UPDATE: YouTube removed the original video with the subtitles. You can still find the video on a Dutch video site. I’m sure they won’t remove the video: click here
The Dutch interview of Sven Kramer where the reporter discusses an NBC reporter asking some stupid questions to the just crowned Olympic champion, is stirring up quite a storm on the Internet. On Reddit there is quite some discussion on who is the Douche bag here, and on other blogs there are people cheering for Sven, and others disagree with his response. One more time, here is the actual Youtube movie:
The Dutch reporter and Sven Kramer are discussing the awkward situation after the reporter asked the question and Sven called the NBC reporter stupid. The reporter is pointing out that US media work this way and expect athletes to work with them. Ultimately, Sven does not want to work the way the NBC reporter asked him to, and thinks the media should do their job, where he should concentrate on his sports. He is still in the race for two additional gold medals!
Although I agree totally with Sven Kramer calling the NBC reporter stupid, this might well be one defining moment in reputation management. How it will play out is not sure yet, but it could turn ugly if people would become more aggressive in their comments. I just wait for the clip to turn up on the Colbert Report tonight!
Some comments from across the web:
The guy JUST won the gold medal race at which you are in attendance for the sole purpose to report on and you have to ask his name? Is this reporter really someone in General Electric’s accounting dept. who won a contest to go to Vancouver? Kramer is sure to point out in the above interview on Dutch TV that it was an American reporter, not Canadian. Hey, we might not pay much attention to this sport between Olympics, but at least we can pay attention when the race is happening right in front of our face.
So then why didn’t she just say his name and where he was from herself into the mic before she started the interview? Do you think a reporter would do the same for Brad Pitt?? This isn’t some guy she’s chatting with on the street, asking him for an opinion on some random subject.
And from people who work in the TV media world comes the following:
Anyone who has worked in television news will tell you it’s standard practice to get any interview to state their name and for very good reason. The person doing the interview is often not the one who pulls the “clip”.
A producer in a dark room shuffling through hours of video of guys in orange suits would have no way of knowing this is the guy that just won a gold medal.
The other reason is to provide a pronunciation guide. Even a seemingly simple name like Smythe can have at least three different variations.
I work as a field crew for a television station, so let me put this in perspective here. In most situations the crew does know you biography, it our job to know who we are interviewing. The people who haven’t read your entire life’s history is everyone else watching the tape. I don’t know if that was aired live, but in the course of a day, or a major event like the Olympics, or super bowl, or Daytona 500, we interview dozens and dozens of people. Sometimes when in a hurry its easier just to shuttle to the beginning of the interview and refresh our memory with the persons name and where they are from. Its standard practice to ask from name, spelling, pronunciation, and title at the beginning of every interview because at the end of the day you may not be the person writing the story or editing it. You may be “kinda a big deal” where you come from, but we have 20 other interviews to get today and I probably won’t remember your name in 3 hours when I’m editing my tape asshole.
So, I’m interested in what you think. Was the reporter asking a stupid question to somebody who just won an Olympic gold medal, and can we expect more from today’s media crews, or has Sven Kramer hurt his own reputation after making this remark.
PS> One thing I would like to put into the equation, as English is not the first language of Sven Kramer, it might be a slip of the tongue as his first reaction. If the NBS reporter really feels offended, I would suggest to do the interview next time in Dutch!