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

  1. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alba View Post
    Why not? We're talking about history here. My fav. period is WWII and french revolution.
    It doesn't mean I'm in favor of wars and I like them, or that I would vote for a Hitler tyoe of guy for example.
    Would you express yourself publicly: "Nazi Germany is my favorite period in history"?

  2. #107
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandpiper View Post
    While I agree with you in the sense that Mr. Hersh, of course, can do whatever he wants, there is a fundamental difference between his grumbling and our grumbling: He's a paid, professional journalist, and it's reasonable to expect better arguments from him than random posters on a forum. That some people here, both for and against him, have made better arguments than Mr. Hersh himself doesn't speak too well about his journalism, imo.
    I agree that this particular piece seems thrown together with little attention paid either to content or to composition. The entirety of Mr. Hersh's message is, "The 55th ISU Congress, disappointingly, did not address any of the problems that confront the sport of figure skating." (Will that fit on a tweet? )

    Still, I like the guy. I remember one time Jennifer Kirk (a then-recent graduate of a collegiate journalism program) was maintaining a blog about figure skating and she wrote an article critical of Sasha Cohen. Hersh publicly took Ms. Kirk to the woodshed, tasking her with shoddy journalism because she reported negative comments by Sasha's detractors without giving Sasha a chance to respond in her own defense.

    To demonstrate, Hersh called Sasha himself and asked, did you really do those bad things? Sasha said "no." And there you have it, concludes Mr. Hersh -- that's what good investigative journalism is.

    Mr. Hersh has his favorites. He has written encouraging articles about Mirai in the recent past, for instance (although he stopped short of saying that USFS was necessarily wrong in sending Ashley to the Olympics). He liked Michelle Kwan just dandy, although he did not hesitate to raise questions, late in her career, about whether she had fallen off the pace. (Michelle once took him for a ride in her brand new Corvette, one presumes to butter him up.) He ranted about Tibia-gate (when Rachael Flatt declined to withdraw from Worlds even though she was injured) so long and loud that eventually the USFSA was bullied into saying that they had "fined" Rachael. (I doubt the USFSA did anything of the kind, but the press must be mollified.) To me, its all good.

  3. #108
    Yulia and Ruslena team forever! Alba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by papa View Post
    Would you express yourself publicly: "Nazi Germany is my favorite period in history"?
    C'mon papa. The subject here is the historical periods, not our favorite food, piece of music, or painting.

    gotoschool clearly meant the Russian revolution is his/her "favorite period in history" to read about. That he/she is most interested. You have to put things into a context.

    Plus, he/she might not even be a native english.

    In italian you may very well say "I prefer" or "I like most", in order to indicate that this or that period in hisotry, is the one you're most interested about. That fascinates you.

    p.s. we're going way out of topic.

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    Mathman, correct me if I'm wrong, but nowhere in my posts have I accused Mr. Hersh of being a shoddy journalist in everything he does. Nowhere have I made judgements about his character--I do not know him, and it would be wrong of me to do so. I simply said that this particular article was poorly written, does not bring any worthwhile points to the table, and does not show the thought, attention, and nuance that I expect from a professional journalist. Perhaps Hersh's other articles do show those admirable qualities. I don't claim to be an expert on Hershkology. And I trust you, Mathman, so I will take your word that he has done good work.

    However, having done good journalism in the past does not excuse him from having to continue to put out quality material. And in my opinion, this particular piece isn't anywhere near what I'd call a good article. I'm glad he took Ms. Kirk to task for writing an uninformed article about Sasha, but that doesn't give him a free pass to write subpar articles himself.

    You don't need to convince me that he loves figure skating, or that he has skaters he likes. I suspect he must have strong feelings on the sport to keep writing about it, be it love or hate or both. And frankly, I don't care a whole lot if he loves or hates figure skating/Michelle Kwan/IJS. I care if he makes a good case for his likes and dislikes. This particular article didn't contain decent enough arguments to form a good final product. That is my opinion.

  5. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by gotoschool View Post
    the Russian Revolution is one of my favorite periods of history.
    My great-great grandparents were executed in the revolution. Fascinating, terrifying, good, bad, I can think of lots of words to describe it but I don't think "favorite" is a good choice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ven View Post
    My great-great grandparents were executed in the revolution. Fascinating, terrifying, good, bad, I can think of lots of words to describe it but I don't think "favorite" is a good choice.
    I apologize for offending you or anyone else with my wording about the Russian Revolution. I am truly sorry. I shouldn't have mentioned it all on a skating forum. The period fascinates me as a great tragedy. It is very heartbreaking to me.

  7. #112
    Yulia and Ruslena team forever! Alba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ven View Post
    My great-great grandparents were executed in the revolution. Fascinating, terrifying, good, bad, I can think of lots of words to describe it but I don't think "favorite" is a good choice.
    I'm sorry, but you are completely changing the meaning here and have completely misunderstood.
    He/she was not describing that period as the favorite. He/she was referring to that historical period as a favorite case study.

  8. #113
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    I will say that I see good and bad in Mr. Hersh. I appreciate that he writes about figure skating. I often agree with his assessments. Other times, I feel like he roots for the US skaters and puffs them up a bit overmuch. (For example, he seemed way too eager to believe that Evan Lysacek would really make a comeback this past season - almost seemed like a misrepresentation to me.)

    I have to say that I do think Mr. Hersh is a bit angry at the IOC/Olympics. He seems quite embittered that Chicago did not win the 2016 Games. I even sort of understand this. What an opportunity of a lifetime that would have been for him, an Olympic sports journalist with an Olympics in his home city. Since that time though, he has gone quite negative on the Olympics. He published multiple articles quite negative about how Russia should not have gotten the Olympics. He's entitled to that feeling but it seemed a bit extreme in my opinion. More recently, he called for Rio to be stripped of the 2016 Games because they had fallen behind on preparation for a few sites. I think that was way overblown and came off as sour grapes about the Chicago 2016 bid.

    Anyway, I have been critical of Hersh, but I do think his writing has some merits. I do strongly prefer his articles for the Tribune to his blog posts. And he also is pretty nice to interact with on Twitter.

  9. #114
    Kisdom Title TMC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alba View Post
    I'm sorry, but you are completely changing the meaning here and have completely misunderstood.
    He/she was not describing that period as the favorite. He/she was referring to that historical period as a favorite case study.


    Did you all really think that people wanted to express in this thread just randomly that they thought "Nazi Germany was great" or "I really loved how the Russian revolution played out"???

    Benefit of doubt. Let's keep in mind English is not the 1st or even 2nd or 3rd language of many of us. Please try to err on the side of "perhaps they meant period to study/were most interested in" instead of immediately jumping to the conclusion that one of our forum buddies is a card-carrying blood-thirsty Nazi-Communist (pls sense the sarcasm in what I just wrote, too).

    I enjoy reading about WWs 1 and 2 and I'm fascinated by the history of the Russian revolution.

    I'm a pacifist through and through. I hate war and I hate genocide and I hate it when people kill each other (whether they are forced to or do it because they want to), especially for political and religious reasons and in organised conflicts between states or within an independent country. Regardless, war and conflict fascinate me because I'm interested in what drives nations and people to war. What is the psychology behind it? At one point, when I had to choose a topic for my doctorate thesis, I narrowed my choices to two and one of them was something like "War in literature: a comparison of American and Finnish WW2 literature" (from a translators viewpoint). In the end I chose the other one, because I was even more interested in semiotics and because I realised that all the years of reading books on the history of war would probably distract me from the actual topic of translation choices into musings on military history

    So, you can have a favourite period in history but still not condone what went on during that period. Many people love the medieval times but few of them think it was cool to burn women alive for witches because they sold you some willow bark and it didn't work on your migraine at all

  10. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandpiper View Post
    While I agree with you in the sense that Mr. Hersh, of course, can do whatever he wants, there is a fundamental difference between his grumbling and our grumbling: He's a paid, professional journalist, and it's reasonable to expect better arguments from him than random posters on a forum. That some people here, both for and against him, have made better arguments than Mr. Hersh himself doesn't speak too well about his journalism, imo.
    Sports journalism, particular when it comes to column writing, is a different world than investigative reporting for the Washington Post. In one of our state's largest newspapers this morning, a sports columnist wrote a piece about the facial expressions and demeanor of a coach at a public event yesterday. He uses this brilliant analysis to make predictions about how the coach's team will fare in its upcoming season and to psycho-analyze the coach and his staff. His research consisted of looking at some photos of the event.

    I personally know someone who now writes a column during football season for that state's second largest newspaper. The paper no longer pays to send him to every away game so he writes based on watching on television with his friends. Usually while drinking and socializing. His expertise on football is based on absolutely nothing, yet he regularly writes about what the coaches are doing wrong. This is all just fine with his employers.

    Bottom line: there is little professionalism and very little journalism in that career field. The columnists around here (in a college football obsessed area) are basically over grown fanboys. Hersch is no different than any other sports columnist in the country and that is the fault of editors who don't give a crap about the quality on the sports page because they know it will be read no matter what.

  11. #116
    Size 7 Knife Boots Sam-Skwantch's Avatar
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    I thought Gotoschool was simply referring to the "Russian Revolution" of ladies figure skaters currently underway. It is one of my favorite time periods for sure

  12. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam-Skwantch View Post
    I thought Gotoschool was simply referring to the "Russian Revolution" of ladies figure skaters currently underway. It is one of my favorite time periods for sure

    I call it "Rise of Russian Empire" though.

  13. #118
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam-Skwantch View Post
    I thought Gotoschool was simply referring to the "Russian Revolution" of ladies figure skaters currently underway. It is one of my favorite time periods for sure


    Or do you mean it is one of your favorite time periods to study?

  14. #119
    Size 7 Knife Boots Sam-Skwantch's Avatar
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    Do you mean am I taking notes? Yes. I need to be more prepared for the next "evaluate <insert name>'s step sequence" thread in the future so I don't run it of topic again. I'm taking names too if necassary

  15. #120
    Yulia and Ruslena team forever! Alba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TMC View Post
    Many people love the medieval times but few of them think it was cool to burn women alive for witches because they sold you some willow bark and it didn't work on your migraine at all


    Quote Originally Posted by louisa05 View Post
    Bottom line: there is little professionalism and very little journalism in that career field. The columnists around here (in a college football obsessed area) are basically over grown fanboys. Hersch is no different than any other sports columnist in the country and that is the fault of editors who don't give a crap about the quality on the sports page because they know it will be read no matter what.
    Same here, and in England (which I follow). "The world is a village" I guess.

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