Our View: NBC shows poor taste in reporting

DKS Editors

Bode Miller, one of the more visible members of the U.S. Winter Olympic team, is among the most decorated racers in his sport. He has won six Winter Olympic medals, including the bronze in this year’s Super-G race, good for most all-time among American skiers. Miller is also one of only five skiers in history to win medals in four different disciplines.

The Alpine skier had a reputation early in his career as a bad boy: at the 2006 Games, Miller said he was glad to “party and socialize at an Olympic level.” Now 36, the veteran had to overcome a year-long injury break to just barely qualify for Sochi. Miller became the oldest alpine-skiing medalist in history upon placing third in what was his final Olympic event; all in all, it was a compelling competition for a compelling character.

But that is not the story making its way across various news outlets and social media platforms. Instead, the headline was stolen by NBC’s Christin Cooper, whose post-race interview brought Miller to tears. Cooper essentially asked Miller the same question four consecutive times: are you thinking about your dead brother?

Miller, whose brother Chelone Miller died last April, grew more emotional each time Cooper rephrased her question. It might be easy to criticize Cooper for her impersonal pandering, but the real blame here lies with NBC.

The network, which ran the event on a tape-delay, had clearly made the decision to frame the narrative of Miller’s bronze medal triumph as one completed in the name of his brother. NBC’s lead-in segment to the Super-G focused on the ups and downs of Miller’s year, setting viewers up with an easy, overdone sports cliché that doesn’t do Miller’s accomplishment.

Instead of allowing the moment to speak for itself, NBC tried to manufacture a sentimental, feel-good narrative at the expense of honest reporting and good taste.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.