Manual Lies (and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them)

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His first target is Ann Coulter, author of Scandal. Franken methodically picks apart her book, revealing it for the inaccurate, if not disingenuous, piece of nonsense it is. He also shows how she has blatantly lied about things. Her Connecticut driver's license shows her birth date as ; her Washington DL says She claims the Washington DL is correct, which means she voted as a sixteen-year-old. On one of the applications she lied about her age. Now, many people have done that, but since the US Patriot Act makes it a felony to put false information on a government ID, she could be whisked away and held without counsel for a long time.

I wish they would. Simple charges she makes in her book were never checked. For example, she complains that Evan Thomas, supposedly one of those heinous liberals, was the son of Norman Thomas, four-time [sic: Actually, he ran six times, and a simple phone call to Evan Thomas reveals that he is not the son of Norman Thomas.

Coulter's book is filled with such false details. Either she is extremely lazy or a blatant liar. Franken obviously suspects the latter. Francken has infuriated that scion of right-wing Fox Bill O'Reilly by publicly pointing out many untruths that O'Reilly has put forth. Now, Franken makes clear that occasionally making a mistake on a statistic is hardly a crime, but O'Reilly's customary tactic, when challenged with the correct information from unimpeachable sources is to simply bully and yell at his challenger rather than correct the mistake. The problem is also that he makes lots of mistakes.

More from the "sewer of right-wing dishonesty. In one murder, the victim is killed by having a spoon driven through the roof of her mouth into her brain stem. Variants of the "F" word and "B" word are used more than 51 times. Case of the pot calling the kettle black? O'Reilly is not a nice man.

Lies & the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair & Balanced Look at the Right

Team Franken took a look at Hannity's of Hannity and Colmes, book to verify the factualness of his statements. Examples of disingenuousness and dishonesty abound. The Clinton administration had developed plans for eliminating Bin Laden, but those plans were ignored. That the Bin Laden family were good friends with the Bush family is well-known, and Franken speculates as to what might have happened to Clinton had he been so nice to the Bin Laden family, permitting a Saudi plane to fly around the country picking up family members for return to Saudi Arabia, while American airplanes were grounded.

In the meantime, President Bush has broken all presidential records for the number of days spent on vacation. The book is often uneven, some parts funnier and some more serious. Should one laugh or cry learning that many of our leaders today, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Perle, Bush, and other chickenhawks who are sending men off to die in war, did everything in their power, having their fathers pull strings and inventing flimsy excuses shouldn't pick on Limbaugh, I think he was just too fat to avoid service in Vietnam.

View all 4 comments. Oct 25, Brian Dean rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Why I love this book: Al broke the silence quite a bit with this book, which was basically a "bullshit" cry heard 'round the country. After that it seemed to be way more ok for others to start speaking out.

You may think he's too moderate but he's pretty clever at calling bullshit on the right. The details of this fight are hilarious. Also Fox tried to SUE him for using the "fair and balanced" phrase in his subtitle. What happened is, the judge told the Fox representatives in court that the were full of shit and in over their heads and the case was I think literally laughed out of court 4 His sense of humor is very unique Sep 28, Joe rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: The advantage here is that Al plays all the quotes by the people he's bashing with a little more context and he himself is just very funny how he reads.

This book exposes them and all their logical fallacies for what they really are: Racist, Elitist and Deviant. I don't think it's a good book for converting far-righters, but it makes a lot of good, logical points. It's also heart-felt and apolitical at points. View all 3 comments. Jul 23, Stephen rated it did not like it Shelves: Okay, this one was entirely my fault. Big mistake and I freely admit it. As for a review of the book, my best summary would be: All that said, if the book had been funny, I would have looked past the flaws as I don't look to Al Franken for political insight.

However, when you waste my time AND are boring, all of the other flaws jump off the page at me. I don't have many five star books on my list; this one made the cut because I laughed and laughed and laughed, often out loud. Thinking back, other books have made me chuckle or smile, but I can't remember any other book just tickling my funny bone like this one. Al Franken is clever but he's not this funny in person. Team Franken, discussions with God, exposing the lies of famous conservatives, and particularly, the field trip to Bob Jones University - all classic material.

What's more, Franken I don't have many five star books on my list; this one made the cut because I laughed and laughed and laughed, often out loud. What's more, Franken is smart, enlightened, and knows his stuff. No wonder he's running for Senate I couldn't muster big stars for the follow up - The Truth. The Truth was hard hitting and bitter. I enjoyed it, I learned from it, I share his bitterness, but it was missing the playful touch that made Lies such a great read.

Jan 25, David rated it liked it Shelves: Franken has a quasi-Socratic disingenuousness. It's not quite that he claims ignorance while exposing the ignorance of others. What Franken claims is that he's a comedian, in contrast with the apparently serious political commentators he skewers. And he really is funny. But often Franken sounds deadly serious.

And the Lying Liars Who Tell Them

In the same chapter, responding to the claim that li Franken has a quasi-Socratic disingenuousness. In the same chapter, responding to the claim that liberals "train our children to criticize America, not celebrate it," he says, "To a four-year-old, everything Mommy does is wonderful and anyone who criticizes Mommy is bad. Grown-up love means actually understanding what you love, taking the good with the bad, and helping your loved one grow. And it is funny, sort of, that Franken's target in this case, Sean Hannity seems to miss it. After a while, though, the seriousness seeps through.

I found some of the later chapters sad or discouraging--and funny at the same time. He's his own straight man, and it works. Feb 20, Matt rated it really liked it Shelves: I hate to bring a heavy hand to a snowball fight, but this book is actually important to me. You know how some books act as landmarks in your life, either as a reader or as an acutal liver of the world outside the window and the page?

This is one of mine. I trusted Al Franken then as now for his wit, his humor, his sense of the absurd and patently obvious. He's not only a humorist but an educated, tasteful, sober observer of the scene. It's beyond cliche to talk about how comedians are truth seekers in disguise as funny monkeys and so I won't or will at least try to avoid saying this about Mister Franken.

Not only does he know what he wants to say but how to say it, what the goons'll yammer about it, and why it might not only be truth to power but proper policy for an earnest statesman. At this point, I'd like to mention that, poetic minded as I am, I have never interpreted the phrase 'truth to power' in the literal sense of bending the ear of the high and mighty so much as a mode of speech in which the truth is made active, illuminated, vivid- in a word, irreducible.

That's part of what Al's got. He beat out a stuffy, affluent shmuck who tried to wear him down by constantly recalling and thereby prolonging a truly close election, probably tacitly hoping that an exhuasted Al would concede. Good for him, and good for us. Anyway, there is a quality to this book which is dated.

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Taking swipes at Bill O'Reilly and Coulter and the bunch doesn't have the same oomph it did back when there were still relatively important Fox blowhards twisting the national discourse, smearing ostensibly interesting and complex kitchen table debates with, well, lies Luckily these yahoos burned out on their own gluey corruption and hypocrisy, which was of course bound to happen some day just not as far along as it took.

I still think you can divvy up the GOP field between the archetypes represented by Billo and Hannity. Hannity is the purist, the innocent, the foot soldier, the ignorant true believer who would take a bullet for his master. Hannity used to smoke cigars- this is true, now- and he enjoyed this lesiurely activity until one day his tiny son came up to him and asked him why daddy smokes those smelly things- aren't they bad for you? Ol' Hannity couldn't take it. He took one look at the stogie and the other at his lil' tyke and chucked it forever.

As a longtime smoker, I can appreciate the gesture. But you know what? IN the grand scheme of things, an equally appropriate answer would be to say 'you know what kid? Daddy's had a hard day of payin' the bills. Don't you have some homework to do or something? The girls explained the general Heffner line about America being hung up about sex, it's just a job, yes we have relationships outside of work, etc.

Hannity couldn't believe it! It was an odd moment. Compare this with O'Reilly's indiscretions- calling up his employee and not only verbally fantasizing about her to her face, but remarking on how he happened to be following suit in the privacy of his bedroom, if you catch my drift. Just look at this years' race for the GOP nomination!

Anyway it's this kind of stuff which reading Al has inspired in me, take it for what you will. I actually was able to meet someone who worked for him an auxiliary member of the grinning "Team Franken" in the back pages and he happily reported that Al has his down sides like anyone else, but was an essentially decent, hardworking, and conscientious boss.

Anyway, this book wouldn't really do much more than further any interested parties in their desire to learn, get a bit of perspective, and enjoy the process while they're at it. Not a bad accomplishment, all things considered. Al Franken is to be commended for exposing Fox Television and its supposed news commentators in this book which might be profitably read alongside a viewing of the documentary film, Outfoxed.

I read it at the request of a friend. At the time, most of it was above my head as I do not watch television. Since then, however, thanks to the aforementioned film, a Canadian Broadcasting documentary on the same subject and some study of film clips of Limbaugh, O'Reilly and others available on the Web, I Al Franken is to be commended for exposing Fox Television and its supposed news commentators in this book which might be profitably read alongside a viewing of the documentary film, Outfoxed.

Since then, however, thanks to the aforementioned film, a Canadian Broadcasting documentary on the same subject and some study of film clips of Limbaugh, O'Reilly and others available on the Web, I see his point and would now get more from the book. Still, the book did point me in the direction of checking out his allegations and discovering that they weren't as exaggerated as I had at first supposed. Incidentally, why haven't the professional associations of editors, publishers and journalists come out against Fox and its supposed journalists?

Or have they and the reports of such not gotten much press?

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Dec 30, TJ Burns rated it it was amazing Shelves: In a way, this book is both entertaining and really, really depressing. It's entertaining because Franken is a funny guy. He takes the same material that a hundred other writers have gone through - the hypocrisy of the media, the deliberate distortion of the truth, the greedy, grubby little schemes of the Bush Junta - and makes you laugh at them. It's really, really depressing because, despite the laundry list of reasons why no one on FOX News should be trusted, it's still the most popular network In a way, this book is both entertaining and really, really depressing.

It's really, really depressing because, despite the laundry list of reasons why no one on FOX News should be trusted, it's still the most popular network. Franken also uses the very techniques of the right that he criticises. His chapter on George Bush's attitude to terrorism uses out-of-context quotes from a presidential vacation in August - "one of the interesting things to do is drink coffee and watch [my dog] Barney chase armadillos" - to portray Bush as neglectful of the threat from al-Qaida.

The technique diminishes rather than enhances his argument. People unfamiliar with his targets may also miss the extent to which they add to the gaiety of the American nation. Since its inception, Fox News has been an adrenalin injection into the blowdried homogeneity of US television. Franken does concede that Fox can be entertaining "if you can stomach that stuff", but his attack on its presenter Bill O'Reilly, in a chapter titled "Lying, Splotchy Bully", fails to acknowledge that O'Reilly is a thousand times more watchable and stimulating than the vapid Kens and Barbies who spawn themselves across the rest of the American news networks.

The issue is not whether Fox should be shut down or O'Reilly sent to ideological retraining camp. Plurality of views and the right to be wrong are indispensible in a democracy. Problems arise when one particular viewpoint swamps all others, and there is some reason to fear this may happen in America.

Lies by Al Franken |

Fox has pulled the rest of the news media rightwards, and it's a pretty thin rationale to argue that this is justified by the liberal nature of the old networks. The increasing concentration of US media ownership is squeezing out independent voices, and there is no liberal version of talk radio or the Wall Street Journal or the Murdoch empire. I wasn't sure what to expect from this book, but I found it to be an enjoyable, informative, and, moreover, important book to read. Franken carefully and wittily points out numerous errors, exaggerations, half-truths, false information, and outright lies that several prominent conservative political "pundits" and politicians made in the s and early s.

Importantly, in each case he provides the evidence and cites the sources to back up his points, and in explaining how the subjects' statements or writings are wrong, he provides useful and enlightening information to the reader about these past events. It is important to note that although the book talks about events that occurred or statements that were made more than a decade ago, what is written in the book and the implications are just as important or even more so today.

Finally, the bottom line is that it just is an enjoyable, informative, and funny -- sometimes laugh-out-loud funny -- book to read. With humor and first hand knowledge Franken pulls back the curtain on the misdirection used by pundits, commentators, so called news analysts, and in particular Bill O' Reilly, Sean Hannity, and Ann Coulter. In today's political climate this book is even more of a must read. While addressing the way the 'right' uses partial facts, selected quotes, and false information, this book is a reminder to all of us to check the facts as best we can before making decisions about who is telling the truth, regardless of the source.

The right to be wrong

Although written in , the lies and the liars that tell them are, for the most part, still around and have actually increased in number. If there was ever a book that prompted deeper reading into what is truth, it is this one. This one gets four stars. One person found this helpful. See, the difference here is that Al uses solid verifiable facts instead of half truths, smoke and mirrors, and outright LIES used by those he is opposing.

This was written back in the Dubya days and the staggering consumption of lies has only increased! Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. Al Franklin is very intelligent and super funny! Al has that rare quality not often found in Washington D. C, he's honest, able to cut through all the double talk of D. C and I hope he continues to shine his light into the dark corners of corruption.

What a shame you are no longer in Congress It was a sham, a scam and a pitiful choice to - oh, you know the rest. Dems had to prove something Great funny book, can't wait to get way more up to date reading from Franken. Al Franken is an excellent writer and a matter of fact, up standing personality. If you don't want to hear the truth, then don't buy the book! Franken does a good job interjecting humor into facts. Not as well-written as Giant in the Senate.

Al Franken - Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them

Okay, I'll admit that my own political leanings are strikingly similar to Al Franken's, so I got much of what I expected. That said, I really liked the way Al used specific examples and exhaustive research to refute many of the claims made by right-wing pundits and to demonstrate their lack of veracity.

O'Reilly's claims of journalistic credibility, Coulter's insane rantings, Hannity's bombast. Especially telling were his answers to the outlandish accusations against Bill Clinton and Al Gore by various conservatives.