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Thursday, January 12, 2006

Lies, Damned Lies, and James Frey

It's official: we live in a world of reality television that is scripted and memoirs that aren't real.

The truth has been whittled down to what can sell. And if the truth ain't good enough, hell, make it up.

Shame on you, James Frey, for calling your fiction a memoir after you couldn't sell it as fiction.

Shame on you, Doubleday, for not doing even the most basic fact checking for something that, no matter how you slice it, is supposed to be non-fiction...or, in other words, facutally accurate.

And shame on you, Oprah Winfrey, for choosing to stand by Frey's "emotional truth" instead of calling his "memoir" exactly what it is: a lie.


At 2:48 PM, Anonymous JamieFord said...

Kind of blurs the lines doesn't it? I know a guy that fudges facts in business proposals. He doesn't call it lying. He calls it gamesmanship. Hey, everyone does it right?

At 3:34 PM, Blogger Jackie said...

Ooh. "Gamesmanship." How...apropos. :)

At 9:40 PM, Blogger Hippoplatypus said...

Amen Jackie. Jimmy Frey would recant his book if he was 10% of the man he portrayed himself to be. What slays me now is how so many people that have read the book are supporting him. I think they are in denial of being duped.

At 11:58 PM, Blogger Jackie said...

I agree, Hippoplatypus. And the lie itself runs very deep. From what I understand, the most important rule of support groups for recovering addicts is that the recovering addict must stop lying. There's no degree; there's no qualification for "emotional truth." It's stop lying. Period. And Frey, a so-called recovering addict, disregards this by embellishing the truth (no matter how large or how small) in his book.

And that's completely separate from the other issue, which is how Doubleday and Oprah have created the category of "nonfiction novels" or "truish non-fiction."

At 4:27 PM, Anonymous Rob R said...

I'm lucky, I guess. I don't know who the hell James Frey is.

I totally agree with the insights ranged here. Somebody should put him on a real Talk Show and ask some difficult questions. For that matter the publishers should be there as well.

Rob R


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