Lance and Oprah

In case you haven’t heard, and you’d have to have been living in a monastery in Tibet not to have heard, Oprah Winfrey is interviewing Lance Armstrong in a two-part presentation on Thursday and Friday.  By the time this highly touted interview even airs, there won’t be a reason to watch it.   Most of the details have been leaked, with both sides blaming the other for letting the cat out of the bag.

Actually, both Winfrey and Armstrong have their own reasons for promoting the interview.  Oprah hasn’t seen as much success as she would have liked since she started the OWN network.   While in syndication, her talk show brought in about 6 million viewers.   The best numbers she’s had for the “Next Chapter” program were about 3 million, and those viewers tuned in for her sit-down with Whitney Houston’s daughter as well as her conversation with Rihanna.   Advertisers are paying premium prices for commercials during the Armstrong interview, so the more noise she makes in advance, the better her revenues will be.    It’s kind of sad, in a way, to see Winfrey look and act a little desperate.  She left her original talk show on a high note, and  maybe, just maybe, she should have let her public legacy stand right there, on its’ own merits, with no apologies and no regrets.

In fact, Oprah has been acting very un-Oprah-like since OWN began.   Last year, at just about this time, she sent out a tweet that sounded a little like begging.  “Every 1 who can please turn to OWN especially if u have a Neilsen box”.    That tweet resulted in a very firm admonishment by the Nielsen folks who don’t take kindly to direct messages to Nielsen viewers.   According to their rules, it’s sort of like jury tampering and it skews real ratings’ numbers.   Winfrey then sent a follow-up out on Twitter:  “I removed the tweet at the request of Nielsen, I intended no harm and apologize for the reference.”    It wasn’t a smart idea.  She shouldn’t have done it and I feel embarrassed for her.   This doesn’t resemble the Oprah I watched and admired for decades.

So, along comes Lance Armstrong, who really needs a place to kick off his “I’m Sorry I Got Caught Doing Bad Things Tour”.     In the hopes of convincing the world that he’s truly seen the error of his ways and wants to make everything better, he turns to Oprah and her television confessional.    “Sources”  are reporting that he finally owns up to using performance enhancing drugs during his years as the reigning king of cycling.    I don’t know to what extent he “owns up”, but Oprah says that we should tune in and judge for ourselves as to his level of contriteness.   But really, what’s the point?   Do any of us really think that Lance is full of remorse and is speaking honestly?   He’s had years to develop a conscience and tell the truth.   What he chose to do was lie, then lie some more, threaten everyone who challenged him with lawsuits, then lie even more.

Armstrong’s appearance on OWN looks a whole lot like so many other fallen stars and sports figures, who test the waters in the court of public opinion to see if we still like them enough to forgive them.  Sometimes it works.  In Armstrong’s case, I’m not so sure.   He’s got a lot on the line, here – more than just making nice with sports’ fans and reporters.  Armstrong is faced with losing millions of dollars in endorsements, and his Livestrong Foundation has lost some of its’ luster, thanks to his own arrogance and repeated claims of innocence.    He wants to come back – to cycling, to stardom, to riches, to glory.   Talking to Oprah may make both of them feel better.  It might even bring her some better ratings’ numbers and a little money.   There may even be a few viewers who buy into Lance’s version of the truth, but that’s about all he’s going to get out of this interview.   He’s got a very long and very difficult road ahead of him if he really wants to get back on that bike.    It means that he’s going to have to really confess to the cycling world’s governing authorities.   He’s have to tell them every detail of his doping, his lies, his part in any conspiracies to cover up the doping problems.

Most of all, and here’s the really tough part, he’s going to have to give up the people who conspired right along with him.    If he can do that,  become a witness against former teammates and officials, while taking responsibility for his part, along with the punishment he deserves, then he just might be able to rehabilitate his image.   I don’t know if he has it in him, to put his ego aside and admit that he’s not all that we thought he was.  On the other hand, if he does bring it to the table and lay it all out there, I can’t help but wonder what his motives truly are.   It’s hard to believe anything he says, anymore, much less how he justifies his actions, and that’s the part he’ll never be able to fix.  Lance wants to prove that he can still be a champion and Oprah is worried about the success of her network.  They’ve got their  work cut out for them.


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56 Responses to Lance and Oprah


  2. sweetnessnbubba says:

    Lance Armstrong ruined peoples lives with his lies… He had a guy who worked for him who got caught up in the beginnings of the scandal that had to move to New Zealand because Lance literally ruined his chances of having any kind of career here. he black listed him… and I am sure that wasnt the only one…

    Lance cheated in pretty much every facet of his life… I didnt like him a decade ago, and I dont think him getting his comeuppance (how bout giving all that money you won and made under false pretenses Lance?) makes me like him more…

    • I know it’s just chump change, given that Armstrong is worth about a gajillion dollars, but he also might want to return the $1,500,000 he won in a libel suit against the London Sunday Times. Guess their story wasn’t so libelous after all.

  3. Boobah says:

    This whole thing is so sad. It sounds like many people got hurt by this.

    I’m curious – Was Lance married at one point? IIRC, he was. Plus he dated Sheryl Crow. I wonder if they knew what he was doing? This had to be a factor in his break-ups. Does he have children?

    Great blog, Empress!

    • Hey Boobah, Lance was married for 4 years, and he and his wife had 3 children. He and his girlfriend – after Sheryl Crow – have had 2 more children. None of his relationships have lasted more than 4 or 5 years, so either they knew about his misdeeds or he’s just an insufferable ass – or both.

      • BB says:

        I vote for insufferable ass. Lol.

        • Boobah says:

          LOL@ BB. I vote BOTH!

          Thanks Empress. 5 children and relationships that can’t make it past the 5 year mark. I think that says something. I mean, What the hell? I wonder if all he cared about was power, fame, and money. Why is that the end-of-be-all to some people? Makes me shake my head.

  4. Sign on Facebook
    Kudos Lance Armstrong for having the ball to finally tell the truth… lol lol

  5. melthehound says:

    Since the Rodney King riots in LA, I haven’t particularly cared for Oprah or anything she does. That’s just me though and it doesn’t matter because I’ve never been a part of her target audience. I’m having a hard time though, figuring out where the big crime is when it comes to his biking wins. For the record, I don’t particularly care about him or the races either. Sports, both pro and amateur, is full of dopers all over the world. Why is it such a huge deal when an American does it?

    • mth, I think it’s a huge deal because Armstrong made it one. Yep, there’s doping going on all the time, all over the world. Some of the athletes get caught, or confess and they take their lumps. Armstrong played real hardball, though. Anybody who dared to question his story was attacked, viciously. He attacked and intimidated people, including members of his team, threatened or filed lawsuits and just acted like a giant bully.
      Aside from all that, what makes him different from someone like Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens is that Armstrong painted himself as a hero – a cancer survivor who made people believe that he really was a great guy who wanted to help other people live good, healthy (insert irony here) lives – you know, “Livestrong”.
      One columnist suggested that Armstrong would have stood a better chance at public forgiveness and redemption if he’d gone the Michael Vick route – get caught, own it, pay your debt to society and you get a second chance.
      Armstrong was the one who made this a long, dirty, drawn-out battle and he deserves to get what’s coming to him.

      • melthehound says:

        I’m not arguing the points of who he portrayed himself to be and what he’s done. Truthfully I haven’t followed this very close from the start. My question was coming from a curiosity of why is he making such a big deal of this and why ‘confess’ to Oprah of all people on her, likely failing, network and why now? Sorry I’m such a cynic but I’m looking at this from a follow the money aspect of it.

        • BB says:

          Apparently Lance is finally coming clean because he still wants to compete in certain triathalons and can’t do it because of the sactions against him. However, no matter what he says on Oprah, it’s not going to help him because the organizations have come out and said he will have to go through many hoops for them to consider lifting or partially lifting sactions against him. One of the hoops is for him to confess, under oath, everything, including the whens, wheres, whats and whos. I really think he thought he was above it all and could get away with it because nobody should be questioning the great Lance Armstrong.
          As for Oprah, I think she, like a lot of other extremely popular public figures, started to believe the hype about herself and thought her new network would be as wildly popular as her talk show which, in my opinion, was starting to lose steam towards the end anyway. For me personally, I lost respecf for her when she started buying into all the new age phenomenom popping up all over the place. I expect talk show hosts try to be neutral and present both sides of an issue, and she got a little too biased and preachy for my taste, but that’s me. I guess she has learned that even if you put your name on something, you still have to have a quality product out there, unless you’re the Bravo network. Sorry, I just had to put that out there.
          Oh, how the mightly have fallen. But they both still have plenty of money to help cushion it for them. Thing is, I think they both like the power and fame more than the money.

          • melthehound says:

            Thank you…

            “I guess she has learned that even if you put your name on something, you still have to have a quality product out there, unless you’re the Bravo network.”

            Hehe 😆

          • bb, That’s it in a nutshell. LOL at the Bravo reference. Oprah said that the 2 1/2 hour Armstrong interview was “exhausting”. I guess a Housewives’ reunion would have killed both of them. 😉

  6. sweetnessnbubba says:

    this story here, is the employee story I was talking about.. It kind of paints a picture of how the public face of Lance Armstrong was much different than the private.. and he crushed a lot of people who dared to get in his way..

  7. windycitywondering1 says:

    Lance Armstrong did more harm than good to the sport he professed to love. Had he come clean with the very first allegation he might have been able to salvage both his reputation and his career. I lost interest in Oprah a long time ago and was surprised she was going to start a network. I watched her last show….but have never watched anything on her network. What I am finding ironic is that when “celebs” go on her show to confess, set the record straight or break big news the outcome never seems to have the results of the intended goal. I remember what an asshat Tom Cruise was when he went on her show to profess his crazy love for Katie Holmes. At the end of the day – Lance is just another doper/cheater and anything he has to say won’t change that fact. The internet has taken away the surprise value of announcements and attonements – by the time a show hits tv, we have made up our minds already.

    • Do you think he ever really loved cycling? The reason I ask is because it seems as if the doping went on for a good part of his career. This isn’t like aging baseball or football players who try to continue after grueling decades of injuries. I just wonder what kind of cyclist he would have been without the drugs and hormones.

      • windycitywondering1 says:

        Excellent question! When I look at his career and the things he did to stay at the top, I see someone who was in love with the business aspect of cycling. Maybe in the beginning there was joy in cycling and winning but I doubt there was love of the sport.

  8. Kaereste says:

    Ok everyone. Listen up.
    Lance Armstrong and Oprah are both huge horses asses (my apologies to actual horses) but all this media coverage is just stupid.

    I’m fairly sure that most people have grasped that their Idol deJour has feet of clay and speaketh with a forked tongue from both of their faces.

    Since the days of Monica’s blue dress with DNA, we’ve had every heavy hitter in baseball sitting in front of congress and Tiger Woods apparently golfs best with a side of hooker and other innumerable scandals.

    The people who have been injured are the associates of Live Strong charity. Everyone else was either benefiting financially from Armstrong’s cheating-winning or participating in doping’s dirt sport of cycling.

    This is just a Well Duh! snooze fest to me.

  9. Here are a couple of articles about the interview, so far. One thinks that Lance hasn’t been completely honest, even to Oprah, and the second reports some not so impressive ratings for last night, even with all the hype.

  10. Boobah says:

    I confess that I was not very well informed in this Lance Armstrong bullsh*t when I first posted upthread. Although I still find it sad (as in pathetic and tragic), I am now angry. I watched the first interview and I am watching the second.

    The smug looks on his face, the fact that he found himself humorous at one point, the countless looks of what appeared to be amusement, how he would not flat out say that (insert any name of a person he lambasted) told the truth while he lied….I just cannot believe what a complete and utter arrogant assh*le he is! I mean, I am not kidding….there is something so wrong with him. I find him to be very dangerous – I believe he is still very vindictive and nasty at heart. This veneer is all a ruse without a doubt. He has one goal – to get back into competitive sports. The type of person he is won’t allow anyone to say no to him and he probably can’t survive without striving to win something. I think he enjoyed crushing people because it felt like a win to him.

    I am not a easily jaded person – I might actually be a bit on the idealistic side – so whenever I see this type of corruption or narcisism….I blow a gasket. I swear, my brain feels like its melting right now.

    Go to hell Armstrong. I hope you NEVER get to compete in anything EVER again. That is the most fitting consequence, IMHO.

    *phew* Thanks guys! I really needed to get hat out of my system.

    • Boobah, I’d love to hear what you think after you’ve seen both parts – that is, if you don’t implode first. As I said upthread, I’m at a disadvantage as we don’t get OWN.

      • Boobah says:

        LOL- I had to stick my head in the freezer to stop the pain – this type of person drives me batshitcrazy.

        I dunno – maybe you have the advantage here. Haha. I will definitely let you know what I think after the 2cd part.

    • melthehound says:

      Well hell Boobah, Glad you got that out. I know what it feels like to believe my brain is going to melt and ooze out of my ears running down my neck burning a path like molten lava. I think OWN is gone from my cable system too, or at least it isn’t in my guide anymore so I couldn’t watch if I wanted to (which I do not) so, thanks for taking the hit for us. I’ll offer a chill pill if it’ll help you or maybe just a cold drink 🙂

      • I don’t know why, but something tells me that Lance shouldn’t expect a Valentine’s Day card from Boobah. I hope part 2 doesn’t do her in. 😉

        • Boobah says:

          LOL!! No love from me! Whatta prick. No remorse, IMO. Grrrrrr. I swear, it was touch and go there for a minute – but I made it through! LOL!

      • Boobah says:

        You paint a vivid picture – it’s like you were here to witness my personal destruction. I have developed a deep aversion to cheap, rubbery, yellow wristbands.

        I will take both – the chill pill chased down by the cold drink. Make it two. Thanks!


  11. Boobah says:

    Here a brief little summary of both segments of the Oprah-Lance fiasco.

    First off, he says he is out of the business of calling people liars. But all he really did was change his language – now he says “that’s not the truth”. I hate manipulators like this. All semantics – Oprah called him out on this but he played the semantics game in his answer. Pissed me off.

    He recognized he is a very flawed person. He goes to therapy but not consistently. He acknowledges that he is exactly the type of person who needs to be consistent with therapy though. I call bullshit. This was for the viewers benefit. Asswipe.

    His first wife knew – she was aware on a need-to-know basis. He said she is very spiritual and she’s a “smart lady”. Huh? Is that weird that he would refer to his ex in such a generic way? She allowed him to return for his comeback but he had to be clean. He swears he was clean – absolutely no doping. He came in 3rd, then 23rd, iirc. He wasn’t happy. I kinda am.

    He claims he is facing his demons. He said this with a quick laugh. Yeah, I believe you Lancey Boy. Jerk. He said it’s a process.

    Oprah asked if the drugs contributed to his cancer.He doesn’t think so and no Doc ever suggested that. Um, what kind of Doc was that again? No sale, schmuck.

    He was the leader of the team but never forced anyone else to dope. He was also part owner and had a say in who got a spot on the team and who got booted.

    There was a lot of momentum behind all this debauchery. He had to continually perpetuate all this drugging and lies. He became a bully. Win at all costs. This attitude first developed when he was diagnosed with cancer with only a 50% chance of survival. Crap, now I feel a little bad. That does suck. But this attitude, he says, was good to have in order to survive but it parlayed into cycling – which is not good, he said. Cancer was much harder to deal with than this mess.

    He said he is a better person after this. It’s an epic challenge. Things got too big for him.

    He mentioned the cycling culture and that he didn’t have access to anything that others didn’t. He doesn’t believe winning 7 Tour de France’s is possible without the drugs. His drugging program was “smart, if you can call it that, professional but also risk adverse”. Whatever that means. You took drugs – that meets the criteria for risky behavior, fool!

    He told his eldest son, 13. He son didn’t say much. What did you expect? He is 13! He will have a lot to say in therapy 10 years from now. Go and get a job, you will need to save for those bills. They are gonna be whoppers. Moron.

    He mom is a wreck over this but she’s a tough “lady”. There’s that word again. It doesn’t bother me as much as when he used it with his ex-wife.He was raised to be a fighter. His whole family felt as if they had their back against the wall. They all had to fight. I might have gotten up at this point to get a ice pack for my head because I don’t remember what else he said about his childhood.

    He acknowledged he was a bully. But he was very flippant about this. He couldn’t remember specific people he sued. He stated, “I don’t know…we sued so many people”. He actually chuckled a little. Dickhead Bully Bastard. The word bully definitely apples here – this isn’t HW’s make believe world.

    He wasn’t worried about getting caught, he said because it was different back then. They didn’t have BioPassport. BioPassport is when they take several samples throughout the year a analyze it to look for fluctuations – these would be red flags.

    He admitted to using EPO, Blood transfusions, testosterone – that was his cocktail, he said.

    He feels she got the death penalty (banned from competition sports) and no one else did. He realized he should be punished but not with that. SEE! This is why he is doing this interview! Oprah asks him why he’s talking now, and he implies this.

    He knows he owes a lot of people apologies and when they are ready he will give them.

    The “lowest” thing that happened to him was when he was asked to step aside from his foundation. He said he was humbled and hurt by this the most. Yeah right – you just don’t like that you are not in charge of it anymore.

    IMO – he was not remorseful. He just wants to compete. He was flippant and at times smug. I hated when he smiled or laughed because there is nothing laughable here – you ruined people you shit! You lied. You ENJOYED doing this. That’s what gets me – I think he enjoyed the power.

    So, yeah, I got a little annoyed at this interview. I think he would do this again if given the opportunity. I wish he would just go away quietly and let his foundation continue to help people. He will ruin there credibility – although he doesn’t think so.

    This is a very choppy re-cap and I am sure I left out a lot. Sorry about that. oxox

    • melthehound says:

      Well done Boobah… Don’t hold back, that’s what I always say when giving opinion 😀

      This story reminds me a bit of Gene Simmons Family Jewels. The Jewels of course are his kids. Well, being the ultimate God Of Rock as he calls himself, he’s had more than his share of women while the one that gave him two kids, looked the other way and took care of his family. One day, she saw a photo in the media of him with a woman on each arm, and she’d had enough. At this point, he had said he had given that up. Well, we come to learn during the season, as if it was ever any real secret, that he’s had chicks on the side forever and that’s why he would never get married. Here’s the similar part.. When the family did the therapy thing with him, his kids said they respected him as a dad for providing but not as a man. Even though he’d said he was done cheating on Shannon, they claimed the only reason he was saying that was because he got caught at it. Were it not for that, he wouldn’t be attempting to change anything, and they were right.

      • Boobah says:

        Thank you so much, MelTH!! That means a lot. I probably should have referred to it as Highlights instead of a re-cap though. But I will tell you that I am very aware of how diffiuclt writing a re-cap is now. I was always appreciative when people such as yourself took on the task – but now I see how hard it can be. There is no way I could have been unbiased – some things just get me and this was one of ’em!

        The Gene Simmons show does sound a lot like what Lance did. WTH?!? I mean, why bother with the lying if its out there in print! AND just like Lance he didn’t cop to it until he got caught?!!? I guess some people just don’t have any character.

        Thanks again!

        • Boobah, glad to hear that you survived and nobody had to call 911 to extract your head from the freezer!!! I have to say that it sounds like you covered the important stuff – at least with your colorful terms for Armstrong and his myriad personality defects.
          Don’t worry about the objectivity part. Instead of a recap, we’ll call it an op-ed piece and then you can say whatever you want. Now I have to write a thank you note to my cable provider for not making me pay for something I probably wouldn’t have watched anyway. 😀

          • Boobah says:

            LOL!!!!! Nope, no 911 calls. But lots of tylenol. Haha – tell your cable compoany to call my cable company and remove OWN! 😀

            Oh gosh, thanks for saying not to worry. I actually re-read what I wrote and felt a little embarrassed! It sure was an opinion piece!

            You know though, as I was watching all I could think about were all the people he hurt – friends, family, teammates and especially others who are dealing with cancer. People who bought his book, invested in his words and his example while they suffered. I mean, what if right now there are some people who are dealing w/cancer and are mid-way through his book and just realized it was all lies! How do they feel?

            How will his children be treated if/when they ever join a school team?

            All the people he destroyed. He ruthlessly obliterated people! He got a second chance at life to do THAT?

            BB posted a good article below. Everybody deserves a chance to correct a wrong. He just better be genuine. I am concerned that he is not.

            Oh man, this topic really riles me up. I need to re-watch Revenge or something! 😉

            Thank you Empress for all you blogs and all the hard work you put into them so that my freeloading butt can read and enjoy. I appreciate it very much!!!!!

    • Buttercream says:

      Awesome re-cap – highlight … what ever you want to call it!
      I laughed and laughed reading the Lines of Lies by Lance you wrote!
      You captured Loser Lance’s arrogance and self centered phony baloney pony show on the BIG Oprah network! Thanks for writing and keep the ice pak handy for the next round of sports liar and cheaters blog writing!
      Love the reference to Downton Abby -“We regret honesty less than we regret lies.”
      Very true statement!

  12. Kaereste says:

    Speaking of frauds by those in position to inspire us…
    How about this oddball scandal about the Notre Dame football star whose fake girlfriend “died” tragically of leukemia.

    Here is where his inspirational story is debunked:
    Manti Te’o’s Dead Girlfriend, The Most Heartbreaking And Inspirational Story Of The College Football Season, Is A Hoax

    And here is an expert in “catfishing” who defends the player. Catfishing is posing online as someone else, typically to lure people into online dating relationships or to con people for money..

    • BB says:

      I’ve been kind of following this story since I’m a Notre Dame fan. Not sure what to make of it yet.

  13. BB says:

    I don’t know if this Scott Mercier is just blowing smoke (because I don’t know him), but he sounds like the true role model who should be looked up to; unfortunately nobody ever hears about these people, only the “winners” like Lance Armstrong.

    • BB, I love this story and I hope what he says is true, too. This quote really got me : “My wife called me about four months ago and she said when this whole thing was breaking, ‘Aren’t you glad you’re not sitting down with your children tonight and telling them I had to cheat and lie to win?’’ Mercier said.

      • BB says:

        I really like this quote: “It’s bigger than cycling. It really goes to the core of (the fact that) ethics matter, (and) doing things the right way matter. It seems whether it’s business, academics, politics, I think the country is fed up. Hopefully we’re seeing a cultural shift that how you do things is more important than the result.’’ It gives me a little glimmer of hope.

  14. melthehound says:

    I guess I do have OWN according to my guide.. They moved it to replace it with the ID channel. Odd thing (or not) OWN is now in the grouping that is mostly Black channels. I have no desire to watch Dr Phil reruns though so I’ll continue to ignore the fact that I have it.

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