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Thread: Jennifer Kirk lands writing gig with Los Angeles Times

  1. #16
    Beliver in Sasha's Perfect Program Tinymavy15's Avatar
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    Wow good for her. I guess somebody at the LA Times noticed her blog. Now I have a good reason to buy that paper!

  2. #17
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cassieandcheetah View Post
    The truth is, Jenny wrote the stuff about Cohen quitting based on speculation alone. She assumed that cohen was not going to compete based alone on her withdrawing from TEB, something that would have been okay to write on a personal blog, but on Los Angeles times?
    This is the entirety of what Kirk wrote about Sasha's withdrawal in her LA Times article.

    Until late last week the biggest story surrounding this week’s event was the comeback of 2006 Olympic silver medalist Sasha Cohen. Unfortunately, Cohen issued a statement Friday announcing her withdrawal from Trophee Bompard, citing tendinitis in her right calf. Cohen has spent the last three years away from competition and struggled with her jumps in recent performances. Despite her injury, Cohen says she still plans to compete at her second Grand Prix event, Skate America, next month.

  3. #18
    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cassieandcheetah View Post
    as Hersh points out, it is wrong of Jenny to speculate without having spoken with the athlete herself, and I wouldn't be surprised if Cohen came back to compete at a later time.
    I thought Hirsh was too tough on Jenny and it felt personal rather than professional to me.
    But that is exactly how Jenny seemed to treat Sasha in her True/slant article.

    I don't know this for a fact but it feels like there is no love lost between Jenny and Sasha and probably a big case of jealousy and more...........
    (Jenny was previously critical about Evan and there is a back story on that one).

    I like Jenny's True/slant articles and as already seen in her first column for the L.A. Times she will probably tone it down a bit when writng for a wider audience.

    If Jenny was trying to get back at Sasha for something I can understand it but I don't respect her as a journalist for that type of behavior. But hey, Jenny is just getting started and I wish her luck and will continue to read her blog/columns.

    Hirsh should know better since he is by far the more experienced journalist.
    But who says they have to get along - and what is an Olympic year without feuds, fights, harsh words, false accusations and a lot of cheating.

  4. #19
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Jenny's cynical about everyone on her true/slant blog...

    it's amazing.. Johnny Weir is a hero on here for telling it 'like it is'... but since Jenny's a pwetty ice pwincess, she's not allowed to be just as blunt...

  5. #20
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Here is why Hersh is in the wrong.

    The topic is Sasha's withdrawal from the Eric Bompard event. In writing an opinion piece about that topic, it is fair game to accept Sasha's statements at face value or to be suspicious of them. It is fair game to believe that Sasha is a hero even to attempt a comeback, or to hold the opinion that it was all a big publicity stunt.

    However -- in writing an article about the unlucky start to Sasha's comeback season, of what possible relevance are statements like, "Jenny Kirk knows failure?" What does Jenny Kirk's competitive career have to do with an opinion piece about Sasha Cohen?

  6. #21
    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Here is why Hersh is in the wrong.

    However -- in writing an article about the unlucky start to Sasha's comeback season, of what possible relevance are statements like, "Jenny Kirk knows failure?" What does Jenny Kirk's competitive career have to do with an opinion piece about Sasha Cohen?

    I did not like the statement you quoted and thought Hirsh was over the top with that remark.

    But as to relevance it would seem that Jenny said something like "sometimes an athlete is more afraid of failure than pain." Sorry if i did not quote Jenny exactly but she opened the door with that remark imo.

    I see it as Jenny taking a cheap shot at Sasha with that remark. I see Hirsh taking an even bigger shot back at Jenny with the remark of his you quoted.

    In journalism, the issue of right and wrong at times becomes more a matter of taste (and class) and can be less empirical that other disciplines.

    Jenny implied Sasha is afraid of failure; Hirsh pointed out something quite factual, that Jenny had first hand experience at failure on the ice to a degree never experienced by Sasha.

    Is Hirsh wrong? Depends on your definition of wrong. Was he guilty of a tacky remark? I would say yes, but I think Jenny left herself wide open for such a comeback.

  7. #22
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    I think Hersch sees Jenny as unwanted competition for him. For years, he has been the only writer for the LA Times/Chicago Tribune covering figure skating. All of a sudden, a bona fide figure skater, one with real writing talent, lands a gig on his paper. And Phil has no right to criticize Jenny for speculating about Sasha's motives or her future. He is big on making wild, unsubstantiated predictions about skaters and then patting himself on the back when he guesses right, as in when Michelle Kwan pulled out of Nationals in 2006. (How many figure skating medals did he win, by the way?)

  8. #23
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    ITA, jenaj

    I would say yes, but I think Jenny left herself wide open for such a comeback.
    If he were commenting on her journal then yes, or if he were writing an opinion piece on her new op-ed then yes... to randomly put it in during his article on Sasha? nope.

    And Sasha herself has said she fears failure in fluff pieces in the past. So how is it speculation?

  9. #24
    Tanguera feraina's Avatar
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    I'd hate to generate even more traffic to Phil Hersh's article with my post. But I *really* enjoyed reading the comments to his article. The reply he made after some of the comments was so ridiculous, it was even worse than the article itself. And of course, it generated an even bigger torrent of criticism.

    Oh, my God, how can he be so obstinate and irrational? Can't he see the hypocrisy and unfairness in his own writing? The immaturity and the lack of professionalism?

    Is he doing this on purpose to generate traffic to his page? I wish LA Times and Chicago Tribune would both fire him and hire Jenny Kirk instead. We would have much better informed, balanced, and thoughtful articles instead.

    Two days before the start of the Olympic season, with the most competitive ladies field of all the GP's heating up, he spends two articles about someone who's withdrawn, and says nothing about those who are actually competing. Thank God we still have Jennifer Kirk to write about the real competitors, not just in ladies, but in all disciplines:
    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/spor...and-prix-.html

    Three cheers for Jenny! And three cheers for all the competitors!

  10. #25
    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    Here is a slightly edited version of the last part of Jenny's blog substituting Sasha with another skater. I wonder what the reaction would have been if the following had been written by Jenny?

    "There has been a ton of speculation as to whether or not Kwan was actually going to compete this season, and most could have predicted something like today‘s statement. Kwan says that she still plans to compete in November at her second Grand Prix event, Skate America, but at this rate, I wouldn’t count on her to show up.

    What Kwan is trying to do this season–come back and attempt to win a third Olympic medal after years away from competition–is obviously very tough. However, it seems to me that maybe Kwan didn’t realize in May just how tough this whole comeback was going to seem in October.

    My guess? Sometimes the fear of failure can be more painful than any injury."
    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    What stands out the most to me is this: "Kwan says that she still plans to compete in November at her second Grand Prix event, Skate America, but at this rate, I wouldn’t count on her to show up."

    If Jenny had said:
    " but at this rate I think Kwan still might not be prepared and may choose to withdraw " the tone of her remarks might have had a different feeling and sounded more objective.

    Or she could have concluded with something like this:
    "My guess? Fear of not being able to show your best is something any skater on the comeback trail may have to accept and deal with."

    Maybe Jenny's comments were fine the way they were but it just feels so obvious that she has a thing for Sasha.

    I like Jenny's articles and wish her well as she pursues a career in journalism. I think it is great that a former skater with so much inside knowledge of the sport is in a position to share her views and special insights.

    I am not a fan of Hirsh but like many here I do read his column from time to time. I hope Jenny will be successful and will develope into the type of journalist that Hirsh is not. Meaning a fair minded and objective reporter and not one who plays favorites and so easily succumbs to petty jealousy.
    Last edited by janetfan; 10-15-2009 at 03:11 PM.

  11. #26
    Tanguera feraina's Avatar
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    JF, that's an interesting substitution. I don't disagree that JK couldn't have been more diplomatic in her blog entry, and that if she were to aim to become a great professional journalist, she could work on this aspect. However, I think there are two important factors to consider.

    One is that her blog is just a personal blog, not a paid piece of professional work in a newspaper, while Hersh's writings are. If ever there is a place on the web to express personal opinions, then a blog is surely a top candidate (forums another ).

    The other is that Kwan and Sasha have quite different public personas. Maybe I am slightly biased because I have always been a bigger Kwan than Cohen fan. But with the Kwan substitution, it feels like a deliberate personal insult. Whereas with the original writing intended to Cohen, it feels like it fits right in with how she has come across through media. For instance, I think Kwan would've handled the withdrawal a little differently, both in the timing, the announcement, and the post-announcement response via Hersh (actually, I suspect she might not have granted an interview to Hersh at all; I think she would've decided to take the responsibilities for her actions and accepted the criticisms). Maybe these differences in public persona don't have any basis in reality, but they are repeatedly reinforced over the years, and after all, all we have access to are their public personas.

  12. #27
    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    Like you, I am primarily a Michelle fan but I still like Sasha's skating.
    I agree with your post and think you make good points.
    I see a great opportunity for Jenny and hope she will rise above Hirsh's style of reporting and become a major voice for figure skating in the future. To do that I think Jenny has to let go of certain feelings from her past and write with a clear, strong and unbiased voice.
    I am sure she can do that and I do think her blog and new column are terrific and will get better in the future.
    Last edited by janetfan; 10-15-2009 at 03:45 PM.

  13. #28
    Custom Title McWicked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by janetfan View Post
    Like you, I am primarily a Michelle fan but I still like Sasha's skating.
    I agree with your post and think you make good points.
    I see a great opportunity for Jenny and hope she will rise above Hirsh's style of reporting and become a major voice for figure skating in the future. To do that I think Jenny has to let go of certain feelings from her past and write with a clear, strong and unbiased voice.
    I am sure she can do that and I do think her blog and new column are terrific and will get better in the future.
    Maybe she got this deal with L.A times due to her own point of view of figure skating, which is more in the insight. I'd be faithful to my line if I were Jenny.

  14. #29
    Dreaming and dancing Bennett's Avatar
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    I read the rather critical comments that Jenny made on the way in which Sasha withdrew from the competition, but what was written did not make me speculate that it was because Jenny has something personal like jealousy against Sasha.

    In three other recent entries of hers on Sasha's skate and career, she acknowledges Sasha's many strengths and great potential for this season despite some concerns.

    http://trueslant.com/jenniferkirk/20...prix/#more-478

    http://trueslant.com/jenniferkirk/20...17;s-downfall/

    http://trueslant.com/jenniferkirk/20...ohen/#more-618
    Last edited by Bennett; 10-15-2009 at 08:35 PM.

  15. #30
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    I'm not going to name names, but several other reporters in attendance at Improvice were not at all surprised by Sasha's withdraw from Trophee Eric Bompard.

    Of Sasha's injury, one of them indicated that "she's so faking this!"

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