To ask what self-published author and Cape Cod official Bill Schneider was thinking when he claimed that his novel CROSSED PATHS had been chosen by Oprah’s Book Club when such a claim is easily checkable and refutable is, of course, perfectly valid. But as Cape Cod Times’s Mary Ann Bragg reports, the hoax is even stranger: Schneider went so far as to post a five-page “transcript” between him and Oprah (if you go to his site, it’s been removed, but Bragg’s story preserves it for posterity) that includes commercial breaks, cutting instructions and lots about Oprah’s invented love of a book by a “friend” of hers. More at the Weekly Dig (from where we stole the above image) which first called bullshit on the whole thing.

Schneider admitted yesterday that his claims about Winfrey were false. “I acknowledge an error in judgment, in my attempt to memorialize (in my book) someone very special who didn’t get a chance to finish his life,” Schneider said. “He is misrepresenting himself and he has no relationship with Oprah’s Book Club,” the spokeswoman for Harpo, Inc., a privately held multimedia entertainment company owned by Oprah Winfrey, said. As for Schneider, he’s still claiming CROSSED PATHS will be made into a movie, and he has his defenders. “There’s not any conflict that I’m aware of with Bill’s personal web site and the town,” Provincetown Town Manager Sharon Lynn said. “His employment is not affected.”