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Lance Armstrong and Oprah an unbeatable ratings team?

Lance ArmstrongBicycle RacingCBS Corp.OWN (tv network)Oprah WinfreyTour de France

The question now is: who’s getting more out of Lance Armstrong’s doping confession, the disgraced cyclist himself or Oprah?

I say that because Oprah Winfrey -- the Doyenne of Drama, the High Priestess of Pathos -- was busy Tuesday flacking her big interview with Armstrong, which will air on her OWN Network Thursday and Friday.

(Yes, the interview was so lengthy, Ope said, that it will now air over two days. “Just wrapped with @lancearmstrong More than 2 ½ hours. He came READY!” she tweeted after her big sit-down with Armstrong in Austin, Texas)

With the seven-time Tour de France winner finally coming clean – well, up to a point – about his use of performance-enhancing drugs, the Big O’s ratings could be through the roof.

So there was Oprah on “CBS This Morning,” teasing us all by saying she was “mesmerized and riveted” by some of Armstrong’s revelations.

But she also admitted that the 41-year-old Armstrong did not come clean “in the manner that I expected,” signaling that significant details about his doping – the how, when, where stuff everyone wants to know – will remain undisclosed.

Armstrong had promised to answer Oprah’s questions “directly, honestly and candidly,” but we know how that goes.

Realistic translation: “I’m not getting myself in even bigger trouble here. But I’ll throw you a few juicy scraps to make it seem as if I’m filled with remorse and baring my soul.”

In any event, this is how America’s celebrity fallen get back on their feet and resume their lives: they get lawyered up and have their agents call the networks. Then they go on TV and spill their guts to a big-name, sympathetic figure and beg for forgiveness.

And who’s got more street cred with celebrity confessionals than Oprah, who could make Rambo  blubber and crack with a skeptical frown or even a simple arch of her well-manicured eyebrows.

Should make for some great theater when the interview finally airs.

I’ll have the popcorn ready.

And my rain-barrel-sized Pepsi.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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Lance ArmstrongBicycle RacingCBS Corp.OWN (tv network)Oprah WinfreyTour de France
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