Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right Hardcover – Aug 26 2003
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Having previously dissected the factual inaccuracies of a single bellicose talk show host in Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot, Al Franken takes his fight to a larger foe: President George W. Bush, the Bush Administration, Ann Coulter, Bill OReilly, and scores of other conservatives whom, he says, are playing loose with the facts. It's a lot of ground to cover, as evidenced by the 43 chapters in Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, but the results are often entertaining and insightful. Franken occupies a unique place in the modern political dialogue as perhaps the media's only comedy writer and performer who is also a Harvard fellow as well as a liberal political commentator. This unique and vaguely lonely position lends a charming quixotic quality to adventures such as a tense encounter with the Fox News staff at the National Press Club, a challenge to fisticuffs with National Review Editor Rich Lowry, and an oddly sweet admissions visit to ultra-conservative Bob Jones University (with a young research assistant posing as his son when Franken's real-life son refuses to participate in the charade). Less useful are comic book dramatizations of "Supply Side Jesus" and a fictitious Vietnam War story featuring the numerous righties who, Franken intimates, improperly avoided service. And Franken's criticisms of conservative talk show hosts Sean Hannity, OReilly, and columnist Coulter, while admirable in their attention to detail, fail to shed much new light on people who have built careers on broad arguments and relentless self-aggrandizement. But Franken is at his best, and most compellingly readable, when he backs off the wackiness and the personal grudges and writes about more personal matters such as the political circus surrounding the memorial service of the late Senator Paul Wellstone. But even on these more serious topics, Franken's wit is still present and, in fact, grows sharper. In a time when much political discourse is composed of rage and shouting, it's refreshing that Al Franken is able to shout in a witty manner. --John Moe
From Publishers Weekly
This witty, scrupulously researched and expertly delivered audio production accomplishes what few nonfiction audio books manage to do-it realizes the full potential of the format. Even those who have already read Franken's book should take the time to listen to this superb audio adaptation, which is enhanced by Franken's impeccable sense of comic timing, eerily precise impersonations and inclusion of source materials. In the most compelling section, for example, Franken juxtaposes two revealing clips to illustrate his view that the late Senator Paul Wellstone's memorial was "cynically distorted for partisan political advantage" not by the Democrats, but by the Republicans. The first clip is from Rush Limbaugh's radio show, where he proclaims in a heavy, lugubrious voice, "The Democrats wrenched Wellstone's soul right out of the grave, assumed it for themselves and then used it for their own blatant, selfish political ambitions.... Show me where the grief was!" Franken follows this with an excerpt from the memorial-which will bring tears to the eyes of any listener, partisan or non-in which David McLaughlin pays tribute to his younger brother, Will, who was Wellstone's driver, bodyguard, adviser and "the one who kept Paul going." By turns sad, funny and serious (but always satirical), this audio book has all the entertainment value of fiction (and even a one-act play called The Waitress and The Lawyer based on one of President Bush's radio addresses), but the issues Franken raises will stay with listeners long after their laughter has died down.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
Inside This Book(Learn More)
Asking whether there is a liberal or conservative bias to the mainstream media is a little like asking whether al Qaeda uses too much oil in their hummus. Read the first page
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
Top Customer Reviews
Franken attacks in a highly humorous and engaging way a truly serious problem at the root of both government and the mass media in North America today. The problem is that people can lie bold-faced and intentionally without consequence. He delineates how persons who are part of respected media outlets (I giggled a bit when I called Fox News respected) can fudge facts, inflate figures, make huge generalizations and even weave "facts" out of thin air to make their arguments. He shows that, in many cases, even the most rudimentary fact checking simply is not done. Hell, I'm not the host of any radio or TV show and I still know that that jut isn't right. People get expelled from University for doing that. Thanks Al, the book was hilarious, keep sticking it to the lying liars who lie.
I'm a stickler for civil discourse. I reject ad hominem commentary and obscene language.
Yet Franken gets away with both and is very funny to boot.
He says things about Ann Coulter that I suspect many of us have been thinking since first seeing her on TV, but haven't wanted to say, out of courtesy's sake. Franken says these things in a way that is so funny you are laughing too hard to monitor your laughter to make sure it is polite.
In his own defense, he points out that his targets, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, etc, have made ad hominem commentary their stock in trade. Franken reports on Limbaugh referring to the teenage Chelsea Clinton as the "White House dog," for example, and Ann Coulter naming a list of ugly Democratic women. After Franken exposes the venom, the distortions, and the mean-spirited sneakiness of his opponents, you see the logic behind his own exasperated and yet precise attacks.
Too, Franken points out the simple, basic lies that these same folks have promulgated as facts. And he has had the courage to confront his opponents in person.
"Facts are stubborn things," as John Adams said. Franken has done considerable research to use facts to expose his opponents as basing their positions on sand.
And yet, for all its genuine erudition, its core of compassionate and patriotic outrage -- this is a very, very funny book. This is the kind of book that is dangerous to read in a public place.Read more ›
The liberals have tarnished the reputations of the Fox News Channel, which fine upstanding and patriotic Americans know is the only one worth paying attention to. Res ipsa loquiter.
Everybody knows that terrorists vote Democratic. Think about it.
The Communists, who are very scary and who have mean looking eyes, vote Democratic. Think about it.
Probably a lot of murders are Democrats. Think about it.
This book makes me wonder if somebody saw a screenplay I wrote a few years ago and stole my idea. It was called "A Savage Campaign." In it, a politician is finally stopped by Barry Bonds. When I pitched this idea to many Hollywood executives they thought it sounded great, but they wanted me to change the democrat to a republican. Res ipsa loquiter.
In Hollywood, many people are bad individuals who do bad things. They are liberals. Conservatives are beyond reproach. Res ipsa loquiter.
Maybe Al Franken should stop dividing Americans. Res ipsa loquiter.
It's clear that people on the right are more likely to be named Citizen of the Year and regularly bathe, while people on the left routinely commit crimes and abuse children.
AUTHOR OF "JIMMY KEY: BASEBALL'S BATMAN"
not mencing any words, his choice is the correct one.
the right wing agenda in america is a downright evil one. the conservative party seeks to quash any attempts towards moral, ethical,or social progress, as they always have.
it is for no reason that minorities tend to to vote liberal, remembering the conservative stance in the not so long ago civil rights issue.
and the conservative party, no mistaking it here, are for the upper class white anglo saxon protestant, militant elite.
al franken, the clintons, michael moore are trying, each in their own way, to reestablish the strive for progress initiated by fdr and carried on (albeit tragically brief) by the kennedys, martin luther king and malcom x.
franken, even more than michael moore, has a winning wit and effectively disarms his uneducated critics.
calling a spade a spade, franken doesnt flinch for a millisecond, his eyes are wide open when calling limbaugh,the bushs, and cheney downright evil and stupid.
my suggestion is indeed to have both eyes open when reading this imparative book.
Most recent customer reviews
I'd probably have liked it more if I had watched fox news...everday from 1998 through 2004, otherwise a funny read.Published on Dec 20 2011 by darski
Love this guy-love his book. Loved him on SNL and actually got his autograph once! Okay, I'm a moderate, so get on that "sides" issue, but this is one great book. Read morePublished on May 24 2006 by D. McIntosh
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When I found out that "Team Franken" consisted of 14 Harvard undergrads who were charged with fact checking and debating, I knew what was coming. I wasn't wrong. Read morePublished on July 15 2004
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