Review: Lies (And the Lying Liars Who Tell Them)–A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right

4 Star, Politics

Amazon Page
Amazon Page

4.0 out of 5 stars LOTS of white space, good detail, funny and sad,

August 30, 2003
Al Franken
One star is taken off because this book has way too much white space–125 pages of text stretched to 372.It is a good thing to see this book ranking at this time as #1 in Amazon sales. America *needs* to read this book because the Republic has lost its soul–only by reading about reality and then voting accordingly, can this Republic be saved.

I recommend the book be read together with “Weapons of Mass Deception: The Uses of Propaganda in Bush’s War on Iraq”, and the much older but seminal work by Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky, “Manufacturing Consent: The Polical Economy of the Mass Media.” The bottom line is clear: there is a constellation of power in America that integrates the incumbents of the White House right now, the mass media, and the major corporate interests–oil, electrical and water utilities, finance, fast food and military systems–that is both corrupt and using blatant lies to get their way with the public.

As I have personal experience with a certain class of people whose worldview is shaped by the Pat Robertson 700 Club, intense readings of the Bible in isolation from global realities, and a deep, deep feeling that America is perfect and anyone who does not agree is a traitorous moron, I really have to commend Franken for the humorous but well documented manner in which he skewers both the “front fluff” (Ann Coulter, Bernie Goldberg, Bill O’Reilly, Paul Gigot, and the entire Fox “News” Team) and the “backroom mean” (George Bush Junior, Mama Bush–aka in the book from several sources, “Queen Bitch”–and the really really dangerous and unethical Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Richard Perle, and Paul Wolfowitz) as well as the lesser evils–Rumsfeld chief among them).

The author’s use of transcripts for “hard fact” documentation is superb, as are the endnotes. Indeed, the truths that he uses as his raw working material are so powerful that I found some of his satirical untruths or exaggerations to be off-putting–either they should be clearly marked (even put in little boxes so the publishers can add another 25 pages and charge even more for the paperback version) or even eliminated. Put bluntly, this book has so much important stuff to communicate, that the satiracal untruths detract from the value of the endeavor.

The book should have an index. I wanted to look up all references to Dick Cheney and could not.

Special for Fox “News” devotees: If you read just one book *other* than the Bible, this is the one for you. It just might shake you out of your death grip on a cocaine-based, crime-based presidency, and allow you to consider the possibility that all Americans–including those in la-la-land–need to wake up to the difference between manufactured lies and real-world truths that will determine the future of our children and our grand-children. God is *not* amused by the present state of affairs. He just told me so, himself, right after telling Dubya his time is up.

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