I want my 60 minutes back, please

Well, that was sort of … meh. Got to admit, I didn’t catch the whole “60 Minutes” exposé — I was working the Amgen Tour for VeloNews.com and for some reason thinking 7 p.m. instead of 6, but wised up in time only to find out that the rabbit ears wouldn’t pull in CBS, so I had to try another pair and then rescan for channels, and yeah, duh, I’m an idiot — but from what I saw and have read since, I’m thinking CBS News can forget about the Peabody Award for this one.

It’s nice to see the mainstream media investing time and money in the Adventures of Big Tex and His Merry Men, but the tifosi knew most of the “revelations” going in, including the big one, which was “60 Minutes” alleging that faithful lieutenant George Hincapie may have tweeted before a grand jury in a canary-like fashion that would not get an attaboy from the Twitterer-in-Chief, Texus Maximus, El Jefe, to wit, Juan “Scarnads” Pelota his own bad self. As anyone who ever read Jimmy Breslin’s “The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight” knows, the only proper response to a question from a copper, a DA or anyone who can’t instantly provide you with the names of all his cousins is, “What could I tell you?” accompanied by a shrug of the shoulders.

Hincapie and “60 Minutes” agree that they did not speak to each other for this report — I haven’t seen anything about Hinc’ denying that he ratted out the Boss, no matter what you read elsewhere — and Big Tex’s goon squad are treating Hinc’ with kid gloves, refraining from calling him a serial liar, a drunkard, an admitted doper, a hater or a penny-dreadful author in search of a publisher, as they have Floyd Landis, Tyler Hamilton, Frankie and Betsy Andreu and just about anyone else who unlimbers his or her yap to do anything other than plant a wet one on Tex’s ass.

In fact, the Texicans say CBS has smeared Hincapie too, calling the statements attributed to him “inaccurate” and “the reports of his testimony … unreliable.” As for Hincapie, all he has said publicly is: “As for the substance of anything in the ’60 Minutes’ story, I cannot comment on anything relating to the ongoing investigation.” Hey, what could I tell you?

So as usual, it appears that the the shoes have only begun to drop. Envision Imelda Marcos flying a Stealth bomber with a full payload of Manolo Blahniks. Then take cover.

26 Responses to “I want my 60 minutes back, please”

  1. John Says:

    How dare they besmirch the reputation of our True American Hero! By daring to question His honesty and integrity, they call into question the integrity of cancer survivors everywhere. Don’t they know how he has raised global cancer awareness? Without Him, who knows how many people would never have so much as heard of cancer, let alone paid $1 for a piece of yellow plastic. Those who would dare to point fingers and make accusation (too long a list to include here) sully the reputation of dozens, hundreds, perhaps even thousands of devoted chamois sniffers the world over….okay, mostly in this country.

  2. SteveO Says:

    There’s a wee bit of extended interview / deleted stuff on the 60M web site. Personal opinion but I thought the stuff they cut out made TH seem more credible. The stuff they left in was mostly Tyler getting pissed that every third word out of pelley’s mouth was “lance armstrong.” After Tyler had just explained that the whole team was doing it, that it was systematic, all pelley could think of was, “Did you see Lance inject the EPO? What was he wearing? Were you as turned on then as I am saying his name now?”

  3. SteveO Says:

    // Envision Imelda Marcos flying a Stealth bomber with a full payload of Manolo Blahniks. Then take cover.//. More like a classic B52 full of Lowa alpine boots, crampons attached. Maybe a few Wolverine steel-toes in there for good measure.

  4. Larry T. Says:

    Did anyone expect stuff that wasn’t already known by cycling fans? 60 Minutes is mass media folks. As I’ve written before, Novitsky has the reputation that he’ll bury his prey one way or another. If he can’t get a grand jury indictment and conviction, it seems he’ll settle for destroying the perps reputation in the court of public opinion — which 60 Minutes does very well. Anyone with stock in “BigTex Inc.” should have sold it when Buycycling Magazine turned on him…it’s downhill from here even if no indictments are ever announced. Meanwhile we’re wrapping things up here in Sicily, planning to make a deposit on an apartment today, then head back to the Piedmont HQ to prepare for the cycling tours. We may go out to Colle Finestre to see “Il Matador’s” last hurrah before he faces the CAS but I have to admit I’m losing enthusiasm for this edition of La Corsa Rosa — but they probably said that when Merckx was wiping the floor with everyone too, back-in-the-day.

  5. Jeff Cozad Says:

    I’m wondering what the ASO may do here w/respect to Da Shack and BMC. Time will tell. I am enjoying the work of Big Tex’s spin meisters. “Shocked… simply shocked… how could anyone… never failed… blah… blah.. blah”.

  6. Khal Spencer Says:

    No big loss on your part, Patrick.

    The 60 Minutes episode was largely anticlimactic, as we all apparently agree. The interesting thing was Tyler looking like he expected Lucca Brazi to pop out from behind a wall and garotte him any minute. Not sure why the constant eye-shifting, but it gave the guy the look of someone who wasn’t too happy in his own skin.

    Pelly sure was going after the Capo di tutti cappi exclusively, but no surprise there. Big Tex is after all the center of the Novitsky investigation. The sad part is the bigger picture: its pretty clear that anyone who wanted to succeed at high levels had to put a needle in his arm (I’m shocked…shocked to find that doping is going on here…your winnings, sir).

    I work with a guy whose father, another Italian immigrant, worked in the coal mines and sure didn’t want his son to do that…

    • SteveO Says:

      Eye shifting: I think because pelley asked him the same question 24 times until he answered in a way that was all-LA. “When you had breakfast before a race, did Lance Heart-throb ever sit next to you? Did he ever accidentally pick up your spoon? Ever sit in the stall next to
      His when you’re crapping? Does his shit
      really smell like Texas blue-bonnets?”

  7. SteveO Says:

    Interesting caveat to the immunity deal. If Tyler is shown to have lied, immunity goes away. Should be standard boilerplate for all immunity deals.

    Isn’t there some federal law that prohibits one from making money (specifically movie and book deals) from illegal activity?

    • khal spencer Says:

      Aside from immunity going away, I think lying under oath to a Federal Grand Jury can land someone in Club Fed on its own. I doubt Hamilton (or Hincape) lied under oath. And by granting immunity, they were not in a position to take the Fifth Amendment.

      No, this is not going to be pretty. Novitsky is what my Federal prosecutor neighbor in Honolulu used to refer to as the “junkyard dog” style of prosecutor. He’s not gonna let go.

  8. Boz Says:

    On a side note, Xavier Tondo died when his garage door fell on him? WTF?

  9. Larry T. Says:

    The Tondo story is great fodder for conspiracy theorists as he’s the guy who ratted out the dope-selling ring in Spain recently, earning the plaudits of the anti-doping folks. Not too long after this his garage door falls on him? You can’t make this s__t up as they say! No wonder Hamilton was looking around while ratting out the king of the omerta for 60 Minutes! Maybe I shouldn’t be typing this from Sicily? But just a few doors down from the place we’re staying is an office of the anti-Mafia folks…so maybe we’re safe as long as Etna doesn’t blow her top before tomorrow morning when we leave here. But we’ll roll the dice again starting in October when we return for tbe winter months. Did not have any time to check out the local road cycling scene but figure it CAN’T be worse than in Sioux City, Iowa!

  10. khal spencer Says:

    Send pictures from Sicily, Larry!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      What Khal said, Larry. Those of us condemned to perpetual winter/allergy season back here in the Land of the Big PX need distractions. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to inspect my garage door.

      P.S.: Here’s a link to the Cycle Italia site, for anyone who doesn’t already have it bookmarked.

  11. joe Green Says:

    None of this is a surprise to me. When Tyler, Frankie, and George as well as a cast of “fomer” Big Tex friends and workers finger their boss…
    These guys are “straight up” men who have integrity and have finally bucked the culture of drugs in cycling. I have respect for these guys and no for LA. He has ripped up every former team mate, mechanic, soigeur, etc. who has told the truth. The nose is closing and LA may be the king, but a Fed investigation will get to the bottom. I wonder if LA has called Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Marion Jones, etc. to get some advice on scandal spin. Maybe Karl Rove has some time.
    LA goes from hero to zero, ha ha.

  12. Larry T. Says:

    There are some photos on the CycleItalia blog page, the link is at the top right of the welcome page. Just to make you feel better on the other side of the Atlantic, right now it’s POURING rain here! Like SoCal, non-stop, buckets coming down and flooding everything rain! Been raining all day, my cheapo umbrella’s already turned inside out twice from the wind. But we’ll forget all about that when we head out to dinner, our last night in Sicilia so we’ll treat ourselves to a seafood dinner, then head back to (hopefully) sunny Piedmont tomorrow to get ready for the bike tours. The place we rented has a second bedroom where the bikes and stuff will live but it could be used to actually sleep in……if you happen to find yourself in Siracusa, Sicily between October and April!

  13. Jeff Cozad Says:

    One thing I thought that 60 Minutes played well was the insertion of the Marion Jones stuff. “I’ve never failed a test”…. It was a very nice way to get that point across.

  14. khal spencer Says:

    One thing that testing has done positively, even in this age of beating the system, is force teams to use smaller doses to avoid detection. That’s good for rider health. We don’t need more riders dying of stokes or other outcomes of overthickened blood due to overuse of EPO.

    But really. Here is a question for The Explainer. When everyone is racing “modified production”, I’m not sure what advantage is given to doping. All we have done is raised the baseline for the peloton. Or, have the team doctors experimented to see which athletes respond best to doping so they can get the most bang for the buck. Now that sort of admission would prove beyond reasonable doubt that the system was corrupt from top to bottom.

    • James Says:

      I think the question to ask is not if everyone is racing in the modified class, but to ask how you test for things which you don’t test for? That is how you get guys like TCWSNBN (et al on USPS) to avoid detection.

      If the vampires at WADA are not looking for it, and you take it, is that cheating?

      That sort of logic leads one to the “I’ve been test X number of times and never failed” argument. As you will see it does not say “I NEVER doped” it just says “I haven’t been caught.” And I do believe that we have run that argument into the ground already (see previous posts from the past seven seasons).

  15. Ira Says:

    I think Big Tex is going down this time. Probably the most significant thing is that Big George has given evidence against him. Lance’s spin doctors have been pretty successful at discrediting his accusers. I’m not sure he’ll have any luck convincing people Hincapie has credibility issues.

  16. Larry T. Says:

    You must be careful with the “EVERYONE is doped” idea as there are certainly some who are not — those guys are getting the shaft by the rest who are doped. My argument against letting ’em dope to a certain level, thereby “leveling the playing field” as they say is that it changes the sport to one which requires doping to be successful. Kids who are not mature enough to know how much dope is just doping vs croaking will respond with the “if some is good, more must be better” and fail to wake up or give themselves cancer as David Walsh alleges BigTex did to himself. That’s not a good outcome.
    More photos of Sicily? Check out our new digs for the winter here
    Note: we negotiated a super deal on this place for off-season so don’t go thinking we struck it rich all of a sudden! The wife even gave up half her college salary to score the time off to spend here.

    • khal spencer Says:

      I definitely was some-all fallacy making. But as Frankie Andreu said yesterday, suddenly a whole lot of people were passing him who had no business passing him. I think Greg LeMond said much the same.

      I DO NOT want kids to think they have to dope in order to succeed on an artificially level but doped-up playing field. Its bad enough to be compromised, and as you say, some will mistake croaking for doping.

      Enough of that crap. I have to check out those pictures. Wow. When my wife sees those, we will be off to Sicily.

  17. James Says:

    Just in case anyone is interested: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rough_Ride

    Somehow the more I think about this, the more I think that Kimmage was right all along.

  18. Rick Says:

    Watch it here:
    It is really pretty good, and pretty damning…

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