Monday, September 29, 2014

If it ain't broke . . .

Here's the first part of a post about the short dance of the 2015 United States Ice Dance Champions broken into far too many gifs and screen caps. It will be finished tomorrow, followed by posts about the other new short dances.

Yanking, pulling and dragging is the new skating, and as long as you make strong eye contact with the audience, and avoid any kind of contact with each other, you'll max out the scores. If Madison does win a U.S. gold medal in ice dance, I hope she hangs it on her left arm; it's doing all the work here.

It's a bit dispiriting to go through this, because it's not as if I have Virtue and Moir to fall back on. Ah, here's the real thing! We're going to see variations on this Chock Bates deal all over the place this season, although after breaking down the short dance I already know their predetermined victory over the Shibs is criminal.The Shibs skated better than this in 2009. But as we all see, the secret to successful ice dancing is to strip out most of the skating, and the secret to strong pcs is to skate far apart. But at least they have great lines!

Bobrova and Soliev posture is the new proper
posture.


See that straight up and down thing from Madison, dead on her flat? Lots and lots of that.

First gif:

Pulling is the new skating.
Work it, Maddy's Arm.
Lift prep. A flat and two footed in quasi snow
plow, all hands on deck. We all know how high risk
these short dance lifts can be. A real test of the skating skills.

Friday, September 26, 2014

All the corruption in the world

I'm putting the latest sham post below this one, because it's just a post making fun of some of the sham conceits, such as Tessa and Scott's ability to go places without carrying anything with them, and Jessica and Scott's determination to pose in swimsuits on the bare Santa Monica sand in 2009 despite it barely clearing 60 degrees in Santa Monica on any of the days they were in L.A. for Worlds. Then they get half naked and don't even touch.

 ***
This is the first of what I hope will be three posts by next week (the others are a sham-focused post, and a look at the ice dance short programs that just had their debut).

Before I get started:


Virtue and Moir's paso doble cd from the 2009 World Championships. This performance placed third, but was enough to keep them on the podium after placing sixth in the od and fourth in the free dance. (The free dance placements in this competition were ridiculous, and Virtue and Moir ought to have been first after the cd.). Look at the incredible edge lean, close feet, precision, unison, and remember the condition of Tessa's legs back then, how recently she'd had her original CES surgery, how her legs were still recovering, and bear in mind the toll cds take on the shins, and how little mileage she had on the ice up to this point. This performance was in my mind's eye when I looked at all those healthy skaters doing the paso pattern this week, and this performance answers any questions about what Virtue and Moir can achieve in very little time (particularly from those who believe Virtue and Moir "need to spend every second" on program drills anytime they have an abbreviated training schedule). Remember that Virtue and Moir skated a different cd in all three events they competed that season. Viennese Waltz at Canadians, the Finnstep at the 4CCs, and paso here.

*******

I decided to google "Figure skating is corrupt" to see if there's anything other than the usual old articles on 2002 and more recent commentary on Slutnikova v. Yuna Kim out there.

Figure Skating is Hopelessly Corrupt

This links to a February 2014 Kevin Drum article in Mother Jones wondering which sport is more corrupt, figure skating or ski jumping. Me, I had no idea there were issues with ski jumping, but that's comforting. Sometimes it's lonely feeling as if all the other sports have actual oversight on the field of play while we're stuck with a sport that does exactly what it wants and fuck the rest of us.

Unsurprisingly, Mother Jones concludes that figure skating is more corrupt than ski jumping:
Normally, my rule of thumb is that the higher up the world ladder you go (local vs. national vs. international) the more corrupt a sport becomes. Thus, I would have guessed that a sport in which the international federation chooses judges would be more corrupt than one in which national federations choose judges. But no!
Drum's primary reference is this February 12, 2014 Washington Post article by Eric Zitzewitz:

How ski jumping gets Olympic judging right and figure skating gets it wrong

Quoting Zitzewitz:
Ski jumping has its international federation select the judges for competitions like the Olympics, and I find that they select the least biased judges. Figure skating lets its national federations select the judges, and my research showed that they select the most biased judges.
This creates different incentives for judges. Ski jumping judges display less nationalism in lower-level competitions — it appears they keep their nationalism under wraps in less important contests to avoid missing their chance at judging the Olympics. Figure skating judges are actually more biased in the lesser contests; they may actually be more biased than they would like to be due to pressure from their federations.
Quoting Drum:
It turns out that ski jumping judges are biased, but the other judges are mostly biased in the other direction, so everything ends up even. Having an American judge doesn't help American jumpers. Figure skating is just the opposite. Not only are national judges biased, the other judges all go along. If an American judge is on the panel, American skaters get higher marks from the American judge and also get higher marks from all the other judges

The incredible shrinking Tessa

This totally current photo of a very petite Tessa (even the boobs are suddenly petite again)

Edited caption: Warp tool abuse
reminded me of this photo:**


posted in the blog's early days, wherein we see Jessica and Scott photographed enjoying together time at the beach in Santa Monica, CA (2009, during Worlds), without beach blanket, bags, keys, sunblock, water, ipod, snack, etc., as you do. They were teleported, or space shipped. 

Which is to say, there is Tessa, off to the library, waiting for the UFO that's carrying her books, car keys, bag, house keys and i.d. They really are unique.


Monday, September 22, 2014

Split Post Part 2

The comments section in the post below this one is getting hefty again, so the post has been split to open a new comments section. There should be a new post at some point this week.

*********

P.S. - About twitter sightings and other social media fakery:

Who has Jessica Dube dated since her sham stint ended after Worlds 2012? She's not sharing on her facebook, when her facebook used to chronicle every step she took with Scott Moir. Even after it was restricted, her profile picture did the job. How come when she was "dating Scott Moir" she was spotted thither and yon according to fans, not just with Scott, but in full make out? Since her sham stint terminated, she's been on Battle of the Blades, a program that has more of an audience than any single program Jessica ever skated in her competitive career. She works at Journey to Excel, in the  high profile city of Toronto. She attended fashion week last year. Are we to presume Jessica Dube hasn't been on a date since she was replaced in the sham by Cassandra Hilborn? She's invisible now? Where are the lower ranked skaters who admire her, where are the people whose aunts know her sister and are at the same wedding as Jessica, what happened to various fans who claimed to recognize her in bars or restaurants or airports? Where were the sightings around the BOTB venue and the Journey to Excel facilities?

David Pelletier has a womanizing reputation thanks to getting with Jamie while still married to his first wife. Has he become a monk? He's been on BOTB as well, as a competitor (and won) and on the sidelines. He's on twitter. Did he have plastic surgery to change his appearance? Is there a vow of celibacy? How come he hasn't been "spotted" with anyone since Tessa moved on with Ryan Semple? For that matter, how come all of those people who "spotted" Tessa and Pelletier never had their phones or cameras with them, but the people who "spot" Tessa now so often do? Who is David dating?

Then there's Meryl Davis and Charlie White. They wore gold medals in Sochi and stood on top of the podium. They were stars of one of ABC's top-rated programs and Meryl Davis was announced as the winner. The program had fun keeping Davis fans guessing about her relationship with Maks (and boy did Maks bolt from that the second the show ended, even if it meant people had to think he was getting with JLo). Thanks to frequent close-ups of her in the audience and frequent shout-outs by Charlie, Tanith Belbin's profile rose as well. They're publicly engaged. Where are all the tweets telling us that Charlie and Tanith are right here in this restaurant? Meryl Davis and Charlie are such stars, the paps stalked them to the group vacation they took with the DWTs pros and papped Charlie/Tanith's engagement canoodling. Is Meryl in the same religious order as David Pelletier? She's never out with a guy. Nobody ever sees her with Fedor.

I think she's not seen with Fedor because fans don't WANT her to be with Fedor, so they don't make it up. And because thus far, her relationship with Fedor is by implication only, not ramped up like Tessa and Scott, so Meryl isn't causing it to be done (unlike how the pap stuff on the post-DWTs vacation was - a set up).

I just find it amazing that Tessa is spotted out and about so consistently with Ryan Semple, when she went years without ever being spotted by people on social media, not even when she "dated" Ryan Semple in the past. She gets a twitter account and - voila! She's spotted with him all the time, and it's documented with photos. Was she just not famous enough before she joined twitter?

Has Scott, the guy who partied so hard he was said to be a creepy, coked up hooligan this past spring, reformed so much he never goes out anymore? How can he go so long without being "spotted" #greatpeople, #goldmedalistsx2, #staycool. Or is he just so in love he and Kaitlyn never leave the hotel?

Tessa gets a twitter; suddenly it's Tessa who is being spotted left and right. Before she got twitter, she must have been invisible at every wedding, restaurant, bar, and next day event at both TIFF and fashion week. She gets twitter, suddenly every random on the street can spot her blocks away. Scott's facebook worked the same way. So did Jessica's.

I'm also curious about when Ryan Semple became more famous than Scott Moir. Someone tweeted that her sister was at a wedding, seated at the same table as Scott and Tessa. Why didn't the sister whip out her phone and commemorate the honor, since it was exciting enough to pass on to her sibling? How come this only happens when it's Scott/Kaitlyn or Tessa/Ryan? 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Before they had nothing in common

Barry Mittan 2003 - Virtue and Moir Real Crowd Pleasers

I read this 2003 article (excerpted in large part here), written by the late, great photojournalist Barry Mittan, long after it was originally published. It remains my favorite. Mittan gets out of the way, and Virtue Moir aren't control freaking their way through the Q&A, jackhammering themselves into their respective rigid public personas.

"South Carolina" might seem like a random dream destination for Scott Moir circa 2003, until one reads that girls can get married in South Carolina at age fourteen.

Skating is a family tradition for the Moirs. “Everyone in my family skated,” he said. “My mother is a figure skating coach, my dad played hockey and coached and my two older brothers skated. I started skating at three, got my first dance partner at age eight and started skating with Tessa at nine.” Virtue had a slightly different reason when she started at the age of six. “I didn’t want to be the only one in my class who couldn’t skate when we went on a school field trip to the arena,” she said.
Virtue began dancing with Moir when she was seven. “I am still trying to do singles, but once I got a dance partner, things just kind of clicked,” she said. She competed in singles last year and finished second at the All Ontario Championships. She almost has her double Axel and is working on triple jumps. Both skaters decided to try dance due to the influence of Moir’s brother, Danny, a senior ice dancer. The two teamed up when Moir’s aunt, Carol Moir, who coached both of the skaters for singles, decided they would make good dance partners.
The dancers train in Kitchener-Waterloo with Paul MacIntosh, Suzanne Killing and Rebecca Babb. They train for three hours on ice Monday through Friday before school and two hours off ice after school Monday to Thursday. That includes conditioning, aerobics, weight training, and balletics, although they each have approach the barre differently. Moir, who also plays hockey, was adamant that he takes ballet “only for skating purposes,” while Virtue, who has had classes since she was three, said, “One of the highlights of my life was the summer I spent at the National Ballet School when I was nine.”
Killing also choreographs the couple’s dances. Moir’s favorite compulsory dances are the Blues and the Golden Waltz, while Virtue likes the Paso and the Samba. He listed the Rocker Foxtrot as his hardest compulsory so far while she thought the Rhumba was the hardest. This season they skated to “Les Poissons” and “Concerto Sopra Motivi dell’Opera” for the original dance and “Malaguena”, “Eres Todo En Mi”, and “Tres Deseos” for their free dance. “I like to skate to anything interesting and fun,” Moir said, while Virtue noted that she liked “something lively, dancy and fun.” Off ice, Moir listens to the top 40 while Virtue listens to almost anything. She also plays the piano.
For fun, Moir likes to hang out with friends and plays sports. “I try to play as many sports as I can,” he said. He plays forward on a house league hockey team. Virtue likes to dance, spend time with friends, and shop. “I study ballet and modern dance,” she said. Moir likes to read action books and watch action movies, while Virtue likes mystery and comedy books and almost any kind of movies. Both are dog lovers. He has a dog named Diamond, while she has two dogs, Keeta, a Shepherd Cross and Maddie, a Rhodesian Ridgeback. She also lives with a family in Kitchener-Waterloo with a dog named Duffy. Both skaters keep the stuffed animals that are thrown on the ice.
For holidays, Moir enjoys going to a lakeside cottage in Muskokas, north of Toronto and enjoy time off at his family’s home. Virtue said, “My family often tries to add in a few days of vacation time around a skating event or competition.” She has enjoyed traveling to Chicago, Lake Placid and Vienna and hopes to go to Paris, Italy and Spain one day, while Moir wants to see Hawaii and South Carolina.
Both of the skaters are attending Bluevale High School, where Moir is in tenth grade and Virtue in ninth. The dancers have not decided on a post-skating career although Moir listed airlift paramedic and Toronto Maple Leafs trainer as possible careers, while Virtue has thought of being a lawyer or a teacher.
Moir said that he most enjoyed skating because of “the experiences, performing and the people you meet.” Virtue said she’s enjoyed “friends I’ve made, performing in front of a crowd and the dresses!”

___________________
*They forgot to mention Kate Virtue relocated to Kitchener-Waterloo and Tessa lived there with her. Maybe because she didn't.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

AAP Optics

AAP is Sport Canada*'s Athletes Assistance Program.

Athletes Assistance Program

The link should provide answers to questions about eligibility, compliance, how the financial support is received, etc. The AAP exists to financially assist Canada's high performance athletes whose NSOs (National Sports Organizations) are AAP-eligible, and who have had a top sixteen or above finish at the previous World Championships or Olympics, or who demonstrate the potential for such placement in the next World Championships or Olympics. It is not a reward for past results. It exists to subsidize an athlete's current training and living expenses while training for upcoming international events and World championships and/or Olympics.

Athletes carded for and receiving AAP support as of August 1, 2014.


Kaitlyn Lawes is also S1, and receives $18,000.

According to how AAP administers financial assistance to its carded athletes as specified in its Policies and Procedures manual (relevant examples below), and unless Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue have renounced their eligibility since August 1, 2014, their shared household currently receives $3,000 a month ($1,500 each*) in living and training allowance money from Sport Canada's Athletes Assistance Program.




There are exceptions to the residency requirements (see document link above) that anyone at Scott and Tessa's level could easily meet.

At Skate Canada, Mike Slipchuk (Skate Canada's High Performance Director) would be responsible for compliance oversight. An NSO's AAP-related responsibilities include (but are not even close to being limited to), the following:


The carded athletes themselves must sign the AAP agreement affirming that they understand and are in compliance with AAP policies.


More policy:


This is athlete assistance for Olympic, para-Olympic, and certain qualified categories of non-Olympic sports. It's not assistance for a couple of ice dancers watching from the stands at HPC as they transition from competitive athletes to mentors/advisers.

It's not a subsidy for show skaters whose days and nights consist of golfing, going to school, shopping, hanging out at the nonexistent family farm, walking red carpets, having girls night outs, enjoying musical theater, or pretending to golf or camp with the fake girlfriend. It's a subsidy for high performance athletes in training.

I suspect there's something Scott and Tessa aren't telling us. What are the odds?

Unless the athlete is injured or pregnant, in which event, a) the athlete in question can take off four months, during which time it appears AAP considers the athlete's training status to be the NSO's purview, not AAP's (so in Scott and Tessa's case, that's Slipchuk), or b) if the athlete has to curtail a full training/competitive schedule for a longer period of time due to illness, injury or pregnancy. In the latter event, they will continue to receive their full AAP assistance as long as they set themselves up to return to full high performance training at the earliest possible date, as per these guidelines:

Scott and Tessa receive the monthly living and training allowance awarded S1/S2 carded athletes.




From what I've been able to read so far (haven't found Skate Canada's own AAP document yet), most winter sport carding cycles end after the sport's competitive season concludes (often spring to spring), for each of the nomination period's two eligible years. It would certainly be odd if Skate Canada's cycles began/ended somewhere in the middle. But, whenever the given sport's cycles run, AAP compliance must be maintained month-to-month.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Concept of Not You (2)

There won't be a new post til this coming week, so I've split the current post for a new comments section.

Why would a privileged figure skater who has the entire world kissing her ass announce that Taylor Swift's Kiss My Ass Shake It Off number was her #themesong in the process of making a pointed spectacle of how rude and uncaring she intended to be and was entitled to be?

Did Tina Fey sideswipe Tessa Virtue at the Golden Globes? Have the tabloids been running her down?

I don't think so. The media is up her ass. She's got her twitter followers fawning over her, calling her stunning, gorgeous, brilliant and role model. She's got twitter followers praising her every time she clears her throat on twitter. She can't mention Benjamin Moore paint without a Valspar representative on twitter offering to hook her up with free Valspar. She's got videographers using their own talents, time and energy, free, to create material celebrating her work with Scott, videographers who consider it an honor.

Yet somehow this woman positions herself as an underdog, and the people who are really powerless, the little bugs/pesky fleas she and Scott manipulate and disparage, are her oppressors. Does she not appreciate what she's got - not even enough to recognize that she's much better off than the great majority of her fans, and maybe she should keep that in mind when she and Scott execute their agendas?

It doesn't seem like it. They're the only two people in the world. Just as Davis and White felt entitled to appropriate the poverty of Detroit as a public relations value add for their marketing, Scott and Tessa repurpose vulnerable, well-intentioned, eager-to-please, less successful, less privileged people - supporters of their skating - as adversaries/enemies so they can show off how strong, resilient and courageous they are. That's pathetic.

Two teams who are so privileged they have to manufacture adversity. Adversity was image for Davis White, and it seems like adversity helps Virtue and Moir thrive as skaters. It's a thrill on the ice, why not take it off ice, even if they're so privileged/cosseted/praised it has to be fabricated? That's not self-indulgent at all. Imagine being so privileged you can set up people's best wishes, good intentions and happy birthdays on a twitter account YOU created and publicized as one of your many oppressive burdens.

That's a lot of privilege there, let me tell you.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Concept of Not You

This post is working up to its point, so the first few paragraphs aren't THE point, but setting up the point.

The kindest construction I can put on what Tessa did yesterday is solidarity. Scott is bashed for rudeness on his past birthdays (but only on the blog, which is a joke, right). Rather than "show him how it's done" on her twitter, thus showing him up, Tessa is also rude. She deliberately joins him in the Coliseum and cues up Fuck You Shake It Off on the soundtrack before the lions are uncaged on both of them instead of him alone.

So, in the most charitable possible hypothesis, Tessa did what she did yesterday because of criticism of Scott on one blog, and the rest of the fans who are "innocent" - all the fans everywhere else who fall over themselves being nice - can just suck it up - she has a point to make and a cross to climb, and a middle finger to throw up.

Make no mistake, Tessa knew she was going to do this from the day she joined twitter. #bekind

Under most circumstances, it might be egocentric to wonder if what Tessa and Scott do is in any way driven by what the blog says. Why would they direct their behavior towards one blog instead of keeping in mind the legion of fans NOT on the blog, who are incredibly nice to them.

In this case, I don't think it's egocentric to wonder if the blog gives them their cover story to be really meanspirited. They were meanspirited before the blog. The blog shows up and criticizes them, the blog becomes a reverse engineered excuse. They WANT to pretend the blog stands for all fans. It gives them a pretext to be dicks to very nice people, to tell themselves fans deserve what Scott and Tessa dish out. Scott and Tessa are in the continual offensive position, pretending they're playing defense.

Who wouldn't treat legions of really nice people like crap just to flip the bird at one?

That's the most charitable way to look at yesterday, because yesterday had nothing to do with shipper fans wanting a front row seat to, you know, the incredibly intrusive, personal experience of a figure skater wishing happy birthday to her skating partner on her public twitter account. Yes, fans would have been excited/happy if she'd done it, like the time Alex Paul shouted out Mitch Islam's birthday on HER twitter, even though they share a house and she could say it straight to his face in the kitchen.


In other words, yesterday had nothing to do with shipper shit that fans wanted from Tessa.
It wasn't about HER. Neither she nor Scott ever EVER understand when it's not about them. It's always about them.

But it was about this: 

Tessa joins twitter. Her account is public. She reached out, she's brought Scott into the conversation. (#partnerincrime). Fans respond. She interacts. She set it up, she made the first moves, she requested people's attention.

Then she purposefully shows up on his birthday where all of these people are eagerly asking her to pass on their best wishes, and she pretends she can't hear them. She makes a point of being there in order to demonstrate: "I'm ignoring you."

She didn't have to shout him out in a unique tweet. Her rudeness had nothing to do with not wanting to wish her husband happy birthday on twitter. It's about showing up to let people know she's ignoring them on purpose. Some fans said "Would you say happy birthday 'when you see him'" - careful not to assume she'd see him on Sept.2. She could have said "will do."

It really isn't about fans wanting to see her publicly engage with him on his birthday. It's not about fans thinking she doesn't care about Scott enough to say happy birthday. No matter what fans tell themselves, they know damn well she acknowledged his birthday. They'd rather pretend it's about Scott and Tessa than talk about the truth: it's about how Scott and Tessa treat them.

It's about how Tessa made a point of being on twitter on September 2 in order to make a show of ignoring all the people who had the effrontery to think it was okay to wish Scott a happy birthday on her twitter.

I hope we're all ashamed of ourselves, forcing the woman to get a twitter account, demanding that she reach out to fans, insisting she keep it public. Same with Scott. Sorry Scott!

This is about how they treat other people, not about what other people want from them. They have never understood the difference. The two concepts are NOT always connected.

Prior to Worlds 2013, Scott and Tessa were in London with a few Skate Canada officials/staff who were speaking to a group of London business people about the opportunities built into hosting the Figure Skating World Championships in their city. As London natives, Scott and Tessa were there to promote the glories of London to those planning to attend the event. Recall that they've been doing interviews, promotions, public relations for about sixteen years at this point. They sit down. The journalist gives them lead ins to start talking about London. They react as if he's fishing for personal information.

It wasn't about them. When he kept circling back, trying to find another way to get through their thick skulls, they shifted, deflected and parried.

Debbi Wilkes, Skate Canada's then Director of Business Development (previously Director of Marketing and Public Relations) is an idiot. What kind of idiot, though? Did she completely fail to prep Scott and Tessa - that kind of idiot? Or was she idiot enough to believe that a pair of married twentysomething adults who have been doing this for sixteen years would have the brains to know that when they're in London to promote London, the job is to promote London?

There's something about Scott and Tessa where they like to think of themselves as beset and besieged, misunderstood, always up against it. In skating, I get it. It's easier to get motivated when everyone's against you. It also seems that they create programs that give them these kinds of challenges - will we be able to get on top of these extraordinarily difficult programs in time to crush it at Worlds? As Scott once said, he likes things to be hard. They like to feel "we have each other, who cares about the rest."

What's the deal in their p.r./off-ice life though? Why do they do the same thing? On ice, it gives them fuel. Off ice, in order to put themselves in that underdog position, they have to treat their supporters like garbage until the supporters start to protest, and then they use that protest as fuel to get defensive and defiant. They deliberately hurt other people - the supporters of their skating - to get a psychological fix for themselves. (#likeitornot!)

They have odd concepts of strength, odd concepts of adversity.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Fans on the short bus

Happy twenty-seventh birthday to Scott Moir, still officially pretending the woman he's been married to since shortly after his twenty-second birthday is not his wife. Still officially pretending his daughter doesn't exist.

It's been mentioned below that Alma Moir has started following Kaitlyn Lawes. I guess pre-season on this love story is now over.

When I look at the latest group of newly-minted VM fans, they are exactly the same as the 2010 group of VM fans. Publicly exchanging fan fic and speculation, but believing if they tip toe, Scott and Tessa won't notice. Fingers crossed, if everybody's real quiet, Scott and Tessa might work up the courage to tell each other how they feel and maybe even do something about it.*

It's ridiculous, but I can't disparage it too much, because it's what all fans do with all real life "OTP"s. It's only Scott and Tessa who mock and exploit the hell out of it, fans never knowing the joke's on them.

People inside and around figure skating who endorse Scott and Tessa's behavior believe what they do is justified because of the kinds of fans around figure skating.

The reality is these are the only sorts of fans figure skating wants and acknowledges. These are the fans Scott and Tessa cultivate. When these are your fans, you've got a year-in/year-out free pass.

From the comments section in the post below:
August 27, 2014 at 9:13 PM
I don't like how the ISU conducts itself. It's insulting to the supporters and consumers of figure skating that they're sold a bill of goods, expected to swallow it, and further encouraged to support the sport financially.

But, huh. According to your logic, why should I care about that? Why should I care about being told D/W's win in Sochi was legitimate even though it reeked of ISU corruption? Why should I care about how that impacts other people in detrimental ways, perhaps in ways that I will never see or know about in great depth?

The bullshit with your above post and so many others like it is that when V/M are getting screwed by a corrupt organization that can fuck with them and its audience and paying supporters JUST BECAUSE IT CAN GET AWAY WITH IT, the criticism of that is deemed acceptable. When V/M fuck with their audience and paying supporters JUST BECAUSE THEY CAN GET AWAY WITH IT, the pathetic and poorly constructed "why do you people give a fuck???" attempts to redirect the conversation come raining down.
In the two posts below I considered if corporate sponsors, particularly "Please be aware we are SATURATED in integrity" brands like Lindt chocolate, would feel comfortable partnered with star athletes of any other sport who were doing to their supporters what Scott and Tessa are ritualistically doing to theirs (outlined in the posts below), including all the backdoor, hashtagged: "look at me with @scottmoir @fakegirlfriend #staycool #rolemodels" bullshit they generate on other people's accounts.

I think no. I think those that handle sponsorships/relationships, etc. for the particular corporations/networks/publications/publishing houses that partner up with Scott and Tessa are comfortable trampling over checkpoints only because it's figure skating. The key is status. We have no status, so they don't bother with standards.
When people show you who they are, believe them.

Maya Angelou
Once again, I looked up Steve Milton, sportswriter. He's written nine "books" about figure skaters. Nine. In all that time - two decades -  he hasn't felt the need to read CoP, or recognize for himself the difference between a step and a turn, an edge or a flat, which - nobody's surprised. I look forward to his tenth and eleventh figure skating books.

When he writes about hockey and football he writes about the actual game, which he knows, because, you know, real sport.

He's in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame for his work as a football journalist. Per The House of Anasi's bio he's a National Newspaper Award finalist, multiple Ontario Newspaper Award winner, and Gemini Award finalist. The House of Anasi is the publishing house that put out Scott and Tessa's book all about their platonic love, "written" while Scott and Tessa were married and expecting their first child.

You'd think a legit guy like this would have a qualm or two about pumping out a book under his name that markets itself as the truth, but is a complete, total hoax, but apparently he had none. Why no qualms, Steve? Because it's us. Scott and Tessa deserve the publicity, celebrity and financial opportunities that come from selling their true story, but they also need to have that precious truth unsullied by skating fans knowing anything about it. This makes complete sense to everybody around them. I feel pretty sure that, given the green light by his subjects, the eminent sports journalist Steve Milton would, without a second's reflection, happily explain why it's okay to write and sell a fake biography as a true biography as long as it's to skating fans, and how Milton's first duty/responsibility as a journalist was protecting the likes of Scott and Tessa from the likes of us.

Everybody involved in the sham appears cloaked in sanctimony. Scott and Tessa should be protected from the unseemly interest fans have in their relationship. Scott and Tessa should also be able to profit from the unseemly interest fans have in their relationship. Scott and Tessa are entitled to encourage prurient interest in their relationship and their private lives, so they can keep profiting.

Everybody feels that way about every project Scott and Tessa undertake - a couple of reality shows, latest sham rollout, getting themselves on social media. Look at Shannon Woodhouse, the program manager of the University of Western Ontario's Joint Motion program. She's not risking anything when she uses her public social media account to facilitate the latest round of Virtue Moir hoaxing of the public.

From the University of Western Ontario's landing page:
Public Accountability
The University of Western Ontario is committed to openness and transparency in all our operations.  We are an institution supported by and accountable to the people of Ontario and of Canada, and we make every effort to provide information as to our activities and to monitor our performance in key areas of interest for all the constituencies we serve.
They mean in how it conducts itself as a university, not whether or not one of its employees goes out of her way to help set up a public hoax for the personal benefit/agenda of the local heroes. Besides, Woodhouse covered her ass. She just waxed fanlike, and said she saw Lawes/Moir together. We know what she was doing, and so does UWO, but she can get away with it. Apparently when companies like Lindt, and public institutions like UWO commence to bragging about transparency, it just means in the areas in which they're accountable. If they're not accountable, none of that shit matters. They're all doing it right in front of us, they can thumb their noses at it. We do now see just what all this trumpeting of integrity is worth. It's situational. Some people, such as figure skating fans, are too low status and inconsequential to be treated with the most rudimentary respect. Hell, it's not even the absence of respect that's on display here. It's contempt.

Alma Moir, who has just become one of Kaitlyn Lawes' followers on twitter, has coached UWO's synchro skating team for three decades, and coached at the Ilderton Skating Club since forever. That's how she earns her living. She's a notable in London and Ilderton, and for at least seven years she, and her entire family, which includes other Moirs who coach at the ISC and at UWO, have actively participated in hoaxing, tricking and aggressively manipulating the supporters of her sport and the fans of her son and his wife. Nothing wrong with it, and by "wrong" they mean "We can get away with it."

I suppose it's possible that Scott and Tessa lied their faces off to Steve Milton, a guy who knows all of the key players going back two decades. If so, they exploited his name and credentials, and deceived him into putting his good journalistic name on a bunch of lies, making a fool of him and potentially damaging his reputation down the line. I wouldn't put it past them to do it because they suck at making connections, or doing any kind of action/result math.

But I don't think so, because Tessa was awfully pregnant at that book signing Milton attended with them, and he's subsequently reiterated their platonic status, taking the obligatory sideswipe at fans while he was at it.

And as it went for Steve Milton, so it went for the "W' network. I think the W network might have been cautious about a reality show featuring a couple of champion tennis players who were married with a child, but for the reality show pretended to be single/dating others while instructing the public to tune in and see their real lives, like it or not. Those champion tennis players might be hesitant about it as well. But at least we know ethical concerns wouldn't be a factor. The question is only, "Can we get away with it?" and with champion tennis players, it might have been a gamble. Figure skating is a different ball game. Everybody now knows that in figure skating, you can make anything up and pretend it's true. You can get away with anything, on ice and off. Just look at all the people going out to make the most of that. It's instructional, that's for sure.
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*This group of fans, who see Scott and Tessa as real life fantasy figures, who discuss, speculate and create fan fiction in plain sight in public areas of the internet, are the only fans that Scott and Tessa recognize. And yet, Scott and Tessa lie about THESE fans. All of the fan fic these people write is a triangle. In these fan fictions, the authors believe in Jessica, Cassandra, Kaitlyn, and position Tessa as looking in from the outside. None of these people are writing fan fiction about Scott and Tessa, the married couple with a daughter. These fans that BELIEVE Scott and Tessa, and everything they do pivots around swallowing those lies, while Scott and Tessa, when they interview, pretend these are the fans who keep thinking they're romantically involved.

The mutual condescension is interesting. The fans are patronizing Scott and Tessa, protective of a Scott and Tessa that don't exist, protective of a couple of celebrity ice dancers who in their eyes, remain in some sort of high school level social dynamic (IOW, they're at the same level as these fans) and lack any of the sophistication that anyone who is in the public eye acquires after six months, let alone after seventeen years. Scott and Tessa patronize and condescend to these fans. These are the fans Scott and Tessa want, but they also distort what these fans believe. I wonder what these fans think when Scott and Tessa do their spiel about "We're not together and we don't know how to convince people other than to just keep repeating it!" Do they think Scott and Tessa are talking about the blog? Then who were Scott and Tessa talking about in the years they said these things before there was a blog?