Quantcast
Latest Stories

Lance Armstrong sprints for ‘the Oprah effect’



This July 23, 2000 file photo shows Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong riding down the Champs Elysees with an American flag after the 21st and final stage of the cycling race in Paris, France, Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned for life by cycling’s governing body Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, following a report from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency that accused him of leading a massive doping program on his teams. AP/Laurent Rebours

WASHINGTON—Stripped of his Tour de France titles, disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong is banking on “the Oprah effect” to help get his life, career and public image back on track.

He can expect not only tough questions, but also a generous dose of empathy when he sits down with talk show icon Oprah Winfrey at his Texas home for an interview going out on her OWN cable channel and website next Thursday.

“Oprah is not flying down to Austin and airing a prime time special to hear another denial (of drug use) from Lance Armstrong,” veteran Hollywood publicist Howard Bragman, vice chairman of Reputation.com, told AFP on Wednesday.

“This is part of a very sophisticated PR effort to get a confession out there and change hearts and minds,” said Bragman, who has known Winfrey for 30 years and placed some of his celebrity clients on her show.

“Lance certainly has a previous relationship with Oprah, number one,” he said, referring to a 2004 interview in which he spoke of his struggle with cancer but avoided the doping allegations that were just starting to emerge.

“But number two, she is extraordinarily empathetic — and I think that’s where he felt he was going to get his best hearing and it makes it a quote-unquote special event.”

Winfrey, 58, born into poverty in Mississippi, became one of the richest and most powerful figures in US popular culture over 25 seasons of her eponymous weekday syndicated talk show aimed at women viewers.

“The Oprah Winfrey Show” made a virtue of intimacy, emotion and the power of persuasion — and over 4,561 episodes it reshaped the national conversation on such issues as literacy, obesity and homosexuality.

Some claim Winfrey’s support for Barack Obama swayed enough votes in 2008 among her estimated 44 million viewers to help put him in the White House.

“The beauty of Oprah is that she’s able to be an icon and, at the same time, very, very approachable and very real,” said Chicago ad executive James Lou in the CNBC television documentary “The Oprah Effect.”

“It makes her so relevant as a brand to consumers,” he said.

Her endorsements lifted sales of such products as Ugg boots, Fat Witch Brownies and Kindle readers (“absolutely my new favorite, favorite thing”), which she discovered before the iPad (“my number one favorite thing ever”).

For celebrities with something heartfelt to say, Winfrey’s studio sofa has been the go-to place to bare their feelings before a boisterous live audience.

Tom Cruise famously jumped up and down on it in 2005 as he professed his love for fellow actor Katie Holmes, who he married the following year. The couple divorced in 2012.

In 2008, former Olympic track and field champion Marion Jones, out on probation after doing prison time for perjury after lying to US prosecutors about her use of steroids, shed tears as she told Winfrey her story.

“I didn’t love myself enough to tell the truth,” Jones confessed. “I’m trying to move on. I hope that everybody else can move on, too.”

The following year, Mike Tyson broke down as he told Winfrey about the accidental death of his four-year-old daughter — and apologized for biting off the ear of boxing rival Evander Holyfield in their notorious 1997 “bite fight.”

Winfrey lowered the curtain on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in May 2011 amid much fanfare to focus on the Oprah Winfrey Network channel, on which she appears less frequently on an interview show called “Oprah’s Next Chapter.”

That is the program on which Armstrong is to appear, on the heels of such other recent guests as pop idols Justin Bieber and Rihanna and London Olympics gymnastics champion Gabrielle Douglas.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.


Tags: Cycling , Doping , Lance Armstrong , Oprah Winfrey , Sports , Television



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement

News

  • Drunk passenger triggers Bali hijack alert
  • Businesswoman allegedly killed by husband, brother-in-law
  • Roxas suspended from golf club for outburst over P5,000 guest fee
  • SC reschedules oath-taking of new lawyers
  • Ex-COA chief seeks bail after arrest for plunder
  • Sports

  • Guiao fined P100,000 for ‘mongoloid’ comment vs Meralco forward
  • Hawks and Grizzlies revel in home wins
  • Floyd: Manny’s power gone
  • Michael Phelps loses to Lochte in comeback meet
  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Lifestyle

  • ‘Recovered’ Banksy works on display ahead of sale
  • Marinduque: Visiting the ‘palm of the ocean’
  • First at Vatican in 60 years
  • How Jing Monis Salon gave Krissy the pixie
  • Want to be a supermodel? Work on your inner beauty, says Joey Espino
  • Entertainment

  • Paul McCartney to play at Candlestick concert
  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • Business

  • PAL hailed for ban on shark fin cargo
  • BSP to change tint of P100 bill
  • Nielsen sees car buying boom in the Philippines
  • How author of best-seller exposed ‘one percent’ economic elite
  • Bangko Sentral readies new bank lending rules
  • Technology

  • Cloud strength helps Microsoft earnings top Street
  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • Opinion

  • Corruption not invincible after all
  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • Global Nation

  • Plane lands at Bali airport in suspected hijacking—Indonesia air force
  • Obama lands in Seoul as N. Korea nuclear test fears grow
  • Militant protests vs Obama, US set
  • Filipinos second-shortest in Southeast Asia
  • China welcomes PH apology
  • Marketplace