Lance Armstrong gives his exclusive interview to Oprah: bad PR or good PR?

On Monday, we discussed the weekend New York Times article which was, in essence, a trial balloon to see if the public at large would accept a full or partial confession from Lance Armstrong – go here to see my previous coverage. Lance is in a really bad position right now – he’s withdrawn from the board of directors of his own charity, he’s been stripped of his Tour de France titles, he’s losing endorsements and money and he’s probably looking at lots and lots of civil cases. The media is no longer on his side, and it seemed like Lance was trying to do some kind of stop-gap PR measure to simply stop the bleeding. The problem is that if he “confesses” to doping charges, he’s probably going to face criminal charges too, because we now know he’s perjured himself and committed fraud. So what is Lance’s big, bold move? He’s going to talk to Oprah.

Is Lance Armstrong about to confess to Oprah Winfrey? A few days after the New York Times reported that the disgraced cyclist, 41, was mulling a public admission regarding his suspected use of performance-enhancing drugs and blood transfusions, Winfrey has landed an exclusive, “no-holds-barred interview,” Winfrey’s site announced Tuesday Jan. 8.

In the Jan. 17 episode of Oprah’s Next Chapter, taped at the athlete’s home in Austin, Tex., Armstrong “will address the alleged doping scandal, years of accusations of cheating, and charges of lying about the use of performance-enhancing drugs throughout his storied cycling career,” the site reveals.

It’s the first interview for Armstrong since he was stripped of all of his Tour de France winner titles and lucrative endorsements and banned for life from cycling by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Armstrong has previously denied all doping charges, but the the New York Times, citing anonymous sources, has confided in colleagues about possibly confessing. The confession could mean a lifting of Armstrong’s lifetime ban.

[From Us Weekly]

God, I just think this is such a terrible move. It’s bad PR – Lance is saying to the world, “I can only take softball questions and I can’t deal with a real investigation of my motives, my crimes, my lies, my fraud.” It’s a move that’s pandering to the audience too – Lance is saying to us that he thinks we’re dumb enough to merely accept his confession and apology and that he could have his life back. If Oprah were still on network television, there might be some wisdom in it, but she’s not. This is for her crappy, faltering OWN network that no one ever watches. If Lance confesses and nobody watches, did it really happen?

PS… It just occurred to me that Lance is probably going to pull a Tiger Woods, and by that I mean that he’ll blame everything on some manufactured “Addiction.” Lance probably won’t say he was addicted to doping (too on the nose), but he’ll say he’s a sex addict or a fame addict or something.

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet and WENN.

 

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

96 Responses to “Lance Armstrong gives his exclusive interview to Oprah: bad PR or good PR?”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. marie says:

    In order for it to be good PR, I think he would have to come clean and admit to all of it, making no excuses and take the jail time. Otherwise, what’s the point? I’ll turn it on, but the minute I hear an excuse I’ll change the channel.

  2. Lem says:

    I just cannot figure out his logic in this. This move makes no sense to me. Period.
    Anyone have links or proof of all the comments I’ve been reading that state Livestrong gives 0 dollars to cancer research? I’d like to read up on that. I’d really like him and his charity to implode if there is any truth to that comment. However, if it’s one of those stupid Obama is after your guns rumors, I’d like to know the truth there too .

    • Incredulous says:

      As far as I know, the charity is not for cancer research but for the families of those with cancer, helping them afford any transport and living costs, e.g., living near where the family member can get treatment and so on. It is aimed at defraying the secondary costs.

      • Lem says:

        That is a valiant cause; an underfunded one for sure. Also it gives me a place to start research. Thank you.

      • Lem says:

        Meant to add, even their own website is extremely vague about what happens to donations. They are not vague however about how you can donate ‘unrestricted’ sums.

      • Esmom says:

        That’s better than what I had read, which is that their funds are used for “awareness.” Pretty nebulous. Also, they have been happy to let people think they donate to research, when in fact they hardly do. That’s when I realized the org may be as shady as the man himself.

      • Lem says:

        I can’t find anything good. I’m starting to wonder if Lance is a Co$. In addition Nike donates $0 from merch but does give Livestrong 7.5 million a year. LIVESTRONG puts about the same into Livestrong merchandise marketing per year. They in fact no longer (as in 10+ years ago) donate anything to research. Quote: “there are enough people doing research” The braclet $ goes to Nike. Livestrong spends about 20% to marketing and spends +/- 80% empowering and raising awareness. Posted as 5% staff pay.You are asked to donate to them. HOWEVER, And I find this very much worth noting… Livestrong does not in fact donate monies to anything! They pay a few cancer hotlines and they give away free cancer journals. You may call their hotline and they will transfer the call to the above mentioned hotline.also, they have a walk in help center in Austin. This clinic had served 207 people (not a typo) since it opened in 2010. Which may or may not mean it let those 207 folks use a cubicle to call the hotline. Ha!
        Livestrong does not, nor do they even bother to claim to – donate, support or fund – shit.
        Side note: Susan G funds annually 4* times the research & 100xover* the support. In addition Susan G’s little pink ribbons & walks of awareness that are freaking everywhere -Susy isn’t even claiming credit for walks or awareness. ACS donates $2 billion per
        Next – Al Gore will be telling us Lance invented cancer :/
        *roughly I don’t math

      • Lem says:

        Crap. No edit. Susan G donates 4 times livestrong’s awareness budget strictly to research. I worded that oddly

      • Mairead says:

        The LiveStrong e site is pretty good, but most of the technical stuff is from the Mayo Clinic website which rocks!!!

      • Esmom says:

        There are actually two Livestrong sites, one ending in .org (the charity) and one ending in .com, which licensed the name. Someone posted the Outside mag article below, I think, which gets into the sketchiness in greater detail.

      • kittyfriendly7 says:

        Livestrong funds/owns Fertile Hope. They gave me free fertility drugs (the ones they give you so you can have eggs harvested) and negotiated a discounted rate for egg freezing services from a nationally recognized university clinic-before I started cancer treatment this year. Without them, I would not have been able to afford this process as I did not have health insurance. So, that is something the money from Livestrong goes towards that is tangible and beneficial and in my opinion, life-changing.

    • cv2 says:

      Since King Obie IS actually currently using a tragedy to put his mentally challenged Vice King on the “rumor” of which you speak you don’t seem overly well informed.

      So if your news of this very day is off I’ll consider your gossip peddling in the Mayan prophecies of doom category.

  3. Incredulous says:

    Known cycling addict Lance Armstrong confesses to being a pedal pusher. On Oprah.

    I expect he will bang on about his family and how we should all think of his poor family and the things he has put them through rather than the lives he deliberately and maliciously ruined.

    • poppy says:

      and conveniently leave out all the cheating he managed while he was married; how the entire lives of his children have been all about him. because it will always be about him. i agree, he is going to drag them deeper into his mess just to try and garner sympathy. hoping it blows up in his face.

  4. Mia 4S says:

    Dear Lance,

    Go away, invest your remaining money wisely (you’ll need it for legal fees and settlements). No one wants you in the public eye anymore. Congratulations on surviving cancer but lots of people have done that who weren’t liars and cheats. Now go away.

    Thanks, the World

  5. OhDear says:

    It’s a good scoop for Oprah, at least.

    I’ve read that Lance is confessing in order to be allowed to compete in triathalons; he can’t compete in them now because the doping authorities that banned him also control triathalon and running competitions. So you’re right – he’ll probably blame it on something else and then try to pursue a career in triathalons as he did biking. Oprah’s a good place/person to pursue that kind of storyline; her viewers tend to like those types of stories.

    • Dirtnap says:

      @OhDear, I read that too. If Lance does admit to this so that he may compete, and he actually starts winning competitions again, does he really for one minute think that we’ll believe he won these honestly, fair and square? After he has won with “help” in the past and lied about it? He really is insulting the public’s intelligence. Lance doesn’t seem to realize that the competition that he needs to focus on – and win – is the one he has with his own ego. Until he beats his own demons, his life will always be in tatters.

    • KAI says:

      If he confesses, he will be far too busy in court to train for a triathalon. He sued, defamed and bullied too many people in the past and I think a lot will want a little piece back.

  6. gloaming says:

    He may as well have given an interview with People magazine.

    Will Oprah ask him why he harassed colleagues into doping? Or how he got his Lawyers to intimidate people who tried to expose him?

    I think not…..

    I hope he’s ruined.

  7. palermo says:

    Two hasbeens, will NOT be watching. He only wants to look humble in the public eye now. I honestly wonder if all those drugs CAUSED his cancer.

  8. Mourning the Death of Music says:

    He should have kept his mouth shut, closed up shop and faded into obscurity.

  9. L says:

    Apparently this interview was taped last week. And he got a 10million dollar interview fee. So that explains that.

    Seriously, he needs to go away and stay away. But good ole’ Lance can’t just fade out of the spotlight ever. It’s why he couldn’t stay retired, it’s why he went and started to do ironman races-he needs to be competing and receiving praise for being a winner. Anyway he can get that back be it oprah or other interviews is all that matters to him. Public adoration and winning. All he does is feed his ego.

    I used to be a fan, but jeebus this is just ridiculous now. The commentators over at velo news have been pretty brutal as well (and those are cycling people that have followed his career for years) http://velonews.competitor.com/2013/01/news/oprah-winfrey-to-conduct-first-post-usada-interview-with-armstrong_270788

    • Cazzie says:

      Ten million dollars?!?!

      Well, that should be enough to settle at least a few of the inevitable impending lawsuits.

    • xxx says:

      10 m to be on Oprah? I’m pretty sure Oprah does not pay anyone to be on the show, or at least she did not in the past. Monica Lewinsky asked for $4 m for the first interview after that scandal and Oprah said on her tv show she has not ever paid anyone to be on her show nor will she….

    • Esmom says:

      I don’t think that there’s anything Oprah could say or do that will change anyone’s mind about Lance. It’s too late for him. If anything she should be talking to all the people whose lives he destroyed with his campaign of fraud and intimidation. Those are the real victims, along with all the people who donated hard-earned cash because they thought he was something he is not.

  10. rundee says:

    BBC World was telling all morning that he´ll do the Interview and the rest of the world commented on the BBC-page as “Mia 4S” here did:

    Just go away and hang your head in shame, Lance.

    Maybe he can write a tell-all in some years, b´c in a way it is very interesting how he got away with it for so long. Especially b´c in Europe it was an open secret/common sense since his first win of the Tour de France that his condition wasn´t humanly possible without doping. So nobody is surprised now.

    But I guess in the US it was different?

    • Cazzie says:

      The U.S. media is notoriously lawsuit-averse, so it may be that the U.S. news focused less on the controversy around Lance’s doping, and gave more space to his protestations/accusations/self defenses.

      That’s the only reason I can think of why so many people refused to believe he cheated.

  11. The Original Tiffany says:

    LA=Winner of the Douchebag of the Day award.
    Congrats!

  12. kibbles says:

    First thing. Oprah’s green dress and sunglasses look atrocious in that photo. The woman is a billionaire and still can’t dress.

    This is a desperate move on Lance’s part. As you stated, OWN is a crappy network no one watches. That is why he picked Oprah. This softball interview be much easier than facing a tough reporter and fewer people will be watching live as opposed to him going on one of the major networks. He doesn’t want people to watch. He wants to hide while at the same time tell his side of the story to garner sympathy from his shrinking fan base.

    This is a case of two famewhore has-beens trying to use each other for publicity. This is a big win for Oprah though. She’s flailing and desperate to regain what she once had as is Lance. I’ll read about the interview here but I could care less about what he has to say. Everyone knows he doped.

    • Raven says:

      This won’t be a softball interview. But she may have paid for the interview because the network is watched so little. She would not limit her right to ask whatever questions she wants.

    • Jayna says:

      I rarely watch OWN, except I love her affair series where they have real couples where one spouse cheated and there are renactments creating their story and if they saved it or not. I find it interesting.

      Also, her sitdown interviews I have enjoyed. I have only seen a handful, but they are relaxed at the person’s home and a full hour of more conversation. Stephen Colbert’s was excellent. I really learned a lot about him and seeing him with his family was great. I had no idea his brother and father were killed when he was young and nice to see his comedy wall come down in the interview. And I enjoyed 50 Cent and Fergi (Blackeyed Peas) and Letterman.

      The Rhianna interview garnered 2.5 million in viewers with lots of repeat time, so although not like a Dateline audience, it will give him a chance for a more relaxed, lengthy interview at his home. Though, nothing is going to fix his reputation.

  13. KellyinSeattle says:

    Too little, too late. I never was a huge Oprah fan but wonder how her O channel is doing….her friend Gayle King is a newsperson now….the friends’ version of nepotism!!!

    • Jayna says:

      Gayle is more than qualified for the CBS gig. Gayle’s whole career was as a newsperson and in TV before her kids were grown and she went to work with Oprah, who she had turned down always until then because she wanted her children raised near their father also and not uprooting them. She worked in TV news for over 20 years, with her longest stint as a news anchor in Connecticut for 18 years.

      Oprah’s channel is steadily but slowly improving bit by bit.

  14. MsAubra says:

    He may as well have just come clean back in October! The “Oprah” connection isn’t going to make people ease up on him!

  15. Jess says:

    I used to live in Austin (where he used to live) and heard too many stories about him being a d-bag to ever be a fan, but even I’m shocked by how far he’s fallen and how bad he truly was. I know America loves second acts but he’d better serve time (like poor Marian Jones – who also lives in Austin and the 30 for 30 documentary about her was amazing) and do a lot more to repent before he’s forgiven.

    • Dimebox says:

      I’m still in Austin and agree with you. It has been widely acknowledged here for years what a womanizing, egotistical jerk he is. He was shocked that a married woman I know repeatedly turned him down for a fling, and badgered her to change her mind. He was “with” Sheryl Crow at the time.

  16. Rux says:

    He is disgraced, plain and simple. There is no apology or remorse he can pitch that will make anyone forget. He ruined any shot at forgivnance by acting like an entitled asshole his entire career. Not just in the media but to all of his fans. I know several people and yours truly (15 in total) that had run-ins with him at different places and times and they all say the same thing “Asshole or Douchebag”

    Just just the f’ up and go away.

  17. Elceibeno says:

    Payback is a big biatch isn’t it?

  18. lucy2 says:

    He should either just go away, or go for a real interview – 60 minutes or something of the like.

  19. Sam says:

    I’ll be okay with Lance if and when he issues a personal, televised apology to every single person he attacked, defamed and sued during his career when they tried to tell the truth – Emma O-Reilly, Greg Lamond, etc.

  20. Anotherview says:

    One can say many things about Lance Armstrong but one can not say that the Charity does not benefit those with the lives of cancer. They are very transparent with how their money is spent and what it is spent on. You can view their audited financials and 990 forms on livestrong.org.

  21. Jaded says:

    There is no way he is going to “confess” to Oprah. It will all be statements like – “I’m sorry for the pain this negative attention has caused my family”. That prick has been protecting his position for years and will continue to not own up in any real wayuntil his lawyers have stowed his fortune away safely so its untouchable by lawsuits, stitched up a deal whith the authorities re confessing & avoiding perjury conviction. To Oprah, he’ll talk about how hard it is to stay positive, how his life was ripped from under him, about hard work, cancer, Livestrong & will not confess. This will be a fluff & vanity interview and NOTHING will be confessed.

  22. Jayna says:

    I say bad decision. He will have to avoid so much that could potentially legally affect him, major lawsuits, etc, that why bother. Many people still aren’t against him, saying they all did it in that sport. Just stay quiet and accept that your star is forever tarnished and really can’t be repaired and go on and live your life.

  23. BRE says:

    So glad to see there are others who are not still clinging to the idea that he his innocent!!!

  24. Would Vincent Cassel Wear This? says:

    You made your money. Your fifteen minutes is over. At least have the dignity to go away quietly. You’re done.

  25. RobN says:

    He apologizes for all the attempts to ruin Greg LeMond and I’ll listen. Until then, just go away.

  26. Tannita says:

    I don’t really care if he used EOP or not, but I do care how he tried to silence everyone who was telling his little secret.
    With or without drugs, his accomplishments are amazing. Too bad he is a lousy human being.

  27. Nava says:

    I think Piers Morgan should interview Lance…

  28. (Less)Rubenesque says:

    And then there is the allegation that he attempted to “donate” $250,000 to the USADA thru a 3rd party before the agency began its investigation. http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/09/showbiz/lance-armstrong-donation/index.html?c=&page=1

  29. Nev says:

    OWN Network is actually doing better so it’s a great thing that she got the scoop!!! Go Oprah!!!!

  30. Marie Antoinette Jr. says:

    At this point it’s hard to ascertain who is the bigger douche, Lance or Oprah. “Live strong” or “Live your best life”… they are both greedy, obnoxious hypocrites whose time is finally up.

  31. Ms Kay says:

    He apologizes because he only wants to make himself and his ego feel better, and not really considering the people he lied to for years. He doesn’t feel any remorse whatsoever, it’s more like “There, I apologize! Happy now?” not sincere at all and like many individual dishonest towards themselves he’s probably rationalizing his bad actions. He is so delusional and convinced by his own lies that he doesn’t realize the way people see him now and still thinks he has a shot… in hell that is for sure!

  32. aenflex says:

    IMO – no such thing as good PR for this louse.

  33. Lem says:

    Whoa-
    Discovery (which famously funded Armstrong-duh)
    owns half of OWN?

  34. MrsBPitt says:

    He will answer any controversial questions with, “My lawyers won’t allow me to speak about that”…that way it looks like he wants to confess but can’t…

  35. Aoterovian says:

    Such a sociopath.

    Even if he does confess, it will just be another manipulation.

  36. WendyNerd says:

    My Dad was obsessed with Lance for years. He talked about that guy the way some people talk about Jesus or the Dalai Lama. He wouldn’t stop trying to make me read his stupid book for like, three years straight. He refuses to believe Lance is guilty even now.

    My boyfriend, who is a big biking freak, on the other hand, believes it. He’s really pissed and hates Lance now. Such is his hate vs. my Dad’s weird love for Lance that I warned the BF not to mention Armstrong before he met my family. I didn’t want to deal with the drama.

  37. Amy625 says:

    Actually OWN’s ratings have improved. They aren’t great but if Oprah wasn’t associated nobody would be calling it a failure. New networks always have low ratings.

    I can’t imagine that Lance would confess at all. There’s no benefit. It would completely ruin him. How could he justify lying for 15 years? Especially if all of the rumors and stories are true.

  38. Kimbob says:

    I’m not really getting the logic behind this talk of Lance confessing in order to: 1) be able to compete in triathalons, & 2) he will be forgiven because of ?????

    Okay, so if he confesses, how does this make him able to compete in triathalons, or any other sport for that matter? So, in essence, he’s guilty of doping & lying about it over & over & over for year after year w/out remorse & if he “comes clean,” (being honest about it all), then why should/would he be rewarded for doing what he should have all along, which is be honest & tell the truth???

    I’ll say this much….if this actually happens (he is rewarded for coming clean about all his lies by being able to compete again), then I’m going to be sorely disappointed and at a TOTAL LOSS in such ridiculous logic. Since when should someone…hell…anyone…be rewarded for confessing to a damn lie??!! Isn’t the whole point about being ethical & moral is to not be dishonest in the first place?

  39. CaptainObvious says:

    Next thing you guys are gonna tell me is that these models are naturally thin or have naturally size decreasing noses!!!! Duh it is sports – they all dope or use drugs. Everything is a sham.

  40. Jaycee says:

    If he did drugs, then why couldn’t anyone prove it? And hearsay is not proof.