Lying For Dollars
The article "What Is the Value of Truth?" by Dan Mitchell deals with Random House and others trying to brush off the fact that Jim Frey's A Million Little Pieces knowingly lied about the truth, something we have also seen with The Da Vinci Code.
Mitchell writes: If "Pieces" were labeled as fiction, would it still have landed Mr. Frey on "Oprah"? Would his tale of degeneracy, redemption and rehabilitation have ever seen the light of day?
'The Smoking Gun thinks not. If the book were "just some overheated stories of woe, heartache, and debauchery cooked up by a wannabe author," the story concludes, "it probably would not get published." The Web site points to a 2003 article in The New York Observer, which said that Mr. Frey tried to sell the book as fiction until his publisher vetoed the idea.'
Read the entire article.
One can also wonder whether DVCode would have sold so many copies had Brown and Random House not presented so much of the work as fact, and stuck steadfastly to the lie even after so many scholars had thoroughly demolished that idea.
It is dishonest at best to trick people into an intellectual bait-and-switch of these sorts.
On the other hand, the Federal Trade Commission and any number of class-action consumer lawsuits have found that false and misleading advertising and promotion are illegal.
Are "Pieces" and "Code" part of a pattern as other posters here and elsewhere have suggested? If so, what other Random House "facts" are fiction? If Random House knew about these before hand and structured marketing that was knowingly false, they should be investigated by the FTC and other appropriate bodies.