Monday, February 17, 2014

Dogs & Olympics: dogged journalism or journalistic hounding

Olympian Gus Kenworthy wasn't the only one falling in love with dogs last week. I have been dog sitting in a wonderful house, in a great neighborhood, for the sweetest dog on the planet.

This is Charlotte. 

Do you remember that montage in 101 Dalmatians where the people looked like their dogs, or the dogs looked like their people? 

All week, people told me that Charlotte, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, looked like the kind of dog I should own. I have no idea what they meant by that statement, as I don't see a resemblance between Charlotte's wavy curls and big brown eyes and my stick straight wisps and green eyes. Perhaps they were referring to my equally sweet nature. (Ha! Doubtful. Although, Charlotte's actual owner really is that sweet.)  

In other news, I've been staying up way too late watching some of the Olympic coverage. And let me tell you, that I too am disappointed in the quality of the reporters out there. They are seriously lacking basic journalistic skills. And I don't care if Bode Miller isn't bashing Christin Cooper for hounding him to tears, but I still will. 

There was a time when reporters had ethics that didn't involve intruding on another's grief. Cooper took her audience for granted when she repeatedly asked Miller a line of questioning that's intention was for the sole purpose of getting him to show raw emotion. The thing is, the audience could already see Miller's emotions. This was television, not a newspaper article. We aren't blind. The camera was zoomed in on Miller's face. We could see the tears in his eyes and his struggle to maintain composure through each question. We didn't need Cooper's interrogation to see what Miller was going through. And because those questions were the only ones aired back at home, we have no idea if she ever even bothered to interview him about the whole reason he was in the spotlight. His race and his reflection on his performance as an athlete, a competitor.   

In all fairness, Cooper isn't the only disappointing reporter in Sochi. What is the deal with asking athletes how they are feeling? It doesn't matter if they just missed their chance at the finals and the gold, or if they won their first or fifteenth medal, obviously their emotions are all over the place. How would you feel if you spent years training and pouring your life into something only to be knocked out of contention early on? Or to finally hold in your hand the goal you have given everything to reach. We would never dream of interviewing the actor who didn't win the Oscar about how they are "feeling right now." Why then is it okay to ask our athletes those same questions?  These are athletes, not actors. A better question would be, "What were you thinking when (something relevant to their performance or event)?"

Stepping off soapbox now. Clearly my theory about my sweet disposition matching Charlotte's is now debunked. 

1 comment:

  1. I see no reason for you to step off the soapbox. I agree with everything you said. You are 100% correct. This interview went too far. I saw him collapse afterward with emotion. Not necessary! You tell them Miz Shelby!