Friday, January 27, 2006
Ease up Oprah - share the blame.
Everyone's talkin' about Oprah "tearing into" James Frey, author of A Million Little Pieces. You know the backstory. Little known memoir - no name author - Oprah declares it a "must read" on her book club. Sales go through the roof. Now, it turns out the author lied. Oprah is embarrassed. She tore into James Frey and his V.P. of Doubleday publisher live on her TV show yesterday. What a sight. These poor guests, on Oprahs home turf - being lashed by the talk queen. It went on and on and on. They sunk lower in their chairs as the hour went on. Oprahs bone of contention was "YOU DUPED ME!" How dare anyone dupe Oprah! He obviously didn't know who he was fooling with. James Frey put out the fire as best he could by admitting that he fabricated much of the story. The Oprah beating still went on. Oprah blames Doubleday for not fact checking a memoir. Huh? Do you believe every memoir is fact checked? Of course not. It's a MEMOIR. Publishers take the word of the author that what they write happened - actually happened. That's the way it's always been. What's different now is - All Mighty Oprah can plug a book and send it's sales through the roof. THEREFORE - the responsibility of fact checking a book for accuracy should be that of OPRAH before she deems it OPRAHWORTHY.
Would any of this happened in the first place if Oprah hadn't selected this book for the her book club? Nope. It'd still be out there - and no-one but the author would know it's all lies.
Oprah created the problem. She'll create it again if SHE doesn't take responsibility for the books she endorses.