Oprah Winfrey has invited a convicted felon and cheat to grace her studios to discuss the legal issues that led to her six-month jail sentence for lying about steroid use and committing check fraud — Marion Jones's first interview since being sentenced last Friday to a six-month prison sentence.
Wednesday's show will air at 16:00 (4 p.m.) EST.
Was Oprah not once bitten already by Marion Jones (and Tim Montgomery, her ex-boyfriend with whom she has a previous child outside of her new marriage) when she hosted them as guests on her show, "World Record Winners"?
Was she not twice shamed when her telephone guest, the same Marion Jones — discussing the virtues of self-esteem — turned out to be a sham with serious sociopathic tendencies?
Now Oprah is up for a third time charmer with a woman many in America feel sorry for and want to reach out and touch. Oprah is making that happen for a woman who will say what you want to hear and ride out on a stream of emotions fit for the minute to add the finishing touches to her believability.
Oprah may discuss the charges to which Marion Jones was ultimately held responsible, pleaded guilty and for which she has been sentenced. Unfortunately, if Oprah is unable to provide her good research advice between today and tomorrow's program, she will miss out on a grand opportunity to put Marion Jones on the spot and frankly ask Marion for proof that she didn't dope from 1997-2000.
Oprah should request Marion Jones to prove that she is not lying about any other time frame in her history – not by method of Polygraph tests or the good words others put in, but concrete proof that Marion climbed up the international ladder fairly, squarely, and without the aid or assistance of any drugs – their legal status or discovery at the time she was competing notwithstanding.
Marion Jones won't be able to answer that question honestly, however, as what she states on tomorrow's show may be used against her by Trevor Graham's lawyers when his trial sets off in June. She has lost her right to plead the Fifth in Graham's trial insofar as she has pleaded guilty to the charges levied against her by the U.S. government.
Graham will likely state that Marion used steroids from 1997-onward in an effort which serves two purposes: 1) Keeping himself from perjuring himself; 2) Ensuring Marion is punished for having drawn a line in the sand pointing at Graham as the sole responsible party for her Sydney 2000 successes.
Marion Jones will appear on Oprah tomorrow in her first interview since being sentenced to six months incarceration at a minimum-security facility – the first one which opens that the government feels is suitable with respect to space and with consideration to her request to stay near to her family.
Oprah's international audience will hear Marion speak of having lied when she shouldn't have – something she'll likely say was "incredibly stupid", but she will not take responsibility for her drug-taking. Oprah needs to drive the sword through that myth and help Marion take responsibility for her own actions rather than avoid it and pass her woes off as being the fault of everyone else but her.
Otherwise, it will be a trip to the Doctor Phil show and a 10-minute-attempt-to-fix scenario which sees her say she's lied, but has never willingly cheated.