NBC is weathering the backlash from an interview with Olympic skier Bode Miller that critics said went way too far.
NBC reporter Christin Cooper questioned Miller repeatedly about the death of his brother, and about how it felt to be at the Olympics without him. (The network has made Miller's story a big part of its coverage; he spoke about his brother with Tom Brokaw on Saturday, for instance.) Miller eventually broke down in tears.
The AP's David Bauder called it a "shameful spectacle," adding, "It was tone-deaf and cruel, and short-circuited the thoughtful, intelligent perspectives Miller had started to offer until he couldn't talk anymore."
The New York Times' Richard Sandomir agreed, writing, "Cooper and NBC lacked the sensitivity to know when enough was enough."
NBC defended the interview in a statement:
“Our intent was to convey the emotion that Bode Miller was feeling after winning his bronze medal. We understand how some viewers thought the line of questioning went too far, but it was our judgment that his answers were a necessary part of the story. We’re gratified that Bode has been publicly supportive of Christin Cooper and the overall interview.”
For his part, Miller told angry viewers to be "gentle" with Cooper:
I appreciate everyone sticking up for me. Please be gentle w christin cooper, it was crazy emotional and not all her fault. #heatofthemoment
— Bode Miller (@MillerBode) February 17, 2014
He also retweeted this comment:
— Agent Zero (@Agent_Zeero) February 17, 2014