“You need to come down here and see what we do,” Lance Armstrong told Outside writer Bill Gifford. “Ask us the hard questions. I know you’re a hater and you’re gonna write what you write, but I just want you to see it.”
Gifford once did a piece for Slate comparing the champion cyclist to Sarah Palin. “They both react to any criticism with extreme defensiveness,” he wrote. “They demonize their enemies while at the same time cultivating nonstop melodramas that keep them in the news.” Thus the “hater” label. But of course he took Armstrong up on that offer.
The resulting 6,000-plus word piece is on newstands now. Interestingly, it’s not a cover story, perhaps because there was a bit of controversy the last time Outside put Armstrong on the cover. Either way, it’s not like he was gonna do a photo shoot. And the cover Outside did choose (that’s Olympics track and field star Lolo Jones) probably speaks for itself.
While Gifford does discuss the never-ending “did