Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Article on crappy figure skating coverage

Start respecting the fans

The above links to an excellent article writen by Laura Werschler for Troy Media. Well, excellent apart from identifying Steve Milton as a "great figure skating reporter". Nobody who co-wrote Our Journey from Childhood Dream to Gold or his most recent inane pap about Virtue and Moir can be described as a reporter of anything, let alone great.

However, she gives examples of absolute crap figure skating writing, examples of egregious bias towards its fan demographic, and ignorance of program content. I'm glad a woman in the maligned demo has spoken up, even though I don't agree with her examples of who is doing it right. She concludes with:
The way to grow the audience for figure skating is to respect the fans. CBC is doing it right. The more we know, the more engaged we become. The more details the better. Start talking and writing about the sport as if we all know what’s going on; sooner than you think possible we all will.

That's going to be an uphill climb because not only does the media not respect figure skating fans, figure skaters, most of all the subjects of this blog, don't respect fans, and Skate Canada above all of the large figure skating Federations has palpable contempt for the fans.

I also appreciate the take down of Rod Black because his knowledge of figure skating is in inverse ratio to his bloviating histrionics. He's horrible, and an embarrassment alongside Tracy Wilson.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Start making the case

So, Davis & White were awarded a score of 118+ at their nationals. If Virtue Moir had received all level fours and not gotten two deductions for time at Canadians, they'd still be about five points in back of Davis & White's utter skating perfection where they do everything perfectly and the only reason they are 1.something shy of 120 (and the 200 points Marina Zoueva once forecast for Carmen) is they can be even more perfect.

There are fans on the web declaring it's impossible for Virtue Moir to win Worlds no matter how they skate - the gold belongs to D/W. It won't even be close. D/W will blow them out of the water on the scoreboard.

Some thoughts - despite Davis & White launching their season with cringe-inducing hype about their chemistry and connection, and throwing in a super embarrassing post-program moment of Charlie sweeping Meryl up in his arms, that shit's been dropped in favor of the impression that Davis & White are unstoppable, they take the ice like a hurricane, and if there are any imperfections in their performance, the judges are disinclined to notice. We never hear anything about anything that needs improvement. The story of D/W is that they're the best best best.

At Canadians the judges read all the fine print when Virtue and Moir skate, while at the the US championships, the judges only read the headlines when D/W skate.

Which is a courtesy only Gilles & Poirier receive at Canadians.

Some of this feels to me like just not wanting to annoint VM - that some resist giving VM this treatment for fear of being accused of the inability to view such exquisite skaters/dancers/on-ice personalities critically - for being in the tank. And also pure contrariness.

There are no such fears with D/W. Hell, scoring D/W higher might resonate as more objective, unswayed by chemistry or reputation. It's also easy. There's so much difficulty in what VM do while making it look natural.  D/W telegraph the Herculean effort their program takes out of them. It's easy and safe for the judges. D/W might also be easier for judges to relate to - D/W are self-made, a product of will as much as talent. With them it's not so much of Tessa and Scott's near supernatural gifts.

IOW, I think there's some bullshit afoot with the D/W hype and their hyped up scores, BUT at least people are talking about their score and their skating and D/W are talking about their training and their competition prep.

What are Scott and Tessa talking about? What did they start gabbing about when Canadians started - after sticking some sham bait on facebook of course?

Sex. Stripper poles and thongs (Sorry P.J. but that made it in there). How there's been some fan backlash against the program cause it's sensual and sexy. How fans haven't a clue who they are.

At least they refrained from repeating how much they hate the polka and how they're gonna skate that part with gritted teeth. This time.

Going by the facebooks of VM's connections, they definitely believe there are politics in figure skating and politics in judging even now. But why worry about that? Let's get on with the politics of fandom.

Let's not talk about why the Carmen program is extraordinary, and extraordinarily difficult. Let's not talk about the kind of skating you need to lay down to pull that program off. Let's not remind the world with specificity that Virtue and Moir are spectacular athletes who have challenged themselves with a program no other skaters in the world could pull off and they're skating it brilliantly. Let's take all their breathtaking elements for granted, the stunning lifts, the spectacular twizzles, the gorgeous, flowing footwork sequences, while down south, it's a green light to pass out in rapture at every move D/W make, as if it's unbelieveable it can be done by humans. The shit Tessa has to do in Carmen? Eh. I need more.

The spin is going like that. It's never quite good enough with VM but D/W are hardly scrutinized at all, and so it's them that are the best in the world - they have an insurmountable edge.

But as far as VM are concerned - who cares about skating? Let's keep the personality shit alive. That's what everyone wants to read about - sour grapes about fans that is also lies, and how despite the fact that the Russian team of Volosozhar and Trankov are groping butts and swimsuit areas in their Godfather pairs short, nobody else has ever sexed it up on the ice before Virtue and Moir.

Let's also just roll over that they got 108 at their Canadians - that once again the panel called them on everything while for the second year running rewarded Paul Poirier and Piper Gilles for skating they did not do (they beat VM in TES - yes, a team featuring Piper Gilles). G&P got nearly as many 9's as VM - because they're nearly as good.

What is the story for VM after nationals? 108 and lift deductions? Virtue and Moir are closer in ability to Gilles & Poirier than they are to Davis White (108 versus 102 and 108 versus 118)? The rivalry with the Americans now looks like everyone's just being polite. Davis & White have left Virtue & Moir in the dust.

Skate Canada spends its second Canadians running trying to build up Gilles & Poirier as the second coming while throwing VM under the bus - otherwise why did the same tech panel put VM through the ringer while pretending Piper Gilles is at Tessa Virtue's heels in ability? Why did the judges see such small differences between the skating skills of these two teams?

What's the argument the Canadian side (Kurt Browning and PJ Kwong) attempts to mount against D/W? Their chemistry isn't convincing?

That's helpful. How much of a deduction do you get for chemistry that is clearly faked? What's the base value? Keep on talking about emotion-based elements in a program, because that will help the cause, guys.

Skaters as commentators are the worst.

(This is like when PJ's argument for Tessa in the Latin free dance is Tessa had real latin action in her hips and Meryl didn't. Yes, because the judges are clearly experts in latin action and care so so much about hips.)

What's the story for D/W? They are uncriticizable, they're the innovators, they have the legacy and Virtue and Moir may as well not even show up for the 4CCs or Worlds?

Good job, VM and Skate Canada.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The guy who lies says we don't have a clue

Scott Moir's latest, post SD:
The 23-year-old Virtue and Moir, 25, have long stated they want to leave the sport of ice dancing better for having had them in it.
They're known for pushing the envelope, but a few skating fans believe they've pushed it too far this season. Some fans apparently don't approve of their sexy free program to "Carmen."
Virtue and Moir admit to having received some hurtful comments about the program they'll skate Sunday that opens with Virtue running her hand provocatively up Moir's thigh.
"It's always tough to get criticism or comments on a program," Moir said. "To be honest sometimes it's just funny to get the personal comments because people think they know who you are from what you do out on the ice, but they really don't have a clue."
Show me, Lori Ewing. Okay, so Scott lies (pretending people have bashed Carmen) and then proclaims that what he just made up is off base, because people are clueless about who he and Tessa really are. Isn't that the fucking point, Scott? When you lie to people for 5-7 years about who you are? Only they would lie and then turn around and get snide because people fell for it. But typical.

P.S. - I want to re-state that Scott and Tessa are lying about their own fans on the web. He's pretending Carmen is outside the comfort zone of many Virtue Moir fans, who commenced to confuse Tessa with Carmen and who want them to skate Mahler type stuff forever.

He is not saying "people are criticizing us on the web." or "Fans of our rivals are bashing Carmen." Since when is it news that there are rival fan factions on the web? They've been there forever and VM have never cared. Fans of D/W, btw, would never pretend to confuse Tessa with Carmen - their whole posture is that Tessa is bland and white bread, cold on the ice, not passionate like Meryl. To them, saying Tessa is like Carmen would be giving her points and they don't want to do that.

When I cut and pasted the round-up of figure skating discussion pages, I included ontd_skating. As noted, there are fans of Scott and Tessa on ontd_skating, but the most vocal fans chew Scott's ass every time Scott opens his mouth. They think he's a tool. These are not the fans Scott was talking about either, if you actually listen to what he was lying about. He doesn't care about fans of their rivals who dislike everything VM do. That doesn't sell anything. That doesn't create a story. That's not news.

This is what they pretend is news. Saying Carmen is outside the comfort zone of their own fans. That the performance has convinced some fans Tessa is like Carmen

That last is something VM bashers would never EVER do - it would be too much like a compliment and give Tessa too much credit.

Basically, their own fans are unsettled by Carmen, and want their nice safe romantic lyrical Scott and Tessa back.

It's not non-VM fans this is aimed towards. It's their own fans. As usual. And, as usual, it is a lie.

So my own comments below don't become miles longer than they already are, this is the message from Scott and Tessa for Canadians: Scott said "personal comments" hurt. The wordpress article below used to validate Scott's remarks was a skating criticism, and a self-serving one at that (by a DW fan). But Scott and Tessa's hype was that the program wasn't critiqued on a skating basis, but there was a backlash due to content. It was too risque. And people were associating Tessa with Carmen. And of course they were "hurt" because they always make up a reason to martyr themselves and then peddle it in interviews.

Second, as the blog pointed out, the Manti T'eo hoax was considered newsworthy. Nobody said "So what if the guy made up a girlfriend that never existed and then killed her off in a car crash, and got positive publicity from the "tragedy". Who did he hurt? So what if thousands of people extended their sympathy and support to him and admired him - who cares?"

So who cares that Scott and Tessa have marketed a hoax that their relationship is a unique "platonic passion"? Who cares that they withdrew from the 4CCs because she'd given birth relatively recently and they preplanned the withdrawal, and not because she had a quad spasm? Who cares that they went around media outlets while she was pregnant, marketing "platonic passion" and instructing the romance question to be raised so they could shoot it down? They're not platonic, but who cares that they insisted they were, that they built their self-promotion around not just saying they were, but mocking fans who they said believed differently.

And who cares if they basically lied about those fans too? Most fans believed them. If they didn't, they kept it down low.

But who cares that Tessa and Scott lie about their fans in order to reinforce the scam they're pushing?

Why is Manti T'eo being given a hard time anyway?

Maybe it's because a major sports news operation fell for it. It's okay if tabloids, social media, and fans fall for it. Is that our hierarchy?

The platonic part gets every bit of the emphasis that the passion part does - even more. Of course, thankfully for mainstream media, they've shied away from falling into the Manti T'eo trap with Virtue Moir. NBC didn't touch the Jessica/Scott/Bryce supposed storyline during Vancouver, never mentioned that Scott Moir was dating his teammate, Jessica Dube, and neither Tom Hammond nor Tracy Wilson acknowledged Jessica with the Moir family even when the NBC camera was trained on that group with Jessica dead center. They certainly gave the spotlight to other Olympic teammates who were dating. But not Jessica/Scott. Why do you think that is? It's because Virtue and Moir want the benefits of lying to the public but not the penalties. And as long as they go the social media and tabloid route, they believe they can have it both ways.

Why do you think Tessa and Scott prefer to give their interviews to the entertainment or tabloid media when they want to market stuff they've faked?

Why is it none of our business that Tessa and Scott decided to "write" a book, and that while Tessa was pregnant, went around on a book tour advertising that the book was worth buying because fans who purchased it would get real behind the scenes, never before told stuff? And because Scott and Tessa wanted the profit from revealing themselves without revealing themselves, they made up something to reveal? The dramatic center of the book - their estrangement after her surgery - was every bit equal to the fantasy of T'eo's dead girlfriend.

I think many fans who object to the blog would have no objection if NBC or a mainstream outlet decided to expose Scott and Tessa. They are just furious that a mere fan has started a blog about it. They apparently share the same view of fans that Scott and Tessa do - that they shouldn't have a voice. Scott and Tessa have used social media to exploit fans, but social media can't be used to call them out - and since when is that the law of social media?

Class Participation

FYI: Canadians has started and Cassandra Hilborn has bravely changed her facebook profile name back to her full first and last name. As you do when you are struggling to protect your privacy from creeping and obsessive fans of your presumptive boyfriend when he is in the spotlight for one of the biggest competitions of the year. Anybody who went to school with Cass in first grade and would like to find her facebook - now is the time!*

Some thoughts: I don't think Scott and Tessa see Worlds in London as such a wonderful plus. They'll say so, and as far as skating goes, the audience is great, but again they have the friends - the old school friends who appreciate reassurance that their old buddy is still one of them - right there. Expecting to be part of the mix. Scott remains their biggest credential.

It's so convenient that Scott and Jessica, after lasting through that infamous bar fight/hockey venue fight/skating rink fight between Bryce and Scott, through Scott and Tessa winning the Olympics and Bryce and Jessica crashing, through Scott and Tessa winning Worlds and Bryce and Jessica  -and Jessica and Sebastien - sucking, through Tessa's shins and Bryce's knee  - we're talking years of devotion - that Scott and Jessica "split up" the second her skating career ends - the one that takes her to the same competitions as Scott and Tessa, not that Scott didn't just love his periodic trips to Quebec for apple picking and wedding attending, and not that Ilderton isn't always thrilled to receive Jessica.

And what happens but almost immediately Scott acquires a London-based girlfriend who is part of the crowd of his old school friends, just in time for London Worlds. Here is a way all of his old buddies can get right in there and be somebodies. Bust Scott's chops, joke about fans and the burdens of fame, get busy tagging stuff on facebook, feel like Scott may be a big deal, to the outside world but to them he's still just Scotty. And show off their photos of themselves with him to their current set of pals without looking try hard - cause they're helping him. They're involved.

It's not just London, and a London girl - it brings in all the friends who otherwise might want to, you know, hang out with Scott and Tessa both somehow. And of course, it's a way to stockpile eighty gazillion photos with built-in buffers. The families who spent years buffering Scott and Jessica both for real and in photos, the skating teammates who might be slightly over all the crap - are released from their duties.

They always like killing more than one bird with one stone, sham-speaking. This new sham is convenient, photo-wise, because the girl lives in London. It's convenient event-wise because WORLDS is in London and we know Scott and Tessa always like to do it up big, for the home folks. Let them know the public is still "them" and the old crowd is still "us".

And it helps Scott pander to his old buddies, pacify some egos, be one of them - and get business done at the same time (sham). It's efficient. Give the face time to his pals, make then feel like nobody can take their place, but not have to carve out separate time for both shamming or hanging with old school pals.

He can do both at once, and it creates something in common - and you know that's gotta be something of a strain after awhile when they're all sober.

I think fans are secondary to this one. This is to keep his pals feeling important and carves out their role while Scott and Tessa are in London or close to what they advertise as home.

And Scott and Tessa do very much enjoy making a display of martyring themselves, whether for their sport, their fans, or their hometown friends and family.

The gang's all here

*Still no full length photo of the lovebirds. Seeing how tall Cassandra is in photos without Scott, vis a vis some of the old Medway/Fanshawe crowd, she's abruptly shrunk. A whole lot. So Scott's standing on a box? He's wearing lifts (Scott? Never!)? She's crouching?

livejournal - Way to the Stars

This is a Russian language fan group for Scott and Tessa, so when I visit I have to use a Russian translation tool (and understand that riding and rentals = skating). Maybe the backlash is lost in translation because from reading it since prior to 2010 I know that some of these ladies had their faith in God restored when Scott and Tessa decided on a frankly sexual Carmen expressed with contemporary movement.

Currently, one of the members has posted links to the the two backlash articles. There are 16 comments. The comments immediately and diplomatically ignored the articles and began wishing Scott and Tessa all the best at Canadians and can't wait to seeing them. Down near the bottom somebody mentioned they're not big fans of the connecting moves into the diagonal steps, and another poster shared a link to an icedance.com article.

Fans suck. I hear ya Scott.



I'm just being thorough. Scott has his fans among the regulars at livejournal's ontd_skating but the prevailing opinion is he's a tool. They'd piss themselves if they thought Tessa were anything like Carmen for real. She'd be the queen of the place. But nobody who was like Carmen would be skating with a pissy little bitch like Moir. The backlash is definitely not from there. But I did check.

Friday, January 18, 2013

ice network.com, icedance.com, tumblr, twitter

Nobody on icenetwork is interested in them. Shouldn't Barb get on that? Womp up some pseudonyms and start clutching pearls?

icedance.com isn't backlashing is because it's more of a resource site where you go to understand ice dance as a sport, visit for informed analysis and intelligent event previews, as well where to read articles and interviews not found anywhere else. And also because ice dance is this web page's focus, and they remember what Scott has forgotten, which is that he and Tessa skated to Hip Hip Chin Chin in 2011, and it was sexy. Ass grabs and side boob stroking and everything.

Nobody on twitter cares, although the media is on twitter hyping up our backlash. One person seems to be having a backlash against Scott Moir's backlash bullshit, but that doesn't count:
Big Carmen fans.


No backlash there, but they do have this thread:
The responses are less than Canadian-centric and even less so Virtue-Moir centric (Underhill & Martini and Kurt Browning are pulling in some votes) - although VM's Latin FD from 2011 got a couple of nods and someone did vote for their Carmen.

If this backlash has managed to breach internet server walls and filter its way to Scott and Tessa's pure, delicate, internet-free ears, it should be a whole lot easier to find. I shouldn't be having to visit every single damn skating site on the web with any type of activity on it and then peel through layers of back discussion to see if it might be there.

Oh well - onward! Maybe tumblr is all upset with them! Or maybe icedance.com or the icenetwork discussion board! It's gotta be on the internets somewhere. Unfiltered.

The facebook girls got nothin

If it's on the web the facebook girls will find it. Photo, article, quote, facebook creeper capture - they will find it. And, they will fight teeth and nail against any real or perceived slight against Tessa and Scott, and if there's Carmen-bashing anywhere, they will take it ON.

They got nothin. Commence classic coping approach - change the subject. Ignore that Scott and Tessa are apparently making shit up again.

I will now wade over to Goldenskate.com and see whattup over there.

For a couple of internet shunners, Scott and Tessa's "filter" is sure picking up backlash from remote corners of the web, unless goldenskate.com is a hotbed of Carmen bashing and VM fans wishing they'd have just skated to Can You Feel the Love Tonight for 2013.

And then I'll push all these internet posts down below the main topic posts.

Oh geez. Fanforum.

FSU: Canadian Championships

This is a screen cap of the first page of threads from the private, sinister (paid membership) thread forums - this one dedicated to the imminent Canadian Championships. A backlash thread or even backlash remarks have yet to surface. The most popular thread is a discussion among people thinking maybe they'll meet up with each other and wouldn't that be nice. How about dining options? Good to hear Skate Canada's event organizers are being so reasonable with people who must enter with food due to medical conditions such as low blood sugar or diabetes, despite the rule against bringing in your own food and beverage. Where are good places to eat around there? What's it like to attend? What are your viewing plans?

It's vicious.

FSU:: Great Skate Debate


The Great Skate Debate section of FSU is where all the high-minded, skating centric discussion happens. Full confession, I only looked at the first two and most active pages of discussion, each page having just under approx. 30 threads in my browser view. Maybe the Virtue Moir backlash chat is on page 3, because nobody's talking about them in the first nearly sixty threads.

Topics that beat out Virtue Moir:

  • Jamie Sale is still having a baby!
  • Tim Goebel has a podcast!
  • Ever want to know where Alexei Yagudin hangs out on social media? Here you go!
  • Dube Wolfe retire
  • Belgiums Dancing with the Stars

and many more.

Here to Help: FSU

Reminder - Scott and Tessa are saying there's a backlash from their own fans on the internet. There are fans who'd rather they skate mush instead of take the sport to a new level.

FSU: This is a screen cap from the dedicated Virtue Moir thread in the "trash can" section. The trash can forum can host gossip, trash talking, bitching and fighting. There's no need to be high-minded. What kind of backlash is going on?

1) GPF seems like so long ago - it will be great to see them skate again
2) Capellini & Lanotte (& Igor) may have blundered with their own Carmen. They underestimated Virtue and Moir's appetite for risk and innovation, which one should never do. Their fd is so pedestrian by comparision to VM, even with the costume change.
3) VM sure do look beautiful in the latest practice photo.
4) Tessa's Carmen costume is gorgeous but maybe less of a skirt?
5) non-backlashy randomness.

Hey Steve Milton, don't throw out your notes

Here's an article on Scott and Tessa's con artist soul mate, Notre Dame's Manti Te'o, the football player with the dead grandmother and the dead girlfriend run down by a drunk driver while suffering from leukemia. He bravely played on.


When the whole thing turned out to be a hoax, Sports Illustrated asked the journalist who had written about Te'o's loss to explain his fact checking process.

There was sort of one. Not the greatest. A lot of it was taking Te'o's word for it, and writing it off when attempts to verify Te'o's account with Lexis Nexus searches and other research came up with nothing (no accident report, no hospital records, no funeral notice). Another thing the reporter was unable to confirm was the dead girl's actual existence.

There were Te'o associates on campus who supported Te'o's account of the relationship. And at the end of the day, why would he make it up?

The story ran.

So the reporter spent about 5 days on the story beforehand. Looking back, there are holes in his fact checking, but at least a fact-checking attempt was made. Despite the tears of the football player and the passion of his pastor, and the supporting statements from those on campus, the reporter at least made some attempt at independent verification, although it wouldn't rise to the level of secondary sources.

But It wasn't like the figure skating media that ingests everything straight from Scott and Tessa's mouths and throws it up directly onto their keyboards.

House of Anansi Press paid Steve Milton to write a book with Scott and Tessa. This book didn't just transcribe Scott and Tessa's own words. It was also written in the voice of Milton. Milton didn't do any fact-checking. And Anansi didn't require any.

Although it's someone else's story, a professional will make sure the story he's paid to tell is true, and the words he writes in his own voice can be verified.

There's nothing terribly praiseworthy about the Sports Illustrated story proceding even though the reporter was unable to unearth corroborating evidence. But he didn't cover himself in complete shame. He actually DID do some research. He simply rationalized when his research came up with blanks.

Did Steve Milton research the "backlash, mostly on the internet" that he writes about as fact in his latest kneepads piece on Scott and Tessa? Did he research the rift when they told him about that?

The rift, remember, was the pivotal event of the book he wrote with Scott and Tessa. This rift didn't have a vague timeline. It had a specific timeline. Tessa had surgery in October 2008. She was back in Canton in December 2008. In between Tessa and Scott claim they were completely estranged, disengaged; they'd literally disconnected.

They didn't see each other. They were never in each other's company. They didn't talk. They didn't text.

Except for the fact that they did. All of this is easily checked with a simple google - forget subscriber-user database searches. On damn google. Bam - there's the Skate America interview from November 2008. There's the John LaBatte appearance. There's their Canadians 2009 free dance while the commentator (someone inarguably close to them) specifically describes the time they spent at Tessa's London apartment working on the program while she recovered.

So Steve Milton is a fiction writer? Did Scott and Tessa's book have the subtitle "based on their true story"?  or "A fictionalization inspired by real events"?

When Steve Milton appeared at a couple of book signings with Scott and Tessa, did he notice she wasn't as slender through the middle, that her face was full, boobs bigger, hair thicker - that she was pregnant?

IOW is he a hack, a liar, a dupe, all three, or what?

What's going to happen when P.J. Kwong follows up with them? Is she going to substantiate what they say? She's on the web herself. She knows the sites. The internet isn't some amorphous uncharted mystery territory. It has URLS, screen names, indexes, forums, links all over the place, organized discussion, and the skating part of the web is very small, as Scott and Tessa are well aware seeing as how they have exploited that fact for years. If the backlash exists P.J. can find it over lunch.

Is she going to do a simple archive search to see where the backlash is? Is she going to ask them WHO told them there was one?

I think she's going to assume - or pretend to assume - they are honest. Which is not reporting. Which is not conveying accurate information. When Scott and Tessa drag third parties into their stories about themselves - in this case, the public - they can't be the only source on the things they are asserting. The evidence is available - free - for anyone writing about them to check out for themselves. Why doesn't anybody do it?

This vague shit about filtering isn't reporting. You don't become aware of something in the fucking atmosphere. You are told about it and someone with a name and or job tells you, or you read it yourself.

Where are these people who confuse fact and fiction? On what web page? Most internet users have user names. Which screen names are confusing fact and fiction? What Virtue Moir thread has fans insisting they're together because their on ice performances are so convincing?

What Scott and Tessa do is similar to what Chris Wallace did while interviewing former President Clinton some years back. Clinton agreed to the interview because they were going to talk about his work in Africa. Chris Wallace blindsided him by telling him that after the interview was announced, he'd received a bunch of emails demanding that Clinton be asked why he hadn't done more to stop Al Queda prior to 9/11.

Clinton, no fool, called him out and left Wallace a mewling sack of squirm in his interviewer's chair. Clinton knew there had been no influx of emails demanding Wallace ask Clinton about Al Queda. Wallace made it up as a pretext for promoting the Fox News storyline that Al Queda and 9/11 was Clinton's fault and not Bush's.

So, while figure skating is frivolous, and certainly everything out of Scott and Tessa's mouth is weightless, they do something similar. Make shit up about what the public is doing so they can talk about what they want to talk about.

However, it is the journalist's job to make sure what Scott and Tessa claim is happening actually is happening.

Again, it is not a time-consuming or complicated task to double-check the web pages and message boards where figure skating is discussed. Skate Canada does it every single day. (So Skate Canada also knows Scott and Tessa are lying.) It's not complicated to do simple logic and ask Scott and Tessa how they are so sure there is backlash when they simultaneously claim to be divorced from the internet. How did they come to have such a clear idea of what was being said?

P.J. Kwong has a responsibility to not simply say "Oh well, they must be getting it from somewhere" and move on.

Yes, they must be getting it from SOMEWHERE - so ask them WHERE. Stone up and get a real answer, not a vague filter crap one.

If someone like P.J. or these other "journalists" are too busy to fact check, then their only option is to put everything Scott and Tessa say in quotes. Their only story is that this is what Scott and Tessa say or claim. And that's IT. They have no right to use Scott and Tessa as the primary and only source on what a whole bunch of other people are doing and saying in a medium they don't even read. P.J. is busy. Fine. Then that's what she should do.

Scott and Tessa are not sources. They are subjects. I know the journalists kiss ass, are more uber fans than writers. They want to be liked by Scott and Tessa. They laugh and fawn. But they're not just writing about Scott and Tessa, they are writing now about what Scott and Tessa say about fans even though none of these reporters are able to produce a single piece of corroboration, nor have heard of the backlash til Scott and Tessa told them about it. Fans are actual people. And they've tightened the focus by saying fans "on the internet". The skating fandom operates in a small corner of the internet where they can be easily found and reviewed.

Scott and Tessa can say all the shit they want about themselves - unless of course there is evidence on the public record that they have just lied through their teeth - as there is about the rift. And of course, they charged money for that book and were paid by Anansi, so the fact that the book contains a central lie is extremely relevant information; it's not private or their version of themselves. It's an outright lie.

But nobody checked it. Fine. They damn well better check what Scott and Tessa say about their fans. That's a third party. That requires independent fact checking. Scott and Tessa told them where it existed - the internet. Go to the fucking internet and double check it, or shut up and don't report it as fact.

Media today is all about grabbing the eye. That's more important than careful research. But you can't have it both ways. If you want to get the headline out there fast and not support-the-story, then your story is "Scott and Tessa SAY this." That's your story. They can't become your subject as well as your source for factual declarations in the piece you write.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Blame Game on Blast


What's better for Milton - Scott and Tessa are lying to him or he has no problem lying to us?

Normally, the two-time world champions are so five-senses into the theme and character of their program that it sets the skating public to confusing fact and fiction about the nature of Virtue and Moir’s own relationship, which remains deeply loving, intensely protective and, sadly for the dreamers, platonic.

What a hack. Stick a wig on him and call him DiManno.

Who, Milton? WHO is confusing things? Produce one - one fucking shred of evidence that fans are confused, other than this blog. One.

I think fans are the only thing public figures and press can say any fucking thing they want about without bothering to back it up. Fans are mostly women of a certain age, too, and that's partly why the Miltons and the Scott and Tessas are so comfortable mocking them.

All the fans who defend Scott and Tessa against the one place on the entire internet - this blog - that says they are together are wasting their breath. Scott and Tessa are still telling the world that - at best - they are so fucking brilliant the skating public is unable to tell fact from fiction OR the public is just that stupid.

You are ALL the blog, people. You've wasted your time pm-ing Scott (when he had facebook) and parading your belief in his and Tessa's integrity and truthiness all over the web where you hope he'll see it and know most fans believe them. They're ignoring you. They don't want fan support. They want to portray themselves as beseiged figure skaters whose fans refuse to accept reality. That, or, more likely, they're doing the usual with the press, which is typical misogyny. Fans are a bunch of sex and romance-starved fraus who live vicariously on the internet and are too easily suckered by Tessa and Scott's play acting.

So what are they being when they lie about fans? Arrogant or misogynistic and insulting? I vote for both. 

Carmen is the most widely praised program - on line and off - Virtue and Moir have ever performed, so naturally they're in the media posing as misunderstood victims of narrow minded people who just don't get it.

They have gone all in with this latest media bout:

  • Fans are deluded and confused and simultanously
  • hostile and judgmental towards their brave new direction
  • Scott referred to himself (25) and Tessa (23) as "kids".
  • Scott boasted about not being on social media. Himself and Tessa, the biggest purveyors of lies and cons on social media the sports world has ever witnessed.

Ilderton! Good job!

I'd like to note for the record that I posted the blog entry two down, the one that takes them apart for lying about legions of fans simply because they can get away with it, pointing out that they are pushing fans into an adversarial position so they can present themselves as martyred and risk-taking, prior to the latest 1-2 from Milton and IFpress, in which they demonstrate every single thing they are accused of doing in that entry.

Aren't they just wonderful to walk into a Canadians  parading their pretend martyr complex and whining about lack of fan appreciation, when they've made it all UP. They're about to skate for the unworthy. What artists.

Do they feel inauthentic? They were the youngest Olympic gold medalists in ice dance, they were the first North American Olympic champions, they had all the talent anyone could want very young, they found the ideal coaching situation, they have enjoyed consistent support from home and are widely admired as figure skaters in the international skating community and audiences love them.

Why do they need to pretend they're so unappreciated and put upon? They can't self-motivate? They need an obstacle and they choose the most powerless faction in the figure skating world - the public?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Them and Us

"You and me against the world" is a romantic idea, but when you start making up adversity and blaming people for stuff they're not doing just so you can fuel this self-image, it might be time to get over yourselves.

When Scott Moir once described himself as "not a classy guy" I think it's obvious he was saying he wasn't polished. He wasn't talking about being some kind of asshole. He meant his persona -  the hyper, goofy, temperamental, un-calm and unsmooth dude. But so genuine.

The hyper, goofy, unpolished stuff, yes. Genuine - definitely not.

It seems to me that in their eyes, what they can be seen doing in public, or face to face, is the only time they care to demonstrate character. They also show the best of themselves when interacting with anyone who means something to them personally, or when fulfilling what they consider an important committment. 

The people they treat well, apart from nearest and dearest, are either those Scott and Tessa consider to be sufficiently superior and/or of the requisite status level (sports, business, training, arts, society) or recipients of their patronage and tolerance (people occupying comfortably "humble" service sector positions - staff and custodians at different hotels and venues, for instance).

The ones in between are ordinary people and they don't rate at all. Or rather, these are the people vis a vis whom Scott and Tessa are eager to demonstrate superiority. Overly eager.

It's ordinary people that make up the segment of the public that pays to attend figure skating events and watches them on television.

With all the lying Scott and Tessa do, and their friends and family do, there's a component of righteousness which is a little tough to understand. THEY feel put upon. That put upon posture fuels their entitlement.

For them, it's all about who you are and not what you do. Are you one of us? Do I like you? Are you "my type of person?" "Do I know you personally?" "Are you famous, rich, of high status, can I benefit from treating you well?"

Those are the people Scott and Tessa show their best. They aren't at their best to everyone, because a lot of people just don't rate.

Scott and Tessa and their friends and family seem to feel as if treating others well is a perk they bestow on others, not something they should do because that's how decent human beings behave. They also seem really big on keeping score and one-upmanship in petty ways.

They have a superiority complex, but it's very insecure.

They feel superior as skaters - IMO they've earned it and there's not much need for modesty. I, personally, don't think D/W are equal to them or even nearly, and I feel that D/W are scored much, much too generously and leniently vis a vis how Virtue and Moir are evaluated.

But Scott and Tessa have seemingly taken their understanding of themselves as superior skaters and extended it to believing they're superior PEOPLE. They know better than most people. They're smarter than most. They're one step ahead. Other people are most definitely easily tricked by Scott and Tessa.

How they made the leap from being superior athletes/dancers to estimating themselves as superior people, superior minds, superior understanding -  beats me, but they made it easily.

Much of what they say in public is meant to convey that no outsider understands, gets them, or perceives them accurately, but they themselves have everyone else's number.

They know what people think. They know what buttons to push. They're always ahead because to them, people are transparent. Meantime, they, Scott and Tessa, are so special they're unknowable.

They repeat this message all the time.

I know that the reasons Scott and Tessa have given others for the sham don't hold up - or no longer hold up - when examined. The reasons they have given, that have been accepted by many around them, don't fit their habit of baiting the fans and leading them on, of stirring up the fans so as to slap them down. That pattern can be anything, but it has nothing whatsoever to do with privacy.

It could be simply basic amateur hour p.r. Keep em guessing. It's also lazy.

Another thing it can be is self-justification. The sham has turned inside out and is now looking for reasons to exist. If that's true, then they have a stake in stirring fans up - they need to point to the "stirred up" fandom to justify all the cons they're running.

Recently, as part of the blog looking at WHY Scott and Tessa do what they do and how they do it, the home town friends and family have become the focus.

Over time, the split between the wonderful, generous, neighborly, down-to-earth, core-value holding folks we're told they are, and much of what they actually do, has become more marked.

First, there was how they treated Jessica.

I do not think Jessica was foisted upon Scott/Tessa and the Moirs against their will. The convenience was obvious to everybody (set aside the larger stupidity of the scheme and just look at - well, they've decided to do it, now what's the best set up).

At the time the Jessica/Scott pairing was first pushed into the public eye, Jessica's stock was as high as it was ever going to get, both among the general public and within the Canadian skating community. This was because when Jessica's face was slashed in Colorado, the event bound her even closer to Bryce, made her even more loyal and grateful to him, and made them closer than ever. This boosted her rating among the crowd in Western Ontario as well as with Skate Canada. She was back on the ice almost before you knew it. This seemed remarkable and heroic at the time.

It helped that her reaction, at least on the surface, seemed to confound some people's expectations of Jessica. She'd always been iffy on the motivation, and a head case.

In hindsight, time has clarified that event to the point where we can understand that Jessica's response was in character. While her choices were laudable, the motivation wasn't 100% noble and heroic. Jessica loves drama, loves attention - especially positive attention - and this trauma, while authentically frightening in the moment, ended as a psychological net plus for Jessica. The positive attention and all the drama wasn't the product of years of toil, either, but of a freak instant. That's another plus.

Her injury could have been much worse, but it wasn't. His blade didn't slice into her brain (as Berezhnaya's partner's did) and nearly end her life. The injury didn't affect anything vital - it was a matter of reconstructing the damaged cheekbone, suturing the scar, and waiting for it to heal. IOW, it was cosmetic and she was basically fine the next day, having no memory of what happened. It has lived on because they were in costume and skating on television. It didn't happen in a practice rink. It was much more dramatic.

Jessica had motivation issues and was injury prone long before the face slash and Bryce was doing yeoman's work motivating her before that as well. Afterwards, it can almost be seen that the fallout from the face slash provided Jessica with an incredible amount of adrenalin and motivation - she was on an attention high. As perverse as it was, the sum of it all was rewarding for her, at least until it wore off and she was back to being Jessica.

(It may seem un-p.c. or uncharitable to say these things, but it doesn't make them less on the mark. Not to mention that what people say privately and what they say publicly are also very different, and Jessica has been a joke topic for years inside the sport, not least because of the relatively free post-face slash ride. She wouldn't be the only one - athletes are a whole lot less histrionic and melodramatic about even the scariest injuries - their own, and other people's - behind the scenes than they are in public).

So, Jessica got on the sham train when her stock was highest.

And then her stock dropped.

Here's when I first noticed something weird about Moirville. While they were busy shoving Jessica down our throats on facebook - cramming her down our throats, setting us up with her, they were holding their nose.

The subtext was - here have her! But we don't like her.

Scott ignored her on camera at WTT, even though she was trying her damndest to seem like one of the group.

After being literally paraded at the Scott and Tessa Gold Medal Celebration, she was made to sit several rows behind the real friends and family, and afterwards handed off to the locals who were serving as her wranglers for the evening.

On facebook, it is easy to see Scott's friends, Scott himself, Charlie White and Cara Moir routinely mocking Jessica while pushing the sham - they aped her way of posting, they doubled down on butchered French, gorged on cloying internet slang and all caps - basically laughing in her face, having a great time.

They wanted us to take her for real but didn't want to be seen taking her seriously themselves. They're better than she is. As the blog said a couple of years ago - she was good enough to throw in our face, but they were superior to her and had to demonstrate it alongside the actual sham.

So IOW, Moir & Co. were down in the mud with Jessica but trying to prove they were better than she was at the same time. It was really really striking and didn't seem as if it were something the 'good people' of Ilderton would be doing if they really were good people. 

Be frank about the lack of affinity in private, fine. But to make a spectacle of alternately ignoring/mocking her - to be really obvious about it in public - that's immature. That's boorish.

Is it Jessica's fault she went along with it? Hell, she might not be swift enough to realize it was happening, she might not even have cared. If she didn't realize it was happening that would be all the more reason for the Moirs to mock her - that's how they roll. They can pretty much sneer in her face and it'll sail by her - isn't that hilarious? If she did realize it, she got perks from participating, and, after all, the people in her real life (her training center, her family, her community, Bryce) were loyal to her.

If I were a figure skater who routinely let down my partner, who underperformed despite all the resources poured into getting me to get off my ass and out of my head and step it up, I might be pretty motivated to go along with something that not only got me a bunch of perks like international travel for my family and different types of media recognition I wouldn't get on my own, but also please my figure skating Federation.

The blog is not a Jessica fan, to say the least, but I'm not trying to sell her somewhere else. I haven't created a line of Jessica Dube products I'm hoping to market on another blog, to, say, a bunch of people who don't know this one exists.

Basically, it struck me as pretty "not classy" when the Moirs tried to push Jessica/Scott on us at every turn while blatantly ridiculing her on facebook and treating her like a leper in public (the whole perp walk set up at the Olympics still boggles the mind).

The Moirs were dealing with two elements beneath their contempt. One was Jessica. The other was the general public. But they wanted one pariah - the general public - to see the clues that they considered themselves superior to the other inferior one - Jessica.

It totally was a 'good enough for us' (fans) situation but she was in no way good enough to rate even elementary courtesy from the Moirs.

For people as decent as citizens of Moirville like to advertise themselves, this is not how it's done. If there's somebody you find a pain in the ass, or a bore, but you've chosen to work with them, you handle the situation like a grown up. You don't work with them at arms' length in a really conspicuous way, so everyone - even, in the Moirs' case, us, who they were conning - could see you consider her beneath you, and you can show off how superior you think you are to her.

When it was going on, it was easy to wank that the way the Moirs held their noses around Jessica was Jessica-specific. Hard to blame them - there's a lot that's specific to Jessica that would seem to justify it.

But subsequently we've seen Scott and Tessa and the Moirs display that side of themselves in non-Jessica contexts, and it must be considered that it was just how they are - it wasn't prompted by her.

Their behavior with Jessica looks bad, not just towards her, but overall, in the way it aimed to bolster and display their sense of superiority to Jessica while at the same time, using Jessica to flog the sham (the sham also bolsters their sense of superiority. That sense of superiority, so important to them, it must be noted, seems to require a LOT of bolstering.).

We can look at the levels of toxic 'tude reeking from Moirtown when we walk back to just after the Olympics, for example. There's so much, but the one that stuck out the most to me was Scott LAUGHING while talking about all the fans who said things like "We can see you're in love - stop lying to yourselves." and "Just date!" He totally held that stuff up to ridicule.

What was making him laugh? It wasn't at the romantic notions of fans who wanted a couple of platonic figure skating partners to hook up off ice. Tessa was Scott's WIFE. What was so amusing? That all of those fans were begging him and her to get together, to just try dating, when he was so far ahead of them it was hilarious? Fans didn't get it. They were married!

Was that the funny part?

Oh, okay. Scott and Tessa found their gullibility hysterical. OMG - even though we're pretending to date other people and I'm parading skeevy photos of myself in facebook with Jessica and half these people never heard of me or Tessa until the Olympics anyway and even though we've instructed everyone who interviews us to bring up the dating question so we can deny it we still can't get over how amusing we find it that people are stupid enough to believe us. OMG we are so much smarter than everyone! People are ridiculous!

Coming at it as someone who knew Tessa and Scott were together I found him joking about fan cluelessness super douchey.

In the "since then" category we have Scott and Tessa simpering in front of the skype-esque camera at last year's worlds TEB GP (thanks anon below) smirking and smiling at fans, pouring on the sweeteners, as they begged us to believe they were spending an extra day in Paris together.

Yep, the sham is all about privacy. It's about preserving their freedom on the ice, Tessa being so high strung, self-conscious and super sensitive. That's why they both face a camera lens and game it. That's why they set bait. It's because they're so private and sensitive.

It's not because they're insecure, desperate to prove they rate, and they find these scams psychologically reassuring. "At least we're not as stupid as THESE bozos! Look how easily we can pull their strings!"

Prior to that there was Carol Moir taking a photo from one of her albums and making it her profile pic. Carol, Alma, their sister Marj, and beloved patriarch G-Mac - G-Mac flipping the bird directly at the camera.

What was that about? She just thought it was cute? All of the fans could see it. Was she sending a message to the teeny tiny regions of the internet that were criticizing Virtue Moir and possibly the sham and too bad if a whole bunch of "innocent" fans felt a little unsettled by that profile picture? Was Moirville so hypersensitive they didn't give a shit about all of their defenders and instead got righteous about the relative few who criticized them for something they were actually doing - lying? It wasn't a false accusation - it was the truth. They were lying. So why not suck it up and ignore it. Why act out?

They feel entitled to lie. They didn't ask permission, they didn't poll the general public, they just decided, all on their own, inside their own community both neighborly and figure skating, to con the people who loved Scott and Tessa as fans. What earns the bird about that? People figuring out they were being conned and saying so? The Moirs are so much better than everyone else we have to be polite and not notice they're lying? They're entitled to scam the public and how dare anyone push back? Did we forget our place or something?

I just don't get that one. THEY were and are lying. There's nobody making them lie. Why the hostility?*

Maybe they just resented that one of the people who knew better came out and said so. We're all supposed to flatter them that they're so slick they've fooled everybody. We're supposed to enable their belief that they're smarter than the rest. That's so important to them.

And now we have a very typical Canadians preview from Scott. The framing is typically them and us. Us - Scott and Tessa, are courageous, boundary-pushing champions. "Them" are fans who box them in, don't get it, never will get it, don't even like figure skating, only understand romance novel swill.

Scott and Tessa make like they have to work inside an environment that is inferior, that confuses fantasy and reality and it frustates their ambitions, but they'll defy expectations and courageously forge ahead.

Look at us. Look at what Scott and Tessa deal with.

We can't tell the difference between Carmen and Tessa or between an ice dance program and real life (even Scott and Tessa's ideas are puerile - those claims are pathetic).

It's so important to them to establish their superiority in every media interview they will will even trash their previous free dance programs as "look at each other and sigh." Why? Because it's part of their need to trash their public. The public liked those programs - as they like Carmen as well (and Scott and Tessa will never EVER admit that). Tessa and Scott don't want support. They want to manufacture adversity, to defy the obstacles, to be victimized and the only ones who understand.

To me it appears that, in the overview, a common thread in every Scott and Tessa interview is they are superior to the public that supports them. They come right out and say it.  The sham, also, validates that for them, and perhaps that's why it persists.

The public not appreciating their new programs validates that for them. The public falling for the fucking sham validates that for them.

The public liking their programs validates that for them, as long as Scott can re-frame his past programs as pandering trash. Oops, we, the public, were suckered into liking artistically inferior programs. That just proves we're unworthy of their art.

What type of people need to create straw opponents over whom to prove their superiority?

Insecure people. Psychologically fragile people.

I think within their bubble, Scott and Tessa are secure and tough-minded. Outside it, they don't know what the fuck they're doing, are unsure and have no steady frame of reference, and it certainly appears as if their friends and family (maybe it's the small town thing) are no help there. So to bolster their confidence, they have to set up everyone outside the bubble as adversaries, as stooges and dupes, because that's the only way they can feel confident.

*I think the hostility is there and just looks for an outlet. The chip on the shoulder must be issued at the hospital with the birth certificate.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Scott Moir Says

That this was a syrupy sweet piece of dreck.
Don't feel bad about liking it or anything.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

It was them

That's it. Them. There's nobody else.

These are the two people who begged us to associate Tessa with the character of Carmen. Scott even belittled those who were slow to get on board.

These are the two people who went to the media so journalists like Ryan Pyette would produce pieces titled Syrupy Sweet Image is Gone.*

Carmen was ready for its debut and Team Virtue Moir proactively instructed the media and the fans that Tessa embodied this character.

Of course they did. They couldn't just let her skate it and have everyone see that she embodied the character. And actually, everybody saw Tessa's performance was spectacular, but that wasn't enough. They needed to be informed that they had doubted Tessa, and then be corrected.

So now the season is many months old and Tessa Virtue hits the media to complain that people associate her with this character and it hurts.*

They just make shit up. They don't hesitate. If it's convenient to make it up, they do it and sell it.

So let's review: At season's start, they told us the ways we could associate Tessa with Carmen, because they were afraid we wouldn't. Or, more likely, it served their purposes to pretend we wouldn't.

And now they're coming around bitching that we associate Tessa with Carmen, which nobody does. We associate Tessa with powerful ice dancing as both performer and technician and we associate Tessa with delivering a spectacular Carmen on the ice.

That doesn't suit them. That's not the role they've assigned us, and it's all about that for them.

This was a set up, start to finish. It doesn't matter that the fans aren't doing and haven't done what Scott and Tessa claim. Fans don't have a voice. Scott and Tessa can run any kind of line in the media and it goes unchallenged.

It's ironic how often they accuse fans of not understanding the difference between performance and real life, isn't it, when Scott and Tessa themselves lack all respect for the difference between reality and deceit? And in fact, they are constantly looking for ways to get fans to believe that fans are mixed up about reality and fantasy, because that way fans are more likely to believe the falsehoods Scott and Tessa peddle every day. Their media strategy is appropriated from Gaslight.

It's one thing to lie about your own circumstances. It's another level of mendacity to lie to people about themselves.
*A real reporter would have asked Tessa exactly which of Carmen's attributes some people are confusing with Tessa's. Do they think Tessa works in a cigar factory and spends her smoke breaks rolling cigars on her bare thigh? Is Tessa offended that people might confuse her with a woman who is unapologetically honest, upfront, fearless and powerful?

Words from Denyce Graves, who's sung the role often: "I'm a great admirer of this woman," Graves says. "I have drawn a lot of strength from who she is. I wish I could be more like her. She doesn't care. She really lives honestly, and that's attractive, I think."

Well, apparently not to Tessa.

Don't worry Tessa, people would never accuse you of that.

P.S. Some of the fans online who have read this article are asking, in all sincerity, where it is that Tessa has been accused of being like Carmen. They believe Tessa. They don't think she'd say something like that if it wasn't true.

*I don't think it's escaped anyone that the title Syrupy Sweet Image is belittling. Are Tessa and Scott mocking the Mahler program, the UoC program, the other programs they've done? Are they saying it was just sugary glop, beneath their abilities as artists, but they were compelled to do those programs in order to pander to their simple-minded fans? What does Scott mean when he says it would be easy to just "look at each other and sigh"?

Is he trashing his former programs, claiming they were an act put on per fan demand?

Why is it so natural to them to be insulting?