If we want to take the poetry workshop analogy, Hersh is basically the guy who says, "Your poetry sucks." After ten guys before him already said the same thing. Okay. Does that help anyone improve their poetry? Wait, he's a paid, professional journalist. So, it's like you sent your manuscript to someone who charged a fee for editing, and the only feedback you got was "Your poetry sucks." (I'd be equally pissed if the feedback were, "Your poetry rocks," btw).
That was Hersh about 5 years ago. The problem isn't the critic ... it's the product that sucks and never gets better.
Just to finish up that point on constructive criticism...
The purpose of constructive criticism is to offer feedback for improvement. The ISU has shown they are not interested in improvement. The people in charge now are interested in breaking their own constitution to stay in power; to keep power by any means necessary; and to use that power to receive favors and benefits that may or may not be public information.
Because the ISU has been democratically elected by members of the figure skating community, it can be stated with absolute certainty that the figure skating community itself is not interested in improving the sport. You can see that by some posts on these forums, and by the votes that have happened recently with various federations and the ISU. Since that is the case, figure skating deserves ridicule, not anything that may be construed as constructive criticism, anymore.
People who like figure skating probably don't want to hear that, but it's the cold and hard truth.
Pretty gross generalization there.Because the ISU has been democratically elected by members of the figure skating community, it can be stated with absolute certainty that the figure skating community itself is not interested in improving the sport.
In the sense though, I think you're right. Which is why I'm not sure figure skating's decline in North America had anything to do with judges/system/corruption. It's simply due to the lack of stars. Therefore, I'm not sure if we can "save" figure skating. Doesn't mean we shouldn't try, of course, but we can get all the best judges/system you want, and figure skating could still be nowhere in NA as long as the top contenders are from Japan/Russia/Korea/whatever.