Al Franken, "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them" [Audiobook]
Highbridge Audio | Unabridged | mp3 64 kbps | September 2003 | ISBN: 1565117964 | Language: English | 192MB
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right is a book of political commentary and satire by comedian and political commentator Al Franken, published in 2003 by Dutton, a subsidiary in the Penguin Group. It was written with the help of a volunteer group of fourteen Harvard students known as "Team Franken." The book's subtitle is an ironic parody of Fox News' tagline "Fair and Balanced." Fox sued Franken over the use of the phrase in a short-lived lawsuit, which has been credited with increasing the sales of the book.
Lies is one of several books published in 2003 written by American liberals challenging the viewpoints of conservatives such as Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, and Bill O'Reilly. These books by Franken and fellow authors such as Joe Conason, Michael Moore and Jim Hightower were described by columnist Molly Ivins as the "great liberal backlash of 2003."
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them largely targets prominent Republicans and conservatives, highlighting what Franken asserts are documentable lies in their claims. A significant portion of the book is devoted to comparisons between President George W. Bush and former president Bill Clinton regarding their economic, environmental, and military policies. Franken also criticizes several pundits, especially those he believes to be the most dishonest, including O'Reilly and Hannity.
In Lies, Franken divides American media into two groups: the mainstream media, which attempts to be objective, and the right-wing media, which does not. Franken writes that "The mainstream media does not have a liberal bias, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, TIME, Newsweek, and the rest at least try to be fair." Franken notes that the mainstream media do have biases toward sensationalism, the easy story, and soft news. Franken says the right wing media, including Fox News, The Washington Times, and the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal, "are not interested in conveying the truth." He argues that they exist to further the cause of American conservatism by advancing stories and themes that work to the benefit of conservatives and to the detriment of liberals.
Franken seeks to debunk the claim that the mainstream American media are liberally biased. Franken believes that the claim of media "liberal bias" is a myth used by conservative politicians. Propagating this myth, Franken asserts, serves three functions. First, it creates reluctance among mainstream media outlets to cover issues that conservatives don't want them to, for fear that they will be accused of having a liberal bias. Second, it allows conservatives to deny or dismiss reports in the mainstream media, regardless of whether they are true, because they have discredited the source already. Third, attacking the liberal media can be effective at increasing conservative voter turnout.
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