Oprah tweeted this about the interview she just recorded with Lance Armstrong that will air Thursday night on her network:

Image courtesy Time Magazine

“Just wrapped with @lancearmstrong More than 2 1/2 hours . He came READY!”

I’m not surprised Armstrong was coached and prepared for the interview. It’s a given that he needs a lot of help to convey his message. Nothing short of a sincere confession and a heartfelt apology could begin to salvage Armstrong’s reputation; I expect neither. But…if Armstrong was well coached and truly is “ready” as Oprah says he was, he might be able to save Livestrong, from which he has stepped away and he may be able to compete in triathlons again. (He will never compete again in cycling, no matter what).

As a general rule, Americans are very forgiving. Armstrong’s confession and apology may test the limits of that axiom. The interview will also be a fascinating case study in media preparation.