Friday, January 27, 2006

The one with opposite ends of the spectrum

Two celebrities I respect for trying to make the world a better place, made headlines this week, albeit for slightly different reasons.

U2 frontman Bono has teamed up with several big companies to launch a designer brand called Red, with 1% of profits made going to ease poverty in Africa. That's the kind of mathematics most big-name groups can understand. I hate his having to gussy up to these corporate sharks, but how else are you going to get America to give money to those who need it most?

Oprah Winfrey, on the other hand, found herself "embarrassed" when she learned that significant portions of A Million Little Pieces by author James Frey, a purported memoir, were embellished. Prior to a live taping of her show Thursday, she defended Frey, even calling up Larry King to downplay the evidence shown on The Smoking Gun. She's since changed her tune, reprimanding both Frey and Doubleday, the book's publisher, for "duping" her and millions of viewers into believing that the entire tale was true.

I appreciate Winfrey's honesty and sincerity in apologizing to the American public; she's certainly shown more honesty than Frey, although she has also tried to wash her hands of the stink a bit, placing fault also in some of her readers who defended the book.

Whether Frey's career will continue to flourish remains to be seen.

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