James Frey and modern 'Truth'

In case you don’t watch Oprah (as you probably shouldn’t) there has been alot of controversy in the past couple weeks because one of the books she gave her coveted seal of Oprahness, ‘A million little peices’ by James Frey was exposed to be not entirely factual. This is a problem because the book was labeled as a Memoir.

Now, Oprah is calling James a liar, and saying that she has been embarrased and disapointed.

Bullshit.

Words are a flawed form of expression. This story is about being a drug addict, not the tale of someone who goes through a certain series of events. Personally I feel that James can maintain the ‘truth’ even if his words do not sync up with the actual events that transpired in James’ life during his period of being a drug addict.

Are we to expect that Oprah has never lied to the public about her own life? Of course not, but we are to expect that she’s conveyed things in a certain light, or way so as to preserve the ‘point’ she is trying to make, while also deviating from the factual 'truth.

This is just my take on all of this, he did lie. But I guess my question is: Should he have written a ‘half fictional’ autobiolography ‘based on mostly true events’ instead?

With the news outlets shoveling steaming piles of shit into our mouths on a daily basis and truth becoming ever more subjective, isn’t it more of a truth to lie and get your point across. Than to tell the truth and get lost in the new world storm?

the only problem that I would have is that he claimed these events as being a part of his life, which didn’t infact happen. The book, however shouldn’t be of any less meaning with regards to addiction because certain details don’t quite fit the puzzle.

I find it odd however however that Oprah has an influence in literature. I have a bone to pick.

Oprah has ALOT of influence… in all aspects of the world.

His book wouldn’t have sold nearly as much, and probably wouldn’t have received the recognition from Oprah, if he labeled it as “based on a true story”, instead of non-fiction.

He deliberately misled people in order to increase his sales.

With that said, Opera’s best move would have been to just stick by him. Now that she has retracted her defense of him it only harms both his and her image. In Opera’s case by calling him a liar it shows that she made a huge mistake by choosing his book.

See, this is where I disagree. I don’t think he mislead people… because the book wouldn’t have been published to begin with. I think he did what he needed to get his story out.

To be honest I think he’s laughing inside… all this controversy is doing is making him more money. Any publicity is good publicity.

More than likely…

you are so very right. I think i have a natural inclination to challenge one’s influence on others, when it’s such a large influence over so many people.

anyhow, i caught the tail end of the show tonight, and she seemed to handle it well, and to his credit, he showed up to the show, to face the accusations. He took the responsibility for lying to so many.

Well yeah… anyone who passes up an opportunty to be on oprah is stupid.

He’s laughing to the bank.

I’m just pissed she dragged this thing out into the open after it was ready to die. Today’s show was all about her saving face for the conservatives in the US. When she called into Larry King she basically said I what I said above in defense of Frey…

but then I’m sure her producers and whoever else gave her a stern talk and told her to fix this.

God forbid anyone stand up for anything these days…

:confused:

I really don’t think this falls along political lines. I think Oprah was right to denounce his book though she should have denounced it once the truth about the book came out.

Memoirs are suppose to be works of non-fiction, not ficition.

His book now has a disclaimer on it, which is much more appropriate in my opinion.

I think it does though.

She originally stated on Larry King that despite the fact certain things had been changed, the spirit and intention of the book remains. Which it does.

She knew the facts, and knew it was a non-issue (I mean what memoir is really 100% accurate?). Someone wanted to make it an issue… or maybe she did, just for the viewers.

The whole second half to this entire debate was completely unneeded.

Who the fuck cares some writer changed some shit? Why does this deserve an hour on national TV?

He did what he did to make it, why should anyone be surprised? This is the cute fuzzy end of the spectrum compared to some of the ‘untruthful’ shit that goes on in the media world.

This is my point… these days truth doesn’t matter. Look at the government… look at the news. But they drag out stuff like this… to appear like the powers at be are really so concerned.

Like I said… bullshit.

James Frey is a liar and obtained money by fraud. Oprah did fairly well Thursday; was somewhat too easy on him. He should have been torn completely to shreds up there.

This is so simple I’m shocked it’s still being debated.

Our entire government receives money by way of fraud, and blatantly shoves it in our faces by giving themselves raises at liberty. No one cares about that, so why should this liar, of no real consequence be an issue?

I agree with the wisened old monkey man; PR stunt, he banks, and moronic Americans waste another hour of their life on some seriously inane bullshit.

Agreed, but given Oprah’s power, that’s not surprising. This event (for better or worse) will change the literary canon (This with be the second time Oprah has done that). Watch and see, I’ll wager that over the next few years a major topic in dissertations will be on the validity of the information contained and how that effects the overall outcome of the work.
I also think Oprah was right to take her comment back, since her initial statement implies a great deal of plasticity to truth, particularly moral truth.

Masrriani said…

“Our entire government receives money by way of fraud, and blatantly shoves it in our faces by giving themselves raises at liberty. No one cares about that, so why should this liar, of no real consequence be an issue?”

The government is not an issue in this thread. Someone who defrauded others is the issue. If Frey is not an issue, why are you bothering to spend time writing posts on him?

Is your argument something along the lines of, “Hitler murdered six million Jews. So the guy down the block kills five. What’s the big deal?”

You just contradicted yourself.

Old GobbO:

“You just contradicted yourself.”

“Someone” meaning Frey. Are you serious? I had to spell this out for you?

I would rather you didn’t try…

you’re just digging a deeper hole.

“You’re just digging a deeper hole.”

In what way?

Ok… here we go.

The thread is about James Frey, yes, but you’ll also notice how it also says ‘and modern truth’.

I’m not denying Frey lied. He did… but that’s not really the point here.

I mean… it’s a fucking memoir, a book about drug addiction. And it’s national news because this guy altered a bit of stuff? Who can write a memoir and get it published without doing that? The story just wasn’t that interesting otherwise. Maybe he should have just wrote some fiction… but he didn’t.

Frey did what EVERYONE does. It’s the equivalent to altering your resume.

The point here is that modern truth is fucked. He was used as a scapegoat by the media industry to try and show us that ‘they still care’ that they want to preserve truth, and that they hold it sacred.

but they don’t… we get lied to every day. Oprah lies to us… CNN lies to us, Fox pretty much laughs in our face as they lie to us.

So the government -is- the issue here, they are the ‘someone’ that has defrauded us. Frey hasn’t done anything really… besides give us another hour of bullshit on national television.

Old Gobbo said:

“I mean… it’s a fucking memoir, a book about drug addiction. And it’s national news because this guy altered a bit of stuff? Who can write a memoir and get it published without doing that?”

Please give a definition and cite from a dictionary that implies a memoir can include lies. My dictionary implies nothing of the kind.

OG: “Frey did what EVERYONE does. It’s the equivalent to altering your resume.”

Frey obtained money by this fraud. Nothing wrong with that?

OG: “The point here is that modern truth is fucked. He was used as a scapegoat by the media industry to try and show us that ‘they still care’ that they want to preserve truth, and that they hold it sacred. But they don’t… we get lied to every day. Oprah lies to us… CNN lies to us, Fox pretty much laughs in our face as they lie to us. So the government -is- the issue here, they are the ‘someone’ that has defrauded us. Frey hasn’t done anything really… besides give us another hour of bullshit on national television.”

So therefore you agree with my Hitler analogy above? Or something specific, like: Fraud existsin the government and on CNN. Therefore, everyone should defraud when they can get away with it.