But the bigger of the two stories is the revelation that James Frey's Oprah-hyped memoir, soon to be made into a movie, was pulled at least partially out of Frey's sphincter.
Oh well -- fiction, non-fiction, what's the diff? Seriously. We've entered the post-Springer, post-Survivor era of meta-reality, where facts are merely things to be manipulated for maximum public consumption. Idiots now routinely audition for their shot at a contrived "reality" show, which is not real at all, but merely a heavily-edited wad of scenes featuring people you'd ordinarily avoid on the street. The scenes are deliberately grafted together to fit a pre-conceived story arc.
Similarly, the "mainstream" media faithfully stenographs whatever nonsense Scott McClellan or Dick Cheney throw at them, like chimps flinging their shit at passersby at the zoo. Both versions of "reality" are presented with equally straight faces, unironically. After all, "irony" is now something along the lines of rain on your wedding day, n'est-ce pas?
You know what the worst part of this is? This bullshit is only going to help Frey's sales, and sweeten the back end of his movie deal. Hell, he'll probably get another fictionalized "memoir" out of it.
So what's Queen Oprah, Grand Imperator of the Readin' Milf Book, Biscotti, 'n' Two-Buck Chuck Club, have to say about Frey's deceptions?
No, what is relevant is that he tried to pass off a greatly embellished narrative as biographical -- that is, a retelling of the facts of someone's life. What if Frey had pulled this sort of shit writing about someone else's life?
And that's the real problem in a nutshell. Supposedly the book "spoke" to Oprah precisely because of its harrowing "truth", as relayed by the "facts" put forth by Frey. If Frey never really hit the rock bottom that he originally purported to, then he really didn't have nearly as far to pull himself up, now did he? Of course, that kind of story doesn't sell quite as well with this particular crowd -- small-town dipshit gets fucked up once too often, has a minor brush or two with the law, goes to rehab and cleans his act up. Happens all the time.
The problem is that we are in a paradigm of meta-reality, where "emotional truths" resonate more than facts, which is just a handy way of saying that we're suckers for cheap emotional manipulation. Frey's "memoir" is nothing more, nothing less than one of those VH1 Behind the.... deals, with shamelessly clichéd, predictable arcs of innocence, corruption, guilt, and redemption. It's just a cleaned-up Jerry Springer, for people who mistakenly think they're smarter than the rubes on that misbegotten show.
At least the cheating lesbian strippers know what the deal is.