T   H   H  E
  T   H   H  E
  T   H   H  EEEEE

PPPP   OOOO  RRRR  TTTTT L       A   N   N DDDD  I   A   N   N TM
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

January 17, 2003 Edition - A KNOCKOUT ISSUE
(C) 2003 Portland Ice Skating Society

Welcome to the first edition of "The Portlandian" for 2003. Today 
we have an issue that is a real "knockout", with lots of Tonya 
news, a debunking of a Tonya rumor (what else is new?), a Tonya 
reference in a court case that DOESN'T involve Tonya and a 
campaign to get Tonya into the White House. We also expose more 
double-dealing by Skate Canada and hear Joe Haran's perspective 
on the massive media hysteria that erupted after the whacking.


Without doubt the biggest Tonya news item since our last issue 
has been Tonya's decision to pursue a new career. It appears 
Tonya enjoyed her boxing match against Paula Jones earlier last 
year so much that she has decided to take it up full time. Linda 
Lewis, Tonya's godmother, has sent us this message, (which also 
details her decision to step down as Tonya's agent for personal 

> Dear fans of Tonya:
> As you most likely have heard by now, Tonya has taken on a new 
> career. She is becoming a professional boxer.  We hope that you 
> will give her the same support that you have always given her. 
> She’s excited about this and hopes to do very well. She is, 
> after all, a great athlete.
> For a while, I had the privilege of being Tonya’s agent. But at 
> this point, I have other things that I need to do. My Mom has 
> been very sick, and I’m needed to take care of her. But Greg 
> and I are still very close to Tonya, and we will continue to 
> support her in her new career.
> Blessings to all of you for your continued love and support for 
> her.

Further details of Tonya's pro boxing debut can be found in this 

Her first bout will be as an "undercard" for that boxer we all 
love to hate, Mike Tyson, who will be having yet ANOTHER attempt 
at a comeback in Memphis on February 22nd. He will be fighting 
Clifford Etienne of Baton Rouge. Tonya's opponent has not yet 
been announced.

Early in December Tonya did a promotional appearance for the bout
at Prize Fight Boxing's gym in Tunica, Miss. Tonya did a workout 
with a punching bag and fielded questions from reporters, trying 
her best to convince them that her attempt is serious. "You guys 
will see" she promised them. Our view is that Tonya will have her 
work cut out for her - there's a big difference between thumping 
a couch potato like Jones and a real boxer, whoever her opponent 
turns out to be.


We figure there mustn't be much going on in Portland at the 
moment because the media there resorted last month to a large 
dose of their favorite activity, Tonya-bashing, with not one but 
two completely incorrect reports concerning her. Hey, I suppose 
it beats doing some real investigative journalism and upsetting 
the power elite.

First up was KGW-TV with a report that Tonya and her friend 
Christopher Nolan had been stopped by a forest ranger for 
speeding and had been cited for possessing alcohol in violation 
of Tonya's parole conditions. According to this bizarre report, 
Nolan allegedly told the ranger that they planned to get drunk 
and then drive!

Linda Lewis has this to say about the incident:

> It's true that Tonya and her friend were stopped in his 
> vehicle. He was driving, and got pulled over. Yes, there were 
> two unopened cans of beer in the car, but neither Tonya or her 
> friend said they were going to drink them. Why would she say 
> such a thing and risk her new career in boxing? It is not a 
> violation for Tonya to be riding in the car with someone that 
> has unopened containers of liquor in the car. Once again, the 
> media, and those who want to see her fail, jumped all over 
> this. She was NOT cited.

And a judge agrees. In a scathing condemnation of the prosecution 
Judge Ken Eiesland last week dismissed the charges, calling the 
affair a "media circus" and accusing the prosecutor of "wasting 
the court's time" with what he labeled as "potential violations" 
only. It's good to see that there are still some fair-minded 
judges in the greater Portland area who can see beyond the 
Tonyaphobic attitudes of the media and the local law enforcement.

Odd that we don't see the people who were so quick to post the 
original story on r.s.s.i.f bothering to post the outcome? Or is 
it really that odd, given that they're only interested in 
anything that makes Tonya look bad?

Then came the Portland Tribune with a claim that Tonya had got 
drunk on vodka while on a flight to Portland from Dallas after 
another promotional appearance on Thanksgiving day. We haven't 
managed to find out the truth about that one, but given just how 
totally up the pole the other story was it's likely to be just as 
inaccurate. Certainly it doesn't seem to have been picked up by 
any media outside Portland, which given their eagerness for 
anything anti-Tonya is surely a sign that it's bollocks.


Yet another member of the judiciary who seems to have "got it" is 
U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz, who was presiding at a 
hearing involving Sun and Microsoft early last month. Motz 
compared Microsoft's treatment of Sun over its Java programming 
language to the infamous knee-clubbing of Nancy Kerrigan nine 
years ago. After assuming for the sake of the analogy that 
Kerrigan was the better skater (a mighty big assumption), Motz 
said: "Nancy Kerrigan is deprived of the opportunity to compete 
on those two good knees." 

Pity that Judge KKK wasn't similarly on the ball - maybe we'd 
actually have some competition the computing marketplace instead 
of the same old dictatorship. Perhaps she could take up judging 
figure skating where her shonky logic would be more welcome.


Long-time Tonyaphiles will remember how Tonya missed getting 
invited to the White House in 1994 along with other Olympians 
after the USFSA "accidentally" forgot to put her invitation in 
the envelope, an act of mean-spiritedness and petty-mindedness 
that plumbed new depths even by their abysmal standards.

Well, somebody apparently wants to remedy that - these "Tonya for 
President" buttons were spotted on e-Bay recently. And why not? 
After all, if you can have a second President Bush why not a 
second President Harding?

Also on e-Bay, it appears that the Tonya hotsauce bottles we 
mentioned last issue have become instant collectors items after 
Tonya's threat of legal action against the maker, with some 
selling for up to $25 each!


Tonight, the exciting story of how Skate Canada shafted one of 
its own officials for the sake of the personal aggrandizement of 
its former President.

2002 was a rough year for Canadian figure skating fans. Once 
again they found their skaters getting ripped off by the 
political machinations of the skating establishment with the Salé 
& Pelletier incident at the Salt Lake City Olympics, a repeat of 
what happened to the Canadian team at Nagano. Once again the 
former "Eastern Bloc" countries were up to their old cold-war era 
tricks of working together to gang up against the "west". So 
you'd think that relations between Russia and Canada in the 
skating field would be "icy" to say the least. You'd think, just 
to take a hypothetical example, that Canada would vote for its 
own officials in ISU elections. Certainly, you'd think, they 
wouldn't be voting for the Russians.

If you thought that, you thought wrong.

At the ISU conference in June, Skate Canada president Marilyn 
Chidlow stood up and endorsed Alexander Gorshkov of Russia as a 
candidate for chairman of the ice dancing technical committee. 
Given the involvement of the Russians in fiddling ice dance 
results over the years it's a move that would make voting for a 
fox as manager of the local chicken coop seem stunningly logical. 
Gorshkov, in fact, was the official who berated judges at the 
Grand Prix final at Kitchener, Ontario in December 2001 because 
they didn't mark the teams in a way he felt was "correct" (see 
the article entitled "THE ITALIAN JOB" in the Portlandian of 16 
February 2002 for more details). But to add an even more strange 
twist to the tale, in doing so Chidlow was voting AGAINST a 
Canadian, Ann Shaw, who was also running for the same post!

What's the reason for this seemingly absurd move? Certainly not 
because Shaw, a long-serving and respected dance official, wasn't 
qualified for the job. One observer, former ISU official Joyce 
Hisey, has her own ideas which she expressed in an article in the 
Toronto Globe & Mail last September. She believes that Skate 
Canada's support of the Russians is part of a complex power game 
by Chidlow's predecessor, David Dore, to gain a position in (and 
possibly eventually control of) the ISU. Dore, it will be 
recalled, is the guy who tried to get Jean Senft to hush up her 
evidence of corruption at Nagano that cost Canada a medal, and 
also tried to silence a website known as Figure Skating Sucks 
back two years ago that was critical of his administration, so 
this certainly sounds like the type of shenanigans he'd be 
comfortable with. Dore was elected Vice President of the ISU at 
the same meeting.

Dore's position is that he had no plans to run for Vice President 
until the actual council meeting itself, where he claims he was 
urged to stand by several "middle European" countries. However, 
Hisey says that as far back as the European Championships in 
January 2001 - a full 18 months before the council meeting - Paul 
Varadian, the general secretary of the Armenian Skating 
Federation, told her that Dore planned to run for council, with 
an eye towards eventually taking the Presidency. Other sources 
confirm that Dore was planning on a run for the Vice Presidency 
at least as far back as the Salt Lake City Games, contrary to his 

This news raises questions about whether Dore is really telling 
the truth about when he decided to stand for the Vice President's 
role. And just who were those "middle European countries" Dore 
was referring to? Could they be former Soviet bloc countries? And 
more logically, was a deal struck as Hisey alleges? You don't 
have to be Albert Einstein to work out the answer.

Hisey also claims she was a victim of Skate Canada's perfidy & 
double-dealing herself. You can read the full story in the 
article at:

With these latest antics, Skate Canada has once again proven that 
it does not represent the interests of either skating or of 
Canadians. The fact it is prepared to sell out reputable skaters 
and officials proves that it has become nothing more than a tool 
for the personal advancement of its officers in the same way as 
has happened with the IOC. Perhaps it's time that the Canadian 
Government investigated Skate Canada in the same way as it did 
with athletics after the Ben Johnson affair back in the late 
80's. Then we'd really see some progress towards cleaning up 


Next, we get another installment from Joe Haran on his time as a 
Tonyaphile. In his penultimate article for us, Joe tells us what 
happened to him in the wake of the post-whack media frenzy in 
January & February of 1994:


Howdy!  Well, I guess I'll get into the Tonya M. Harding media-
circus era of 1994.  I've avoided a long narrative about the 
media circus because, as I've previously stated, it's more about 
me than about Tonya.  But, as it was a traumatic time for me -- a 
time of one-way caring with no reciprocity from Tonya, a time of 
loss of dear friends who could not fathom why I would make such 
efforts for someone who obviously didn't give one whit about me 
(their interpretations, not mine), a time of homelessness and 
depression -- I shall run it past you for your information.

The night Tonya came home from the Nationals in '94, I was her 
friend and an integral part of her team.  We talked as would 
intimate filial friends.  Little did I know that, overnight, I 
was to be permanently written off by Tonya and would never be 
close to her again.  Still living with Al Harding, I returned to 
his apartment with him as soon as Tonya had left Gillooly's 
mother's house with Gillooly (after his manual crotch-probe of a 
bending-over Tonya).  We, Al and me, went to bed:  he in the 
bedroom and I on the living-room floor in the area dedicated to 
me.  Al left for work early in the morning.  I was awakened 
shortly thereafter by the telephone.  It was a radio station's 
news department, either KEX-AM & FM or KXL-AM & FM (I can't 
remember which).  The reporter asked me if I knew anything about 
Tonya's involvement in the Kerrigan assault.  After that 
interview, the telephone rang again and this time it was the news 
department at KOIN-TV (my former employer).  They sent a remote-
broadcast vehicle to pick me up, not to do a remote but to take 
me downtown to the studio.  I did an in-studio interview with a 
guy from the CBS affiliate in Detroit, followed by a more 
conventional interview with a KOIN-TV News reporter in a room 
adjoining the studio.

The reporter, who may have been Lisa Balick (sp?) but I can no 
longer recall exactly who it was, told me she'd heard that the 
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Detroit police 
considered me "a person of interest" since Julie (J. E.) Vader of 
"The Oregonian" had told law-enforcement people at Detroit that 
she thought I was behind the assault.  So, after that interview 
was concluded, I went with a KOIN-TV News reporter and 
videographer in tow across the street to the building housing the 
Portland offices of the FBI.  We sought admission to the FBI 
offices and were admitted (the behind-a-thick-glass-partition 
receptionist seeing the camera and not wanting to make an 
arbitrary decision herself).  Eventually, an agent who was also 
the public-relations guy met with us and said conversations 
between himself and myself could not be recorded.  So the 
reporter/videographer stayed outside a little office while the 
FBI guy and me sat down chat.  After saying, basically, "Here I 
am.  What do you want?" I was assured that the FBI had no 
interest in me; that although I may have been checked up on 
initially the agency knew I was not involved in any way with the 

After that -- and after saying good-bye to the KOIN-TV News 
people -- I walked around for a while before going to the Justice 
Center in Portland (which houses the local law-enforcement 
agencies) and asking to see someone from the Portland Police 
Bureau.  When asked why, I showed my identification and said I 
had heard I was a "person of interest" to the Detroit police.  A 
homicide (!) detective came to greet me and we went to his 
office.  I told him my story, he listened and then said he'd 
contact the police in Detroit; and that I should come back to his 
office in about an hour and he'd let me know what he'd found out.  
So I walked around downtown some more and then returned to the 
detective's office.  He told me the Detroit police had heard my 
name mentioned by a journalist (Vader) and so they'd looked into 
the matter but had written me off as a suspect; and then the 
detective thanked me for coming in and said he'd telephone me 
should he hear any more about it -- and that I should not be at 
all concerned, because I wasn't wanted in any way by any law-
enforcement agency.  That's basically what the FBI agent had told 
me, too.

After leaving the Justice Center building I walked around 
downtown. Then it hit me.  What I had first felt that morning 
when the radio station telephoned me now struck my brain in full 
force:  Tonya was going to be blamed for the assault, else the 
media wouldn't be spinning that into their reports; and her 
career and life would be destroyed by forces so powerful she 
wouldn't stand any chance of saving herself, no matter if 
evidence against her was never found.  This revelation put me 
into a state of numbness and shock.  I walked aimlessly about for 
hours, wondering what would now happen:  what would Tonya do? 
what would I do? what was to become of my dear friend and buddy?

I began to entertain suicide ideation, but thankfully I realized 
that was a signal for me to get medical help.  My mind was 
attempting to save itself through escape, but I recognized the 
problem in time.  So I rode the bus up to the United States 
Department of Veterans Affairs Portland Medical Center.  I went 
to the emergency department and told them of my concern for my 
health.  I was admitted, on the advice of the emergency-
department psychiatrist, to the mental-health ward (5C West). 
Thus began a very strange episode:  telephone calls from 
journalists, a trip to my birthplace of New York city, a near 
punch-up in the ward's television room.

After a few days on the ward, during which time I refused to 
watch television because I knew just how Tonya would be depicted, 
I tentatively entered the television room just in time to see a 
local news program come on the air with everybody's lead story:  
Tonya.  Another patient, a young guy, shouted out, "She's guilty 
as hell!"  I stood up and shouted at him:  "That's not true!"  He 
stood up and came toward me, saying:  "What are you going to do 
about it?"  I moved toward him; and fortunately (for me, as the 
other guy was pretty big) the nursing staff had heard the 
shouting and flew into the room, restraining both of us. I was 
put into an isolation room ("the rubber room"), which had a 
single light in the ceiling which was left on at all times.  A 
television camera was mounted high in one corner of the room.  
The bed, in the center of the floor, was the only item of 

Kept there for one night and one day, I was then released back to 
a regular three-person room.  To his credit, the fellow with whom 
I had nearly come to blows came to me and apologized for his 
actions -- as did I.  He said he was wrong in jumping to such a 
conclusion and went on to say he thought maybe she was just a 
patsy for the others involved.  I then received a telephone call 
from Tonya herself, who had learned somehow that I was in 
hospital.  She sounded tired and sad, yet tried to comfort me by 
saying everything for me would turn out all right; and that I 
must take care of myself and do what the doctors tell me.  I, of 
course, tried to comfort her by asserting that I knew she wasn't 
guilty of any crime.  As Gillooly was no doubt present with her, 
she added: "And Jeff's innocent, too."  We said good-bye and 
promised to keep in close communication.

One of the many telephone calls I received in those days on the 
ward was from a reporter on assignment for the "New York Times."  
She asked several straightforward questions, then asked about 
what enjoyable things Tonya and me had done together.  I 
mentioned I'd been looking forward to our plan for Tonya to take 
me skating (which we had planned to do after she'd returned from 
Nationals).  In a somber tone, the reporter said:  "Is that your 
dream, Joe?"  It instantly occurred to me that I was being 
perceived as a nut case who worshipped Tonya.  So I said:  "It's 
not 'a dream,' it's just a fun thing we were going to do."

This encounter strengthened my resolve to avoid any media final-
I would talk to anyone who asked for me; and I would answer all 
questions to the best of my ability; but I would not watch 
television, listen to the radio, or read magazines or newspapers.  
I had no control over how the story would spin out, but if I 
refused to talk to journalists they'd just find some dumb-shit 
who would say the usual Tonya-bashing things.  So I resolved to 
cooperate fully with the media.  I just didn't want to know about 
the garbage that would undoubtedly finally come out of the 
corporate-media anuses.

During my hospital stay, which lasted about one week, I gave 
dozens of interviews.  The media had "found" me; and since they 
had to have Tonya stuff all the time every day. . . .  Every 
morning and every afternoon remote-broadcast trucks from various 
media outlets, some local and some national, would be parked in 
front of the hospital!  The media/public-relations people at the 
hospital were stunned by all this.  They came to see me on the 
ward and asked me to agree not to mention the hospital or any 
patients, et cetera.  Common-sense stuff I knew already.  I was 
in hospital, but I had to reassure hospital big-wigs that 
everything would be all right!

Television interviews were done near the front of the hospital; 
print-media or radio interviews could be done in the cafeteria.  
It was all quite surreal.  Then I was asked by a television talk-
show outfit if I would come to New York to appear on their 
program, "The Jane Whitney Show."  I consented.  Thing was, I was 
on a mental-health ward.  But, fortunately, I was over my suicide 
ideation and I had a place to go (a friend's house in the 
Portland bedroom-community of Aloha); so the doctor in charge 
authorized me to leave.  (I had decided to leave Al Harding's 
apartment, as I figured Tonya might want to live there for a time 
-- which turned out to be just what happenedd.)

So, for the first time in 20 years, I boarded a large commercial 
aircraft and set out across the nation.  The weather in New York 
was severe:  the taxiways at La Guardia airport were covered with 
snow and ice.  And, for the only time in my life, I was greeted 
by a guy with a sign ("Mr. Haran").  He and another fellow, who 
introduced himself as a private investigator hired to "protect" 
me while in New York, walked with me to a big limousine and off 
we went to a hotel overlooking Central Park.  Of course, since it 
was night, there wasn't really anything to look over at that 

I was to be in New York for three nights and two days.  I was 
given $75 by the television producers for spending money (which, 
in New York, isn't a lot).  I refused anything apart from 
transportation and the "spending money" (which was for meals and 
incidental expenses).  It is, to me, a duty and an honor to 
defend a friend; and I am still amazed by all the money-making 
people "close" to Tonya engaged in during that time:  a guy who 
was a graduate teaching fellow at Portland State University and 
was a boyfriend of Tonya's a few years previously (and who now 
wanted to join the Tonya-bashing bandwagon) wanted money for 
interviews; the Quinteros wanted money for interviews; et cetera.  
And, they all got the money they wanted.  Time and again, well-
meaning friends and journalists alike attempted to persuade me to 
demand money for interviews -- yet I refused.  And, by the way, 
the mainstream corporate media -- who always claim it is 
unethical for journalists to pay sources -- were the first to 
pony up with talking money for all the leeches.  They just give 
it a nice name and claim it isn't a pay-to-talk situation!

Jane Whitney and the other television people involved in her 
program were polite, yet only to a point.  They did this sort of 
thing every day; and they had it all down to a system in which 
there wasn't any wiggle room.  Well, the program itself was as I 
expected:  there were Tonya-bashing "plants" in the audience in 
addition to the Tonya-bashers sitting on stage in chairs with me.  
But, I did my best; and although I've never watched the program 
(they sent me a tape) I'm told I did all right.  Well, if you can 
view the tape you may judge for yourself.  I'm sure you've viewed 
enough of these daytime talk-show things to know what the common 
denominators are.  I never got to see much of New York, where I 
was born and where I spent the first five-plus years of my life, 
due to the tight schedule and the awful weather (all I had was a 
light jacket).  But, at least it was a bit of an adventure; and, 
contrary to popular stereotype, the people I met in New York (not 
the television people) were quite friendly and personable.  By 
the way, I did watch a bit of news on the television in my hotel 
room.  I saw a very tired Tonya at the door of her father's 
apartment, sadly pleading with the journalists to give her a fair 
hearing and let her have her privacy, et cetera.  I went back to 
watching cowboy movies.  I couldn't bear to watch her suffering.

That's all for now.  I'll wrap up my media-circus experiences 
next time.  Good-bye for now and best wishes.  See ya!





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