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

by

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

 

 

Excerpt

An excerpt from

LIES: And the Lying Liars Who Them--A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right

by Al Franken

Introduction

God chose me to write this book.

Just the fact that you are reading this is proof not just of God’s existence, but also of His/Her/Its beneficence. That’s right. I am not certain of God’s precise gender. But I am certain that He/She/It chose me to write this book.

This isn’t hubris. I’m not saying this in an egotistical way. God didn’t choose me because I’m the greatest writer who ever lived. That was William Shakespeare, whose work I have a passing familiarity with. No. I just happened to be the right vessel at the right time. If something in this book makes you laugh, it was God’s joke. If something makes you think, it’s because God had a good point to make.

The reason I know God chose me is because God spoke to me personally.

God began our conversation by clearing something up. Some of George W. Bush’s friends say that Bush believes God called him to be president during these times of trial. But God told me that He/She/It had actually chosen Al Gore by making sure that Gore won the popular vote and, God thought, the electoral college. “THAT WORKED FOR EVERYONE ELSE,” God said.

“What about Tilden?” I asked, referring to the 1876 debacle.

“QUIET!” God snapped. God was angry.

God said that after 9/11, George W. Bush squandered a unique moment of national unity. That instead of rallying the country around a program of mutual purpose and sacrifice, Bush cynically used the tragedy to solidify his political power and pursue an agenda that panders to his base and serves the interests of his corporate backers.

God told me that Bush squandered a $4.6 trillion surplus and is plunging us into deficits as far as God can see. And that Bush squandered another surplus. The surplus of goodwill from the rest of the world that he had inherited from Bill Clinton.

And this was pissing God off.

He/She/It was right. But it sounded like a lot of work.

“Look, God, I’m flattered, but I think you got the wrong guy. The kind of book you’re talking about would require months of research.”

And God said, “LET THERE BE GOOGLE. AND LET THERE BE LEXISNEXIS.”

“Very funny, God. I use Google all the time.”

“YES, I KNOW,” God said. “FOR HOT ASIAN TEENS.”

“You must be thinking of my son, Joe.”

“AL? I'M OMNISCIENT.”

“Okay, okay.” I changed the subject. “It’s just that I can’t do this book myself.”

“LEAVE THAT TO ME,” God boomed.

And that’s when Harvard called.

***

Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government asked me to serve as a fellow at its Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy. After my varied and celebrated career in television, movies, publishing, and the lucrative world of corporate speaking, being a fellow at Harvard seemed, frankly, like a step down.

I couldn’t think of anything less appealing than molding the minds of tomorrow’s leaders, unless it was spending fireside evenings sipping sherry with great minds at the Faculty Club. Yawn.

To my surprise and delight, though, all Harvard wanted me to do was show up every once in a while and write something about something. That gave me an idea.

“Would it be okay if I wrote a scathingly partisan attack on the rightwing media and the Bush administration?”

“No problem,” Harvard said absentmindedly.

“Count me in,” I replied. “From now on call me ‘Professor Franken.’”

“No,” Harvard said, “you’re not a professor. But you can run a study group on the topic of your choosing.”

“Great,” I said. “I’ve got the perfect topic: Write My Son’s Harvard College Application Essay.”

“No,” they said. “Harvard students already know how to write successful Harvard applications, Al. We want you to teach them something new.”

Harvard was right where I wanted it. “How about if the topic is: How to Research My Book?”

“Sure,” Harvard said. “Most of our professors teach that course. Why, in the Biochemistry department, most of the graduate level courses are-”

Harvard was boring me. “I gotta run, Harvard. Thanks.”

***

I had my Nexis, I had my Google, I had my Harvard fellowship, and I had my fourteen research assistants. I sat down to write. Nothing.

So I got on my knees and prayed for guidance. “How, God, can I best do Your work through this book? Who, dear Lord, is the audience for a book like this? And what’s a good title?”

God answered, “YOU KNOW THOSE SHITTY BOOKS BY ANN COULTER AND BERNIE GOLDBERG?”

“The best-sellers that claim there’s a liberal bias in the media?” I asked.

“TOTAL BULLSHIT,” God said. “START BY ATTACKING THEM. HE'S CLEARLY A DISGRUNTLED FORMER EMPLOYEE, AND SHE JUST LIES. BY THE WAY, THERE'S SOMETHING SERIOUSLY WRONG WITH HER.”

“That’s pretty obvious.”

“SO GO AFTER THEM, THE WHOLE LIBERAL BIAS MYTH, AND THEN GO AFTER THE RIGHT-WING MEDIA. ESPECIALLY FOX.”

“Okay, God, I’m writing this down.”

“THEN USE THEM AS A JUMPING-OFF POINT TO GO AFTER BUSH. YOU KNOW, BIG TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH, SURGING UNEMPLOYMENT, IGNORING EVERYONE BUT HIS CORPORATE BUDDIES, SCREWING THE ENVIRONMENT, PISSING OFF THE REST OF THE WORLD. THAT STUFF. AND THAT'S YOUR BOOK.”

“Got it. One last thing. Title.”

“HOW ABOUT BEARERS OF FALSE WITNESS AND THE FALSE WITNESS THAT THEY BEAR?”

“Hmm. I, uh, I’ll work with that.”

Product Details

ISBN:
9780452285217
Author:
Franken, Al
Publisher:
Plume Books
Subject:
Mass media
Subject:
Conservatism
Subject:
Topic - Political
Subject:
Political Ideologies - Conservatism & Liberalism
Subject:
Political
Subject:
United States Politics and government.
Subject:
Political culture -- United States.
Subject:
Politics - General
Copyright:
Edition Number:
Reprint ed.
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
July 27, 2004
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
448
Dimensions:
8.32x5.54x1.06 in. .89 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Humor » Narrative
Arts and Entertainment » Humor » Political
History and Social Science » American Studies » Culture Wars
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Culture
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Politics

Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.00 In Stock
Product details 448 pages Plume Books - English 9780452285217 Reviews:
"Review" by , "[A] heady mixture of scathing humor and righteous indignation."
"Review" by , "This book is laugh-out-loud funny."
"Review" by , "A laugh-out-loud funny book...[Franken] fights fire with facts...his points are swiftly and deftly made, and his sense of humor about the current carnival of political grotesques is badly needed."
"Review" by , "In the kicking, spitting spirit of current all-star political discourse, Al Franken gives as good as he gets....Funnier here than he was in his previous Oh, The Things I Know!, Mr. Franken also has a serious agenda."
"Review" by , "Knowledgeable and funny....[A] tough-minded look at politicians and the press."
"Review" by , "[T]he book is funny....What Franken has over his combatants...is that as a satirist, he's free to roam from fact to fiction....[Franken] stands tall and takes aim. In today's theater of acrimonious politics, he has major box-office appeal."
"Review" by , "[A] typically unabashed blend of razor-witted denunciation and old-fashioned gumshoe detective work directed at right-wing crazies both in and out of government....And Franken can be very funny."
"Review" by , "Liberals should love it....[Franken's] jokes and facts are more likely to entertain readers who share his politics than they are to change minds....He enjoys goading his targets, if only for new material."
"Review" by , "What is striking about Franken's book is that along with the sharp political zings and sometimes sophomoric jokes...there is some genuinely impressive investigative reporting."
"Review" by , "Funny, angry, and intelligent."
"Review" by , "Wickedly funny."
"Review" by , "Al Franken is really funny....But although of course his bantam arguments are hilarious and thrilling and will probably be the most quoted scenes in the book reviews, why, there's ever so much more!"
"Review" by , "It doesn't take much to expose the right-wing hypocrites...as lying frauds, but in [this] delightfully vicious new book...it all seems much too easy....Al Franken is one of the first to say so with wit, charm, and a healthy dose of cynical bite."
"Synopsis" by , For the first time since his own classic Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations, Al Franken trains his subversive wit directly on the contemporary political scene. Now, the "master of political humor" (Washington Times) destroys the myth of liberal bias in the media, and exposes how the Right shamelessly tries to deceive the rest of us. No one is spared as Al uses the Right's own words against them. Not the Bush administration and their rhetorical hypocrisy. Not Ann Coulter and her specious screeds. Not the new generation of talk-radio hosts, and not Bill O'Reilly, Roger Ailes, and the entire Fox network. This is the book Al Franken fans have been waiting for (and his foes have been dreading). Timely, provocative, unfailingly honest, and always funny, Lies is sure to become the most talked about book of political humor in 2004 and beyond.
"Synopsis" by ,

Listen to Al Franken as interviewed by Dan Susskind of Another Perspective on VoiceAmerica.com!

Get the free Real Player

Al Franken, one of our “savviest satirists” (People), has been studying the rhetoric of the Right. He has listened to their cries of “slander,” “bias,” and even “treason.” He has examined the Bush administration’s policies of squandering our surplus, ravaging the environment, and alienating the rest of the world. He’s even watched Fox News. A lot.

And, in this fair and balanced report, Al bravely and candidly exposes them all for what they are: liars. Lying, lying liars. Al destroys the liberal media bias myth by doing what his targets seem incapable of: getting his facts straight. Using the Right’s own words against them, he takes on the pundits, the politicians, and the issues, in the most talked about book of the year.

Timely, provocative, unfailingly honest, and always funny, Lies sticks it to the most right-wing administration in memory, and to the right-wing media hacks who do its bidding.

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