Once again, the author of Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations trains his subversive wit directly on the contemporary political scene, leaving the powers-that-be in tatters and his audience in hysterics. Al Franken thrives on being in the opposition, and now that the Republican party controls both the Oval Office and Congress, the gloves are off and the satire is fast and furious.
Franken's specialty is using his targets' own words to make comedic and political points. Finding logical inconsistencies, factual errors, and doublespeak wherever he looks, Franken takes on and destroys the myth of liberal bias in the media, hoists the Bush White House on its own rhetorical petard, and punctures the mean-spirited sanctimony of such media darlings as Ann Coulter, Bill O'Reilly, and host of post-Limbaugh talk-radio gasbags. Timely, provocative, unfailingly honest, and always uproarious, Lies is sure to raise hackles and spark hilarity inside the Beltway and from sea to shining sea.
Listen to Al Franken talk about Lies on Fresh Air from September 3, 2003.
©2003 AL Franken; (P)2003 HighBridge Company
"In the kicking, spitting spirit of all-star political discourse, Al Franken gives as good as he gets." (New York Times)
"Riotous...provocative reading for everyone.... Franken's sardonic critique of our culture of political disinformation is serious business." (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
"Memo to Fox: Hire Al Franken." (Business Week)
Listened to this on an extended car ride with adult kids- enjoyed the commentary not always balanced but usually funny. We did have to stop it many times to have the discussions that it provoked.
Al can be funny, there is no doubt. The thing he can't seem to be is accurate. He can libel and insult anybody and everybody that does not agree with him with the best of the leftist nitwits. If you are a leftist who enjoys listening to funny B.S., you'll love this book. If you are kind of into things like the truth and accuracy, this one might not be for you.
I never listened to Franken on the radio or in print. I like the documentation work, and after I knew I can trust it (I verified a few items picked at random, knew some for facts, and then trusted the rest) it's very entertaining reading. One thing that I find a little irritating is the sarcastic tone of the author, sometimes. I would rather have the facts straight, without the irony. Humor is fine, but he is a bit too caustic for my taste. Although I'm pretty sure after listening that it's all warranted.
Right-wingers and Fox News fans are not going to like it but Al takes various folks to task for their statements (well, ok, mostly misstatements). He does so intelligently, fairly, with solid research and, best of all, humor. The book can get a bit tedious at times as Al strives to make his points detailed. The decision to include actual voice audio of other people at times is interesting but usually jolting and/or of lower quality which can be a bit annoying. Also the audio book contains content not in the printed version. Overall probably a more 'fair and balanced' look at political life and certainly entertaining and thought provoking.
Al is the left book end to match someone like Rush Limbaugh or Michael Savage on the right. The difference is that his far out (far left) rhetoric is even more outlandish and bombastic than either Limbaugh or Savage (many, particularly on the left, didn't think that was even possible!)! I'm sure(?) this is intentional and in keeping with his roots and gifts in comedy, he does still make me laugh. My advice to Al is to go back to what he knows for sure, and leave the political commentary to those who are more impartial & balanced than he is...like Limbaugh!
This was a funny, thought-provoking, well-constructed audiobook from the reverb sound effects of God to the actual clips of Limbaugh shows. [Was amazed they could include right-wing clips legally] It uses the audiobook medium to its full advantage. Al Franken presents a damning fact-filled argument against the notion that conservatives are fair and the media has a liberal bias. The chapters on anti-terrorism efforts under the Clinton vs Bush administrations is particularly troubling.
I have recommended this audiobook to other friends but must also append a caveat: Al goes overboard occasionally and it hurts the acceptability of his important message. One example is his comparison of John Walker Lindh and confederate army soldiers. Franken says anyone who fought on the confederate side of the Civil War was a worse traitor than John Walker Lind (the American Taliban), but unfortunately, such reductionist ways of looking at complex issues is similar to the conservative mindset that Franken skewers. Was the Civil War a simple black-and-white racial struggle or were there at least elements of state/local outrage against what they perceived as heavy-handed federal intrusions? Is there any difference between a few who plot against the many versus millions who want to secede and form a new state? There were other examples of Franken being a bit dogmatic or too flippant, and this detracts and possibly prevents this work's consumption by Americans who *should* get Franken's message.
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This book promotes class warfare and encourages people to be victims ... and all in cutter language.
With political books like this, your politics ARE going to be the most important factor. I am a liberal, and I liked the book quite a lot. Franken's research is pretty well documented and the audiobook even uses some of the pundit's own audio (i.e. Rush Limbaugh web broadcast). I think he does a pretty good job of laying down some obvious lying patterns by the conservatives he rails against. The chapters against Ann Coulter and Bill O'Reilly were fabulous. It's good to have some well-researched (he provides sources like mad) liberal writers (unlike Michael Moore's questionable ramblings).
On the down side, the book goes on a lot longer than it remained interesting. The first two thirds were good, the last third lost its steam. But overall, I'd recommend it to liberals or moderates for a different point of view.
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