NBC under fire as Bode Miller responds to criticism of post-race interview

NBC has come under fire following a post-race interview with American skier Bode Miller, during which the athlete was brought to tears when the interviewer asked him about his younger brother, who died last year.

A visibly emotional Miller began crying during the interview, leaning against a railing.

The moment drew backlash toward interviewer Christin Cooper, who pressed Miller about his brother, Chelone, and NBC, which aired the full tape-delayed interview in primetime in the United States several hours later.

Richard Sandomir of The New York Times called it "overkill," Kami Mattioli of the Sporting News said Cooper "repeatedly badgered" Miller and the AP's David Bauder called it "a shameful spectacle."

NBC released a statement in response to the criticism, standing by its decision to feature the interview.

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    "We understand how some viewers thought the line of questioning went too far, but it was our judgment that his answers were a necessary part of the story," the statement said.

    Miller took to Twitter to reflect on the interview, similarly Cooper's questions.

    "I appreciate everyone sticking up for me," Miller tweeted on Monday. "Please be gentle w christin cooper, it was crazy emotional and not all her fault. #heatofthemoment"

    In another tweet he added, "My emotions were very raw, she asked the questions that every interviewer would have... she wasnt trying to cause pain."

    On Monday morning, Miller appeared on the "Today" show, and Matt Lauer asked him to further explain what happened during the interview.

    "I have known Christin a long time, and she's a sweetheart of a person,'' he said. "I know she didn't mean to push. I don't think she really anticipated what my reaction was going to be, and I think by the time she realized it, it was too late."

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.