Today’s big story on TV was this.

This brings up quite a few interesting points from my POV:

  1. James Frey, the guy who conned Oprah and her book club, wanted to market his book as fiction, but noone was interested. He later changed it to non-fiction and Randomhouse, the publisher accepted and printed A Million Little Pieces . Question: What do publishers do to check if a book IS or isn’t non-fiction? Do they invest any money into checking if someone’s memoir is really one? Apparently not. Anyone can just invent a story and call it his own (albeit it being quite difficult to do so – have you ever written creatively? It isn’t easy). It’s said that Frey is quite the writer too. Too bad he had to also be an Ahole.
  2. How will this affect Oprah’s book club? And basically everything she’s recommending on her show? Because not only did the book win a place on her famous book club, she even called up Larry King when he had Frey on his show discussing about The Smoking Gun‘s reported allegations earlier this month (that the book was a hoax). I mean, before you defend someone on national TV, you should do some fact checking, right? This is the part that was a little irresponsible.
  3. Oprah said in her interview today with Frey, that a memoir should be a true portrayal of actual events that happened to the author. What about Arthur Golden’s Memoirs of a Geisha? That’s a work of fiction. It’s got the word ‘Memoir’ in it. So does that mean Golden is a fraud? When I read Memoirs, I thought it was a true story, until I came to the end. And that book sold like nobody’s business (and even got made into a movie!). So why didn’t Randomhouse and Frey do that?
  4. The book is probably continuing to fly off shelves thanks to this publicity. Who can resist a scandal? Makes me wanna go buy it. How DO you punish a fraud like Grey? He will probably write another non-fiction book called “Why I Lied in A Million Little Pieces” and sell another few million copies.
  5. A website like The Smoking Gun (who has like THREE people working it) is able to devote the time and resources to break this story. What happened to the big boys like CNN and MSNBC (who are busy covering Oprah’s big apology now instead of breaking the actually story, probably kicking themselves in the head)? Internet-only media has definitely arrived.
  6. Americans believe TV a lot more than I thought they did. I mean, I’ve never actually bought an Oprah-book-club recommended title but apparently her book club recommendations help sell millions of copies of books. But I am, for the most part, suckered by the bestseller lists, particularly the New York Times list. Perhaps this will be a lesson to all to not take anyone’s word – not even Oprah’s – totally.

Enough of this madness. Tomorrow, I test my spanking new Dyson.