I have had an ongoing Twitter discussion today with @chinesedownhill. He is taking the stand that Sven Kramer is not out of line with his are you stupid question coming and in any event NBC deserves it for their poor Olympic ski coverage.
He wonders how the reporter did not know who he was or where he was from after just winning gold.
My take is what Sven did was completely uncalled for and I am glad to see him fail for that arrogance.
As I stated in the previous post on this topic, a lot of chatter I am seeing on this indicates the questions were posed for a technical or procedural reason, not for information gathering. In fact, they might have asked Sven to recite How much wood would a woodchuck chuck…, of course this would cause another discussion similar to this.
I have also seen reporters ask the question to understand how the interviewee prefers their named to be pronounced. My name is frequently mispronounced and it is irritating. I bet you a lot of money if that reporter did not ask and went on to mispronounce his name we would be hearing all sorts of whines about how the reporter is such a mono-linguist and doesn’t know how to pronounce a simple foreign name. When I look at Sven’s surname I would immediately go with the pronunciation we are familiar with from Seinfeld.
The other tack @chinesedownhill takes is NBC has it coming for their shoddy Olympic coverage. I am sympathetic to the claim that NBC’s coverage is shoddy, but Sven did not ask if NBC was stupid, but directed his venom to the reporter.
In any event, I could care less for NBC; one petulant skater is of little consequence to them as NBC is a “big-boy” and can take care of themselves. My concern is over Kramer’s attitude to another person and not his attitude to the network. Kramer’s attitude is one we are all familiar with and we hear the stories regularly. A celebrity of some sort is made to wait in a line with the rest of us and they get all indignant and demand: don’t you know who I am! No question mark because it is not really a question it is a demand.
The failure Sven underwent was embarrassing enough, even if it was the coaches fault (which is a reasonable case to make) there is a lot of schadenfreude being taken in over it. I put him in the same class as Lyndsey Jacobellis.