Oprah’s Book Club helps promote the work of many reputable authors to viewers who admire Winfrey’s taste in literature as well as her warm, fuzzy personality.
So when Winfrey-endorsed author James Frey admitted in 2006 his memoir, “A Million Little Pieces,” featured lies and serious exaggerations, Winfrey publicly apologized to her fans for lending Frey her support. And, for good measure, she tore into the fabulist author during a tense interview on her television show.
Winfrey will not stand for lying in print. So why is she so silent about “Dreams from My Father” and its famous author?
President Barack Obama’s 1995 memoir, we’ve learned in recent days, is chock full of “lies and serious exaggerations.” Thirty eight to be exact.
Yesterday, Rush Limbaugh noted that David Maraniss, the “liberal,” Obama-suppporting Washington Post journalist who wrote the new book Barack Obama: The Story, is “unexpectedly” rather angry that his work is being taken seriously. “Maraniss has come along, he’s documenting lies and falsehoods, and as far he’s concerned, all he’s doing is getting the record straight,” Rush tells his listeners. “He is now a little shocked here that people are reacting to his book the way that they are:”
MARANISS [appearing on CNN]: He wrote it when he was in his thirties before he was running for president. He had no clue that people like me would be coming along later and trying to tell the real story. But it is a legitimate question about where the line is in memoir. My major point is, yes, there are discrepancies between what really happened and the way he presented it. I don’t think they’re venal. I think he did it for reasons of trying to tell a story about his search to find himself. I don’t think he was trying to create this mythological character. Many of the mythologies in the book were just passed along to him by his own family.
RUSH: Are you following? Am I the only one who’s incredulous over this? We’re now gonna debate where the line is in memoir? Have we gotten so smart, become so intellectual that a memoir does not have to be true? No, he’s just trying to find himself. Of course there are discrepancies. We can’t hold that against him. He didn’t know that he was gonna run for president. BS. …. Well, family told the lies, not him, big whoop. Let me tell you one of the lies. There’s a bunch of ’em that Maraniss has found. You know, one of the things that everybody has been led to believe because Obama says it in his book, Obama said that his grandfather, Hussein Onyango Obama, was taken prisoner and tortured by the British during the Mau Mau rebellion. It didn’t happen!
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An outfit called BuzzFeed has listed the nine lies uncovered accidentally by Maraniss. You know, it is fascinating, Maraniss doesn’t understand what he’s done here. He thought he was writing an election year valentine for Obama. He’s pointed out fundamental flaws, very serious misstatements, lies, prevarications, and he doesn’t understand why people are focusing on it that way. Right wing people are cherry-picking it, exactly. There’s literary license in memoir. My God, the more we listen to the left, the less reason there ever is for truth. Truth floats, and wherever you want it to be is where it ends up, and whatever you want it to be, it is.
As Investor’s Business Daily notes, “The most frightening aspect of [Obama] may not be his radical ideology but his rank dishonesty in selling that ideology.” In the 1990s, Bill Clinton’s supporters circled the wagons and excused Clinton’s postmodern dissembling when he lied to defend himself against Monica Lewinsky. Today, Obama’s supporters defend his postmodern dissembling in crafting the narrative that launched his political career. When does it end?