Winter Games 2014: Exploiting Emotion For Cheap Hits


See what happens when Bob Costas gets sick?  I’ve called Bode Miller a crybaby in the past, but he gets a pass for this one.

I’ve got a confession to make: I didn’t watch the Olympics last night. Hearing in advance that Bode won and not being a fan, as well as experiencing a bit of Olympics fatigue, I instead conspired a way to catch the latest episode of True Detective. One look at the internet today told me that I missed something. Trying to figure out what that was exactly highlighted what the real problem is.

Trying to find the video on youtube resulted in a lot of hits with titles like “EMOTIONAL BODE MILLER INTERVIEW” but not anything close to a simple recording of what millions saw on TV last night. Instead you get misleading news sources from other places, photos of Miller crying set to cheap public domain music, and emo editorializing from children. Each person clicking is a hit, each hit means an ad, and each ad means the person who uploaded the video gets paid.

The somewhat gnomish Christin Cooper, the woman squeezing the tears out of The Boad in that clip, is not a journalist. She’s a retired ski racer the producers put up to that job, presumably with no journalistic training besides watching a lot of Barbara Walters and someone in her ear saying “We’ve set up the narrative that he’s doing this for his dead brother, make sure he says he did it for his dead brother!”

What a ridiculous world we live in sometimes.