Plushenko wants TV commentator charged with libel

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by Sugar, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    That's true, in which case he would need one.
    Catheter is kaTEHter in Russian. I don't know the word for drain though.
  2. TAHbKA

    TAHbKA Well-Known Member

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    Is it the same idiot who was claiming Rochette was crying after skating her Olympic SP just to get more points?
  3. loulou

    loulou Well-Known Member

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    We could go on: did I say you said? But I don't think that part would be of interest. I was focusing on the "No" part.


    And yet it journalists dig patient histories all the the time, when it's relevant to the public eye.
    In Plushenko's case, particularly, his conditions are relevant to his skating, he is publicly founded and represents his country. Those are all reasons why I would expect a journalist would try to investigate.

    Do you expect jouralists to only pass what it's told them in offcial press conferences? Even when, say, they suspect for whatever reason there's more to a story? Do you expect no journalist to investigate and speculate? Do you wish that?

    In my opinion, scaring journalists into telling official stories only is a pretty dangerous path.


    Of course. Even though the privacy expectations of a public figure are lower, and being a public figure is a choice.

    In this case though, I think it's just a matter of perspective. As I said, on one side there's a man who's already very blessed, on the other there is something that involves important human rights which affect the entire Russian population (and more). What Plushenko is doing isn't helpful, given the scenario he's in.


    I don't think so either, nor I know how you figured that I'd think anyone who leaves the house signs away their right to privacy, of that press freedom would mean you can slander people.

    Ideally, it would be nice if everyone's rights were protected, including Plushenko's.
    But that's not the case, it's expecially not the case in Russia, and Plushenko is not the one who's suffering from Russia's isssues.
    I would like him and everyone else to see the big picture, use some perspective, and then decide what's the best path.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
  4. misskarne

    misskarne Spirit. Focus. Ability. Tenacity. Aussie Grit.

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    Anyone who's in hospital has a right to privacy. Jeez, if anything, it's common decency!

    Besides that, any journalist who believes that a public figure is going to check into hospital under their real name is a bit stupid, IMO. The journalists couldn't find any patient registered as "Plushenko" - that means precisely nothing. For all they knew, he could have been there, under the name "Smith" or something.

    Your bolded statement, however, is a bit disturbing. Basically, you're saying that the journalists SHOULD immediately have accused him of faking it and investigated as such. He has no history of faking injuries, he's never done that, few skaters ever have. What you're saying is wrong because it's not about investigating his injury - you are effectively saying it should be common practice to call sportsmanship into question, to tarnish somebody's integrity, to actively go looking for anything they can use to hurt his reputation.

    Blind Freddie could see he was in agony at Euros. The pain was obvious. He has injuries, well-reported, that have been worked on for years. Why suddenly this injury, this surgery? If it had been ANY OTHER SKATER who had had a short like Plushenko's at Euros and then pulled out, no-one would have cared. In fact he would have been praised for listening to his body. But because it's Plushenko, he MUST be faking it. It's wrong.
  5. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    Once again: journalists should certainly be free to conduct investigations and report on them. This does not mean that they are entitled to absolute and unrestricted access to every type of information in existence. Private medical information is not something journalists deserve unrestricted access to; obviously many countries agree, as journalists are not mentioned as an exception when it comes to medical confidentiality laws and acts. This includes the Israeli law, which is the one applicable to Plushenko in this case; Russian journalists can be as nosy as they want, but no Israeli hospital or medical professional should discuss a patient with the media unless the patient has agreed for them to so.

    If "journalists dig patient histories up all the time", they may well be breaking the law; and if journalists spread libelous information about others because someone was not willing to break those laws for them, then by all means they can be sued for damages, and the plaintiff may well have a good case. Remember, the "proof" was that supposedly no Israeli hospital confirmed that Plushenko was a patient, not that anyone had any information about what he was or wasn't doing. If an Israeli hospital had given out such information without Plushenko's consent, I think he would have had a case against them.

    Being famous, or even publicly funded, does not mean that you have no expectation of privacy whatsoever or that medical confidentiality laws do not apply to you. And BTW, as a general point and not related to Plushenko: being a public figure is not necessarily a choice. Some people are involved in high visibility professions and avocations even though they are not particularly interested in being in the public eye and becoming celebrities.

    I'm more concerned about the human rights of the patient - in this case, Plushenko. Being a journalist does not mean you get free pass to libel, slander, invade people's privacy or do otherwise legally dodgy things. The point is not that journalists should only stick to the official line, but that they need to be able to support certain allegations with actual proof. This was not the case here, and at least at face value, the allegations are libelous, so the person who made them can be sued for libel. And not just in Russia.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
  6. VarBar

    VarBar Well-Known Member

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    I thought that was Oleg Vassiliev?:confused:

    I couldn't agree with you more but Plushenko never made a secret out of him going to Israel for surgery and his wife tweeted pictures of him in the hospital and even an x-ray or something. There is also a video of Plushenko walking down the hospital hallway dressed in hospital clothes with his wife by his side and since he permitted them to go public with all that material, how does that indicate he wanted his privacy to be respected?

    Absolutely. I personally never ever questioned Plushenko's hospitalization/surgery, much less am I questioning it now because he wouldn't be suing the journalist if he couldn't produce hard evidence of his stay at an Israeli clinic, such as the name of the clinic, his hospital admission papers and his discharge papers. Simple as that.
  7. senorita

    senorita New Member

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    Has anyone listened to the video where he speaks of Plush and surgery during men's warm up? Does it look/sound like a journalist who investigated further a case and shed some light, or someone who read a yellow article-newspaper and just repeated it? Did he speak any facts? He says Plushenko does a lot of PR so this is one more of it. I understand very few of what he says but he doesnt look like Miss Marple to me.
  8. loulou

    loulou Well-Known Member

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    Sure miss karne.
  9. loulou

    loulou Well-Known Member

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    People were saying that the press the commentator refers to couldn't have possibly known if Plushenko was in any hospital, because of privacy. I just pointed out that journalists dig stories, and later I implied that thank lord they do.

    How this matter was handled, whether Plushenko was done any harm or not, those are evaluations I did not make. My point is that's less relevant than the fact Plushenko is taking to court a journalist in Russia, given the scenario.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
  10. Iceman

    Iceman Well-Known Member

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    Is Plush being advised by the suing queen Baiul? lol
  11. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    I believe the surgery itself was not a secret, but the details of where and what exactly were not made public at first. As I understand it, they only went into overshare mode (really, I could have done without that picture of him with the drain :yikes:) after there were reports that he was faking the whole thing and the surgery was bogus.

    And others have told you repeatedly that they disagree that journalists should be out there digging into people's private medical records. Which, as has also been noted multiple times, is not information that can be legally shared with the media in most countries. And since said commentator was accusing Plushenko of something that was 1. malicious and 2. not backed up with any evidence, a case can probably be made that this person was making libelous statements.

    The same thing would happen in many other countries. Journalists are not exempt from being sued for libel.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
  12. julieann

    julieann Well-Known Member

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    He was in pain, performed badly, withdrew, went to Israel, had surgery and is recovering...end of story. He should just state simple facts and move on to healing and training. There is no reason to waste his time or money on a "journalist" who isn't worth it.
  13. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

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    There are plenty of reasons to spend time and money on this. Only he can decide if those reasons are good enough.

    Personally I think just threatening to sue is good enough here. It gets the point across well enough and tarnishes the reputation of the journalist without having to spend a lot of time and money.
  14. Cherub721

    Cherub721 YEAH!

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    I also suspect those pictures were only put out in reaction to this story, but regardless: a patient is the one who gets to control his or her medical information. If he wants to put out pictures of himself after surgery he can, and that entitles no one to get any more medical details, test results, etc, than what he has put out. If I take time off from my work, I give my boss a generic note from my doctor that says I am being treated for a medical condition and I will be out of work for X days. My boss can try to call my doctor and find out what I had, but he is not legally entitled to that information, because as the patient I am protected by confidentiality law. There have been celebrities who have opened themselves up and shared their experiences with having cancer or dealing with other medical problems, there was a celebrity who had her weight loss surgery broadcast live, and there are all kinds of documentaries showing medical procedures and recoveries in great detail. But if anyone tries to contact their hospital or medical professional for any information outside of that, it cannot be given out if the patient doesn't consent.

    Besides, Plushenko is not suing anyone for violation of privacy laws. He is suing for libel. The privacy laws only come into play because the evidence given for him faking the surgery was that no hospital confirmed he was admitted, but Israeli law prevents the hospital from giving out that information. Thus, a court could conclude that it was unreasonable for the commentator to rely on that piece of information as evidence that the surgery didn't happen (in the US for a public figure, the standard would be whether the commentator had "reckless disregard" for whether or not the story was true). I don't know if Russia has the same privacy law as Israel, so the commentator may not have known that it's not standard to keep that info confidential, and that would be part of his defense.
  15. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    No, but the standard of what is considered libel varies quite a bit between countries. And in this case, if the journalist honestly believed the evidence from the Israeli sources, in some countries what he said would not be libel because he had no reason to doubt the source.
  16. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    That's why I said that a case can be made rather than that this case will be won ;)

    I'll admit I'm kind of suspicious about this whole "Israeli sources" thing. I have seen no coverage of Plushenko being here in any local media, let alone any questions about the purpose of his stay. If there was any evidence from any Israeli sources, it must have been in the local Russian-language press; I certainly wouldn't know about that. I just find it hard to believe that any local journalist would call up every hospital and clinic in the country on this wild goose chase.

    BTW, in some countries you can actually end up in prison for making libelous statements, even in progressive ones, I think - isn't that how The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo starts?
  17. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    Is there anything specific you would like to know or is this an exercise in obnoxiousness?
  18. senorita

    senorita New Member

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    The original article posted on twitter about his fake surgery was on this site, this is the one russian papers reproducted. Maybe the journalist innocently believed this source, doesnt sound very proffesional but whatever. If I write on my blog that Plushenko is in Maldives and I called every single hotel there, would he talk about it at Worlds2013?
  19. VarBar

    VarBar Well-Known Member

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    Those pictures of Plushenko were put on Twitter prior to the 4CC - while Plushenko was still in the hospital? - so I suspect they wanted to prevent stories of fake surgery from being circulated in the media. But this obviously didn't stop Zhurankov.:lol: I'm actually quite unpleasantly surprised with Zhuranko'v very low standards as a Eurosport commentator - Eurosport is not a personal blog where you can say whatever that crosses your mind. Nor is it a message board for that matter.;)

    I don't think the quoted Israeli sources were trying to get more medical details than Plushenko himself was willing to provide, they just wanted to know if there had been any surgery at all, not what kind of surgery, how long it lasted or what medical procedure the doctors used to replace Plushenko's disc.

    The name of the doctor who operated on Plushenko was known, so the local journalists would have just had to check with him or the clinic he works at. Here is an article quoting the said doctor.

    http://www.rosbalt.ru/piter/2013/02/12/1093237.html

    If Zhurankov is still suspecting fake surgery, he is making this doctor "an accessory to crime", no? lol

    Mishin claims Zhurankov insulting his student is just part of a plan meant to destroy Plushenko's career.

    "It is necessary to get rid of such a strong competitor and have the opportunity to put forward his alternative. Certain persons, who are now closer to show business than professional sports, are not interested in that career Plushenko continued."

    http://www.rosbalt.ru/piter/2013/02/11/1092206.html

    Well, I'm not good at conspiracy theories at all, so this case is closed for me. lol
  20. anna1506

    anna1506 New Member

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    If it had been ANY OTHER SKATER who had had a short like Plushenko's at Euros and then pulled out, no-one would have cared. In fact he would have been praised for listening to his body. But because it's Plushenko, he MUST be faking it. It's wrong.[/QUOTE]

    Bravo! :respec:
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2013
  21. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    You haven't looked at some of the "faking it" posts about Virtue/Moir at 4Cs, have you?
  22. Glacier cat

    Glacier cat New Member

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    If your guess is true, he makes me feel terrible. The man who said it didn't know Joannie's situation at that time? Awful comment even if the person dislikes her :(
  23. misskarne

    misskarne Spirit. Focus. Ability. Tenacity. Aussie Grit.

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    I've also seen a great deal more vigourous defence of V/M than I have of Plushenko.
  24. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    Thanks for the video. The short version is that the commentator said he doubts Plushy's had the surgery since none of the Israeli clinics that had been asked, can locate him.
  25. misskarne

    misskarne Spirit. Focus. Ability. Tenacity. Aussie Grit.

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    I don't think it's "can locate him". I think it's "refuse to locate him". The clinics aren't about to jump up and down and say "oh yes, Plushenko is here!". They have patient confidentiality to maintain.
  26. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    If I were any clinic and whether or not Plushy were there, I'd ask what is your relation and if they said none or media, I'd say this is confidential. Likely what happened.
  27. misskarne

    misskarne Spirit. Focus. Ability. Tenacity. Aussie Grit.

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    Yep. That's what I meant.

    But it's rather stupid. Any journalist worth their salt would know that you can't just ring up a hospital and say you're looking for someone, and expect them to tell you...
  28. Glacier cat

    Glacier cat New Member

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    Maybe 'the Israeli media' was masquerading as Queen Elizabeth or Vladimir Putin to ask for inside information of Plushy Middleton but failed. So they wrote there was no such operation and hospital and the Eurosport commentator has read about the story in The Sun.
  29. misskarne

    misskarne Spirit. Focus. Ability. Tenacity. Aussie Grit.

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    You know, that incident was the first place my mind went when this all blew up.
    Glacier cat and (deleted member) like this.
  30. TAHbKA

    TAHbKA Well-Known Member

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    There you go
  31. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    Oh, thanks - I didn't think to use that spelling (for those who don't read Hebrew, the article spells his name as Plushchenko), so nothing came up when I searched. That explains it :)

    They don't seem to find the whole thing suspicious, though. Did the local Russian-language media report anything of that sort?
  32. yaya124

    yaya124 New Member

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    I come cross this article which gives some possible explanations for the reason why Israeli bloggers try to spread the rumours.
  33. loulou

    loulou Well-Known Member

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    Journalists shouldn't just be free to investigate, it's precisely their job to do so, to confirm the stories they report, to double check official statements, to draw their own conclusions. That's why journalist stories are meaningful.


    Journalists aren't entitled to unrestricted access to every type of information. But since piecing informations up is an important part of a journalist job, they have their ways to do so, and they learn how to best protect themselves from breaking laws in the process (not that the process doesn't carry risks).

    The Pope's (the pope's!) private letters and documents have been published in books and papers, and not a single journalist has had troubles with the law.


    Being a public figure doesn't mean that confidentiality laws do not apply to you, but it certainly means that your privacy expectations should be lower.


    Of course being a public figure is a choice.
    If one doesn't like the high profile of what he/she does, then by all means may he/she feel free to do something else.


    I think that's the core issue of this news.

    A few days ago I was reading that the Sochi Olympics are going to be the most expensive in history. The piece went on saying that a few russian papers closed right after they wrote on how constructions and dumpings are conducted, saying things that were not along the lines of official statements (terrifying things).
    Then I read Plushenko is taking a sports journalist to court, in a country that's known for not having a free press or fair courts, right before the Olympics.
    These two piece of news together do not paint a nice big picture.

    You are worried about Plushenko's privacy, I am most concerned about is the kind of life an average person has in a country with no free press and no right to justice.
    I think Plushenko's not helping the issue, and I think that whatever reason he may have, or whatever case he may make are far less important than helping his country on the two most sore issues it has.

    I didn't wish to comment in other other way on the case: I said that's less relevant than worrying about press and courts in Russia, in my opinion.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2013
  34. loulou

    loulou Well-Known Member

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    Plushenko could have ridiculed the journalist's work by simply producing a doctor note: "The guy had surgery".
    A threat of any sort is less effective on the journalist's reputation, and unfortunately more harming under different points of view.

    While discussing the specifics of why a country's press freedom declines, Trasparency International have mentioned in the past that law suits against journalists are a contributing factor. It doesn't really matter if the suits are legally sound, nor if they result in a victory/partial victory of the plantiff.
    Law suits take time and respurces, laws are complex, results are often uncertain: all those reasons can scare journalists, even those that are trying to to their job at the best of their abilities and in good faith.

    It's a matter of opportunity: in my opinion, lawsuits against journalists should be carefully pondered, and should be the very last resort in case of serious harm. That is even more true in the russian scenario.
  35. senorita

    senorita New Member

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    I bet if you were in bed after disc surgery and someone even here anonymously called you a liar, let alone on eurosport , you would jump all over and wouldnt think how to save Russian's freedom of speech issues.. You sound like Plush is taking to courts any journalist who writes sth bad about him, and I m sure there are quite few journalists who do him no favor there. But thats not the case of freedom speech, he is a public figure, he has lots of sponsors, he is Sochi Ambassador and the said journalist was talking crap.
  36. yaya124

    yaya124 New Member

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    Channel 1 provided videos and interviews from doctors to prove Plushenko had surgery. But that does not prevent Zhurankov from saying in his opinion there was no operation. Plushenko is not the one destroying journalist reputation.

    To point out defects on construction or corruptions and got banned is one thing, to slander a well known sportsman's reputation is another. If you think these two types of journalists are at the same level, you are insulting the real journalists.

    Lawsuit maybe a bit extreme, but the whole thing is not Plushenko's fault. He is in a very difficult time and got stabbed from the back, maybe in your opinion he should just smile and allow himself bleeding to despair. Because he is a wealthy man and Russia has problem of free speech.
  37. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    The comment was made after Plushenko and his wife made public various medical details. It is not their responsibility to provide these, or any other details nosy people are interested in. However, it was the responsibility of the person making the allegations that Plushenko was faking the injury to prove his case. Which he didn't. You appear foolish for suggesting otherwise.

    For the last time: being a journalist is not free reign to publish or say anything you please about anyone in existence, famous or not. If you want to allege something happened, back it up with solid evidence. If you can't do that, don't be surprised if there are financial and professional consequences. People have a right to privacy and medical confidentiality - even famous people! - and this is something you seem blithely unconcerned about. The public does not have a right to know Plushenko's medical business. Period. Even if he does get public funding, government employees are paid from taxpayers' money, too - so what? Does did mean their rights should be waived?

    I'm sure if you were in Plushenko's position, you'd be ever so understanding and ready to turn the other cheek. :rolleyes:
  38. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

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    And when a journalist writes obvious rubbish, that hurts all journalist everywhere. Where is your concern for the harm this journalist did by writing obvious garbage with pretty much no research behind it that makes it seem like journalists are liars who will say anything to sell their stories?

    And I say that telling people in a country that has issues with a free press that they have to lay down and take it whenever a yellow journalist write lies about them because somehow this will help create a free press is naive at best.
    Finnice and (deleted member) like this.
  39. ItalianFan

    ItalianFan New Member

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    In other words what you're saying is that Plushenko should let the whole issue drop just because there is no freedom of speech in Russia? A slanderous remark that reflects negatively on his reputation is unimportant in this framework? That's ridiculous.
  40. ItalianFan

    ItalianFan New Member

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