Saturday, January 28, 2006

That’s Another Thing, Mr. President...

It’s easy for me to blame all the ills in the world on the Bush administration. That’s just the way I see it. So sue me. And now, the unethical situation in the book publishing biz, so perfectly illustrated by the James Frey book, “A Million Little Pieces”, is the latest example of the White House leading planet Earth down a rabbit hole into corruption and wickedness. It’s the lying, you lizard-brained idiots. Don’t you see that? Don’t get me wrong, I know the human race told lies before George and Barbara Bush brought their nasty crooked hooligans into the world. But the example the Bush administration has given for leadership goes beyond run-of-the-mill horse-trading common in politics. The Bush administration has consistently lied because they are sociopaths and they like to lie. They’ve strong-armed and intimidated opponents like thugs. They’ve blatantly broken laws because they can. And they’ve made a mockery of democratic principles. Lying and deception may have had its sub-rosa place in politics in the past, but it was always in bad odor. That is, until the Bush administration promoted THE BIG LIE as an acceptable alternative to truth and candor. The Bush administration openly endorses the concept that lying is just as good as being honest and having integrity, and it’s a quicker means to the desired end. Edward Wyatt’s New York Times article today, “Questions for Others in Frey Scandal” makes the blood run cold. We’ve been told that Frey told huge lies about how addicts were treated at the Hazelden rehabilitation center in Center City, MN. It’s been widely reported that Debra Jay, who was trained as an addiction counselor at Hazelden, said, "His (Frey’s) description of treatment at Hazelden is almost entirely false.” And yet people are buying the book and saying they don’t care that he lied. Wyatt wrote, “It is not clear that the public always cares. Kate Anderson, 30, an elementary school counselor, was at a Borders bookstore in Atlanta yesterday, buying the book on her day off. Her book club had recently decided to read it, despite Mr. Frey's admitted falsehoods.” Wyatt said, “During a second segment of Ms. Winfrey's show, which ran yesterday on "Oprah After the Show," on the Oxygen cable channel, Mr. Frey said, as he has in the past, that he and Ms. Evashevski, who works at Brillstein-Grey Entertainment in Los Angeles, had offered his book to some publishers as a novel and to others as a memoir. "The book went to different publishing houses as different things," Mr. Frey said, according to a transcript of the show provided by Ms. Winfrey's production company. "It did go to some as fiction and some as nonfiction. “Asked if the same agent was telling one publisher the book was fiction and another that it was true, Mr. Frey replied, "All through the same agent, yes." The publisher doesn’t care, the editors don’t care, and the readers don’t care. Lying is just as good as telling the truth. Wyatt said, “Aaron Curtis, the buyer at Books & Books in Coral Gables, Fla., said he did not feel duped by the book, but thought it should have been promoted as a novel. ‘It's still a good book,’ he said. ‘It loses something knowing a lot of it is fabricated, but it doesn't make it a bad book — just different.’” It LOSES SOMETHING? Oh, you damn betcha it loses something. It loses any shred of believability as a memoir. But so what? It was peddled as a memoir or a novel, take your pick, it doesn’t matter to me, the author. Does it matter to you the publisher? No? Well then, what the fuck, let’s sell it as the truth. Which is exactly the way the Bush administration proceeds. Yessiree and yes indeedy! I blame the Bush clan, the Bush White House and the Bush way of doing business for the woeful situation in publishing, in corporations, in politics and in the world. And when your little angel looks you in the eye and says, “No, honestly, I didn't copy that report off the Internet." And you know he did, what’s your response going to be?

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