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April 24, 2014

james frey

Oprah tears James Frey apart, or The Smoking Gun was right

by Anna Johns, posted Jan 26th 2006 1:13PM
Author James Frey isn't much of an alcoholic, a drug addict or a criminal. He's a pathological liar. And Oprah exposed him for what he is on her show today. Well, actually, The Smoking Gun exposed him for what he is back on January 8th. Oprah just forced him into admitting that he lied in his so-called memoir about addiction and crime, A Million Little Pieces. Oprah made that book number one on the best seller list when she included it in her book club. It sold 1.77 million copies.

Oprah opened her show by apologizing to viewers for trusting Frey so blindly that she called up Larry King when he was defending his lies book and voiced her support for him. To Frey's face, she said, "I really feel duped." Then, she proceeded to take him down. Inch by inch. God, I love this woman.

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James Frey returning to Oprah -- UPDATE

by Anna Johns, posted Jan 26th 2006 10:26AM
James Frey is going to stick up for himself, again, but this time he'll do it on Oprah. Frey is the author of A Million Little Pieces, a memoir about drug and alcohol addiction that was chosen for Oprah's Book Club. The truthiness of the book were brought into question by The Smoking Gun on January 8. Smoking Gun folks claimed that Frey embellished some of his experiences and flat-out made up other ones. Since the investigation became public, all sorts of reviewers have jumped on the attack bandwagon and some say his experiences sound too text-book.

Frey is on Oprah today, along with his publisher, Nan Talese. Oprah is a terrific interviewer so I hope she throws him some tough questions, instead of blindly defending him.

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Oprah's book club: a Holocaust memoir

by Anna Johns, posted Jan 17th 2006 10:07AM
It looks as though Oprah Winfrey has been browsing the nonfiction aisles of the bookstore. While the authenticity of her last Oprah's Book Club selection is still in question, she has moved on to assign her faithful readers another memoir: Night, by Elie Wiesel. You may recognize his name for the Nobel Peace Prize he won in 1986 for decades of writing against hatred and racism. Wiesel's first novel (he calls it a memoir) chronicles his family's experience in Auschwitz during the Holocaust. Oprah said the book "should be required reading for all of humanity." Next month, Oprah will also hold a high school essay contest about the book, in which 50 selected writers will be flown to Chicago to be part of the audience when Wiesel is a guest. She will also visit Auschwitz with Wiesel, which should make for one very powerful hour of television.

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Previously on TV Squad

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 15th 2006 7:06PM
In case you've missed it -- perhaps you were busy highlighting the made-up parts of A Million Little Pieces --  here are some highlights from the last week at TV Squad:

Did Frey con Oprah?

James Frey Dupes Oprah?
Breaking News
Discussions
The Five
Opinions
Episode Reviews

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Frey threatens Smoking Gun with lawsuit

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 13th 2006 1:12PM

I hate going through long legal briefs, but basically author James Frey has threatened The Smoking Gun with a multi-million dollar lawsuit if the site or anyone from the site describes Frey as a "liar" or says that he fabricated events in the book.

We all knew this was coming, right? The interesting thing is, this letter from his attorneys is dated January 6, almost a week before he was on Larry King Live, and Frey didn't mention a possible lawsuit at all. Of course, King didn't ask Frey if he thought about suing the site, so it's not as if he's just going to give up that information.

For the record, I was underwhelmed by Frey's explanations/defense on King's show. I understand that almost all memoirs have events that are changed, names that are changed, and time that is compressed, but he wrapped he whole defense in this touchy-feely, Oprah-ish, "if this book helps other addicts" emotional cocoon, as if that explains away what the Smoking Gun uncovered. And having his mom and Oprah on at the end was just icing on the cake.

Seth Mnookin gives his take at Slate, while Meghan O'Rourke wonders if it matters if memoirs are true or not. 

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Oprah defends James Frey on Larry King Live

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 11th 2006 10:31PM
James Frey's mug shot - from The
Smoking GunJust finished watching Larry King Live, who had the first interview with author James Frey since the controversy over the truthfulness (or "truthiness," as Colbert would say) of some of the facts in his memoir A Million Little Pieces. During the interview, Frey kept responding to Larry's queries over The Smoking Gun's exposé -- it revealed that some of the book's details about his criminal past were highly exaggerated --  by saying that it was a very small part of a huge book. People are not concentrating on the meat of the book, said Frey, which takes place in a rehab clinic. Frey went on to explain that memoirs generally have embellishments, composite characters, and time compressions, and that it's a subjective story about the author's life, so it's hard to judge it on the facts.

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How to save Desperate Housewives: Entertainment Weekly in 60 seconds

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 10th 2006 5:00PM
  • Keifer SutherlandOn the cover: juicy info on the new season of 24 (returns January 15).
  • EW lists the bad shows they love.
  • Michael Slezak lists some things that Desperate Housewives needs to do to get better.
  • The Popwatch blog asks some questions about this whole James Frey/Oprah mess.
  • Poll: what returning show are you most looking forward to in 2006? Prison Break? 24? Sopranos? Rescue Me

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Was Oprah conned by book club author?

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 9th 2006 4:19PM

A Million Little PiecesFirst Oprah had to apologize to birds. Now she might have to apologize to her many fans.

The Smoking Gun has just finished a six week invesigation into the background of James Frey, the author of A Million Little Pieces, which Oprah picked for her book club a few months ago. It's (supposedly) Frey's memoir, of how he had drug problems, went into rehab, went to jail several times, kicked the habit, etc, but TSG has found out that many of the events that Frey said happened either happened differently than he said, happened but he wasn't involved, or didn't happen at all. It's a long piece, much too long to summarize here, so take a look

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