Talk:Tonya Harding

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

January 1994 incident[edit]

Seriously? Tonya Harding wouldn't be known by ANYONE today if it weren't for her involvement in the attack on Nancy Kerrigan, and her Wikipedia article buries this as "January 1994 incident"? I should go check OJ Simpson's Wikipedia page to see if it says, "Alleged scuffle with wife and waiter."

Undue weight[edit]

It appears to me that it is undue weight to give an entire section called "series of incidents." These incidents usually happened in the context of her competitions, which she usually won. I think these should be integrated into the larger body of the article. It seems unfair to give them an entire section of their own. Skatefan2014 (talk) 22:04, 15 November 2014 (UTC)

I've taken the liberty of removing the section titled "series of incidences." As Tonya and Nancy are forever linked, it seems only fair to me that their pages be used as comparisons for one another. While Nancy's page does have a section about controversy she endured after the Olympics [1], there is no section in her article to match the "series of incidences" section in Tonya's article. And the post-Olympics controversy in Tonya's life is covered very well in the article already, integrated into the body of the section about the controversy in 1994 (as well as the "later celebrity" section: [2]). It just seems to be on the verge of defamation of character to have a section which consists of nothing more than a list of every misdeed in Tonya's career. We need to remember that this is a biography of a living person! Skatefan2014 (talk) 18:24, 7 December 2014 (UTC)
Are you kidding? If it weren't for those incidents, Tonya Harding would be another in a list of thousands of Olympians that nobody's ever heard of. She's not famous, she's notorious. She chose that route, and it's completely accurate and correct that she be shown in her Wikipedia to be the infamous figure that she truly has become.

Lede needs trimming[edit]

I think the lede needs to be trimmed. It is yet another example of undue weight, because about half of the lede pertains to the attack on Nancy Kerrigan. By contrast, Kerrigan's intro contains only one brief, vague reference to Tonya: "She's also noted for conflict with Tonya Harding." Skatefan2014 (talk) 05:34, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

I don't know what the lede said before it was trimmed, but the vague reference to the 1994 incident that remains is a travesty. I'd say the same of the reference in the Kerrigan article, which mirrors this word for word. The attack defined Harding's skating career - ended it - and in fact the incident eclipsed both of their careers. The issue is notability and nothing in either of their backgrounds, not even Nancy's silver medal, comes close in terms of general, enduring interest, however sleazy the entire matter was. Allreet (talk) 19:24, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
The role of the lede is to succinctly summarize what is covered in greater detail in the body of the article. Due to the fact that Tonya herself did not perform the attack, nor was the attack on Tonya herself, the entire affair becomes extremely convoluted to an extent that is impossible to encapsulate in-depth in the lede -- while still remaining neutral. The whole affair is, however, covered in exhaustive detail in the body of the article.
Tonya's connection to the attack is not as straightforward and linear as you present it to be: the attack did not define Tonya's skating career (her skating ability did that); the attack was not performed against Tonya; Tonya did not perform the attack herself; no one has ever proven she was involved in the conspiracy from the start, and Tonya maintains to this day that she was not involved. The only thing she ever pled guilty to was "hindering prosecution" by not coming forward as soon as she learned -- after the fact -- that her ex-husband had masterminded the plot. (She has claimed she didn't come forward when she learned her ex-husband planned the attack because she feared her ex-husband would attack her in retaliation, a claim not too unreasonable given that others corroborate that he had been physically abusive to her, and given the fact that by his own admission he masterminded the attack on a woman, Kerrigan. In other words, he had a history of violence against women.) Tonya was never charged with, and never pled guilty to, planning or aiding the attack itself.
The only thing the attack defined was Tonya's reputation in the public imagination. But it doesn't follow that an encyclopedic article should follow the dictates of popular imagination. This isn't TMZ.
In order to have a Wikipedia entry, one must be notable within one's field -- and Tonya became notable in 1991 when she was the first US woman to land the triple axle, thus becoming the US female figure skating champion. And her notability was enhanced in 1992 when she came in fourth at the Olympics. (Simply making it to the Olympics makes one "an Olympian," and thus notable.) She became notable in her field three years before the attack. Had the attack never occurred, Tonya would still have been notable enough to have a Wikipedia entry. Though the attack is undeniably the most sensational aspect of her life, Tonya is not a case of someone famous for only one thing. Had the attack never occurred, she would not have become so famous, but she still would've left her mark on the skating world. (Jeff Gillooly, by contrast, is notable only for the attack. Prior to the attack, his cultural contribution was as that of a forklift operator in a warehouse. If he deserved a Wikipedia entry, which he doesn't, then his role in the attack would be covered in greater detail in his lede. But he has no lede, because he has no Wikipedia entry.…)
The recent ESPN documentary says that Tonya and Nancy were rivals prior to the attack, and the attack -- which Tonya's ex-husband pled guilty to (and has acknowledged was his idea from the start) -- was a response to that rivalry. He has said it was his attempt to "level the playing field" with regard to the rivalry. It therefore is accurate and necessarily succinct to say that she is "noted for conflict with Nancy Kerrigan," and vice versa. That's the most succinct way to sum up in the lede what is ultimately a very convoluted and complicated matter, which is covered in-depth in the body of the article already -- which is where it SHOULD be covered in-depth.
Don't be absurd. The attack may not have defined her career, but it certainly redefined it. It is the main thing for which she's known, and not mentioning it in the opening section can be taken as nothing else but an attempt to hide it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 77.77.208.74 (talk) 15:42, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

Attack on Kerrigan subsection: more undue weight[edit]

I believe another instance of undue weight is the subsection "Attack on Kerrigan." I'm not arguing that the attack shouldn't be mentioned. Obviously, it should be mentioned. I'm arguing that it is mentioned in the wrong section. The subsection "Attack on Kerrigan" is under the main header titled "Skating career," giving the false impression that the attack on Kerrigan was a part of Tonya's career -- which seems to imply that Tonya herself attacked Kerrigan! (Sarah Marshall writes that this is a new morph of the 1994 attack, some people believing Tonya did it herself. [3]) Kerrigan's page devotes an entire main section to the attack, with the general title of "January 1994 attack": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nancy_Kerrigan#January_1994_attack . I propose a similarly neutral section on this Tonya Harding page. Skatefan2014 (talk) 02:27, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Very poorly written article[edit]

In addition to the fact that it is unclear when exactly her's and her ex-husband sex tape was recorded, there is NO mention of the incident of the skate shoelace issue in Lillehammer (more details here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ms5Xk2vobiM). I understand a lot of people hate this woman, but even the worst serial killers have hell of a great wiki article and yet this "poor" girl who was a victim before she consented to what those thugs did to Kerrigan (her ex-husband was thinking about the good sum of the money he would get if she had won and perhaps would've gotten her murdered in future to keep it all). Some speculations here, but even though she knew about her ex planning an attack she was probably scared to stop it. I personally would've called the police to alert them of their plans, but I guess she was stupid and afraid. Opinions here again, bottom line; this article is incomplete. --Molokaicreeper (talk) 03:20, 10 July 2015 (UTC)

The more I read this article the more I see there is too much information about the scandal (it should have its own article) and too little information about Tonya Harding herself. --Molokaicreeper (talk) 03:24, 10 July 2015 (UTC)

was she "involved" in the attack?[edit]

I would suggest that her involvement was pretty clear cut, seeing as she pled guilty and was banned by the USFSA for having prior knowledge. Obviously, she wasn't physically involved, and it would be going too far to say that she organized the assault. However the assault is what she is most notable for. (I hate figure skating, but she is just about the only skater who I can name offhand, and that is due to her fame in regards to the attack) So I see no reason to whitewash anything, and no reason to keep it out of the lead. Later in the article, it states clearly what happened, so it's not as if the lead is misleading anyone and it's most certainly what she is notable for. If it wasn't for the assault, she would have been long forgotten by all apart from the most diehard figure skating fans. Spacecowboy420 (talk) 06:20, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

She pled guilty to hindering prosecution, which means she admits that she did not come forward as soon as she learned what had happened -- after it had happened. She maintains to this day that she did not know the attack was planned, that she was not part of the planning of the attack, and everyone agrees that she herself did not perform the attack. She never pled guilty to helping plan the attack. She was not involved in the attack itself. If you want to include reference to the attack in the lede, then it would be preferable to word it as delicately as possible. Perhaps something such as: "she pled guilty to hindering prosecution and was banned for life as a result." But to say that she was involved in the attack is incorrect and would therefore be in violation of a biography of a living person. -- Andrew Parodi (talk) 15:27, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
She was involved before or after the fact. Involvement is involvement. She wasn't banned for life for hindering the prosecution, she was banned for life for having prior knowledge of the assault. But nevermind, as you are determined to whitewash the article, I will spell it out in the lead, so that everything is nice and clear. Spacecowboy420 (talk) 07:36, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
She struck a plea bargain and as a result of the plea bargain she agreed to the stipulation of being banned for life. In order to adhere to the standards of a biography of a living person you must be factually accurate to the letter of the law with regard to a criminal case. The legal reality is that in a court of law she pled guilty simply to hindering prosecution, and all that means is that she didn't come forward as soon as she learned what had happened after-the-fact. No one has ever proven that she was involved from the start, and she was not charged with being involved from the start. She was charged simply with not coming forward as soon as she learned what had happened, after it had already happened. This is not whitewashing history. This is the historical reality. [4] Andrew Parodi (talk) 15:22, 17 November 2015 (UTC)

Conflict of Interest[edit]

I'm starting to get the feeling that user:Andrew Parodi might have a slight conflict of interest in regards to this article. Andrew, I'm only saying might, because good faith is really important here, but you really do seem to be interested in whitewashing this article, when the whole world knows Tonya Harding for her part in her rival getting attacked. Spacecowboy420 (talk) 10:23, 17 November 2015 (UTC)

Biography of a living person[edit]

Main article: Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons
Spacecowboy420:

I am simply trying to ensure that this page adheres to the standards put forth by Wikipedia with regard to articles about living people. Please see the very top of this page with its notification about how biographies of living people must be handled. You cannot give undo weight to certain items in a biography of a living person, and you have to be very careful when addressing an issue of a criminal situation in the life of a living person. Just because the mainstream media gave undue weight to this situation when it happened does not mean this article should. I repeat for about the millionth time and now: it is not factually accurate to say she was involved in the attack. It is factually accurate to say that she pled guilty to hindering prosecution, which means she did not come forward as soon as she learned what had happened after it had already happened. You may personally believe that she knew about it from the start, but that doesn't change the fact that that is not what she pled guilty to. Andrew Parodi (talk) 15:31, 17 November 2015 (UTC) http://www.believermag.com/issues/201401/?read=article_marshall

My opinion regarding prior knowledge is unimportant. It was the USFSA that stated she had prior knowledge of the assault, and that is why she got a lifetime ban. I think you are letting your personal feelings cloud your judgement. Is there a conflict of interest regarding you editing this article? Spacecowboy420 (talk) 06:33, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
Well then that is what needs to be written, and is exactly HOW it needs to be written: that the USFSA decided that she had prior knowledge. On Wikipedia you have to cite your sources. You can't just write it without saying where it comes from. Doing so gives the impression that a Wikipedia editor is presenting his own opinion; and on Wikipedia that is referred to as "original research" -- which is not allowed. These are not my "personal feelings"; this is Wikipedia policy. The Multnomah County Court is a higher authority than USFSA, and therefore the Multnomah County Court has precedent as a source with regard to whether or not she had prior knowledge. And then we're right back to the fact that all she ever pled guilty to was hindering prosecution, and all that means is that she had no prior knowledge of the attack and was not personally involved in the attack itself. The perspective of the USFSA is already mentioned in the body of the article, and is too in-depth to mention in the lede -- which is supposed to be a brief summary of the article. Lastly, referring to the honeymoon video in the lede is entirely unnecessary and, again, is something that is already mentioned in the body of the article. The lede is not intended to mention everything the person has ever done; the lede is intended as a brief summary of the body of the article to follow. Please familiarize yourself with Wikipedia policy and standards. Andrew Parodi (talk) 12:00, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
The ban was not because she plea bargained. The ban was from the USFSA who concluded that she had prior knowledge.

The community service/fine/probation were because of the plea bargain. And actually, I think her (brief) porn career is highly relevant and deserves to be in the lead. Spacecowboy420 (talk) 12:43, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

The ban was because the USFSA concluded in their own independent investigation that she had prior knowledge of the attack. That is not the same as being found guilty of hindering prosecution in a court of law in the state of Oregon. Two different bodies (only one being of the U.S. government) with two different conclusions. Please do not synthesize these two conclusions. Such synthesis is another example of original research: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:No_original_research
Further, it is undo weight and in violation of a biography of a living person to allow the majority of the lede of an article to pertain to one negative situation in a person's life. It is understandable and logical to want to refer to the events of 1994 in the lede, but to allow it to be more than half of the lead is undo weight: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Reliable_sources_and_undue_weight

There is no need for this to become an attack page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Attack_page Andrew Parodi (talk) 15:15, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

conflict of interest[edit]

Spacecowboy420 (talk) 12:48, 19 November 2015 (UTC)


that's why I'm more qualified to edit this article. I don't care either way about Tonya Harding. If your edits are based on an emotional connection to a subject, you should excuse yourself and let others edit. If you want to be a fanboy, start a Facebook group. Spacecowboy420 (talk) 12:54, 19 November 2015 (UTC)


I have never denied that she was found guilty of hindering prosecution, or that the USFSA concluded that she knew about the attack before it happened. Nor have I denied the existence of the sex tape. These things are all mentioned in the article, and had been long before you even started editing this article. What I have attempted to do is not allow you to conduct original research, synthesis of information, and make this into an attack page by giving undo weight to one particular incident in her life. There is no conflict of interest as it stands because she is not a part of my life and I have no financial stake in the matter. I am not interested in making her out to be a saint. I am interested in maintaining this article as a neutral article as per: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Neutral_point_of_view Andrew Parodi (talk) 15:04, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

Andrew, please do not remove my edits from this page again.

I wished to show that you have a blatant conflict of interest, so please do not touch my posts again.

I think that you have a web address "tonyahardingisinnocent" and you stating your love for her, is enough to show that there might be a conflict of interest. I don't care what you do in your private life & I will agree that a couple of decades ago, she was kinda cute, if you like her type...But when you are editing her article on wikipedia, blogs uploaded in 2015 are highly relevant to a possible conflict of interest. Spacecowboy420 (talk) 06:22, 20 November 2015 (UTC)

It is a violation of Wikipedia policy to post personal information of a fellow editor on a talk page. And it is covered in many places on Wikipedia that a personal blog by anyone does not belong on Wikipedia. What I wrote on my personal blog has no relevance to this article about Tonya Harding because I never included anything from my personal blog on this Wikipedia article about Tonya Harding, because as a Wikipedia editor I know better. Fact remains that there's no conflict of interest on my part because she is not personally a part of my life and I have no financial stake in the matter. Everything I have posted to this article is historically and factually accurate from a neutral point of view. I request that you acknowledge that I have not argued the factual accuracy of what you have attempted to contribute to this article. What I have argued is that you should adhere to Wikipedia policy by citing your sources, prioritizing information by placing it in the correct area of the article ( not every salacious a detail of her life deserves to be in the lede), not committing original research by synthesizing information (the independent findings of two independent organizations cannot be synthesized to make one general conclusion). I request that you cease posting my personal creative writing on the talk page of an article that isn't about me; you are not supposed to even be link personal blogs of fellow editors to Wikipedia anyway. If you were as familiar with Wikipedia policy as you claim to be you would know that this kind of behavior is in violation of Wikipedia policy. You're not supposed to post personal information about fellow editors in an attempt to call them out. The only reason you were doing this is because you were upset that I'm not allowing you to refer to her porn tape in the lede of the article. Andrew Parodi (talk) 06:52, 20 November 2015 (UTC)


and yet again, you should not touch my posts, Andy

the blog posts are a good demonstration of your conflict of interest. It's not personal information, your wikipedia ID is the same name as your blog, so it reveals nothing. Actually your wikipedia user page is written like a biography, that gives more personal information than your blog does.

the facts are the you have a blog stating that Tonya Harding is innocent, and that you love her. That's a pretty clear conflict of interest and it is also abundantly clear that you have an emotional stake in this article. Spacecowboy420 (talk) 07:13, 20 November 2015 (UTC)

First of all, my name is Andrew. I'm a grown man and no one calls me "Andy." I have only removed something that is not supposed to be on the talk page: a blog of a fellow editor which does not pertain to the article the talk page is supposed to be discussing. I have in effect only removed a link to something that I myself wrote. I have not removed your own words. Yes, people can find my blog if they go to my own profile page on Wikipedia, but that's the exact difference. Talk page of an article is vastly different from the personal page of an editor on Wikipedia. You should not combine or mixup the two. What I wrote on my personal blog is a creative writing piece regarding an incident that happened over 20 years ago when I was a teenager. I have not attempted to include anything from my personal blog in this article (you are the one attempting to do that), and I have no financial stake in the issue. There is no conflict of interest. The title of my blog is hyperbole and is only a working title -- is of no relevance to the Wikipedia article about her. As I have stated many times, I am fully aware that she was found guilty of hindering prosecution and I myself am the one who included that fact in the very lede after you became so adamant that it should be included in the lede. Now please stop violating Wikipedia policy by posting a fellow editor's blog to a talk page of an article that is not even about the fellow editor. Andrew Parodi (talk) 07:29, 20 November 2015 (UTC)

Homemade tape does not belong in lede[edit]

Main article: Celebrity sex tape

An editor on this page has attempted to include mention of Tonya Harding's sex tape in the very lede of the article: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Tonya_Harding&oldid=691366581

Many celebrities have had homemade sex tapes, but very few have that tape mentioned in the lede. A notable exception being Paris Hilton, likely because said tape was integral in making her famous. (Note that most celebrities listed on the Celebrity sex tape page do not have their respective tapes mentioned in the lede of their respective pages.) Tonya, on the other hand, became famous in 1991 (three years before the tape was released), and her fame increased hugely as a result of the Winter Olympics -- months before the tape was release.

The sex tape is a footnote in her life, and is actually already mentioned in the article, in the section titled "later celebrity." There really is no need for it to be in the lede: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tonya_Harding#Later_celebrity Andrew Parodi (talk) 16:06, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

Addendum: said editor didn't even bother to spell-check. Apparently she wasn't "starring" in a sex tape, but merely "staring" at one: She is also noted for her involvement in the assault on her skating rival Nancy Kerrigan, a brief boxing career and staring in a celebrity sex tape.[6] https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Tonya_Harding&type=revision&diff=691366581&oldid=691347026 And this edit was made with the following sarcastic edit summary: "wow...she's done so much in such a short life !!." It is quite evident that said editor is attempting to turn this into an attack page. Andrew Parodi (talk) 20:54, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
Spelling based insults? really? Andy, this isn't some forum flame war, it's an article on wikipedia. Spacecowboy420 (talk) 06:29, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
Well then edit it like it's a Wikipedia article. The juxtaposition of your spelling error and sarcastic edit summary demonstrate that you haven't really put much thought into this and are just trying to create an attack article. If you aren't interested enough in your contributions to this article to make sure that they are spelled correctly, and summarize your contributions in sarcastic and degrading comments to the subject (which is a violation of biography of living person articles), then maybe go find an article that you actually are interested in. Further, as I've already mentioned, the porn tape is already mentioned in the body of the article. In fact, every contribution you have attempted to make to this article is already in the article. I'm not trying to keep any specific information from the article. I'm trying to place information in the appropriate section of the article and keep said information from being synthesized. As a Wikipedia editor, that's my job (volunteer though it may be). Lastly, no one calls me "Andy." Maybe my mother did when I was five…. But I'm a grown man now. Thank you. Andrew Parodi (talk) 06:59, 20 November 2015 (UTC)

Total lack of understanding.[edit]

Let me make this as clear as possible, because right now I feel I am talking to someone who is not understanding what I am saying.

She was banned from skating by the USFSA, this was because they concluded that she had prior knowledge of the attack.

She was fined, put on probation and given community service, because she made a plea bargain, which led to her pleading guilty to hindering the prosecution.

She was not fined, put on probation and given community service by the USFSA. She was not banned from skating by the US legal system.

The decision made by the court was separate from the decision made by the USFSA. The court made their choice, the USFSA made theirs. Two choices, one based on a plea bargain, one based on a conclusion.

Is it possible for me to make that any clearer or easier to understand? Spacecowboy420 (talk) 06:16, 20 November 2015 (UTC)

Yes, it's very clear. But you have to consistently represent these as the different conclusions of two different institutions. One (non-government) institution believes she was involved from the start. Another (government) institution found that she was guilty solely of hindering prosecution, which regards her actions after the fact. Really not that complicated. The standard of proof and the reach of authority of these two different organizations is vastly different. You cannot say that the US court found her guilty of being involved in the attack. Andrew Parodi (talk) 07:04, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
" In 1994, she received three years probation, 500 hours of community service, and a $160,000 fine after pleading guilty to hindering prosecution regarding the attack on fellow skater Nancy Kerrigan.[6] She was also banned for life by the USFSA who concluded that she was involved prior to the assault on Kerrigan.[7]" and what exactly was factually incorrect or misleading about that edit? Spacecowboy420 (talk) 07:16, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
Nothing is inaccurate about it. Everything you wrote here is already in the article. But that is far too much detail for just the lede. The lede is only about four or five sentences. It is giving undo weight to make more than half the lede pertain to only one incident in her life. Andrew Parodi (talk) 07:19, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
The incident that she is most well known for. To say she is known for having a "conflict" with someone is whitewashing the article.

You're not concerned with BLP issues. You're concerned with whitewashing the article of the skater who you gave flowers to, followed to the airport, wrote blogs about (proclaiming her innocence), stated you loved, took photos of, and spent almost a decade in wikipedia editing her article. Seems like blatant COI to me. Spacecowboy420 (talk) 07:28, 20 November 2015 (UTC)

Dude, I was invited to the airport to meet with her. She sent me a picture of herself. I was a teenager and that was over 20 years ago. Everyone from Portland, Oregon has had some kind of encounter with Tonya Harding. You are attempting to use this as leverage in an argument to include synthesis of original research. And I'm going to have to drop the subject now because we're just going in circles. For last time, everything you have attempted to include in this article is already mentioned in the article and I have not attempted to remove any of these things; I have simply attempted to put them in the correct area of the article and not allow them to be synthesized. Beyond that, this is actually getting kind of funny…. 😎 Andrew Parodi (talk) 07:34, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
I don't care what she did. I think she's hot. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2606:A000:7CC5:D700:ECD5:9098:9C4A:4FB4 (talk) 22:18, 5 June 2016 (UTC)

Removing undue quote[edit]

Whatever Jesse Jackson thought or didn't think about her in January 1994 is utterly irrelevant. He had no involvement with her nor is he connected in any way to the story. Of course we could have a section of quotes about her (she's also been called a "monster" and "worst cheater in the history or sports") but I don't see the point in that either, as any selection of quotes would be undue. Jeppiz (talk) 22:31, 24 March 2016 (UTC)