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NBC Olympics chief says network is fine with Bode Miller crying interview

If Bode Miller is OK with his crying interview, you should be too. Or at least that's the view of the guy running NBC's Sochi Olympics coverage.

The network is taking fierce heat for reporter Christin Cooper's interview of Miller on Sunday after he tied for a bronze medal in the men's super-G at the Winter Olympics. Miller began crying after Cooper mentioned "so much emotion" behind the race -- a reference to Miller's brother, snowboarding pro Chelone "Chilly" Miller, who died in April. With tears streaming down his cheeks, Miller eventually bent over, head on his hands, and could not finish the interview.

Online commenters have slammed the interview as "disgusting" and worse, with many pointing out that due to the delay in showing Olympic coverage in the United States, NBC had hours to edit the interview into something less raw.

But NBC Olympics executive producer Jim Bell isn't apologizing.

"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.

Miller -- an alpine ski champ who won a gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics -- has defended Cooper since the interview aired. "Please be gentle w christin cooper, it was crazy emtional and not all her fault," he tweeted.

That was enough for NBC.

"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."

(c)2014 Los Angeles Times

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