Let me begin by saying that I’m biased, because I think that raising $500 million dollars for cancer research makes up for someone cheating at bike riding. But clearly I’m in the minority, because a lot of people are furious over Lance Armstrong’s admission of guilt and what is being described as an inadequate apology. Armstrong went on Oprah and got into the dirty details of his PED use, but most viewers were left unsatisfied, including the Wall Street Journal, which wrote:
Could any apology be equal to the multitude of lies, ruthless attacks, personal betrayals, and abuse of power that Oprah Winfrey laid on Lance Armstrong’s doorstep during Part I of her rambling interview with the disgraced cycling champ? Maybe, but based on the first part of the interview, Armstrong’s apology didn’t even come close.
For the most part, what Armstrong offered Thursday night was a more or less contrite explanation of his difficulties than a heartfelt public apology. He displayed some self-awareness, expressed considerable regret, and agreed that he acted like a bully, but Armstrong used specific remorse language only once. “I am sitting here to acknowledge [my faults] and to say I’m sorry,” he said. At least in part I, that’s the only time I heard Armstrong use the word “sorry.”
I’ve seen a lot of celebrity apology interviews, and Lance Armstrong made a huge mistake in his interview with Oprah. He took full responsibility for his actions. Doesn’t he know you’re supposed shirk responsibility and blame God? That’s what all the greats do. Say “I made mistakes” without getting specific, then add, “I believe everything happens for a reason and God has a plan for me.” Because obviously God’s plan involves regulating PEDs and micro-managing Chris Brown’s anger management rehab. Plus, Oprah’s a Jesus freak so she lets everyone off the hook the minute they mention the Lord. I hope that next time Lance does an interview, he’ll take a long look in the mirror, realize what he’s done wrong, and then blame Jesus for all of his personal failings. Or, if that doesn’t work, he could look straight into the camera and say, “I want to apologize to all the other people who beat cancer and were the best in the world at their job. Oh wait, that’s just me. Turns out you can’t win 7 Tour de Frances and beat cancer when you’re apologizing like a little bitch!”