cycling

Lance Armstrong and the truth-tellers … well, sort of

The NYT has a curious piece hailing the independent media as the sole source of truth in the years before Lance Armstrong was buried under 1,000 pages of U.S. Anti-Doping Agency evidence.

Nice shoutout to NYVelocity.com, home of the ever-classic Tour day Schmalz, but it’s a little unfair to split the cycling media into “brave, truth-telling, low-profile underdogs” and “those who were unwilling or simply scared to tell the truth.” (Or even worse, “enablers.”)

The issue: For journalists to print doping allegations, they have to have something called “evidence.”

The main reason we wait for evidence: It’s simply ethical to do so. The other reason is one I supposed you could file under “scared,” but legitimately so: Lance Armstrong wasn’t just suing his critics over the years. He was winning.

Satire, such as NYVelocity’s inside joke-heavy “Toto” cartoons, has broader protection. And in a lot of cases, satire is better able to tell the truth than the “media.” Just go back a couple of years to the classic Onion story “Lance Armstrong Wants To Tell Nation Something But Nation Has To Promise Not To Get Mad.”

Sure, a few people pursued the Armstrong case when it wasn’t cool to do so. A lot of people in the cycling community owe Betsy Andreu an apology. But “enablers”? That’s a little harsh. And unfair.

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1 reply »

  1. It’s almost a no-win atmosphere for legitimate journalism. Do your job correctly and get labelled an “enabler,” or inept. Push forward without evidence and legitimate sources and you’re unprofessional. No wonder so many are going into “commentary.”

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