The epic world premier has happened, and we had our moments with Lance. And the reactions I’ve heard from people tend to fall into one of two categories: either “it wasn’t worth watching” or “what a giant (insert expletive here).” My husband fell asleep half way through Part II.
In my opinion, I thought the first session was fascinating, even though some of my predictions/hopes didn’t come to fruition. He’s so clearly a narcissist in the most mythical sense of the word. Oprah said that Lance “came prepared,” and that characterization was spot-on. His brain was primed and ready for every single question. His heart? Not so much. It took until the second half of the interview for a human being to show up, and only when the line of questions turned to the topic of his son. Only when he had to describe the humiliation and sadness of that confession did he finally crack.
In fact, I truly believe it’s the only thing he feels remorse over. At the professional level, he feels embarrassed and devastated by being exposed, but deep down, he still feels as though he’s getting an overly severe punishment for something all the kids were doing. “Why me? Why so harsh?” whines Lance.
But the moment when it became pain at the soul level was when his oldest son saw him for what he really was: someone hiding a secret, and lying to everyone, destroying reputations along the way. To look at his son and admit to being a hypocrite on every level… that has to hurt. I think we all live in fear of the day our kids see us for what we really are – unsure, frightened a lot of the time, and barely able to live up to the standards we set for our children. For about 2 minutes, I felt empathy for him. But then it was over.
But even as I type this, I think “GAWD I am tired of hearing about this story.” And you probably are too.
The Death of the Mea Culpa Interview?
So what can we take from all of this? Tim Goodman claimed in his article that the days of the Mea Culpa interview are over, and that this lackluster interview was the final nail in the coffin. I’m not sure I agree, although I understand the sentiment.
We’ve become cynical, and with good reason. But I think there will always be a fascination with self disclosure – the painful and real version – of so-called “fallen heroes” in our midst. ESPECIALLY for fans of Oprah and the OWN Network.
Unfortunately, Lance Armstrong himself admitted that he is not at the place where he's had a real spiritual shift. He’s still mostly pissed off that he got caught. The claim that “…it’s a process…” isn’t enough for us. And for this I applaud him. At least he’s not faking a transformation.
But the death of the Mea Culpa interview? I don’t think so. But, note to Mr. Armstrong: Don’t try and show up on Oprah’s couch unless you’ve been born again, in whatever form that may take. Otherwise, it’s a waste of everyone’s time.
Publicists – you’ve been warned.