Boy, I wish I'd seen this

by Diane

Sorry that the article requires a subscription — “Oprah Winfrey Takes a Guest to the Television Woodshed”, they title it…

It was indeed amazing television. James Frey — the truculent tough guy who used to compare himself to Hemingway — now sat like a boy in detention, gloomily taking his licks from the nation’s headmistress until he seemed to whimper. Sure, Mr. Frey was supposed to have been humbled already, brought low by the grievous sins he chronicled in “A Million Little Pieces,” his best-selling creative nonfiction memoir novel of drug addiction. Oh, but that book’s phony “hitting bottom” was nothing compared to the chastening — the emasculation, really– that he received yesterday on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”

Just like back in the days when her guests were abusers and sexual deviants, Ms. Winfrey came for vengeance — and vengeance on behalf of the poor, the voiceless and the women above all, who get conned and defrauded and violated by men who think they’re so bad. But because Ms. Winfrey never sounds just one note, she turned in an uncanny performance, modulating her aggression with such finesse that she seemed to be the penitent one, and not the one with the whip hand…

Sounds memorable. And sounds pretty grim. But Frey brought it on himself…

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