Talk:Neil Goldschmidt

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Good article Neil Goldschmidt has been listed as one of the Social sciences and society good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
April 7, 2008 Good article nominee Listed

Recent news coverage[edit]

The girl whom Goldschmidt abused has recently died and her name has now been made public by some media outlets (Willamette Week) but not all (The Oregonian). I don't think there is one Wikipedia policy that completely captures the issue of whether we should add the woman's name to the story. On one hand, Wikipedia is not censored of course, and sadly, WP:BLP not longer applies in this case; however, the victim was a minor at the time of the event which I think does have some impact to her survivors in terms of WP:BDP; and the name itself is not strictly relevant. In any case, I'd like some discussion here before we add the name to the article. I would also propose that the name be removed if added to the article until a consensus is reached here. A little thoughtful discussion seems appropriate. --Esprqii (talk) 06:11, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

I took it out it was added by an oregon ip, sadly the womans death is irrelevant to this BLP. - unless there is some connection? Also - as you say - only some media outlets have named her and unless there is additional notability associated to this name and case, adding the name here will have little or no added educational or informative value. 12:08, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
Well, I'm not completely convinced. Whether or not one feels that explicitly naming the victim is in itself informative, I think it is absolutely notable that "her mother was a City Hall aide and campaign staffer" as reported in the WW obit.
Ulmanor (talk) 20:05, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
How about something about the revelation without the name, at least till the issue is further discussed:
On January 31, 2011, following her passing on January 16 at the age of 49 after a long struggle with substance abuse, both The Oregonian and Willamette Week published stories about the victim. Willamette Week chose to disclose her name, while The Oregonian withheld it based upon her most recent wishes communicated to the paper. The stories revealed that the victim, who was the daughter of a Portland City Hall staffer who worked for Goldschmidt's campaign, had received a $350,000 settlement in exchange for not naming Goldschmidt.
Ulmanor (talk) 20:31, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
THe substance abuse and death are nothing to do with this BLP. If there are details of the settlement that perhaps is related and noteworthy here - Off2riorob (talk) 20:44, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
I agree that the substance abuse information is irrelevant, but I think it is worth mentioning that the victim has died and that is why her name has been made public in some places. I don't think there is any new information about the settlement now revealed; the $250,000 settlement was in Jacquiss's original 2004 Willamette Week article but I can't find it in this article. I'd have to look at the archives of discussion on this article to see if it's an intentional omission, but I can't see why that would be. So perhaps something like:
On January 31, 2011, following her death on January 16 at the age of 49, both The Oregonian and Willamette Week published stories about the victim, who was revealed to have been the daughter of a member of Goldschmidt's staff. In addition, Willamette Week chose to disclose her name, while The Oregonian withheld it based upon her most recent wishes communicated to the paper.<citations to both WW and Oregonian>
It also might make sense to update the second paragraph of the abuse section to discuss the new revelations in full context. --Esprqii (talk) 21:07, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, mentioning the context that some released her name after she passed away while some didn't is what we should cover, not the name of the woman herself. Classic NPOV is reporting on the controversay over an issue, rather than taking a stance on whether the name should be published or not. If people really want to learn her name, they can then go to the original sources. Steven Walling 00:08, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
Because of why The Oregonian did not publish her name, it "has been intentionally concealed" (WP:BLPNAME). --Jsayre64 (talk) 21:03, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

Criticism of Oregonian's coverage[edit]

A recent edit by Mindbunny removed the mention of criticism of the Oregonian's coverage, with an edit summary indicating that the cited source does not really support the claim. Mindbunny, I wonder if maybe you didn't notice that the article linked (reference #1) is a multi-page story; the most relevant content is not on the article's first page. This paragraph is the key, though the issue is covered in numerous places throughout the article:

As a resident of the state following the story in many publications, I can attest this is if anything an understatement. Many sources could be cited to reflect this, but this one -- by an out-of-state publication whose central purpose is to discuss the practice of journalism -- is really the best one. It's a true secondary source, where you might consider other publications primary sources in this instance. So I believe the content should stay as we had it; I believe this is a very well-cited, and a very important, point. -Pete (talk) 01:44, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

I'll add though, it may be worth also finding and citing the Washington Post story referenced above. It may already be cited in this article; it may be the Howard Kurtz or the Blaine Harden story, I'm not sure. But it would strengthen the referencing. I don't think it's necessary in any way, but it certainly couldn't hurt. -Pete (talk) 01:47, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
There are several problems with that text. The main problem is that many blanket claims are being made in passive voice (i.e. "weasel words"), and all of them were sourced to that one article which was really a critique or analysis, rather than reporting. This is a BLP, and strict standards for sourcing apply. Also, I didn't remove "mention of criticism," I just shortened it, to what is well-documented. Mindbunny (talk) 15:29, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
Also, the material was about the Oregonian, not about Goldschmidt. It is better placed in the article on the Oregonian, assuming better sourcing can be found. Combining all these factors, it seemed wise to shorten the treatment. Mindbunny (talk) 21:14, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
As to your first point: again, I urge you to look more closely at the AJR article. The paragraph I quoted above has blanket claims that are specifically supported by the many paragraphs following it. In those paragraphs, the following journalists are quoted, with their detailed criticisms of the behavior of Goldschmidt and of the Oregonian: a former executive editor of the Wall Street Journal now retired and living on the Oregon coast, a columnist at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, a businessman who writes an online community news column from the town of Grants Pass, Portland State University's adviser for student publications, and numerous others. In addition, the story references "61 letters on the Goldschmidt coverage — and most of them were angry" within a period of one day or one week (it's slightly unclear on that point). And it also has Oregonian editors expressing regret about various actions associated with the story. But really -- you shouldn't need me to point this out to you. You are claiming that the text in the WP article is not supported by the AJR source; I think it would be fair to expect you to look closely at the AJR article before making such a claim, which you clearly haven't.
On the second point: the AJR article makes it clear that the concerns were primarily about the relationship between Goldschmidt and the Oregonian. In the paragraph I quoted above, for instance, the Washington Post posits that Goldschmidt's choice of the Oregonian was strategic. That point (and related ones, made in various publications) is germane to both Goldschmidt and to the Oregonian, as a reflection on the thinking, motivations, and ethics of both parties, and should be included in both Wikipedia articles. -Pete (talk) 00:29, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
I can't tell what your point is. The article states that the Oregonian was criticized for its coverage and use of the term "affair." I didn't take that out. I mainly took out the opinions "The paper was considered to have favored Goldschmidt" and that the Oregonian hadn't given due credit to the Willamette Week--which has nothing to do with Goldschmidt. Those opinions shouldn't be given as passive-voice blanket statements. The source itself, AJR, is full of opinion and not neutral reporting. Mindbunny (talk) 01:32, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
Mindbunny, here is my concern: it seems as though you first decided that the content should be cut, and then started looking for reasons to justify the removal, which is the opposite of how it should work. This makes me wonder whether you have a conflict of interest, or are here to argue for the sake of argument.
First, you said the article cited didn't support the content included here. When that was demonstrated to be false, you changed your objection, arguing that the blanket nature of the claims and the passive voice were the problem. When I demonstrated that reflected your lack of familiarity with the source, you challenged the neutrality of the source article. (See below.) Also along the way you argued that the criticisms were not related to the man but to the newspaper, which I also demonstrated to be inaccurate. (You almost have a point when it comes to crediting the Willamette Week, but when the newspaper's judgment on the story is deeply intertwined with its relationship with the article's subject, there's no reason not to provide context like this.)
I'd like to point out that the text you're objecting to has been through a Good Article review, and is part of an article that has withstood a good deal of scrutiny over the years. While Wikipedia content can always be improved upon, when you're dealing with an article that has been discussed and scrutinized at great length, you would do well to put some careful thought into any new arguments you'd like to advance; many of the observations you have made so far are simply not accurate.
On your latest argument – that the source is not neutral – the obligation of a publication like AJR is not to be neutral toward the people or publications it covers, but toward the application of journalistic practices. Your suggestion that they should be neutral toward Goldschmidt or the Oregonian is not sensible; should they look at every subject and say "some people objected to the approach the paper took, but others supported it," regardless of the facts? No. That would produce stories that are uninteresting, and more significantly, intellectually dishonest. The AJR did what all good publications do: it sought out experts on the subject, and presented their views to the reader, with some synthesis to establish the broad themes. It was written months after the initial coverage, and by a publication and a reporter based 3,000 miles away from Oregon, which establishes the kind of distance required for objective reflection. This is precisely the kind of source we most value at Wikipedia, because, quite simply, they make the creation of high quality encyclopedic content possible. -Pete (talk) 02:40, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
You're being antagonistic. Please restrict comments to sources and policies, and refrain from speculation about motives and psychology. Also, don't distort what I said. I didn't say a source should do anything "regardless of the facts." The objection to the the source is that it is as much an opinion piece as it is neutral reporting. The objection to the source is not the only objection or "my latest argument." Mindbunny (talk) 04:33, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
I disagree, and I think your statement is out of step with Wikipedians' thinking on this. The conflict of interest guideline clearly asserts that there is legitimate grounds for concern about an editor's relationship to the subject of an article. But: I've expressed my concern, you have elected not to address it, and I don't see a lot of benefit to pursuing it.
Your claim that the AJR piece is an "opinion piece" is inaccurate. An opinion piece is something that "mainly reflects the author's opinion about the subject." In the AJR piece, there are many opinions cited. The opinions are diverse; they include interviews with Oregonian leadership. The overall focus is not the opinion of the author, but a synthesis of the various expert views gathered for the story. This is a strong example of fact-based reporting, quite unlike an opinion piece. -Pete (talk) 16:51, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
At this point, I've forgotten a bit of our back and forth (I became distracted by various wikidramas elsewhere). My point is that the removed text was about the Oregonian, not Goldschmidt. It belongs in an article on the Oreognian, or just on the media coverage of the story. In addition, the source uses a lot of language not found in neutral reporting (language which was reproduced here). It has elements of creative non-fiction, such as projecting the feelings of the characters and providing other "color" that is, while engaging writing, POV. For example, "Ughs reverberated through the Northwest that morning." and "Oregonian editors and some reporters take extreme umbrage at the insinuation that...." and "... the paper's editorial voice pumped up Goldschmidt like an admirer and occasionally a defender." and so on. The text's passive voice often hid the fact that everything was sourced to this one article. I'd go for a compromise if we could find more than one source, but really I think material on the Oregonian belongs in an article on the Oregonian. Mindbunny (talk) 04:49, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
I'll let you re-read what's above, as I've already addressed your concern about the paper vs. the person.
I've reviewed the sources again, and found that the Kurtz and Harden pieces (both from the Washington Post, the latter republished in the Seattle Times) and the Willamette Week all were written around sources who asserted essentially the same criticisms. I have not yet been able to track down the A1 Washington Post story mentioned in the AJR article. In addition, it's important to note that the Oregonian leadership itself endorsed at least one of the principal critiques: both the editor in chief and the public editor strongly asserted that the word "affair" was the wrong choice. Steve Duin's Oregonian columns could also be cited; but as an opinion writer (unlike all the other sources cited), we would need to exercise care with that one. (The Portland Tribune's Phil Stanford also falls into that category.)
So, I think your points have made it clear that it's important to include some of this other sourcing. If any reader should come to this article and get the impression that the criticism was in any way limited to the AJR, that would be a terrible mistake and highly undesirable. Adding more of the sources explicitly would help avoid that possibility. In addition, I noticed that the text never explicitly stated the central (and linking) criticism -- that Goldschmidt's tight relationship with the Oregonian was the core problem from which the others sprang.
So, when restoring the content, adding some citations and adding that central criticism to the text would be important. -Pete (talk) 15:35, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

Name of rape victim[edit]

Proposal to include name of rape victim in the article.
The victim of the rape is now dead. The name of the victim has been, subsequently, revealed in the American media. When a person is dead, there is no sense in "protecting anonymity" (and, as the case may be, "dignity") because everyone who passes away has his/her life open for History, by default, and does not suffer, in any sense of the term, anything anymore. This is precisely the reason why in Wikipedia there is one set of rules for biographies of persons who have passed away and another set of (more robust) rules for biographies of living persons. Wouldn't it be a disservice to History if we were, for example, to hide the names of the victims of Jack the Ripper? (Note that there is no "statute of limitations" about this. There is simply a clear demarcation between living and dead persons.)-The Gnome (talk) 05:42, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

Comment First, let me state that I am not 100% opposed to adding the name, but I would like to seek a wider consensus. The discussion below was pretty close, but nothing was ever inserted into the article. My concerns are along the lines of WP:BDP, as the victim's family is still very much alive and had always requested anonymity. Moreover, not all of the media has revealed the name. To my knowledge, the Willamette Week is the only reliable source that has revealed the name. The Jack the Ripper analogy is not particularly valid because it was more than 100 years ago, and none of his victims' families are still alive, nor were they minors who had their names withheld by the media for many years. A better analogy might be children who were abused by priests; many have come forward in adulthood, but many have not. Should we reveal all their names immediately upon their deaths? I don't want to get hung up on analogies though. Bottom line is that I don't see the value of the name adds to the article at this time. I don't think we have to wait 100 years, but four months may not be enough. --Esprqii (talk) 17:16, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
Only one small remark. Family ("the wishes of the family") should not come into considerations of historical reference. If one's mother has been raped, her name can be revealed after her death, if that revelation serves historical purposes (or is notable, in wiki terms), even if the son/daughter objects. The reasons a family offers, in objecting, are (a) social stigma to the family, and (b) protection of the deceased's dignity and right to anonymity. The latter are void as soon as one dies. The former cannot possibly be accepted as legitimate: the notion that a family somehow loses social standing simply for having a now-deseased family member who's been victimized in the distant past would be a significantly biased social notion for Wiki to endorse.-The Gnome (talk) 08:00, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

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References to seek out:

  • Louise Sweeney, Christian Science Monitor, March 11, 1980. (Mentioned in "Current Biography" reference)
  • Washington Post, October 15, 1979
  • Playboy, January 1973
  • National Jaycees, Ten Outstanding Young Men of America, 1974
  • Time: 200 Faces of the Future, 2974
  • Oregonian poll 1977, Goldschmidt could have challenged Hatfield

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