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Talk:Executive Intelligence Review

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Bob .. Does your deletion of the EIR source on the David Addington article mean that EIR can no longer be cited in SW ... or should it be cited with a caveat? Artificial Intelligence 06:41, 17 Aug 2006 (EDT)


1. I can't remember the Voltaire Network discussion (I'll put it down to age) but some time ago (like a year or so) I thought I had posted a note proposing removing EIR/LaRouchite refs (I can't find where that was now). I did some at the time but got distracted and have had it on my long list of unfinished business. So apologies for not posting a detailed note last night beyond what I added in the summary bar. I'll put a hold on doing any more until we have some agreement on this.

2. EIR is a publication of La Rouche's which is rather notorious for its views. (I'm happy to elaborate further but I suspect I don't really have to). One of the ways that La Rouche's organisations work is by wrapping their views with broad spectrum appeal (such as criticisms of Bush et al and the Iraq war) etc around their more controversial ideas and conspiracy theories. In my view, including numerous citations of EIR in SourceWatch helps them trade on our legitimacy and potentially deliver them a new, wider audience. And in the eyes of some it doesn't help our legitimacy.

3. Can deleting EIR citations be justified? I think it can be easily justified.

a) the bulk of the EIR citations in SW are in the External Links section. Usually the citation is one amongst many so there is, if any, little marginal loss.

b) Add to that the core of most EIR articles are simply a synthesis of what has been reported in the mainstream press. If we have already included links to these mainstream articles, which is the case in the pages I have looked at so far, readers aren't being deprived of anything. (In fact, it is better if they go to a secondary source than something that is only a synthesis of secondary sources.)

c) Usually the little original material in EIR stories is attributed to anonymous military or intelligence sources but who are used to justify a vital jump in a story from what is already known to what fits the La Rouchite view of the world.

While there can be a role for the sparing use of anonymous sources in good journalism, the routine use of them should raise warning flags, especially where no one else has or later gets the same material or can verify it. At best, all these anonymous sources are real people but simply La Rouche supporters. This is plausible but hardly comforting. Given the history of La Rouche's nonsensical claims, I'm not persuaded the organisation and EIR as its lead publication has anything remotely resembling an emphasis on verifying information.

d) One of the important roles of SourceWatch is in distilling existing information down to the vital nuggets and the accompanying supporting links. Including links that duplicate what is covered in other sources is not helping readers. (There can be a role in some places for having a comprehensive historical archive, but often this is not necessary). When the links are to articles that rely on anonymous sources and/or from publications with a dubious track record we aren't doing anyone a favour. Indeed, we may be encouraging them to suspend their normal scepticism because we have included them.

4. In approximately eighteen of the twenty pages I have been through so far, the deleted links were in the External Links section. Two articles had citations in the body of the article. In one of those two there was a better more up to date citation that I substituted in lieu of the EIR reference. In the other I have left the original citation in place for the moment.

5. Removing links from within SourceWatch articles as a quality control measure is not the same as censorship. It would be censorship was if I was attempting to prevent EIR from publishing their views. I'm not. They are free to run their website and publish their magazine. And readers would still be able to access links to EIR independently of us. It's just I don't think we should facilitate an increased readership for shoddy journalism.

6. I can see that EIR links could be of use to SW readers if they were on the EIR page, perhaps with topic sub-heads to make navigation easier (ie Iraq war etc). That way, the EIR links would be in context of the history and role of the publication and the reader knows what to expect if they follow the links. And we could use links in the other SW resources section to link back to the articles/topic areas the links were originally from.

So that's why I was deleting the EIR links. So I'd appreciate your views before I proceed any further. --Bob Burton 06:03, 18 Aug 2006 (EDT)

No particular view on this Bob. It was just a query. Delete away! Artificial Intelligence 03:54, 20 Aug 2006 (EDT)
Found TEN more citations ... deleted. Artificial Intelligence 04:31, 20 Aug 2006 (EDT)
Thanks AI, I'll nibble away at them. The last tally on the remaining links was 217. cheers --Bob Burton 06:18, 22 Aug 2006 (EDT)
  • Would be glad to help delete them, Bob. But exactly how are you finding them? Artificial Intelligence 06:55, 22 Aug 2006 (EDT)
Too many for one session, so a nibble process seems best. Cheers --Bob Burton 07:10, 23 Aug 2006 (EDT)
  • Bob, as I suspected there were not that many actual listings for SW/EIR. I have deleted all that Google actually found. Many of those listed were via redirects. When you attempt to go past 6 pages of listings, Google compresses the number of actual listings. I believe that all—or at least the majority—of what Google allows you to find are gone.
Sorry, Google article numbers are never reliable. I say that knowing that I have misquoted the number of finds. I wouldn't worry about not having found more undetected articles at this time. Not enough left to locate. A new search "finds" 275, but if you check those "finds", they are cache files and the actual citations are not there.
The most recent search "found" less than 30. I think that the original number was incorrect. Artificial Intelligence 09:14, 23 Aug 2006 (EDT)

EIR is a less than credible source for me also --hugh_manateee 15:59, 20 Aug 2006 (EDT)