Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Bob Newmeyer is an Asshole

Over the course of the Olympics there has been a lot of interesting commentary being bandied about in all the venues - some good, some awful. The most egregious so far has to be sideline reporter Bob Newmeyer at the Bird's Nest - home of track & field. On multiple occasions he has been totally heartless when interviewing athletes right after their Olympic dreams have been crushed. (see: Gay, Tyson; Spearmon, Wallace and Jones, Lolo)

Sure, I know we are all wondering what these people are thinking and feeling and it is the job of the media these days to get these scoops. However, I seriously object to the way that he poses the questions and the tone he takes with the athletes. For instance, after Tyson Gay failed to qualify for the 100m final, Newmeyer asked him if his hamstring was alright. A fair question, given his seemingly horrific fall in the 200m finals at the US trials 6 weeks prior.

Then he crosses the line, accusatorily asking him if he was sure. Really Bob, a gut who was to be part of the ultimate 3 man 100m showdown prior to the games who just failed to make that final is unsure how he feels. He said he was 100%, he said the leg wasn't an issue and that he gave it his all. Who are you to question him? He then went on to ask him how dissappointed he was with that performance, as if the crushing realiztion that his Olympic dreams were over without even the chance to run for a medal was going to be anything other than a huge dissappointment.

Later in the games, after Lolo Jones clipped a hurdle (the 9th) and lost all her momentum and faded from sure gold to 7th place Newmeyer struck again. He asked her what she must have been feeling after losing what looked like a sure gold medal. Clearly crestfallen, especially since that was very likely her one shot to do so. He also asks her what exactly happened, and how that occured. Come on, Bob. There's a way to ask these athletes these questions without seemingly like a completely soulless media android. Have some compassion, say something comforting to preface a question - these are young people (21-28 generally) who just saw 4 years of hard work, sacrifice and preparation result in heartache in seconds (or less).

Lastly, after Wallace Spearmon celebrated his apparent bronze medal in the 200m, only to discover he had been disqualified for stepping out of his lane Newmeyer immediately got him for an interview. The man just realized that he was going to lose an Olympic medal and Newmeyer chimes in with the ever brilliant: "What are your emotions like right now?" like he could even possibly answer that. Next question was asking him when he found out (just now) and how he felt about his race. Spearmon did a good job not punching him, I thought, and kept reiterating that he would be filing a protest.

Newmeyer has no compassion, not a lot of class and is lucky that all these athletes are being such good sports professionally answering his rudely toned interrogations. I wouldn't be upset if people stopped talking to him. If I were there, I would certainly avoid him like the plague.

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