Letters: Livestrong And Presidential Babysitting

Oct 18, 2012
Originally published on October 18, 2012 8:00 pm
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It's time for your letters. And first, letters about my interview yesterday with Doug Ulman. He's the CEO of Livestrong, the organization founded by Lance Armstrong to support people with cancer. The seven-time winner of the Tour de France could lose all of those titles because of alleged doping. Yesterday, in the wake of a recent damning 200-page report by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, Armstrong resigned as the chairman of Livestrong. I asked CEO Doug Ulman about something he once said that he had never asked Armstrong about the doping charges, and I asked whether that is still true.


DOUG ULMAN: Yeah, absolutely. Never have.

BLOCK: I'm curious about that because you're the CEO of a multimillion dollar foundation. Isn't it part of your responsibility to be concerned about that, to ask those questions?

ULMAN: My number one responsibility is to fulfill the mission that we espouse, and that's serving the needs of people with cancer, and it's never been something that has been important enough from our mission standpoint to ask about or to talk about.


Well, some of you felt we were too hard on the Livestrong CEO. Warren Tighe(ph) of Walnut Creek, California, wrote this: I hate Lance Armstrong and would like to see him in jail for his doping activities. But as the CEO clearly stated early in the interview, that has nothing to do with the cancer foundation that is not promoting the sport of cycling, Lance Armstrong as a cyclist or anything athletic.

BLOCK: Now, to letters about another story and a very hard-hitting question we asked: Which ex-president would make the best babysitter? We put that to five presidential historians and the result, Robert?

SIEGEL: Abraham Lincoln, by a nose.

BLOCK: But some of you offered a write-in candidate as your preferred presidential nanny. Jen Schaffer(ph) of Columbia, Missouri, sent us this: I posted this question on Facebook and almost half of my friends, myself included, picked Jimmy Carter. He seems like such a lovable, kind, grandfatherly type. One of my friends did note that you wouldn't want to send your kid to Jimmy Carter's house if they had a peanut allergy.

SIEGEL: And Ron Warren(ph) of Huntsville, Alabama, agrees: Jimmy would take our daughters to bible school in the summer and also let them ride on the tractors on his farm. I couldn't think of a better role model, except for my father, to watch my children. Jimmy Carter is a good man.

BLOCK: We're sure President Carter appreciates that almost as much as we appreciate your letters. You can write to us by visiting npr.org. Click on Contact Us. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.