So here's the short version of the tale in case you were too damn lazy to read the entire 8 page article I linked to (and don't be embarrassed, I was too lazy to read the whole thing)
James Frey wrote a book called "A Million Little Pieces" which has the best book cover ever. This book was published in 2003 and found a small fan base.
Jump ahead to 2005 when Oprah (She Who Is Better Than You as she's known in some circles) picks "A Million Little Pieces" as an Oprah Book Club Title. James Frey is instantly thrown into the public eye and to the top of every bestseller list as every housewife in America goes out to buy his book.
Jump ahead a few more months and we see that the Smoking Gun has exposed James Frey as a liar and discredits him as an author. Some women decide to return the book and James Frey is in the public eye for very negative reasons as he tries to defend himself and his work.
And in my "who cares what I think" opinion I say everyone needs to shut up and accept that ALL memoirs contain some non-truths. I think it would be impossible to find a memoir that is 100% totally, completely, no bullshit, all true. IMPOSSIBLE.
Let's think about the book for a moment. It has conversations in it, conversations with Frey's fellow patients, conversations with a stewardess, doctors, Frey's parents, dentists, van drivers, etc etc etc. Do you honestly think Frey remembers these conversations exactly as they happened? No, he remembers them as he thinks they happened. he remembers them so they benefit the story. So do you think Frey really remembers other situations exactly as they happened? No, he remembers situations so they fit his story. And there is NOTHING wrong with that.
And it's not like any person that rushed out to buy this book knew anything about Frey before they opened it. I mean, it's not like he was a political figure recounting his time in office incorrectly. And come on, would 99% of the readers of this book actually have read it, or even heard of it if Oprah hadn't ordered her army to go buy it? No, of course not.
And speaking of Oprah I do think she is doing the right thing by standing by Frey during this. It would have been easy for her to disassociate herself from this fiasco but she has made it a point to say she doesn't care that it might not be 100% true. And I have to admit I do admire her for that.
And if you haven't read "A Million Little Pieces" I do encourage you to check it out. And if the bookseller looks at you funny for buying it, just salute like a Nazi and repeat loudly "Hail Oprah".