Monday, February 17, 2014

Unscrupulous Reporters Miss the Real Story

By M. J. Joachim

Reporters have a way of zoning in on their subjects, often to the detriment of the real story. I watched in horror last night, as Bode Miller was brought to tears after winning the bronze medal in Super G Downhill race. His teammate, Andrew Weibrecht, won silver. 

After briefly acknowledging Weibrecht, the reporter – wish I knew her name, quickly focused on Bode Miller, a 36 year old Olympian who should have been celebrating his victory, but instead ended up dodging personal questions about his brother’s death. Miller’s grace and dignity, as he withstood the onslaught of “in your face” questions, was admirable, the mark of a true Olympian, sport celebrity and honorable man.

The reporter on the other hand was positively relentless, as she continuously repeated her attack, even as tears started running down Miller’s cheek. No matter how much he tried to change the subject, she pursued him like a dog with a bone. She wanted the scoop – which should have been that USA won silver and bronze, imo.

Instead, she focused on bringing Miller to his knees. The image haunts and horrifies me, as this magnificent Olympian quietly walked a few steps away, crouched down behind the barrier and wept.

It’s happened too much during these 2014 Olympics. Reporters focus on the pain, struggle and personal hardship of the athletes, instead of celebrating their victories in the grandest of styles. They dig their hills in like paparazzi, kicking our Olympians and host, as if somehow negative news is the only stuff that sells.

It’s all about the warm weather in Russia, the lack of security and threat of terrorism, with a few warm fuzzy stories tossed in for good measure – not enough to balance the scale, merely a meager effort to prove they are actually reporting the Olympic venue.

When I watch the Olympics, I want to celebrate athletes from around the world. I want to pay tribute to the country working so hard to host such a phenomenal, world event. Politics aside, I want to enjoy the sportsmanship and community of it all, as the world comes together despite its differences, and carries the Olympic torch, celebrating the best of the best, no matter where they live, because they worked hard enough to display their Olympic colors on the world stage.

Thank you for visiting and commenting on Effectively Human today. I look forward to seeing you again soon.

M. J.

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Photo credit: Thomas Grollier, Bode Miller – 2006 Olympics, CCA – Share Alike 1.0 Generic License