If you don’t follow figure skating you are probably wondering what the heck is Ice Network. Here is how Wikipedia describes it..
“In 2005, U.S. Figure Skating partnered with MLB Advanced Media to set up Ice Network, LLC. Ice Network, LLC is a wholly owned by U.S. Figure Skating. Subscribers to icenetwork.com have access to a wide variety of live and on-demand figure skating competitions, as well as results, photographs, athletes’ biographies, and other on-line, multimedia material.”
Basically it is the media arm of the US figure skating federation. I would call it the propaganda arm but more on that later. It was created I suppose with the intention of marketing US skaters, making money by selling access to skating broadcasts, and improving the popularity of skating in America.
Has it really achieved any of those goals? Figure skating in America has continually gone down in popularity and why would anyone want to pay to watch figure skating in 2016 when they can easily find video feeds from Russia and other countries where events are broadcast for free?
Ice Network has essentially devolved into a vehicle that gives a voice to the most Russophobic people in the industry. This has happened, as I explained in my last article, because these people have been worked up with lies about homosexuality in Russia and they are increasingly insecure over the growing talent gap with Russian.
Its one thing for a Russophobe like Christine Brennan to spew her hatred and misinformation of Russia in USA Today, but this is a sports federation doing it. Ice Network is the US figure skating federation. Its one in the same. So by doing this it becomes the de facto official position of the US figure skating federation. This is very troubling of course. Should a sports federation be engaging in this type of behavior?
Lets look at a recent example. Ice Network is pushing hard the allegations of Russian athletes on steroids at Sochi. Something that there is no proof of and is just allegations by discredited people being paid to lie. Its simply just another chapter in the Western elites hybrid war that they have sadly included sports in.
Ice Network is a figure skating organizations so them heavily promoting this on their social media shows they are trying to imply that Russian skaters were on steroids, I guess? Not only is that completely false, it is absurd to think string bean skaters are on a muscle building drug.
Is it the job of the US figure skating federation to be pushing allegations with no proof against another country to try to discredit their athletes? This is pure defamation and misinformation.
Imagine if the Russian figure skating federation put out a bunch of Tweets about Lance Armstrong. Someone that actually did dope. Not only would this be tacky, it has zero relevance to figure skating.
If the Russian figure skating federation promoted a bunch of unfounded allegations about US athletes it would be roundly criticized. Yet this is what US skating is doing.
Ice Network also of course strongly pushed the Meldonium political gambit. Meldonium is an over the counter glorified vitamin that is popular in Eastern Europe that was banned for political reasons a few months ago. WADA which is controlled by the US government and run by Canadian hatchet men devised a plan to ban this in such a way that it would stitch up Russian athletes.
Responsible journalists here should have stood up and stated the obvious that this is not a PED and how it was banned reeks of a political agenda. Instead every Russophobe ran with the story as hard and fast as they could with no scrutiny whatsoever to label Russian athletes as dopers.
As we have now seen WADA was forced to admit they didn’t have data of how long traces of it lasts in a persons system and had to rescind suspensions of people whos trace amount was under a certain threshold.
One of these people who was exonerated was the ice dancer Ekaterina Bobrova. When the story broke Ice Network ran with the story and put out tweet after tweet about it. And Ice Network columnist, known Russphobe Phil Hersh who joined their staff recently, went on and on about how she is a doper and cheat.
When Bobrova was exonerated all Ice Network did was retweet a tweet from another person that said “The ISU has lifted it’s provisional suspension of Ekaterina Bobrova:”. Obviously not the effort and fanfare they put into trying to defame her and ruin her career.
Lets move onto another topic. The misinformation on homosexuality in Russia that Ice Network puts out. Heres an example. When Adam Rippon came out of the closet Ice Network did a big article with the usual bashing Russia. Here is a quote.
“In the interview, Rosewater asked Wagner about her outspoken stance on gay rights and the treatment of homosexuals in Russia before and during the Sochi Olympic Winter Games. Rippon said he had thought about coming out before Sochi but decided against it. Considered a contender for the U.S. team, he finished a disappointing eighth at the 2014 U.S. Championships
‘We all didn’t know what we would be facing when we got there,’ he told icenetwork about the build up to Sochi. ‘Nobody really knew what was going to happen. Like, if you were openly gay, would you be arrested once you stepped off the plane? Would I be putting my teammates in danger? For me, it was about focusing on how I was trying to go to the Olympics.
‘It was such a big deal heading into Sochi that it would have been incredibly distracting because of what was going on there at the time. I was focused on my skating. Would I have said something when I was there had I made it? Honestly, I just don’t know.'”
I don’t even know where to begin with this. For one thing homosexuality is not illegal in Russia. This whole issue was nothing but ridiculous propaganda by the Western establishment in a plan to try to taint the Olympics.
Openly gay athletes like Brittney Griner play in Russia. Musicians like Adam Lambert and Elton John play in Russia. Russian reality shows have hosts and judges that are known to be gay. All Russia has is a simple law that is strongly supported that says don’t propagandize non traditional sex to children. And even that just caries a tiny fine.
How on Earth Adam Rippon and by association Ice Network/US Figure Skating can parlay that into absurd statements about being arrested as he stepped off the plane?
Also consider that one of Adam Rippon’s friends and former teammates, the very openly gay Johnny Weir, spends much of his time in Russia.
Adam Rippon and US figure skating knows this is all BS but these type of liberals are obsessed with attacking anything deemed an obstacle to the Neoleft social agenda. The same way North Carolina is being endlessy bashed for passing a law against genderless bathrooms in public buildings.
Adam Rippon competed at the Rostelecom Cup in Moscow this past Winter. I guess to his surprise, he wasn’t arrested.
I could go on and on and post more examples and detail how Ice Network is purposely giving a voice to the most Russophobic people in the industry. They even have a columnist that has a Russian sounding name to give the impression that hes a Russian but the guy is actually a major Russophobe from Montenegro.
Ultimately the question is, is Ice Network really serving any legitimate purpose anymore? In my opinion no.
The “journalists” and bloggers they feature already have their own jobs and websites. Its just the usual small clique that controls the narrative of US skating. They aren’t going to write anything against the grain and even if they wanted to, do you think the US skating federation would allow criticism of US skating on a site they own? There is no need to go to Ice Network to see these peoples articles.
As far as broadcasting, the various Grand Prix events should be broadcast live for free on a channel such as ESPN3 or something. And the various small domestic events that Ice Network broadcasts should be streamed on Youtube.
The main source of information on skaters and their history these days is Wikipedia. So theres no need to go to Ice Network to see a skaters information and results history. And this information could just be put on the regular US fed website.
It seems that the only functions Ice Network is really serving these days is to be major homers for US skating and delude the public of what the health of US skating really is, to give a platform for Russophobes in the industry to demonize Russia, and to push the far left social agenda in skating as hard as possible.
Quite frankly Ice Network should be closed and US skating would be better off. Figure skating in this country needs to become more inclusive and more available to draw in more people to the sport.