UTC)
I think it should be delisted. There are too many instances of the text not meshing with the sources, and there have been too many cases where the sources are partially or completely fabricated. Binksternet (talk) 01:02, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
Delist. Concur with Binksternet, unfortunately. --Laser brain(talk) 01:32, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
Delist, if this much trouble is arising from synchronizing the sources, it probably needs to be extensively rebuilt. Ten Pound Hammer • (What did I screw up now?) 04:50, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this page.