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.

47 comments:

  1. Rod Black is horrible, just horrible!
    He's an embarrassment.

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  2. Just be thankful it's not Debbie Wilkes.

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  3. I would pay money to have Toller Cranston commentate beside Scott Hamilton, Sandra Bezic, Rod Black and Debbi Wilkes. If there is one man who does not mince words it's Toller Cranston...the gifs alone would be epic. But seriously - I was watching the US mens free skate on NBC and whoa - I just couldn't watch it because of the commentating...such a turn off...and Rod Black - is an annoying sportscaster - period. There is a reason why he has never anchored the Olympics or other high profile events...even when he commentates for tennis here in Canada - I either mute the TV or go to the French Canadian feed. But yeah Anon above - I think Debbi Wilkes is the creme de la creme - god knows what's in store for us at Worlds...perhaps another fight at a bar/hotel...hahaha

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    1. Great comment about Toller Cranston Anon at 2:53! Even though he was a bit before my time, I cannot believe the CBC fired him in 1991. I would love for a network to have him as a guest since the world championships are in Canada this year. It would also be nice to hear his take on how Skate Canada runs things in the last few years as he never minced words about it in the last couple of decades. I would hope that it's just because he's been outside of the sport for a while now that he's been silent on the issue and not that he agrees with them. Ha.

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    2. The author of this article also mentioned a very typical report on a skating program - that "it didn't matter" what jump the skater missed. The report went something like "and then she missed one of her triples - doesn't matter which - and then" - it's like for real? Imagine writing about football and not caring if the ball was fumbled or intercepted. "It doesn't matter. The drive was unsuccessful." The reporters are very cavalier about skating - they'll say "he missed one of his quads" when the skater missed a triple axel, and they'll routinely ignore the difference between dance and pairs. The sport just seems a way for reporters to get free trips, expense their bar bill, and write whatever they pull out of their hind end. Accuracy isn't expected because they think nobody cares or knows the difference, and they also think the fans don't care.

      I like Toller Cranston but I don't know. A lot of former rebels mellow out late in life and start pandering. Didn't he do some judging on BOTB? In general, I think figure skaters, with the excetion of Tracy Wilson, promote a lot of fallacies about the sport - especially the judging. They have trouble removing their biases for and against certain types of skating. I do think the gymnastics experts who work alongside the color commentators and general sports broadcasters actually analyze the competitions with some maturity, but I could be under that impression only because apart from obvious mistakes I'm not familiar with how gymnastics is scored.

      oc not logged in

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    3. http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/arts-and-life/entertainment/arts/cutting-cranston-wields-razor-sharp-blades-105988663.html

      If I remember correctly, he was perfectly himself. Low scores, insightful comments. By far one of the best guest judges in the three seasons.

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  4. Does anyone follow Miss Hilborn on twitter?

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    1. Anon 3:19

      I don't but I'm wondering what would it matter? Seeing as how the new alleged GF is from Scott's home town, it's the easiest thing to arrange photos and alleged anecdotes. I don't see how any of it could be taken seriously. Any references to being "together," whether from Cassandra herself or from local friends and family are suspect both because of how easy it is to manipulate social media and because these guys have a history of using social media to propagate lies and dump crap on the fans.

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    2. So, is there anything about scott? I just thought she has no point in lying there coz she has smth around 70 followers only (real friends?).

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    3. 11:29
      I don't understand. A smaller number of followers means more credibility?

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    4. Anon 11.29
      Means no fan access. No?

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    5. Anon 9:54. So? Scott made his personal fb page private and shut down his public page. There is no social media access at all for Scott and Tessa. That does not make them any less liars. Access or lack thereof is not a sign of truthfulness.

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    6. At one point, Cassandra had her Twitter pic set to one of her and Scott. (Same one that she's now using in honor of Four Continents on Facebook) I'm not following her on Twitter, so I don't know what she tweets about (I could take a guess and assume it's something to do with pub crawls or bar specials...) but it has been used for sham purposes in the past.

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    7. she has posted a picture of her guitar pick under "friday" on his schedule board...

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    8. The limited access just serves two purposes - ass covering and the "appearance" of discretion. If Scott had wanted his "private" facebook to be private he wouldn't have had the photo with Jessica as his profile pic. It's ridiculous. The man became Olympic champion, he won Worlds at home, he dined with the Queen, and never did his facebook even acknowledge any of that shit. It was a Jessica and sham delivery system only.

      If any of these people truly wanted privacy they wouldn't make their profile photos sham photos. Scott never once had a Jessica photo as a profile picture photo UNTIL his fb was "restricted". Then the Jessica photo went up and stayed up.

      It also shows how they want everything both ways. When he "restricted" his personal facebook he kept a number of fans on as friends, fans he counted on to aggressively let everyone know he and Jessica were still on. But that wasn't enough. They wanted to cover their ass but still missed seeing the wider distribution of sham stuff, so the public profile picture had to become sham.

      This is all completely ridiculous.

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    9. Anon @ 6:08 ...what does she do? Serenade him on Fridays? That's hilarious.

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    10. She tweets A LOT about Scott. Just so you know, Anon 11:29

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    11. And what, pray tell, does she say about Scott? I do hope that she's sticking to the script.

      Tessa's "boyfriend" doesn't seem interested in her at all, so I hope for Scott's sake that one of them has found true love.

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    12. Anon 10:19
      It' all about how much she loves, misses and adores him. Usually discussed in a chat with her sister/friends. Then she deletes the whole conversation.
      Right now she is whining about not going to Japan because of a limited amount of vacation days.

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    13. That's even better than I could have ever imagined it being.

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    14. Anon 11:36 Why?

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    15. Just in the fact that it's hilarious and fits exactly with their pattern of silliness.

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    16. Anon at 11:25 - whining about not going to Japan for 4CCs? Yikes Miss Hilborn will need a reality check...if she thinks Scott Moir will be more available this summer or next year...good luck with that...and then you have to wonder how Miss Hilborn feels about Miss Virtue...and really who deletes conversations on their twitter account when it is a locked account?

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    17. First, "Miss" Virtue is actually Mrs. Scott Moir.

      Miss Hilborn is just an actress playing a role here. She's not having any feelings about the amount of time Scott and Tessa spend training together, etc. She isn't in Japan because she's not dating Scott, and she's not really expecting to spend more time with Scott next season.. because Scott isn't her boyfriend. Scott is Tessa's husband.

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    18. Anon 12:09
      Yes, 4CC indeed. According to twitter she is planning a vacation with him after Worlds.
      Well, she deletes almost everything Scott related herself after a few hours. Including conversations with her friends if they are about him.

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    19. Anon 12:30
      Gee, what a surprise. Same patterns as when Jessica was the gf. More dolphin pictures coming up, Scott? Lol

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    20. Tanith seems to take her separations from Charlie far more in stride than Scott's girlfriends take being apart from him. They seem to struggle to breathe without his presence. One assumed it was Jessica's Quebecoise style to go OTT about the amoreux but apparently this is just part of the performance requirement no matter who plays the part.

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    21. Well to be fair OC - Tanith lives with Charlie - so I would imagine there is definitely less anxiety...whereas with Scott the significant others are not physically in the same vicinity for more than 1 day a week...but yes other girlfriends seem to survive without their significant others...

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    22. These girls are not Scott's significant others. Scott's significant other is Tessa, HIS WIFE, who he lives with.

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    23. The girls have no anxiety at all - they are not his significant other nor girlfriend, nor are they spending romantic time with him. He's with Tessa.

      The point is it is, as is everything with this sham, completely overcooked and dumbed down.

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  5. Disrespect for figure skating fans? Look no further than the FSU thread on Worlds in London. You'll find enough anecdotes re tickets, hotels and local transportation hassles for a month of blogs.Unbelievable.

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  6. I wonder if any 4CC reporting on VM will be repeating the garbage about the fans not approving of Carmen's sensuality. Do VM dare accuse their international fans of being stuck on syrupy romance and confusing on-ice characters with real life, or is that reserved for their Canadian fans only?

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    1. That seems to be reserved for the Canadian fans only. At COP they praised the Russian fans for their support.

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    2. That's the thing. The sham is Canadian-oriented. They don't care about other fans. Not American, not European, not Asian, not Russian. They really, really don't.

      It's interesting to sync up their attempt to control-freak their relationship management when it comes to Canadian fans vis a vis Scott's self-positioning as a Canadian uber citizen. The best country, the best people, the best everything. Maple leafs on his skate boot heels as a kid. Does he like the Detroit Red Wings? Oh no, not him. Leafs, Leafs, Leafs and Leafs only - he likes some of the Red Wings PERSONNEL but not the team, oh no.

      Someone on twitter reported him trying to hide a Red Wings (or was it Michigan) Jersey under his jacket at some event. Nope, Scott only likes Canadian stuff in Canada.

      And yet, this. It really smells to high heaven.

      Although I've been scrolling back through some old photos and I am still focused on the idea that so much of this sham correlates to a combination of insularity and over the top, overwhelming sense of grandiosity from having an Olympic gold medalist in the family and from the community. It is that element - Scott being the biggest thing in Ilderton, the biggest thing in the skating world that is the WHOLE world of his family - that distinguishes him and Tessa from their training mates and from other Olympic medalists and has completely warped everybody's perspective. It's not the fans who are consumed with Scott and Tessa's sucess, relationship and fame - it's THEM. It's Scott's people.

      This "fan" thing is a completely self-serving invention to justify their extreme preoccupation and to satisfy their desire to remain involved in Scott and Tessa's experience. This is not a drive that families and friends from a bigger world would feel.

      It was of such overwhelming importance to those who belong to where Scott "came from" that they overdid their reaction to and management of the fame.

      Their management of the "fame" was complicated by everybody wanting to particpate in what was happening to Scott and Tessa, and everybody wanting a piece of them somehow. It's not difficult to speculate that a lot of it also fell on Scott to wrangle a lot of competing interests, among them the great desire of his extended family and community for connection and validation.

      THAT, IMO, explains some of the grotesqueries. A lot of people were like - why didn't his family/her family/adults draw a line? Why did they corrupt and distort stuff like births, Olympics, Christmas, etc.? Is it to mock the fans?

      It certainly looked like that. But I think it's also worth looking at the idea that to them, winning the Olympic gold was EQUAL to a birth, Christmas, etc. It was on the same scale of values. Fame is so so important, it is a continuing reminder of what Scott and Tessa accomplished, and, by extension, the community. To that end, a new born baby couldn't be employed to better purpose. It's an honor.

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    3. I'm also curious - if the sham were dropped, Tessa would immediately become more accessible to the Ilderton and London crowd. She wouldn't have to lie low. She'd have to participate as much as Scott.

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  7. HOW DO I USE FACEBOOK LOLOL

    I suppose it's a minor miracle that those party pics managed to make it publicly onto your Facebook then, hey Meghan? THANK GOD FOR THAT!

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  8. Jessica enjoyed some very significant perks during her tenure as Scott Moir's girlfriend. I wonder what deals have been made with Cassandra.

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    1. Just speculation but all the main players on the Ilderton side of things recently enjoyed a trip to Florida.

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    2. Anon 9:30. It appears Cassandra's family enjoys frequent trips to Florida, not related to Scott at all. Her friends can go stay at the Hilborn's in Fla.

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    3. Yes but the airfare for the girls could have been covered and other perks included as well.

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    4. Anon 9:22 Do you know who Cassandra Hilborn is? Yes? There's her perk.

      Cass and the rest of the Hilborns don't need to be taken on trips, they do just fine on their own, thankyouverymuch.

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    5. 11:22. You're right. Cassandra's family has money so she won't be needing the sort of financial perks Jessica received (i.e. free trips). I do wonder if there will be other benefits besides her name/face being known.

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    6. She's doing it for Canada!

      Of course, screwing over Canada at the same time - the Canadian public - but this entire group has never had issues holding two or more incompatible views.

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    7. And do you wanna bet Miss Hilborn's status among her set of friends has also skyrocketed? Now she's *important* and indispensable to the famous Mr. Moir.

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