We've all seen Olympic sports coverage that builds a tear-jerking soap opera around an athlete's personal life. It seems no competitor's history is too prosaic -- or too private -- to be inflated into a melodrama by ratings-hungry sportscasters.
A new and distasteful trend in this quest for ratings gold is Athletes And Death. It's not just Bode Miller (that's him to the left, very upset during a recent controversial death-oriented interview with NBC's Christin Cooper) for whom the media has exploited a death somewhere in the family. Nate Carlisle of The Salt Lake Tribune has written an article about this trend. Better yet for us measurement fans, he provides a constantly updated spreadsheet of athletes at the Sochi Olympics who have been associated in media coverage with the death of someone. It's a scorecard both of the public's voyeuristic thirst and the media's shame in pandering to it. --Bill Paarlberg, editor
(For more coverage of the Bode Miller interview and backlash, see PRNewser's article, especially the excellent embedded video commentary by Keith Olbermann.)