About the best television I’ve seen in forever. Last night, Larry King interviewed James Frey, author of factually-challenged best-selling “memoir”, “A Million Little Pieces.” First off, you have the spectacle of a public person insisting that he did too do lots of crack and spend months in jail and so on and so forth. Then you have a website that usually exposes the lurid pasts of public people actually exonerating the guy, and depicting him as a nice middle-class boy, struggling with addiction. Then it dawns on you that all this will only help sales of the book. Then Larry King brings up the Jerzy Kosinski controversy as an analogy, Frey demurs, and then Larry reminds Frey that Kosiniski was so ashamed he killed himself. Then Frey’s mom shows up, and we watch mortified as this woman is asked to pick between her love for her son and his obvious deceptions. And then, just when you think it can’t get any weirder … God descends. Oprah’s on the phone, and claims she was ringing for ages but couldn’t get through. Weirder? The nation falls silent as God speaks. She doesn’t exactly defend the fraudulently packaged book, she blames the publishers and then somehow manages to bring you almost to the point of thinking that a book that does so much good need not be trashed for basic misrepresentation. For Oprah, the therapy trumps the integrity. Or there’s a deeper integrity to the guy’s recovery that should trump concerns about his obvious misleading of the reader. At this point, you are as gob-smacked as Anderson Cooper. And then he brings up his mother. And with images of Gloria Vanderbilt floating in my head, we find ourselves watching Project Runway. Bravo.
– posted by Andrew.