LANCE ARMSTRONG went on national television last week - well, he appeared on something called the OWN network - and, in a "worldwide exclusive," told Oprah Winfrey he had doped as a cyclist.
Other upcoming Oprah interview exclusives:
The Armstrong-Winfrey meeting showcased two public figures in contrast: one reviled, one revered. And after two nights of conversation - Oprah turned this into a mini-series; it was OWN's "Roots" - Armstrong looked worse than ever and Winfrey looked better than ever.
This is what we now know about Lance Armstrong: Champion, liar, bully, cheat. Hey, one out of four ain't bad.
It's possible Armstrong has told more lies than McDonald's has sold Big Macs.
Over the years, he's repeatedly said he's been tested hundreds of times and never failed a test. Hmm. Maybe they just kept testing him for being a jerk.
(By the way, in the latest issue of O, The Oprah Magazine, there is an article that is headlined: "The Question: What Is The One 'Flaw' You Wouldn't Change About Yourself?" Lance's answer: "That I'm the devil.")
(Note: That article did appear in the February issue, but I made up Lance's answer.)
As it turns out, just about everyone in cycling was cheating. So it was like Congress, with spokes. Armstrong, of course, vehemently denied he was cheating for years - and attacked anyone who said otherwise - but, now, he says, he was cheating though he didn't consider it cheating.
Armstrong also said, "We weren't worse than the East German doping program of the '70s and '80s," which is a heck of a slogan to hang your hat on.
Here are some of my favorite sound bites from his Oprah chat:
"I know the truth."
"I cannot lie to you."
"I'm going to tell you what's true and what's not true."
To trust Lance Armstrong to tell you the truth is to trust Bernie Madoff with your rent money.
Even today, when Armstrong says emphatically, "Absolutely not," you know there's an 85 percent chance that it's actually, "Absolutely."
I would've respected Lance more if he wore a T-shirt with the old Bob Arum line, "Yesterday I Was Lying, Today I Am Telling The Truth."
(In poker, players look for "tells" - actions opponents may take or facial movements they make that indicate the strength of their cards. Lance has an unmistakable "tell" when he's lying - anytime he's moving his lips.)
It was hard to listen to and watch Armstrong. He defines disingenuousness, and he seemed more regretful that he was caught than remorseful that he had cheated.