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  • Oprah and James Frey pick up a million little pieces. What I wanted Oprah to do before her last...
Oprah and James Frey pick up a million little pieces. What I wanted Oprah to do before her last show.
Written by
May 2011
Written by
May 2011

In January 2006, a very strange thing happened to me while I was keeping time with my TV. I saw someone on my screen who looked like Oprah, dressed like Oprah but did not sound or act like Oprah.  But it was her Oprah.

Yes, indeed. Channel 7, 4 PM EST was Oprah’s time slot for 20 years back in 2006. I even double-checked.  Was I living in a time wrap bought about when hostile aliens transported me to a planet that had never heard of Oprah? Somehow I think aliens know who Oprah is and tune into her show along with reruns of Mash, Cheers and Will and Grace. Okay, that is what I would watch if I was related to ET.

The show was the interview between Oprah and James Frey, the author of A Million Little Pieces. This get together was after his book was exposed as a piece of fiction. Oprah had made this his book an Oprah book club selection. She was helped make James a very rich author.

I watched the interview and had a sickening reaction to it. My strongest feeling was that I did not like Oprah anymore. Total blasphemy on my part. Off with her head!

James Frey’s A Million Little Pieces talked about his life as an addict and in recovery.  Only he didn’t live it himself. He did live a life similar to it.  I think there are only a couple of scripts when it comes to people spiraling into their own personal hell due to an addiction. But it wasn’t James’ story.

And his publishers sold James’ soul and pushed the book into bookstores and homes across the country because it made a compelling memoir… but not a great fictional account of a recovering addict? Go figure.  Good writing is good writing is good writing.  Maybe not?

I watched this former addict being ripped to shreds by Oprah.  Some said she ripped him a new one, and if there was an open fire pit, he would have been thrown into it. Along with his book.

Oprah’s words hit me like a slap across my face and all I did was tune in that day. Where was my Oprah?

If an addict came to me and said he wrote this compelling account while he was on crack, I would assume he had to make most of it up. My facts get downright foggy after 3 drinks. But I am not trying to be amusing. I have known addicts who tripped in and out of my life and their memory got pretty damn dim after a while. Nothing like listening to an addict tells you that he loves you - over and over because he keeps forgetting.

After the interview, I feared that James Frey would have been found in a dark alley, dead from a drug overdose. Thank God he had people who kept him going and kept him writing.

With Oprah’s show coming to an end, I was hoping that James Frey would end up sitting across from Oprah once again. 

And then it happened. And it was a 2-part interview.

Thank you Oprah for stating two facts that had stayed with me since watching that interview in 2006: you had reacted out of ego and also did not show compassion.

It was a semi love fest and I think the power of forgiveness and responsibility on both their sides made for such a great life lesson.  We can rise above anything life throws our way and come out stronger and kinder.

It is no wonder why people have loved Oprah for over 25 years. She teaches us how to be the best we can be – even when it is a tad uncomfortable.

Now, is it too soon to ask about being on the cover of O? Oh, okay. Gayle will get back to me?

So you see Oprah and I are still talking to each other. Even if I have to play both roles.


© 2011, Coach on the Edge ™

elizabeth’s Creativity Coach site is: Coaching for the Creative Soul

Follow elizabeth on Twitter at: EdgyCoach  or elizabethcoach

Please visit: My Views From The Edge

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