Oprah Admits It
Oprah appologizes to her audience and admits to being duped for supporting a book of fiction passed on as fact.
In a surprise reversal, Oprah Winfrey apologized to her national television audience this morning for defending James Frey and said she now feels duped by the embattled author of the best-selling memoir "A Million Little Pieces."
"I made a mistake," a somber Winfrey said at the opening of the live show, "and I left the impression that the truth does not matter, and I am deeply sorry about that because that is not what I believe.
"Winfrey's apology and pointed questions about incidents and people in the book appeared to take Frey by surprise as he sat across the couch from Winfrey today as they had done during a much more convivial show four months earlier."It is difficult for me to talk to you because I really feel duped," Winfrey told a startled-looking Frey who licked his lips often before speaking.
"More importantly, I feel you betrayed millions of readers...As I sit here today, I don't know what is true, and I don't know what isn't."
Winfrey looked near tears and her audience gasped when Frey revealed for the first time that Lilly, a central character in the book, didn't commit suicide by hanging, but instead slashed her wrists."Why do you have to lie about that?"
The truth of Frey's book initially came under question after the online publication thesmokinggun.com published a lengthy article detailing how Frey had "wholly fabricated or wildly embellished" key portions of the book.
Oprah, who had helped the book reach 3.5 million in sales by choosing it for her book club in September, defended Frey during his Jan. 11 appearance on the Larry King Show on CNN.
Today, she opened her show by saying, "I regret that phone call."William Bastone, the editor of The Smoking Gun, said he and his colleagues were stunned by Winfrey's reversal. "We were sitting here with our jaws dropping," he said.
Bastone was filled with praise for Winfrey: "For someone like her to acknowledge she made a mistake like that speaks really well of her. You don't often see someone of her stature admit a major mistake and apologize to her audience."
Oh, I don't know. I'm sure Dan Rather would accept responsibility for a mistake.
Now if Oprah would appologize to the French.
I can't believe I just said that.