Subj: Re: Christine Brennan (Please tell me!)
[Note: if this shows up multiple times, I apologize. I still can't fix the
long post modem problems. Love that AOL. - Peg]
Many people object to all of her [Christine Brennan's] inaccuracies!!!
She often changes facts around to support her own theories, and other times is
just plain wrong. I think a lot of people worry that readers of the books will
believe these untruths, and it will reflect badly on the sport and/or the
Please quote untruths and their corrections. Thanks.
Well, my favorite example (in Inside Edge) is the one about Katarina
Witt's blade falling off when she did a triple toe (because the toe pick stuck
in the ice) which caused her "to land on what amounted to little more than a
The problem with this scenario is that Katarina picks with her LEFT foot
and lands on her RIGHT foot when doing a triple toe loop. If the toe pick
stuck on the ice then the blade would have fallen off her LEFT foot, but she
still would have had a blade to land on on her RIGHT foot
> . I actually asked Brennan about this at a book signing, and her
answer was that Katarina didn' t do her triple toe like all other skaters
because she was East German, and she picked with her RIGHT foot and landed on
her RIGHT foot.......when I said that this would make it a triple flip (which
Katarina has never done as a pro and rarely as an amateur), Brennan answered
that it would be a triple toe in East Germany!!!!................ (oh really?)
LOL! Now *that's* a wonderful example. Thank you. "It would be a triple toe in
East Germany?!" What's wrong with saying, "my stupid editor screwed it up"
(since we all know that editors are the scapegoats for all writers, right
Seriously, though... Brennan's first book was full of lesser quality writing.
I think her second book is much better, and should not be as easily dismissed.
She should have admitted her mistake to you at the autograph session unless
she *is* seriously misinformed by a source she considers to be more reliable
than that of a skating fan who knows the difference between a flip and a toe
loop... in which case she *really* needs to lose that "more reliable source,"
because it's wrong.
> In Edge of Glory, she mentions that Linda Leaver introduced Slavka
Kahout (Dick Button's ex-wife and Janet Lynn's choreographer) to Lori Nichol,
Michelle Kwan's choreographer at Nationals this year. Brennan then says that
Kahout doesn't choreograph as well anymore because "she is older", but forgets
that Kahout did two beautiful programs for Shepard Clark at Nationals this
year, which earned him his first medal.
> Brian Boitano and*** Button both mentioned Kahout as choreographer of
these programs on the broadcast, but Brennan obviously didn't know this or
didn't care enough to be accurate.
Well, Shep wasn't in the book, was he? I imagine she only viewed the tape of
the skaters she was writing about. Truth be told, I don't remember the
televised remarks about his choreography, either, but I believe you, and agree
that it is sloppy writing if Brennan implied that Kohout was no longer
choreographing. But let's examine the book for clarification, shall we? p.351
Boitano and Leaver smiled, but they didn't say a word.
They couldn't take their eyes off Nichol and Kohout, whom Janet Lynn
Salomon calls "the person who taught me everything I knew."
Nichol and Kohout talked for only a few more moments.
"I'm getting old," Kohout said in the lobby. "My choreography is not so
Now, it seems to me that Brennan is reporting what *Kohout* said about
herself, rather than passing judgement about Kohout's choreography. Perhaps I
am misinterpreting that passage, but I really don't think this is a good
example of an untruth written by Brennan in her second (and infinitely better)
> A friend of mine actually started going through Inside Edge looking for
errors and distorted truths and found over 50 in the first 75 pages.
No argument that the first book was less well written than the second, but I'd
love to see the errata your friend compliled. <g> I recall quite a few
regarding the Harding/Gillooly fiasco in 1994.
> Another example....in Edge of Glory, she says Michael Weiss should have
had the first quad count at Nationals even though he did slightly two-foot
it...she quotes*** Button as saying, So What..it was a great effort!!
Now, to me, this passage in Edge of Glory (the second book, p.29-36) clearly
reported all sides of the near-landing of the quad at 1997 Nationals. It
described the Weiss camp POV, the reporters' POV, the USFSA's POV (the judging
situation - no replay so high marks, the record book situation - replay showed
two-foot so not officially a quad), as well as Button's POV and why he would
say "who cares," since he has been given credit for first landings of jumps
that were (by his own admission) not precisely clean. But not once does
Brennan herself say or imply her feelings on the matter of whether or not
Weiss' quad *should* have been officially recognized. (On p.45 she described
the LP in question from the POV of an unaided audience eye, which saw only one
apparent flaw - perhaps that passage was what gave the impression that she
felt it was clean and should count?)
> Well, if slight two-foots were to be forgiven, then Brian Boitano would
have had the first quad at Worlds in l988, and Michael wouldn't have been in
the running. But Brennan probably wasn't aware that Boitano landed a quad toe
with only a very slight two-foot (similar to Weiss) at that Worlds....do you
count this as an inaccuracy or just ignorance?
I count this - telling the reader how Weiss, his camp, the commentators, the
press and the governing body's rep reacted to and spoke about his near-quad at
1997 Nationals - as reporting all sides of an event, neither inaccurate not
Thanks for the examples. I do appreciate the trouble. <g>