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Thread: Hersh: In figure skating, same old, same old

  1. #46
    Size 7 Knife Boots Sam-Skwantch's Avatar
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    I was counting his wages or fees he gets for writing the article. I doubt he does it for free. He'll likley get a free pass to Skate America too. Yes you are right about sports columnists being notorious for writing incredibly inflammatory reports on local sports. I've never been shy about e-mailing them either about how it makes me feel and it's potential impact on the community.

    I still can't believe North Korea with no figure skaters is allowed to vote on issues concerning the sport. Is there any way we can start allowing hockey players to join in the fun?

    Edit: Mrs P just blew up my last point

  2. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    North Korea has been a member of the ISU since 1957. They have a joint speed skating/figure skating federation. As far as i know they have never entered a figure skater in any ISU competition. (No figure skaters from PRK are listed on the ISU site.)
    Ji Hyang RI / Won Hyok THAE participated in 2012 Worlds. They made it through the preliminary round but failed to qualify for the FS: http://www.isuresults.com/results/wc2012/SEG009.HTM


    I don't think Phil Hersh gets any money from figure skating. He is a general sports writer who writes about everything. He chooses to write about figure skating once in awhile, but his salary from the Chicago newspaper would not be docked if he didn't.

    The thing is, he covers sports for a newspaper. He is not an employee of the ISU or the USFSA. He has no responsibility to promote the sport, or to say anything good (or bad) about it. He has strong opinions that readers are free to agree with or not. As for supporting the community, sports writers are never hesitant to tee off on the local professional teams when they have a bone to pick.

    Why is Mr. Hersh such a grouch? Dunno. Some folks just are. I think, though, that he genuinely likes the sport and hates to see it sliding down the hill toward the abyss.
    Actually to be more precise, Hersh's beat is Olympics sports. So he covers a wide variety of sports. And I agree, judging from his interview with Allison Manley -- http://www.manleywoman.com/episode-64-phil-hersh/ -- that he actually sees value of the sport. If he truly did not care, he wouldn't even bother:

    On criticizing figure skating: I think that a lot of people think that because I’m critical about figure skating that I don’t like figure skating. Nothing could be further from the truth. I have never been assigned to cover figure skating, it was my own choice. I have advocated for it for almost 30 years, and any time I wanted to stop covering figure skating, my bosses would have let me do it. The fact is that there are right now, and many of us are getting close to retirement age, a number of writers for major US publications who all came to love figure skating. John Powers at the Boston Globe, Christine Brennan at USA Today, Jo-Ann Barnas who was at the Detroit Free Press, Amy Shipley who used to work for the Washington Post. When this generation retires, there is not going to be a next generation. Partly because of the changes in the newspaper industry, but partly because we really really came to like the sport. And I remember at one point, after the Munich world championships in 1991 when the US women swept the podium, sitting outside on a nice sunny day and saying to a colleague: you know, there are people at baseball spring training right now who would wonder why we wanted to be here. And there are lots of people in my business who couldn’t understand why I wanted to cover figure skating. But it’s such a fertile field when you’ve got the soap operatic quality, the international personalities, the occasional performance that brings you, if not to tears, to emotional tingling because it’s so brilliant. I love figure skating, and to anyone out there who thinks that because I’m critical that I don’t like it, I love it. If I hadn’t loved it I would have stopped covering it after one year.

  3. #48
    Celebrating the Excellence of #VirtueMoir golden411's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam-Skwantch View Post
    ... He'll likley get a free pass to Skate America too. ...
    As will all the other credentialed media for Skate America, so I don't see the point of your comment.
    (I don't know about skating competitions, but at other types of comparable events, media outlets sometimes are charged a fee for access to workspace, Internet connection, etc.)

  4. #49
    Size 7 Knife Boots Sam-Skwantch's Avatar
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    I don't see the point of your comment.
    Probably just a bit to nit picky I'll admit but I'm a little about printer fees. Thx.

    I just for whatever reason was unimpressed with this particular piece. IMO it may do more harm than good. I should have left it at that! Its not even like I disagree necessarily either. I think others may agree about this particular piece.

  5. #50
    Celebrating the Excellence of #VirtueMoir golden411's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam-Skwantch View Post
    Probably just a bit to nit picky I'll admit but I'm a little about printer fees. Thx.

    I just for whatever reason was unimpressed with this particular piece. IMO it does more harm than good. I should have left it at that! I think others may agree about this piece.
    LOL, before seeing your response, I had gone back to delete printers from my post ('cause on second thought, I realized that it did not rise to the level of the other things). But it is true that credentialed media are charged logistics fees at some events.

    I am not defending the Hersh piece. Just sayin' that it's not as if he were getting special treatment compared to other media on the skating beat.

  6. #51
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    I have no doubt that Phil Hersh loves skating. My problem with him is that he has favorites and slams athletes he doesn't like under the guise of journalistic objectivity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by drivingmissdaisy View Post
    I have no doubt that Phil Hersh loves skating. My problem with him is that he has favorites and slams athletes he doesn't like under the guise of journalistic objectivity.
    He doesn't claim to be objective though in his blog. And his blog, for better or worse, is more of a column/opinion space.

    When he writes news stories for the Chicago Tribune, he isn't slamming/favoring athletes.

  8. #53
    Custom Title gallavich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    North Korea has been a member of the ISU since 1957. They have a joint speed skating/figure skating federation. As far as i know they have never entered a figure skater in any ISU competition. (No figure skaters from PRK are listed on the ISU site.)
    Ri Song-Chol skated in Vancouver but did not make it to the free skate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs. P View Post
    He doesn't claim to be objective though in his blog. And his blog, for better or worse, is more of a column/opinion space.

    When he writes news stories for the Chicago Tribune, he isn't slamming/favoring athletes.
    I get the tribune and his stuff in print is very much toned down. I think news outlets encourage their writers to treat blogs as more of an op-ed format. makes it more fun.

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    Off the top of my head, there were also North Korean skaters at the 1992 and 2006 Olympics. The PRK team skaters made a good showing at the 2005 Karl Schaefer Memorial, including a silver medal in the ladies' event, to earn those spots. But none of them succeeded in making the cut for the free skate at the Olympics.

    Too bad they don't get the opportunity to participate in more international events and gain enough experience to skate their best when they do get the chance.

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    I don't have any issues with Hersh being critical. But I have massive issues with him not being constructive. Readers deserve better quality articles from paid journalists, whether they love/hate/don't care about figure skating.

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    I hope they schedule the funeral so I will be able attend and show my last respects.

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    Quote Originally Posted by phaeljones View Post
    I agree with this. So well said, Weakankles.

    I get tired of the apologists who deny that anything is wrong and cannot see what most people see and why the sport is thought "corrupt" to the point of being beyond salvation or worth watching in North America. The defenders can defend what is going on all they want. The vast majority of people in the public are not listening anymore. People have generally voted on the issue by disregarding figure skating as a sport.

    For anyone who can't figure out that North American money is not going to be flowing anytime soon into figure skating, just read the article. Like it or lump it, most people agree with the drift of what Hersh has written and are beyond fed up. Consider it as a fact that people generally think that way even if you disagree with what they agree with.

    The only people left watching this sport are either 1) the few diehards who appreciate the skates and can separate the scores from the skates, or 2) the apologists who want the status quo and say that the scores are legitimate, and who have no problem with the corruption. (Sorry, not sorry.)

    The only upside for this is that if you come to the skating events in North America, it won't be difficult to get tickets. The downside is that you need be sure to buy a ticket because you won't be watching it live on television. If you want to know why, read the Hersh article. It sets out the reason why people here are en masse voting with their pocket books with an empathic "THUMBS DOWN". It lists the main reasons why the sport cannot pass the smell test.

    For those who think that anonymous judging is not an issue, the problem that many people have with that is that without transparency, no one is going to believe anything that the ISU does or says. That may surprise the apologists but it should not surprise anyone. Credibility has to be seen through credible conduct not promised on the basis of hidden actions. I trust someone as being honest who I see doing an honest act, not on the basis of speculation or on the basis of what Cinquanta says. Judges have to be answerable to the public, not just to themselves personally.

    Without transparency, there is no way to rebut a reasonable presumption that the scoring is corrupt.

    Here is a newsflash for the apologists: If the sport is going to ever be flush with cash again, it has to improve its reputation in North America. But instead of improving its reputation, IT IS AND CONTINUES TO LOSE GROUND IN NORTH AMERICA ON THE BASIS OF BEING CORRUPT. What happened at the Olympics has had a negative effect. (For those who disagree about the effect of the Olympics on the reputation of the sport, I want to smoke whatever they are smoking.) And for those who don't like how the North Americans are reacting en masse, most North Americans don't care. They are not watching anymore and they are not going to pay for it anymore.

    Fix the sport. Get rid of Cinquanta, get rid of anonymous judging, and get rid of judges at events where there is a conflict of interest. Start with what is obvious to everyone except the wilfully blind. Or don't. Other than the few diehards (of which I am one), most people have moved on and don't expect any changes to be made ever. Those who like the sport the way that it is, well basically it is becoming all yours and yours alone. Well done.
    Overall, I really agree with this post because it categorizes me perfectly. I only watch skating for the skates completely independent of the scoring. I have no confidence in the scoring system after witnessing the SOCHI debacle and had been skeptical even before this outrageously scored event. When the head of the ISU claims that it is better to have a judge with a conflict of interest than an idiot with no knowledge of the scoring system and adheres adamantly to anonymous scoring where behind-the-scene deals can be conveniently concealed, it is obvious that he is playing all the viewers for a fool likely to pad his own pocket book. This admittedly can't be proved but what other motive could there be for driving the sport into utter disrepute than possibly to end its last shred of respectability with the termination of his own existence in the name of some perverse sense of egomania.

    I agree that Speedy and anonymous judging need to be scuttled to save figure skating from becoming a sinking ship. But with all the well-publicized scandals and visions of back room shenanigans, I believe the whole rotten edifice of ISU deception will likely have to be dismantled to rebuild the sport's credibility again. But what structure can be put in its place for a sport that is already largely subjective in its nature?

    Fortunately, the beauty, artistry and athleticism of the sport trump this apocalyptic rhetoric for many viewers who eagerly await to be witnesses to a transcendent performance, regardless of how suspect judges may evaluate it. The irony is that the very skaters who are perceived to be over-scored early in their careers may suffer just as much as those who are deprived of their rightful scores because their future performances may never be given the credit they truly deserve in the eyes of a cynical audience, if they actually deliver something truly historic. I don't have any answers- I truly wish I did, but how such a beautiful sport could be controlled by such a disgustingly corrupt, incompetent and smug bureaucracy really upsets me.

  14. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    Off the top of my head, there were also North Korean skaters at the 1992 and 2006 Olympics. The PRK team skaters made a good showing at the 2005 Karl Schaefer Memorial, including a silver medal in the ladies' event, to earn those spots. But none of them succeeded in making the cut for the free skate at the Olympics.

    Too bad they don't get the opportunity to participate in more international events and gain enough experience to skate their best when they do get the chance.
    Yes, they had skaters in Albertville, in pairs: http://youtu.be/YiiuCSalDX0 Good memory!

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    Quote Originally Posted by gotoschool View Post
    Overall, I really agree with this post because it categorizes me perfectly. I only watch skating for the skates completely independent of the scoring. I have no confidence in the scoring system after witnessing the SOCHI debacle and had been skeptical even before this outrageously scored event. When the head of the ISU claims that it is better to have a judge with a conflict of interest than an idiot with no knowledge of the scoring system and adheres adamantly to anonymous scoring where behind-the-scene deals can be conveniently concealed, it is obvious that he is playing all the viewers for a fool likely to pad his own pocket book. This admittedly can't be proved but what other motive could there be for driving the sport into utter disrepute than possibly to end its last shred of respectability with the termination of his own existence in the name of some perverse sense of egomania.

    I agree that Speedy and anonymous judging need to be scuttled to save figure skating from becoming a sinking ship. But with all the well-publicized scandals and visions of back room shenanigans, I believe the whole rotten edifice of ISU deception will likely have to be dismantled to rebuild the sport's credibility again. But what structure can be put in its place for a sport that is already largely subjective in its nature?

    Fortunately, the beauty, artistry and athleticism of the sport trump this apocalyptic rhetoric for many viewers who eagerly await to be witnesses to a transcendent performance, regardless of how suspect judges may evaluate it. The irony is that the very skaters who are perceived to be over-scored early in their careers may suffer just as much as those who are deprived of their rightful scores because their future performances may never be given the credit they truly deserve in the eyes of a cynical audience, if they actually deliver something truly historic. I don't have any answers- I truly wish I did, but how such a beautiful sport could be controlled by such a disgustingly corrupt, incompetent and smug bureaucracy really upsets me.

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