Friday, January 27, 2006

A Million Little Lies

Considering I spend a good portion of my efforts ripping various yahoos, I thought I would take a rare pause and give credit where credit is due to one of my sworn enemies.

Oprah Winfrey.

Generally speaking, this bloated windbag spends her time as a pied-piper for American women who have nothing better to do with their lives than sit around watching daytime television. We've covered her overall worthlessness in this space before, so I won't belabor that point now.

What has become relevant is the current threat to the legitimacy of her book club. Based on her shameless, gushing recommendation, the memoir A Million Little Pieces by James Frey became an explosive overnight success. In the last two weeks, it was learned this clown fabricated the more salient details of his life of addiction and crime. As it turned out, he wrote was A Million Little Lies.

Rather than feel outraged at being used as an unwitting accomplice in the con of her audience, Winfrey raced to Frey's defense. In a phone call to Larry King, she said:

"The underlying message of redemption in James Frey's memoir still resonates with me, and I know it resonates with millions of other people who have read this book."

"What is relevant is that he was a drug addict who spent years in turmoil from the time he was 10 years old drinking and tormenting himself and his parents, and stepped out of that history to be the man that he is today and to take that message to save other people and allow them to save themselves."

"To me, it seems to be much ado about nothing."

At best, it was disconcerting to see Winfrey abrogate her role in boosting this charlatan to stardom. At worst, it was repugnant for her to dismiss the importance of truth with such a casual wave of the hand.

She learned hard lessons following those comments. She reversed her stance. Whether O felt genuine contrition for taking such an absurd position to begin with or was making a more calculated move to stem the groundswell of alarm aimed at her precious book club is subject for debate. What's important is that she apologized.

"I left the impression that the truth is not important," she said. "I am sorry."

Oprah repented for more than two minutes at the start of Thursday afternoon's show. Regardless of her reasons, she did the honorable thing. It may have taken her far too long and perhaps came grudgingly, but congratulations are in order. Ms. Winfrey finally got it right.

While we're doling out kudos, I'd like to fellate myself. On Oct. 11, 2005, I wrote in this space that "What is wrong with" her book club is that it "has zero credibility." Little did I know that it would only take three more months before Oprah would so succinctly prove that point.

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At 9:51 PM, Blogger Joependleton said...

Cat, honestly, I don't see the big deal in this whole book flap. If it's good reading, it's good reading. Who cares if it's true or not?

Remember, in the beginninig of Fargo, they say it's based on a true story - but it's clearly not.

As for Oprah. Never, ever congratulate her for anything. Her change of heart is for PR reasons only, and it's obvious it worked on you.

The whole incident did point out what a bogus thing her book club is. I'm sure she doesn't read any of this stuff.

Her book, about her life eating Hostess cakes, will be called a Million Little Pies.

At 12:25 AM, Blogger heather said...

hey pete/fellow marah fan. glad to find i have some local readers! and yes, maybe marah will come through here again because i would like to see them.

your million little pieces post is insteresting. such a thoughtful issue, i think. i have gone back and forth myself, but after reading the full smoking gun expose, i think dude should have just been forthcoming from the get-go in writing it as a novel, or fiction. i don;t understand how he could stand so proudly and for so long in front of a lie. what is wrong with people? and i agree with joependelton there that i think oprah only "repented" for PR purposes....i tire of her.

anyways, thanks again for stopping by, neighbor.


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