Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them

 

by Al Franken (Dutton)

 

(This column first appeared in the November 27, 2003 issue of ArtVoice of Buffalo.)

 

How does the Left defend itself against the strident voices of the Far Right: the Limbaughs, the Coulters, the O'Reillys and the Hannitys? How too does the Left counter the Fox "News" Network and the other full-time news outlets, CNN and CNBC, that are trying to join them in their increasing lean toward the Right? They simply call upon writers Al Franken and Michael Moore. And both produce. Franken's book, subtitled "A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right", is admittedly over the top in a few chapters, but in others he skewers not only the media but the Bush administration as well. The author brings to bear not only talents honed as a stand-up comedian but also benefits derived from his role as an invited Harvard fellow. At Harvard he organized a fourteen-member study group to research the posturing of the conservative establishment and what his TeamFranken has come up with is a searing indictment of his opponents. That indictment is based largely on what his opponents have said or written. As this book makes crystal clear, these people make wildly false statements that their fans take as gospel. The popularity of Franken's book - after topping best seller lists it remains at five or six today - was, of course, enhanced by the Fox News court challenge of his use of that sub-title. If, like me, you want something equally extreme to balance the Reactionaries, this is your book.-- Gerry Rising