Amid mounting criticism, NBC Olympics exec producer Jim Bell defended the conduct of NBC reporter Christin Cooper during her interview Sunday with bronze-medal skiing winner Bode Miller.
Cooper’s exchange with Miller has turned controversial as she repeatedly questioned the skiing star about his reaction to winning in light of the death of his brother last year — pressing the issue even after Miller was moved to tears.
Bell said he thought the interview “played out fine.” He was pressed on the situation during a conference call with reporters today to confirm the return of Bob Costas to the Olympics anchor’s chair tonight.
Miller has since defended Cooper, a former skiing Olympian herself, on Twitter and in an interview with Matt Lauer on Monday’s edition of “Today.” But NBC’s handling of the whole situation has drawn scoldings from the New York Times, among other commentators.
During the call, Bell said he thought the interview was in line with NBCU’s practice of delving into the personal lives and backgrounds of the competing athletes.
NBCU may be under some pressure to offer more color. During the call, Bell was asked if he was concerned that no single athlete had emerged as a hero or icon during the competition.