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Is Cris Collinsworth Being Unfairly Slammed?
Posted by: MichaelW on Saturday, August 16, 2008

I think so. The buzz going around the righty blogs is that his interview of Kobe Bryant for the Olympics coverage basically called patriotism passé.
Last night typical liberal tool and NBC announcer Chris Collinsworth interviewed Kobe Bryant of Team U.S.A. basketball's "Redeem Team."

Collinsworth asked Kobe about what it felt like when he first got his U.S.A. uniform, and how he felt about representing the United States of America...
And, is it really "cool" to be proud of your country today?
Glenn Reynolds, is his typically laconic style, simply states "KOBE BRYANT explains patriotism to a journalist" and links to Jim Hoft's post quoted above.

Ms. Underestimated leads into her post with the following:
Typical anti-American tool at NBC. Chris Collinsworth had a brief segment with Kobe Bryant of Team U.S.A. about what the Olympic games mean to him this year.
You can view the video yourself here. And this is the transcript:
Collinsworth: Tell the story when you first got your USA uniform.

Kobe: Well I had goosebumps and I actually just looked at it for awhile. I just held it there and I laid it across my bed and I just stared at it for a few minutes; just because as a kid growing up this is the ultimate, ultimate in basketball.

Collinsworth: Where does the patriotism come from inside of you? Historically, what is it?

Kobe: Well, you know it’s just our country, it’s... we believe is the greatest country in the world. It has given us so many great opportunities, and it’s just a sense of pride that you have; that you say "You know what? Our country is the best!"

Collinsworth: Is that a ‘cool’ thing to say, in this day and age? That you love your country, and that you’re fighting for the red, white and blue? It seems sort of like a day gone by(?)

Kobe: No, it’s a cool thing for me to say. I feel great about it, and I’m not ashamed to say it. I mean, this is a tremendous honor.
I watched it "live" so I had a different take from the getgo. To me it seemed like Collinsworth was simply trying to set Kobe up to say how awesome patriotism is, and how much he loves America. If you've watched any Olympics coverage ever, then this is exactly the kind of saccharine backstory pablum fed to the viewers, regardless of who the interviewer is, or which network is providing the coverage. It's a part of the basic formula: controversy, hard luck, sick/dead relative, USA! USA! USA! So I don't think the question was Collinsworth's opinion, but instead a softball for Kobe to tee off on.

What makes the slams on Collinsworth even more ridiculous is that he's not some reporter, but a former All Pro NFL wide receiver. Not exactly your typical "anti-American tool" material. In fact, I'm not sure how anyone could play football for as long as he did, and especially when he did, if he hated America.

Moreover, not that it proves anything terribly conclusively one way or the other, but Collinsworth is apparently a Republican judging by the $6,500 he contributed in 2004. That doesn't mean that if he was a Democrat he would anti-American, nor that only Republicans are patriotic. But since it's the right side of the blogosphere slamming him, and typically Republicans who place more emphasis on patriotism being "cool", you figure somebody would have checked this out first.

Again, when I saw the interview last night it never occurred to me that Collinsworth was doing anything more than prompting Kobe Bryant to say how much he loves America. The idea that he's an anti-American tool is way too far-fetched for me to consider seriously.
 
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Comments
This whole thing deserves a .. Lighten up, Francis
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
His body language, more than his words, influenced me into thinking he was ridiculing the thought of patriotism. Perhaps his smarmy grin was supposed to be ironic but I thought it was belittling.
Also, I’m not certain that a career in sports automatically qualifies one as a staunch American. e.g.
 
Written By: tom scott
URL: http://
Conservative blogopshere: Burn them witches.

Q: Wait guys! Hold your fire! He’s a Republican! Look at the donations!

Conservative blogosphere: Liberal! Media! Burn! Witches!

Q: This man is a football hero! Football heroes are never anti-american!

CB: BURN THE AMERICA HATERS!

Both comedy and tragedy.
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
I also saw that part of the interview. The criticism is unwarranted. I agree.

It was a leading question to allow Kobe Bryant to look good.
 
Written By: newshutz
URL: http://
Anyone that has watched Collinsworth doing interviews of NFL players knows his style, the "smarmy grin" is pretty much his norm. He’s not a journalist, its probably his best effort he can muster...

Apparently not many football fans on the right side of the blogosphere.
 
Written By: cusefan44
URL: http://
"Conservative blogopshere: Burn them witches."

Of course nothing like that ever, ever happens on the other end of the spectrum. Jumping to conclusions or seeing what you want to see is a fairly common human failing and we all know that those on the left are above all that. ’No peccadillos (not to be confused with armadillos) on the left’, so to speak.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
timactual,

they actually believe that as a given fact.

It will require <sarcasm> tags if you wish any on the Left to know how you meant it.

As if they’d take it to heart, anyhow.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
At worst, Collingsworth might be accused of falling for the conventional wisdom that the rest of the world hates America. But yeah, it was probably intended as a softball question.
 
Written By: Jim Treacher
URL: http://jimtreacher.com
Of course it was a puff question. And frankly, a large segment of glasnosts’ crew probably does agree with the assertion that patriotism isn’t cool. So I really don’t need to hear from any of the blame america first crowd thank you very much
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Exactly right.
 
Written By: A.S.
URL: http://
I’m with you on this one Mike.
I saw the exchange, and frankly, I’m not convinced the man was doing anything more than drawing Kobe out. That said, Kobe handled himself very well indeed, with it. I’m impressed with Bryant in a way I never thought I would be.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
I saw it live and yeah, it never occurred to me that it showed any lack of patriotism on Collinsworth’s part. In fact, not only was it a softball, but I took it as Collinsworth making a point about how some people today don’t view it as cool. With Kobe, a highly intelligent, multilingual, black man who has lived much of his life overseas, being the perfect person to lob that softball at. It cuts against several stereotypes.

Glasnost,

Uh, given your defense of the great left wing "witchburner" who does just this kind of thing on a regular basis, with just as tortured a rationale, I find your little ditty amusingly ironic;^)
 
Written By: Lance
URL: http://riskandreturn.net
I saw it live as well, and I thought Collinsworth was setting the question up for Bryant to take on the old canard of "patriotism isn’t cool". I never once thought that Collinsworth was saying it isn’t cool himself. So yeah, I think he’s being unfairly slammed.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
What the hell? To get upset about that question is the definition of "uncool", because it is pretty obvious that if Colinsworth actually meant this as an antiAmerican sentiment (as opposed to the obvious leading question that it is), he wouldn’t have taken the tack of asking Kobe about getting his first USA jersey in the first place. He’d instead have asked him how cool it is to meet and play against people from more "enlightened" nations in Europe and Asia.

Ms.U and the others Michael has linked need to review standard blogging procedures. Think first, then write. Proofread and think again before hitting "save".

Oh and Neo wins the thread with the very appropriate Stripes reference.
 
Written By: Wulf
URL: http://www.atlasblogged.com
I think Mr. Collinsworth is just a happy, goofy kind of guy.
I did not take offense to his comment—I think he was asking a question a lot of people were wondering: Does a huge NBA star really care about being in the Olympics? I agree that he knew the kind of patriotic answer he would get, and it would make everyone watching feel good. Like, awwww, Kobe is proud to be an Olympian.

 
Written By: Lithuanian basketball fan
URL: http://
Instapundit looked at the video and agrees that it was a softball question.
 
Written By: ChrisB
URL: http://
Add me to the list of those who thought it was a softball to Kobe. We watched it live and had the same discussion as we were watching. Secondly, I grew up in Cincy where Chris played for the Bungals and I’ve watched him in interviews as a player and commenatator and I think the idea that he thinks patriotism is uncool has no supporting evidence. He’s just kind of a goofball sometimes; like someone noted, that’s part of his style.
 
Written By: Marco
URL: http://
...then this is exactly the kind of saccharine backstory pablum fed to the viewers...
GASP!!! Michael W. thinks patriotism is nothing but saccharine pablum.

He’s a witch. Burn him!!!
 
Written By: Terry
URL: http://
If Collinsworth was misunderstood, then why not come out and explain. And apologize to all of us americans who don’t feel like him.

I say he should be fired! Or his producer. Whoever came up with the stupid questioning line.
 
Written By: Mario Zambrano
URL: http://
Are you kidding me? Collinsworth is a patriot (conservitive).The far left of this country are not patriots(Obama),and so Cris’s question goes right to the point.Which NBC (far left) totally missed.So this guy is no dumb jock. Slam dunk!
 
Written By: Laurens M
URL: http://
I think Michael IW , whoever you are, have it exactly wrong.

After watching the video, I noticed his body language and it simply screams his mockery.

Collinsworth is a guy that learned how to take a hit and catch a football. Big deal. Many people don’t even remember he played in the NFL. As a commentator , mostly for the NFL, he’s always come of as a snotty elitist...which I totally believe he is.

I’ve never liked him and now I hate him. I believe he deserves an apology to the American people (at least the one’s that actually love this country) and should be sacked anyway.

As for contributing to the Republican Party...who cares? The guy’s got tons of dough! Maybe he hated Kerry? Now the Republican nominee is JOHN McCAIN??? Exactly my point. I could care less who’s got a D or R next to their name. It’s a political game with you having a choice between tweedle-dee and dum.

I am a registered Republican. But, more than that, I am a Conservative American. As Reagan said :
"I didn’t leave my party, my party left me."

Thoughts for your consideration,

JB
 
Written By: J Baker
URL: http://
Here’s a great quote from NBA/fanhouse :

Sue me if you think it’s worth it.

"Note to Collinsworth: it’s the Olympics, dude. Athletes are representing their country against athletes from other countries around the world. Of course it’s cool to be patriotic and say what an honor it is. I don’t know if Collinsworth meant the question to be a legitimate one in the context of our country’s current political climate, or if he was just looking to catch Kobe saying something controversial. But either way, Kobe’s answer left Collinsworth looking like an unpatriotic, self-loathing American. Probably not the qualities that NBC was looking for from one of its Olympic broadcasters."

 
Written By: J
URL: http://

 
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