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Saturday, January 14, 2006

James Frey and Times Warner

A Million Little Pieces by James Frey sold many thousands of copies, especially after the author appeared on Oprah's show and she picked his book for her book club. Recently, The Smoking Gun (an investigative web site owned by Court TV - the channel that brought us The Psychic Detective) claimed on their website that Frey had invented incidents he had related in his book. It's a "memoir" about his "redemption" from alcohol and drug addiction. Frey went on the Larry King Show and said basically that he had originally wanted to publish the book as fiction (the 1st edition of the book was so labeled) but that the editors thought it should be promoted as a non-fiction memoir (the paperback Oprah edition was so labeled.) His defenders have rushed to support him (a particularly amusing moment of mutual self-promotion occurred when Oprah called Larry King and claimed his lines has been so busy she couldn't get through - yeah right.)

In a little noticed disclaimer at the beginning of his show, King went through the companies that owned his show, Random House, etc. and low and behold, Time/Warner owns Court TV, CNN, Oprah's Channel, Random House and Warner Bros, the studio that will soon release a movie version of Frey's book.

Makes you wonder. Personally, I think the whole brouhaha is a cleverly orchestrated marketing ploy to hype Frey's book and generate interest in the movie. All memoirs embellish and recount memories selectively. What's the big deal, here? Making money is what it's all about.
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