Thursday, January 26, 2006
To Frey, Or Not to Frey? ~ Today's Oprah
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.
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.