Oprah flogs Frey (video)

News & Politics

I'm just not sure the Truth was served with Oprah's public bitch-slapping of Million Little Pieces author James Frey. [Five-part video HERE]

Fine, he's a weasily frat-boy with middling skills who promoted his book's half-truths and exaggerations, but did he really need to be tarred and feathered by a parade of experts and the Oprah herself?

He tried to sell his manuscript as a novel (that's lie as art, in afternoon talk-show parlance) before it was finally published as a memoir. Publisher Nan Talese attempts to parse the difference between memoir and autobiography, arguing that memoir is an impressionistic rendering of a sliver of the author's life, accountable only to authenticity and not necessarily to a perfect reconstruction of events.

Oprah's having none of it and the sparks fly.

I'm more inclined to go with John Dolan's assessment, published here on AlterNet, that reader wish-fulfillment is at least partly to blame:

"Frey did exactly that for his readers, his "true" story reinforcing their belief that drugs = evil, that people are transformed in midlife, and that the individual can do miracles. In other words, Frey did a favor for a very mixed-up set of audiences, from DEA creeps to fans of Hollywood love stories, to wavering followers of self-help manuals."
For more fun, check out Gawker's captions on the video stills, Do Not Piss Off the Oprah. (VideoDog, Gawker)

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