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Old 06-16-2019, 04:03 PM
Zeke N. Destroi is offline
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The Naomi Wolf Lying Thread For Lying Liars


Surprise, surprise! Naomi Wolf has been caught out lying yet again. I'm sure in a moment there will be monkeys leaping to the defense of the indefensible and that is fine.

Until then, the non-simian among you can enjoy reading this from the BBC (with a link to her side-splitting twitter defense) and listening to this this the interview during which she momentarily realized that she was a lying, disingenuous, ignorant bitch and then scuttled away from it. The good part starts at about the 18 minute mark.

Didn't understand a term upon which she based a major argument, championned the super sympathetic case of a 14 year old who was executed (he wasn't) for being gay (or for raping a 6 year old boy, easy to confuse since Naomi seems to think they are equivalent.)

At least this is the first... second.... third(?) time she's been caught out spewing demonstrable horseshit under the auspice of authority in order to promote her agenda and line her pockets.

As for the book, she seems to have put as much effort into her research as she did her thinking.
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Old 06-16-2019, 04:09 PM
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I'm a Lying Liar and there is nothing here for me. You Liar.
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Old 06-16-2019, 04:11 PM
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Who is Naomi Wolf?
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Old 06-16-2019, 04:29 PM
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Who is Naomi Wolf?
Just some woman. You can ignore her.






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Old 06-16-2019, 04:32 PM
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Her publisher has recalled her latest book.

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt initially stood by plans to publish the book on 18 June in the US, describing the mistake over the executions as an unfortunate error, and declaring: “We believe the overall thesis of the book Outrages still holds.” But the publisher told the New York Times on Thursday that the book will be delayed.

“As we have been working with Naomi Wolf to make corrections to Outrages, new questions have arisen that require more time to explore,” it said in a statement. “We are postponing publication and requesting that all copies be returned from retail accounts while we work to resolve those questions.”
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Old 06-16-2019, 04:44 PM
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Surprise, surprise! Naomi Wolf has been caught out lying yet again. I'm sure in a moment there will be monkeys leaping to the defense of the indefensible and that is fine.
Has anyone been defending her? I’ve only been kinda following this story, but most of what I’ve heard has been pretty harsh on her.
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Old 06-16-2019, 05:17 PM
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Has anyone been defending her? I’ve only been kinda following this story, but most of what I’ve heard has been pretty harsh on her.
Yeah, I literally just the read the SF Chronicle review an hour ago and though it had a couple of nice things to say, overall it was not very complimentary. The little dumbass things in it( like typhus, cholera and tuberculosis being cited as mosquito-born illnesses )I think would annoy me as much as the profound research fuck-up.

Last edited by Tamerlane; 06-16-2019 at 05:18 PM.
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Old 06-16-2019, 07:56 PM
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"I don't think you're right about this," the presenter said in the clip, before detailing the term "death recorded" in Old Bailey court records in fact meant that judges had abstained from handing down a death sentence.

That's odd. I confess, I would probably have interpreted "death recorded" as "Death sentence handed down and recorded" rather than "judge didn't issue death sentence, so noted" but I also hope I would have looked into it rather than making that assumption.

It seems counterintuitive.
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Old 06-16-2019, 08:28 PM
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Naomi graduated two years after me at Yale. I consider her kinda an embarrassment to Old Eli. Even in my undergrad research papers I knew not to put shit down that I hadn’t researched.
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Old 06-16-2019, 11:05 PM
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I have only the most superficial knowledge of Naomi Wolf but I've read some of her essays before and she's been a useful advocate of progressive causes while also being deliberately controversial and, apparently, with about the same disregard for careful factual vetting as someone like Michael Moore -- who manages to get a valid story out even if he mangles or obscures the details. Or in the words of Bill Maher's coffee mug, "But I'm Not Wrong!". Even if some of the details are.

What I get from the OP (the post) is that he (the poster) apparently hates Naomi Wolf, but regardless of his personal hate, she didn't lie -- she apparently made mistakes in the book. She's not a liar here so much as she is a sloppy journalist. So in the end, it turns out that it's the OP who's actually a liar in misrepresenting the whole situation. You want liars? I give you Fox News, Breitbart, Newsmax, and the inimitable John Lott on gun violence statistics, just for starters. Or how about Anthony Watts on climate change, Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner on climate change -- oh, fuck it, just about any conservative asshole including the president of the USA and half of Congress on climate change. Deliberate, calculating liars -- not makers of mistakes, but LIARS -- each and every one. That's what a liar is, OP. Fuck you, you ignorant douchebag.
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Old 06-17-2019, 01:03 AM
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He's the conservative gadfly who pricks the hypocrisies and pretensions of liberal moonbats and SJW. Maybe "pricks" isn't the right word? No. It is.
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Old 06-17-2019, 04:45 AM
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She's not a liar here so much as she is a sloppy journalist.
In this case she is probably not a liar: I don't know enough about her other stuff to say one way or another. But that doesn't make her overall point true: in this particular outrage, it makes it false. Homosexuals were not so oppressed in 19th century England that they were still widely executed, so she was wrong about the level of oppression.
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Old 06-17-2019, 08:02 AM
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I'd never heard of Naomi Wolf before a week or so ago. She sounds like a bozo. I hereby refudiate Naomi Wolf's book, whatever it was called.

I hope that some day, we on the left will have intellectuals of the caliber of Dinesh D'Souza, Jim Hoft, and Diamond & Silk.
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Old 06-17-2019, 08:26 AM
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In this case she is probably not a liar: I don't know enough about her other stuff to say one way or another. But that doesn't make her overall point true: in this particular outrage, it makes it false. Homosexuals were not so oppressed in 19th century England that they were still widely executed, so she was wrong about the level of oppression.
Whether she was wrong or not depends on precisely what claims one is questioning. Again, I'm no expert on the subject, I haven't read the book, and I have no particular interest in defending Wolf, but to my understanding her basic narrative is correct even if some of the specific facts were mistaken, and certainly the claim that she is an intentional "liar" seems absurd and only confirms my prior impressions of the OP as an imbecile. For example, the cited article claims that "Dr Wolf alleged she had discovered that 'several dozen' men were executed for having homosexual sex during the 19th century" and that the BBC interviewer Matthew Sweet claimed this was incorrect. No, maybe her interpretation of certain court records was incorrect, but that statement in fact is perfectly accurate according to this historical timeline. The last executions for homosexuality in England were in 1835, and by the time the death penalty for being gay was abolished in 1861, 8921 men had been prosecuted during the 19th century with 404 sentenced to death and 56 executed. Which certainly counts as "several dozen" by my math.

And the oppression continued for more than another century. Nearly 100 years later, Alan Turing, one of the world's greatest computer science pioneers and a war hero whose brilliant codebreaking skills helped save Britain from the Nazis and saved thousands of lives by shortening the war, was also persecuted in a similarly shameful way. He was given the option of being chemically castrated as an alternative to imprisonment for being a homosexual, and as a result of the subsequent depression he committed suicide in 1954. This was a travesty for which the Prime Minister issued a formal apology 55 years after Turing's death, and eventually in 2013 Queen Elizabeth herself further formalized the proceedings by granting him a Royal Pardon.

I'll never defend sloppy journalism because facts are important, but I will say this: Wolf's new book is apparently called "Outrage" and there's certainly factual stuff here to be outraged about. It's a shame if she messed up some of the details.
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Old 06-17-2019, 10:01 AM
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Wolf is not so much a liar as simply not really a researcher or historian. She stampedes towards her conclusions without bothering to do real research, like a person repeating Internet memes. This is, remember, the same person who famously claimed that tens of thousands of young women were dropping dead every year from anorexia and the reason you didn't hear about it is that all the rest of them were too hungry to say anything. I think she sort of beleives that she's saying and certainly in this one instance she was CLEARLY NOT LYING. I don't know how the OP could possibly have listened to the interview and come to such a weird conclusion. She was unquestionably horribly surprised she had gotten it wrong. "Mistaken" is not "lying."

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Whether she was wrong or not depends on precisely what claims one is questioning. Again, I'm no expert on the subject, I haven't read the book, and I have no particular interest in defending Wolf, but to my understanding her basic narrative is correct even if some of the specific facts were mistaken...
She wasn't, no. The idea that men continued to be executed for sodomy in the UK is a critical part of the book, not a trivial side issue. The fact it was totally wrong is a serious flaw.
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Old 06-17-2019, 10:14 AM
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Wolf is not so much a liar as simply not really a researcher or historian. She stampedes towards her conclusions without bothering to do real research, like a person repeating Internet memes. This is, remember, the same person who famously claimed that tens of thousands of young women were dropping dead every year from anorexia and the reason you didn't hear about it is that all the rest of them were too hungry to say anything.
I am having trouble distinguishing this from lying.
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Old 06-17-2019, 10:14 AM
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Britain’s sexually segregated institutions, particularly the British Navy and the entire boys’ public school system, were notorious hothouses of buggery. Generations of upper-class twits enjoyed their first sexual experiences at school, and later had to be cajoled into viewing women as the “correct” semen depository of the mature upper-class twit. Got to make the heir and the spare, you know.
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Old 06-17-2019, 12:25 PM
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I am having trouble distinguishing this from lying.
You don't know the difference between being a credulous doofus and lying?

I am one hundred percent convinced Wolf really thought "Death recorded" meant "executed." I find that appallingly stupid; the term "Death recorded" is so weird, used in no other context and so strange-sounding, that even I would think "man, I should probably independently figure out what that means." But it is plainly obvious Wolf really, honestly thought it meant executed. That is not "lying."
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Old 06-17-2019, 12:41 PM
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I had never heard of Naomi Wolf, but this gives me pause...
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...manages to get a valid story out even if (s)he mangles or obscures the details. Or in the words of Bill Maher's coffee mug, "But I'm Not Wrong!". Even if some of the details are.
If she's truly like Bill Maher, that would mean she spews and repeats absolute bullshit and doubles down on idiocy when called on it, which in Bill's case is indistinguishable from lying (unless you grant a minute possibility of severe mental defect).

Last edited by Jackmannii; 06-17-2019 at 12:41 PM.
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Old 06-17-2019, 12:44 PM
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You don't know the difference between being a credulous doofus and lying?

I am one hundred percent convinced Wolf really thought "Death recorded" meant "executed." I find that appallingly stupid; the term "Death recorded" is so weird, used in no other context and so strange-sounding, that even I would think "man, I should probably independently figure out what that means." But it is plainly obvious Wolf really, honestly thought it meant executed. That is not "lying."
Yep, she's a lousy historian. This isn't lying, it's incompetence.
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Old 06-17-2019, 01:08 PM
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Yep, she's a lousy historian. This isn't lying, it's incompetence.
I guess I underestimated the potential for mental defect, seeing the "unhinged public pronouncements" detailed in the following review.

(Wolf's) first, career-making book, “The Beauty Myth,” is well-known for exaggerating the number of women who died of anorexia (Wolf stated that anorexia kills 150,000 women annually; the actual figure at the time, in the mid-1990s, was said to be closer to 50 or 60). One academic paper found that fully 18 of the 23 statistics about anorexia in the book were inaccurate and coined a term — “WOLF” (Wolf’s Overdo and Lie Factor) — to determine the degree to which Wolf was wrong...

Reviews of her book on fascism argued, as one put it, that she “consistently mutilated the truth with selective and ultimately deceptive use of her sources.” And “Vagina” so profoundly misrepresented the working of the brain, I’m not sure science writers have recovered...

This is to say nothing of Wolf’s unhinged public pronouncements. She has alleged the American military is importing Ebola from Africa with an intention of spreading it at home, that Edward Snowden might be a government plant and that she has seen the figure of Jesus while she was (inexplicably) in the form of a 13-year-old boy. She appeared on Alex Jones’s show, and accused the government of intercepting and reading her daughter’s mail."


https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/05/b...aomi-wolf.html
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Old 06-17-2019, 02:09 PM
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I had never heard of Naomi Wolf, but this gives me pause...If she's truly like Bill Maher, that would mean she spews and repeats absolute bullshit and doubles down on idiocy when called on it, which in Bill's case is indistinguishable from lying (unless you grant a minute possibility of severe mental defect).
Too bad I never said she was "like Bill Maher", nor did I hold Bill Maher up as an icon of anything related to vaccines or GMOs. I was quoting a motto on his coffee cup, for fuck's sake, but that was apparently enough to set you off like a rabid pit bull and shove your oar in on your favorite topic to rant about.

Not to digress further on this nonsense, but while I'm not going to defend Wolf here I think Maher does deserve a defense. I strongly suspect that your entire opinion of Maher is based on highly biased crap that you read, like that stuff you just cited, without actually knowing anything at all about the man or the show. As Wikipedia notes, "[Real Time with Bill Maher] has been nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Variety Series every year from 2005 through 2014 and Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Variety Talk Series in 2016 & 2017". The venerable Larry King called it "one of the best shows on televison". HBO has a reputation for production excellence, and this is no exception. With very rare exceptions the show is a thoughtful and informative discussion forum that is also often very funny, and features some of the most interesting and influential people in politics and the arts in the world today. Of course you wouldn't know that since I have to assume you've never seen it, apparently finding it preferable to have your head up your ass whenever it's on.

If you actually watched the show, you'd know that the vaccine stuff is hardly ever mentioned and you'd also know that Maher has backed off considerably from his earlier views. As for the alleged dangers of GMOs, I don't recall ever hearing him say anything like that and I've been watching the show every week for years. He does occasionally have controversial guests for the one-on-one interview spot at the beginning of the show, and bringing on the anti-vaccine nut Robert F. Kennedy Jr one time a couple of years ago was in the same spirit as bringing on the all-around nutjob Rick Santorum on another occasion, but again, if you actually watch the show, you'd know that most of the time he has thoughtful and intelligent guests for this interview spot (as well as for the panel that makes up most of the show) -- for instance, a number of Obama administration cabinet secretaries have been on, who incidentally impressed the hell out of me with their intellectual depth. One time, indeed, after a bit of prodding, Obama himself agreed to come on, back while he was still president.

I should also mention that when Santorum came on and made idiotic statements basically denying climate change, which Maher was unable to factually respond to at the time because he just didn't have the facts at hand, Maher had his staff research the claims and the next week he totally decimated Santorum's claims with well-researched information. It was wonderful, and I wrote a couple of lengthy posts about that a few years ago.

I agree that Maher's anti-vax position was stupid, but it's absurd to use that single item as the basis for discrediting absolutely everything the man has ever said. And there are certainly people that just don't like Maher or his style of humor, but you're really doing yourself and Maher a disservice with your ill-informed ranting about a single issue that he barely cares about and has hardly even mentioned in recent years. May I suggest that this Friday, if you have HBO, you should pour yourself a glass of wine, take a Valium, and watch Real Time with Bill Maher for the first time.
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Old 06-17-2019, 02:50 PM
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I am one hundred percent convinced Wolf really thought "Death recorded" meant "executed." I find that appallingly stupid; the term "Death recorded" is so weird, used in no other context and so strange-sounding, that even I would think "man, I should probably independently figure out what that means." But it is plainly obvious Wolf really, honestly thought it meant executed. That is not "lying."
I agree. As to the sloppiness of her research and journalism, she could have just Googled it and found it in Wikipedia. This took me literally about two seconds to find -- and it's a truly strange legal oddity:
In British courts, beginning in 1823, a sentence of death recorded meant that the judge was abstaining from voicing a sentence of capital punishment in cases where the judge foresaw that a royal pardon would be forthcoming if a proper death sentence were to be issued. It was, in other words, a death sentence in name only, with no actual effect in law.

Royal pardons for capital punishment had become routine at the time for most common crimes. Under the Judgment of Death Act 1823, a "death recorded" sentence allowed the judge to meet common law sentencing precedent while avoiding mocking by the sentenced or the public who realised an actual death penalty sentence was likely to be overridden ...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_recorded
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Old 06-17-2019, 04:48 PM
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Looks to me like that Wiki page was created in the wake of Wolf’s whoopsie.

Last edited by The Other Waldo Pepper; 06-17-2019 at 04:53 PM.
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Old 06-17-2019, 05:51 PM
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Good catch: I had assumed that only the last paragraph had been new but the history shows that the article is less than 2 months old.

Last edited by Ludovic; 06-17-2019 at 05:52 PM.
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Old 06-17-2019, 07:51 PM
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Looks to me like that Wiki page was created in the wake of Wolf’s whoopsie.
That appears to be the case, but there was no shortage of online and traditional paper sources that Wolf could have checked with, such as the first reference given (the "Digital Panopticon" site), or the various legal references cited, or this Google book (see "sentence of death recorded"). But yeah, given that the article only goes back to May, and three of the references are about Wolf and her new book, the article appears to have been written in response to the kerfuffle around it.

I don't know how I feel about right-wing media like Breitbart castigating her for this. It's certainly ironic, given Breitbart's own history of intentional deceit, which is much worse than an honest mistake. Wolf was inexcusably sloppy in her research, no doubt about it. If her central thesis is that there were many executions for homosexuality later than 1835 (the Victorian period is formally considered to have started in 1837) then she's very much mistaken, and her mistake was based on an egregiously incorrect reading of a strange phrase in English law. But if the point is that severe legal consequences for gays continued through the Victorian era and indeed well into the 1960s in England (and until 1980 and 1982 in Scotland and Northern Ireland, respectively) then that would certainly be correct. The Alan Turing story alone is pretty shocking. There is much that could be said here by a competent journalist, which it doesn't appear that Wolf is.
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Old 06-17-2019, 08:28 PM
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As Wikipedia notes, "[Real Time with Bill Maher] has been nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Variety Series every year from 2005 through 2014 and Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Variety Talk Series in 2016 & 2017".
If Emmy nominations are an indicator of quality, we have a problem.

Our President has a few nominations for his reality TV show.
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Old 06-17-2019, 09:25 PM
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Yeah, but The Apprentice was nominated mostly in technical categories like cinematography and sound editing, and the two nominations for the show itself were in the "reality show" category where the only competition was other crappy reality shows. The Television Academy was simply recognizing reality shows as a popular if crappy genre. Whereas Maher's show was nominated year after year for Outstanding Variety Series or Outstanding Variety Talk Series, which is a huge field. Hardly the same thing at all.

For those not familiar with the show, this gives a pretty good sense of it, written near the end of the show's 11th season.
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Old 06-17-2019, 10:27 PM
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Did Duck Dynasty get an Emmy? How about WWE?
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Old 06-17-2019, 10:37 PM
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If Emmy nominations are an indicator of quality, we have a problem.

Our President has a few nominations for his reality TV show.
Yeah I don't get the sentiment that winning or being nominated for an Emmy(or an Oscar for that matter) adds any value onto how credible a person's views are.
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Old 06-17-2019, 11:40 PM
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Yeah I don't get the sentiment that winning or being nominated for an Emmy(or an Oscar for that matter) adds any value onto how credible a person's views are.
That's a bit of a non sequitur, since Emmys are not awards for credibility, at least not directly. They're a form of recognition, and what they recognize depends on what they're being awarded for and what kind of show is being honored. If it's a talk show that's supposed to be funny, informative, and entertaining, an Emmy nomination is at least an indication that a significant body of television professionals believes it's achieved those objectives.

Thus, an unfunny lying moron who, to use Jackmannii's delusional description, "spews and repeats absolute bullshit and doubles down on idiocy when called on it" who hosts a talk show with those purported objectives is not going to be nominated for an Emmy in the "outstanding variety or talk show" category. Maher was. Many times. Nor, might I add, would a network like HBO renew the show for 17 consecutive years if it wasn't meeting those objectives. HBO looks at viewership numbers, of course, but they've built an enviable reputation for the quality of their in-house productions that they're not going to jeopardize to make a quick buck. They're not Fox News and they're not talk radio.

So, the Television Academy thinks Real Time is a great show. HBO executives think Real Time is a great show. I think it's great because I've learned a lot from some very interesting people over the years while being immensely entertained. Jackmannii thinks it's bullshit because of something that Maher said once that pushed one of his favorite rant-inducing hot buttons. Consider the evidence and pick your side, preferably after watching a few episodes. There are certainly reasonable people who don't like Maher, but they typically don't like him because he's crass and edgy, or because he uses that crassness very effectively to attack Republican nutjobs.
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Old 06-18-2019, 07:43 AM
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That appears to be the case, but there was no shortage of online and traditional paper sources that Wolf could have checked with,
You mean a quick Wikipedia foray isn't enough research for a serious writer? Quelle surprise!
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Old 06-18-2019, 08:06 AM
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As Wikipedia notes, "[Real Time with Bill Maher] has been nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Variety Series every year from 2005 through 2014 and Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Variety Talk Series in 2016 & 2017". The venerable Larry King called it "one of the best shows on televison".
This comes off as a weird variation on the argumentum ad populum fallacy. Argumentum ad award nomination?

Maher didn't just spew antivax nonsense one time. He's done it repeatedly (and never retracted his bullshit to my knowledge). He's gone on record as a germ theory denialist, citing the false claim that Pasteur admitted on his deathbed that he was wrong about microbes. Maher's facilited cancer quackery and helped exploit HIV patients (i.e. when he hosted Charlie Sheen's goat's-milk-prevents-AIDS doctor).

And there's his reputation for bigoted remarks, about which he seems remarkedly unapologetic.

Something to mull over as you drink from your "But I'm Not Wrong!" mug.

Last edited by Jackmannii; 06-18-2019 at 08:09 AM.
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Old 06-18-2019, 08:38 AM
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At first I was surprised, vaguely remembering that Naomi Wolf was well-regarded for her rigorous analysis and insight. Then I realized that I was confusing her with Naomi Klein.

On further consideration I remember Wolf from The Beauty Myth, but that's probably the last I'd given her any thought.
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Old 06-18-2019, 10:27 AM
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I am having trouble distinguishing this from lying.
Then buy a dictionary.
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Old 06-18-2019, 10:36 AM
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This comes off as a weird variation on the argumentum ad populum fallacy. Argumentum ad award nomination?
A consistent string of Emmy nominations really has little to do with popularity, even less so when the show in question is on a limited-audience pay-TV network.
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Maher didn't just spew antivax nonsense one time. He's done it repeatedly (and never retracted his bullshit to my knowledge). He's gone on record as a germ theory denialist, citing the false claim that Pasteur admitted on his deathbed that he was wrong about microbes. Maher's facilited cancer quackery and helped exploit HIV patients (i.e. when he hosted Charlie Sheen's goat's-milk-prevents-AIDS doctor).
I think in general there are two major issues with this kind of tirade. One is that his actual positions are generally a lot more nuanced than some of the hysterical online internet media make them out to be. You can find dozens of sites calling him an "anti-vaxer" in blaring headlines, yet he's been clear that no link has ever been established between vaccines and autism, that vaccines are generally safe, but he questions whether there can be "too much of a good thing" that if used to excess may also undermine our immune systems in the same way that living in an excessively germ-free environment is known to do. Maybe he's wrong, but this is not the kind of anti-vax hysteria that some media are making it out to be.

I do vaguely remember him having Samir Chachoua (the goat-milk guy) in for the one-on-one at the beginning of the show, though I don't remember how much pushback Maher gave him. He does have controversial guests from time to time, and I already said that, but it's actually pretty rare. Reading some of the criticisms of Maher one might think that's pretty much what the show is about. It isn't. Most of the guests and panelists are respected writers, politicians, commentators, and other public figures. And therein is my central point about Maher. In just the same way, most of his views are just vanilla mainstream liberal, and there are occasional controversial blips.

He certainly doesn't trust major corporations like Monsanto and the pharmaceutical industry, and here I agree with him. You, OTOH, seem to have an inordinate amount of love and faith in these fuckers. Did you see this new thread on drug prices? Guess whose interests the drug companies are really looking after. Drug prices are often an order of magnitude lower in other countries where these fuckers are properly regulated.
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And there's his reputation for bigoted remarks, about which he seems remarkedly unapologetic.
Yeah, well, he's certainly anti-religion, and particularly singles out Muslims, for reasons that are understandable if not politically correct. And I think he was unfairly targeted for some casual remarks that were taken to be racist and clearly were not.
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Old 06-18-2019, 11:10 AM
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Then buy a dictionary.
Bite me.


She said stuff that was untrue. This is undisputed. Several have said (paraphrasing) that isn't lying because she didn't know it was untrue. That makes her incompetent, not dishonest.

But she is a college educated, published author and journalist. She would have known it was untrue if she had done the basic research that posters here have done. The basic stuff that she was supposed to do as part of her job.

Lets look again at the NY Times quote that Jackmanni posted earlier:
Quote:
(Wolf's) first, career-making book, “The Beauty Myth,” is well-known for exaggerating the number of women who died of anorexia (Wolf stated that anorexia kills 150,000 women annually; the actual figure at the time, in the mid-1990s, was said to be closer to 50 or 60). One academic paper found that fully 18 of the 23 statistics about anorexia in the book were inaccurate and coined a term — “WOLF” (Wolf’s Overdo and Lie Factor) — to determine the degree to which Wolf was wrong...

Reviews of her book on fascism argued, as one put it, that she “consistently mutilated the truth with selective and ultimately deceptive use of her sources.” And “Vagina” so profoundly misrepresented the working of the brain, I’m not sure science writers have recovered..
She didn't just exaggerate a number of victims. she exponentially exaggerated a number of victims. The book didn't contain a few stats that were inaccurate. The majority of the stats she used were inaccurate.

Now, I sincerely ask....how exactly does this differ from lying?
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  #38  
Old 06-18-2019, 11:33 AM
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For example, the cited article claims that "Dr Wolf alleged she had discovered that 'several dozen' men were executed for having homosexual sex during the 19th century" and that the BBC interviewer Matthew Sweet claimed this was incorrect. No, maybe her interpretation of certain court records was incorrect, but that statement in fact is perfectly accurate according to this historical timeline. The last executions for homosexuality in England were in 1835, and by the time the death penalty for being gay was abolished in 1861, 8921 men had been prosecuted during the 19th century with 404 sentenced to death and 56 executed. Which certainly counts as "several dozen" by my math.
That's missing the whole point. No one denies that there had been executions for sodomy in the early nineteenth century. But Wolf's claim was that she had discovered several dozen executions for sodomy after 1835, thus disproving the standard view that none occurred after that date. Which, if true, would have been an extremely important discovery, worthy of all the stress she placed on it. But it turns out that what every other historian had previously thought was the case remains so. No, she wasn't lying, but she was being extremely careless.

She has also now trapped herself in a blatant contradiction. Previously she was claiming that her discovery was one of the major elements in her book's argument. However now that it's been disproved, she's been claiming that it wasn't. She really can't have it both ways.
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Old 06-18-2019, 12:31 PM
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I have only the most superficial knowledge of Naomi Wolf but I've read some of her essays before and she's been a useful advocate of progressive causes while also being deliberately controversial and, apparently, with about the same disregard for careful factual vetting as someone like Michael Moore -- who manages to get a valid story out even if he mangles or obscures the details. Or in the words of Bill Maher's coffee mug, "But I'm Not Wrong!". Even if some of the details are.

What I get from the OP (the post) is that he (the poster) apparently hates Naomi Wolf, but regardless of his personal hate, she didn't lie -- she apparently made mistakes in the book. She's not a liar here so much as she is a sloppy journalist. So in the end, it turns out that it's the OP who's actually a liar in misrepresenting the whole situation. You want liars? I give you Fox News, Breitbart, Newsmax, and the inimitable John Lott on gun violence statistics, just for starters. Or how about Anthony Watts on climate change, Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner on climate change -- oh, fuck it, just about any conservative asshole including the president of the USA and half of Congress on climate change. Deliberate, calculating liars -- not makers of mistakes, but LIARS -- each and every one. That's what a liar is, OP. Fuck you, you ignorant douchebag.
And not a Historian. I first heard about this in reference to "this is why you need Historians, people!" Cokie Roberts was also called out in the article for a similar mistake where as a non-historian, she assumed something that was not intuitive, that a historian who studied the era in question would have known was wrong.

In a rush to keep cost down, we aren't keeping fact checkers around - and when you publish books by journalists and writers who are not experts in the history they are covering, you need fact checkers. You need a read through of the early thesis by someone with subject matter expertise - because "death recorded" is not used intuitively by 21st century standards in these documents.
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Old 06-18-2019, 02:20 PM
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Yeah, well, he's certainly anti-religion, and particularly singles out Muslims, for reasons that are understandable if not politically correct. And I think he was unfairly targeted for some casual remarks that were taken to be racist and clearly were not.
You just admitted he's an anti-religious and Islamophobic bigot. But then, for some reason, you're still defending him.

You even try the right wing canard about "political correctness," as if liberals only pretend to be against religious bigotry for appearance sake. No, we genuinely believe it is wrong. If someone is okay with it, they are not a typical liberal by any means.

All of us lived through 9/11, and maybe for a little while we became somewhat anti-Muslim in the emotionalism. But even Bush himself righted that very quickly, citing most Muslims as good people, and being sure to only be against Al Qaeda. Since then, we also have ISIS, another actual bad group. But we don't hate the religion of Islam itself.

And using mental illness as an attack is a horrible thing. But that's what he calls people who are religious. They have a mental disorder. Does he try to cure that disorder? No, it's just to mock them.

Even if this were his only problem, that would be enough for him to be an illiberal bigot. But, as you can see on his RationalWiki page, he has a lot of other problems.

At best, he's a guy who can be funny but has a lot of problematic views. It's okay to enjoy someone's show while realizing they're not so great of a person. Or, at the very least, that they aren't a "typical liberal."
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Old 06-18-2019, 02:38 PM
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Now, I sincerely ask....how exactly does this differ from lying?
I wonder what this guy has to say?

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Originally Posted by Typo Negative View Post
She said stuff that was untrue. This is undisputed. Several have said (paraphrasing) that isn't lying because she didn't know it was untrue. That makes her incompetent, not dishonest.
Everything you argued was about incompetence. Not willfully covering up the truth. And that is how it is distinguishable from a lie--which is a willful attempt to deceive.
  #42  
Old 06-18-2019, 03:53 PM
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I wonder what this guy has to say?



Everything you argued was about incompetence. Not willfully covering up the truth. And that is how it is distinguishable from a lie--which is a willful attempt to deceive.
Maybe he needs to bite himself.
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  #43  
Old 06-18-2019, 06:00 PM
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You just admitted he's an anti-religious and Islamophobic bigot. But then, for some reason, you're still defending him.

You even try the right wing canard about "political correctness," as if liberals only pretend to be against religious bigotry for appearance sake. No, we genuinely believe it is wrong. If someone is okay with it, they are not a typical liberal by any means.
You appear to be missing quite a few points here.

Maher is anti-religion because he believes -- correctly -- that religious beliefs have been and continue to be the cause of a great deal of evil, unfairness, and irrationality in the world today. He is particularly hard on Muslim beliefs -- not the people, but what the religion incites them to do -- because among the prevalent organized religions today, Islam is one of the most harshly prescriptive.

To cite a simple example, in the US, the likes of devout Catholicism and evangelical Christianity have been and continue to be major drivers of homophobia and anti-abortion ideologies which end up influencing legislation in what is supposed to be secular government. Whereas in countries where Islam dominates, you get the same sort of thing only much worse, including all-out Sharia law, and of course at its worst, the belief that terrorism against western nations is OK because their values are so opposite to what Islam teaches, so they must be evil.

So in the US you had religious nutters not only enacting homophobic laws, but actually doubling down and passing homophobic state constitutional amendments. Even after the Supreme Court ruling, you still have religious nutters refusing to certify gay marriages even though it's their job to do so, and the cake-bakers refusing to provide cakes to gays on religious grounds, or the Hobby Lobby religious bigots flouting health care laws on religious grounds. Meanwhile, as always, Islam manages to outdo Christianity by miles on many of these things, helped along by stone-age thinking; the Sultan of Brunei recently decreed that the appropriate treatment of gays is to stone them to death in the town square, and passed laws accordingly, because Islam says so.

So when it comes to his criticism of organized religions, Maher basically has it right. Beyond that, I don't have to agree with Maher on everything to consider him to be intelligent, funny, and informative, which is another point I made. He's a bit over the top in his suspicions about vaccines, for example, though he's never been nearly as radical on that subject as some media have unfairly made him out to be. And the "germ theory denial" thing seems to be mostly made up.
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And using mental illness as an attack is a horrible thing. But that's what he calls people who are religious. They have a mental disorder. Does he try to cure that disorder? No, it's just to mock them.
He's compared organized religion to a mental disorder that keeps people from thinking rationally. The language may be colorful but is fundamentally correct -- see above.
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Originally Posted by BigT View Post
Even if this were his only problem, that would be enough for him to be an illiberal bigot. But, as you can see on his RationalWiki page, he has a lot of other problems.
It was hard to get past the first sentence, which claims that Maher is "an outspoken, unapologetic and imperviously self-satisfied comedian and political commentator". But at least that's better than the original intro which called him "an asshole comedian". That entire article is just a shameless hit piece. If that's where you get your information it explains a lot. If you want a more or less balanced view go to the Wikipedia page on Maher, not the hateful bullshit on RationalWiki.
  #44  
Old 06-18-2019, 06:28 PM
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She said stuff that was untrue. This is undisputed. Several have said (paraphrasing) that isn't lying because she didn't know it was untrue. That makes her incompetent, not dishonest.
Correct, and that's what I said.
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She didn't just exaggerate a number of victims. she exponentially exaggerated a number of victims. The book didn't contain a few stats that were inaccurate. The majority of the stats she used were inaccurate.

Now, I sincerely ask....how exactly does this differ from lying?
And now you're changing your story, right in the same post! We both agree that in the context of the discussion about her new book, she was incompetent and not dishonest. End of argument. And indeed the evidence for that is how easily that archaic legal phrase "death recorded" could confuse someone unfamiliar with English legal history.

So I don't know what the point of this digression about her other book is. Did she lie in that one, or was that more incompetence? I have no idea. It has nothing to do with this discussion. It only underscores the fact that Wolf is not a reliable source of information, which I acknowledged right from the beginning.
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That's missing the whole point. No one denies that there had been executions for sodomy in the early nineteenth century. But Wolf's claim was that she had discovered several dozen executions for sodomy after 1835, thus disproving the standard view that none occurred after that date. Which, if true, would have been an extremely important discovery, worthy of all the stress she placed on it. But it turns out that what every other historian had previously thought was the case remains so. No, she wasn't lying, but she was being extremely careless.

She has also now trapped herself in a blatant contradiction. Previously she was claiming that her discovery was one of the major elements in her book's argument. However now that it's been disproved, she's been claiming that it wasn't. She really can't have it both ways.
I'm not missing the point because I clearly said later, in post #26, that:
Wolf was inexcusably sloppy in her research, no doubt about it. If her central thesis is that there were many executions for homosexuality later than 1835 (the Victorian period is formally considered to have started in 1837) then she's very much mistaken, and her mistake was based on an egregiously incorrect reading of a strange phrase in English law. But if the point is that severe legal consequences for gays continued through the Victorian era and indeed well into the 1960s in England (and until 1980 and 1982 in Scotland and Northern Ireland, respectively) then that would certainly be correct. The Alan Turing story alone is pretty shocking. There is much that could be said here by a competent journalist, which it doesn't appear that Wolf is.
She "can't have it both ways" only in the sense that changing her story seriously undermines her credibility. But if the book is revised to reflect the correct facts, as I said above, there is still a compelling story to be told about the shocking persecution of gays in Britain, not just in the Victorian era, but right up until the major reforms of 1967. I'm just not sure that Wolf should be the one to tell it, given her track record.
  #45  
Old 06-20-2019, 11:52 AM
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The Alan Turing story alone is pretty shocking.
It certainly would be if it was true. The facts are that Turing was not actively persecuted; he drew the attention of the police to himself by reporting he had been burgled by an associate of his boyfriend.

His death occurred more than two years after the prosecution, when he appeared to be in good heart and planning a holiday. Turing had been experimenting with gold plating, which uses cyanide, and it seems more likely than not that his death was accidental.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Turing#Personal_life

None of which diminishes the fact that the treatment of gay people at the time was horrific.
  #46  
Old 06-20-2019, 12:19 PM
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It certainly would be if it was true. The facts are that Turing was not actively persecuted; he drew the attention of the police to himself by reporting he had been burgled by an associate of his boyfriend.
That's still active persecution.
  #47  
Old 06-20-2019, 04:42 PM
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No, it is forcing the issue - no different than Oscar Wilde.

Wilde filed suit against Queensbury for saying Wilde was gay. Queensbury defended himself by showing that Wilde was, in fact gay, and thus it was not defamatory but true.
Whether you disagree with the law or not (and I quite vehemently do) the law as it stood listed homosexuality as a crime and its commission had been proven in open court. There was no choice but to prosecute at that point.

England knew that Wilde was gay before that, hell illiterate Chinese peasants in the backwoods of Shindon knew it, but nobody made an issue of it until they were made to. That is not "active persecution" that is "reluctant prosecution."
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Last edited by Zeke N. Destroi; 06-20-2019 at 04:43 PM.
  #48  
Old 06-20-2019, 04:46 PM
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(Maher) questions whether there can be "too much of a good thing" that if (vaccines are) used to excess may also undermine our immune systems in the same way that living in an excessively germ-free environment is known to do. Maybe he's wrong, but this is not the kind of anti-vax hysteria that some media are making it out to be.
Oh, he's a hysterical guy, good for laughs when he says "measles is not really that deadly a disease" (the 100,000 or so annual fatalities from it around the world are no biggie), "I would never get the swine flu vaccine or any vaccine", "there are no long-term studies done on vaccinated vs. unvaccinated" (false) and other classic antivax horseshit, repeated over the years on multiple shows.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfpup
...most of (Maher's) views are just vanilla mainstream liberal, and there are occasional controversial blips.
Yeah, except for a long stream of "blips", he's just a regular guy.
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Originally Posted by wolfpup
He certainly doesn't trust major corporations like Monsanto and the pharmaceutical industry, and here I agree with him. You, OTOH, seem to have an inordinate amount of love and faith in these fuckers.
Oooh, the shill gambit yet again. You've got something in common with Maher there - he wants us to distrust vaccines because, y'know, Pharma is Bad.

When he had RFK Jr.(Mr. Vaccination-Is-Like-The-Holocaust) on his show, Junior was flogging lies about Dr. Paul Offit (inventor of a lifesaving rotavirus, staunch immunization advocate and loathed by antivaxers). Maher played up the same theme.

Maher: "It astounds me that liberals, who are always suspicious of corporations…and defending minorities, somehow when it comes to this minority that’s hurt, it’s like, “You know what? Shut the fuck up and let me take every vaccine that Merck wants to shove down my throat.”

"Maher even concludes the interview by saying, “I applaud you for championing this, because we need to talk about this more,” to which RFK, Jr. responded by praising Maher for his “bravery” and complaining how the networks won’t let him on."

https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/fiv...-it-yet-again/

Last edited by Jackmannii; 06-20-2019 at 04:50 PM.
  #49  
Old 06-20-2019, 06:17 PM
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Old 06-25-2019, 07:03 AM
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Speaking of not doing research...


The Beauty Myth Stat was actually quoted from a source she used.

Matthew Sweet, the bbc guy, actually said (twice) that he got the death recorded phrase (not a legal term) from the obo website, yet there is no definition there. He later said Thomas Silver (the person referenced as the 14 year old) raped a 6 year old. However, there is no mention of this rape anywhere in the obo. He backpeddled in a later tweet and said he got the def from the digitalpanopticon, the site linked to the obo without admitting he erred on air. Interestingly, he went on in the interview to lecture her that the obo was not a good resource, as it only contained names, dates and verdicts...yet this is counter to the definition given on the obo itself as being the most complete and largest most detailed dB of archives ... ever. Almost like he had never actually been to the site prior to the interview and was reading a script. On a later tweet he was hailing the obo as “excellent.” So I tweeted him and asked why he changed his mind a day later and he muted me. I asked the obo (via twitter) where I could find this definition and they told me clearly that there was no definition of death recorded and never was. Then they blocked me!?

So then I went to the digital Panopticon website and found a definition, written by Richard Ward. Big problem here right away: he’s never once used nor mentioned “death recorded” in his entire academic career! I based this on a Boolean enhanced google search but, I also downloaded all of his publicly available research on the UK justice system, and executions, including two large books from Google Play...indeed, no death recorded. So I went to Wikipedia on the 23 of May, no death recorded. Went again on the 24th, and to my surprise...it was there. Went to page history on death recorded, it had just been put up on the 24th of May (interview was the 21st). Strangely it was quoting Richard Ward’s definition but mainly cited the interview as references?? The next day someone added a reference to an old fairy tale and fable dictionary and a reference to a 1906 dictionary. Problem here is the dictionary did have “death recorded” but made no mention of a pardon or anything remotely close to a pardon. The dictionary itself is not even an official legal or professional dictionary.

So I went back to the digital Panopticon and found the sources for the page on “sentencing”. Not one of those books had “death recorded.”

So then I saw people saying she should have gone to the digital Panopticon, but that’s another problem: it was added to the obo as a link in August of 2018. So unless she was still researching after 2018, which based on publication schedules I highly doubt, then she would not have been able to. It also does not appear in any of the dictionaries of 1798, 1811, or 1835 (is link it but you can do your own research) hint: TE Tomlins. Now there is an entry for “sentence of death”, and strangely this is the definition that seems closest to the post 21May now popular definition being thrown about by twitteristotians, but there is nary a mention of pardon or that they were not eventually executed...more like a delay, or a commutation of the sentence to transportation or hard labor.

But that’s all in the weeds...I read the book and if you live in the US, you did not (it was published in the UK, not in the US). The premise of the book has very little to do with executions, it’s about the increased criminalization of homosexuality (and other personal/private lifestyle preferences), and about censorship. (It says it right there on the cover).

But here is the most interesting thing. Matthew Sweet wrote a book called “Inventing the Victorians.” I’m not a historian (I’m actually a coder and an online librarian), but I know enough about that period (being touted as the UK’s Victorious Age in most school learning) and his book would be undermined by her book. According to Sweet, all that bad stuff we hear about The Victorian Age was invented...things were great! There was no vice, no graft, no suffering...apparently history was unfair to the Victorians and we should “love them.” Most disturbing about this book is a chapter titled “Presumed Innocent” in which he talks about the acceptability at that time for adult men to “intimately court” young women down to the age of 10!

So again, hate Wolf, hail Sweet, or question anyone’s findings...but do some research and thinking on your own so we can have an informed discussion or debate. I only read Outrages as she was being praised here up until May 19, by the same papers that then attacked her and who also never really looked beyond Sweet’s proclamations.

Here are some points to ponder as I close:

-BBC is state controlled here. Every tv buyer must purchase a bbc license, meaning we are forced to have it on our tells.

-Matthew Sweet has a DPhil (a doctorate) in the impact of fiction on 19th century England, it’s focus is entirely on Wilkie Collins, a prominent fiction author at the time...not quite “historian” material. (His prior job was as a “Dr Who” critic and self proclaimed film historian.

-Wolf has a DPhil in literature and her book was fact checked, among many others, by Baroness Helena Kennedy of Shaw (she’s a member or former member of the House of Lords) and a prominent lawyer/legal scholar and former Ward (dean) of Manchester at Oxford. Another is Sir STEPHEN Sedley, a former highest court in England Chief Magistrate. But we are taking the Dr Who expert’s word as historical fact?

-The digital Panopticon is funded by private investors, one of which is JISc, who, alongside Houghton Mifflin & Pearson, we’re named as key elements by your President Obama for new education initiatives in 2012. Essentially these companies are writing all curriculum for the US and UK public education systems online.

-Matthew Sweet posted a 44 minute version of the interview, but the interview I heard was 55 minutes in total. Almost 5 minutes of commentary during the Wolf segment is missing...and it may be my imagination, but her voice sounds lower and slower on Sweet’s posted version (I noticed the producer of his show has an expertise in “final cut” and Adobe Premier Pro” according to linked in).

-The Wikipedia page for death recorded was added on May 24 by Xavierltzm, a Wikipedia editor that has been flagged numerous times on Wikipedia for manipulating definitions to fit various political leanings (he’s softened criticism of the bbc on multiple occasions). (Just go to the “page history” on wiki and follow the “breadcrumbs”. He also, more recently, has been making changes and trying to undo positive mentions on the Naomi Wolf wiki page...again, it’s all in the page histories.

Finally, and the big question, why won’t her USA publisher specify which “additional questions” delayed the book’s release? They were asked in a June 21 article by the Guardian this specific question and declined to comment. They also delayed the book two days after it made the American social celebrity Oprah Winfrey’s “Best Books of Summer list, a list on which it remains...a publisher delaying at a point like this is unprecedented!

As my heroes of detective novels would say: there’s something amidst here!






Quote:
Originally Posted by Typo Negative View Post
Bite me.


She said stuff that was untrue. This is undisputed. Several have said (paraphrasing) that isn't lying because she didn't know it was untrue. That makes her incompetent, not dishonest.

But she is a college educated, published author and journalist. She would have known it was untrue if she had done the basic research that posters here have done. The basic stuff that she was supposed to do as part of her job.

Lets look again at the NY Times quote that Jackmanni posted earlier:


She didn't just exaggerate a number of victims. she exponentially exaggerated a number of victims. The book didn't contain a few stats that were inaccurate. The majority of the stats she used were inaccurate.

Now, I sincerely ask....how exactly does this differ from lying?
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