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Oprah Winfrey

Harpo Studios

1058 W. Washington Blvd.

Chicago, IL 60607

November 2, 2001

Dear Oprah,

You have formally rescinded your invitation to Jonathan Franzen–author of the Oprah’s Book Club selection The Corrections–to appear on your TV show after he disparaged some of your past literary selections as “schmaltzy” and “one-dimensional.”

Mr. Franzen, presumably under pressure from his publishers, has apologized for his comments. But let the record show that we apologized first.

We, too, have formally renounced comments we made to the Tuscaloosa Post-Herald, calling your show “the opiate of the asses.” If you could find it in your heart to forgive us, we would happily appear on your program.

Our comments to the press have been taken out of context, notably our interview with the Web site ihateoprah.com, in which we said, “This book is like our child. Letting Oprah stamp her foul logo on our child would be akin to removing our still-beating hearts, dunking them in a seasoned egg batter, frying them, and burying them in an unmarked grave.” We do not actually have a child, but if you would like to interview two men about the tribulations of raising a child together, we will adopt one posthaste.

We would also happily appear as guests on any of your upcoming shows, including “Does This Make Me Look Fat?” and “Dr. Phil’s Get Real Challenge.”

We fear that your handlers may have misinterpreted a line in our press release: “We would no more tolerate Oprah’s brand on our book than we would wear shoes made of pig iron.” We also fear that they never received our press release. They won’t return our calls.

In making this humble and abject apology, we are taking the first step toward healing. It’s time to end our bitter feud, a feud you may or may not be aware of. You never selected our book for your club, or acknowledged our existence in any fashion. Byegones all. We are not too proud to say we were wrong to call you “a yelping carnival barker for the remainder bin of cultural value.” We weren’t in our right heads. Actually, our journey back from wrongheadedness might make for some compelling TV, and we’d eagerly recount it–with tears!–for your viewers. In addition, the National Book Award and Pulitzer committees would surely want to know how sorry we are for calling them “geriatric hacks.” It just sort of slipped out.

Oprah, please, call us. We’re listed.

John Aboud and Michael Colton