WASHINGTON — Which is exactly what Markman said he saw when he saw the feed. "Honestly, when it was coming in, we have a very young production crew here, everyone in the [production] truck thought, 'How great is this!' No one was speaking up saying, 'We shouldn't show this.' The reaction was, this is no different than a heterosexual guy kissing his girlfriend. It's emotional, and let's show it. It was only afterward that we realized we showed a man kissing a man. And we thought, 'Well, that's different.' "
Another apparent first: As part of its coverage, the network also featured reaction from a draft party at a gay bar, Gym Sportsbar, in West Hollywood.
After the kiss had aired and the negative Twitter reaction started rolling in, Markman says, the network realized it had touched a nerve.
"It's a shame," he says. "Our job is to document the draft. It's a news event, and we're covering the news. As producers we don't make social and political decisions. I'm glad we're talking about this [the decision to show the kiss] than talking about why we decided to cut out of that shot or not have the shot at all."