Updates from Monday, Feb. 17
Bode Miller responded to fan reaction over the NBC interview early Monday in a series of tweets:
I appreciate everyone sticking up for me. Please be gentle w christin cooper, it was crazy emotional and not all her fault. #heatofthemoment— Bode Miller (@MillerBode) February 17, 2014
My emotions were very raw, she asked the questions that every interviewer would have, pushing is part of it, she wasnt trying to cause pain.— Bode Miller (@MillerBode) February 17, 2014
Bode Miller won the bronze medal in the men’s super-G competition at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, but his accomplishments weren’t all that had television viewers buzzing during NBC’s prime-time coverage (read: replay) of the race.
Mike Dyce of Fansided.com reported on the postgame interview between Miller and Christin Cooper:
Well, NBC isn’t winning anyone over after what reporter Christin Cooper did. Cooper was interviewing United States Olympic skier Bode Miller and asked him repeatedly about his dead brother till he cried.
The internet and Twitter were rightfully upset about it. Especially the decision to leave it in after all the tape delay.
The transcript of the entire interview can be found in this Chris Chase report via USA Today's For The Win.
The part of the exchange that jumped out immediately was as follows:
Cooper: Bode, you’re showing so much emotion down here. What’s going through your mind?
Miller: (Long pause) A lot, obviously. A long struggle coming in here. And, uh, just a tough year.
Cooper: I know you wanted to be here with Chilly [Miller's brother] experiencing these games, how much does it mean to you to come up with a great performance for him? And was it for him?
Miller: I mean, I don’t know [if] it’s really for him. But I wanted to come here and uh — I don’t know, I guess make my self [sic] proud. (Pauses, then wipes away tears.)
Cooper: When you’re looking up in the sky at the start, we see you there and it just looks like you’re talking to somebody. What’s going on there?
Perhaps the most notable thing about the post-race interview is the fact that Cooper was a former Olympic racer herself, as Ed Werder of ESPN pointed out:
A former Olympic racer, NBC's Christin Cooper persisted asking @MillerBode about losing his brother until he broke down and simply left.— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) February 17, 2014
Brian Christopherson of the Lincoln Journal Star compared the interview to past Roy Firestone tactics:
NBC reporter just fired off four repetitive leading questions until Bode Miller cried. Like Roy Firestone interviewing Rod Tidwell.— Brian Christopherson (@HuskerExtraBC) February 17, 2014
While Cooper may have pressed a bit too much during the interview, it was still NBC’s decision to leave the tears in the prime-time coverage slot. This certainly wasn’t a live and organic interview that caught the producers off guard as it unfolded.
Even worse about the Bode Miller attack was that NBC had the footage all day to change their minds about it. They didn't. #NBCFail— Ty Unglebower (@TyUnglebower) February 17, 2014
NBC had 8 hours to edit that Bode Miller interview. And they kept all that. Producer and Interview should be sidelined for rest of Olympics— Jason Buck (@Jason_Buck) February 17, 2014
The interview even had Jerry Young, who is a play-by-play announcer of high school sports for the NFHS Network, upset:
Kristen Cooper of NBC Sports is the definition of a horrible sports broadcaster. The worst interview ever of Bode Miller. #bode— Jerry Young (@JerryYoungFB) February 17, 2014
There is another way to interpret the interview's actions, though, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com addressed:
Saw Bode Miller’s interview where he broke down about his brother. Touching, emotional stuff. Thought the reporter toed the line properly— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 17, 2014
Despite the wide range of opinions on the interview, Miller's emotions and thoughts are what matter most:
Thanks for all the support, today was one of the most emotional days of my life. I miss my brother.— Bode Miller (@MillerBode) February 16, 2014
Considering the fallout and criticism that NBC will likely receive from the interview, don’t be surprised if the network issues some type of comment on it in future telecasts.
It will be interesting to watch how this impacts Miller going forward, if at all. He still has to compete in the men's giant slalom and men's slalom in the coming days in Sochi.