Wicked Yankee Girl
There's pluses and minuses to having Tanith commentating, as long as you know she is Charlie's girlfriend.
You get some details about the skating of dancers in the Detroit skating community that you just would otherwise never hear. And she is actually an ice dancer who competed in both 6.0 and COP and discuss both knowledgeably.
Other media outlets of course have color commentators who have a conflict of interest sometimes! Does Tarasova not comment on skaters whom she has worked with (or skaters who compete with those she has worked with). How about Sandra Bezic and choreography7 How about Scott Hamilton and skaters that he has hired?
Sometimes the strangest dynamics apply: Nicky Slater's mother coached C&L's ex coach. As long as C&L were with the coach, Nicky was a ridiculously huge fan (he disclosed this on air one time).
And let's not forget Sandra Bezic commentating during the years when she choreographed so many Olympic contenders: Chen Lu, Tara, Brian Boitano, Underhill and Martini. But often the best commentators are those people who are heavily involved in skating. It's hard to stay dispassionate if you're part of that world in any capacity.
I wonder if, in Tanith's case, it's meaningful that besides being Charlie White's girlfriend and an American skater, she is also Canadian, and moreover didn't she and Ben train at Canton with both D/W and V/M? What she probably has more than anything else is a North American prejudice, over and above her preference for Charlie and his partner.
When I say other media outlets -- I mean others outside of the sports broadcasting world. For example, Michele Norris of NPR's All Things Considered took a long sabbatical from the program during this election cycle because her husband worked as a consultant on the Obama campaign. And where i live, one of the city council members is married to a newspaper reporter. That newspaper reporter once covered city hall. Once his wife was elected, the newspaper moved him to a different position. The key thing is the media outlets did not want people to even have the perception of bias.
Originally Posted by dorispulaski
No matter how many times Tanith discloses her conflict, people are going to have that perception on the back of their heads. Not so much the hard core fans, but the casual fans or the ones who happen to tune in. I still feel she can offer a lot of what you mentioned without having to commentate directly on the senior ice dances, IMO.
OTOH we aren't talking about covering figure skating as a news outlet, but just color commentary, so perhaps it's a different animal. Still though, I think it's in the best interest of NBC and Co. to keep the conflicts to a minimum.
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