01.15.13

Attention Righteous Wads : Buzz Bissinger Owns Up To Duck Fucking

Posted in cycling, Sports Journalism at 11:07 pm by

Last summer, The Daily Beast’s Buzz Bissinger called Lance Armstrong “the victim of a slam job” and characterized the cyclists attackers as a select group of haters” (or, y’know, righteous fuckwads).¬†¬† On Tuesday, following Armstrong’s taped confession with Oprah Winfrey, Bissinger struck a somewhat different tone (“I really completely fucked the duck”) , calling his Newsweek cover story/defense of the 7-time Tour de France victor, “the worst piece of opinion I have ever written.”

I did a disservice to myself. More important I did a disservice to readers. I did believe what I wrote at the time. I do believe in staking out strong positions. We all do as columnists today, because of the world we live in, craving to differentiate ourselves from the thousands who populate the Internet every hour.

I liked it when he sent me a tweet of appreciation after I had written a previous¬† column condemning the federal government for the millions it spent going after professional athletes for illegal use of performance enhancers (I still believe the money was wasted). I liked telling my son Caleb, who idolized Armstrong, that “you will never guess who tweeted me.” My only solace is that my son, like so many others who looked up to Armstrong, now hates him.

When he reads this column, he will no doubt accuse me of jealousy and a need for revenge because I, like a thousand other journalists, was hoping that he would confess to me.

I did want him to confess, because I knew it would be a nice notch on the belt, lots of pats on the head from editors who were all over me to get to the exclusive. I did coo in his ear, playing the familiar but odious game of pissing on his detractors. I did write him emails saying that no journalist would treat him more fairly than me. I detested those emails. I was only further contributing to the slime.

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