Petitioning New York Times, Mr.Adam Lieb (2014/10/10/-)

October 10, 2014

Golden Yuna Facebook

Written by Paige Summers



Take Down the New York Times article, "How Sotnikova Beat Kim, Move By Move" and Make Official Corrections

뉴욕타임즈는 "How Sotnikova Beat Kim, Move By Move" 기사를 내리고 정정보도하라.


Petition by FigureSkating Justice


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We demand New York Times to take down the article , "How Sotnikova Beat Kim, Move By Move," and officially make corrections on the article on these grounds;


1. Composite Images

This is not a joke. This is beyond photoshopping. Photoshopping is what you do to polish images, not fabricate the truth. The problem with the images in the article is that the oh-so-bluntly-fraudulant images were MAINLY, and shamelessly, used to support Mr.Leib's analysis, which is supposed to be based on HIS EXPERTISE in figure skating as a technical specialist. It is very easy to manipulate people with pictures - anyone can give you a certain image and make you think a certain way. Obviously, if you see an image of a tall person, you will think the person is tall - regardless of the fact that the person is actually small but his height was vertically stretched to look tall by photoshop. But without having seen the real person, we will never know the truth. As one of the most renowned newspaper, it is surprising that New York Times would resort to this low trick to support their angle that the gold medalist was technically better. If NYT was using the images to prove this point, I expect NYT to have the least decency to actual images, with no tweaks. I'm even more disappointed with Mr. Leib who based his analysis on these images - he has the expertise in figure skating so his analysis should be derived from his knowledge on how the scoring works - and what qualities, besides the base scores of the planned elements in a program, award the skaters with more points - according to International Skating Union Guidelines on GoE (Grade of Execution) And, Mr Leib, fake images don't tell you those qualities...


2. Mr. Leib's Analysis - Fact vs Distorted information

1) 2A-3T vs 3S-2T
Fact: 3S-2T base value lower, 2A-3T second half bonus & higher GoE
Distored Information:
*Good jump height, distance, flow (from images) vs simple entry, low speed (from images) - yielded major difference
- First of all, 2A-3T & 3S-2T different kind of jumps - not suitable for quality comparison.
    ie) entry into 2A and 3S different. faulty logic comapring entry into 3S vs 2A
        Kim 3S-2T rocker turn transition +proper 3-turn entry vs Gold medalist 3S 3-turn entry - Kim simple entry?
        Yuna 2A-2T-2Lo (ina bauer) vs 2A-3T (no specific entry) - 2A-3T high GoE??
- jump images (photoshopped, scale difference to make 2A-3T higher & bigger)
- No explanation on how 2A-3T got high GoE vs 3S-2T lower GoE - based on ISU guideline (p.12)
- "Move by Move"? 2A-3T & 3S-2T were't the only jumping elements - What about other jumping elements? why no analysis? Yuna had higher score in 3Lz-3T and 3Lz vs 3Lo

2) Step Sequence (Footwork)
Fact: Kim level 3 vs Gold medalist level 4 - Kim base value lower
Distorted Information:
In this case, there is no analysis on how the gold medalist fulfilled the requirements for level 4 (Or why kim got level 3) (pg.8)
As a technical specialist, Mr. Leib should well know exactly which turns & steps were included in their step sequence - and if they satisfy level 3 or 4.

3) Spins
Fact: Layback spin Kim level 3 (no biellmann) vs level 4 gold medalist - Kim base value lower by 0.3 points
Distorted Information:
*gold medalist maintained speed and intensity, changed position with ease - scored higer
- again, there are more than one criteria for getting GoE (p.12)

- good control on centering on axis with speed (one of the criteria for GoE) - images show how sotnikova had less travelling from the centre axis - but you notice they used much less number of capture frames for the gold medalist to make it look like the gold medalist travelled less.


3. Others

There are other things that this article is missing

- analysis on technical calls; step sequence level, jump wrong edge & under-rotations etc. - as technical specialist, this is Mr. Lieb's expertise to be able to analyze whether the calls were made correctly. But no mention at all about this.

- Short program; the final mark consists of both short program and free program. No mention of short program at all

- No mention of Program Component Score (PCS) - which awards skating skills, interpretation, composition, choreography, performance, movement etc.


All in all, NYT should have written about facts + Authentic expert analysis

- Fact: the gold medalist base value higher in free program

            Kim had higher base value in short program

            Gold medalist had higher overall GoE points

            Step Sequence level 3 vs 4

            PCS nearly the same (In both short program & Free Program)

  - technical calls accurate?? (step sequence levels, wrong edge/under-rotation)

  - GoE awarded properly?? (according to the guideline?)

  - PCS?? how did the gold medalist receive high PCS? what requirements did she fulfill?


With NYT's reputation, many readers have already been manipulated by this article into thinking that the gold medalist was technically superior than the former Olympic champ and silver medalist, Yuna Kim. They gold medalist supporters refer back to this article as evidence that she was better - because "NYT is a credible source." The article is now wide spread and people are accepting the article as the truth.

As much as I was disappointed with the Sochi result, as much as I have bias of my own, I expect the least dignity and pride for delivering objective facts - journalistic intergrity - from NYT. How much longer do we have to fool ourselves by being ignorant and believing what NYT says just because NYT is a reputable source? How much longer will NYT keep up thier lies? NYT not only had misleading images and information on the article, but also defamed Yuna Kim while arguing their case against her - without any solid proof (Beside the images, it's just Mr. Lieb's words and even his " expert analysis" was based on those images).


Please sign this petition to bring back journalistic integrity so there are no more victims of reckless media reporting!!!