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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No sense of decency
Al Franken 's book is a terrible expose of the constant newspeak used by the Bush II administration in order to hide the real agenda. The newspeak veils the stealing of the presidency in Florida (to defend democracy), tax cuts for the superwealthy (no heritage tax even above 100 M $), the screwing of the environment ('the rewriting of the Clean Water Act's rules allows...
Published on 5 July 2006 by Luc REYNAERT

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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars He's an angry man...
Well, it's not as bad as the previous review says. Sure, he's a biased, name-calling, aggressive lefty, but he's fun. Chapters like "Ann Coulter: Nutcase" let you know that you shouldn't expect realistic political debate. :)
Having said that, some of his notes are very thorough and he shows clear examples of when leading Republicans have lied through their teeth,...
Published on 16 Oct 2003 by Amazon Customer


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No sense of decency, 5 July 2006
By 
Luc REYNAERT (Beernem, Belgium) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Al Franken 's book is a terrible expose of the constant newspeak used by the Bush II administration in order to hide the real agenda. The newspeak veils the stealing of the presidency in Florida (to defend democracy), tax cuts for the superwealthy (no heritage tax even above 100 M $), the screwing of the environment ('the rewriting of the Clean Water Act's rules allows mining waste to be dumped directly into many heretofore off-limits water ways'), draft dodgers as warmongerers or vicious lies about opponents.

The result of its policies are presented as gifts for all citizens, but 'single mothers loose health coverage for their children', and unemployment is surging (but statistically hidden).

Al Franken plays all the accords of the harmonic spectrum: from the spectacle of absurd and blatant lies on TV channels, over ludicrous governmetal programmes (sex abstinence education), to sarcasm ('During the 6 years that the 2 Bushes have been president, there has not been a new job created. Extrapoling from that, if the Bushes had run this country from its inception to the present day, not a single American would have worked) and raw cynicism ( the WSJ calls those people who earn so little that they don't have to pay any taxes 'lucky duckies').

Al Franken unveils the administration's unhuman but divine message: prosperity means that God is rewarding your rugged individualism. When you are poor, you should blame yourself.

On the international front, Al Franken lambasts the lies about the WMD in Iraq, the ditching of the 'lousy' Kyoto Agreement, the anti-ballistic missile treaty, the germ warfare protocol, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, the International Criminal Court and the land mine treaty.

He ridicules a member of the Bush II administration for having calculated that the reconstruction of Iraq would cost next to nothing. For this brilliant forecast he was rewarded with an international financial top job.

All the cover-ups, false messages, blatant lies about disastrous and deadly policies were gladly swallowed by completely gagged media. The latter are controlled by 5 big conglomerates, which are living out of the hand of big corporations through their advertising spending.

Al Franken sketches poignantly a sad picture of a country that should be the greatest democracy of the world.

Not to be missed.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank God Al Franken is on our (the liberal) side!, 11 Feb 2006
Lies (and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them) is a thoroughly entertaining book by an author who documents his arguments with facts. That's a lot more than I can say for Ann Coulter, Bill O'Reilly, and Rush Limbaugh. Al Franken presents a "fair and balanced" attack on the lies of the American far right and never ceases to entertain and inform the reader.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very funny, 25 Jan 2005
The title suggests that this will be a (very) broad comedy. However, it is written with considerably more wit and precision than I expected.
The problem with books of this type (for readers outside the US) is that we are not that familiar with subject matter - I have no real opinion about whether the US media has a liberal bias although if the UK media is anything to go by it seems very unlikely.
Franken states that the primary of objective of the book is to be funny; he succeeds admirably although he does on occasion descend into pettiness and name calling. I certainly laughed hard and often as I read the book.
There are some very good chapters in this book. For example, you get a good sense of Franken's heart felt indignation in the chapter about Paul Wellstone's funeral; the exposure of push poll tactics is horrifying, the chapter on how Fox News makes you stupid is hilarious; Karl Rove, Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly come in for the kickings that they richly deserve.
On the negative side: for me, his unconditional love of Bill Clinton got a bit too much at times and he is guilty of constantly criticising the conservative agenda while not really discussing the issues with the liberal agenda. However, these are minor quibbles; they did not detract from my enjoyment.
I think that the comparisons to Michael Moore are slightly unkind to Franken. Overall, he has less of an agenda than Moore who I regard as a polemicist, he is funnier and more precise; it is like comparing a scalpel to a sledgehammer.
Very funny, highly recommended particularly if you have a strong interest in US politics
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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars He's an angry man..., 16 Oct 2003
Well, it's not as bad as the previous review says. Sure, he's a biased, name-calling, aggressive lefty, but he's fun. Chapters like "Ann Coulter: Nutcase" let you know that you shouldn't expect realistic political debate. :)
Having said that, some of his notes are very thorough and he shows clear examples of when leading Republicans have lied through their teeth, which is good. The whole book is quite readable, and the details on right-wing bias in Fox News and the newspaper media are very welcome.
Would have got another star if he'd been slightly less vitriolic, but the info inside is all good.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful expose of the lies peddled in US politics, 17 Sep 2003
'I would just like to thank Fox for filing the stupidest legal briefs I have ever seen in my life' - Al Franken
That quote was enough to get me interested in reading this book. And it proves an age old observation: as soon as a powerful organisation tries to ban something, it is guaranteed to become even more popular than it would have been. Some might say that it proves one of the author's hypotheses - that the most vocal members of the US right wing are stupid.
However, if you are thinking of dismissing this book on grounds of it being another example of name-calling masquerading as politics, think again. Franken rebuts a whole series of the most outrageous statements and so-called 'facts' peddled by prominent right wing US politicians and journalists with pinpoint accuracy. He uses humour to expose the tactics of his enemies - tactics which amount to repeating a lie so often and so loudly that people think it must be true. The mock-plays he uses as interludes do not always hit the mark and in some cases serve only to break the flow of his arguments. Furthermore, the chapter devoted to the death of his politician friend and the media coverage of it was too long, though understandable, given the particularly unfair treatment meted out by members of the press who were either too lazy or too politically motivated to cover the story accurately.
These minor flaws aside, this book demonstrates just how low sections of the political establishment and some journalists have sunk to. It exposes the myth of the liberal bias in the national media. It illustrates the inroads the Clinton administration made in reducing gun crime and tackling terrorism, policies that were reversed or put into slow motion by the incoming Bush administration. The sources are all there, and in most cases they are highly reputable ones. In short, it quotes facts to prove points and shows how the right wing have very few of those to prove *their* points.
And finally, I challenge the rightwingers to rebut Franken's points - go on, I dare you to prove, using independent high-quality evidence, that he has got it wrong and that the statements made by the characters Franken criticises are in fact correct. Let's see who needs to resort to name-calling now.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Political Satire, 22 Dec 2003
By A Customer
It took a really long, boring stopover in a U.S. airport to finally convince me to buy Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them.
I can't believe I didn't read it sooner.
Franken is perhaps the most brilliant political satirist around these days ... at least in print (I'd say Jon Stewart of The Daily Show - a hilarious American "fake news" TV program - is even more on the ball.)
The way he rips into such right-wing nutcases as Ann Coulter and FOX News blowhard Bill O'Reilly is brutally funny, but also intelligent.
As well, the myth about the media's liberal bias is thoroughly explored and largely debunked.
I try to keep up with politics and the media, but there were things in this book that had me absolutely flabbergasted.
The name Karl Rove now sends shivers up my spine. Scary, scary man.
I like Michael Moore, but even his biggest fan has to admit some of his facts are a little skewed.
Not so with Franken. Lying Liars is a well-researched book.
He backs up his claims and criticisms quite solidly.
Whereas Moore bashes your head in with his messages, Franken allows you to think for yourself.
Franken gushes a little too much about certain liberals ... the Clintons for example. But that's a minor complaint.
If any liberal was to change the mind of a conservative, it would be Franken.
But we know how likely that is.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars spot on satire, 1 July 2004
By A Customer
I've read some other reviews on this forum, who complain that Franken has put in too much of the intracacies of internal American politics. Maybe so. As an American long-time resident in the UK, I was not familiar with all the commentators, broadcasters and minor policy wonks mentioned in the book, but it didn't keep me from laughing or developing a sense of creeping doom about the way American politics is operating these days. The book made me, my British husband and my brother laugh out loud, as well as prompting me to take political action.
Other reviewers also compare Franken to the much touted Michael Moore. I've read Moore's books as well and judging by the number of copies of "Stupid White Men" I saw on the Underground, he has done very well in the UK. But Franken, to me, has far greater intellectual rigor and doesn't play fast and loose with the facts, but instead in the rich vein of American-style irony (and yes we have one)balances between the absurd and an oft disturbing political reality.
Franken can be a bit self-indulgent, the Operation Chickenhawk chapter I found completely unreadable - though it's prequel in a previous book was fine. Other than that, I thought it was a fantastic book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, fantastic, absolute genius., 7 Feb 2006
Franken's handing of Bill O' Reilly's a**e to him on a plate delighted me, and though I may be an affirmed cynic about the state of American politics, some of the details still shocked me.
The book is written with excellent humour throughout, for example the outrageous little factoids inserted in the text then retracted in that cutely rueful "not really" way in the footnotes, and the spectacular portrayal of the satirical Operation Ignore, (depicting failure by the White House to act upon mounting evidence that terrorist attacks on American soil were imminent) which actually caught a ranting Republican blogger out - he wrote a page raving about how the Bush Administration never had an "Operation Ignore." Sigh.
Franken's style is less sensationalist and tubthumping than Michael Moore; rather than taking the fight to the opposition by driving around shouting the Constitution out of a car with a megaphone, he prefers to sit back and let his enemy descend into an apopletic, mouth-foaming rage and drown himself in his own saliva. Hail Franken.
P.S. Read the fight challenge bit, it's a riot.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!, 26 Oct 2003
By A Customer
Unless you will be offended by the lies uncovered I think you will love this book. Just because it is in a humourous style it doesn't mean its not a real political debate.
Some of the lies are shocking... but you've got to read it.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lies and laughter, 10 Jun 2004
Most politicians and journalists seem to have a tendency to be economical with the truth, this we all know. Al Franken however chooses to focus on the American right wing and its popular media, a particularly ripe source of mistruths it would appear. Since these are the people who currently wield the political power or act as spokespersons for it they seem fair enough targets. Franken offers plenty of evidence to support his accusations of lies, some of it based on facts and figures, some of it based on personal anecdotes but virtually all of it hilarious.
Some of the lies are pretty major considering who's telling them, some are laughably minor, but around them Franken weaves a case to show just how downright dishonest and manipulative the current leaders of America and their high profile media supporters really are. Many on the right wing have been angered by this book because it makes them look like liars. However I guess if you are prepared to lie in public you've just got to take the risk that someone will point it out. The fact that there are so many right wing websites and even other books attacking Mr Franken would seem evidence enough of how accurate his shots at the likes of Coulter, O'Reilly, Hannity, Limbaugh and the members of the Bush administration are, and how seriously they take him as a threat to their world of spin.
This book will probably be hated by those on the right, but it shouldn't be, when lies are told by politicians and the media those lies are being sold to everyone regardless of their political persuasion, the fact that you might have a natural tendency to want to believe them is irrelevant. When a right wing politician lies he lies to the right too, and by doing so undermines the position of those on the right. The same is true for liars from the left. Therefore we should all, left, right and center appreciate the fact that Al Franken has held up some of these people for lying to everybody and instead of getting worked up about Franken maybe we should get worked up about dishonesty in general and hold politicians and media to account for their inability to provide facts without spin and deception.
Franken has written possibly the funniest and most readable expose of political spin and lies in the US I have ever read, no wonder the right get so angry he makes them look bad, and they helped him do it! You can compare this book with those of Michael Moore but in every way Frankens book is more readable, is funnier and has more depth.
I wonder when someone will do the same for the UK?
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Lies: And the Lying Liars Who Tell Them
Lies: And the Lying Liars Who Tell Them by Al Franken (Paperback - 27 July 2004)
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