Jenny Kirk and Dave Lease of The Skating Lesson have definitely made an indelible mark for themselves this season.
Some of their interviews have been really interesting and fun. When guests like Frank Carroll and Sandra Bezic did the talking, I became a fan. Now that the season is actually under way however they seem to be very focused on bringing attention to their own views on certain issues and are attacking certain skaters on the basis of issues that more to do with who these skaters are as people than their actual skating.
In the October 6th This and That, they take aim at Maia Shibutani, Alex Shibutani and Meryl Davis in a way that is really, well, no other word for it, but ugly.
Jenny and Dave have always made it clear they dislike and disrespect the Shibutani's. From posted comments people actually perceive that the correct term is "hate." Jenny and Dave can dislike their skating if that is their opinion. What they do though is focus on attacking their character and who they are as people. They find them childish and "12 years old", insinuate that they are dishonest people. Without seeing them skate yet they conclude that their approach to the season is "one giant mistake."
The Skating Lesson obviously prefers other ice dance teams. They are entitled to have their preferences and opinions, no question about it. The repeated attacks on the Shibutanis however are very much about who they are as people.
What is really equally strange to me is that Jenny and Dave have done a 180 on Meryl. They used to put Meryl Davis on a pedestal, like she could do no wrong. Their admiration was almost on par with their fandom for the Michele. But especially because Meryl and Charlie did not express views about the Russian anti-Gay laws that were aligned with their personal views, they rant on about how "idiotic" they are. Idiotic. Really? Meryl is inappropriately too wrapped up in her quest for a Gold medal.
TSL can think whatever they want and share their views with whomever they want about their programs and skating. Nobody including myself is forced to watch or listen. But as hard working young people who are in my opinion very decent and honest ambassadors for their sport, I don't think Maia, Alex and Meryl deserve this kind of treatment. Just my opinion.