Oprah vs. Frey ...

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wheregreggeats.com
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Oprah vs. Frey ... - Sat, 01/28/06 10:05 AM
I am bemused by the ruckus about the best selling book A Million Little Pieces.

- Oprah embraces it ... Oprah defends it ... Oprah turns on author !!!

It was a very well selling book without her ... The Oprah marketing machine gave it a huge boost.

I read it, it is a good book. I am not nearly as worldly as Oprah and I knew from the first page that there was licence being taken by the author -- for example, what airline lets a bleeding, unconscious drugged out passenger fly alone?

In case this example slipped your mind while reading the book, when you get to the last page, another example, what pool room bartender serves a drink, under those circumstances, without collecting the money?

Both examples made for a better story, but didn't add up.

I'm just wondering why Oprah didn't expect embellishments from the admitted, strung out substance abuser -- especially when there were easy clues?

Is Oprah just caving in to the perpetually negative press and a the voices of the, generally loud, negative thinkers among us?

How did all the ruckus effect your opinion of the book?

Are memoirs different than autobiographies?




Mosca
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RE: Oprah vs. Frey ... - Sat, 01/28/06 10:44 AM
I didn't read it.

But I am a little bit ticked off by the idea of overcoming drug abuse as something glamorous. Drug use is banal, overcoming abuse and addiction is banal, and survival is banal. It's what you do if you want to have a normal life. And normal lives are by and large banal; you find the beauty within them. Normal lives do not generally make great memoirs. In a sense quitting drugs is a type of surrender, an acceptance that one will never be more than normal, that there will never be anything more than "this".

Unless of course you invent something better than "this" and then pass it off as the truth. The point being, much of the allure of a memoir is that it is supposedly true, and it extracts its power from that premise.

I've been there, I lived this guy's REAL life (not the written one). I spent one night in jail and my dad bailed me out, I had a few close calls where I should have been caught but wasn't, and the rest of it consisted of wasting the best years of my life while my old friends graduated college, got married, bought houses and started careers. Believe me, it wouldn't have made a good book.


Tom

mr chips
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RE: Oprah vs. Frey ... - Sat, 01/28/06 11:25 AM
Frey tried to sell the book as a novel. When that failed, he called it a memoir. An embellished novel is okay, a false memoir is a lie and morally wrong.

BT
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RE: Oprah vs. Frey ... - Sat, 01/28/06 12:06 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Mosca

I didn't read it.

But I am a little bit ticked off by the idea of overcoming drug abuse as something glamorous. Drug use is banal, overcoming abuse and addiction is banal, and survival is banal. It's what you do if you want to have a normal life. And normal lives are by and large banal; you find the beauty within them. Normal lives do not generally make great memoirs. In a sense quitting drugs is a type of surrender, an acceptance that one will never be more than normal, that there will never be anything more than "this".

Unless of course you invent something better than "this" and then pass it off as the truth. The point being, much of the allure of a memoir is that it is supposedly true, and it extracts its power from that premise.

I've been there, I lived this guy's REAL life (not the written one). I spent one night in jail and my dad bailed me out, I had a few close calls where I should have been caught but wasn't, and the rest of it consisted of wasting the best years of my life while my old friends graduated college, got married, bought houses and started careers. Believe me, it wouldn't have made a good book.


Tom


Indeed. The best critique of the book I've heard may have been the one that said the real reason he had to lie was that his actual life was boring and he shouldn't write another book (which he undoubtedly will) until he goes out and does something interesting.

I haven't read it. I have spent 12 years working in a clinic with substance abusers (mostly heroin, crack and crystal). Their mostly pathetic lives may be a curiosity to the rest of us, but as Mosca says, there's not a lot of inspiration there. The few who succeed in recovery are just learning to live the way we do every day.

saps
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RE: Oprah vs. Frey ... - Sat, 01/28/06 12:14 PM
This is now all about Oprah and protecting her brand. After her handlers realized that her initial comments might make some perceive that she tolerated lying, she had to recant. Her response was to bring Frey back on the show and then "throw him under a bus" in front of millions in order to clear herself. Classy lady. She opens her show saying that she was duped rather than apologizing for her mistake.

Frey had to know what he was getting into. This was a well orchestrated event for both- Frey got more exposure, and Oprah was able to deflect any negative fallout aimed at her back onto Frey. She doesn't have to absolve Frey for any of his mistakes, and she doesn't have to admit to her own mistake in initially supporting him.

I've always seen Oprah as disingenuous. It's always about Oprah, and her good deeds always seem to net a profit for her in the form of publicity and more viewership. Her fans eat it up.

Oprah is very protective of her show. If you work for her, you sign a contract stating that you will reveal nothing about her, with the penalty being very heavy financial repercussions. She's teflon.

She can recommend anything to her fans and they will follow her with blind faith. The rise of charlatan pop psychologist Dr. Phil is an excellent example. He makes Joyce Brothers look like Sigmund Freud.

Lucky Bishop
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RE: Oprah vs. Frey ... - Sat, 01/28/06 1:57 PM
He's a rich-kid frat-boy moron who put on a bad-ass persona to sell books. That would be no big deal except for this key point: there are a lot of stupid people out there, and a lot of those stupid people bought his whole idea that you can overcome addiction without anyone else's help. Which means there are now a lot of stupid AND addicted people out there who COULD be helped by some kind of structured program, but aren't. So when one of these idiots backslides and then kills your daughter when he's driving drunk, be sure to thank James Frey for his help in making that happen.

The fact that there are still people out there who publicly support this weasel (as well as another rich-kid frat-boy moron drunk I could name) makes me weep for the general intelligence level of this country.

Mosca
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RE: Oprah vs. Frey ... - Sat, 01/28/06 2:25 PM
Good points.

saps, I did watch Oprah apologize. I also agree that it is about protecting the brand. She said she felt duped, but she did specifically apologize for backing Frey on Larry King even after the revelations. I sort of think BOTH were true, that she was embarrassed AND felt her brand threatened.

LB, I'm sure he also overstated the degree of his addiction. My brother works as a drug counselor; even with the best help, recidivism among hard-core users is high. It is much easier for casual users and convenience users to stop. I'm not sure "rich kid" is the right description. I think it's middle class suburban white boy. "I'M NOT ORDINARY!" Yes you are. We ALL are, until we do something extraordinary, and sitting around your parents' basement smoking pot and snorting coke isn't it.

I like BT's paraphrasing. Go somewhere and do something interesting, then write about it.


Tom


BT
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RE: Oprah vs. Frey ... - Sat, 01/28/06 2:53 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Lucky Bishop

there are a lot of stupid people out there, and a lot of those stupid people bought his whole idea that you can overcome addiction without anyone else's help. Which means there are now a lot of stupid AND addicted people out there who COULD be helped by some kind of structured program, but aren't. So when one of these idiots backslides and then kills your daughter when he's driving drunk, be sure to thank James Frey for his help in making that happen.


Of the hundreds (? thousands) I have dealt with, the majority already think that they can do it best on their own. That's because they don't say, "No" to themselves, they don't (can't) point out the self-defeating logic and self-destructive behavior to themselves and so on. They very much resist giving other people power over their lives until, as is said in some 12-step programs, they have hit bottom. They don't need a book to give them the idea that dealing with their addiction is best done on their own. On the other hand, though, you are quite right that a book that says that and gets praise from respected national figures (i.e Oprah) for doing so sure doesn't help.

saps
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RE: Oprah vs. Frey ... - Sat, 01/28/06 10:19 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Lucky Bishop

He's a rich-kid frat-boy moron who put on a bad-ass persona to sell books. That would be no big deal except for this key point: there are a lot of stupid people out there, and a lot of those stupid people bought his whole idea that you can overcome addiction without anyone else's help. Which means there are now a lot of stupid AND addicted people out there who COULD be helped by some kind of structured program, but aren't. So when one of these idiots backslides and then kills your daughter when he's driving drunk, be sure to thank James Frey for his help in making that happen.

The fact that there are still people out there who publicly support this weasel (as well as another rich-kid frat-boy moron drunk I could name) makes me weep for the general intelligence level of this country.


Whether he is rich or poor or a frat boy or not has absolutely no bearing on what he has done and isn't worth mentioning.

I know 3 people that have quit drugs and alcohol on their own with no outside help. 2 have been dry for 20+ years with no relapses, and one for 4 years.

So if one of these guys were to write a memoir of how they overcame their problem with no help, would it be wrong for him to release it because others might try his way and fail? If that's the case, you're opening a huge Pandora's Box on a variety of topics.


Z66 Butch
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RE: Oprah vs. Frey ... - Sat, 01/28/06 11:12 PM
quote:
Originally posted by saps

This is now all about Oprah and protecting her brand. After her handlers realized that her initial comments might make some perceive that she tolerated lying, she had to recant. Her response was to bring Frey back on the show and then "throw him under a bus" in front of millions in order to clear herself. Classy lady. She opens her show saying that she was duped rather than apologizing for her mistake.

Frey had to know what he was getting into. This was a well orchestrated event for both- Frey got more exposure, and Oprah was able to deflect any negative fallout aimed at her back onto Frey. She doesn't have to absolve Frey for any of his mistakes, and she doesn't have to admit to her own mistake in initially supporting him.

I've always seen Oprah as disingenuous. It's always about Oprah, and her good deeds always seem to net a profit for her in the form of publicity and more viewership. Her fans eat it up.

Oprah is very protective of her show. If you work for her, you sign a contract stating that you will reveal nothing about her, with the penalty being very heavy financial repercussions. She's teflon.

She can recommend anything to her fans and they will follow her with blind faith. The rise of charlatan pop psychologist Dr. Phil is an excellent example. He makes Joyce Brothers look like Sigmund Freud.

Agreed 100%! Oprah is so full of Oprah, that should be clear to all. I do understand that she gives a lot away but she sure has to let you know that its from her. Oprah should have checked the book out rather than just reading it before recommending it to her "club" While you and I could get away with recommending it, Oprah is held to a higher standard as she has put herself there!

Butch

unalaskawoman
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RE: Oprah vs. Frey ... - Sun, 01/29/06 12:38 PM
I think he just published his second book, which is also, I believe, being sold as non-fiction. It's about someone he met in rehab, and titled, "My Friend Leonard" or something close to that.

BuddyRoadhouse
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RE: Oprah vs. Frey ... - Sun, 01/29/06 4:55 PM
quote:
Originally posted by unalaskawoman

I think he just published his second book, which is also, I believe, being sold as non-fiction. It's about someone he met in rehab, and titled, "My Friend Leonard" or something close to that.


unalaskawoman, glad to see you weren't chased away by Scorereader's "troller" accusation in another topic. Please understand that there has been a lot of trolling on this site lately. Long time users sometimes identify trollers based on the number of posts they have. People who are first time posters or those with a low number of postings frequently are guilty of trolling.

Lately there have been quite a few new posters on this site. In the anonymous world of cyber-posting this is a good and bad thing. While not speaking for the founders or moderators of Roadfood.com, I would assume that all truly interested parties are welcomed with open arms. The more new members the better. More opinions, more exposure to places the rest of us might never have even heard of. The downside of all these new members is that many of them are just hanging around to make trouble. This leaves legitimate new members open to undue suspicion.

If you bother to stick around and keep posting, as your numbers go up, so will your esteem with other long time members.

Anyway, good to have you. Your part of the world must be a gold mine of Roadfood opportunities. I can hardly wait to hear about them!

Buddy

Lucky Bishop
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RE: Oprah vs. Frey ... - Sun, 01/29/06 9:01 PM
quote:
Originally posted by saps

quote:
Originally posted by Lucky Bishop

He's a rich-kid frat-boy moron who put on a bad-ass persona to sell books. That would be no big deal except for this key point: there are a lot of stupid people out there, and a lot of those stupid people bought his whole idea that you can overcome addiction without anyone else's help. Which means there are now a lot of stupid AND addicted people out there who COULD be helped by some kind of structured program, but aren't. So when one of these idiots backslides and then kills your daughter when he's driving drunk, be sure to thank James Frey for his help in making that happen.

The fact that there are still people out there who publicly support this weasel (as well as another rich-kid frat-boy moron drunk I could name) makes me weep for the general intelligence level of this country.


Whether he is rich or poor or a frat boy or not has absolutely no bearing on what he has done and isn't worth mentioning.

I know 3 people that have quit drugs and alcohol on their own with no outside help. 2 have been dry for 20+ years with no relapses, and one for 4 years.

So if one of these guys were to write a memoir of how they overcame their problem with no help, would it be wrong for him to release it because others might try his way and fail? If that's the case, you're opening a huge Pandora's Box on a variety of topics.




The guy lied about how much of a problem he had. He didn't HAVE a serious drug problem to overcome, so what useful information does HE have to tell other people what to do with their addictions? That's like a virgin writing a sex ed manual!

Mosca
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RE: Oprah vs. Frey ... - Mon, 01/30/06 11:08 AM
Most of the people I knew with serious drug problems are dead now. The rest went through rehab. I didn't go through rehab, but my problem wasn't that serious. I avoided the really bad stuff.


Tom

unalaskawoman
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RE: Oprah vs. Frey ... - Tue, 01/31/06 1:54 AM
Thanks for the kind words, Buddy.

Scorereader
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RE: Oprah vs. Frey ... - Tue, 01/31/06 2:33 PM
quote:
Originally posted by BuddyRoadhouse

quote:
Originally posted by unalaskawoman

I think he just published his second book, which is also, I believe, being sold as non-fiction. It's about someone he met in rehab, and titled, "My Friend Leonard" or something close to that.


unalaskawoman, glad to see you weren't chased away by Scorereader's "troller" accusation in another topic. Please understand that there has been a lot of trolling on this site lately. Long time users sometimes identify trollers based on the number of posts they have. People who are first time posters or those with a low number of postings frequently are guilty of trolling.

Lately there have been quite a few new posters on this site. In the anonymous world of cyber-posting this is a good and bad thing. While not speaking for the founders or moderators of Roadfood.com, I would assume that all truly interested parties are welcomed with open arms. The more new members the better. More opinions, more exposure to places the rest of us might never have even heard of. The downside of all these new members is that many of them are just hanging around to make trouble. This leaves legitimate new members open to undue suspicion.

If you bother to stick around and keep posting, as your numbers go up, so will your esteem with other long time members.

Anyway, good to have you. Your part of the world must be a gold mine of Roadfood opportunities. I can hardly wait to hear about them!

Buddy

Hey, for the record, one can be a long time poster and still ask a "trolling" question. Which I felt she had posted. I wasn't trying to scare her away. Nor did I think she would at all be scared away by me.

Welcome unalaskawoman, and I am by no means a "long time" member. I've only been on these boards since early August of this past year.

back on topic...Oprah made a huge mistake by backing the book so fervently. She was duped. The latest show was just grand standing.
The best part was the booing from the audience, who for some odd reason, also felt duped. What was up with that?





saps
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RE: Oprah vs. Frey ... - Tue, 01/31/06 3:07 PM




back on topic...Oprah made a huge mistake by backing the book so fervently. She was duped. The latest show was just grand standing.
The best part was the booing from the audience, who for some odd reason, also felt duped. What was up with that?



That is just the Oprahbots channeling her pain and following her like lemmings.

If Oprah put poop on her head, spun around in a circle and said doing this twice a day would cure cancer, You'd see a lot of people spinning around with turds on their heads.

Oprah thinks for the mindless, which is what maker her so powerful and profitable.


wheregreggeats.com
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RE: Oprah vs. Frey ... - Tue, 01/31/06 6:17 PM
(A) ... What is trolling ???

(B) ... as OP I go back to the original point ... Who (even Oprah) could have gotten through the first page and not recognized there was some licence -- if not embellishment -- in this book? A book that turned out to be an excellent read?

What would happen if we put a fact checker on Donald Trump's biography, on Pamela Des Barres' memoir or Walter Cronkite's recollections of the old days, or Bill Clinton's?


roossy90
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RE: Oprah vs. Frey ... - Tue, 01/31/06 6:28 PM
I am so sick of hearing about this guy... maybe the news should stop talking about him, he is getting more attention now from his lies!
Best thing to do, is to NOT talk about him....

Lucky Bishop
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RE: Oprah vs. Frey ... - Wed, 02/1/06 2:08 AM
quote:
Originally posted by wheregreggeats.com
What would happen if we put a fact checker on Donald Trump's biography, on Pamela Des Barres' memoir or Walter Cronkite's recollections of the old days, or Bill Clinton's?




We would find that:

Donald Trump really does have a buttload of money and a terrible haircut.

Pamela Des Barres really did sleep with a lot of rock stars.

Walter Cronkite really was a TV anchorman.

Bill Clinton really was president.

Unlike James Frey, who did NOT have a massive drug problem, was NOT in love with a hooker who killed herself and did NOT spend three months in jail.

See where I'm going with this? There's being fast'n' loose with the facts, and there's Just Plain Making Crap Up. James Frey did the latter, not the former.

BuddyRoadhouse
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RE: Oprah vs. Frey ... - Wed, 02/1/06 3:01 AM
quote:
Originally posted by Scorereader
Hey, for the record, one can be a long time poster and still ask a "trolling" question. Which I felt she had posted. I wasn't trying to scare her away. Nor did I think she would at all be scared away by me.

Welcome unalaskawoman, and I am by no means a "long time" member. I've only been on these boards since early August of this past year.


Scorereader, I didn't mean to speak for you or even accuse you of trying to scare away unalaskawoman. Based on her response to your comments in the Sambo's/political thread it was clear (to me anyway) that she felt a little insulted and even irked. It was also clear to me that she was not intentionally trying to inflame but, was merely trying to add her two cents to an already heated discussion. Based on those impressions, I felt your comments were unnecessarily harsh. I also felt the need to stick my nose in where, perhaps, it didn't belong. I chose this thread to respond only because she had recently posted here and it seemed appropriate.

You are of course correct that even long time posters are capable of trolling and/or flaming, as many of them have.

My goal was to answer the questions unalaskawoman raised in her responses to your comments and to go the extra mile to make her feel welcome. Had you jumped in there to explain yourself earlier, I wouldn't have butted in.

Just explaining my motivations and reasoning here. Not implying anything about anyone one way or another. Next time I'll mind my own business.

Except I probably won't.

Buddy

Scorereader
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RE: Oprah vs. Frey ... - Wed, 02/1/06 8:46 AM
quote:
Originally posted by BuddyRoadhouse

quote:
Originally posted by Scorereader
Hey, for the record, one can be a long time poster and still ask a "trolling" question. Which I felt she had posted. I wasn't trying to scare her away. Nor did I think she would at all be scared away by me.

Welcome unalaskawoman, and I am by no means a "long time" member. I've only been on these boards since early August of this past year.


Scorereader, I didn't mean to speak for you or even accuse you of trying to scare away unalaskawoman. Based on her response to your comments in the Sambo's/political thread it was clear (to me anyway) that she felt a little insulted and even irked. It was also clear to me that she was not intentionally trying to inflame but, was merely trying to add her two cents to an already heated discussion. Based on those impressions, I felt your comments were unnecessarily harsh. I also felt the need to stick my nose in where, perhaps, it didn't belong. I chose this thread to respond only because she had recently posted here and it seemed appropriate.

You are of course correct that even long time posters are capable of trolling and/or flaming, as many of them have.

My goal was to answer the questions unalaskawoman raised in her responses to your comments and to go the extra mile to make her feel welcome. Had you jumped in there to explain yourself earlier, I wouldn't have butted in.

Just explaining my motivations and reasoning here. Not implying anything about anyone one way or another. Next time I'll mind my own business.

Except I probably won't.

Buddy


we should probably discuss this in the thread were the conversation took place.