Wednesday, January 9, 2013

OPRAH, LANCE, AND THE INTERVIEW


When it was revealed Tuesday that Lance Armstrong granted an interview to
Oprah Winfrey to presumably come clean about about his use of PED's, a lot
of eyebrows were raised and the words, "What the..?" came trickling out of the
mouths of more than a few people. Why in the world would Armstrong give one
of the most anticipated interviews in recent memory to a daytime television icon
on a network few even know about, much less know where to find on the dish?

After  seeing Armstrong mastermind one of the biggest doping schemes the sports
world has ever witnessed you know there is a method to the madness in nearly
everything he does. If you know anything about the way in which the disgraced cyclist
controlled teammates, sponsors, and even the media, then you shouldn't be surprised
that Armstrong will use the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) as a platform for his
mea culpa.

The OWN is a joint venture between Oprah Winfrey's production company (HARPO)
and the Discovery Channel, which sponsored Armstrong's cycling team from 2004-
2007. As part of the deal that put millions in his pocket, Armstrong made on-air
appearances for the Discovery Network TV channels. Bingo, there you have the
main reason Armstrong chose this network for his coming clean party.

Armstrong could've chosen ESPN, Fox, or any other of the major networks that
people actually get without having to pay for, but instead, he chose one of the 800
hundred other ones that you can't even find  with the help of a GPS.


Armstrong is taking care of the guys who took care of him for many years. The joint
venture between OWN and the Discovery Channel hasn't exactly been a raging
success, despite the star power of Oprah. The network is seen in only 83 million
homes and the ratings, although improving, have been abysmal. It's payback time
and the grand slam Discovery/OWN has been waiting for. It's an event that could
define it's brief existence.

The interview, which will air on January 17,  has been billed as "no-holds barred" with
Oprah, who is a solid interviewer, but one who has a sense of compassion rather than
a person who tiger-like and aims for the jugular. Armstrong selected the network and
hand picked the interviewer. I wouldn't be surprised if Sir Lance has already given Oprah
a list of questions to ask and told her what is off-limits. The interview will also
take place at his home in Austin, Texas. Are you kidding me? There is no way
Oprah's going to go into someone esle's home and fire the heavy artillery.



Did you really think Armstrong was going to get into the ring with Bob Costas, Scott
Pelley, or even Dr. Phil, for that matter? There is no way Armstrong could control
the interview or even stand up to them. Odds are, Oprah will be present an entirely
different tone than the aforementioned journalists and talk show hosts. I can almost
guarantee it.

Oh, sure, Armstrong is going to shed a few tears, that's almost a requirement
these days. But there is no way Armstrong is going to reveal any more than he
really has to. It'll pretty much be sniffle, cry, and say good-bye. Armstrong will
admit that he had to cheat in order to beat the cheaters and then go on his merry
way.

This interview will be as intense as a game of patty-cake and be remembered much
the same way Lance Armstrong will be: a fraud.

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