"Lance Armstrong’s 90-minute interview with Oprah Winfrey next week has been greeted with widespread skepticism and suspicion that it will turn into a “stage-managed” confessional," is part of the headline on a report in the U.K. publication The Telegraph.
The piece reports: "’Only Lance would get to have his moment of truth, if that’s what it will be, in front of Oprah Winfrey,” British cyclist David Millar [tells the Telegraph]. ‘It is not sitting in front of a judge or a disciplinary hearing being properly questioned about the things he has done wrong.’
“’I doubt very much it will be a proper interrogation,’ [Millar continues]. ‘My biggest concern is that it will be completely stage-managed, that he will just be "given-the-ball," and that it will all be about his emotions rather that concentrating on exactly what he did wrong.’”
The article continues: "Winfrey has interviewed Armstrong before and her website carries a photograph of her leaning on the cyclist’s shoulder and wearing a Livestrong wristband, the iconic motif of his cancer charity. Her Oprah Winfrey Network channel is a joint venture with the Discovery Channel, which was the title sponsor of Armstrong’s team between 2004-2007."
To read TVWeek Open Mic blogger Chuck Ross’s blistering piece about Armstrong’s comments during his first press conference when the Discovery cycling sponsorship was initially announced, please click here.
The Telegraph article adds: "’It is so predictable it is pathetic,” said Jaimie Fuller, the founder of Change Cycling Now, a pressure group demanding reform of the sport. “We will hear the convenient truth. The parts that will work best for his image manipulation.’
"’What we are going to hear is, "I had to do it because everybody else was doing it, if I didn’t do it I would not have been able to create this wonderful foundation that has done such amazing things for cancer and I am really sorry but please forgive me." What I would like to hear him say is how sorry he is to all the people he did his dirty tricks on. The people he has publicly belittled and treated appallingly.’”
The Telegraph article also says: "Three years ago Winfrey was criticized for handling Marion Jones sympathetically when she interviewed the disgraced American athlete following her release from prison after being convicted for perjury over her use of steroids."