I recently read Al Franken's Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right which was a very interesting read. It was definitely partisan but in this age of blatant lying by practically every highly visible member of the Bush cabinet and the Republican media boosters on Fox News, it's hard to be objective when describing some of the things they've done.

Al did a lot of research for the book, thanks a team of 14 graduate and undergraduate student researchers he got from Harvard.  There are extensive end notes and some thorough disection of the lies of the usual suspects in the conservative media like Sean Hannity, Bill O'reilly and Ann Coulter. There was also a personal account of behind the scenes of the political circus that was the memorial service of the late Senator Paul Wellstone. An interesting data point is comparing the coverage of the memorial service on CNN the shortly after it happened where they wrote, thousands pay tribute to Wellstone, to the coverage the day after once Republican talk show hosts had put their negative spin on it. The story became tone of Wellstone memorial generates anger. Al gives a blow by blow of how this happened from behind the scenes and exposes a lot of the half truths and exagerations that led to the media reports.

Another thing I found interesting was chapter 16 of the book which was entitled Operation Ignore which described the Bush administration's attitude to terrorism which was to consider a lower priority than the previous administration. A lot of the stuff I've read online about Richard Clarke's testimony to the independent 9-11 commision was stuff I'd already seen in Al Franken's book. I'm just glad it is getting wider coverage in the mainstream media instead of just being available to the few people who bought Al Franken's book.

I pray we don't get four more years of this shit...


Friday, March 26, 2004 4:25:02 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
I pray to god uninformed idiots like you don't vote.

His book should be an autobiography. He lies and calls it satire. It still a lie, no matter how you spin it.
George Bush
Friday, March 26, 2004 4:44:56 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
I suppose you are partial to Socialism, huh?
Ryan Dawson
Friday, March 26, 2004 4:45:40 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Um, the referenced Smoking Gun link pretty much has nothing to do with the contents of the book as it was published. The book itself gives the impression that it is largely well-researched despite being a work of comedy. If there are factual errors in the book, I would expect that we would have seen them publicized by now.
Curt Hagenlocher
Friday, March 26, 2004 4:51:34 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
The events mentioned at the Smoking Gun link are described in Chapters 33 and 34 of the book complete with excerpts of the letter he sent out. I fail to see how any of this ontradicts his book. Obviously you haven't read it.
Friday, March 26, 2004 5:58:01 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Really, Dare, do you really think someone named "George Bush" spends time reading? It's much easier to spout off an opinion from a place of blissful ignorance than being informed.

I mean look at the President, if he had read the reports his own father wrote about what a bad idea invading Iraq would be, he may have played his cards differently.
Friday, March 26, 2004 6:08:41 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
"I pray we don't get four more years of this shit... "

Like it was better than the eight years of crap in the Clinton admin? No, pretty much all politicians suck, and favoring one over the other is just choosing your own flavor of poison.

I like how you call the book a very interesting read. I'm sure all Democrats think that way and all Republicans call it crap, and vice versa for a conservative book author. Ain't politics grand? :)
Friday, March 26, 2004 6:24:19 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
More lies from the libs:
George Bush
Friday, March 26, 2004 6:43:13 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
There's no point in spamming my blog with the ranting of pro-Bush fanatics. I find it hilarious that the blog you link to seems confused about why Iraq was invaded which isn't surprising given how many times the Bush administration flip flopped on their justifications. I also like the way the blog claims that "we know that Iraq supported al Qaeda", really where's this evidence? I thought the US invaded Iraq because of Weapons of Mass Destruction or was the Bush administration misleading the people?

I'm not going to bother arguing with you because folks like you are already convinced in your political fanaticism and I have to go to work. Have a nice day.

Friday, March 26, 2004 8:40:48 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
"I pray we don't get four more years of this shit..."

It's all politics -- we're in for a lifetime of this shit, and neither the right wing or left wing radicals are to blame. They're just playing the game, and unfortunately playing dirty actually gets them results.

Who cares about consequences when you can be successful and rich now, at the expense of your country's future?

Rather than pointing fingers, I'd be more upset that our society and political structure facilitates this kind of bullshit.
Joe Duffy
Sunday, March 28, 2004 10:54:35 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
I agree with Joe. Everything that Franken has written might be true, but is it fair to call a work "fair and unbalanced" when only looking at one side of an equation? If you look at the right side apart from the context of the right vs. the left, then your view is very skewed.

I don't say this to defend what Bush has done. I personally am not desirous to have four more years of Bush. I'm not altogether sure, however, that Kerry or Nader are better options.
Tuesday, March 30, 2004 12:17:46 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
disclaimer: I haven't read the Franken book nor the Clarke book nor any other book written recently with a political leaning. In fact the only political propaganda I've read in the past few months have been Dave Barry's 2004 presidential web site (for those of you keeping up with the issues, Dave is 100% four-square AGAINST crime. He thinks it's bad) and a Howard Dean for President bumper sticker the other day while I was waiting to turn left onto 65th ave..

I found this article a few weeks ago and found it interesting. It would seem that Franken didn't do as much research as he says he did.

Monday, April 5, 2004 4:27:26 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Lets be honest, it isn't about politics anymore. It is about money, lots of it. Al Franken is just like Hannity, or O'Reilly. If you are Democrat you will prefer one, Republicans the other.

I wouldn't risk too much personal credibility on what any of these guys write. Believe what you will, vote for those who reflect your beliefs. Just don't try to sell me the snake oil from those guys.
Mark Schmeets
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