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  T   H   H  E
  T   H   H  EEEEE

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P   P O    O R   R   T   L      A A  NN  N D   D I  A A  NN  N
PPPP  O    O RRRR    T   L     AAAAA N N N D   D I AAAAA N N N
P     O    O R   R   T   L     A   A N  NN D   D I A   A N  NN
P      OOOO  R   R   T   LLLLL A   A N   N DDDD  I A   A N   N

The Portlandian, the Internet's premier source of Tonya News

April 20, 2000 Edition
(C) 2000 Portland Ice Skating Society

A fairly long issue today, as we've lots to catch up on since our 
last edition back in January.


As everyone will be aware by now, the past couple of months have 
not been good ones for Tonya, with yet another unfortunate 
incident threatening to derail Tonya's comeback which began so 
promisingly back in October.

To recap, on Tuesday, February 22, Tonya and her long-time beau 
Darren Silver returned to their home in Camas, Washington, after 
their regular session of video poker, and parked in a barn behind 
their house that is used as a garage. A blazing row then 
followed, the trigger for which has not been disclosed, during
which Darren was hit by a hubcap thrown by Tonya, and also 
punched by her. The police were called, and Tonya was arrested 
and charged with "4th degree misdemeanor domestic assault" or 
something similar, a charge that in spite of its innocuous 
sounding name could see Tonya going to jail - Washington 
apparently takes a hard line on domestic violence and Tonya faces 
a mandatory 90 days in the can if convicted.

Linda Lewis, Tonya's godmother, tells us that Tonya is very 
saddened by what has occurred. Obviously the possibility of a 
jail sentence is also a serious matter. But perhaps the worst 
result of this incident so far is that it has caused SFX to dump 
Tonya as a client a matter of weeks after it officially signed 
her. In a statement on the Blades on Ice website back in early 
March, Michael Rosenberg was quoted as saying "I parted company 
with Tonya Harding as of March 1 and I wish her well". Given that 
Michael seemed to be quite supportive of Tonya in an article by 
APB news published a few days earlier (see below), this comes as 
something of a surprise. The suddenness of this turnaround makes 
us suspect that this decision may have been forced by his bosses 
at SFX, rather than any personal feelings about Tonya. Whatever 
the story, Tonyaphiles owe Michael a debt of gratitude for at 
least trying to help Tonya when nobody else would.


Needless to say, the media have seized upon this incident as yet 
another example that "violent, trashy Tonya" has not really 
changed her ways. The fact is that thousands of other domestics, 
many much nastier than this, occur each day in the United States 
and are usually blissfully ignored by the press. But when Tonya 
is involved, they're on her like a pack of wolves, eager to show 
her in any negative way they can. This situation has not been 
helped by Silver spreading wild accusations such as "Tonya 
Harding Beat Me Black and Blue" (a headline in the "National 
Globe"). Whatever the original cause of the argument, these are 
not the actions of a gentleman. 

We say that there are two sides to every story - and as usual 
Tonya's side has largely been ignored by the mainstream media 
vultures, who never let boring things like facts get in the way 
of ratings or selling papers. One rare exception that we urge 
everybody to read is the following article, in which Michael 
Rosenberg tells what really happened:

To sum up, what occurred was this:

Tonya threw the hupcap at Silver's MOTORCYCLE, and did so only 
after being provoked by a long stream of verbal abuse from 
Silver. It hit him only because he tried to intercept it from 
damaging his pride and joy. An enraged Silver then pinned Tonya 
to the ground, and she was forced to smash him in the face ONCE 
(not several times as often reported) in order to get him off
her. Two witnesses who were in the garage at the time and who 
have supported Silver's version of events (he claims Tonya hit 
him several times and that he only grabbed her to protect 
himself) are Silver's boozing buddies and can hardly be relied 
upon to tell the truth.

Once again it seems Tonya has been let down by someone close to 
her. We must make sure that as her fans we don't do the same. You 
can help; you can leave messages of support on either our site or 
any of the many other Tonya web sites. You can defend Tonya in 
Usenet groups, bulletin boards and chat rooms wherever this 
subject is being discussed. Rosenberg's comments don't seem
to have been reported very widely. Please try to draw people's 
attention to this article when this subject comes up.

Let's not let Tonya down in her hour of crisis. Tonya is a 
heroine who should be commended for fighting back against 
domestic violence, not arrested on trumped up charges. We hope 
that the courts will be able to see through this pack of lies, 
concocted by yet another abusive loser who has betrayed Tonya's 
trust, and give her the justice that was denied her over the 
Kerrigan case.


Last issue, we reported how Tonya went for a skate of a rather 
unfortunate kind while driving her truck. Tonya has since sent us 
this statement thanking her fans for all their good wishes:

   Dear Fans:

   I want to thank all of you for your nice E-mails concerning    
   the accident I had a few weeks ago, while driving on my way to 
   teach at Lloyd Center rink. As you may have heard, I hit a 
   patch of black ice on the road, resulting in my truck flipping 
   over on its side. 

   I'm feeling much better, and am currently under doctors care. 
   I suffered no long lasting injures, and I will back skating 
   and teaching in the very near future. Thank you all so much 
   for your concern, and continued support. Your E-mails have 
   helped a lot. So please don't worry, I'm doing great!

   Love to all,



Court TV is screening a Tonya special on Tuesday 25th April at 
10pm Eastern as part of its "Crime Stories" series. Featuring an 
interview with Tonya that was shot last year, "Tonya Harding: Ice 
Follies" looks at the incident that destroyed Tonya's career and 
its impact on figure skating, and also includes interviews with 
Tonya's father, law enforcement officers who investigated the 
assault, Michael Rosenberg and others. Executive Producer Bonnie 
Dry has previously won two Emmys for documentaries, so hopefully 
this will be better than the usual sleazy "When Skaters Attack" 
type schlockumentary treatment that stations like Fox typically 
give to this subject. If you've access to Court TV, this might be 
worth a tape.

By the way, we've been informed that there were Tonya articles in 
International Figure Skating and Blades On Ice back in January 
that were apparently quite positive, so maybe there is some 
glimmer of hope that the skating media have moderated their 
attitude towards Tonya.


Tonya is selling her aqua skating dress that she wore the opening 
night in the Huntington competition. It will go to the highest 
bidder and a letter of authenticity will be included along with 
it. Bids can be submitted by email to, or by snail 
mail to P.O. Box 6132 Vancouver, WA, and will close at the end of 
the month. She's also selling a silk-screen collage print of 
herself for $2500. This was one of a limited edition of 60 
released by Portland artist Deforrest in November 1994, each one 
of which is different. Given that these were originally priced at 
$5000, this is a chance to pick up a unique collectable at a 
bargain price, plus help Tonya as well.

For those of us with more modest budgets, there are three new 
photos of Tonya available for only $10 each. This is a limited 
offer, so be quick. The photos can be viewed at:


Last issue we told how we had received material from former 
"Skater" editor Joe Haran relating to his time in the Tonya 
Harding Fan Club. In this issue he tells how he first became 
involved in the club and his activities as a Tonyaphile since 

December 4, 1999

The Portlandian
Portland Ice Skating Society
New Zealand

To whom it may concern:

Today is my first day of at-home internet access, so I was 
pleased to find a web site supportive of Tonya M. Harding. It was 
my pleasure to have been friends with Tonya from 1992 to 1994. I 
wish to pass along to you, via this letter, some information 
which may add to your knowledge of certain events and persons 
which impacted Tonya's life.

In 1992, after having been aware of Tonya's existence for about 
one year, I noticed that the journalistic media were treating her 
unfairly; and I wrote a few letters to the editor of The 
Oregonian and spoke on local sports-radio talk programs, in 
support of a more circumspect and fair view of Tonya by the 
journalistic media. While these puny efforts brought no change of 
heart to the "big shot" media, I did received a telephone call 
from Tonya: she thanked me for my efforts.

Later that year, I learned of Elaine Stamm's desire to form a fan 
club for Tonya; and I assisted Ms Stamm in founding The Tonya 
Harding Fan Club. We began a monthly publication titled The 
Skater; and I was its original editor. At the same time, I began 
attending Tonya's daily practices at Clackamas Town Center; and, 
although I knew little if anything about figure skating, I was 
greatly impressed with Tonya's obvious athletic genius. Also, I 
came to know Tonya as a person. I believe we were friends, 
although I'm aware that some revisionist history has occurred 
since those days; yet I cherish the experiences of that era, 
during which time Tonya befriended me on several occasions.

It was painful to witness the many disrespectful indignities 
Tonya regularly endured just in order to practice on her home 
ice: rather than being treated as the great champion she was, she 
was often treated with scorn by other skaters and by the "skating 
moms" who expressed chagrin over "all that talent being wasted on 
a person like Tonya." Well, I found that person Tonya to be a 
good-hearted and thoughtful friend who loved people. It must be 
said, in all fairness to those who may have on occasion 
misunderstood her, that she sometimes had difficulty in 
expressing agape and filial love; yet it was always clear to me 
that Tonya cared about others, especially those finding 
themselves in difficult situations.

There are three specific things regarding The Tonya Harding Fan 
Club of which I am proud: we erected a banner at her home ice 
("Home of Tonya Harding; U. S. National Champion, World Silver 
Medalist, Olympian"); we published The Skater, which I believe 
under my editorship said things that needed to be said; and we 
purchased a nebulizer for Tonya, so that she could experience 
greater relief from her chronic asthma. The fan club made every 
effort to help Tonya in any way it could. There came a time, 
however, when I felt my usefulness to the club - and perhaps to 
Tonya - had come to an end.

But prior to that sad time, there were many fun and good times: 
just being with Tonya was a blast, as she was a dynamo of action 
and energy; and she loved having a laugh and telling jokes. It 
was, of course, an honor and a great pleasure to watch her skate. 
And assisting her in meeting various challenges was extremely 
rewarding. On a more personal note, I must tell you that Tonya 
cared deeply about my situation: I was unable to work, so she 
brought me groceries; my car, before I had to sell it for rent 
money, developed bald tires (similar in appearance to my present-
day cranial hair) and Tonya bought me four replacements; I was in 
danger of becoming homeless, so she arranged for me to move in 
with her father; after I became car-less, Tonya gave me monthly 
bus passes; and on Christmas day of 1993, I was a guest in her 
home for supper (for which a large traditional meal she prepared; 
and which was delicious) and received from her presents of much-
needed new clothing.

Tonya was, in my mind, one of the best friends I'd ever had. But 
then the well-known difficulties of 1994 began to unfold. While 
Tonya fought for her career and her liberty, I ended up on 
several radio and television talk-programs and was interviewed by 
many journalists from this country and abroad. I did my best to 
call for a circumspect analysis of Tonya's situation, but my 
efforts were futile in the face of the overwhelming corporate-
media and justice system "feeding frenzy" attack upon her.

Later in 1994, I wrote a cover-story article for PDXS - a 
Portland-area "alternative" newspaper - describing some of the 
experiences I had with Tonya. Then, in January of 1995, I wrote 
another cover story for PDXS which was one of those "what's Tonya 
doing one year later" kind of things. There were, especially in 
the latter article, observations which may have angered Tonya 
(her choices of intimate partners); yet I was attempting to 
explain her actions to the public, to lay blame on "gold diggers" 
and away from Tonya herself. Both the above-mentioned editions 
were the most widely-circulated in PDXS's history; and the latter 
one-year-later article scooped this entire nation's journalistic 
media. The "big shot" media did their usual banal regurgitations 
of pack-mentality journalism and they presented nothing 
insightful in their reports.

Subsequently, while living at the USDVA Domiciliary at White City 
(near Medford, Oregon) in 1995-6, I addressed the North Medford 
chapter of the Rotary Club; and I told the audience about the 
various unethical practices employed by the media of 
communication in their Tonya-bashing campaigns. This little 
speech was well-received; and several people told me they also 
felt Tonya had been unfairly treated. Then, in December of 1997, 
I spoke before Humanists of Greater Portland (a chapter of the 
American Humanist Association) at Central Branch of Multnomah 
County Libraries in Portland. My topic was "When Journalists 
Attack"; and it was a multi-media presentation, which included 
some brief remarks by Tonya on audio tape which I had recorded in 
1993 (when I was beginning the fruitless process of helping her 
compile an autobiography). As you mentioned on your web site, the 
managing editor of The Business Journal wrote a column which 
accurately reflected my presentation and was supportive of Tonya.

Regarding that television program broadcast by Fox Sports 
Broadcasting in February of last year, which featured a contrived 
sit-down interview with Tonya and Kerrigan: the Fox people came 
to see me a few months prior to the broadcast, since a columnist 
at The Oregonian (of all places) told them they should. The 
interviewer kept at me with questions about hypothetical 
situations, but I wouldn't fall for any of his "what if" stuff. 
So since I'd nothing negative to say about Tonya, my interview 
ended up in the vacuum of the cosmos and not on the Fox network. 
That entire program was just a lot of banal nonsense anyway; and 
the "softball" treatment afforded Gillooly was unbelievable.

I also raised the issue of Tonya's treatment by the media before 
the Northwest News Council at the University of Washington in 
Seattle. News councils are supposed to hear complaints against 
journalistic media, but the NNC apparently didn't want to take on 
the Newhouse corporate empire and its Portland-based rag The 
Oregonian. I provided the NNC with many documents which clearly 
showed how The Oregonian's coverage of Tonya from 1992 through 
1997 was biased and unfair (in other words, unethical). Yet the 
NNC kept changing the ground rules, stalling for time and hoping 
I'd finally just go away. After speaking with a former dean of 
the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication 
(as it's now called) earlier this year, I decided to just forget 
the whole matter. The dean told me he'd helped found the NNC, but 
that its present management wasn't up to the test I had set 
before it. He also told me he was attempting to organize an 
"Oregon News Council," but he wasn't too optimistic because any 
council would have to reach agreements of cooperation with all 
the local journalistic-media outlets.

Anyway, I was moved to tears of joy when I learned of Tonya's 
courageous performance at the ESPN figure-skating tournament: I 
still have a place in my heart for that beautiful little genius; 
and I wish Tonya M. Harding all the happiness and love in the 
world! Should you have any questions, or if you wish to pass 
along to me any data, please do so. You may do whatever you wish 
with this letter. Keep up the good work.




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