Friday, January 05, 2007

John Lelangue, an anti-Rant

People seem to be enjoying themselves piling on and ranting about John Lelangue, not least based on the story we found yesterday. TBV is personally wary of joining that mob. Here are some reasons...


1. We haven't heard anyone in the Landis camp criticize Lelangue (yet). They have/had a personal relationship and some understanding of his position throughout.

2. Lelangue is in a difficult position, being a child of the old-boy network, and his life destiny is tied to those boys. It would be very hard for him to cross the powers-that-be over this unless he was positive Landis was going to win in the end.

3. Reporters have been known to play an interview with the story they had in mind before it started, rather than the way it actually transpired. Landis has endured more than a few examples of that in this process.

4. The writing style of the article is highly stylized pseudo-poetic fluff that says much more about the author than Lelangue. Refer to point #3 above.

It is unfortunate that Lelangue is playing it safe and seemingly professing support of all the institutions, but not exactly surprising nor a sign of his evil intentions. It would be way more of a surprise if he was unambiguously supporting Landis.

There are plenty of opportunities to stomp around with pitchforks and torches, but Lelangue may not be the be the best target. He may be a victim too, just not in the way the article presented.




dan said...


Good points, all. Makes me stop and think a bit more clearly about the subject.

- Rant

Anonymous said...

I agree. As I read the article, I though, here is a man that can't side with Landis or make any appearance to even be neutral. If he did, Dick would say something along the lines of, he was a drug pusher and at the center of the Phonak drug culture.

Lelang is in survival instinct mode, nothing else. sad but true.

Atown, Tx.

Anonymous said...

For one of the few times I can remember, I disagree with you TBV. I also didn't realize anyone but myself had written in to "dump on Lelangue". Granted, I myself questioned who wrote that piece - my God, it almost read like a Romance novel!

Here's why I no longer respect Lelangue :

(1) I waited IN VAIN, for him to make a statement after 7/28/06. Weeks went by. When it came, I was... what? It was apparent then Lelangue would be driving the bus ASO/UCI threw Floyd under...

(2) THIS article :
(a) Come on : "John Lelangue sighs. 'A betrayal...'" Doesn't exactly beat around the bush there does it?
(b) When the phone call came in Holland on 7/27 "I immediately went in to talk to Floyd. We talked about what steps to take." Nothing about Floyd's shock,how there was no way, etc... If you want to paint Floyd as quilty without saying it, could there BE a more "accusatory" thing to say?..
(c) talking to Floyd after "4 months of silence". What, they can't make OUTGOING calls in Europe now? Then, all we get about said conversation is "He knows my position." Inflexible.
(d) piece de resistance : Protecting his ass & making damn sure everyone knows HE didn't know nuthin! : "you can be right there & see nothing. It's like a married couple. Sometimes you don't know everything about the man or woman you share your life with."

Yeah, ABSOLUTELY, if I was Floyd, I'd have Lelangue be a godfather for my next kid.

marc said...

Hi TbV,

I've got no problems with your points 3 & 4. I'm at a complete loss as to what literary prize the writer of the article thought he was competing for. In those circumstances, I agree it's hard to know how much is JL, how much is spin from the novelist-journalist.

But. In the cynical political circles I grew up in (Chicago-born and -raised), we used to say, "If you ain't been asked, keep your mouth shut." (Sometimes it was "If you ain't been subpoened. . . .") Whatever spin the writer may have been wanting to give the story, JL had to have been willing to go public with a statement. Why now? why that statement? Why not just say, "Hey. This is a rider I've been close to; the case is under adjudication; I don't feel comfortable making a statement right now." Instead, we get a statement with some pretty unambiguous assertions, whatever their context.

Finally, I think Rant made a very soid point over on his site about how part of JL's responsibility to Phonak was making sure there was no secret embarrassment in their victories. If he really let a clanger like what is being claimed aboout FL slip through, what does it say about his stewardship?

Finally, finally, c'mon, can't we run around a little with some torches and pitchforks too? Just a little? Please, please? Usually it's the other guys who get to do that.


Gary said...

What worries me here is less Lelangue’s comments than the fact that it’s possible that, at least with the European press, we may be slipping into the Liberty Valance conundrum for Floyd:

"When the legend becomes fact, print the legend."

Fact of the matter is, there’s a lot of evidence out there that brings up a lot hard questions. But the questions mean nothing when matched up against quotes, even ambiguous ones, from the man who was once hailed as a French hero for directing Floyd to the podium in Paris. Even if evidence points in the other direction, the legend becomes more important and, even if Floyd is exonerated, it becomes what people remember.