Thursday, January 26, 2006

To Frey, Or Not to Frey? ~ Today's Oprah

Great show.

Oprah grilled him good. About the root canal story. Lilly's hanging. Jail time. You could see James Frey squirming. His publisher, Nan Talese, stood by him. She claims the two root canals sans novocaine story didn't raise red flags because she herself had had a root canal without any. Is this to be believed under the circumstances? I wonder. Oprah didn't appear to buy it, as she challenged her. The journalists chimed in and were brilliantly on point. Publishers are to uphold and respect the definition of a memoir. Get busy hiring fact checkers. Make quick work of it. Snap, snap. Truth matters. They even spoke to the ramifications on NIGHT.

My Take?
Alas. I admit it. I was actually endeared to James while watching the show. While he doesn't come out and admit the book should've been classified as a novel and be done with it, he doesn't strike me as a master manipulator who sat back and relished in the fact that he duped millions - even Oprah Winfrey.

As I've expressed before in some detail, I think he made a huge mistake. Now he's realizing just how huge. He passed the book off as fact, got it published, had to follow through and promote it as such, then got caught up in the snowball effect that not even he himself could've anticipated, particularly once it got Oprah's coveted seal of recommendation.

Bravo to James for doing the show today. It speaks to his character. He certainly doesn't have to do anymore press. He can simply retreat now. Cloak himself in the scores of the million little dollars that continue to roll in. He's just trying to back-pedal from a tremendously compromising mistake. Trying to save face.

It's okay to let go now, James. Here's to the essential truth.


  1. I'm thinking he should just say, "Hey, you know what? I fooled you all -- that's how good I am."

    Then again, maybe he DIDN'T fool anybody. Otherwise we wouldn't be talking about him right now...

  2. He didn't have to do the show...he could have let her and everybody else say what they wanted.

  3. Frey is hoping that everyone will say just what you are..."now he was honest, good on him for that".

    The reality is he didn't do this to "cleanse his soul" or to do the right thing. He and the publisher messed up good and both are invested in this together. I'll bet donuts that the publisher is the one who told him to do the interview with Oprah and if he did, they'd stand beside him -- and if he didn't, they'd pull the book and not stand beside him!! He certainly didn't want that now, did he?

    Now the publisher is going to put a little clause in the book and all will be happy. The publisher and Frey will continue to rake in the dough. Heck, Oprah drew in more advertising for them. It makes the book all the more "hot". Publishers know that.

    I didn't see the show -- it was interrupted by Bush. I will see it tonight. I saw only 10 minutes before it was cut into.

  4. I can't really give him kudos. I think he was hoping Oprah would do more like she did on Larry King and was clearly caught by surprise.

    He still hasn't taken responsibility for what he did. That's the issue. He didn't say, "yes, I overstated and it was wrong." I'd never let my kids get away with that, LOL.

  5. You know - that's an angle I hadn't thought of. His publisher. They made him do the show. Much more likely than he wanted to take his flogging like a man, eh?

    "Eyes" is probably 100% correct.

  6. People may be saying "oh, it was a mistake," but no one's offering to give up any of their $$$.

    I'd totally LOVE to see his agent speak out. At this point it's really easy to put all of the blame on her.

  7. I finally saw the publisher on Oprah. I watched the show finally this weekend.

    She was slicky, slipper and sleezy if you ask me. The woman didn't have a moral bone in her body. She avoided the truth, ignore it, talked around it -- did anything BUT ADDRESS IT. I had great dis-taste for that woman.

  8. There's more on Oprah After the Show. Check it out if you haven't. More good commentary.

    I too mistrust Nan Talese in this whole deal. I've read on other blogs that she fielded skeptics three years ago when the book first came out - yet she claimed on the show that she found out about the fabrications at the same time Oprah did. Oh, for shame.


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