Media Guy's Pop Pick: 'Fakers'

Our Columnist's Current Media Obsession

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I suspect that some readers of my column this week will skim it distractedly, out of context on the web, and freeeeeeak out (particularly if they're under 14). Because everything on the internet is true, of course. I wish I could send each such dupee Paul Maliszewski's new book, "Fakers: Hoaxers, Con Artists, Counterfeiters, and Other Great Pretenders," a well-timed meditation (given the latest Holocaust "memoir" scam) on the nature of media-fueled deception, literary and otherwise. Maliszewski, a prankster himself (as a young journalist, he tricked a small business magazine into publishing fake letters to the editor and other bogusness), offers a particularly fascinating take on the mind-set of not only those who feel the need to deceive (James Frey, Jayson Blair, art forger Elmyr de Hory, etc.) but those of us who sometimes just really, really need to believe. To celebrate the continued gainful employment of all the Jonas Brothers, I'm randomly giving away a copy of "Fakers." To be eligible, send me an e-mail with "Fakers" in the subject line on or before March 2.

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