Oprah Winfrey finally admitted that Herman Rosenblatt, a man she celebrated on her show some years back, did, in fact, fabricate the "true story" of his years-spanning, Holocaust-surviving love affair. But she didn't say much.
No, the poor oft-lied-to-in-book-form queen of all media let her panel of celebrity discussion guests (what is this, "Hot Topics"?) do the talking for her. Rosenblatt didn't get called out until he was getting ready to publish Angel at the Fence, his fake tale of meeting his future wife when he was in a concentration camp and she threw apples over a fence to him. But Oprah played a critical role in helping him spread the tale, first when Rosenblatt and his wife appeared on her show in 1996 and then again in 2007 under the banner "The Greatest Love Story Ever Told." So what does Oprah make of her role in this fraud? She stayed mostly mum ("I'm disappointed") while bestie Gayle King lavished sympathy on her dear friend:
I'm so tired of you, [Oprah], being the whipping boy for this hoax because he didn't just dupe you, he duped a lot of people.
Oprah nodded sagely. Two of her other guests bit into the meat of the question. Some blonde lady asked "Where are the Nazis when the apples are being thrown over the fence?" while comedian and professional literary detective Denis Leary asked "How plausible is the story?"
It was left to Gayle, sticking up for her friend who seems to be perpetually victimized by memoirist, to lamely respond: "It never occurred to me to doubt it." Which of course is exactly the problem.
Then, when it finally came time for Oprah to, erm, weigh in... Oops! It was time for commercial. When they came back from the break, the topic had switched to Inauguration parties. Oh that crafty Oprah!