A Tale of Redemption
Lance Armstrong is interviewed by Oprah. Will it be the whole truth and nothing but?
As we all know by now Lance Armstrong will be a guest on Oprah Winfrey’s “Next Chapter” program on the OWN network. In what Oprah is calling a no holds barred interview she is supposedly grilling Armstrong on his drug use and how he manipulated, lied and intimidated people who dared cross him. No, I’m just kidding ... that’s not going to happen.
The well-known talk show host isn’t going to press Armstrong for the hard questions in a manner a true journalist would. That’s why he’s sitting down with her. But we will get some satisfaction. Not much, but some.
Armstrong will use Oprah’s show as his venue to admit to doping, that I have no doubt. There’s too much evidence for him not too. The head of the United States Anti Doping Agency Travis Tygart said representatives of Armstrong approached him to discuss some kind of agreement of admission. In return USADA would allow the discredited rider to return to real competition, something he has been banned from for life.
With the interview taking place in the comfortable setting of his home he’ll admit to doping, but lay the blame on everyone but himself. The excuses will be, “everyone was doing it,” “UCI was complicit,” “how did you expect us to race like that?”, etc., etc., etc...
In his column in the Huffington Post, Lloyd Glauberman, Ph.D and clinical psychologist writes, “There are two things about Lance Armstrong we know for sure: he’s not stupid and he can’t be trusted. He managed to avoid being caught for over a decade, and even when confronted with the evidence of his guilt, he continued to lie.”
Glauberman continues, “To believe anything he tells us about why he’s decided to come clean — well, only a fool would buy the story.”
I agree with much of what Mr. Glauberman wrote except the part about Armstrong being smart. In my opinion Armstrong has made some stupid strategic moves. First, he came back from retirement. If the Texan had enjoyed popping up to do some Livestrong charity ride and hit the celebrity social circuit he’d still be a seven time Tour de France champion. Second, he underestimated Landis instead of offering him a place on his squad following Landis’ suspension. Sure they hated each other, but apart from training camp they could have been on completely different race programs and never crossed paths in races.
However like Glauberman finds, Armstrong is a narcissist and when power and celebrity are taken away his, “brain responds as if it’s withdrawing from a drug. And the process is agonizing.”
As with a lot of men in power who finally crash and burn it comes down to hubris.
At no time in the interview will Armstrong state that it was his fault. He’s just not programed that way. There will be no apologies to anyone he’s tried to ruin or has ruined. For many people that will leave a bitter taste in their mouths because once the interview is over the public will collectively shrug their shoulders and think,