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

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  27,082 Ratings  ·  893 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

Paperback, 421 pages
Published July 27th 2004 by Plume Books (first published January 1st 2003)
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John Wiswell
Mar 07, 2009 rated it did not like it
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 rated it liked it
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'
Nov 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: current-affairs
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
Harvard University gave Franken a fellowship to basically do whatever he wanted,
Brian Dean
Oct 25, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Sep 22, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 25, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: humor, politics
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
Feb 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: politik, social-crit
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
Erik Graff
Mar 13, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  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
TJ Burns
Dec 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Jan 31, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: society, politics, humor
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
Feb 05, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics
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
Jul 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Lies and the Lying Liars Al Franken It seems the only way to be a liberal partisan is as a humorist. I'd like to think that every book he sold brought Franken closer to the senate. Hey, maybe that means Jon Stewart will run for senate?

Library copy
Aug 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
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 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.
Sep 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants to understand the current political climate
This was excellent! It really was a fair and balanced look. His modus operandi was to research the conservative talking head's claims either through Lexus Nexus or by simply calling the people involved in the story and finding out what really happened. Several events he was involved in and used his experience. Usually there was at least some humor but it deserted him when he talked about what the Right did to smear the funeral of his friends Paul Wellstone and his wife and daughter and several a ...more
Andrew Breslin
Jul 31, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Jan 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
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
L Hess
Dec 02, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: humor, nonfiction

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
Feb 26, 2014 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
Nov 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 22, 2007 rated it liked it
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
Nov 14, 2015 rated it liked it
I wish I could say this book was as funny as it was depressing, but considering the ceaseless shit storm he had to work with, it is a credit that he managed to make it funny at all. There's a lot of interesting information if you don't mind being constantly disgusted with the state of American politics, which I can not mind anymore because it is my everyday state. If you already hate people like Bill O'Reilly and Ann Coulter but need more specific data to back up your gut feeling that they are g ...more
Mar 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
funny and entertaining and.very enlightening.
Jun 11, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: american, crap
crap shelf
Mar 23, 2015 rated it liked it
Read this when it came out. Loud, over the top and nasty. Some fun but forgettable.
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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.” 10 likes
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