What do disgraced author James Frey and left wing icon Al Franken have in common? Both have written best selling books, making millions of dollars in the process, that have proven to be dishonest and full of distortions
James Frey, disgraced author of A Million Little Pieces, was forced to come clean about the truthfulness of his memoirs as a former drug and alcohol abuser, and whose book sold nearly 2 million copies following the endorsement of day time talk show queen Oprah Winfrey.
Thanks to the work of thesmokinggun.com, many of Frey's bogus claims, such as his having gone through root canal without novacane, or his allegedly having been in jail for month's after assaulting a police officer, when in fact it was only for a few hours, have forced Frey and his publishers at Doubleday to come clean. Even more pressing are new calls for stricter enforcement of truth and accuracy by editors and publishers in the future.
This past summer, liberal talk show host and best selling author, Al Franken, was highly critical of Penguin Publishing, the firm that owns Dutton, Franken's publishers, for allowing another one of their subsidiaries, Sentinel, to publish, The Truth About Hillary, a book many claim was full of inaccuracies.
One big difference between the two is that had Oprah not endorsed Frey's book, chances are few if any people would have ever heard of him. Al Franken's book on the
other hand was hyped by the media as the "true expose against the lying right."
Why is James Frey being forced into humiliating himself before the country as a fraud while Al Franken continues to earn millions of dollars and remains unscathed?
On page 38 of Lies... Franken presents a graph crafted by the Pew Charitable Trusts as part of a study of political media coverage, which purports to show that media coverage of the 2000 Presidential campaign between the liberal Al Gore and conservative George Bush, Al Gore received a much higher percentage of negative coverage than George Bush. This graph, according to Franken proves that there is no liberal media bias. If there were, Gore would have received a much higher positive percentage of news coverage. But the truth is Franken distorted and manipulated the Pew's study. The graph he presented in his book was not of the presidential campaign, but of the last two month's before the election with the emphasis on the debates and each candidates performance in them.
On page 110 Franken cites a report from the Washington Post to prove that Bill Clinton was a committed and effective leader against terrorism. But the truth is, this report assembled by Barton Gellman was actually a long and detailed scathing indictment against Bill Clinton and his entire cabinet.
If authors and publishers are going to be held to new and stricter standards, which I believe they should, then we ought to begin with Al Franken, who has made his fortune smearing conservatives as liars while claiming to personally maintain impossibly high standards himself.