Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Bloggers - Being Respectful?

Aaron from Axels, Loops and Spins wrote a great post about the snarking and bashing that happens on a lot of figure skating forums. But what about it coming from actual bloggers themselves? Phil Hersh has long been attacked for his Chicago Tribune articles, but I felt this one really took the biscuit. He did a question and answer session (of questions he made up himself!) Notable quotations include:

"Czisny and Kostner would clean so much of the ice with their bottoms the resurfacing job would be much easier."

"Yuna Kim could stand still for four minutes, and she still would deserve higher component scores than Rochette at her best."

"There is everything to like about Belbin-Agosto and Davis-White as people and performers. And performers is the key thing, because that is all ice dance is about. It's all in the eye of the beholder -- great entertainment, archly camp at times, incredibly hard to do well...and no more a sport than ballet."

Now, I don't know about you, but as a blogger I would never say things like that about skaters. People might argue about how high Rochette's PCS scores are, but to say that about her is clearly not true, and Hersh knows that - in his attempts to make an entertaining, controversial blog post he is merely putting down skaters who do not deserve criticism like that. Bloggers are allowed to question, of course they are, that's our job. But flat out put skaters down? I think not.

Furthermore, I'm not a professional blogger; I get no money for this, I just do it for fun! But Hersh is EMPLOYED by the Chicago Tribune, as well as other publications to write about skating, and so has an obligation to write fairly and honestly, I feel. I hardly have to mention how his writing skills are not reflective of his professional blogging position; at one point he says Rochette got Level 2s "on all three of her four spins".

I should add, this is not a personal attack on Hersh. I don't mean this in an offensive way, as I am merely questioning his post and opinions. He has some good points in his post as well, and attempts to apologise to Jenny Kirk after criticising a very excellent post she made about Cohen's Grand Prix withdrawals (with limited success!)

Do you agree with what I'm saying about Hersh's post? Judging by the comments at the bottom of his article, many others are outraged/exasperated/amused at his post. Or do you think this post is just giving him a wider audience, and catering to his controversial style of blogging?