I'd go on a limb here, and predict, that just like in the two past years, this season is also going to be a "season of Sasha Cohen," with her making a podium at every competition she's in, and dominating the ISU charts and COP-ruled events. Personally, I find assertions, that only World (or Nationals) title count for something, to be very "Christine Brennan-ish," and simply dishonest. There are numerous beloved skaters, that haven't won 1/2 of what SC have managed to win thus far, and they're considered an accomplished athletes. Should Sasha win couples of "biggies,"- that should be an icing on the cake, but even without it, she's currently #1 skating lady on the international arena. And to the notion that skaters don't care much for how they perform at Pro/Ams, and smaller events -- someone needs to tell it to Michelle Kwan, who've decided to skip her only sister's wedding in Italy, so that she can stay home and train for the winter cheesefest.
I don't think most of mean spiritedness towards Sasha comes from the media, or have anything to do with being "hyped" by the media (after all, we don't see Jenny Kirk, who've got a plenty of positive press coverage in the past year, but failed to make the US "A" team at the end, receive the same treatment), but mostly the product of activity of some anti-fans, who's negativity usually masked by being "defensive" towards some other skater, who was supposedly put down by known Sashafan (like Skatepixie, who haven't left an input on this thread, but who's been attacked by name couple of times nevertheless). So supposedly, it's a misconduct of some teenager, like Skatepixie, who can cheer for Sasha with "go ahead, and kick so-and-so's butt" (made during last season's SA), that inspires numerous self-proclaimed adults to come up with venomous remarks, made ad naseum at every mention of SC's name.