Bode Miller, the US skier who was reduced to tears courtesy of NBC reporter Christin Cooper live on TV has defended the reporter in light of the lambasting she has received after what many considered to be an unrelenting invasive interview.
In defending the reporter, Bode Miller who had won a bronze medal in the super-G race in Sochi yesterday told that Christin Cooper was only doing her job.
Twitted Miller: ‘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,
‘I appreciate everyone sticking up for me. Please be gentle w (sic) Christin Cooper, it was crazy emotional and not all her fault,’
The onset of questions had come to be after Bode Miller told that his bronze medal was in memory of his recently deceased brother, Chelone Chilly Miller, a snowboarder who had died last April as a result of a seizure.
Yet rather than inquire on the sporting feat itself, the fact that with his bronze medal, Bode Miller at the age of 36 had become the most medaled skier in history as well as the oldest person to win an alpine medal at the Games, Christin Cooper pressed on the athlete’s feelings about his brother’s recent death, turning what ought to have been a heroic interview into what many have regarded a damning invasive one that failed to appreciate that somethings are sometimes best off the radar.
As Miller began to cry, Cooper asked if his performance was for Chilly. He struggled but managed to answer the question, saying that it wasn’t for him but he wanted to make himself proud.
But then she asked whether he had been talking to his brother when he looked up at the sky before the start of the race.
This became too much for him causing him to fully break down, hunched over before walking away.
Finally, his wife, professional volleyball player Morgan Miller, arrived to comfort him.
After the interview went live, social media exploded with an avalanche of criticism of what many felt was Cooper’s overtly aggressive interviewing style.
Reiterated one user: ‘NBC has NO shame. How many times do they need to make Bode Miller cry for his dead brother to promote their ratings,’ one user wrote while another tweeted,’Some announcers just don’t know when to stop asking questions-why can’t they leave Bodie Miller alone and let him deal with his emotions.’
In explaining why he broke down, the skier told Today show host Matt Lauer the following:
‘I have known Christin a long time, and she’s a sweetheart of a person,’
‘I know she didn’t mean to push. I don’t think she really anticipated what my reaction was going to be, and I think by the time she realized it, it was too late. I don’t blame her at all.’
Aware that the NBC reporter had received a lot of flack (and aware that the Today show is part of the NBC affiliate itself, and thus part of a pr mission to save face) Bode Miller added the following:
‘I feel terrible that she’s taking the heat for that because it really was just a heat-of-the-moment kind of circumstance,’
‘I don’t think there was any harm intended. It was just a lot of emotion for me.’
‘It’s been a lot over the past year. You sometimes don’t realize how much you can contain that stuff until the dam breaks, and then it’s just a real outpouring.’
In defending Christin Cooper, Bode Miller would further tweet: ‘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 wasn’t trying to cause pain.’
Despite the athlete’s stand in defending NBC, many have continued to criticize the network lambasting it with further abuse as well cries of cynical pr mongering. Interestingly Christin Cooper has kept quiet.
The win was the 36-year-old’s sixth career Olympic medal, spread over 12 years, and now has sole possession of second place on the all-time men’s Alpine medal list.