NBC Under Fire For Bode Miller Interview

220px-nbc_logosvg200px-Bode_Miller_Hinterstoder_2011There have been a host of complaints about the NBC coverage of the Olympics. I criticized NBC during the opening ceremony on Twitter for useless banter of its hosts rather than allowing viewers to actually listen to the opening ceremony. It was yet another example of the network’s view that viewers want to hear from their celebrities rather than watch the actual news. It is obviously not appealing to viewers. Ratings are down from the Vancouver games and just even with the Torino games seven years ago. However, few aspects of the coverage hit a more angry note than the interview

The interview occurred immediately after Miller tied for the bronze medal in Sunday’s super-G. NBC has been accused of milking the story of how Bode’s brother Chilly died last year of an apparent seizure. However, what happened in the interview went beyond the bounds of propriety in the view of many people. NBC’s Christin Cooper seemed intent on getting Bode to cry and continued with questioning about his brother long after the point was made.

Miller immediately acknowledged that the win was poignant due to his brother. Cooper then took off:

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 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 it’s really for him. But I wanted to come here and uh — I don’t know, I guess make my self 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?

That did it and Miller breaks down.

It is worth noting that Miller has asked fans to lay off Cooper in Twitter.

My problem is with the cheesy coverage generally by NBC which often seems more about NBC than the games or the athletes. The network seems desperate to improve ratings but is only doubling down on its celebrity driven approach to coverage and bizarre side stories. For example, viewers have had to sit through its celebrity hosts having Russian bathes and fishing. It seems like the network cannot understand why people do not want to see and hear its hosts rather than some athletes competing.

I like the Olympics and watching these fantastic athletes. However, I have found the coverage at times so trivializing or scripted that I have turned off the games.

32 thoughts on “NBC Under Fire For Bode Miller Interview”

  1. Is anybody cleaning out the filter these days. I’d appreciate it if someone could unstick my comment. Thank you in advance.

  2. It is appalling that the commentators when interviewing an athlete who placed 4th or 5th in the world demoralize them about asking what they think they did wrong or why they are a looser. That is cruel and inhumane treatment of athletes that have worked sooooo hard for years. The interview with Bodie Miller was disgusting and the commentator should be fired. Your NBC staff except for Bob Costas and Murial Viera should all be fired!!!!!

  3. TV commentators are self indulgent morons who make a living dumbing down the news to a few ill chosen sound bites.Is it any wonder that Americans are becoming ever less informed.

  4. “The SportsNews-SoapOpera Complex” — which was born at the Nagano Winter Games, when NBC took over. A long time ago, but just as nauseating then as it is now! Another reason we don’t watch ANYTHING live these days. We have a large capacity DVR from our satellite providers, and an additional hard drive, so, as with everything else we watch, we are dvr-ing all the broadcasts that look remotely interesting (i.e. yes: curling, biathlon, figure skating, bobsled; no: hockey, next to no downhill, etc etc). When we watch off the DVR we can skip both the blathering and the ads! AND pick what time of day we watch what, like, watching curling in the afternoon or prime-time, instead of the wee hours of the night when they broadcast it. It’s very liberating.

  5. Bode Miller’s refusal to blame Christin speaks volumes about his character, but can’t save the NBC exec quoted in the Post who would have us believe that viewers somehow benefited because she pushed to “get the story.” Everybody and their dog had already “gotten” the story and could recognize what the effect would be of further pushing. NBC then doubled down on its cruelty by keeping the camera on Bode once he collapsed. And to cap it all off we won’t have Leno tonight to explain to the network why it was so wrong.

  6. “I like the Olympics and watching these fantastic athletes. However, I have found the coverage at times so trivializing or scripted that I have turned off the games.”


  7. Bode Miller responds:



    “I appreciate everyone sticking up for me. Please be gentle w christin cooper, it was crazy emotional and not all her fault. #heatofthemoment”

    “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.”

    “I’ve known Christin a long time. She’s a sweetheart of a person. I know she didn’t mean to push,” he said. “I don’t blame her at all.”

    “Miller then retweeted a post that suggested the producers were at fault, and Cooper was being told what to ask.”

  8. I do have satellite….. But I didn’t want to pay for another box…..if alls you want is the local news it’s perfect….. But no showtime…. Or programs like that….

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