Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

National and World

January 18, 2013

Winfrey mixes technical, personal in interview

(Continued)

Winfrey recognized that for what it was: semantics. Then she abruptly switched gears to ask Armstrong: "Were you a bully?"

It was a talk show host's question, not necessarily a journalist's. And it was brutally effective. Armstrong seemed initially taken aback but admitted to it and explained what led to his behavior.

She showed tapes of Armstrong's aggressive denials through the years and explained how he often set his lawyers on old friends or colleagues that accused him of doping.

"You're suing people and you know they're telling the truth?" Winfrey said. "What is that?"

"It's a major flaw," Armstrong answered, blandly. Winfrey could have come at him even harder.

In an especially chilling and effective passage, Winfrey got Armstrong to admit he didn't feel what he was doing was wrong at the time. He didn't feel like he was cheating.

Winfrey showed some nervousness after the interview's strong opening that manifested itself in interrupting Armstrong before he could fully answer a question. An effective TV interviewer needs to know when to give the subject some space and when to bore in, and Winfrey mostly achieved that mix after settling down.

After Armstrong batted away a general question about the doping culture — "how did it all work?" — Winfrey quickly learned to be specific in these discussions. At one point Armstrong acknowledged calling one former friend who had turned on him crazy and a bitch, "but I never called her fat." It was ridiculous, and Winfrey should have called him on it.

Winfrey's struggling OWN network took advantage of the high-profile interview by using virtually every commercial break to promote its other programming. The time between commercial breaks shortened to the point of distraction in the final third of the 90-minute program.

Text Only
National and World
Local News
AP Video
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Jury Awards Ventura $1.8M in Defamation Case Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando Raw: NH Man Held on $1M in Teen's Kidnapping New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Senate Confirms McDonald As VA Secretary Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Fish Oil Plant Blast Kills One Two Huge Fires Burning in Northern California
Sister Newspapers' News