One more reason to love Oprah

I’ve always loved Oprah. So I was very disapointed when she called into the Larry King show and defended James Frey when thesmokinggun allegations first arose against him.

She more than redeemed herself on her show today with James Frey as her guest. Unlike Larry King, who tossed softball after softball to Frey, she repeatedly asked the hard questions. And it became increasingly clear that just about everything interesting in his memoirs is made up.

I admire someone who can change their mind and admit a mistake like Oprah did today. It is even harder to do so in front of millions of people.

Too bad Frey hasn’t shown the same degree of character.

Some quotes from Oprah today:

“I regret that phone call [to the Larry King show]. I made a mistake and I left the impression that the truth does not matter. And I am deeply sorry about that because that is not what I believe. I called in because I love the message of this book and, at the time and every day, I was reading e-mail after e-mail from so many people who have been inspired by it. And I have to say that I allowed that to cloud my judgment. And so to everyone who has challenged me on this issue of truth, you are absolutely right.”


“I have to say it is difficult for me to talk to you because I really feel duped. I feel duped. But more importantly, I feel that you betrayed millions of readers. And I think, you know, it’s such a gift to have millions of people to read your work, and that bothers me greatly. And so now as I sit here today, I don’t know what is truth and I don’t know what isn’t.”

Winfrey: “I have been really embarrassed by this and, more importantly, feel that I acted in defense of you and…I was really behind this book because so many people seem to have gotten so much out of it, and I believed in the fact that so many people were. But now, I feel that you conned us all. Do you?”

Frey: “I don’t feel like I conned you guys.”

Of particular interest to me, having looked into the issue in an earlier blog post, was his admission that the character Lily did not commit suicide by hanging herself:

Winfrey: “OK. Let’s get back to Lily. Was your description of how she died true?”

Frey: “She committed suicide, yeah.”

Winfrey: “She hung herself?”

Frey: “I mean, that was one of the details I altered about her….Because all the way through the book, I altered details about every single one of the characters to render them unidentifiable.”

Winfrey: “So how did she die?”

Frey: “She cut her wrists.”

Winfrey: “And so hanging is more dramatic than cutting your wrists? Is that why you chose hanging?”

Frey: “I don’t think either are more dramatic than either…”


econopete

You should see what the comic FoxTrot is doing with Frey's story this week. I think anyone following this would appreciate it.

Start here:
http://www.ucomics.com/foxtrot/2006/01/23/

Norma Desmond

Now you should start looking into the "cut wrists" story. I doubt it's any more true than the first one.

inferno

i feel sorry for frey now :(

inferno

lmao that comic is so funny. but i hope he never sees it.

amybowllan

What I love about Oprah is her ability to face the cameras and put her credibility on the line. She did not know how her viewers would react and the "genuineness" of character is why people (whether you like her or not) admire her. Now, why isn't she blogging? :)

Amy

jimkata

I reckon a book was sold every time a crocodile tear fell from her eyes. She's feigned empathy for so long I imagine she actually believed she was as outraged and embarrassed as she let on.

Here's the thing: Oprah doesn't care about you. She doesn't even know you. She cares for whomever is on the show today. And when she's through for the day, she prepares to care about whomever is on tomorrow.

Harrison Bergeron

The constant hammering of Frey is completely out of hand and unwarranted. Perhaps this is understandable on a site that is obsessed with facts and figures. Even so, does Frey's embellishment make his writing any less compelling? This puts a horribly undue burden on writers who are tasked with one incredibly difficult task: to tell a good yarn. As the saying goes, history is written by the victors. So, what "history" book tells the whole story? What book of "fiction" doesn't draw from actual events? Would it have been enough for everyone out there looking to fry Frey to have said at the beginning of his book that some of the events are true, some aren't? And how exactly does one go about doing that? Would you feel better if it had "FICTION" emblazoned on every page? Should every author be forced to do the same or similar? Read The Devil In The White City and decide for yourself where "truth" leaves off and "fiction" begins. Or, better yet, let's get Roe v. Wade overturned, wait 20 years, and have a look at crime again. Frey's job was to tell a good yarn and he did so well enough to earn Oprah's blessing. Ah, but as good a story as it was, the story can't be inspirational because it wasn't "real." Right. And Tuesdays with Morrie was verbatim. Lighten up, folks. And be careful not to read comics for their verisimilitude.

Read more...

Development on a Shoestring » Oprah’s million little complaints

[...] As Steven Levitt on the Freakanomics blog said: She more than redeemed herself on her show today with James Frey as her guest. Unlike Larry King, who tossed softball after softball to Frey, she repeatedly asked the hard questions. And it became increasingly clear that just about everything interesting in his memoirs is made up. [...]

inferno

I agree jimkata. She could care less about viewers. She did it to save herself.

bernardmoon

I don't know why Larry King is considered such a great interviewer. So many times I've realized he doesn't ask good questions. So many softballs and missed opportunities to ask the tough questions. Maybe he was in his younger days? Like a couple decades ago?

kathleen mccracken

it will be interesting to see how in depth the research will go into his accounts of "my friend leonard" this guy was supposedly writing movie scripts in the mid 90's. does anyone know for what?

Dub

I don't think that substituting the truth for an equivalent lie is either unethical or uncommon in memoirs (ie hanging vs slit wrists). It's the embellishing of minor details, and the complete fabrication of others that makes this book's marketing (and Frey himself) dishonest. This story broke the day I had finished the last page of this book. It's amazing how my opinion of it plummeted so much, simply by re-designating it as fiction. It's obvious Frey had "incentive" to lie. Probably several million reasons.

Pavlos

Cool...
[URL=http://cadillac-cimarron.fullertondodge.cn/chinese-car-europe.htm#] chinese car europe [/URL]
chinese car europe
http://cadillac-cimarron.fullertondodge.cn/chinese-car-europe.htm chinese car europe
[URL=http://chillicothe-ford.fullertondodge.cn/used-dodge-sprinter-for-sale.htm#] used dodge sprinter for sale [/URL]
used dodge sprinter for sale
http://chillicothe-ford.fullertondodge.cn/used-dodge-sprinter-for-sale.htm used dodge sprinter for sale
[URL=http://biggio-ford.fullertondodge.cn/keycode-im-ford-dealer.htm#] keycode im ford dealer [/URL]
keycode im ford dealer
http://biggio-ford.fullertondodge.cn/keycode-im-ford-dealer.htm keycode im ford dealer
[URL=http://car-engen.fullertondodge.cn/used-1992-toyota-pickup-seat.htm#] used 1992 toyota pickup seat [/URL]
used 1992 toyota pickup seat
http://car-engen.fullertondodge.cn/used-1992-toyota-pickup-seat.htm used 1992 toyota pickup seat
[URL=http://pontiac-tournament.fullertondodge.cn/car-decals-graphic-vinyl-stickers.htm#] car decals graphic vinyl stickers [/URL]
car decals graphic vinyl stickers
http://pontiac-tournament.fullertondodge.cn/car-decals-graphic-vinyl-stickers.htm car decals graphic vinyl stickers

Read more...

Boreas

Nice!
toyota rving
http://toyota-rving.cadillacescalade.cn toyota rving

love peace music

regardless of what u people have to say,i still love oprah..dont blame her,she was just defending a person...oprah if u're reading this,...i think you're the most wonderful person in this world n i hope people will be able to follow every single guidance that u have made for each n everyone of us..thanx!

econopete

You should see what the comic FoxTrot is doing with Frey's story this week. I think anyone following this would appreciate it.

Start here:
http://www.ucomics.com/foxtrot/2006/01/23/

Norma Desmond

Now you should start looking into the "cut wrists" story. I doubt it's any more true than the first one.

inferno

i feel sorry for frey now :(

inferno

lmao that comic is so funny. but i hope he never sees it.

amybowllan

What I love about Oprah is her ability to face the cameras and put her credibility on the line. She did not know how her viewers would react and the "genuineness" of character is why people (whether you like her or not) admire her. Now, why isn't she blogging? :)

Amy