Nearly Surreal Dumbass Move

Oh, man, this surely must be the dumbass move of the week -- if not the month, year, and decade. Remember the James Frey fake memoir? How Oprah touted him until she figured out he'd concocted the whole story? (I'm not gonna dignify Frey with a link to anything.)

Here we go again, only this time the fakery is on an even grander scale.

A woman named Margaret B. Jones (except that's not her real name...) wrote a memoir about her life in the gang world of South LA. About growing up mixed race, in poverty, being a single mother, blah blah blah.

A publishing house bought this miracle of brilliant prose and pulse-racing narrative.

So the book landed in bookstores this week, and Ms. "Jones" (her real name is Margaret Seltzer) sat down for an interview with a reporter from the New York Times. The resulting piece ran on February 28.

It's a looong article detailing her former life as a foster child, as a drug-dealing gang member. The reporter (and the subject) wax rhapsodic about her new life in Oregon, living in a nice house, working as a writer, cooking black-eye peas for the friends who stop by. On and on.

Lies, all of it. Well, okay, she's living in Oregon. That part's right. The rest? One fabricated detail after another.

Now I ask you: What kind of a dumbass is this woman? She'd managed to hoodwink the publisher (and shame on her editor at the publishing house). But did she really think that her real family (an ordinary middle-class group from a tony suburb of LA) wouldn't figure it out?

I mean, there's her photograph plastered all over the place.

Did she think her own mother and siblings weren't going to recognize her?

I figure this woman is either the most arrogant creature on the planet - or the dumbass of the week.

Maybe both.