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Did NBC Go Too Far in Bode Miller Interview?

NBC's repeated questions concerning the death of Olympic skier Bode Miller's brother has generated criticism.

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Screen grab
NBC is facing criticism for its interview with Olympic skier Bode Miller.

Miller, 36, became the oldest Alpine medalist in Olympic history when he won the bronze in the super-G, the L.A. Times reported. Miller was interviewed by NBC's Christin Copper after the race who repeatedly delved into the April death of Miller's brother, Chelone.

Eventually Miller broke down on camera and the New York Times noted that instead of breaking away, NBC stayed on Miller for 75 seconds.

For his part, Miller has come to Cooper's defense via Twitter: "My emotions were very raw, she asked the questions that every interviewer would have, pushing is part of it, she wasn't trying to cause pain."
Herb February 17, 2014 at 10:21 PM
So very unprofessional -- she should loose her job. It was crule and totally uncalled for. Program manager just as much at fault for not cutting it off and/or panning to something else. If this was run AFTER REVIEW - That makes it even worse and heads should roll.
p bresn February 18, 2014 at 12:44 AM
here we go again...i typed a comment and then had to log in...lets see if patch posts this one...anyhow...yes they went too far...i come from a family of journalists and now our society has produced media vultures especially when it involves tragedy and suffering...disgusting...
jaycee February 18, 2014 at 01:03 AM
I literally turned to my husband while watching that interview and said "WTF is wrong with that reporter!?" It was clearly a moment he should have had in private. I was waiting for Bode's wife to come and comfort him and just make the reporter go away!!
carol jones February 18, 2014 at 01:50 AM
a bit overboard for sure, once he started gettingupset just say congrats on the metal and sorry for your loss and be done with it
J D C February 18, 2014 at 07:00 AM
Yeah the job of a REAL reporter is to KEEP the interviewee TALKING, not watching them CRY! After he "trailed off", SHE should have trailed off, the SUBJECT! This is the Olympics not REALITY TV. The man just won a Gold Medal for Christs sake! Like I said, THEY SUCK!
Chris Daley February 18, 2014 at 07:37 AM
I didn't see the interview because I decided NOT TO WATCH Putin's Winter Olympics in the palm tree coast of Black Sea. These games should never been held here. The world looks the other way while Syria, Iran and North Korea create misery. Two million refugees have fled bombed- out Aleppo, Homs and other cities hit with Assad's air war against his own civilians. Chemical weapons were used, setting a "red line" for our president who is afraid to make a decision, but rather play it safe with non-action. We stand for something or we stand for nothing-as we are- while another holocaust occurs! We allow it! Iran is hosing us re nukes and No. Korea's goose-stepping 2 million army will require serious consequences if they step across the 38th Parallel. The world best wake up to these threats to peace and US, NATO need to be engaged to prevent evil. So not much Olympic Spirit here for me, because it's phony, Putin is on their side. Us or them.
Big K February 18, 2014 at 08:30 AM
This reporter could clearly see and hear this mans distress over the loss of his brother. She should have ended this questioning and conversation, then and there.
Taylor February 18, 2014 at 09:01 AM
Spouse had an up-close experience with TV "journalists" during the Seton-Hall fire a few years ago. Overheard one reporter gushing to another that they got a relative of one of the fire victims crying on camera. Makes you want to throw up all over them. TV news is dead in this country.
carol a roskam February 18, 2014 at 09:10 AM
Absolutely, Ms Cooper was way out of line and unprofessional, her questions were rude and inconsiderate. Of course, it goes without saying, that Bode, or anyone for that matter, would be upset and certainly feel very emotional after that awesome performance. She was definitely out of line, and unprofessional. She took the glory of the awesome performance from not only Bode, but from everyone who competed in that event, and threw it under the bus, for her moment of stardom, which in my opinion should land her in the unemployment lines along with the rude and insensitive cameraman who kept the camera rolling on on Bode for 70 plus seconds.
JohnnyMass February 18, 2014 at 09:33 AM
NBC sucks!
leslie bunch February 18, 2014 at 10:15 AM
I agree with Carol. The reporter and cameraman were very insensitive and should have terminated their interview the moment they noticed how upset he was getting. I was so mad, yelling at them to leave him alone. It seems that reporters will stop at nothing to get their story.
Jon Scagnelli February 18, 2014 at 10:41 AM
If you can't tell by his facial expressions alone that he had enough after the first sensitive question, you shouldn't have a job as a reporter. Kudos to Bode Miller for representing our country in tough times and staying strong up until the shameful reporter came into play. NBC should be embarrassed.
steve forte February 18, 2014 at 11:18 AM
Reporter probably thinks he was showing class for not asking about his cousin.
John Reing February 18, 2014 at 11:22 AM
The reporter probed way too deeply. She got him to shed a tear, so maybe she'll get a quarterly bonus. These reporters are trash in my humble opinion.
Bob February 18, 2014 at 12:40 PM
NBC sucks.....it's the throwaway drive thru world we live in.... " if it bleeds (or crys in this case) it leads" mentality is appalling....
Suzanne February 18, 2014 at 01:40 PM
I think NBC went way overboard in sensationalizing what a very personal situation for Bode. Tell NBC what you think - greg.hughes@nbcuni.com. He is the SR VP of Communications for the sports group
Kent Murray February 18, 2014 at 08:33 PM
They were out of bounds. Bode said on numerous times, I am doing this for my brother, thinking of him, etc... They were so wrong - flippin reporters are always trying to make something out of a Human Emotion Story. She should be so disappointed in the way she handle that interview and apologize to Bodie. What a Great Man, he gives his heart and soul for his sport and for our country! Go Bode - Sorry you went through that! SEMPER FI!
Janice Franks February 18, 2014 at 09:00 PM
Bode Miller magnanimously defended the female reporter; the interview was painful to watch. I kept yelling at the T.V. "leave him alone;" he was so obviously in pain and she seemed so uncaring.
Diane Weekley February 19, 2014 at 12:15 AM
SHe was an idiot! She needs to be taken off interviews. Common sense and no human feelings!! I was embarrassed by her. :(
Marc Oliver February 19, 2014 at 08:26 AM
She's a vulture like most other reporters. Also, I forget who was interviewing Pikus-Pace but they were pressing her about a friggin' miscarriage she had. She cried of course and the reporter got her big moment.
Roger Minkow February 19, 2014 at 10:50 AM
I think the Bode Miller interview was unprofessional and pointless. He is a great athlete who was vulnerable and exploited by the interviewer. Although he was gracious and didn't blame her I do. I think she should apologize to him and everyone else she offended by her behavior and I think NBC owes all of us an apology for letting that segment air on TV.
jeff gibb February 19, 2014 at 11:58 AM
I have been a long time fan of NBC and their professional grade of news/sports reporting for decades. Costas and crew are always well informed and usually bring a lot to the Olympics. This year, 2 events actually made me cringe and lowered the standards of sports reporting significantly: Kristin Copper and Lewis Johnson were incredibly disrespectful and rude to their interviewees, Bode Miller and Katie Uhlaender, respectfully. Both had just achieved great success and both reporters not only chose to bring up a very difficult recent death, but asked a revolting number of follow up questions, with obvious results. I not also the article in the Salt Lake Tribune showing the tally of death questions at 3/day...While I could understand acknowledging the athletes' losses, offering condolences, etc., the sheer number of follow up, detailed questions about a highly personal matter was completely unprofessional and ridiculous given the circumstances. I hope NBC instructs its reporters on how inappropriate these questions were, and does not, rather, offer bonuses for "emotional breakdowns" as happens in some different arenas... At the very least, NBC and these individual reporters, should apologize directly to Ms. Pinkus-Pace and Mr. Miller. I get that we live in a world where all is fair game with the press, but some things really do need to be left private.
carol a roskam February 19, 2014 at 12:47 PM
Yes Marc Oliver, there were several interviews both at the Olympics and on TV shows that were so insensitive and out of line, to name a few others who conducted these interviews would be Lewis Johnson, Matt Laury, Meredith Vierra to name a few, I am sure I am missing some. These reporters, talk show host, journalists, etc are in it for the sensationalism with tital disregard for the individuals, heir accomplishments, feelings and most of all their privacy. They are rude inconsiderate people who should all be dealt with appropriately and my feeling is public apology and termination. We all have someone inn our life, weather it be Mother, Father, Brother Sister, Husband, Wife child in our life that we have loved and lost, and yes, there are situations in our life that we reflect and say to ourselves I wonder how _____ would feel or I know ____ is proud of me or I did it all for ______, but these are thoughts and comments we keep in our heart, mind and soul and share with very intimate people in our life when the situation presents itself. It is not to be forced or pried out in public like these inconsiderate people are doing. Congratulations to all out athletes who have are still are representing the USA. We are so proud of all of you and SHAME ON THESE OTHER INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE DOING ALL THE REPORTING. THEY SHOULD ALL BE FIRED!!!!!!
Pullo February 19, 2014 at 03:09 PM
Cooper: When you're looking up in the sky at the start, we see you there and it looks like you're talking to somebody. What's going on there? I wish he had said that was a private moment and now this probing interview is over!!!!!!
Gloria Cowan February 19, 2014 at 03:56 PM
If NBC wants to recover some of the damages of Cooper's remarks, given the amount spent to host the Olympics, they will have to fire her a___. Then many of us will feel that she's gotten what she deserves. I don't think of media culture; instead I think of human decency.
J D C February 19, 2014 at 04:33 PM
I have already posted my dismay for what she did and in no way condoning it but do any of you think this has anything to do with this new "trend" of ballplayers etc. pounding their chests and looking up at the sky all the time, ESPECIALLY when they know the camera's on them? The ACHIEVEMENT doesnt seem to be enough anymore there HAS to be a back story. Is it just me?
Patricia Mentink February 20, 2014 at 12:13 PM
Send that reporter to sensitivity training. It was obvious that he was hurting and her questions? only made the interview worse, until Bode Miller fell to his knees and sobbed. She must feel terrific for her accomplishment. I personally would fire her, if NBC hasn't already done so. To Bode, great job, America is proud of you and your family.
Jerry Seltzer February 20, 2014 at 12:33 PM
all media are competing with each other for attention....create emotional moments for viewer response; forget that there is a human being there......it will go on...
Mary Jones February 20, 2014 at 04:12 PM
She conducted an interview last night ( Wed. ), so NBC hasn't removed her from reporting at the Olympics. I don't want to see her fired, but at least removed from the Olympics.
Lorraine Crenshaw March 03, 2014 at 07:35 AM
Yes! Pity but perhaps she needs to be treated the same at some point in time. Our caring media in action.

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