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Posts Tagged ‘cheaters’

Schwarzenegger’s Press Tour Is Bad PR

The Austrian Oak, better known outside the bodybuilding world as former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, has spent the last week or so hitting every conceivable media outlet to push “Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story”, which may just be the worst-titled “tell-all memoir” ever. Go ahead and roll your eyes—we did.

We’re sure Arnold had some big plans for this current press offensive, but we can’t see too many benefits. In fact, we’d question the wisdom of his big comeback tour–and we’re not the only ones.

We echo the question Jon Stewart asked him last night: Why write the book now? Couldn’t you give it another year or two to wait until the heat cools off? The public may have a short memory, but this is ridiculous.

And why confess to multiple affairs that no one outside your immediate family knew about or cared about (and to describe said affairs as “hot”)? This is pure tabloid fodder–and it makes Maria Shriver’s defense of her candidate husband in the wake of the infamous groping allegations seem even more bizarre. While Arnold did manage to say that his affair with his housekeeper was “the stupidest thing” he did during his marriage, we’re not sure that his performance has been terribly convincing. His “I’m not perfect” moment on “60 Minutes” was particularly lame.

Schwarzenegger admits that his kids aren’t comfortable with him airing his dirty laundry to anyone who will listen (ya think?), but his publicist didn’t seem to mind. Why is that? Oh right—he has a book to sell.

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End of an Era: Lance Armstrong ‘Won’t Fight’ Dope Charges

For once, we didn’t see this coming: In case you haven’t heard, cyclist, cancer survivor and one-man-brand Lance Armstrong has announced that he will ‘stop fighting’ the cheating charges leveled against him by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. This means that Armstrong may well be officially stripped of his record-setting seven Tour de France titles. Yes, it’s a bit of a shocker.

How to respond? From a PR perspective, it seems as if Armstrong has chosen the best available option: By refusing to endure the “arbitration process,” he can continue to claim–as he always has–that the longstanding doping charges leveled against him amount to a “witchhunt” and highlight the fact that he never tested positive on any official drug test (though any commentors who use this fact as evidence of his innocence should remember that Marion Jones and many other disgraced athletes never tested positive while competing). Unfortunately, his decision all but ensures that supporters will never have a satisfactory answer to the question: If he is truly innocent, why not endure the process to the end and prove it once and for all?

Armstrong may have avoided suffering a fate like that of Jones, Floyd Landis and Barry Bonds, but the fact remains: No matter how many fans post supportive messages on his Facebook page, his brand is forever tarnished–and it’s a big one. Read more