1,119 of 1,305 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A review from the right
I hate to admit it, but this book really illustrates the poor research and constant mistruths that come from my party. Coulter is a disgrace to not just the right but America and all it stands for. Hannity and Colmes should be re-named to the Sean Hannity Show because Alan Colmes simply is not as vociferous as his counterpart and it hurts the left. I'm Republican but...
Published on September 5, 2003
51 of 59 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I hold O'Reilly and Coulter near and dear...
so I had to read this book. I am a loyal Fox news fan and enjoy the passionate rhetoric of my favorite commentators. But I like Fox because it ISN'T fair and balanced, it crooks to the right like me. Bush-bashing irritates me. Clinton irritates me more. But I wanted to see things from the perspective of those leaning to the left, and since Franken took a few pages to...
Published on October 23, 2003
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1,119 of 1,305 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A review from the right,
By A Customer
I hate to admit it, but this book really illustrates the poor research and constant mistruths that come from my party. Coulter is a disgrace to not just the right but America and all it stands for. Hannity and Colmes should be re-named to the Sean Hannity Show because Alan Colmes simply is not as vociferous as his counterpart and it hurts the left. I'm Republican but more importantly I'm a proud American. I would prefer to hear fair and balanced because it is good for public discourse but it simply is not happening and never will. He who yells loudest is usually the one heard. I was really disheartened to learn the truths about Al Gore and Love Canal, the Internet and Love Story. Franken illustrates the truth about the lies that were told by the media that negatively affected Gore's run for the presidency. It is worth buying this book just to read about this alone. Some that read this review may question my loyalty to the GOP. At times I do myself. I simply wish that everyone would put the country first rather than their agenda. After completing the book I'm a little more than disillusioned with the lies in the media. We should stand for it no longer. This is an excellent book for everyone!
876 of 1,033 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Time To Take Off The Blinders,
By A Customer
I am a conservative, I belong to the NRA, and I am quite certain that Al and I would disagree in our interpretations of the intent of the Second Amendment. And if we were to debate this topic, it might even turn into a heated discussion. But ultimately I can respect Mr. Frankin's right to his beliefs on gun control without labeling him a "commie" or a Socialist. And I feel quite certain that Mr. Frankin could respect my right to my beliefs on the right to keep and bear arms without accusing me of being a Nazi. Folks, in case anyone has forgotten, this is what America is supposed to be about.
As a conservative American, I do not want to be associated with the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, or, for that matter, George W. Bush and his cronies. Since 9/11, these demagogues have spearheaded a national movement of lies, deceit, fear mongering, phony patriotism, and propaganda to rally unwitting Americans behind Bush's completely irresponsible and self-serving political agenda. And as Frankin so adeptly points out, these people will shamelessly resort to name calling, distortions, verbal abuse, and guilt (e.g., "If you don't agree with me you aren't a good American") to coerce Americans to step in line with their own ill-conceived agendas. People, what we are witnessing here isn't about conservatism, and it isn't about patriotism -- it's borderline Fascism.
What really scares me is that millions of "patriotic" Americans have put on their blinders and eagerly jumped on to this impending train wreck without giving the first moment's thought as to where it is leading this country. It just doesn't seem to bother them that "W" is shackling us and our children with trillions of dollars in deficits while placing tens of thousands of Americans in harm's way waging an overseas war that has nothing to do with counter-terrorism. And if you suggest that the money being squandered on this fruitless and counter productive war effort might be better spent on efforts to revive a sick economy and putting millions of displaced American workers back on the payroll, these "patriots" angrily accuse you of being an Al Qaeda wannabe. Is it time to break out the brown shirts yet?
For my money, Frankin is right on target with this one. To my way of thinking he is a true patriot because he openly goes against the grain of the "conventional" wisdom and questions the motives and integrity of the self-anointed political pundits, as well as exposing the sorry state of our current political leadership. And lest anyone has forgotten, in a democratic society the freedom to question our government is not only our right, it is also our responsibility. The day we forget that is the day we all give up our freedom.
This book is well worth reading regardless of whether your political leanings are to the left or the right. It is an easy read, it is humorous, and it is timely. And it should be read keeping in mind the principles on which this country was founded, not one's political party preference.
39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No Lies; No Joking,
I reread this book after looking at some of the reviews--some full of wit and eloquence and some that were full of something else, usually from those who hadn't read it.
There are three reasons I recommend getting this book:
It is an easy read from a satirist who speaks with convictions and strongly held liberal beliefs. With such a title, Franken has no choice but to scrupulously research his assertions and charges. And charges he makes against Coulter, Hannity, Limbaugh, Goldberg, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, and you name it.
His and Team Franken's research proves these people have been distorting, dissembling, libeling and lying constantly. (I wonder if Goldberg added Franken to the title of his book after Franken eviscerated him and his assertions on the Phil Donahue Show.) Franken also appears to have the tactics of people like O'Reilly, Hannity and Limbaugh down cold when they are caught lying. They will resort to charges against the accuser's patriotism or attempt to bully their way out of it.
Franken also debunks the myth of the media having a liberal bias. In comparisons between favorable and unfavorable reporting of Gore and Bush during the presidential campaign of 2000, Bush received far better treatment from the press. He provides numerous instances where the Republicans and the press distored stories which the press then printed without checking. He also notes how many times Bush lied and how the press let him skate. If you report lies often enough, according to Franken, people take them as facts. You might expect that from the public, but Franken contends that you deserve more from a free press whom he accuses of being lazy and unprofessional.
Three, his story of the death Senator Paul Wellstone and his memorial service was poignant. Franken's respect for the man was enormous. His anger is palpable at the how the memorial was distorted by Rush Limbaugh and then, how Limbaugh's slander and prevarifications were widely reported as fact.
In some parts I felt Franken got off on a tangent with his trip to a fundamentalist college, and his cartoons about chickenhawks. I guess that is the comedian in him.
I highly recommend this book for those who wish to learn the truth rather than confirmation of what they want to believe. For some, the earth will still be flat.
And that's no lie.
51 of 59 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I hold O'Reilly and Coulter near and dear...,
By A Customer
so I had to read this book. I am a loyal Fox news fan and enjoy the passionate rhetoric of my favorite commentators. But I like Fox because it ISN'T fair and balanced, it crooks to the right like me. Bush-bashing irritates me. Clinton irritates me more. But I wanted to see things from the perspective of those leaning to the left, and since Franken took a few pages to direct aim at O'Reilly and Coulter, his book it was.
I think this one's a must read for any conservative who finds him/herself riled up by Hannity and O'Reilly or in reading any of Coulter's columns or books. It's funny, and you don't have to agree with Franken's every opinion to enjoy the ride. I'm far more cynical about our government and shoddy excuse for a media having read this book. I'm still watching my favorite commentators, but I'm watching with a more critical eye.
I finished this in a weekend, so it's a fast, fun read. But I'm only giving it three stars because I don't agree with what Franken calls lies (given I'm not sure every "lie" he details is intentional or even all that relevant to the character of the person telling them). His sources are well cited but his personal attacks on O'Reilly and Coulter seemed like a waste of space. Who cares how old Coulter is? I want to know more about the cutthroat spin employed by political parties to win elections and public favor.
His self-effacing humor and laid back writing style appealed to me, which is pretty big considering I'm a fan of the screaming, passionate flag-wavers. I'm forcing my conservative minded friends to read it too. The only shot any of us have of getting informed is to read all sides of those issues important to us and make our own decisions. We clearly can't depend on our political figures or news sources to give us fair and balanced anything.
63 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunned,
I just bought the book 6 hours ago and I'm already on page 123. I just finished reading the chapter "Operation Ignore" and my mixture of emotions is indescribable. I'm incredibly angry, saddened, sickened, and yet again sobered at what situation our country is in.
Franken makes it quite clear, with facts (supported heavily by footnoted referenced research), that the Clinton administration handed the plan of prevention for 9/11 to the incoming Bush Administration. Yet at every turn, they delayed and blocked that plan ever being implemented.
Every citizen should at least read this chapter, if not the entire book.
37 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An enjoable read -- even for a Republican!,
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I know I'm echoing some of the other reviews here, but I just couldn't put this book down! I've never been a big fan of Franken's, but he's a pretty good writer I'd have to say.
Franken goes after some of the big "talking heads" of the right -- Ann Coulter, Bill O'Reilly, and Sean Hannity; he mentions Rush Limbaugh too, but he already devoted an entire book to him.
I think most will enjoy Franken's fictional Vietnam story. I haven't laughed that well in a while! The "Supply Side Jesus" made some good points too.
Of course, the main thrust of the work was to expose how right-wing pundits aren't 'purveyors of truth'. Franken is at his best in dissecting the statements of Sean Hannity, the over-the-top hysterics of Ann Coulter, and the 'spin' that Bill O'Reilly actually puts into his show. I would certainly recommend this book to fans of these three -- if only to discover how you're being taken.
61 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Franken is a welcome voice of dissent,
The world needs Al Franken. In fact, we could use a few of them.
Comedian, Harvard Fellow and Liberal commentator Al Franken is a man who has the courage, wit, and smarts to not just stand up to the Conservative Right, but to do so intelligently, and with a sense of humor (something the right is wholly devoid of). In this book, he blows the lid off of the selective editing, obfuscation, and downright untruth often used by the Right Wing when it comes to advancing their political and social agenda. He uses factual reasoning and extensive bibliographical resources to illustrate beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Right...hardly ever is.
He reserves particular vitriol for Conservative media figureheads like Ann Coulter, Bill O'Reilly, Bernie Goldberg and Sean Hannity, punching holes in their inflated facades, and letting the air out of their needlessly overblown egoes. But it's not as though the Bush administration gets off light, either. He takes the Bush team to task on the economy, environment, foreign policy, and education. His chapter on pre-9/11 intelligence failings is seriously eye-opening, and worth the price of admission alone; as are his views on the Wellstone Memorial (or lack thereof), Fox News, and "liberal bias in the media."
Franken also dismisses the "with us or against us" domestic policy of the Bush administration, wherein voices of dissent are universally (and incorrectly) colored as being borne of anti-American sentiment, by drawing an apt analogy: Liberals don't hate America, Liberals love America just as much as conservatives do. It's just that Conservatives love America like a four-year-old loves her mommy: Totally, completely, and without question. Mommy is Wonder Woman. She is perfect, beautiful, and can do no wrong. Liberals, however, love America like a spouse: Affectionately, but with maturity; and with an understanding that he or she is human, and will have faults that must be overcome or overlooked in the larger picture.
All in all, "Lies, and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them" is a necessary thorn in the flesh of the blustery bullies who would rather shout down than debate, rather win an argument than state the facts, and tell only part of the story rather than admit their dearly-held "truths" are actually cut from whole cloth.
If you're offended, then it likely means you're part of the problem.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars WHAT NO INDEX??? ARGGHH!!!,
I think the content is great, particularly how the Bush administration put very little priority on the terrorism warnings and attacks (remember the last one was the Cole bombing in October 2000, 1 month before the election). Al Franken calls it Operation Ignore. Also great is the comparison of Reagan's budget proposals vs. what Congress passed (Congress only added 47 B$ over those 8 years, and actual spending was 200 B$ higher than Reagan's proposals over those 8 years) -- showing that the Reagan years $1.4 Trillion increase in the national debt was about $1.2 Trillion because of Reagan's tax cuts and spending.
BUT I GET MADDER AND MADDER THINKING ABOUT HOW THE BOOK HAS NO INDEX, MAKING IT ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO FIND ANYTHING. That the book has no index is no doubt due to it being rushed to print 2 months early to take advantage of all the publicity it got when Fox was threatening to sue.
The lack of an index makes me recommend looking for another similar book like Joe Conason's Big Lies book, or wait for the next book like this to come out.
26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So well done, you just have to pay attention!,
I was buying some additional copies of this for friends and family and I noticed some of the negative reviews written by conservatives. Things like: this is hate speech and it's all lies and why doesn't Franken debate? Obviously they did not read past the cover. The book does the following and does it exceptionally well: 1. It picks out people with major right-wing loyalties (Coulter, Hannity, O'Reilly, Bush, etc.) 2. It takes their words and cites blatent lies and obvious attempts to misrepresent the truth(these cannot be construed as interpretations). 3. It demonstrates a pattern of lying which is hard to ignore, especially that by the Bush Administration. 4. It does all of this with solid references taken in context and not the usual out-of-context tricks. Regardless of your views about Al or liberals, just like his book on Limbaugh, the man tells the truth, makes you think, and makes you laugh. And, also like his Limbaugh book, people may call him a hater and liar because that is what a four-year old does(right Ann Coulter?), but nobody can ever seem to pick out his "truths" and prove them to be lies, unlike the excessive lies told by the Bushes, Coulters, Hannities, and O'Reilly's of the world -- all of which are EASY to prove are lies. If I had any doubts when I was reading the book, I saw Bill O'Reilly in BWI airport last week and had just finished the book on the plane. I thought, what irony! I looked at him for a few seconds to verify the identity and got a serious dirty look. So, I can confirm two things. He is tall, he is a jerk, and he is splotchy. Enjoy this amazing book.
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't find conservative response,
This book is excellent in revealing the hypocrisy of the right, the laziness and pack mentality of mainstream journalism, and the lies of the Bush administration.
But to be fair, I have been searching for an intelligent response to the book from the right-wing media that can refute the facts presented by TeamFranken. (The one-star Amazon reviewers don't count because they obviously didn't even read the book... HULLLOOO??)
But I have found nothing substantial from web searches... Fox News, Washington Times, Weekly Standard, WSJ, and Rush Limbaugh are all silent. I did however find one book review from columnist Byron York of the National Review, but instead of rebutting the factual points, he just derides Al's humor and tone. Lame.
If that is the best that the right can come up with to debunk this book, then Franken's research must have been pretty solid, even if you never bothered to verify Franken's footnotes (which I did).
By the way, I think Borders and Barnes & Nobles both lean to the right too because at my local stores, they both put Al's book near the bottom of the Humor section while OReilly and Coulter are on the top of the Political Science section. What's up with that? Based on the books' content, the store manager should swap shelf positions.
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Lies: And the Lying Liars Who Tell Them by Al Franken (Paperback - July 27, 2004)
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