Top positive review
This book is FUNNY(TM) and fills a major need
on August 27, 2003
Once I got this book I could not put it down. First, commensurate, with Franken's skills as a `hilarious corporate speaker' and Saturday Night Live Vet, it is very very funny, which cannot be claimed of the ever increasing number of screeds from either end of the political spectrum. Second, it is dead on accurate in calling out the way the right has publicly told lie upon lie and the media has either willfully or lazily fallen for it, the biggest being the repeated lie about how liberal the media is. This is an important function when such lying bullies as Anne Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, and Sean Hannity trot out the talking points, distorted facts, or plain wrong statistics to muddy the public discourse.
Example after example of easily caught distortions are brought up--I loved his retelling of the incident with Bernard Goldberg where he nailed him about the late John Chancellor's commentary on the Soviet Union after the failed coup.
Particularly important and, frankly, appalling in its implications, is Franken's discussion of the media coverage surrounding Paul Wellstone's memorial service of last year. Key point: HE WAS ACTUALLY THERE! In contrast, many notable personalities of the conservative punditocracy lined up to condemn the memorial without having seen more, at most, than the 20 second clips on TV. Franken makes it clear that brief and spontaneous flurries of emotionally driven partisanship were shamelessly exploited by the right to help boost the Republican majority in congress. That really disgusts me.
Repeatedly, Franken nails the celebreties of the right by confronting them with what they said vs. the facts, and repeatedly I came away laughing. His description of interactions with Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Karl Rove, Bill Bennett, and Barbara Bush are, in particular, very, very funny.
Franken is a national treasure, a Puck of the left unafraid to
attack the right by confronting them with their own material and he left this readers laughing, which made it much easier to take the accompanying anger and sadness over the way the right has hijacked public discourse in this country.
He also provides a role model for how we on the left can begin to reclaim our place in the political realm of the USA while being fierce, but not shrill, and maintaining both our integrity and sense of humor.
Bravo, Al, and TeamFranken!