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REPORTER RESPONDS TO BAN BY FIGURE SKATING ASSOCIATION
Published April 17, 1996
Washington Post reporter Christine Brennan said she is "shocked" by the actions of the U.S. Figure Skating Association, which has decided to revoke Brennan's credentials citing a belief that Brennan, author of a provocative book on the sport, is no longer "impartial." Brennan told the WASHINGTON POST's Howard Kurtz: "They have such popularity, up in the stratosphere of sports, but they do not understand what we as reporters do. If you go to any figure skating event, there are dozens of people writing columns with some kind of opinion. It's a subjective sport that requires analysis." George Solomon, the Post's Sports Editor, said USFSA Exec Dir Jerry Lace told him in a phone conversation that he would reconsider the move. Solomon: "She wrote a book, and there's a point of view in the book, and she appears on radio and television a lot. ... [But] at no time has she ever shown any unprofessionalism." USFSA spokesperson Heather Linhart could not describe specific offenses, but said officials "felt some of her coverage has not been impartial." Neither Lace nor USFSA President Morry Stillwell was available for comment. However, Solomon said Lace acknowledged to him that he had trouble with Brennan's reporting or commentary in a few areas, namely a quote on an ABC "PrimeTime" segment on skater Randy Galindo and a piece on 13-year-old skater Tara Lipinski (WASHINGTON POST, 4/17). CIRCLING THE WAGS: Detroit Free Press reporter Michelle Kaufman, on the USFSA: "It's a huge mistake on their part, and it's going to blow up in their face." Chicago Tribune reporter Philip Hersh: "It's the stupidest thing they could ever do." USOC spokesperson Mike Moran: "Christine Brennan has covered the Olympic movement for a while, and she has been nothing but the consummate professional" (Howard Kurtz, WASHINGTON POST, 4/17).