Saturday, February 8, 2014

This is also how it happens off the ice


Suddenly, Davis and White exist. Suddenly it's okay to notice their actual skating:

Here's Beverly Smith on the article in L'Equipe:

russia-u-s-have-vote-swapping-deal-to-deny-virtue-moir-ice-dance-gold-says-lequipe

L'Equipe broke the Lance Armstrong doping scandal.

If one is better than the other, I really hope they [judges] let it happen,” says Paul MacIntosh, a dance coach who developed Virtue and Moir, but who also admires Davis and White. “I do fear. I was worried at Grand Prix Final, because I thought Tessa and Scott were spot on. And we didn’t win either portion, but we were better both days, way better the first day. For sure. No question. “And they didn’t let it happen.”

AND

In Europe, judges currently seem poised to drop Virtue and Moir should they put a foot wrong in Sochi — but Davis and White aren’t facing the same scrutiny. One source said: “I know a few on the panel might even stick [French team Natalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat] second in the free dance if Virtue and Moir make a mistake.” Davis and White aren’t seen to make mistakes.

*****

Davis and White are known for their speed and their memorable routine to Die Fledermaus a couple of years ago, which stuck in the mind of MacIntosh. “It was like they had wings,” he said. However, there is a difference between speed and power. Virtue and Moir are the most powerful skaters in the world, says Ann Shaw, a Canadian who originally set out the code of points for ice dancing. White sometimes gathers speed by “wide-stepping” like a hockey player, one expert said. Davis gains speed with hops and jumps, not edges. The rules specifically discourage excessive amounts of toe steps. On the other hand, Virtue and Moir derive their speed from rhythmic knee action, which makes the stroke appear effortless.

WHERE HAVE THESE PEOPLE BEEN FOR TWO YEARS?

This is how it works. Somebody ELSE finally gets in front and says what everybody else already knows. Once it's out in the open, it's like floodgates - here comes everybody. But  nobody will speak up until somebody else first takes the flak. This is the pattern everywhere - in politics, in sport. The reporting of these subjects is every bit as political as the topics they're supposed to be covering.

The time for this topic to have been thoroughly aired was TWO YEARS ago, if not sooner. Not days before the Olympic ice dance competition. Some of the people now speaking up have been the same people pretending Virtue and Moir and Davis and White were equally superior, with the edge to Davis White.

If one reads up on the first Clinton sex "scandal" - Ginnifer Flowers - one way the mainstream media covered the story was to cover the coverage of the story (unlike later sex scandals that were positioned as abuse of office - Monica Lewinsky in the case of Clinton, prostitutes in the case of Elliot Spitzer - the Flowers story was straight up infidelity and considered a marginal topic for mainstream media).

By pretending to report on the gossip rag coverage of the story instead of directly reporting on the story, mainstream news entities maintained their serious, legit media bona fides while reaping the benefits of salacious tabloidesque content.

Here, everybody is letting L'Equipe' take the hit - everybody is now looking at the skating of Davis White, suddenly it's okay to talk about the skating of Davis White, suddenly everybody notices Davis and White don't skate - under the guise of reporting L'Equipe's claims.

This is how it works or would work with Virtue and Moir's lies about their personal life as well. Some other entity would have to decide it was worth blowing open, and then everybody else would ride the wake of that coverage, telling us what was being reported, and in the process, it would become obvious that they, too, knew it was true.

Just  as now, people are reporting on L'Equipe's claims while demonstrating they've been aware all along that Davis White have been receiving dubious scores, demonstrating all along they know CoP scores can be juiced. Shit, the article above specifically notes that scores can be gamed so that Virtue and Moir's lowest scores aren't thrown out but Davis and White's are. In a sport that is won on tenths of a point, there's nothing easier.

It should also be noted that fans have been talking about this for years. In other sports, the media reports what fans are saying. Not in figure skating. In figure skating, they make up what fans are saying.

129 comments:

  1. what do we do? Unless the u.s./russians timed the article to come out early and knockout momentum, there's time to use this and do something.

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  2. Team SD protocols are up, and SURPRISE! One judge gave them 8s for PCS when no one else did. US judge Shawn Rettstatt was on this panel.

    http://www.isuresults.com/results/owg2014/owg14_TeamIceDance_SD_D_Scores.pdf


    ****************************************************

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  3. After Tessa's twizzle mistake today, there's not a prayer of any of this actually helping them.

    Stick a fork in VM. They're done.

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    1. What about Charlie's error and that sloppy third set they pretended to Just listened to Tracy and she was awful. As they are showing replays of the dw twizzles bobble she is busy saying how secure and perfect they are. It felt as if someone caught wind of the equipe article and they decided to at least pretend

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    2. Isn't Tracy Canadian. Jesus Christ.

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    3. She is also on NBC's payroll. If she'd been commentating for a Canadian network, I'm sure she'd be singing a different tune. But, gotta get the big bucks, yay.

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    5. Glad someone wrote about the disconnect between what one was watching, and what Tracy Wilson was saying. I was in disbelief, as well. And on a side note, I also couldn't stomach those terrible faces that Meryl always makes---opening and closing her mouth constantly while she's skating---she looks like she's sucking on a lemon. My dance teacher always told us that was a major no no.....

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    6. Anon @5:54, I also dislike Meryl's expressions. Did your teacher expound why it was a major no no?

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    7. Well OC - I would like to be a fly on the wall the next time Beverly Smith and Tracey Wilson are in the same room...Shaelynn Bourne was quoted that skaters should try not to be distracted from the possible skating scandal...I think either way - figure skating and its community is losing out in a variety of ways....even if you don't care for VM, you can see that PB and CL have already been thrown under the bus - you can't tell me that even though you have first time Olympians like Weaver/Poje, the Shibs, Paul/Islam enjoying the festivities and other events etc that in the back of their minds - after these games are over - whether it's worth going another 2 or 4 years...
      We all know its not always about winning..you do what you love...but at what price? After the olympics - the funding and the sponsors will once again disappear..so back to square one...

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    8. According to tara lipinski she has the most beautiful expressive face. They are so technically proficient compared to ts who make us feel

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  4. I love how Phil Hersh and Lynn Rutherford dismissing the allegations as rumours is basically dissing a respected Canadian journalist AND they're saying a very respected paper - L'Equipe - is lying.

    The journalists trying to sweep this under the rug should be called out for doing that and not taking a fellow-journalist's reports seriously enough to go do their own investigations.

    I'm sorry, but Tessa making a mistake on a twizzle does not cancel out the reports of a fix. That story must still be pursued and it should also be a big story how D/W are getting huge scores for crappy skating skills. It's not just about V/M. It's about the integrity of ice dance as a sport.

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  5. http://www.ctvnews.ca/sochi/virtue-moir-insist-they-won-t-let-vote-swapping-reports-shake-them-in-sochi-1.1676930

    This is the first time anyone has talked about the formulation of the "D/W are superior" narrative in the press.

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    1. Good for VM. It has nothing to do with them.

      Slipchuk might as well be the USFS spokesman. I know he can't go over the top, but couldn't he have just said that they hope it is not true? Why must he insist that it's not, and that the judging is based on what happens on the ice? Any PR experts have thoughts?

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    2. I think Slipchuk was right to say what he did in that moment. The story hadn't even been out for 24 hours yet and there's no telling who he had been able to talk to at that point. There may also be investigations going on. I don't see how there are not, the sport is too rife with a history of this sort of thing and the IOC desperately doesn't want another ice dance scandal.

      Given the history of corruption, Canada's hands may also not be clean. Purity of their skating notwithstanding, it's also possible V/M have been the recipients of politicking in the past. We certainly know many people in the sport have helped them facilitate the lies about their personal lives they put out to the public.

      People act like V/M would have nothing to lose if a huge scandal was blown open. They might have a lot to lose that isn't necessarily related to their results on the ice.

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    3. "People act like V/M would have nothing to lose if a huge scandal was blown open. They might have a lot to lose that isn't necessarily related to their results on the ice."

      I hadn't thought about that. Keeping their personal lives from being scrutinized would certainly be a motivating factor to also want these other rumours to go away.

      If the story of judging collusion would blow open the truth about Tessa and Scott's personal lives I would have a hard time feeling sorry for them. Their actions have been brazen and arrogant.

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    4. Compared to the Salt Lake City scandal - this could be way worse - because of the team event - and its scoring to date - you are seeing the cross contamination effect....and how the team event is going to predetermine the individual events? Especially for skaters who haven't competed yet? Reason 55 for the team event to have been done after the individual events....
      Anon at 2:15 pm - yes you are correct that VM may have something to lose - but it will be miniscule compared to what the skating federations and judges have to lose. Hell - with all these new sports coming in...would people freak out if figure skating was no longer in the Olympics?

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    5. ITA, 2:33. This could very well be a lot worse than SLC was.

      If this thing blows up, yes, VM's personal life could get outed, but when it comes to their skating, they are in the position that if you go back and check the skating against the rulebook, it's all legitimate. You cannot argue a single one of their wins has been incorrect.

      My guess right now is that if all of this shakes out the way it could in a bigger-than-SLC scandal and VM's real life comes out, it's going to be a small footnote compared to the rest of it.

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    6. I think people would freak out if figure skating was no longer in the Olympics. I don't know if most people would care if ice dance was kicked out, especially because it's been at the center of nearly every major Olympic skating scandal.

      If you were V/M, and were smugly giggling and joking in press conferences about baby-sitting each other's kids someday, proactively shoving in everyone's faces the storyline that you're platonic, and building an entire reality show around that premise, when the truth is that you're actually married with a child and that's the reason you sat out most of the 2010-2011 season, and lots of people within the sport have helped you cover that up over the years, and the niche press that covers skating helped you protect your lie as well - would you want to become the center of a major skating scandal that could be on the front page of every major newspaper worldwide? If the USFSA doesn't get its way, would you want to be in the crosshairs of the US media and all of its investigatory capabilities?

      I wouldn't.

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    7. "I think Slipchuk was right to say what he did in that moment. The story hadn't even been out for 24 hours yet and there's no telling who he had been able to talk to at that point. There may also be investigations going on. I don't see how there are not, the sport is too rife with a history of this sort of thing and the IOC desperately doesn't want another ice dance scandal. "

      I also think Slipchuk said exactly what he needed to say today.

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    8. This is why VM are fucking idiots for harboring such an explosive secret. They're in no position to fight back against anything.

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    9. Do I think VM would want to be in the middle? Hell no. However, this is about the sport, and I think in the bigger picture if this thing is as big as it could potentially be, what they've done personally is going to be less of issue with the public because it just makes them look ridiculous. Potentially massive rigging of an Olympic sport will be the bigger issue with the public.

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    10. Anon at 2:41 pm - yes - I agree with you that VMs skating stands on its own and if you went back to protocols/video - it would support their wins during their career.
      Judging from some of the tweets from yesterday and today from fans who regularly following skating - you see that they now that there is some funny business going on....remember Jeff Buttle's tweet a couple of months ago - about the slippery slope of judging...don't worry Jeff - it's already there...

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    11. Well, then. This may be the best moment for VM's sekret life to become public. If it would be a mere footnote in the media storm of a figure skating scandal it might be a good thing no one would care much about VM's relationship status.

      However, if the investigative powers of the US media decided to make it an issue, then VM are screwed as far as getting away with what they've done. Footnote or not.

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    12. Interesting point, 3:26.

      There is not much to investigate. USFS surely knows all about it. All they have to do is deploy the bomb.

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    13. 3:28
      You really think there isn't much to investigate re. VM's off-ice narratives? I agree there may not be much as far as finding out what is truth and what is fiction. Like you say, people in the USFS already know.

      Besides the bomb of VM's own lies, I wonder if there's much to investigate when it comes to how the heck they managed to keep it concealed all these years. What about Skate Canada's role. Or perhaps the role of whoever told VM this was a great idea to begin with. No one to investigate in Canadian media (assuming it's the US media doing the investigating)? What about the W Network? Surely they're in on the hoax? All these people and organizations get a free pass? Maybe they all do, who knows. On paper it looks like there could be many potential mini-scandals attached to VM's shenanigans. There might be a whole lot of people hoping any whiff of scandal goes away, not just VM themselves.

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    14. "However, this is about the sport, and I think in the bigger picture if this thing is as big as it could potentially be, what they've done personally is going to be less of issue with the public because it just makes them look ridiculous. Potentially massive rigging of an Olympic sport will be the bigger issue with the public."

      You're assuming that facilitating V/M's lies and cover-ups is independent of any rigging of the sport. This is figure skating. Nothing is independent of anything else when it comes to playing politics.

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    15. It's not like V/M are the first skaters to present a storyline to the public that isn't true, nor that they're the first to have the press and their own federation facilitate that kind of lying.

      The larger point is, if V/M get dragged into the middle of an international judging scandal on the sport's biggest stage, the spotlight on them becomes bigger than ever before. So does the scrutiny. Odds are the skaters will be painted as victims in the press, BUT that doesn't mean insiders in the sport won't be looking for revenge in some way, especially if a scandal hurts the sport's chances of staying in the Olympic Games. Skating is insulated and cut-throat. Sometimes that means everybody comes together and digs in, other times it means people start stabbing each other in the back.

      Has V/M's lying ever directly intersected with their skating career? Yes.

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    16. 4:01, good points about SC's involvement and the W network as well. I guess what I meant is, the basic facts are well known. Married. Parents. Who knows what sort of photos of the happy family float around Canton. All they need to do is leak a blind item somewhere, then NBC can report of "bizarre rumors surrounding an ice dance team" and slowly anonymous, then less anonymous sources will crop up to confirm their status, and bam, NBC leases W Network's footage of kissy kissy Scott and Cassandra. Let's see what VM say in their post-skate interview THEN.

      After the Olympics, more will come to light about SC and W's involvement, but the part that hurts VM is very easy to get out there.

      4:20, isn't this a different situation than most? Maybe some gay skaters were in the closet, maybe some married skaters hid an affair, or some Soviet couples pretended to be happily married when they were really just trying to get a state-funded apartment. Those are narratives that the public generally understands. Hiding a child... that's a whole other level. VM would look really deranged and cruel. And nobody would be able to understand why someone would hide a heteronormative fantasy of having a child in wedlock with your spouse who is the only person you've been with. And the scenarios and speculation that people would come up with to try and bridge that mental gap would be very ugly. I can't see Tessa handling it.

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    17. She certainly knows how to handle lying in the most cold and calculated fashion.

      I think Tessa is a lot mentally and emotionally tougher than fans give her credit for and she painted herself as on their show. She and Scott are also incredibly arrogant when it comes to their lying. Not just him. Her too. They've hit a new level of smug lately that is unprecedented for them.

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    18. But what if somebody said point blank, do you have a child or not? Could a mother just say no? And then if it's out that she has a child, and someone shows a photo of Scott with Cassandra and asks her to comment, what could she possibly say?

      I don't think VM are as slick as they think, at all.

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    19. No idea. But If she denied it outright, that would be the epitome of disgusting.

      V/M are most definitely not as slick as they think. They are protected by figure skating's insulated culture. Right now, anyway.

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    20. Yeah I think their smugness comes from the fact that they've been getting away with it and they know nobody will ask or question them. If it really got out in legit media I think they would be completely deer in headlights. They seem to have no exit plan, and doubling down with their dumb reality show would blow up in their faces.

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    21. I agree that while the sham itself and the false story that VM have put out for years is offensive enough, the real story is the pro-active collusion that perpetuated it. This was no cover up or rote denial - it was a huge, aggressive, pro-active hoax that contained a good deal of collusion among VM's Federation, other skaters both domestic and international, the media, most of the commentariat, most of the so-called "ambassadors" of the sport who explain the sport to us (like P.J. Kwong). As for VM's Federation, we're talking officials paid, at least in part, with public monies, diverting resources (personnel) towards its execution.

      Meryl and Charlie also provided veracity for the mise en scene after the Vancouver Free Dance, when Jessica Dube was let down from the stands for her photo call hug with Scott. Charlie White used to help Scott sham on his facebook.

      Meryl and Charlie might shut up but I don't think their parents would.

      There are always stories behind the story. If you ever speak to any journalist, they often know a ton of dirt about their subjects on a personal level that never sees the light of day because it's not relevant, because where "news" and "pr" intersect it doesn't fit the storyline. There are affairs that go unreported, there are romances that take place where everyone agrees to go along with the official spin that the parties are platonic.

      That's not what we have here with the media or with figure skating. We have a large part of the sport, on an an international level, helping a couple of ice dancers actively hoax the public, aggressively rub the public's face in their lie, while pretending it's the public that compels them to do so. The public is lied about every bit as much as Virtue and Moir lie about themselves - we're the scapegoat for all of this.

      The question is - WHAT entitles figure skating to treat the figure skating public this way? Nobody LIKES fans - that's true outside figure skating as well as in. Everybody wants fans, nobody likes fans. But contempt is not an entitlement. What made everybody who got on board with this, who contributes to this, decide that lowest common denominator ethics didn't have to apply? What does that say about the category into which they put fans? We realize we have to border on evil - outright evil - to justify the choices here.

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    22. "I don't think VM are as slick as they think, at all."

      This.

      Epic liars always think they're smarter than everyone else. Of course they aren't, they always end up tripping over their own schemes. This house of cards *will* fall.

      This observation by 5:33 is very true:

      "They've hit a new level of smug lately that is unprecedented for them."

      It's surreal, the smug sanctimony they're displaying when it comes to questions and statements about their personal lives. They don't know when to shut up, they keep spinning more OTT narratives.

      If they were asked point blank if they had a child I'm sure they could deny it without blinking an eye. Scott would deny with annoyance, that's his shtick - "so annoying how fans want us to be together/I'm in a relationship..." And Tessa's MO is robotic, ice-cold denial. They're both freaks in the way they've become smug and complacent in their lies.

      Nope, not slick at all.

      If their lies become a scandal they *will* be asked hard questions about Scott and Cassandra, or the denial of a child. There could even be tabloid investigators trying to find anyone in Ilderton, London or Canton willing to talk. This promises to be a freaking circus.

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    23. 5:45 - they're not slick at all. They're enabled. They confuse enabling with superiority.

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  6. I guess now Tessa's mistake will be replayed in slo mo a million times as proof it wasn't fixed.

    If you really look at the protocols, though, the mistake didn't hurt them that much. They were downgraded to a level 3 on that twizzle, as well as the footwork (I would love a breakdown as to way from an educated fan), but DW also received two downgrades, so the base value was actual.

    VM's GOE on that twizzle wasn't even that bad. Judges seemed to note that the first and third sequences of the twizzles were superb with spot on unison and flow, and that even though Tessa got on her feel, she stayed in her axis and the space between her and Scott maintained constant. Ksenia Stolbova made a similar mistake today; in the 3toe-2toe-2toe sequence, she nailed the triple but completely missed the second jump, but got back into perfect unison with her partner for the last 2toe, and the commentators called it a great save - which it was.

    DW won with over a full point on PCS as well as GOEs on the other elements, which is completely ridiculous. Sorry, their footwork was very slow today. That's just as scandalous as ever, but it won't be noticed of course.

    BTW, have I not been paying attention or did DW add some extra turn after the magic twizzles, almost making it look like a fake third set? Bizarre.

    Noticed Zhiganshina Gaszi did the double twizzles too.

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    1. typo city...
      *know why
      *base value was actually even
      *on her hell

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    2. when theres collusions happening backstage the performances don't count. the public needs to know that. meryl and charlie did not rightly earn the top spot and you can blame the federations involved in the collusion.

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    3. in addition, davis/white twizzles werent perfect http://24.media.tumblr.com/b576cbc1302551d5f22001f3187afda9/tumblr_n0ovbsgewP1s5wtc9o2_250.gif

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    4. That gif is of their 1-rotation "third twizzle", which shouldn't affect the GOE because it's not actually part of their twizzles. It's a transition. (And yes, very bizarre, 11:37. Maybe they thought we wouldn't notice it's only 1 rotation vs the 3 that a regular third twizzle needs to be ;) ).

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    5. 4:08, I'm 11:37 and I really believe that was their intent. Of course anyone who watches dance will know it's not a twizzle, but anyone who watches dance already knows it's level 4 even without the third set. I feel like the transition out was done just in case internet trolls start saying "but they only do two twizzles" in the comments of once-every-four years articles, so casual fans will think they do three sets.

      DW are very very good at getting ahead of a story. I just saw a video with them explaining lift mechanics. ROFL.

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    6. There's no other reason that I can think of - it looks like crap, so it has to serve a purpose.

      Oooh, that sounds fun (so to speak), can you share the link?

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    7. Explaining lift mechanics? This wasn't a video from a few weeks ago? I seem to recall that there was one with them trying to explain the 'science' of it. You know, the science of plastering your center of gravity against another person's center of gravity. If it's a new video, then that's clever of DW, because Beverley Smith specifically explained why Tessa is considered excellent at lifts (the non-monkey non-clambering and non-holding on to dear life type).

      But seriously, all the things that Smith said in her L'Equipe article, and the article before that, detailing why VM was so good? That's what they should have done as a documentary, reminding people what great and real ice dance looked like (not the smoke and mirrors type that DW do). Makes me rage inside that they didn't.

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    8. Anon at 6:15, you might be right. I can't find the link anymore. Honestly as soon as it said they'd be explaining the lifts, I shut it off. I only remember Meryl saying "it's sooooo fast." I should've watched and saved for the lulz. Maybe it's not that new.

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  7. the fact that theres people who still dont believe the collusion allegations are true are hilarious http://meryldavis.tumblr.com/post/76026106707/how-do-you-feel-about-these-horrible-allegations

    there is so much proof what more do you need? when is it going to be the time where uber fans pull their head out of their asses and face reality? this is not just a rumour from a forum of dubious origins or conspiracy theory anymore. its the truth that has been confirmed by a credible newsource.

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  8. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/olympics/alleged-pact-between-us-and-russian-judges-would-shut-canada-out-of-figure-skating-gold/article16762373/

    Now the Canadian skaters have had an unusually high number of drug tests the past few days in Sochi.

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    1. Now isn't that interesting that Canadians have been tested for drugs over the past few days. I wonder if skating athletes from other countries are getting the same treatment? Somehow, I rather doubt it.

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    2. Well the pairs long program was interesting also. MTM did a great job. Russianflation seems to be happening in every event so far. Kudos to Kaetlyn Osmond as well.
      If Canada can come away with a silver in the team event - I am good with that. You have to wonder what's going through Igor Shpilband's mind with the placements of PB and CL.
      Still very proud of what VM put out there on the ice. Its a great SD...

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    3. One of the reasons it's difficult for the L'Equipe story to gain traction among so-called sportswriters such as Hersh is Hersh doesn't know figure skating. That's why the score inflation can happen right under everyone's noses. Hersh doesn't know from run of blade, knee compression, running on your toes, taking wide steps, skating far apart, the inability to manage your own body in space, the need to use resistance to sustain any type of line, wobbling blades, etc.

      How can these people dismiss the report when they're unable to properly see what's being judged and whether or not it's judged fairly?

      Furthermore, how come only now MacIntosh is saying Virtue and Moir's win was "not allowed" to happen at the GPF even though they clearly outskated Davis and White? Fans said that the moment it happened, they posted it the moment it happened, and not a single sportswriter or quote answered the fans the way it would happen in another sport.

      MacIntosh's admiration for Die Fleudermaus also muddies the waters since they didn't skate that program but hopped, ran and posed it.

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    4. John Kerr tweeted today that BS are not in the same league as PB...he also tweeted that Plushenko's skating skills were somewhere in between the ranges in between the 4s and 9...lol...After a couple of hours, my level of outrage has gone down...you realize that the PCS scores have gotten out of control in general with the team event. And the GOEs are interesting to say the least..It's getting difficult to enjoy the performances..and not for anything - for the skaters that have not competed in the team event - wow seeing the trends - must be disheartening....let's see what happens tomorrow...

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    5. Die Fledermaus was a real slick piece of work from Marina. She masked their weaknesses so well and you got so carried away by the music that you don't pay any attention anymore to the (non)ice dancing. Let's all just hop, skip, hop and be happy! Nevermind that there wasn't much actual waltzing going on.

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    6. 6:29 PM - that there wasn't much waltzing going on sets the bar too high. There wasn't any skating going on. That should count the most. It was a hopping, running, posing, flailing, two-footed festival, and yet even skating insiders like MacIntosh and Tarasova forgot to see.

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  9. Gotta love the US media...always treating the fans as stupid and mocking the integrity of the sport:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/judge-fixing-accusation-more-blessing-than-curse-for-overlooked-olympic-ice-dance-175406662.html

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    1. Dan Wetzel is a damn fine sportswriter (his stuff on the Penn State scandal was top-notch), but he knows nothing about figure skating. He, like so many American sportswriters, mocks the sport for being called a sport at all because it's judged. I think that's the underlying argument coming through in this piece: Since it is judged, we know it's all bullshit, so at least it'll now attract more eyeballs and give it "credibility." Not credibility as a sport (it can't have that - it's judged), but as sports entertainment because it's clearly important enough to be tampered with.

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    2. He's not a damn fine sportswriter if he writes about ice dancing without knowing edge one about figure skating.

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  10. Article about marketing Davis/White:
    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304450904579368830340164674?mod=WSJ_hp_RightTopStories&mg=reno64-wsj&url=http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304450904579368830340164674

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    1. Hm, I think they're only going to be successful to a certain extent because 1) US mostly pays attention to ladies and 2) DW are wholesome -- meaning, boring. The scandal, unless it gets very big, is not even going to affect them because 1) duh, Americans marketing American products and 2) scandal will actually make them interesting (and get people's sympathies).

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  11. This piece has a CTV interview with Beverley Smith.

    http://www.ctvnews.ca/sochi/virtue-moir-insist-they-won-t-let-vote-swapping-reports-shake-them-in-sochi-1.1676930

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  12. http://www.isu.org/en/contact-us

    couldn't find email addresses for the judges but some have linkedin profiles



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    Replies
    1. what are we going to do with their email adresses its far too late.

      Delete
  13. have dw been asked about the fix? bc VM have.

    it's not too late. there's a week until the real event. the team event is extraneous nonsense. btw, why is the stadium half empty? is no one visiting sochi?

    look, these journalists WANT a scandal. give them ammo. why cant we fan the flames?

    I get the impression that many of you who read this blog have "ins" or know people in this sport or press. this is the time to use them.

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    Replies
    1. Extraneous nonsense? It's an Olympic event with a medal on the line. It's as important as every other skating event.

      D/W have been asked about the vote-swapping allegations, they're quoted in most of the same articles as V/M.

      And fan the flames? The hell? Spamming skaters' twitters and generally playing troll is not going to do shit. If you don't think this thing isn't already moving on the inside, I don't know what to tell you. There's no way it would have originally been reported in the French paper if that wasn't the case.

      Delete
    2. The federations and " insiders " have known about it for years and they won't do squad about it unless it's out there in the public. Skating only gets attention once every four years and this is the only chance to pressure the ISU and the IOC to come clean in front of the world. They won't change a thing unless they are forced at gun point.
      The bigger the scandal it gets the better.

      Delete
    3. Look around the internet, it IS out there to the public. Smith is on CTV giving interviews about it, it's being written about by several major news outlets, it's being discussed all over the place. It's gone viral.

      Delete
    4. lmao this anon is ridiculous http://meryldavis.tumblr.com/post/76055168283/thank-you-for-answering-my-allegations-question-i-am-a

      "THANK YOU for answering my allegations question. I am a HUGE Meryl Davis & Charlie White fan and it just hurts seeing all these Canadians trying to make this story a big thing. It's only becoming a big thing because they came in second. It's almost like the want to throw daggers at us because we placed higher than them. I don't see WHY D/W needs to cheat. They're already world champions and don't need any help. It's not like they sucked either. They did so well. They deserve gold."

      um no its becoming a big thing because ITS THE TRUTH.

      Delete
    5. ^ sorry this post was meant to go into another thread

      Delete
    6. The fact that the DW ubers keep insisting that they don't need to cheat because they are already reigning World champions is fucking hilarious. Even ESPN said it in an article.

      Hello, do they think this deal was struck yesterday?

      Delete
    7. We need more people like Smith speaking out, and we need people who know figure skating to speak out. The media that reports on this can't do a decent job because they DON'T KNOW FIGURE SKATING. All they can say is DW deserve to win because they've BEEN winning and nobody has the ability to look at their skating and wonder WHY they've been winning with such dumbed down skating.

      Delete
  14. thank you 431. bigger the scandal means the story doesn't die end of day tomorrow. 358, the skaters care about their individual event and the team event is glorified practice plus only Russia cares.

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    Replies
    1. If you think the skaters don't care about the chance to win another Olympic medal in the team event, you're deluded. Stop letting your concerns/annoyance about the ice dance event cloud your judgment.

      Delete
    2. Those who don't have a shot at individual medals most certainly care.
      The likes of VM, DW, VT and SS couldn't care less.

      Delete
    3. I think Scott cares, because he knows it was their only shot at Sochi gold. I could see VT caring about getting a medal with the Russian team; they seem to have a good camaraderie, it's a home games, and Trankov fancies himself a mentor to the younguns.

      D&W... I feel like Meryl would be annoyed that she and Charlie won't be the only US medalists in skating.

      Delete
    4. "The likes of VM, DW, VT and SS couldn't care less."

      Why on earth would you assume this? IT'S THE CHANCE FOR ANOTHER OLYMPIC MEDAL. This the competition they work their entire lives toward.

      Delete
    5. Well, they were right about SS, since they skipped the event.

      Delete
    6. Germany had no shot at a medal. D/W, V/M, and V/T do.

      Delete
    7. Team Germany didn't have a hope in hell of advancing to the top 5, so it makes sense that SS sit out the team event and concentrate on their individual event.

      And the D/W ubers think that V/T need no help from the judges...obviously, they forgot what happened at GPF, when V/T were beaten by a clean S/S.

      Delete
    8. Exactly... VT can fall in the LP and still eke out a win on PCS or a big short program lead. So they need to politik wherever they can. Funny how fans have had no problem crying politics over VT and Chan's scores, but never, never DW.

      Delete
    9. V/T don't need help from the judges. The inflation happened with Plushenko more than anyone.

      Delete
    10. Folks - I have a generic question - with the team event - if a country wins a medal - does the entire team (even skaters that did not skate) get a medal?

      Delete
    11. I believe the medal will only go to skaters who did the SP or LP, so Duhamel Radford would, but Weaver Poje would not.

      Delete
  15. wow. just watched us coverage. andrea joyce is an idiot. they were great except for twizzles but she did 2 out of three so not sure how that works. that score is unreal low. ridiculous.

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    Replies
    1. Seriously though.. she did two clean twizzles, DW did two clean twizzles... they should be even. Like doing a 3-3-2 and stepping out is better than doing just the 3-3 combo.

      Delete
    2. PCS - predetermined compensation system...

      Delete
    3. forgot to add - brought to u by anonymous judging....I am the ISU and I approve this message...

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  16. I wonder if anyone has bothered to interview the writer of the L'Equipe article, Cecile Nony. IIRC, she's covers/covered figure skating, so she should know what she's talking about. I wish she'd do a follow-up.

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  17. Judges have been acting like thieves, taking out a little bit of this, a little bit of that, amounts not big enough to raise casual viewers' suspicion. Oh look, VM's scores are close, see? Increments. But add them up and it makes the difference between silver and gold.

    The silver lining when (not if) DW wins gold, every time anyone brings it up, the specter of cheating will come up, too, to haunt it.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Just watched the SD on CBC again...holy Batman, DW were painfully slow throughout that entire thing, most noticeably on the midline. Also, their twizzles covered no ice, and they added a bunch more junky hops in the middle of the midline and and at the end.

    VM looked a bit off right at the beginning, Scott bumped into Tessa in that little bit of choreo off the top, but otherwise, the rest of the program was brilliant, twizzle bobble not withstanding. Tessa fully rotated the twizzle, but was off sync with Scott, but totally got it together for the third twizzle.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "The silver lining when (not if) DW wins gold, every time anyone brings it up, the specter of cheating will come up, too, to haunt it."

      Exactly. The OGM that DW are going to be given (not won) will always be tainted by this, as it should be.

      Delete
    2. i suggest we edit their wiki page and mention the collusion because they are part of it.

      Delete
    3. Anon 10:30: please don't. And please don't write that here, the D/W fans are reading this and will think you're crazy.

      Delete
    4. Their wiki page already mentions the L'Equipe article. I think that's enough (for now), because the article really was published. On the other hand, we don't have concrete proof that they're part of the collusion. Not saying they aren't --because to some degree (even in their delusion), they have to realize how much they're being favored-- but there are no 'receipts' floating around.

      Unless L'Equipe or some other publication steps up with a follow-up/further proof, I'm afraid all we're doing is making people aware of the issues plaguing skating judging.

      Delete
    5. The thing is, it's the judges and federations who must really be blamed, but the ones taking the brunt are the skaters, as they are the public face.

      It is interesting, however, that I read that the US is calling for an end to anonymous judging (this will be taken up probably in the next quad). Only, how very convenient that they're doing so when it's not going to impact DW anymore. The next quad sees the even further rise of the Russian ladies (affecting US ladies chances), retirement of DW (the ice dance teams left will still contend with Russians, Canadians and Europeans), no clear consistent US man to back (unless Jason Brown gets a quad and the other quad guys develop more artistry), and pairs that still probably won't get on the world podium. So kind of hypocritical for the US to encourage abolition of anonymous judging after they can't benefit anymore.

      Delete
    6. 5:08, I actually think it's more that the US knows that the ISU and other federations don't want to abolish it, so they can look like the heroes who tried, that way if their deals get called out like this, they have some cover. Why would WE make deals, WE'RE the ones who wanted to end anonymous judging.

      Pathetic.

      What it says to me is that the US is making more deals than they ever have been. They can't count on their ladies and men anymore.

      Delete
    7. I already said this, I think (not to back pat). For me, the USFSA wanting to abolish anonymous judging - but obviously, too late for the Olympics - seemed like they were trying to get ahead of the story - DW would get the gold that is, in large part, made possible by anonymous judging, and then the USFSA will act after the fact as if they don't like anonymous judging. If they didn't they'd have addressed it in this previous quad. This is gamesmanship.

      Delete
  19. Petri Kokko has also now been drinking the DW kool-aid, but I don't like how some VM fans were harassing him over it.

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  20. The IOC is brushing this off as gossip:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/olympics/ioc-official-shrugs-off-allegations-of-judging-scandal-in-figure-skating/article16765031/

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    Replies
    1. Well looks like IK are doing the free dance for Russia - what's more telling folks is that CL ARE NOT doing the FD for Italy...CL won Europeans...why not skate here...Sphilband knows that IK are going to get a boost in PCS today...

      Delete
    2. He's not stupid. Russian bonus on home soil.

      Delete
  21. This is anon at 4:27 am- just to clarify - I am a big fan of Russian skating...always been...hell I've always rooted for the Mens Russian hockey team because of their superior skating and puck handling skills...but to see this PCS bonus for their skaters - it puts on a damper on things...and apparently a shout out to Tarasova and Ilya Averbach (sorry about the spelling) who on the Russian feed had great things to say about VM...I can't even imagine what Krylova must be thinking...

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    Replies
    1. I read that translation of Tarasova's remarks. She loves that step sequence ( like we do). And didn't it, indeed, look like a conversation between two people? With *eye contact*? And 'let me love whom I want to love'. Aww.

      Delete
    2. The cynical part of me thinks Tarasova can say such complimentary things about VM because while they're true (and TAT knows they're true), the fix is in and she can safely chatter away. Won't make a difference.

      Delete
  22. Bringing tourtiere's comments over from FSU:

    In the BBC commentary, Robin Cousins called out D/W for their shallow edges, during the replay of the step sequence he was saying D/W don't drive and dig into the ice, rather they just "skim" over it. Why don't more commentators describe skating skills anymore? This is Ice Dancing, no? He also preferred V/M being better than D/W in presentation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a damn shame that BBC only covers skating during the Olympics. Cousins wasn't having any of it. And he would know skating skills, considering that he followed on the heels of John Curry and was a contemporary of ice dance legends Torvill/Dean. DW is lucky that T/D chose not to go the commentating route. Can you imagine Dean's face if he was called upon to comment on DW's 'skating skills'?

      It's a small mercy that Eurosport's not covering skating this Olympics, or else we'd been subjected to the uninformed gushing of Howarth and Slater.

      Delete
    2. I wish we could watch BBC commentary here in the states. I feel Robin Cousins is a better commentator than Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir. They mainly use adjectives to describe what's happening on the ice. No where to they talk about the technical elements. And when they showed M/D out of sync on the twizzles and clearly it came up in slow motion on TV just a little while ago, they didn't even call D/W on it. They kept saying perfection. That's clearly their biased opinion not a technical commentary. Even a hockey commentator could do a better job at a blow by blow of these skating competitions.

      Delete
  23. Huh. The scandal made the New York Times.

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    Replies
    1. The problem with this scandal, and the reason this scandal can happen in the first place, is that even the people who report on figure skating DON'T KNOW FIGURE SKATING. The evidence is on the freaking ICE, not in L'Equipe. So we're left with the argument that DW will win because they've been winning, even sports reporters scoff at the "scandal" because DW are the odds on favorites and nobody knows ice dance enough to compare the teams and decide for themselves if DW DESERVE to be the odds on favorites or if they should have been winning all this time.

      And of course this isn't going to be investigated internally because the elevation of DW required a whole lot more than a little vote swapping between a couple of Federations at the Olympics. It was systematic in the ISU itself.

      Delete
    2. "the elevation of DW required a whole lot more than a little vote swapping between a couple of Federations at the Olympics. It was systematic in the ISU itself."

      Exactly. Unless there's widespread reporting about the undeserved elevation of DW there's no real change to the story that DW became better than VM.

      Delete
  24. So far all the outlets reporting on the L'Equipe article are dismissing it. Or rather, they're quoting all the PTB saying they dismiss it and there are no plans to investigate. It will be interesting to see how long that dismissive posture can last.

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  25. it's dismissed end of story. disgusting, 107.5 VM. D/W 114.34. unbelievable.

    ReplyDelete
  26. D/W score 114 with Charlie messing up the twizzle, V/M 107 with Scott slightly messing up the first lift. Fuck this shit.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Yeah, I came on the blog to vent, because I just finished seeing the Team Competition. This is disgusting, Anonymous 9:58 am! And here Tara and Johnny Weir kept saying D/W were perfection????? WTF???? And, here Johnny is going on about how it took them four years to develop the lift where Charlie has to prop Meryl straight up?! And Tara saying that Meryl is perfection itself and worries about a pinky out of place. ARe you kidding me? I thought Elena and Nikita's lifts were more innovative. As for Tessa, she more about getting the hand positions perfect because she is a true dancer. I am so upset about this competition, not that you can call it that. The fix is truly in. This blog called it. The best Ice Dance team of all time is getting torn down by egregious judging. This is wrong, just wrong! and there is no one who can stop it!

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    Replies
    1. Perfectly said. And I expected more from weir but im sure he and Tara received instructions. They didn't make a single comment about vm while they skated.

      Delete
    2. Well it's been a bad day overall for judging...it started with Plushenko's PCS..the Japanese got fleeced..Machida and Suzuki...Gracie Gold and DW were nicely compensated....

      You know at this point - I really feel bad for all the ice dancers - they might as well just boycott the event next week...Meryl and Charlie could be on vacation in the Caribbean and not even skate next week and they would still get gold...

      Delete
  28. Even the FSU admins are trying to shut down the discussions by threatening to close the VM thread and even trying yo scare the posters with threats of law enforcement if the " attacks " on DW don't stop. Ludicrous.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How can the truth be considered libel?

      Delete
  29. I'm going to fucking lose it...now the story is being twisted that the whole story was planted by the Russians to distract the Canadians:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/source--judge-fixing-accusation-used-by-russians-to-unsettle-canadian-figure-skaters-141111534.html

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    Replies
    1. How fucking retarded:

      Despite the report and the inevitable ensuing controversy, a Canadian team source insisted the "fix" was not real but was merely an attempted distraction concocted by Russian coaches.

      IMHO, it was made very clear to SC and V&M that if this story got legs, V&M were being outed and Patrick wasn't getting the gold. That's why V&M skated so tight.

      Delete
    2. No doubt V&M were tight today, but so where D&W, and no way they deserved 7 points over V&M with that non-skated program...this is fucking bullshit.

      Delete
  30. Today was the point of no return for ice dance.

    What is happening now was the result of years of corruption and no doubt the involvement of many people needed to make it happen on the inside of this insular, corrupt activity. I think VM's off-ice shenanigans made things easier at a few points, but I also think that even if they'd been on the up-and-up about their personal life from day one, those pushing for this to happen would have still made it happen and we'd still be in this same spot.

    There is no way to clean this up, and no way this activity recovers. Other countries are going to see how this "win" was achieved and used those same tactics, aided by calling in favors along the way from those who owe them. The corruption and mess will just continue on, most likely with other entities armed with the knowledge of what the US as pulled. This knowledge will be wielded in the future to get other desired outcomes instead of the appropriate outcomes.

    I have loved ice dance since childhood, and it brought me a lot of joy over the years, but I'm done.

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    Replies
    1. Excellent post - anon at 12:00 pm - totally agree and even worse - now with a team event at the Olympics and WTT in Japan - you can start bargaining...and the PCS is just a joke at this point. Let me guess - Plushenko will now pull out...

      Delete
    2. Anon at 12:00 pm - me again at 12:40 pm - what this also does is actually makes it worse for very small figure skating nations. I mean seriously - do you think someone like a David Wilson who has been with Yuna for over 2 Olympic cycles and sees this garbage today - do you think he is impressed - I mean ironically Yuna is still the biggest star in skating and what country does she represent? You are basically killing the Denis Ten, Kiirpi, etc - the small guys...even France and Italy can't compete...figure skating already has a dwindling audience...

      Delete
  31. I think the judges and everyone involved try to push ice dance in a different direction by overscoring DW. Ice dance is the weakest of the four events and lacks danger and speed in comparison, obviously because ice dance has other criteria. By introducing the new system and overall changes to ice dance, giving the pair with higher speed and a programme that looks more difficult and frantic high scores might ensure that the public sees ice dance differently and finds it more entertaining. Surely, integrity, actual difficulty, variability and other essentials are lost on the way.

    While watching speedskating I realised how slow and sometimes boring speedskating can look on camera, especially to unfamiliar eyes, when in reality it is extremely fast and exhausting. I thought it was interesting that difficulty doesn't show when it is executed well.

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  32. Wow. I was sitting here reading the discussion and was intrigued by the fsu threats so I went and checked it out and I am one of the people the big scary power hungry moderator went after

    ReplyDelete
  33. Because apparently saying that you don't care for Davis and White is enough for them to set law enforcement on you.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Note to administrator troll Sharpie on FSU: I am confused....Defamation (slander and/or libel) is not a violation of criminal law in the US. (In some countries it is) The police would (correctly) consider this to be a civil matter. If the defamation rises to the level of harassment (the definition of this varies based on where you live), the situation could be reported to the police. (Yahoo answers provided this great and simple explanation) This power hungry administrator HAS banned people for not commentating favorably on DW!

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    Replies
    1. Prancer is in the V&M thread telling people to get back on topic and such. Then she goes to the Ice Dance Discussion thread (about the L'Equipe article) and posts about how bad V/M fans are.

      Delete
  35. I wonder if the admin on FSU are going after the VM thread more because many of the DW ubers are constantly whining about VM fans and reporting them. They obsess about VM fans in sekret sources

    ReplyDelete