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Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at dennyhatch.com.

I just finished a splendid book, "The Forger's Spell" by Edward Dolnick, about how a mediocre painter named Han Van Meegeren painted a series of "Vermeers" in the 1930s and 1940s and conned the European art establishment into believing they were real. One of his forgeries was the crown jewel in the collection of the world's greatest art thief, Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering. It was a delicious hoax.

When I put the book down and started looking for news stories to pin this column to, I found August was an extraordinary month for hoaxes, fakes, scams, scandals and pranks. Let's start with Wine Spectator.

Thomas Matthews, Executive Editor of Wine Spectator, is pissed. For starters:

Wine Spectator learned yesterday that, for the first time in the 27-year history of our Restaurant Awards program, a fictitious restaurant has entered its wine list for judging. To orchestrate his publicity-seeking scam, Robin Goldstein created a fictitious restaurant in Milan, Italy, called Osteria L'Intrepido, and then submitted a menu and wine list to Wine Spectator's Restaurant Awards as a new entry in 2008. The wine list earned an Award of Excellence, the most basic of our three award levels. Goldstein revealed his elaborate hoax at a meeting in Oregon last week. He is now crowing about the fraud on his own Web site. The story has been picked up in the blogosphere, and now Wine Spectator would like to set forth the actual facts of the matter.

"Facts of the matter?"

Mr. Matthews, you were bamboozled. Hornswoggled. Thimblerigged. Flimflammed. Your awards program is a deeply flawed business model.

Gotcha!

One reason I got out of the corporate environment is that I cannot stand meetings. I am efficient at a computer keyboard, not in a roomful of people. My wife, Peggy—now publisher of six magazines, a line of business books and online products, and proprietor of a trade show—is a master at running a tight meeting. Business gets done; people get out on time. Somebody suggested that all meetings should be held in a room with no chairs—no place to sit. When people are forced to stand, agendas are completed with amazing alacrity. If you think corporate meetings are basically time wasters, take a look

Their work can be all about them Nov. 8, 2005: Vol. 1, Issue No. 46 IN THE NEWS The Book on a Graphics Superhero Mr. Kidd's home is more like a very expensive toy store. It reflects the same graphic punch seen in his book covers, which helped transform the American book jacket from a decorative bit of packaging into a striking evocation of the writing it contained. Its items are arranged like a pocket shrine, as much a carefully curated archive of Mr. Kidd's obsessions and evolving eye as his new book, "Chip Kidd, Book One: Work: 1986-2006," published this month by Rizzoli.

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