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Fri Jan 18, 2013, 09:47 AM

Lance Armstrong: how to play the confessor without actually confessing



Lance Armstrong: how to play the confessor without actually confessing
Oprah Winfrey interview made for compelling viewing, for the most part because Armstrong seemed utterly devoid of emotion

Oliver Burkeman
guardian.co.uk, Friday 18 January 2013


The American ritual of celebrity confession and redemption is an exercise in having your cake and eating it too. You get to commit the career-ending crime – to fabricate the memoir, to have the affair with the intern – without actually having to end your career. But Lance Armstrong's much-hyped encounter with Oprah Winfrey, the first part of which aired on Thursday night, was something even more cynical and calculating: an attempt to confess without confessing. It was an effort to meet the minimum standards required for a celebrity confession while avoiding further legal liabilities, and leaving Armstrong's weapons-grade sanctimony intact. He wanted to have his cake and eat it too, but also not to eat it, and in any case, everyone was eating cakes, and it depends what you mean by "cake", and…

This made for compelling television, but not for any of the reasons Armstrong or his handlers might have wanted. Bursting into tears during a conversation with Oprah may be corny, but appearing to be almost totally without emotion, as Armstrong did, is far worse. It draws the audience's attention to the fundamental falsity of the whole operation. You're supposed to leave the viewer feeling moved, and perhaps a little morally superior – not soiled for having tuned in at all.

He admitted to doping, of course, and did so within the opening seconds of the show, under Winfrey's calmly precise questioning. (Because of her history of giving away free cars, and sometimes bestowing too much credibility on dubious guests, it's often overlooked how good an interviewer Oprah can be when she chooses.) But almost the whole of the rest of his 90-minute performance consisted of lawyerly quibbling. Had he pressured teammates to take performance-enhancing drugs? "I don't want to split hairs here," Armstrong replied, before going on to explain that he hadn't pressured them, but had allowed a situation to exist in which they'd felt pressured. At one point, he claimed, he'd even looked up the word "cheating" in a dictionary, and concluded, astonishingly enough, that it didn't apply to him.

.........(snip).........

If there was a detectible emotion, it was that Armstrong was enjoying himself – which is a disaster, in crisis-management terms. Not that this should have been shocking. He had already shown an epic disregard for the rules of competitive cycling, so it was hardly surprising that he showed a similar disregard for the rules of the Oprah confessional. Winfrey never once elicited a shred of empathy on Armstrong's part. But the likeliest explanation for that, to judge from his responses on Thursday night, was that there wasn't any there. ...............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2013/jan/18/lance-armstrong-oprah-winfrey-interview?intcmp=122



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Reply Lance Armstrong: how to play the confessor without actually confessing (Original post)
marmar Jan 2013 OP
jsr Jan 2013 #1
Stuart G Jan 2013 #2
Stuart G Jan 2013 #3
jsr Jan 2013 #4
Stuart G Jan 2013 #5

Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 11:08 AM

1. Never trust a calculating ruthless sociopath

with a lengthy and well-documented record of lying and cheating.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 11:59 AM

2. k & r thanks for posting..... nt

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 12:07 PM

3. Can I ask one question about this interview? Someone who watched the whole thing??

And I must admit, I cannot watch the whole thing....

Did he ever say ..he was deeply sorry die lieing and cheating??or..
sound that he was???? that is all I would like to know....

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Response to Stuart G (Reply #3)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 01:48 PM

4. Not once did he look into the camera and say, without qualification, “I’m sorry.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/18/sports/cycling/lance-armstrong-confesses-to-using-drugs-but-without-details.html

January 17, 2013
For Armstrong, a Confession Without Explanation
By JULIET MACUR

...He said he had been a bully his whole life, before contradicting himself a minute later, saying he became a bully only after he survived cancer and resumed his cycling career.

And when he said he never failed a drug test — saying, “I passed them because there was nothing in the system” — he contradicted himself again. When Winfrey asked if his urine samples from the 1999 Tour retroactively tested positive for EPO, he said yes. When she pressed him, he admitted that he received a backdated prescription from a team doctor after he tested positive for cortisone at the 1999 Tour...

But throughout Winfrey’s interview, Armstrong failed to do the one thing many people had been waiting for: he failed to apologize directly to all the people who believed in him, all the cancer survivors and cycling fans who thought his fairy-tale story was true.

Not once did he look into the camera and say, without qualification, “I’m sorry.”

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 07:34 PM

5. Here is what I think..

He cheated, got away with it for a long time, accused others of lieing about almost everything related in any way to those actions, even sueing in court and winning..Now this low class scum, want evidently, to go back to some kind of competition, by saying he is sorry, but not meaning it. (see op and number 4) So he was a celebrity, maybe he still is. He is scum. ....Was Scum, and Always will be Scum....

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