Friday, June 7, 2013

Also about power (catching up)

This weekend I'll get more up to speed but for now I've been side-eying everything since P.J. Kwong answered "Heather" that she's never heard the "rumor" that Scott and Tessa are married with a child, and she would never ask them something so crazy, and she finished up with a hashtag called #stopthemadness.

What we have there is a self-styled journalist who claims she doesn't want to give credibility to something by asking Scott and Tessa about it.

P.J. knows this story to be true.

So what does P.J. really not want to make credible? The source. That's all it is. She knows the rumor is true. But talking about it is their perogative, not ours. We're not allowed.

It's not the credibility of the content she doesn't want to acknowledge. She doesn't think fans have the right to push back. That's what she doesn't want to credit. If they start talking about what fans say, especially actual things fans say, Scott and Tessa & their stooges think they are disempowering themselves.

And elsewhere, Skate Canada has a new CEO. His first order of business even prior to taking over (which will be June 17) was to declare Skate Canada one of the most professionally managed sports organizations in the country. That's a pretty mean fucking thing to imply about the Canadian sports industry.

This new CEO, Dan Thompson, is a former olympian, and a marketing guy, which means they've put a marketing guy, not an experienced businessman or organization man, or experienced manager, in as CEO of a national skating governing body.

Marketing guys aren't trained in performance, functionality, or organizational management and development.

They're experienced in image and presentation. Clearly, those in charge of the CEO search felt that Skate Canada had no issues on the management end, and in fact, needs no operations management at the top at all, despite the CEO title. Keep that vacant!

As a marketing guy, when confronted with an organization as mismanaged as Skate Canada, the first thing he does even prior to taking over is announce that the organization is as professionally run as any similar organization in Canada. Which - how does he KNOW? He hasn't even started, and management isn't his area. So the integrity - already pretty impressive.

But saying this covers his ass coming and going - lets people think Skate Canada is professionally managed, but if people think it's not, well then, it's no more fucked up than every other sports organization in the country.

Good job, Dan!

So Skate Canada has announced it's all about image, not performance. That's the only problem it perceives in how things have been done in the past.

Good performance actually drives a good image, but we're talking Skate Canada here - they've never been good at making the connections.

I'm waiting for the Paul-and-Piper-and-Debbi antics to resume as standard-bearer for Skate Canada's professional bona fides and its credentials as an organization run by qualified personnel.

Back to P.J. - P.J. knows Scott and Tessa are married and have a child, and she knew Scott and Tessa had a baby when they withdrew from the 4CCs. So she's basically posing as a monkey - see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. She never knows anything, if you notice. Everything the most random fan brings to her attention is always news to her. Figure skating is one of the most accessible sports there is at her level. She has all the scuttlebutt, she rubs elbows with all of the skaters, she knows everybody, has for years, Scott and Tessa's actual status is no secret in the "community" and she, especially, is part of the infrastructure, but she never knows anything.

Her answering Heather IMO reflects the hostility some in the skating community feel about a nobody calling out Scott and Tessa on their status and their lies.

Of course what the blog actually did was call them out on their behavior. The lie itself wasn't the problem.

The righteousness those who "protect" Scott and Tessa feel about Scott and Tessa stems, IMO, from many of them, like P.J., refusing to recognize what Scott and Tessa do on social media. I was going to say what they do 'second hand' on social media, but it's not second hand. It's directed by them and simply under someone else's name.

On social media, Scott and Tessa have treated fans like garbage. On social media, they have not conducted themselves like the super private, super sensitive, hothouse flowers those around them (like P.J.) pretend they are, protecting what is personal to them.

That sanctimony is bullshit. We all know it. They have used their personal life as bait to fuck with fans and mock them. They've used their "secrets" as sport, and they've used fans eagerness to connect as a manipulative tool. Most of what they've done has obviously gone far beyond the boundaries of what they would need to protect what is personal to them. As we have all seen, they don't want to be left alone. When the topic of their relationship has quieted down, they agitate the waters. Of course, P.J. knows nothing about this. Nothing. She knows nothing at all. She never knows anything. I'm amazed people ever ask her anything on twitter.

If they are protecting anything that is personal to them it is the relationship Scott and Tessa have with Moirville. That relationship is not our fucking problem and we should not be scapegoated for it. But I can definitely see Moirville (many of whom belong to Skate Canada) resenting that the blog has talked about this relationship and speculated that their own overinvestment in Scott and Tessa and their own boundary issues have blown up the sham past where privacy requires. Their image of themselves is as better than the rest. Ilderton as Shangri-La. The people of Ilderton have better values, more character. But they way they have treated the fans on facebook from day one is the style of a bunch of insensitive, juvenile, mean girl boors. They are the classic dish it out/can't take it.

Moirville can't even make Shoeless Joes feel welcoming when its own gold medalist steps up and promotes it in a what's great about London video. We all saw it - it came off about as welcoming as the biker bar in Pee Wee's Big Adventure. I think it's because Moirville inherently hates having to treat outsiders as important, and when you're doing a promo video for a sports bar, you kind of have to. They couldn't quite bring themselves to go there.

This is where social media protects them. Mainstream media hates social media, mostly because it gives the market a voice. You know Jimmy Kimmel's segment "Mean Tweets" where celebrities read mean stuff said about them in the twitter-verse? Some roll with it, some flip the tweeter off, some seem honestly pissed (Ray Romano).

*I* think - what the hell is the problem? People in the public eye have used media to sell to US for years, and what they sell is based on many unflattering opinions of "us". They've used media to lie, to misrepresent, and to spin. They use the media to talk about the public, the "market", the "demos", often in extremely dismissive and disparaging ways, possibly because all of us reading this stuff think they're talking about somebody else.

The hate for social media among many in the public eye and in the media stems, IMO, from the simple fact that the public can talk back. They'd love social media to be a tool only available to professionals.

We're not, as it seems some in the media imagined for years, reading what the professionals in the media are saying and allowing ourselves to be influenced as much. This is a source of resentment for people in the public eye, media professionals (like Aaron Sorkin) who think a platform must be 'earned'. They don't think they should have to compete with the great unwashed for the attention of the public. They're mad that they're now just another voice in a sea of voices. The narrative is a two way street. It's supposed to be one-way.

What this means is Scott and Tessa can show the worst of themselves on social media and it won't make a dent in their official persona. Nobody will ever recognize what they do on social media. There are people in figure skating who know what they do on social media, and people who don't. The ones who do will pretend they don't know.

They don't want fans to feel empowered. That's also part of it. It's a very cottage industry sport, media wise, and they're unaccustomed to answering to anyone and they sure aren't going to start now.

The point isn't that they need to answer to the blog. But they are really out on a limb if they feel entitled to straight up pretend they've never heard the "rumor" that Scott and Tessa are married and have a small child, and someone like P.J. feels comfortable gaslighting fans on the subject, or at least pretending that Scott and Tessa are so special she's justified outright lying instead of ignoring the question. This is entitlement. It's not how a professional "wordsmith" or a professional working in pr would behave, because even in social media, people cover their ass. They don't come straight out and hang themselves up with a lie, as PJ has done. Her justification is the very special status and circumstances of Scott and Tessa, which IMO is an attitude that can only exist in a sport like figure skating.

Finally, Charlie Moir is now on twitter, of course following @CassHillborn and vice versa. That's why he's there. It seems to me Hilborn's tweets are "too" protected. Charlie and Nicole have joined primarily to follow Cassandra, have a "restricted" (but not identical) list of followers, so more fans have access to what's being disseminated re Cassandra and Scott.


  1. It's not just Charlie, Nicole Moir is following Miss Cassandra too. One wonders why the entire family felt behooved to get themselves onto Twitter. Twitter, it's the new Facebook!

    The PJ situation is disgusting, disgusting, disgusting.

    1. The sanctimony!

      These people are lying through their fucking teeth. But they react with SANCTIMONY and, of course, their default - hostility. And they escalate.

      What the fuck?

      Scratch a Moir, and you get their real attitude about the public. Scratch someone from the so-called skating community, and you also get the real attitude about the public.

      They have lied gratuitously. As the blog and others have pointed out, they've gamed this far beyond the requirements of protecting a young couple in the public eye who want a zone of privacy for their family life.

      And when called out, they're hostile. I don't think they give one fuck about people unofficially knowing that Scott and Tessa are married with a child, even un-sanctioned people like the readers of this blog knowing about it.

      What it comes down to is they hate a fucking outsider, a nobody, knowing it and saying it. And saying it in response to THEIR behavior towards us. They have the right to behave however they want, to fuck the fans over however they want, and fans have no right to utter a peep.

      That is what this is all about. They're preserving their status. They're up there, we're down here.

      P.J. knows nothing. She is lying, of course, but that's her social media presentation. That way she can pretend that Scott and Tessa are these very sensitive young people and those who rumor monger are inappropriate. It's fiction.

      I doubt she recognizes it because she lives in a bubble just as much as Scott and Tessa live in a bubble. Figure skating is fans and the figure skating industry and it's very insular and isolated and protected from actual inquiry. In that bubble P.J. can feel free to cite her credentials as a coach to back up her opinion that Paul and Piper ought to have finished ahead of Hubbell Donohue and then when asked be absolutely unable to cite what Piper & Paul did better than Hubbell & Donohue.

      I think P.J. is making a big mistake. Her defense will be that she thinks it's inappropriate for fans to know anything Scott and Tessa don't want them to know, but in that case you SHUT UP. You don't respond and then pretend something you know is true is a lie. As well, if you believe your priority as a "journalist" (she's not a journalist, of course) is to protect your subject, then make your position clear. You are p.r. You're not a journalist.

    2. P.S. What P.J. might want to consider is nobody forced Scott and Tessa to get married under everybody's noses in the blaze of an Olympic season, nobody forced them to procreate in the season afterwards, nobody put a gun to their heads and made them pretend to compete at that season's 4CC's and withdraw after starting the free dance, and nobody made them go into worlds undertrained.

      This is their decision. Their 4CCs decision was flamboyant, it happened in public. Sports isn't private. It's entertainment. What they pretended went down at that 4CCs isn't what really went down. Anybody who has paid attention to what they've admitted about their (lack of) preparedness for Worlds 2011 - held freaking weeks after it was originally scheduled - can do the math and realize they never intended to complete their free dance at the 4CCs in February because it wasn't ready and neither were they.

      So fine, it was a gambit.

      Nobody made Scott and Tessa play fast and loose with the public between social media and legitimate media - playing with the intimacy of their relationship on legitimate media while using social media to beat back the public's reaction to what Scott and Tessa chose to do on legit media.

      This is ALL on Scott and Tessa. So in many ways, how dare P.J. hide behind sanctimony and behave as if the stories about Scott and Tessa's marriage and child are stemming anywhere from Scott and Tessa's own choices. Even the blog is a reaction to Scott and Tessa's choices about interacting with the public - most of them ugly. The sanctimony is insufferable.

    3. IOW, it is not fans who are intruding into Scott and Tessa's privacy and P.J. is not a defender of their private space. It is fans who have been used as a tool and a pretext and a scapegoat in multiple Virtue and Moir agendas, both private and public and as soon as fans started to protest, cue the sanctimony. It's bullshit. If they don't acknowledge the social media discussion there's no need to acknowledge that Scott and Tessa are themselves responsible for the questions that are coming up. This is not a fan issue or situation. It's a Scott and Tessa created situation down to how they've treated the public.