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Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them Hardcover – Import, August 29, 2003

4.5 out of 5 stars 2,185 ratings

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Editorial Reviews Review

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 O’Reilly, 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, O’Reilly, 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 Booklist

It's one thing to read about right-wing lies from the likes of journalist Eric Alterman and Joe Conason but quite another to hear the inconsistencies and twisted rhetoric filtered through the satiric brain of Al Franken. True, much of the material covered in all these books is the same--or, as Franken puts it in his acknowledgments, "Eric Alterman, thanks for writing a book on bias I could just put jokes to." But it's Franken's take on it that is so delicious. Unlike his more serious fellow writers, he does not feel compelled toward civility or decorum. Hence his chapter title: "Ann Coulter: Nutcase," or the next chapter: "You Know Who I Don't Like? Ann Coulter." And although personal attacks abound--"Bill O'Reilly: Lying, Splotchy Bully"--there's plenty of real talk about really serious stuff. Only Franken makes it funny. For instance, he deftly proves, with help from the Project for Excellence in Journalism, how Al Gore was steamrollered by the "liberal" press in the 2000 election; reveals the lies made by the Right about the Paul Wellstone memorial; and explains about as clearly as anyone how the Bush tax cuts work and whom they benefit. Even the chapters that don't quite work--Franken trying to get a fake son into Bob Jones University--evoke a few smiles. Expect big word of mouth on this one, which was rushed into print early to capitalize on the quickly rejected suit filed by Fox News against the book's title and cover design. Ilene Cooper
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Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ 0525947647
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Dutton (August 29, 2003)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 368 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0141886889
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0141886886
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.5 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.36 x 1.34 x 9.3 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,185 ratings

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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
2,185 global ratings
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Top reviews from other countries

5.0 out of 5 stars A great history lesson that shows Fake News is nothing new.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 2, 2017
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Big J O K
5.0 out of 5 stars Very pleased to receive the book promptly after payment
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 15, 2015
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4.0 out of 5 stars amazing brass necked yankees
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 19, 2015
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Simon Curtis
5.0 out of 5 stars Arrived in good condition and in time promised
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 8, 2019
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James Bessant
3.0 out of 5 stars Quite worthwhile
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 10, 2015
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