Talk:U.S. watchdog group lists "most corrupt members of Congress"

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Is there any way to make the PDF link appear on the source line? - Nyarlathotep 19:35, 5 October 2005 (UTC)

PDFs, and other links to sites outside WMF, belong in a separate section below the sources called "External links". See the styleguide
Well there is no need to link to the PDF at all, especially not if it occupies visual real estate. I just thought if there was a way to tag a PDF link on the sources line it would be a good idea to do it. Oh, your saying that source should be in an External Link? For now, I'll just comment out the PDF, no one will read it anyway. - Nyarlathotep
Nevermind, I'm an idiot, its trivial to fix.


This "report" is from a political action committee, which by definition is not an unbiased source. It is not news when PACs produce reports - they are for all intents and purposes press releases and advertisements, not news events. Please read the NPOV policy which is not negotiable. Repeated creation of articles is grounds for blocking. Repeated creation of biased articles is considered a disruption of the wiki. - Amgine/talk 19:38, 5 October 2005 (UTC)

  • What are you talking about? I've never created an article twice as far as I know. Has this article ever been submitted before? As for PACs being ads, okay fine, but the report is a very interesting list of ethics violations. It looks to me like these people have done some work here. Okay sure its biased, but it makes an interesting read and a nice condensation of various news stories. This is much more news and much less advertisement than Apple's release of a new iPod, which we seem to cover without discussion. The article can probably be improved by including Ney's statment, no? I've not seen any other statment issued about it. - Nyarlathotep 19:49, 5 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Amgine, I am trying to reach you but do not know where your talk page is; I did send something to that site with the chinese symbols. I am trying to alert you that CSpurrier broke the 3 revert rule [[1]] by reverting to the old Bush appointee story for lead 3 times today;Please cancel CSpurrier's last revert. Also, please do not threaten new contributors. Please read the etiquete section. Imo, this story is not NPOV as there is no other side to present within this report. We can't be playing devil's advocate when we report events.
  • Amgine is usually easiest to reach on IRC. - Nyarlathotep 21:02, 5 October 2005 (UTC)

Nice, I didn't even notice that "Apple plans another special event" was posted. I think its not hard to see that this article will be more news and more NPOV than that article. - Nyarlathotep 21:37, 5 October 2005 (UTC)

Amgine, I don't really see what the problem is here. Do you think that CREW should be identified as a "political action committee" rather than a "legislative watchdog group"? The article, as it stands at the moment, is reporting on an event that occurred: some group released a report. I don't see why it is for us to make judgements about the biases of that particular group. If the report, or CREW, have been criticised by someone for being biased, then add reporting on these criticisms to the article. You said: "they are for all intents and purposes press releases and advertisements" - so why can't we present it as such? For example: "CREW has claimed that.... ?" - Borofkin 00:14, 6 October 2005 (UTC)

It is reporting on a commonplace event; every day in D.C. PACs release "reports" which are, in reality, either negative advertising about their targeted opponents (such as this one), or positive advertising for their targeted proponents. There is no way, so far as I can see, to make this article neutral unless it is reduced to the minimal factual detail about the reports release. Please read the NPOV policy and What Wikinews is not, which specifically addresses this type of article. - Amgine/talk 22:24, 6 October 2005 (UTC)
Amgine I'm a little confused about your charge that CREW is a Politcal Action Committee (PAC). A PAC is defined by wikipedia as "the name commonly given to a private group organized to elect or defeat government officials in order to promote legislation, often supporting the group's special interests." This group seems to be a "legislative watchdog" as it's described in the article. They describe themselves as a group that "targets government officials who sacrifice the common good to special interests". They don't appear to be advocating for or against paticular candidates or seeking to get any paticular group elected, rather modeling themselves on groups like Judical Watch simply with an opposite ideological bent.
I disagree with the idea that if an organization, even a PAC, releases a "report" it is immediately labled as advertising. The organization may have be partisan, but that does not in and of itself mean the report is false. The report should not be disregarded without review. The person reporting on it here at wikinews, and other editors need to review the report and the article, and figure out if it's ideological advertising. This article documents a report that cites ethical lapses by both democrats and republicans and lists its methodology for anyone to crtique.
Amgine, are you referring to this section of What Wikinews is not: "Wikinews articles are not advertisements. Especially, they are not political advertisements. Excluding opinion columns, an exclusively one-sided article, either pro- or con- the subject of the article, is a form of advertisement." ? I've added to the article a response from one of the congressment criticised in the report, which criticises the report itself and also CREW. The article, as it currently stands, reports on an event, and presents opposing points-of-view regarding that event. Does this satisfy the requirement that it not be "exclusively one sided"? - Borofkin 00:37, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
Borofkin I removed the statement regarding CREW being criticized as a liberal group even though they claim to be non-partisan. I did this for two reasons:
  1. Non-partisan indicates that you identify yourself as neither democratric nor republican. For instance, you can be a conservative non-partisan group, or a progressive non-partisan group, but you can't be a Democratic non-partisan group.
  2. The statement is redundant. The quotes listed below state that CREW is both partisan and liberal.--Herda05 01:22, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
Damn, you're right, on their website they do appear to identify with a particular side of politics: "The mainstream needs a parallel to the conservative groups mentioned above — CREW will fill that niche." [2]. I don't agree that the quotes mean anything though - they are just a couple of congresspersons point-of-view. - Borofkin 01:58, 7 October 2005 (UTC)

I've added a wrap up paragraph which rambles a bit, but sucessfully summarizes the PAC opposition, as requested by Amgine. If you feel it needs to be stronger, you could alwasy add the Ney quote, but I just realized that he didn't say it himselve, so I just folded it into other objections. - Nyarlathotep 22:18, 6 October 2005 (UTC)

I've edited further to include more quotes from those involved, both CREW and the various Representatives. I also edited the paragraph about DeLay to point out that CREW released the report to capitalize on the current focus on ethics, and not necessarily on DeLay himself.--Herda05 01:22, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
I also added more info regarding the methodology of the report.--Herda05 01:28, 7 October 2005 (UTC)

Yup, looks better now. - Nyarlathotep 12:48, 7 October 2005 (UTC)

  • I agree with Amgine on this article - while it should be up, it basically amounts to an arm of the Democratic Party labeling several Republicans (with a few Democrats thrown in so it doesn't look like bias) as corrupt. It's barely news. I'd keep it up because several other news outlets are reporting on it, but in the future we ought to stick to actual events or something of a bit more importance. - McCart42 (talk) 16:46, 9 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Sure, they are on the left, but I've mostly found the story covered on libertarian blogs. Get it through your head that some of our "agendas" include seeing any politician's dirty laundry aired. - Nyarlathotep 04:00, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
  • No they don't. There were all sorts of PACs that formed during the Clinton scandal. Very few (none?) of them that aired his dirty laundry had ties to the Democratic Party. Party politics is party politics. It's fine to report on what these "most corrupt members of Congress" actually did that makes them so corrupt, but that is nowhere in the article. Instead, we're reporting on what some PAC says, which makes us a mouthpiece for that organization, which is not a media outlet, but rather basically an editorial board. I supported the use of the "anti-torture" phrase in the article about McCain's amendment because that's what the amendment is about, and that's what everyone else is calling it. But a PAC is not an important news-maker - it's just a PR machine. I mean, this is just hilarious: "Democrats are just as much to blame as Republicans for the current ethics deadlock. The Democrats won't file ethics complaints against" Republicans. So Democrats haven't done anything wrong, except when they failed to point out that the Republicans have done something wrong. Come on, this isn't news. I mean keep it there because a lot of effort has been put into this article, but next time please don't just put up an article like this. - McCart42 (talk) 12:45, 10 October 2005 (UTC)

Please remove the tag and publish[edit]

Only one contributor feels this article needs a tag; and that contributor will block me if I remove it. Neutralizer 14:34, 7 October 2005 (UTC)

I've asked Amgine on his talk page if we can remove the tag.--Herda05 19:13, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
It's been a couple of hours and Amgine/talk hasn't responded. If he feels the article still needs development or that it violates NPOV, he can put the tags back on.--Herda05 22:30, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
Just got this message a couple minutes ago, Herda05. Article looks to be balanced by the additional criticism, though it's still barely a news event. Consensus. - Amgine/talk 00:39, 8 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Not constructive for this article to have been delayed so long by 1 contributor. Doesn't the tagger have a responsibility to remove the tag themselves when they see the consensus against them? not wait over 2 days? or...just leave a message that they'll not be watching the story and give the ok for someone else to remove the tag? Neutralizer 12:54, 8 October 2005 (UTC)
Yes, you are correct that long delays on the part of the tagger are considered improper, and referred to as "tag and dash". However, one should keep it in perspective. This particular story was never "breaking news" where we cared about "being scooped". It was just generically interesting to those who feel politicians are corrupt and should have their dirty laundry trotted out whenver possible. On a time sensitive story, like say the WIPO's Broadcaster Treaty, the tagger should be held to a high standard of participation. But, likewise, the tag objecters should put in a little more work, like logging into IRC to ask for someone to read their changes, or even asking your buddy at the office to read them.
Also, If your really feeling bitter about particular users, you could always keep notes on their "tag and dashes", perhaps inside your user pages. That way you don't end up turnning any talk pages into flame wars, and you've got evidence backing you up eventually. But, most importantly, your free to not do anything if you one day end up chatting with the person on IRC and discover that they are not such a bad guy after all.  :) - Nyarlathotep 04:25, 10 October 2005 (UTC)