Helene

Sergei Filin Attacked

653 posts in this topic

I think there's a difference between an injury with a potential comeback to the stage and disfigurement and the threat of blindness.

Share this post


Link to post

As widely reported on Russian media, Tsiskaridze already underwent his 'grilling' with Russian police last Thursday. He is fine (physical and mental-health wise). Of course, results of polygraph not known. Investigation still unfolding.

I agree with Helene -- Filin's strength and capacity for forgiveness are awe-inspiring.

Share this post


Link to post

Natalia, it seems to me that Tsiskaridze is paying a very high price for his previous outspokeness, with the media all but identifying him as prime suspect, whereas anyone with even a superficial knowledge of the Russian ballet scene would be aware there are far more 'interesting' avenues to explore.

Share this post


Link to post

Absolutely, Mashinka. This investigation has many paths - many 'persons of interest.'

Share this post


Link to post

I think there's a difference between an injury with a potential comeback to the stage and disfigurement and the threat of blindness.

I have to say that it's the attack on his eyes that just turns my blood cold. Human beings have 5 senses, but I think that in the contemporary world we depend on our vision far more than anything else.

Share this post


Link to post

Particularly in that he works in a visual art. (then again, Beethoven went deaf, but still)

Share this post


Link to post

Quote: “I can't help thinking he'd have collapsed under such an attack, as would most others.”

I agree about “most others” but will NOT make a baseless personal allegation about someone’s weakness in the face of disaster. People can be judged by what they have done and not by what we presume they would have done.

It doesn’t help that our discussions are usually based on reports in newspapers, which are often inaccurate, biased, irresponsible or superficial. One of the types of editorial bias is sensationalism aimed at the increase of readership. Unfortunately, it was very much in evidence when most of Russian papers reported the event we are discussing here.

Just one example: “Komsomolskaya Pravda” newspaper had a huge headline yesterday: ‘Nikolai Tsiskaridze will be tested on lie-detector in connection with the attack on Sergei Filin.’ Only much further down, in the middle of this article, one could read the police’s actual words : ‘We intend to test a number of witnesses on a lie-detector.’

For the paper’s journalists these words were not good enough. They were not interested in the witnesses’ list. They picked a household name in Russia, Tsiskaridze, threw it into the headline in huge script - and the sensation was born.

Unfortunately, similar presumptuous approach was taken by some British journalists too.

Share this post


Link to post

Oh ouch!

"It doesn’t help that our discussions are usually based on reports in newspapers, which are often inaccurate, biased, irresponsible or superficial."

As a journalist, I'm afraid that you're practicing a little of the sensationalism you are accusing my colleagues of. Some coverage of the attack on Filin and the subsequent events (his treatment, the official and unofficial investigations, etc) has been highly emotional and speculative -- some of it has been based on fact, and the analysis has been more thoughtful. The more sources you read, the more you can discern among them, and then you make choices.

I have to say that I appreciate the BA policy of only quoting from news reports and other 'official' sources -- there are certainly examples of selective reporting like that you highlight in your post, but in general I think this gives our conversations here a stronger basis in fact than otherwise.

Share this post


Link to post

I do think that regular journalism has become more biased in my lifetime. Even news anchors used to seem objective (trying mainly to report facts), but now they put in their opinions while reporting the news which is something they didn't do (I don't think....I don't remember that) when I was a child. I think they found that sensation and opinions sell (more people watch and more people read).

With that said I have to admit that I read Perez Hilton but I take it with a grain of salt, and if his site makes a mistake it corrects it later or gives an update for more info, so as sensationalistic as it is, it doesn't mislead as much as you would think.

I have also noticed that Huffington Post is much more sensationalistic than it used to be. Now some of the headlines are silly and when you read the actual news item, you see how the headline was really blown out of proportion.

I guess this is the way of the world....

Share this post


Link to post

There are very good reasons besides sensationalism for making Tsiskaridze a headliner: besides his performing career, he is a TV personality, and he is also the most well-known outspoken critic of the current (and recent past) administrations, who was outed recently for manipulating other well-known artists to sign what was to be a secret petition to oust the current administration. It's pretty basic to review those who have shown a proclivity to act against someone who's been attacked, especially when their attacks are public, if only to eliminate them as suspects and remove them as a distraction from the investigation and counter any suggestion of a cover-up.

One thing reports have made clear is that there has been infighting for a number of years and no small number of enemies of the administrations past Grigorovich.

Much of what the majority of posters on this board have been reading has been reports from the British mainstream press or the New York Times, much written by respected dance critics, and some of us have followed the news on Al Jazeera.

Share this post


Link to post

Quote: ‘I'm afraid that you're practicing a little of the sensationalism you are accusing my colleagues of.’

There is nothing sensational in pointing at journalists’ imperfections, sandik. We notice them every day.

Quote: ‘Much of what the majority of posters on this board have been reading has been reports from the British mainstream press or the New York Times, much written by respected dance critics…’

By comparing the Russian and Western press I could clearly see that the Western reports are mainly based on translation of the Russian reports and some have a lot of inaccuracies with the addition of personal opinion, which often lacks objectivity. Hence we have different opinion of their authors.

Quote: ‘There are very good reasons besides sensationalism for making Tsiskaridze a headliner.’

That’s right - but depending on what kind of headline. I thought that I gave a vivid example of a knavish and cruel headline.

Talking about the ‘proclivities’ I cannot believe that the outspoken critic who has been openly criticising the management for several years and is well known as a thorn in the Administration’s flesh will suddenly resort to criminal actions in a backstreet. Therefore, I wish the journalists showed some sensitivity and restrain.

Edited for typo.

Share this post


Link to post

Although I don't think Tsiskaridze is behind the attack, it's not unheard of for the most likely suspect to do something, using the logic that no one would believe he or she would risk doing it.

Share this post


Link to post

That’s right - but depending on what kind of headline. I thought that I gave a vivid example of a knavish and cruel headline.

Talking about the ‘proclivities’ I cannot believe that the outspoken critic who has been openly criticising the management for several years and is well known as a thorn in the Administration’s flesh will suddenly resort to criminal actions in a backstreet. Therefore, I wish the journalists showed some sensitivity and restrain.

Edited for typo.

If that's your idea of knavish and cruel, solo, then wait and see what happens when and if Tsiskaridze finds himself in the sights of a really sensationally-minded publication....

True, it wouldn't make a lot of sense for Tsiskaridze to have taken part in this crime, given the recent history, but it also didn't make a lot of sense for him to neglect to condemn the attack in its immediate aftermath without so much as a pro-forma "Gosh, I hope he feels better" or to say the attack was probably connected to personal problems and not company politics, a strikingly contrarian stance. Perhaps he felt secure enough in his innocence to avoid any sentimental efforts at humanity or sensitivity, or maybe his boyhood ambition was to be a prime suspect. Beats me. But it doesn't look great.

Share this post


Link to post

I do think that regular journalism has become more biased in my lifetime. Even news anchors used to seem objective (trying mainly to report facts), but now they put in their opinions while reporting the news which is something they didn't do (I don't think....I don't remember that) when I was a child. I think they found that sensation and opinions sell (more people watch and more people read).

There is more room made for opinion journalism now than in the recent past, of all sorts. The best of it makes its editorial positions clear, so that we can sort out fact from commentary, but the ever-increasing amount of coverage sometimes makes it hard to keep track of a developing story.

One of the fascinating things about this story is the multiple populations that are following it -- we don't often see a dance story break into the general news stream, much less to the more sensational publications.

I have also noticed that Huffington Post is much more sensationalistic than it used to be. Now some of the headlines are silly and when you read the actual news item, you see how the headline was really blown out of proportion.

The Huffington Post has become so large so quickly that I think they've outgrown their original editorial model -- I don't know anything about the inner workings of the website, but it's morphed into a real behemoth.

Share this post


Link to post

Quote: ‘Much of what the majority of posters on this board have been reading has been reports from the British mainstream press or the New York Times, much written by respected dance critics…’

By comparing the Russian and Western press I could clearly see that the Western reports are mainly based on translation of the Russian reports and some have a lot of inaccuracies with the addition of personal opinion, which often lacks objectivity. Hence we have different opinion of their authors.

The immediacy of the current news cycle does point out a weakness here, when we're trying to cover a breaking story using sources in translation.

Quote: ‘There are very good reasons besides sensationalism for making Tsiskaridze a headliner.’

That’s right - but depending on what kind of headline. I thought that I gave a vivid example of a knavish and cruel headline.

While the head that you quoted was probably chosen because it dealt with the most dramatic aspect of that article, I don't really think I'd call it knavish or cruel. It was, strictly, factual -- I think the worst you can say of it was that it might be considered incomplete.

Share this post


Link to post

One of the fascinating things about this story is the multiple populations that are following it -- we don't often see a dance story break into the general news stream, much less to the more sensational publications.

Oh my gosh, yes, the last time I can remember that ballet remained in the press for this long in North America was when Baryshnikov defected. (I don't include the movie "Black Swan.") With the Internet, it's gone as close to viral as it gets for dance, and I can't believe how many people have watched at least part of Filin's video interview. Almost everyone non-ballet person I've spoken to since the attack has asked me if I'd heard about it, and many have been full of questions.

Share this post


Link to post

The sensationalist interest in Tsiskaridze in the Russian press is, as Helene has noted, largely down to his high profile as a TV personality and I doubt if the name of any other dancer in Russia is anywhere near as well known. It is therefore not to be wondered at that he is attracting so much attention in Russia. However the UK press is something else and largely not to be trusted. I appreciate that this is an international forum and therefore the press scandals that have dominated the UK news for most of last year aren’t that widely known abroad, but for those who might be interested in furthering their knowledge of the innate corruption within the British press the Leveson Inquiry is a good place to start.

http://www.levesoninquiry.org.uk/

There is a malicious undertone to much of what has been written regarding Tsiskaridze in Britain in the past week and it has certainly disturbed members of the ballet going public that have read some very biased reporting. There is an organization called the Press Complaints Commission based in London but I don’t know if its jurisdiction stretches to complainants in other countries.

The nature of the attack against Filin is such that it doesn’t fit the usual criminal attacks profile where guns/knives/baseball bats are generally involved, so it is understandable that the police are looking for more personal grudges. Unpleasant as it is to say this, I can’t help thinking that if a professional hit man had been involved Filin’s injuries would have been far more serious. I’m reminded of the mad fan that stabbed a tennis player some years ago. I believe that particular lunatic acted unilaterally and I’ve a horrible feeling something like this may prove to be the motive behind this attack too.

Share this post


Link to post

And here is yet more of the same from today's Telegraph:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/theatre/dance/9835340/Anatoly-Iksanov-interview-Evil-has-entered-the-Bolshoi.html

Rubbish background reporting on the part of the journalist as it has been many years since Sergei Filin was married to Inna Petrova, if he had been reading other more reliable reports he would have known that.

What is so shocking about this is that Iksanov seems to be settling old scores here and is gleefully attacking Tsiskaridze for his outspokenness. I can't imagine the general administrator of any other arts organization giving an interview of this nature, even to a more reliable member of the press than this one.

Share this post


Link to post

One of the fascinating things about this story is the multiple populations that are following it -- we don't often see a dance story break into the general news stream, much less to the more sensational publications.

Oh my gosh, yes, the last time I can remember that ballet remained in the press for this long in North America was when Baryshnikov defected. (I don't include the movie "Black Swan.") With the Internet, it's gone as close to viral as it gets for dance, and I can't believe how many people have watched at least part of Filin's video interview. Almost everyone non-ballet person I've spoken to since the attack has asked me if I'd heard about it, and many have been full of questions.

I think the fact it was an acid attack makes it more gruesome to people in general, and so it becomes a bigger news story.

I don't know anything about football, but even I heard about the football player who said his mother and girlfriend died, when his girlfriend was only an internet hoax or something. That made news b/c it is odd and even I heard about it even though I do not watch sports. So anything out of the usual that makes news becomes bigger news than we would normally think. I actually worked at the same school as one of the infamous sex scandal teacher/student stories, and when the story broke, I said, "This is going to go national!" and a local journalist friend told me, "No, these things happen more often than you think. It will only be local." and he was wrong and I was right. The reason I thought this is because she was probably the most beautiful (unusual in these cases actually) teacher who ever did such a thing. In fact, her lawyer claimed she was too hot for jail!

So there are reasons that certain stories become household news items and why others stay within their little realm, I think. If there is a particular slant that the wider public finds fascinating it will break big.

Share this post


Link to post
Quote: ‘There are very good reasons besides sensationalism for making Tsiskaridze a headliner.’

That’s right - but depending on what kind of headline. I thought that I gave a vivid example of a knavish and cruel headline.

While the head that you quoted was probably chosen because it dealt with the most dramatic aspect of that article, I don't really think I'd call it knavish or cruel. It was, strictly, factual -- I think the worst you can say of it was that it might be considered incomplete.

Incomplete can be misleading, with consequences or collateral results, possibly intended or not.

Share this post


Link to post

I suppose Tsiskardze is a good one to look closely at if only because he likely is more aware of others who share his antagonistic sentiments than even Filin is. How often will someone express in private shared negative feelings that they keep quiet about otherwise? I imagine Tsiskardze knows a wider list of suspects than anyone else.

Share this post


Link to post

sulphuric acid, referred to in the past as "oil of vitriol", seems to have been the weapon of choice for those who truly wanted to destroy a person in every way. it features in the conan doyle sherlock holmes story entitled 'the adventure of the illustrious client'. just as a background. vitriol, indeed.

Share this post


Link to post

The Telegraph reports on Svetlana Lunkina leaving the company as well as on the attack on Filin:

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au-news-breaking.news.top.bolshoi-ballerina-flees-russia/story-e6freuz9-1226564663860

ONE of the Bolshoi ballet's best known ballerinas has fled Russia for Canada after receiving threats, it has emerged, as the chief of the troubled company prepares to leave for Germany to receive treatment for wounds sustained in an acid attack.

Svetlana Lunkina told the Izvestia daily she had taken leave from the theatre until the end of the season over troubles stemming from a business dispute over a film in which her husband was involved.

Izvestia said she had already been outside Russia for some six months and that there is no clear link between her problems and the acid attack this month on the Bolshoi ballet's artistic director Sergei Filin.

Nevertheless, the flight from Russia of such a high-profile figure underlines the tense atmosphere at the Bolshoi after the attack on Filin which the management has blamed on internal conflicts.

Lunkina said the threats were linked to a film project that her husband, the producer Vladislav Moskalyev, had been working on featuring the great Russian imperial ballerina Matilda Kshesinskaya.

Moskalyev was dropped from the project after he fell out with his business partner, who is now suing him for $US3.7 million ($A3.57 million).

The Bolshoi's spokeswoman Katerina Novikova confirmed to Izvestia that Lunkina had requested leave for the season and that the company had approved it.....Russia's chief eye doctor Vladimir Neroyev told the RIA Novosti news agency that Filin, an acclaimed former dancer, would be sent to a clinic in the German city of Aachen in about a week.

Share this post


Link to post

I suppose Tsiskardze is a good one to look closely at if only because he likely is more aware of others who share his antagonistic sentiments than even Filin is. How often will someone express in private shared negative feelings that they keep quiet about otherwise? I imagine Tsiskardze knows a wider list of suspects than anyone else.

This is a great point. People tend to be drawn to like minds, even when those minds are appalled by the people who agree with them.

Headliners tend to be included in headlines. Example after the 2002 Olympic Ladies figure skating competition: "American beats Michelle Kwan."

Share this post


Link to post

QUOTE: Incomplete can be misleading, with consequences or collateral results, possibly intended or not.

It is more than just misleading - it is leading here the wrong way by picking one person arbitrary and deliberately, for the sake of selling the paper.

Today they continued doing this. The Russian “Komsomolskaya Pravda” published an article, informing the readers that some

‘People’s and Honoured Artists, colleagues and friends of Filin are connected to the investigation as witnesses. They all, including Nikolai Tsiskaridze, refused to be tested on a lie-detector.’

Guess what the large-script headline is? Of course it says: “Tsiskaridze refused to be tested on a lie-detector in connection to an attack on Sergei Filin.’

http://ul.kp.ru/daily/26023/2943535/

Neither ‘People’s and Honoured Artists' no other 'colleagues and friends of Filin' are mentioned.

To qualify this kind of journalism as simply “incomplete” seems to be a gross understatement to me.

QUOTE: I imagine Tsiskardze knows a wider list of suspects than anyone else.

Perhaps, he know those who share his critical views. Are all critics - suspects?

Share this post


Link to post