In case you haven't heard, mes auteurs, it's looking like Greg Mortenson may have made up a lot of stuff in his books, Three Cups of Tea and Stones Into Schools, and now Jon Krakauer is calling him out on it. (You can download Krakauer's .pdf book, Three Cups of Deceit, for free for a limited time.)
The problem of partially fabricated memoirs isn't new to the industry; you probably remember Margaret B. Jones' Love and Consequences, which was found to be totally fraudulent not long after it was published, as well as the much more infamous "memoir" by James Frey, A Million Little Pieces, which was also (much) less than honest (the Daily Beast mentions both here).
Now, the allegations of fiscal misappropriation against Mortenson aside—as I think that's a very different, and far more serious, question—do you think it matters if the/a story is true or not? Does "memoir" mean "fact," or does it mean "how I remember it, which may or may not be super true"?
If this seriously offends/bothers you (it seriously offends/bothers me), what do you think publishers can do to remedy the situation (besides the easy and vague answer of "do a better job of fact-checking")? What actions should be taken against house and author, and should/how can we differentiate between memoirs that are "mostly true," "somewhat true," "fraudulent," &c &c?
Theories, questions, and diatribes in the comments!