Because it’s relegated to the bowels of cable, the extra edition of Oprah — Oprah After the Show – sometimes gets forgotten about. And it took Hillel Italie’s latest AP article — which led with Frey’s assertion that no, he definitely would not be writing a corrective book in spite of the clamoring to do so — to get me rooting around for a video clip of what happened when the audience stuck around to let James Frey have it (along with healthy doses of the speech equivalent of Michele Lee’s reprise of “I Believe in You” in HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING.)
Other highlights included Frey constantly stroking his beard and apologizing to readers after an angry blonde woman directed her utter fury at him, the Poynter Institute guy saying “losing your mojo” with a straight face, and Frank Rich continuing to be excessively jolly.
Though Nan Talese didn’t figure in the clip I saw, she stayed on for the “After the Show” proceedings, still claiming that she first learned of Frey’s fabrications when everyone else did. But Slate‘s Timothy Noah has good reason to believe that at the very least, Talese was stretching the truth, pointing to a Minneapolis Star-Tribune article from 2003 where Talese said almost the same thing to Deborah Caufield Rybak about A MILLION LITTLE PIECES ans she would to Oprah nearly 3 years later. Even more telling, Talese even brings up the idea of a disclaimer: “It’s a total slip-up that we didn’t have a disclaimer page,” she told the Star Trib. “I’m embarrassed.”
Said embarrassment didn’t just carry over, it was replaced by peer praise in a Friday morning meeting described in today’s WSJ Freygate piece where Talese got a standing ovation, a call of support from CEO Peter Olson and a whole lotta email. But Talese is staying visible; the two key players who have yet to utter a single peep are Frey’s editor Sean McDonald and especially his agent Kassie Evashevski (who remains at “no comment” in this piece, as in every other.) One might start to wonder if either, or both, are pulling a metaphorical Jason Epstein on Frey’s Judy Miller…)