Friday, January 27, 2006
It's Not A Good Idea To Piss Off Oprah
Last night, TCBIM got home from hockey around 1 a.m.. I managed to sleep thru most of his rustling around, but around 2 a.m., the snoring started. At first, it just invaded my dream, but eventually it woke me up. I poked him, he rolled over, I dozed off and then bam! It started up again. This went on until 2:45 a.m., when I gave him a hard kick in the back of the thigh. He woke up furious, spitting nails, saying that he shouldn’t have to be kicked like that, that I should just put up with it. Well. At 2:45 in the morning, being told I should just put up with his snoring did not sit well with me. At all. I told him to go sleep on the couch and, on my way back from the bathroom, laid into him, telling him that the fact that HE snored was not my problem and that I shouldn’t have to listen to it and be awoken by it 7, 8, 9 times a night and until he sorted it out, he could either spend the night on the couch or spend it being kicked.
Needless to say, I was up until 4 a.m.. Did you know that Larry King is re-run at 3 a.m.? Now you know. They had a couple of people on, discussing the James Frey debacle. Oprah had Frey on her show yesterday and raked him over the coals. I’m sort of meh about Oprah, but in this instance, I totally agree with her. I feel like he perpetuated a huge fraud, that he’s making pots of money off of a big pile of lies. Michael Wolff, a writer for Vanity Fair, was part of the panel. Now, if you’re going to give your opinion on a book and the story behind a book, you probably should have read the book. This guy didn’t, but still felt it was ok to pontificate on the subject, mostly to mock those who have read it, saying that he was rather surprised that people were so outraged – that they should have expected lies from a junkie. Regardless of the fact that Frey has been sober for twelve years, the fact that he was once a junkie automatically makes him a liar in Michael Wolff’s world.
No. He’s an author who wrote a memoir. Memoirs are, by definition, the story of a portion of the author’s life and should hold true to the facts. Not the truth, because truth is perceptive, but the facts should not be altered as dramatically as they were in this case.
People have said, “So what? It’s still a great story.” And it is a great story, but it’s a story, not what actually happened. He could have published it as fiction and it still would have had an impact. But because he published as what actually happened to him while he was going thru rehab and how he managed to stay sober without going thru a 12-step program, I feel he did everyone who’s struggling with addiction and looking to this book for inspiration a great disservice. It’s dishonest and shabby and smacks of moneygrubbing.
I’m also wondering why no one at his publishing company, including Nan Talese (and even I know who she is and I have nothing to do with the publishing world) checked up on his story. There were plenty of facts that could have been checked that would have quickly de-bunked his story, or at least raised a few red flags.
I don’t know why I’m so disappointed by this episode. I’m not an alcoholic or drug addict and I’ve never gone thru a 12-step program, but I still feel very let down by and disappointed with this author. At least I know I wasn’t alone in being duped by this guy – he even pulled one over on Oprah.
So that's what I was doing between 3 - 4 a.m. - composing this entry as I watched Larry King. Does it warm the cockles of your little internet weirdo friend hearts that I was thinking about this blog, even in the middle of the night? Just tell me it does. Lie. Everyone's doing it these days.