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Encyclopedia > Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them:
A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right
Author Al Franken
Language English
Subject(s) American politics/Conservatism
Genre(s) Political satire
Publisher E.P. Dutton
Publication date 2003
Media type Hardcover/paperback
Preceded by Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations
Followed by The Truth (with jokes)

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 that is frequently credited with increasing the sales of the book. Download high resolution version (579x800, 104 KB)Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them book cover. ... Alan Stuart Al Franken (born May 21, 1951) is an Emmy Award–winning American comedian, actor, author, screenwriter, political commentator, radio host and, recently, politician. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... The Federal Government of the United States was established by the United States politics is dominated by the two major parties, the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. ... This article deals with conservatism as a political philosophy. ... Political satire is a subgenre of general satire that specializes in gaining entertainment from politics, politicians and public affairs. ... A publisher is a person or entity which engages in the act of publishing. ... E. P. Dutton is an American book publishing company founded as a book retailer in Boston, Massachusetts in 1852 by Edward Payson Dutton. ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot And Other Observations (audio CD) (1996) Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations (ISBN 0385314744) is a 1996 book by liberal author and comedian Al Franken. ... The Truth (with jokes) is the title of an Al Franken book released in October 2005. ... A chained book in the Bodleian Library at Oxford University A book is a set or collection of written, printed, illustrated, or blank sheets, made of paper, parchment, or other material, usually fastened together to hinge at one side, and within protective covers. ... 1867 edition of the satirical magazine Punch, a British satirical magazine, ground-breaking on popular literature satire. ... Alan Stuart Al Franken (born May 21, 1951) is an Emmy Award–winning American comedian, actor, author, screenwriter, political commentator, radio host and, recently, politician. ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... E. P. Dutton is an American book publishing company founded as a book retailer in Boston, Massachusetts in 1852 by Edward Payson Dutton. ... Harvard University is a private university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, and a member of the Ivy League. ... Irony is a literary or rhetorical device, in which there is a gap or incongruity between what a speaker or a writer says and what is generally understood (either at the time, or in the later context of history). ... In contemporary usage, a parody is a work that imitates another work in order to ridicule, ironically comment on, or poke some affectionate fun at the work itself, the subject of the work, the author or fictional voice of the parody, or another subject. ... Fox News Channels slogan is We Report, You Decide The Fox News Channel is a U.S. cable and satellite news channel. ... Fair and Balanced is a slogan used by the American news channel FOX News Channel. ...

Contents

Summary

Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them is one of several books published in 2003 written by American liberals challenging the viewpoints of American 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 have been described by columnist Molly Ivins as the Great Liberal Backlash of 2003. 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Liberalism is an ideology, philosophical view, and political tradition which holds that liberty is the primary political value. ... This article deals with conservatism as a political philosophy. ... Sean Patrick Hannity (born December 30, 1961, in New York City, New York) is an American conservative talk radio host, an executive producer and co-host of Fox News Channels program Hannity & Colmes, the host of the Fox News weekend program Hannitys America, and the author of two... Ann Hart Coulter (born December 8, 1961)[1] is an American best-selling author, columnist and political commentator. ... It has been suggested that Bill OReilly political beliefs and points of view be merged into this article or section. ... Joe Conason is a United States-based journalist and author and is a noted commentator for liberal positions. ... Michael Francis Moore (born April 23, 1954) is an American political-activist, a film director, author, social commentator, and political humorist. ... Hightowers book Thieves in High Places James Allen Jim Hightower (born January 11, 1943) is a well-known populist activist and a former Texas Commissioner of Agriculture. ... Molly Ivins (born August 30, 1944, as Mary Tyler Ivins) is a newspaper columnist, political commentator, and best-selling author from Austin, Texas. ...


Lies largely targets prominent Republicans and conservatives, highlighting documentable inaccuracies 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 Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity. The Republican Party, often called the GOP (for Grand Old Party, although one early citation described it as the Gallant Old Party) [1], is one of the two major political parties in the United States. ... The presidential seal is a well-known symbol of the presidency. ... George Walker Bush (born July 6, 1946) is the 43rd and current President of the United States, inaugurated on January 20, 2001. ... William Jefferson Bill Clinton (born William Jefferson Blythe III[1] on August 19, 1946) was the 42nd President of the United States, serving from 1993 to 2001. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... A pandit or pundit(पन्दित् in Devanagari) is a Hindu Brahmin who has memorized a substantial portion of the Vedas, along with the proper rhythms and melodies for chanting or singing them. ...


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, including towards sensationalism, the easy story, and soft news. The right wing media, which includes Fox News, The Washington Times, and the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal, "are not interested in conveying the truth", according to Franken. Instead, 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.[1] In politics, right-wing, the political right, or simply the right, are terms which refer, with no particular precision, to the segment of the political spectrum in opposition to left-wing politics. ... The American Broadcasting Company ( oftenly known as ABC) operates television and radio networks in the United States and is also shown on basic cable in Canada. ... CBS is one of the largest radio and television networks in the United States. ... NBC (a former acronym for National Broadcasting Company) is an American television network headquartered in the GE Building in New York Citys Rockefeller Center. ... The Cable News Network, commonly known as CNN, is a major cable television network founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. ... The New York Times is a daily newspaper published in New York City by Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. ... The Washington Post is the largest newspaper in Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States. ... Time (whose trademark is capitalized TIME) is a weekly American newsmagazine, similar to Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report. ... The Newsweek logo Newsweek is a weekly news magazine published in New York City and distributed throughout the United States and internationally. ... Soft news usually covers a long-term change or point of interest, or a general trend -- an aspect of the zeitgeist, while hard news always covers a specific event that can be nailed down to an exact date and time. ... Fox News Channels slogan is We Report, You Decide The Fox News Channel is a U.S. cable and satellite news channel. ... The Washington Times[1] is a daily broadsheet newspaper published in Washington, D.C., United States. ... The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) is an influential international daily newspaper published in New York City, New York with a worldwide average daily circulation of more than 2. ...


Franken offers his analysis in an effort 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. Media bias in the United States is the description of systematically non-uniform selection or coverage of news stories in the United States media. ...

Franken on book tour

The book criticizes several conservative authors and pundits by pointing out factual inaccuracies and deceptive statements they have made. Franken criticizes Ann Coulter on a number of points related to what Franken alleges as abuses or violations of journalistic ethics in her book Slander. In addition to accusing her of lying, Franken accuses Coulter of deliberately misusing citations in order to further a misleading political agenda. Coulter frequently said that Slander has "780 footnotes" when she was challenged on the accuracy of statements within the book. Franken points out that merely having 780 citations makes readers less likely to actually check them. He also notes that Coulter's citations are not footnotes in a literal sense, but rather endnotes, which are located at the end of the book rather than the foot of the page, which he says, readers are far less likely to refer to. Franken also cites examples where Coulter misuses her citations to attribute offensive or outlandish statements to people who did not make them. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1623x1227, 765 KB) Al Franken by David Shankbone. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1623x1227, 765 KB) Al Franken by David Shankbone. ... Ann Hart Coulter (born December 8, 1961)[1] is an American best-selling author, columnist and political commentator. ...


Franken also criticizes former CBS reporter Bernard Goldberg for what he claims is selective decontextualized quoting and other dishonest material in his book Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News. Franken recounts an incident on Phil Donahue's talk show on MSNBC when he confronted Goldberg about a misleading quote attributed to NBC anchor and commentator John Chancellor. CBS is one of the largest radio and television networks in the United States. ... Bernard Bernie Goldberg (born 1945) is an American writer, journalist, and political commentator. ... Bias book cover Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News is a book by Bernard Goldberg, formerly of CBS, giving detailed examples of liberal bias in TV news reporting. ... Phil Donahue Phillip John Donahue (b. ... MSNBC, a combination of MSN and NBC, is a 24-hour cable news channel in the United States and Canada, and a news website. ... NBC (a former acronym for National Broadcasting Company) is an American television network headquartered in the GE Building in New York Citys Rockefeller Center. ... Chancellor (left), with David Brinkley, in a 1976 ad for the NBC Radio network. ...


The book also criticizes Bill O'Reilly, with whom Al Franken has a public feud. Franken accuses O'Reilly of being a serial and pathological liar, recounting multiple controversies relating to O'Reilly, including O'Reilly's inaccurate statements regarding Peabody awards, his heated interview with Jeremy Glick, and his successful boycott of Pepsi for hiring rap artist Ludacris. Franken pokes fun at O'Reilly for moralizing about the sexually explicit and violent themes of Ludacris's songs despite having himself written a book, Those Who Trespass, which contains violent and sexual imagery and profanity. Franken also recounts his heated confrontation with O'Reilly at BookExpo America 2003, seen on C-SPAN. This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Over the years, there have been several controversial issues highlighted in Bill OReillys print and broadcast work. ... Over the years, there have been several controversial issues highlighted in Bill OReillys print and broadcast work. ... Over the years, there have been several controversial issues highlighted in Bill OReillys print and broadcast work. ... The Jeremy Glick interview as seen in Outfoxed -- Top-left: Jeremy Glick speaks about his interview; top-right: Bill OReilly tells Glick to shut up; bottom-left: OReilly cuts Glicks mic and gestures for security to take Glick out of the studio; bottom-right: OReilly criticizes... Over the years, there have been several controversial issues highlighted in Bill OReillys print and broadcast work. ... Pepsi Cola, is a cola soft drink produced and manufactured by PepsiCo. ... This article contains a trivia section. ... Those Who Trespass: A Novel of Television and Murder (ISBN 0767913817) is a 1998 novel by US television personality Bill OReilly. ... Over the years, there have been several controversial issues highlighted in Bill OReillys print and broadcast work. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


Publicity

Main article: Fox v. Franken

Fox News sought damages from Franken, claiming in its lawsuit that the book's subtitle violated its trademark of the slogan "Fair and Balanced". The lawsuit was dismissed, and the attempt backfired on Fox News in that it provided Franken with free publicity just as the book was launched. "The book was originally scheduled to be released Sept. 22 but [was] made available Aug. 21," according to its publisher. "We sped up the release because of tremendous demand for the book, generated by recent events." Fox News Network, LLC, v. ... Fox News Channels slogan is We Report, You Decide The Fox News Channel is a U.S. cable and satellite news channel. ... Fair and Balanced was a slogan used by the American news channel FOX News Channel, intended to promote the claimed neutrality of the network in comparison to the claimed liberal bias of traditional news sources. ...


In the lawsuit, Fox described Franken as "intoxicated or deranged" as well as "shrill and unstable." In response, Franken joked that he had trademarked the word "funny", and that Fox had infringed his intellectual property rights by characterizing him as "unfunny." The publicity resulting from the lawsuit propelled Franken's as-of-then-unreleased book to the #1 sales position on Amazon.com's best-seller list. Amazon. ...


On August 22, 2003, U.S. District Judge Denny Chin denied Fox's request for an injunction to block the publication of Franken's book, characterizing the network's claim as "wholly without merit, both factually and legally." During the judge's questioning, spectators in the court's gallery frequently laughed at Fox's case.[2] Franken later joked, "Usually when you say someone was literally laughed out of court, you mean they were figuratively laughed out of court, but Fox was literally laughed out of court."[3] Three days later, Fox filed papers to drop its lawsuit. August 22 is the 234th day of the year (235th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Judge Denny Chin is assigned to the United States District Court of the Southern District of New York. ...


The lawsuit is described by Franken in a paperback-only chapter of Lies entitled "I Win". To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ...


Book critiques

Difficulty posed by use of satire and nonfiction

In a review of Franken's book in the Washington newspaper The Hill, reviewer Mary Lynn F. Jones, a fan of Franken's previous works, wrote, "Franken's tendency to mix fact with fiction [also] left me wondering sometimes what was true and what wasn't."[4] As an example, she cited a passage in Franken's book in which he wrote that former Bush foreign policy advisor Richard Armitage "bolted" from a Senate hearing and "[knocked] over veteran reporter Helen Thomas, breaking her hip and jaw".[5] The paperback version has a footnote saying, "The Helen Thomas thing is a joke."[6] The Hill is a non-partisan, non-ideological newspaper published in Washington, D.C.. It is written for and about the U.S. Congress. ... Richard L. Armitage Richard Lee Armitage (born April 26, 1945) was the 13th United States Deputy Secretary of State, the second-in-command at the State Department, serving from 2001 to 2005, Previously, he was a high-ranking troubleshooter and negotiator in the Departments of State and Defense. ... President George W. Bush conveys birthday wishes to reporter Helen Thomas in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ...


Factual inaccuracy

Franken wrote that former U.S. Senator Max Cleland (D-GA), while serving in the U.S. Army, "…left three of his limbs in Vietnam. A VC grenade blew them off."[7] In fact, it was not a Viet Cong grenade; instead the grenade had fallen from a fellow American soldier's flak jacket during a non-combat mission and accidentally detonated.[8] Joseph Maxwell Cleland (born August 24, 1942) is an American politician from Georgia. ... The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, the other being the Republican Party. ... Official language(s) English Capital Atlanta Largest city Atlanta Area  Ranked 24th  - Total 59,411 sq mi (154,077 km²)  - Width 230 miles (370 km)  - Length 298 miles (480 km)  - % water 2. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ...


The inaccuracy was corrected in the book's paperback edition.


Editions

  • ISBN 0-525-94764-7 (hardcover, 2003)
  • ISBN 0-452-28521-6

See also

This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... The hostile media effect, sometimes called the hostile media phenomenon, refers to the theory that ideological partisans often think that media coverage is biased against their particular interests in an issue. ...

References

  1. ^ Al Franken, Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, pp. 1-3.
  2. ^ Saulny, Susan (2003-08-23). In Courtroom, Laughter at Fox and a Victory for Al Franken. New York Times. Retrieved on 2007-03-15.
  3. ^ Corman, Mary (2003-08-23). Franken Speaks Frankly. interview. Stanford Progressive. Retrieved on 2007-03-15.
  4. ^ Jones, Mary Lynn F. (2003-09-09). Franken's humor overpowered by cynical Look at the Right. The Hill. Retrieved on 2007-03-17.
  5. ^ Franken, page 218
  6. ^ Franken, page 227 of the paperback
  7. ^ Franken, Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, p. 163.
  8. ^ Thompson, Neal. "30 Years of Self-Loathing, and Then, Finally, the Truth." The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 5 Dec. 1999: 1. Find Articles. 11 Oct. 2006.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1400 words)
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.
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them is one of several books published in 2003 written by American liberals challenging the viewpoints of prominent American conservatives such as Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, and Bill O'Reilly.
Lies largely targets prominent Republicans and conservatives, highlighting documentable inaccuracies in their claims.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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