John Lamb, Published January 15 2013
Lamb: Why did Armstrong put his trust in Oprah anyway?
I see that after years of vehemently denying it, you finally confessed to using performance-enhancing drugs when you won six straight Tour de France races.
Let me rephrase that simple question.
I understand why you cheated. You’re a jerk. I get that.
But after years of lying, why did you come clean to Oprah Winfrey of all people?
Did you think she would be warm and consoling, Mother Confessor on a comfy couch? Tom Cruise crushed those cushions when he tromped his love for Katie Holmes seven years before she realized she made a big mistake.
And that’s when Oprah had a show that was broadcast on major networks, reaching every home with a television. Now she has OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network), but who really watches it?
If you wanted to confess publicly so no one would hear it, tell it to Piers Morgan.
Besides, you saw what she did to James Frey when she confronted him in 2006. She’d endorsed his memoir “A Million Little Pieces,” but when he told her bits were embellished, she crushed him to dust.
“It was a huge relief, after our long national slide into untruth and no consequences, into Swift boating and swift bucks, into W.'s delusion and denial, to see the Empress of Empathy icily hold someone accountable for lying and conning – and embarrassing her,” wrote columnist Maureen Dowd.
You’ll probably hear from Dowd and a lot of other sharp-witted writers over the next couple of weeks.
If you cross Oprah, you’ve offended millions of Americans. And it seems you did.
She told an interviewer that you “did not come clean in the manner that I expected.”
You’re lucky she didn’t get through all 112 questions she prepared, because I’m sure by number 27, you’d be crying.
So why not plead your case before a more lenient court? Diane Sawyer is professional, compassionate and may be more forgiving of your substance use since video of her during the November election prompted many to wonder whether she was drunk.
Matt Lauer could’ve been a sympathetic interview as he’s getting used to being hated for having Ann Curry fired.
Barbara Walters used to be the place to go for emotional mea culpas, so why not go on “The View” and let all five women talk over one another and you wouldn’t have to say a thing.
Or why not go on “Ellen?” Were you afraid she’d make you dance?
Heck, why talk at all? Take a page from the abnormally big boys in baseball like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. They don’t talk about their drug use, though no one doubts they used human growth hormones. Yet they still earned votes towards the Baseball Hall of Fame.
But it’s too late now. You told Oprah you were doping after years of denying it. Now there’s no more back-pedaling for you.
Readers can reach Forum reporter John Lamb at (701) 241-5533