Despite the fact that U.S. Olympic skier Bode Miller has said that he is not mad at NBC’s Christin Cooper for pushing him to tears after he locked up the bronze medal in the Super G on Sunday, people are still really pissed at NBC for airing the awkward interview. Cooper, Miller Tweeted, was just doing her job, and he doesn’t think that people should be hard on her just because she kept pressing him and pushing him to mention his dead brother so the guys in the production trailer could high five each other while they added Sarah McLachlan music in the background for the primetime replay.
Now, because of the intense backlash and finger-wagging at NBC, 2014 Winter Olympics executive producer and full-time guy who doesn’t give a f*ck, Jim Bell, is setting the record straight about why NBC is fine with really awkward interviews that are painful for people at home to watch.
“You’d be irresponsible not to tell that part of the story,” Bell told reporters during a conference call Monday. “That’s what we do.”
“Some of the reaction to it we understand,” Bell added. But most viewers were probably unaware of Miller’s back story prior to the interview: “People don’t know these athletes; they don’t know their sports,” Bell said. (Via the Los Angeles Times)
And, of course, there’s this very important part of Bell’s defense that none of us can ignore…
“We’re fine with it and the guy who was the interview subject was fine with it,” Bell said. “So I think that should be the end of it.”
Except, he’s being pretty vague in regard to what Miller was “fine with.” According to the man himself on yesterday’s TODAY Show, he’s completely fine with Cooper doing her job.
“I have known Christin a long time, and she’s a sweetheart of a person,” Miller told Matt Lauer on TODAY Monday. “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.”
“I feel terrible that she’s taking the heat for that because it really was just a heat-of-the-moment kind of circumstance,” Miller said. “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.”
Again, he doesn’t blame Cooper. But he also doesn’t say who, if anyone, he does blame, and since Bell is so readily capable of telling us what Miller thinks and what we, as viewers, do or do not know, my five cents still says that Miller blames the producers for forcing Cooper to press him on his dead brother and not let him bask in his bronze medal moment.
Not like Miller or anyone else will give a rat’s ass about this story in another few days – I’m sure Bell has already forgotten about it while dining on stray dog in the Sochi VIP lounge – but we should probably all thank the heavens that Bell and NBC didn’t dig a little deeper into how shitty Miller’s 2013 was.