Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The emotional truth

I just watched a very painful performance by one prevaricator/fabricator James Frey on Larry King earlier this evening, and the nearest I can relate the experience to is watching a Bush press conference. Sure, you might confuse King with Jennie Finch by their uncanny ability to toss slow, underhand softballs - but even by that criterion, Frey slipped up any number of times by my estimation. SWING AND A MISS!

King opened up the hour by addressing the controversy head-on: Namely, that large swaths of A Million Little Pieces are fabricated and embellished. They showed the Smoking Gun guys on a CNN morning dealie reiterating their research, and they showed Ohio law enforcement backing up the Smoking Gun dudes, refuting Frey. Frey's defense - fall back on poorly-coached talking points, in particular, that the "emotional truth of the book" transcends fact. He never denies it was embellished, erroneous, or infactual... whatever was in that book adhered to society's definition of "memoir," which apparently holds room for both "fiction" and "crazy make-em-ups."

Bottom-line: He has no answers; he has no regrets; the book has "emotional truth" that has saved countless lives; the two airhead callers were saps from the heartland strained for maximum pathos; the book saved countless lives; Oprah still loves him even though she can't vouch for the technical accuracy of the book; and the book can be used as a food source for poor, starving, inaccurate Africans.