What do you report when there is no story? The possibility that there might be a story soon maybe. Such is the story surrounding reports that Lance Armstrong may admit to doping allegations in an upcoming interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Take this portion of the story from ESPN, rife with nonexistent sources adding manufactured heat to the fire, the fun parts bolded for your enjoyment:
Citing an anonymous source, USA Today reported that the disgraced cyclist plans to admit to using performance-enhancing drugs but likely will not get into details of the allegations outlined in a 2012 report by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency that led to Armstrong being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned for life from the sport.
The New York Times first reported last week that Armstrong was considering making a confession. On Saturday morning, The Associated Press reported Armstrong would make a limited confession and offer an apology during the interview, citing a person with knowledge of the situation.
“An anonymous source.” “A person with knowledge of the situation.” What does this even mean? Is this news? Hell, I’m a person with knowledge of the situation. After all, I have eyes and access to Wikipedia. My anonymous sources (which may or may not be my actual gut) say that Lance is a scumbag.
Either way, with so many news outlets reporting on this could-be story, I have to give credit where credit is due. Whoever is in charge of promotions for Oprah Winfrey’s empire deserves a bonus, because this story is getting a lot of free publicity for what could amount to a really boring interview.