Florida Pilot

A compendium of random thoughts from a former Washington Beltway insider who is now having a lot more fun flying small airplanes in Central Florida.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Get Oprah on your side if you are going to lie

It was recently disclosed that James Frey's "A Million Little Pieces", a claimed memoir about his life, contains a lot more fiction than Frey was willing to admit to. In fact, NBC's Today show brought back a segment from 2003 when Frey told Matt Lauer that the whole book was true. Now, of course, we know that many of the more dramatics parts of the book are total fiction.

Of particular interest was the fact that Oprah Winfrey, Queen of the daytime talk show crowd, had endorsed the Frey book. What would Oprah say when she found out she was the victim of a con? Well, we now know that it was okay with Oprah; maybe she doesn't know about the distinction between fact and fiction or maybe she doesn't care. Apparently, however, Oprahs' continuing support of Frey's fraudulent work will enable him to avoid the pressure to come clean and, according to the cited story, permit publishers to continue to publish "enhanced" works as nonfiction instead of fiction.

It seems to me that there should be an important distinction between fact and fiction or fantasy. Oprah can still appreciate the "redemptive value" of the work but why not call it what it is; fiction. There is no law that says that a fictional work cannot have "redemptive value".