In spat with ’60 Minutes,’ Lance Armstrong scores another PR victory

The cyclist’s legal team has demanded that the news program issue an on-air apology for its report on Armstrong and doping. Fat chance. But another savvy PR move.

A quick review of the news magazine’s recent history shows only one on-air apology, and that was for airing a program about a heroin smuggling ring that turned out to be completely fake. Even then, it took a nearly two-year investigation to determine that outside producers had faked locations and paid actors to portray drug couriers.

There’s no doubt that Tyler Hamilton portrayed on the program was actually the real cyclist, and many suspect that the professional cycling world and doping go hand-in-hand.

Still, for Armstrong and his legal and PR teams this week to demand an immediate apology is bold, and the move is already reaping benefits.

Anyone who has tried to get the media to apologize, even in the most extreme cases, knows it’s a long shot. The best-case scenario is for attorneys to take the time to blast off a letter filled with legal language assailing the media report.

In most cases, the demand letters are ignored or kept as trophies by producers or editors.

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