Socialist View, No. 13, Winter 2004
Lies and the Lying liars that tell them - by AL Franken
Reviewed By Garret Mullan
AL FRANKEN IS one of the chief comedic weapons in the arsenal of John Kerry's campaign. He is part of that tradition - Jackie Mason, Jerry Seinfeld - of mostly Jewish origin comedy that emerged from holiday venues in the Catskill mountains in upstate New York.
Like Michael Moore he opposes George Bush but his primary motivation is his liberal disgust at right wing propaganda rather than industrial downsizing.
He sets out to disprove the notion purveyed by Republican sympathizers that the media is biased to the left. He does this with brilliant simplicity in writing about how syndicated columnist Ann Coulter felt so strongly about the liberal biased media, that she appeared on a long list of popular shows such as Larry King Live among others to complain that conservatives do not get enough media coverage. Ann Coulter is the columnist who demanded that "we should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity" following 9/11.
Another of the featured lying liars is Fox News' Bill O' Reilly: lying, splotchy bully who is a fragile individual. O' Reilly, who is currently defending a sexual harassment lawsuit, lied about coming from a rich family, attending private school, being a registered Republican and lied about winning the prestigious Peabody journalism award.
Reading this book and the various personalities the reader feels as if they are witnessing a series of schoolyard lunch break fights. Right wing media presenter picks on a liberal wimp and shouts them down when they dare to speak, while liberals like Franken sneer "you're hurting us with your lies". Al Franken has done a service to expose lies and media propaganda but his propaganda for John Kerry, which takes up much of this book, is as Republican commentators say about Kerry's speeches, long and windy - funny that.