Saturday, March 9, 2013


It seems obvious the media connections of the USFSA has decided to exploit the London Worlds thusly - if DW lose, it's because the fix is in. They're clearly the better, more powerful team, but figure skating judges are corrupt. All the USFSA can do is point out that DW were robbed at Worlds last year when everyone knows the winner should be determined by the audience applause-meter - and the article of course overlooks that VM won the audience applause-meter in Moscow when they lost to DW. Moreover why weren't the Shibs declared US Champions two years ago in Greensboro when in the opinion of many the audience reaction to their programs was more genuine and enthusiastic than to DW's?

And the USFSA is making the most of implying there's inherent corruption in having worlds in VM's home town.

The whole thing is fucking insulting and I can't recall another instance of the USFSA doing this to a non-US but acknowledged brilliant team - Olympic champions yet.

Except for their efforts on behalf of Sale & Pelletier - a script they're following here.

While I don't blame Meryl and Charlie, the article purposed their quotes in the most obnoxious way possible. As framed, they came across as "sure we were robbed, but we're too classy to complain. We're noble like that. Go ahead and complain for us though!" Backhanded at its best.

I love how Plushenko's whining and shit fit was used as the example of poor sport reaction to being robbed, versus DW's noble reaction. Did the "journalist" here believe Lysacek shouldn't have won?

I'm ready for the USFSA to declare there's no point in having Worlds in London at all.

Where was the USFSA when Worlds was awarded to London, Ontario a few years ago? Why didn't they scream bloody murder then? Is it because Worlds in London is actually a boon to the USFSA - they can pressure the system to 'prove' it's not corrupt by giving DW the win? They're trying to paint the ISU into a corner - the only way to prove ice dance isn't corrupt is if DW win. Otherwise it's a scandal.

Of course the real scandal is the USFSA trying to railroad an inferior team into the world championship a year before Sochi. To that end they're wire servicing articles like the one linked in the comments to the post below this - claiming that VM bobbled and stumbled and DW were frantic and seamless. DW weren't flawless or seamless and they were frantic but it's the old thing - if your program is pure skating any minor snag in the seam will be visible - if your program is a lot of flailing, rushing leaping and wild skating knit together by snags, the snags become style points.

Just as in 2002 the US and Canadian forces collaborated to produce propaganda asserting that if S&P didn't win, the corrupt Russian figure skating interests would win again, so the USFSA is following that script in London. DW can skate however they want in London - they'll be declared faster though they're not, powerful though their blade run is shorter and their twizzles don't cover as much ice, spectacular although their lifts are far less difficult than VM's. VM will be treated as if all they have to offer is elegance and if there's a single inelegant moment in either performance they should lose.

IOW, the USFSA is setting up a double standard. DW are the winners ahead of time. The only way they can fairly lose is if they face plant on the ice. If VM win it's because Worlds are in London.

Meantime I think only Scott Moir so far among the Canadians has managed to say anything truly related to the competition - i.e., he hoped they bring the audience into their program instead of going out to the audience. When you visualize how often Meryl and Charlie's faces are turned out to the crowd instead of towards each other, beaming their heads off like a dental ad, you can see the distinction.

Of course anything Scott says is overshadowed by Ryan Pyette continually mentioning the freaking 2005 London Knights in all his recent articles, specifying how Tessa befriended them back then (har de har Ryan - she befriended the entire freaking team at age 16?) while Scott merely rooted for them (what did Scott do - judge the contest among them for the guy who got to nail Tessa?). That's a joke set up right there, but we all know it's a sham boyfriend dealie here so please already. Just make your real point. The way he's shoveling that into his articles apropos of nothing looks incoherent.

After worlds there will be a bunch of articles about how hard the rules are to understand, blah blah blah figure skating is a real sport, when it is the people within the sport who bend over backwards politicizing it and misrepresenting it when they can't fairly win it on the ice.

After Sochi I believe two people who have a lot to answer for are Ryan Pyette and Steve Milton. Since when has it been official that you must tell the truth about the other sports you write about but it's fine to serve as the personal publicist for and to lie for figure skaters? Who said? Both are sports reporters. There's not "out" for them to act like paid groupies for VM.


  1. I keep going back and forth over whether or not the actual skating is going to matter in London and if I think V/M are going to have a shot to win with all of the USFSA's current propaganda. My fear is that the off-ice campaign from the USFSA is going to matter more than the skating when the actual skating is the only thing that should matter.

    As for the other, we all know it's coming with the fake bf. The set up is stupid. I just wish they'd quit with setting the scene and get it over with when it comes to announcing which one they picked for the fake bf. Blah. I'm so sick of this.

  2. If all these references to the Knights are about a boyfriend for Tessa, they've managed once again to set up an improbable situation.

    As recently as a few months ago, did they not make sure certain photos were made public so as to sell fans the idea she was dating Ryan Semple? And now, just a couple months later, she has a new sweetheart! Wow, fast work Tessa. Just as fast as Scott, who in just a couple months is in a relationship that is supposedly just as devoted as the years-long affair with Dube.

    It never ceases to both disgust and amuse how these two are happy to give out the story they are sleeping with these various lovers, but OMG, don't anyone ever even think the two of them are together. How awful. How embarrassing.
    (Huge *rolleyes*)

  3. Well the sad part is that the USFSA is going to continue with this propaganda against V/M until Sochi. Okay we all know the D/W ubers will just eat this stuff up - but like everything else - the objective fans of figure skating are already sensing the backhanded what point do you push too far? Do we see the USFSA backslapping Carolina Kostner for Ashley's obvious that this has become personal against V/M and really that's a shame...Zoueva is a tough lady and will continue to do what she needs to do for both teams but it doesn't help the sport's image of cattyness...
    Tessa's boyfriend situation - oh well - let's see how that goes...

  4. Even on the DW thread at FSU I've seen disgust with this article. Even DW ubers are acknowledging that this article makes Meryl and Charlie look bad and it's also full of misinformation about the sport.

    However, I agree that it's on the USFSA, not on DW. This type of journalism is attempting to preemptively create a scandal. I hope SC is ready to deal with this after the competition is over.

    1. Oh of course it's the article making DW look bad. Just like the judges "made" DW lose 2012 Worlds despite their flawlessness. It's never DW's fault. They're perfect.

      "I don't know we could have pulled off Plushenko's attitude," Davis told Reuters in a telephone interview before dissolving into laughter. "It seems to work for him."

      Giggling when asked about another skaters lack of sportsmanship - even if it is Russian skater who is not well liked - is immature and petty.

      White added: "(Making a fuss) goes against what Meryl and I are as people. We are very competitive people but at the end of the day if we can sit down and look each other in the eye and say we did everything that we could, we're going to be happy and we're not going to feel the need to belittle anyone or disagree publicly with anyone."

      So those other skaters make a fuss, but we are just so above all that!

      This is very smart - they get to play that they were robbed and somehow play off that they are too classy to complain about the marks! Nuh uh, doesn't work that way.

    2. Yes, but the reality is we all know DW were rooting for Lysacek, thought the result was absolutely fair (and then some) and they as well as their training mates would have felt it ridiculous if Plushenko's whining HAD worked. This example is of course a flaw in the 'journalist's" argument, as they are basically asking DW if they, like the other sore loser Plushenko, would ever attempt to whine their way to a gold they didn't deserve. DW are all - it works for him - we couldn't pull it off and blame people (like Plushenko did).

      The journalist is going one way with it, using an analogy that undermines their already poorly supported POV, and DW are going another way, saying unlike Plushenko they accept the results and as long as they did what they could, they're cool. So IMO the reason DW don't look as bad as they otherwise could is they are running with the comparison to Plushenko, comparing themselves to him, while at the same time we all know they agreed Lysacek was the right winner.

  5. US Figure Skating trains Canada's top athletes. Chan and V/M are byproducts of the superior US training facilities. Add into this, Skate Canadas campaign to flush away the gay athletes from figure skating.....Canada does not come off looking to good.

    Skate Canada has made many enemies in the last few years and has not pulled its weight in training its own athletes. It was bound to come back and bite them.

    1. Yes, and Skate Canada itself has been hypocritical and backhanded. It has bitten the hand that has fed them many times - from the public to the skaters to the US media - it's the US media Skate Canada has to thank for Sale & Pelletier's "alright shut up already" "gold". But in Ice Sweat and Tears Skate Canada again reiterated that Sale & Pelletier were the 'clear winners' at SLC, using the same misinformation and absence of skating logic now being used by the USFSA to beat up on Virtue Moir.

      By any measure the US media is a whole lot more organized and widespread than Canada's media. What the fuck is Pyette doing but shoving London Knights shit in there and what is Milton doing but lying his face off, gaslighting fans and being an idiot with 'sorry "dreamers" - they're still platonic!"

      The US Media is basically saying DW are flawless, VM prone to mistakes, and if VM dare win again in London the fix is in. And there's no push back because Tessa is off somewhere posing with London Knight to-be-named-shortly and Alma and Carol are using the media to sell yellow sweatshirts.

    2. Good post - OC. As someone mentioned on another message board, it will be very interesting to see what happens with Skate Canada if Chan does not win at least silver at Worlds and how does Chan prepare for next year in terms of where and who coaches him. And I agree with you about Pyette and Milton adding personal sidebars - cut the bs...It's too bad Cynthia Phaneuf retired..would have been a great article for Pyette to ask Cynthia about her NHL boyfriend..or maybe Pyette gets to ask Carolina Kostner about her boyfriend that tested positive prior to the London Summer Olympics..sorry for the vent...

    3. "And I agree with you about Pyette and Milton adding personal sidebars - cut the bs..."

      Isn't it interesting that PJ Kwong just recently said she clears everything with VM before asking them anything in an interview, and that Scott is very protective of Tessa. I don't see how these sidebars show up then, if Scott and Tessa didn't specifically allow it and/or ask for it.

      And you know what, the very fact VM are asking for and/or allowing these sidebars shows their calculated attempts to manipulate their narratives and by doing so manipulate the fans.

    4. Anon at 3:35 pm - and that's what's so frustrating with V/M..don't have twitter or facebook - that's fine and I can totally understand. However here you are roughly 1 or 2 years at the most until you retire from competitive skating - it's not that long...there is absolutely no need to mention personal sidebars...just continue as "platonic friends"...and even if you have significant others - wouldn't you prefer to be private? I mean not everyone has to download their pictures on facebook or instagram or twitter...I mean you control the narrative...and unfortunately they have decided to continue with this personal sidebars until Sochi...wouldn't it be ironic at the end of the day at Sochi if North American fans end up routing for either P/B or even W/P due to the personal narratives for V/M and USFSA's overreaching with D/W...

    5. I don't think VM have this ability with every reporter. Pyette and Milton are their personal flunkies, P.J. Kwong is Skate Canada's flunky and her job really is publicist. For other reporters, considering the format of most interviews, they can choose to answer some questions and not others. Also while the reporters who only ask skating related questions are rare, they exist, and have no need of pre-clearing questions with the skaters. The skaters have the option of answering or not.

      Milton and Pyette and Kwong are all fans first. And they think it's okay because it's only figure skating and who understands that anyway. You know when VM's actual status becomes public they will all pitch in and declare that it's the nature of the sport to perform off the rink as well as on it, that the public requires 'minutae' and all of their lies weren't lies but performance.

      I find it more interesting WHO VM gives face time to when it's time to get lies out. It's reliable flunkies or it's somebody who normally wouldn't be tapped to interview the Olympic old medalists, who also knows nothing about prior media games or figure skating, and is eager for the credit.

      Other skate media - the ones that are interested in non-skating related questions - get around lying themselves by using the technique of simply reporting what VM have said or how they answer. They weave those answers into a neutral framework so it appears as if the article itself is putting the lie out, but the reporter has covered their ass by just reporting the question and answer. Passive voice techniques come into play here also.

      When it comes to how VM represent their personal lives to reporters who know they're lying, I don't think these techniques let the reporter off the hook because at this stage they wouldn't let another athlete off the hook - they'd write about the social media schemes, they'd write about the skepticism, and the reason for the skepticism. But this just shows how self serving figure skating media is - it's a real sport when they want to whine, it's a special class of entertainment when they want to protect not just access, but their own pseudo friendship with the skaters.

    6. About Cynthia's NHL boyfriend - the irony is that she co-shammed with Scott/Jessica in Jessica's 2009 fb album "LA and Santa Monica." Then in Catherine Miller's "Ete 2010" fb album featuring Sophie Richards' wedding and a whole tableful of sham couples, Jay LaRochelle (Cynthia's "bf") was also there.

      When she retires, suddenly she has a long term NHL boyfriend not named Jay LaRochelle and is relocating for him.

      I like Cynthia well enough and, give or take her own forays into the world of shamming, she at least has never been a douchebag. And even then, I don't think it's the duty of the media to blow up every sham relationship if it's conducted with a degree of consistency, respect towards all concerned (the media, the public, themselves) and doesn't have a gazillion other agendas anchored to it. For examples, agendas that give of the stench of providing something to occupy some aggressive, needy, self-aggrandizing nearest and dearest who desperately want to demonstrate their superiority and provides them a platform with which to screw over the public and make fools of them with one hand while grasping for their wallets with the other.

      Or as long as the sham doesn't, as in Scott and Tessa's case, become the excuse for scapegoating members of the public because they're too gutless to deal with whomever is really causing certain issues, and it's easier to deflect everything onto the public.

    7. And I agree - they've got a little over a year left in their eligible career. I suppose they can continue, now with a three year old, pretending to be platonic bffs who live apart and date others on social media even then. However, post Sochi is the end of an Olympic cycle, there will be some changing of various guards and some retirements among figure skaters and other personnel. I don't think either SC or Virtue Moir have made friends - or rather, earned loyalty - with some aspects of how the sham was conducted, no matter how well Virtue and Moir are liked personally. I think some of what goes into it are - have Virtue and Moir reciprocated? Have they and their connections given back to the degree they received? I think their performance "promoting London" where you couldn't beat any good London promotional sound bites out of them, and when they attempted to make up for it, it was Scott promoting his own family's business (of course) on Instagram, was pretty telling. I realize they have a lot on their plate, but one way street behavior can come back and bite you in the ass, no matter how sweet or nice you are one on one.

      It would be one thing of all of the attention SC's personnel paid to the sham, facilitating the sham, deputizing personnel to it, enabling Jessica (various perks received by Jessica, for example) had the 'rising tides lift all boats' results. If everyone did better thanks to the star treatment for Virtue Moir then there's the benefit. If aspects of the organization were neglected, if anything was short-changed and not dealt with because of it, people will remember it.

      Which is to say, when people are out of the game, that's when they talk and give their side of the story. Scott and Tessa will be very fortunate if nobody officially decides to spill the beans for them, by way of calling out how miserably Skate Canada was run during the previous two Olympic cycles, and how Scott and Tessa are great people BUT don't seem to really appreciate how their situation impacted others.

      It would seem smart to remain "platonic" without making such a point of it, and without showcasing yet another raft of significant others drooling over Scott on twitter or posing with Tessa somewhere while his friends tweet shout outs to her. Their child is two years old, for fuck's sake. The end of their career is closer to months away than years away. And if nothing else, Moirville might start practicing for when they have to do other than live for the connection with their star members of the coummunity.

    8. I am also curious how anything Tessa Virtue says in public for the rest of her life can ever be believed, as her m.o. for lying is to say precisely the opposite of whatever may be the truth. TEB 2009 was one of the happiest times of her life - so in the book she claims she was a sobbing, miserable mess. Per her, Scott and her true selves are who they are in interviews (oh. my. God.) - it's the ice that's acting. She emotes her lies - she's the one who went to town with the rift, she's the one who gaslights fans about George Clooney while sitting there pregnant. She lies her ass off about the internet. She proactively lies - she's there making sure to get a lie in there before a sliver of truth escapes.

      And lest we all figure it's because Tessa is simply just a highly tuned, ultra sensitive, limited-real-world-exposed hot house flower who turns to salt anytime people suspect reality, this same Tessa happily types away a chipper account of her and Scott meeting the queen that for all the world leaves the impression she and Scott received the invitation email in their shared apartment, woke up in the same apartment the morning of and zipped to the tailor's to pick up Scott's tux, drove to Toronto and checked into their shared hotel room, and helped each other dress and put their grooming in order when the power blew out. This was her. Where was the girl who freezes with terror lest anyone suspect she knows Scott doesn't wear padding under his pants for the goose?

      And why did these people dig themselves in so deep? Do they intend to join a unisex cloistered religious order after Sochi and never again utter a word in public, so they won't ever have to figure out how to be credible in a post-sham world?

      The myopia is hard to justify.

    9. "It would seem smart to....."

      Well, and that's the thing, isn't it. When have they shown any smarts in all of this. Nor have they hired a smart sports manager. I'm sure they believe they are being oh-so-smart the way they slide in sham idiocies all over the place, from the fake SO's to all the little statements that suggest separate homes, etc.

      And there you have it - they are not smart. It's probably too late to expect any light bulb to go on at this late date in the game. Look how they've positioned themselves this season. Bitching to the press about being misunderstood (lies), creating a new juvenile GF for Scott with all the same social-media MO as the Jessica crap (more lies), photos of Tessa with Semple last Fall (more implied lies) and now setting the stage for a new BF for Tessa (more lies, including the ridiculous assertions that Tessa - but not Scott- is great friends with a team that was famous when she was 15-16). I'm not seeing "smart" anywhere.

    10. You know where I see smart - in every aspect of their training. Zoueva is brilliant. Maria Mountain, their conditioning coach, is brilliant. Jennifer Swan, their Carmen choreographer, is brilliant. All three present as down to earth, common sensical, plenty of emotional intelligence, with a thorough understanding of how the components of a given enterprise function together to produce the desired result. And the desired result is always the most important thing - i.e., something that works. All three understand the circumstances and restrictions within which what they do has to work. All three could not be better at what they do. All three were selected by Scott and Tessa to get the most out of their talents.

      How are they unable to translate the intelligence they bring to their skating pursuits so it can be applied to their marketing and pr? Over and over it seemed the reason their pr was so stupid was for the insulting reason that they believed the public was that stupid, and it was pitched towards the public. But I think the whole thing has turned around to bite them in the ass and they've painted themselves into a corner. They've become ridiculous.

      I look at Tessa's friend Melissa Rutledge - the woman who instagrammed a photo(s) of herself, Tessa and other friends out supporting a mutual friend at her singing gig in London. Everything Rutledge does on social media is both accessible and smart, professional and respectful.

      Where and why did Tessa and Scott get the idea that being "honest" = marketing every single intimate detail of their shared lives and exactly what is wrong with their brain functioning if they believed that's what they'd have to do? There's a million ways to have the basic facts known while keeping the personal, personal. The examples are all around them. Why did they choose to be stupid instead?

    11. Oh and none of these people - Zoueva, Swan or Mountain - talk down to the public. None of the three treat the public as special needs. They don't invent problems where problems don't exist. Scott and Tessa's "dear friend" Jeff Buttle officially "came out" I suppose, in the article on his new passion for hockey. The article wasn't pitched at some lowest common denominator. He wasn't self-obsessed. He was just Jeff, and got people anticipating when he was going to get a goal (it happened shortly afterwards).

      There's no rule that says you have to pitch your pr to your worst fears, your most insulting biases and assumptions, or someone else's galling and offensive picture of what the "public" expects and anticipates. There's no rule that says you have to pitch it to anything but your own level of comfort and taste. Thousands of public figures do that without a problem, including plenty of figure skaters.

    12. OC 4:04, 4:12

      I feel it keeps coming around to: Who was the person that pitched this idea to them? And how was it presented? Someone was able to sell them on the absolute necessity of functioning this way as public figures. That person has a lot to answer for.

    13. Scott and Tessa have to answer for it. There's not a salesperson in the world who can spin the stupid out of what was done. They've long since known it was awful and they carry on. There has to be another element in play besides "we thought it was a good idea based on how it was pitched to us."

      That's why it's impossible not to suspect it exists on this level to occupy Moirville, and is pitched to the level of Moirville rather than the public's presumed level. The public's level can be anything you want it to be. Plenty of public figures - including skaters - have a public presence that is authentic. TMI and over-personal, no. But authentic.

      P.S. - Tessa's friend with the instagram is "Midori" not "Melissa" as I erroneously, albeit typically, typed.

    14. 6:27

      I wonder, how does fabricating an association between Tessa/Knights hockey player come into keeping Moirville occupied? Moirville has already been occupied having fun mocking the fans (they think) with Scott and his own fake SO from among their own group. I don't understand why it's now necessary to invent more lies, setting Tessa up with some guy that hints at a relationship that goes way back - all the way to 2005! - it's such overkill at this point. Who was it that needed to be kept occupied with a fake SO for Tessa? This looks to be a very involved story. WHY?

    15. We'll know if he shows up in London. It will be the Moirs who occupy him if, say, he shows up to watch the free skate or is interviewed about his old "friendship" with Tessa, what "the guys" said about knowing a figure skater, etc.

      It will be Moirville in conjunction with Scott and Tessa who brainstorm the history between Tessa and the Knight and who have been spending time cooking up anecdotes about what it was like back then - she was a figure skater, he was a hockey player! Then he'll allude to this fabricated past when he's quoted - or when Pyette shows up and tells us about it.

      I used to wonder why they'd always ramp it up to overkill at home more than anywhere else. Half the crowd there, including many London fans, know the actual score. Then it became obvious that they ramped it up there in order to give their community and connections a way to "help" and participate that didn't require a real piece of Scott and Tessa themselves. Think of the busywork it involves prior to the competition. Brainstorm the idea and plan for the competition (I have no idea why, for instance, sticking Jessica in the stands twice - once in a red sweatshirt - required actual meetings and coordination among anybody besides whoever was going to babysit, but it did). Figure who is going to sit where. Ever be involved in something where the issue is very elementary but let's go over it one more time? Everything they do is ridiculous overkill. Here, they have a story to make up before the Knight and Pyette share it with the world, so that helps occupy them prior to Worlds.