Who’s benefiting from this doping interview: Oprah or Lance?

When I first heard of the much hyped-up Lance Armstrong interview with Oprah Winfrey, I did not think much of it. However, the more I hear about its continuously leaked content, the more I wonder if this is just a PR campaign to prop up OWN’s viewership figures.

Think of how this whole thing has unfolded thus far:

  1. Before Monday the 14th of January: The world gets told about the Monday interview between Oprah and Lance, and there is speculation that he is going to confess to having used performance enhancing drugs at some stage of his competitive cycling career. Note that this interview is going to be broadcast ONLY on Thursday the 17th. As part of the deal, apparently Oprah and her people must swear that they will not say anything about the contents BEFORE the broadcast.
  2. Monday the 14th: The much-awaited interview happens duly. (Un)surprisingly Some detailsare leaked as soon as itis completed.

    <img src="Oprah_Lance_Tweet.png" alt="Oprah Lance interview tweet>
    Oprah Lance interview twee
  3. Tuesday 15th: Oprah gives some glimpse of how she prepared for the interview – including fact that she had 112 questions that she wanted to put to Lance, etc, and heightens curiosity by giving an ambiguous answer to the question whether Lance confessed or not. More importantly, she tells the world that the interview is going to run over 2 nights; and this is because there is 2,5 hours worth of “riveting” footage to broadcast!
  4. Wednesday 16th: By this time, every news channel I check is agog with this supposedly tell-all interview, and social media go into overdrive.
<img src="Lance_Doping_Interview_Oprah_15_January_2013.png" alt="Lance Doping Interview with Oprah 15 January 2013">
Animated Lance Doping Interview with Oprah

Well, while I am waiting to see the interview on Oprah’s OWN channel on Thursday as I publish this post, I cannot help but wonder whether this is just a PR campaign meant to increase the Queen of Talkshow’s ratings, more than it is about Lance’s need to clear his conscience.

<img src="Lance_Armstrong_Twitter_Trend_15_January_2013.gif" alt="Lance Armstrong Twitter Trend 15 January 2013">
Topsy.com – Lance Armstrong Twitter Trend (click on image to enlarge)

Whatever is the case, she has already declared the Lance interview as the biggest she has done since the one with Michael Jackson in 1993, and I understand why she wants this to be the case.


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