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

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  22,784 ratings  ·  721 reviews
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 r

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Paperback, 421 pages
Published July 27th 2004 by Plume (first published January 1st 2003)
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John Wiswell
I’ve been a registered Democrat since high school and many of my values are liberal, but this was awful. This book is an example of atrocious holier-than-thou thinking, with humor that is meaner than it is funny, and blind where it should be practical. It’s propaganda for people who already believe the cause and contributes nothing to discussion. It’s every bit as spiteful and unreasonable to its opposition as the vilified super-conservatives. It makes me wonder if people like Franken and Ann Co ...more
Angel Falcon
Nov 23, 2007 Angel Falcon rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: all liberals for more ammo and for smart conservatives...
I would recommend this book to intellectual conservatives so that they simply have more ammo to disassociate themselves from the neo-cons. I actually respect true conservative thought and this administration was not it. At all. And Franken gives a funny, sometimes enraging, flogging of the neo-con media.

It's a great book. I think, however, it preaches to the choir since the person who would read this is a liberal to begin with in the first place.

And he DESTROYS Ann Coulter and Bill O'Reilly...th
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Eric_W
This very funny but extremely serious book goes after the deliberate falsehoods perpetrated by the right-wing on "liberals."
As you may know, the Fox Network went after Franken for trademark infringement because he used the phrase "fair and balanced." The judge threw out the suit as completely ludicrous and made several trenchant comments about the inability of the Fox executives to recognize satire when they saw it
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Harvard University gave Franken a fellowship to basically do whatever he wanted,
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Brian Dean
Oct 27, 2007 Brian Dean rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: the curious
Why I love this book:

1) Definitely one of the funniest book titles I've ever seen

2) Remember when, for years after 9/11, so many media and entertainment figures held themselves back from criticizing Bush administration? 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.

3) The
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Stephen
0.5 stars. Okay, this one was entirely my fault. After reading and hating Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot, I was still somehow drawn to open up and read this book. Big mistake and I freely admit it. As for a review of the book, my best summary would be: blah, blah, joke that isn't funny, blah...half truth...blah...out of context quote...blah, blah...political attack without evidential (or even logical basis)...blah, blah, blah...say the same thing ten different ways, none of them right...blah, ...more
Joe
Sep 28, 2007 Joe rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people with a brain
I actually listened to Al Franken read this on Audio CD, and I loved it. 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.
I know the subtitle's supposed to be a joke, but this book is WAY MORE fair and balanced than anything by bona fide Ass-Holes (capitalized) like Bill O'Reilly and Ann Coulter (they are the Zeus and Hera of assholes). This book exposes them and all their logical fallacies f
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David
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. And sharp. I laughed out loud at "Loving America the Al Franken Way," a grab bag of facets of America, rated on a good/bad/weird scale.
But often Franken sounds deadly serious. In the same chapter, responding to the claim that li
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Karen
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 ...more
matt
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 bought it years ago with trembling glee, as the post 9/11 world of politics had become my insomniac obsession and I was in need of not only some rhetorical weaponry but an insightful, informed take on what I knew in my bones (as so many of us
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Faction102979
Aug 10, 2007 Faction102979 rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone
this book is an excellent account of what most americans are too lazy to figure out for themselves - that the republicans and their cronies are liars. and not just your typical political liars, i.e. how every politician who has ever walked the face of the earth is a liar. i'm specifically talking about how their lies corrupt the very fabric of american society, turning neighbors against neighbors, promoting a culture of ignorance, creating a wave of petty and empty patriotism that has created so ...more
Molly
Funny...outrageously funny....then sad, almost depressingly sad...then funny again once you realize January 2009 is almost here. Word to the wise, don't listen to the audio book while trying to get some sleep after your toddler has gotten you up for the third time in the middle of the night...it is so funny you won't want to fall asleep. Oh, and also, don't try to listen to this when your toddler is awake...unless you want him thrown out of preschool when he repeats some 'colorful' language.
L Hess


If Al Franken wanted to make a point, he failed. Politicians in general are dishonest and obnoxious, so he could have gone that route and focused on everyone equally, but instead he tried to assert the blind premise that the conservative right is made up of individuals who are somehow worse liars than anyone with beliefs similar to his own. Further, he is hypocritical. And he swears too much.

I did like reading about what was happening in early 21st century politics. I was still in high school
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Becky
I don't know if I would necessarily call this "fair and balanced" but I get the pun. I will say that this was interesting and I jotted down quite a few things to look into more on my own. I may lean more toward Franken's side of the debate, and I think that he did a heck of a lot more research than, say, Ann "Here Comes the Hate-Spewer" Coulter has ever done, but I'd like to read a bit more on some topics. I think he asked for us to take quite a bit of this at face value, stating that he'd done ...more
Chris
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
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Michel
Feb 26, 2014 Michel marked it as to-read
At first, books were copied mostly in monasteries, one at a time. With the rise of universities in the 13th century, the Manuscript culture of the time led to an increase in the demand for books, and a new system for copying books appeared. The books were divided into unbound leaves (pecia), which were lent out to different copyists, so the speed of book production was considerably increased. The system was maintained by secular stationers guilds, which produced both religious and non-religious ...more
Erik Graff
Mar 15, 2011 Erik Graff rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who watches Fox TV
Recommended to Erik by: Thomas Miley
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 ...more
Brian
Dec 22, 2007 Brian rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Democrats, Libertarians and Republicans
Al Franken does a pretty good job of avoiding most of the bogged-down liberal rhetoric and concentrates more on pointing out the lies of Fox News and Neo-Conservative pundits commit on a daily basis. In journalism, the greatest sin is to lie. Unfortunately, most news channels, papers and political shows lie constantly; not just tell "half-truths", but outright lie. I'm aware Franken is a liberal and I will never subscribe to liberal politics, Al Franken at least does a good job explaining that i ...more
Keldon
I learned that Al treats the right worse than he claims the right treats liberals. He takes some decent (but not perfect) books and authors and twists their words so he can call them liars. He pull on or two unimportant things out of their books and claims that they are wrong and therefore liars.

Just a little web research shows that many of his supposed lies, really aren't. And many of the things he accuses others of are incorrect. Very troubling after he claims to have several "researchers" he
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Steve
Sep 30, 2008 Steve rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: humor
Hilarious and devastating. Here is a funny treatment of serious topics. I found it ironic, for example, that comedian Al Franken explains the inheritance tax better than any serious commentator I have encountered.

The title, alone, won my heart with its teasing reference to Fox News' "Fair and Balanced" tagline. Says who? Says Fox. Their smug and shameless self-promotion reminds me of the old Firesign Theater routine for George Tirebiter, political candidate. In a political ad, Tirebiter assures
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Kevin Kirkhoff
Believe it or not I really did enjoy reading this book. The premise of it, in my opinion, is that Al Franken and his Harvard-financed rag-tag team of hand-picked Republican haters (hereafter called TeamFranken) set out to show that any popular political pundit who criticizes Democrats has lied, and because of this we should never believe anything they say. His main targets are Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, the Bush administration, and Bill O'Reilly. Along the way he smacks around Bernard Goldberg a ...more
Andrew Breslin
As I write this, the White House Correspondents Association is deciding which news organization should get the coveted front-row center seat in the White House briefing room, recently vacated by the venerable journalistic legend, Helen Thomas. Back in the real universe, it went directly to NPR, without any debate or hesitation. Because NPR has the distinction of actually being a news organization. It’s filled with real live actual journalists, committed to informing people.

But that’s back in th
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steph
Sep 29, 2008 steph rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Recommended to steph by: given as a gift
this is a thorough treatment of the media coverage of most political events in the first gw bush reign of terror. for those who are under the impression that there is a conservative media and a liberal media, this book will disabuse of that notion.
this is mostly a name-calling book. and a funny one at that. franken does not actually explain any liberal viewpoints, or give any solutions on how to change the political atmosphere. he assumes his audience is not going to include any conservatives.
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Mleescott1
Al Franken is so ruddy smart. If you knew him only from Saturday Night Live (Stuart Smiley, with his mirrored affirmations of: "I'm smart enough, I'm good enough, and gosh darnit, people LIKE me..."), then you're in for a surprise here. He's the intellectual's comedian; better yet, he takes those smarts to politics, and he's one feisty fighter.

Al Gore was in the post-election hot seat, and had to make a historic decision in record time during a bizarre situation. (Pre-"Tea Party" folks, similar
...more
Robert Delikat
I was broken-hearted when I heard last week that Barney Frank, the U.S. Representative for Massachusetts's 4th congressional district was going to retire after this term. Not that I’m gay or from the 4th congressional district, I was upset because I felt there were few other heros in Congress who fought harder for the interests of the middle class. Who else was there with the wit, charm and humor of a Barney Frank. Frank who once quipped that he was unable to complete his review of the Starr Rep ...more
Carol Storm
Bland and formulaic liberal preaching -- no humor except a few drug jokes.

The sad thing about this book is not that Al Franken is a liberal. It's that he's just not funny . . . any more. Back in the days of SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, he had an occasional feature called THE FRANKEN AND DAVIS show that was actually funny. Really funny.

That was back when John Belushi was still alive. Long time ago, yes?

Today Al seems to have forgotten his old friend Belushi. And the drugs that killed him. And the NBC g
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Paul
Franken’s politics and his exposure of the witless right wing of the 24/7 news media are spot on, however I didn't find the book all that funny. To be honest, I’ve never been a huge fan of Franken's comedy, finding him more entertaining when he's wearing his political commentator hat and unloading on the GOP. Though Lies and the Lying Liars... is a bit dated, there is a prophetic feel, considering what I feel we are now witnessing - the beginning of a long but steady crumbling of the conservativ ...more
Tara
Political satire at its most biting, Al Franken has the drawn-out dead pan punch lines of Jon Stewart in a written medium more conducive to expansion on things like historical context, political backlash, and a chance to reflect on his own role in the public arena - a task he accomplishes in ways sometimes a bit too self-aggrandizing, but most often earnest and simple. His conflicts with O'Reilly and Coulter got a little too personal - there were a couple of chapters that felt like he was trying ...more
David Robins
Yes, the book exposes some lies, so I suppose I got my "cover's worth"; some are even intentional, but few of them actually are of substance. The guy's entertaining to a point, then he gets on his hobby-horse and rides it up Crazy Mountain for a while. He does make some good serious points, like the pollution of large-scale hog farms and how Bush indemnified them; one wonders why affected property owners couldn't sue for loss of value?
The part of the book is something Franken didn't even write;
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Asad
What a book! It was a completely comical presentation of some of the most serious issues that face us as Americans. It was interesting to read about how much the media influences not only who we are, but what we believe in. Al Franken presents situations that are so gravely significant in a very light-hearted manner. If we deconstruct some situations such as 9/11, we can infer that outside forces did have to do with it but we are responsible in large part to the attacks as well. A very good book ...more
Deb
I waited to read this because I mistakenly thought it was a book poking fun of politicians in general. A friend of mine told me how much she learned from it and that it had been carefully researched and fact-checked, I decided to read it. It was sometimes funny but mostly informative. It connected historical dots I had forgotten about during the George W Bush presidency and some from the ones of Clinton, the elder Bush and Reagan as well. I thoroughly enjoyed the audio book and since Franken was ...more
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Alan Stuart "Al" Franken is an Emmy Award–winning American comedian, writer, progressive political commentator, and, recently, politician. He gained fame as a writer and a performer for Saturday Night Live, eventually writing and appearing in several films. Since then, Franken has become more known for his political commentary, writing numerous bestselling books and hosting a nationally-syndicated ...more
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“We love America just as much as they do. But in a different way. You see, they love America like a 4-year-old loves his mommy. Liberals love America like grown-ups. To a 4-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.” 0 likes
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