The Ten Month Beat

An account of the ten months at the graduate school of journalism for the class of 2006.

1.26.2006

Don't let James Fr(e)y!



Is anyone else concerned after watching Oprah today that James Frey might join his girlfriend "Lilly" and commit suicide soon? I'm just saying, the poor guy (well, the poor rich guy) looked so depressed and zoned out I swear he was counting pills in his head.

I'm not defending what he did (which by my accounts is called LYING not "embellishing") but I feel bad for him. I mean, Oprah basically yelled at him on national television! And unlike some people, Oprah never yells! If you've been called out by Oprah you KNOW you've done wrong.

If he does indeed end his own life, does this count as irony? And more importantly, will anyone believe that he's dead?

I'm thinking of making "Save James" t-shirts. Who's with me?

5 Comments:

  • At 2:16 PM, Blogger Orrloff said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

     
  • At 2:18 PM, Blogger Carlita said…

    I'm with you. I believe there is a huge distinction between memoirs and autobiographies. A memoir has far more leeway to embellish, etc. I think he took it a bit too far, but, and perhaps this is unfortunate, I am not so sure that he did anything so different from other memoir writers.

    I also think that the public outrage is a reaction to the sense of hopelessness and powerlessness they feel, as a collective, in light of learning that the government (Republicans AND Democrats) are consistently lying to us, corporations are consistently lying to us, etc. I thought Frank Rich was right on point when he said we live in a society rife with lies and half truths ("reality" television is a perfect example here) and that in the end has an effect on culture as a whole.

    I will keep in him in my thoughts. Addiction and recovery are a battle and I can imagine that people picking apart his truth from THE truth is a painful and dangerous place for anyone. Addict or "normal" person. And to have the self-elected and Masses endorsed arbiter of pop culture morality coming down on you must not help.

     
  • At 10:24 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    I think Frey will be crying all the way to the bank.

    He is now firmly established as a "name" author. As I recall, Stephen Glass and Jayson Blair got a pretty good gig on the writing/talkshow circuits after their ousting as well.

    Cheers,
    Matt

     
  • At 10:57 AM, Blogger ellejai said…

    I don't think Frey quite has a grasp on right vs. wrong. But I also think he deliberately manipulated millions of people. I loved that Oprah called him out. I would have liked to see her go page by page in the book and make him point out each and every time he lied, especially the incessantly recurring "I am an Addict, Alcoholic and a Criminal" line. The rich frat boy just wanted to be a bad-ass.
    Ditto on comments about Frank Rich, as well as the essay by Michiko Kakutani. Our whole society is obsessed with who says something and how he/she delivers it, rather than if it's true.

     
  • At 3:38 PM, Blogger p said…

    I think it's great that she called him on it. I disagree with the method - doing it on her show is a clear publicity stunt, and it would have been enough just to issue a statement. But the idea is great.

    I mean, let's face it: he lied. Yes, other people lie. That doesn't mean it's ok and that we should give them more money for it.

    And his editor should be fired for not checking anything.

    As for Frey, so what if he feels bad? It's not like he didn't know.

     

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