The Museum of Hoaxes
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Sober Sue, the woman who never smiled, 1907
Taco Bells buys the Liberty Bell, 1996
Monkeys pick cotton, a 19th-century urban legend
Samsung invents the on/off switch
Did Poe say 'The best things in life make you sweaty'?
Fake Fish Photos
Tube of liquor hidden in prohibition-era boot, 1920s
Man flies by own lung power, 1934
A black lion: real or fake?
Cursed by Allah
Author pretends to have book selected for Oprah’s Book Club
image Author Bill Schneider claimed on his website that his most recent (self-published) novel, Crossed Paths, had been selected for Oprah's Book Club. He also claimed that Oprah had interviewed him on her show. To prove this, he posted a full, five-page transcript of the interview.

Turns out none of this was true. A spokeswoman for Oprah Winfrey said, "He is misrepresenting himself and he has no relationship with Oprah's Book Club." Schneider, who also is director of the Office of Tourism for Provincetown, Massachusetts, now says he made "an error in judgement."

The mystery here is how he could have thought he would get away with such a stupid, obvious lie. Perhaps he figured that the publicity from having the hoax exposed would be better than no publicity at all. (If that's what he thought, he may be right.) Or perhaps he's simply delusional. The latter theory is supported by his response to the reporter from Boston's Weekly Dig who first exposed the hoax. The reporter phoned Schneider and asked him when, exactly, he appeared on Oprah: "June 18, I believe," Schneider said, "but you'll have to check with my publicist." Then he started gushing about how "your whole life changes after Oprah."

Schneider has now removed all Oprah-related claims from his website, but he's still claiming that his novel is being developed into a feature film. My guess is that he's shooting the film himself with a video camera. (Thanks, Joe)
Categories: Literature/Language
Posted by The Curator on Sat Aug 18, 2007
Comments (3)
I thot all the "crossed" books automatically get on Oprah's list... you know, like "Crossed Eyes- A Strabismic Look at The Universe". or : "Crossed Legs- How To Hold It In And Keep Them Out", or: "Crossed Fingers- A Snowball's Chance in Hell", or : "Crossed Out- A Deleter's Guide To Life". Wrong again. Dag
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Sat Aug 18, 2007  at  08:48 PM
Why would anyone want to expose this guy? Remember, this is the same Oprah that endorsed "The Secret" so if she believes that, she's obviously incapable of rational thought, never mind recomending books her gullible viewers should read. I doubt she does. The whole book club thing is just a clever marketing stategy. One has to wonder how much you have to pay to get on her list.

I hope hundreds of authors make the same claim. Anything that dilutes the value the Oprah Book Club list is a good thing.
Posted by Captain Al  in  Vancouver Island, Canada  on  Sun Aug 19, 2007  at  04:02 AM
Yeah Captain Al! Maybe we could then get real authors publicized.
Posted by Christopher Cole  in  Tucson, AZ  on  Mon Aug 20, 2007  at  02:14 AM
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