|LIES AND THE LYING LIARS WHO TELL THEM |
With the country at war, the economy in the toilet and the presidential election just months away, it seems appropriate to review a couple of hot political best-sellers.
Lies And the Lying Liars Who Tell Them by Al Franken is inventively written and extremely funny. Franken digs up some of the far right’s most absurd lies and then provides facts to prove that these people are, well, liars. He gleefully takes on the country’s leading conservatives. Bill O’Reilly may be the Fox Network’s number one star, but under Franken’s pen he’s revealed as boorish, “bluster, bullying and belittling.” As well as a very, very big liar.
Under the chapter entitled Bill O’Reilly: Lying, Splotchy Bully, Franken writes: See, O’Reilly always likes to crow about his hardscrabble childhood in working-class Levittown, Long Island. As he once told the New York Observer, “You don’t come from any lower than I came from on an economic scale.”
Trouble is, an inside source (O’Reilly’s mother) tells a different story. Mrs. O’Reilly proudly told the Washington Post that the family regularly took vacations in Florida, and that little Billy attended private school, a private college and that their home was in the affluent suburb of Westbury, not blue-collar Levittown.
Then there’s the chapter on Ann Coulter: Nutcase. Really, Al, be more specific. We’re not getting any sense of how you actually feel about her. Perhaps the phrase “nonstop rabid frothing,” which is what Franken uses when referring to Coulter’s books, may give us a hint. He refers to Coulter as “the reigning diva of the hysterical right. Or rather, the hysterical diva of the reigning right.”
No, Franken doesn’t seem to like her very much. He confirms this in his very next chapter: You Know Who I Don’t Like? Ann Coulter. One of his many issues with Coulter is her inconsistency and unfairness regarding liberals versus conservatives. In her view “Liberals hate America. Democrats actually hate working-class people. Democrats... will destroy anyone who stands in their way. All that matters to them is power.”
Hmmm? That last one sounds awfully Republican, doesn’t it? Coulter doesn’t have very nice things to say about a lot of people. She called Jim Jeffords, the Vermont senator who defected from the Republican Party, a “half-wit.”
And what really burns Coulter is that in the fawning liberal media, Jeffords’s degree from Yale cannot be cited often enough. (And consider that Jeffords got into Yale long before the terrorizing regime of the SATs, back when admission to the Ivy Leagues turned on social class rather than on standardized tests.)
Franken responds, “Quick. Yale, low SATs, social class? You thinking about who I’m thinking about?”
How does Coulter answer people who think our president may not be the brightest star in the firmament? Why, he “graduated from Yale College and Harvard Business School.”
From the pan into the roaring fire, Franken grills conservative hottie Sean Hannity, co-host and major kahuna of the Fox News Channel’s left/right debate show, Hannity and Colmes.
Alan Colmes is the moderate in the equation, but Franken says he’s a shallow liberal and, frankly, a wienie. So whenever you read the name Colmes it’s always in smaller type, like this: Hannity and Colmes.
But back to hunky Hannity, Franken thinks he’s not very bright, a bully and — keeping with the book’s theme — a liar. Hannity blames American Taliban John Walker Lindh’s skewed views on the fact that he was raised in liberal Marin County, California. What? And his Taliban dirt road was likely paved for him at birth because he was named after John Lennon. Corrects Franken, “No, actually, he was named after John the Baptist.”
If you’ve ever wondered how the far right gets away with the lies they tell, read this book to learn their methods. And be afraid. Very afraid.