Get over it, Oprah

Am I the only one sick of hearing how Oprah feels “duped” over the validity of James Frey’s semi-memoir “A Million Little Pieces”? Sure, it’s not all true like he and his publisher both claimed. But man, listening to her lecturing him like a parent lecturing a child makes me want to gag. This isn’t life or death. It isn’t the end of democracy or the fall of civilization as we know it. It’s a book. Get over it.

21 Comments so far

  1. Khyle (unregistered) on January 27th, 2006 @ 10:37 am

    I think it’s an important issue. IMO, the man stole millions of dollars, with Oprah as a conduit for that theft.

    Had he been honest about his book in the first place, Oprah never would have picked up his book, and no one would have ever heard of this jackass.

    The real question is whether Oprah gave him the lecture becuase her image was hurt, or because she really felt bad about what happened.

  2. 2e (unregistered) on January 27th, 2006 @ 10:47 am

    So, when the end of democracy comes and the fall of civilization is taking place, then will you consider it important. The decline and fall of the Roman Empire didn’t happen in one day.

    KHYLE: Did Frey steal millions? Well, not really. He lied and got rich. He got rich dishonestly. But thats not stealing. It’s not unusual either.

  3. Dave! (unregistered) on January 27th, 2006 @ 10:51 am

    How did he “steal” millions of dollars? If you bought the book, read it, and liked it, you got what you paid for…

  4. steven (unregistered) on January 27th, 2006 @ 11:00 am

    Khyle: A simple acceptance and apology to her fans would suffice. To turn it into a mini-drama by treating him like a child on tv was just too much for me. I say accept it and move on. The Big O just gets lost in her world a bit too much.

    2E: Sure, when the world ends and civilization ends, it will be important, no doubt. But I guarantee it won’t be because of a lie told about a book.

  5. Khyle (unregistered) on January 27th, 2006 @ 11:09 am

    2E & Dave: It was originally pitched as fiction, and no publisher took it. He then pitched it as nonfiction, and all the sudden a publisher got interested.

    Had the book been sold as fiction, no one would have bought it. Becuase he lied about the veracity of the story, and the publisher marketed the lie, the book sold. The lies were central to the draw of the book.

    It’s theft by deception. It would be the same thing as if someone bought an album by “Milli Vanilli” thinking that they actually sang it. That was theft, and so is this.

    Certainly you can say it’s a trivial matter. But I don’t see how this isn’t theft.

    Steven: I don’t doubt she overdid it. I just find the other angle more interesting: i.e. her motivation for bludgeoning him after making that asinine phone call to Larry King.

  6. steven (unregistered) on January 27th, 2006 @ 11:15 am

    Khyle: I heard a different story..that the publisher, knowing how tough the market is for fiction, proposed to the author that the book be marketed as non-fiction. If that’s the case, then who is to blame?

    And I think she was trying to save face..and come off as a do-gooder in front of her loyal, sometimes lunatic, fans.

  7. Khyle (unregistered) on January 27th, 2006 @ 11:23 am

    Steven: Even if the publisher was completely uninvolved in the idea of publishing as memoir, they are (at least IMHO), partially culpable.

    Even if they pitched it – it’s HIS story, HIS name and HIS reputation. So I still hold him primarily responsible.

  8. EJ (unregistered) on January 27th, 2006 @ 11:55 am

    Did any of you guys read this book? Thinking it was a true story, I was utterly moved by it. I know I wouldn’t have had the same response to it if I thought it was non-fiction. The REALNESS of it is what made it so powerful.

    I also know some recovering addicts to whom this book became wildly important…. If you put it in that context, it IS a big deal. Many people that are dealing with their own struggles with addiction saw J. Frey as a hero.. as a mentor… as something to “Hold on” to. I feel for them…. it is a loss, a lie, a deception and a blow. Opera even with all her diva drama (I didn’t see the show) was right to spank him. I think he let a lot of people down.

  9. elizabeth (unregistered) on January 27th, 2006 @ 1:45 pm

    I’m not the first person to make this point – in fact, I think I heard it on NPR – but this guy is an addict, right? Drug addicts are often addicts in other areas of their lives, anyone who’s been one or been in close contact with one can vouch for that. Ever had a drug addict friend or relative tell you that they needed to borrow money for parking tickets or rent? (yeah. that money’s going to parking tickets. my ass.)

    Or make up random lies all the time? Just because they’re addicted to drama or being the center of attention or whatever? Addicts, in my experience, trade one addiction for another – e.g. G.W.Bush traded booze for religion and James Frey traded drugs for his own self importance. Addicts will get their fix at any cost. Even if the cost is having Oprah up your ass. Yes, Oprah has a right to be pissed, but come on, I don’t believe a word that comes out of my drug addict brother’s mouth. It’s the memoir of an addict. Even in it’s lies, there’s a lesson to be learned about the power of addiction, and there’s a truth about it’s author.

    Yeah, NPR said it way better, by the way.

  10. 2e (unregistered) on January 27th, 2006 @ 5:10 pm

    This lie will not cause the fall of any civilization. But it’s the result of, and perpetuates the causes of, those elements of decay that will bring about humanity’s demise. If we shrug off every James Frey, we will get there a whole lot faster.
    Frey making money for a lie is no different than an athlete making more money for performance, which is enhanced by steroids. The bigger problem is not who’s stealing and how, but the fact that people like Steven don’t consider that a major problem. Even if it doesn’t directly cause our demise, that sort of apathy will accelerate our getting there. It’s not a matter of a single cause, but a mass of small choices. (ie: Nuclear arms increases are the result of many many small steps, and a nuclear war would be one more step, but not the lone cause)
    I do agree with Khyle that this is an important issue (but I see the theft as an indirect issue), and Steven’s apathy is representative of a lot of people who feel helpless to effect change. It’s the apathy and contempt (for Oprah) which isn’t doing ANYONE any good. (And while the lies about the authenticity of this book won’t be society’s demise, I do believe lies about another book will be.)

  11. anon (unregistered) on January 27th, 2006 @ 5:51 pm

    Well the money he made from the book can sure get him a lot of drugs so he can deal with the stress from this situation.

  12. steven (unregistered) on January 27th, 2006 @ 9:07 pm

    EJ…True, I did not read the book, and I did not realize the importance it had to all of its readers. It’s simply the overreaction of Oprah that I had the hissy fit over. He deserved to be called out about it, but her role as the principal was a bit overdone.

    2e: Oh wow…my apathy will not cause the demise of anything, but I am flattered. For every athlete on steroids, for every author who makes a buck off of lies, there are people like us who give a damn. I do my share of good in the world, I recognize that other people’s choices don’t do the world any good, and the human race will survive.

    Anon: Oh the money he’s making..and keeping…

  13. 2e (unregistered) on January 28th, 2006 @ 3:01 pm

    Steven: I didn’t compliment your apathy with such an honor. However, that apathy compounded by millions who feel the same way will contribute, along with Frey-like actions, to arriving at the precipice where one last, small step will precede our demise.
    Strangely enough, I don’t understand how, with your apathy, you could claim to “give a damn” in this instance. If you’re doing your part to preserve our civilization, then I applaud you. However, in this case, it’s not apparent.
    Meanwhile, with characters like Frey, Enron, Martha, and the like, I don’t understand your optimism about the fate of humanity. Unless you define “survive” as making it to the end of your lifetime. Humanity’s demise is as logical an ending as that of a gas-filled house lit by candles.

  14. Nabeel (unregistered) on January 28th, 2006 @ 11:12 pm

    I know @ lecture .. dang!

  15. steven (unregistered) on January 31st, 2006 @ 12:33 pm

    2E, the world will not end because of Martha and James Frey. For every person that makes the wrong choice, there are people who make the right choice.

    And as it turns out, we’re going to need some of those right choices to offset a wrong one that just made the news. A lawsuit has been filed in Seattle, and it is not only asking for readers to be reimbursed for the price of the book, but also to be paid for the time they spent reading the book. Where will it end?

  16. 2e (unregistered) on February 2nd, 2006 @ 3:22 pm

    Do you think people make more right decisions or wrong ones? Which ones have a greater impact? I’m not saying Martha or James will end the world. I’m saying the collective decisions of humanity will lead, is leading, to our decline. But, ultimately, I don’t think we’ll ultimately all kill ourselves either. But I think without divine intervention, we would eventually. Why is there no civilization that can survive? Why did Rome and Greece fall? Why is everything doomed to destruction. If everything you buy wears out, why not civilization or humanity? Why do we all die? It’s the laws of our nature. To believe that humanity isn’t headed for self-destruction is antithetical to everything we can observe. Why would that single thing NOT be subject to such a fact?

  17. elizabeth (unregistered) on February 3rd, 2006 @ 9:33 am

    Dude, 2E, I know Oprah’s pissed. But it’s really not the end of the world. She is, after all, a benevolent god, and her rage will eventually subside. The oceans will stop churning, the gales will become breezes, the fires will cease to burn, and a calm will descend on the people of earth. So sayeth Oprah.

  18. steven (unregistered) on February 3rd, 2006 @ 10:42 am

    Yeah, these comments are turning into exactly what I commented on in the original post…an overreaction. Such a pessimistic view of civilization, society and human nature will drive you nuts if you let it.

  19. 2e (unregistered) on February 6th, 2006 @ 10:32 pm

    Such a hopeful view of civilization, society, and human nature will let you down if you depend on it. All I’m saying is don’t put all your eggs in those baskets because they will all fail you. As for pessimism: if it results in searching out a more reliable hope, then it is a beautiful thing.

  20. steven (unregistered) on February 7th, 2006 @ 7:29 am

    Who, or what, do you depend on then?

  21. 2e (unregistered) on February 7th, 2006 @ 2:37 pm

    I’ve personally chosen to depend on a god (someone “beyond nature”) who I believe created (by whatever method) and sustains this world simply by choice and power, and then injected himself into history as a human to give us a chance to avoid that pessimistic fate of humanity. When the whole natural world is breaking down, something or someone outside of that decline is the only hope; that’s how I see it.

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