Monday, June 20, 2011

Dr Dean Edell and Criticism

One of the great skeptical heroes talk show host Dr. Dean Edell's Wikipedia page is in dire need of attention.  (and I'm sure there are others)

When I looked at the "discussion" area I was dismayed to read this under the heading of Anti-Catholic Bias?

Why is there a controversy about this? Two anonymous ip addresses seem to keep adding back blurbs about catholic beliefs. Don't you need some kind of source for something that is controversial or debatable like this? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ilikesalsa (talkcontribs) 20:34, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
I re-added this information because as a Catholic I have heard him on seven different occasions single out the Catholic Religion for the butt of his editorials. I am sick of this degrading of my faith. If he had talked so badly about the faith of Islam there would have been a holy war. I notice he doesn't have the courage to talk badly about religions whose members would actually fight back in anger against anyone who dares talk against them. My only weapon is forgiveness and bringing his religious hatred to the attention of audiences. The comment will be reinserted until he quits saying such terrible things about my religion. If you don't like the comments ask him to quit spewing such hatred for my religion.Silent. I Love my God I am sorry he doesn't have one to love. Silentsam242
"The only response many have taken has been to shun products of his sponsors." An interesting note is that since so many quack products advertise on the show Dr. Edell himself will criticize some of his own sponsors. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:47, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
I removed this section because it's unsourced and could get wikipedia sued. Here is the deleted text, but I warn you that it would be foolish to reinsert it without finding sourcing first. His programs are frequently extremely Anti-Catholic in nature and he frequently criticizes the Pope and the Catholic Religion in general. His criticisms go far beyond being just critical in nature and border on extreme Anti-Catholic Bias. A good number of Catholic listeners have complained about his offensive anti Catholic lectures but have been unable to get him to stop. The only response many have taken has been to shun products of his sponsors.Reverend Distopia 22:08, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
A further note: no one has re-added any of the information which was removed. I noticed Silentsam242's statement so I have to say, if you read this, please do not put that section back on unless you have some source materials. This is very serious. The fact that you yourself show very clear bias against Edel shows that you probably shouldn't be working on this page anyway. However, the least you can do is find some documentation to back up your claims. When you write potentially defamatory statements about an individual without proof, you can be sued in court. If you don't care about that, that's perfectly fine, but do us the favor and help us keep Wikipedia afloat by not placing it in the position where it might be sued. Non-profit organizations can't afford to be sued.Reverend Distopia 17:52, 4 September 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Reverend Distopia (talkcontribs)
There is nothing on his page at all concerning his views on pseudoscience or him being a awesome advocate for skepticism.  Shame on us!  

This example is also a great example of how important it is to not edit without having a source for the edit.   Silentsam242 was just giving his/her opinion about a bias that Dr. Edell might have.  Without sources Silentsam242's rant is just that a rant.  Also Silentsam242 threatens the other editors by saying that he/she will continue pasting in the edit until Dr. Edell stops picking on Catholicism.  Like the editors have anything to do with what Edell says.  It has been a few years now and Silentsam242 seems to have moved on after making the threat.

When encountering this kind of intimidating behavior by an editor.  Remain professional and calm.  Try to sort our your argument in clear language.  Other editors will probably join in and advise.  If all else fails a arbitrator will be called in to advise further.  If someone is abusive or threatening their IP could be blocked, or the site could be semi-protected to keep people from vandalizing.  Usually people get all hot for a bit then fade away (maybe when they go back on their meds?) 

If you choose to work on this page, work backwards looking for skeptical (well sourced) articles in journals/magazines/newspapers, then write the blurb then the citation.   I'm totally up for you posting it here first if you are uncomfortable with any part of this.  

As you find more sites that are in bad need of updating please let everyone know.


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