Thursday, January 26, 2006

Off The Radio

Dang! An eventful morning of broadcasting over here. First I get all excited cuz Oprah's changed her mind and she's got Big Jim back on the show and she's piiiisssed! At the top of the show she said she regretted what she said on Larry King and that the truth matters, and then JF came on - admitting to certain fabrications but continuing to refer to the people in his book as "characters"... anyway, it was more what Oprah wasn't saying that was killing me, the look on her face was just like, DO. You realize. Who you. Have messed with. AND THEN, a mere ten minutes into the show, if this is possible, the only other person I have less patience for than Frey preempts Oprah and Jim to talk about, like, whatever, I don't know, because the sound of his voice is excruciating to me. Anyway you can be sure I'll be taping the rebroadcast late tonight, but some of you might still get to see it during the day.

Plus Writer's Block Party was bumped today, so I'll keep you posted on the reschedule.


Matt said...


Fun factoid: Oprah is the only individual allowed in the State of Illinois to refer to herself in the third person.

/ looks forward to the day when a POTUS is preempted by a press conference by Elizabeth Crane

// a.k.a. "Betsy" to people in the know....

jackie said...

Yep. You don't want to tangle with The Oprah.

You getting bumped because of the press conference=yet another reason for me to hate GWB.

Donny B said...

This blog entry summed up my feelings EXACTLY! I couldn't believe it. I was like "elections, foreign affairs, troublesome times, blah blah blah...let's see Oprah rip Jimmy a new one."

I too will be taping the show tonight...and it better be good.

Daniel Ridges said...

I have refrained from writing a comment on the James Frey thing anywhere because I honestly didn't know where I stood on it.

I read a little of the book before the big scandal, and I wasn't that impressed. So, when the shit hit the fan, I though eh, what a prick. It wasn't that good anyway.

When I read your post (Betsy) with the quotes from Mary Karr, it put a different perspective on it. Then I said What a prick!!!!! Fucknut!!!

It takes a huge leap of faith to jump off the cliff and actually be a writer - attempt to make money from it. I have not been brave enough to do that yet, but James Frey did. Betsy, you have. Many of the people who contribute to this blog via comments have.

What bugs me is, if he'd have just written a piece of autobiographical fiction, this would've all been moot. It worked for Kerouac. It worked for Hunter Thompson.

Also, and I am sorry I have to do it here, I think Oprah is the biggest fake in the history of media. I give her the props of taking the leap and saying I am a talk show host and then making it happen. That's great. But, she's taken on this creepy iconic persona, what with the cars and the money being thrown at Chicago housing projects, and now this James Frey bullshit.

She cannot walk on water. She made a mistake going on Larry King and defending Frey. That was obvious as it was happening. But to make an entire show about it? My god! It's a stupid cycle that has even less cultural meaning than a Madonna movie.

I watched Richard Roeper and Tucker Carlson debate this for ten minutes last night on the Channel Five ten o'clock news. It was pitiful. Carlson asked Roeper if this would keep Frey from selling books... Not if yahoos like you don't move on to actual news (And I don't mean presidential press conferences!). Then, Tucker Carlson compared Frey's memoir to John Wayne Gacy's prison paintings. This even threw Roeper for a loop. That was, at least, good stuff, in a Kanye West/ Mike Meyers "George Bush doesn't care about black people" kind of way.

So, here I am, writing too much about something I know nothing about...

Betsy said...

Oh, what fun! Interesting and amusing comments from all, especially the idea of me preempting the president someday. Just to make sure there's no confusion - I don't think it was the president who bumped me. All's I know is I got bumped for like, some "news" or whatever. Dan, you are kind to say that. Plus it's no secret that a good amount of what I've written is autobiographical fiction, and I've never been more clear on why as I am now. That's hilarious about the Gacy paintings - I can't even imagine what that's supposed to mean. Anyway, I'm not sure whether there needed to be a whole show about it, but I know Oprah is aware of her power in any number of arenas at this point, and knew that in spite of the breadth of the discussion in the media/blogs/etc. right now, the publishing industry would be guaranteed to sit up, take notice, and make changes if Oprah pointed it out.

Daniel Ridges said...

But, Betsy, do you really think she devoted the whole show to her public flogging of James Frey for the publishing industry's sake?

I feel like I'm challenging you in a Tucker Carlson kind of way. Where are your prison paintings, hmmmmmm?

I'm not trying to be a jerk, even though I may be coming off as one. And this may be my distaste for Oprah (have I made that known?), but it seems like she messed up on Larry King or reacted too soon or whatever, and was overcompensating on yesterday's show to cover her own rumpus room. And, I think that she used her influence in many areas of media to do just that and nothing more.

On another note:

Please let us know when the Writer's Block Party will be aired. (Writer's Block Party sounds like a dance show that may have been hosted by Dick Clark in the 60's - Writers' Dance Party 2006, with your host, James Frey.)

megan said...

I wonder if he'll write a memoir about the experience of writing a memoir.

Betsy said...

Dan - oh absolutely not. He embarrassed her, in a huge way, and she wanted it known. But I also think - people wrote in and they were rightly pissed at her, and she responded to that as well.

Gacy's paintings are probably of a higher quality than mine.

Will keep you posted about WBEZ.

Megan, I wondered that too, but I think he's too scared. Maybe a "novel"...

kfoz said...

Jimmy says he won't write anything about the whole Oprah thing...

Meanwhile, I found it very irksome that Oprah kept calling on everyone to apologize to her because "they" were responsible for making the choices she made. Huh? Isn't that exactly the kind of thing she usually refuses to go for? She kept saying "How could you have believed this?" to panelists, yet SHE believed it too. And she blamed her staff for convincing her to go on Larry King. She needs some Dr. Phil pronto.