Congratulations on your … oh … sorry

A few thoughts on the viral video of a reporter congratulating Nicolas Mahut, not realizing he had lost.

1. We’ve all had to go into interviews without realizing what happened. At one of the 2008 Olympic biathlon events, one with a staggered start and athletes racing against the clock, I was down in the mixed zone interviewing one American athlete. We finished, and then Jay Hakkinen came right up for his turn. No one had given the handful of reporters any results, and we couldn’t see the course from the mixed zone. The other reporters deferred to me. “So … um … Jay — how’d you do?”

2. That said, if you’re in a press conference room, and you’re pretty sure other people watched the match, you might want to defer to them.

3. When you realize you’ve been given faulty information, apologize … then bow out.

Bottom line: It’s OK to let other people ask questions. Particularly if you have nothing to ask.

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