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  1. #21
    Ultimate Member TOAD6147's Avatar
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    I think I'd rather read this book. Some really funny stuff here. Notice the reference he makes to Goldberg, Goldstein..., whatever:
    Excerpted from Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right by Al Franken. Copyright © 2003. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
    Introduction

    God chose me to write this book.

    Just the fact that you are reading this is proof not just of Godís existence, but also of His/Her/Its beneficence. Thatís right. I am not certain of Godís precise gender. But I am certain that He/She/It chose me to write this book.

    This isnít hubris. Iím not saying this in an egotistical way. God didnít choose me because Iím the greatest writer who ever lived. That was William Shakespeare, whose work I have a passing familiarity with. No. I just happened to be the right vessel at the right time. If something in this book makes you laugh, it was Godís joke. If something makes you think, itís because God had a good point to make.

    The reason I know God chose me is because God spoke to me personally.

    God began our conversation by clearing something up. Some of George W. Bushís friends say that Bush believes God called him to be president during these times of trial. But God told me that He/She/It had actually chosen Al Gore by making sure that Gore won the popular vote and, God thought, the electoral college. "THAT WORKED FOR EVERYONE ELSE," God said.

    "What about Tilden?" I asked, referring to the 1876 debacle.

    "QUIET!" God snapped. God was angry.

    God said that after 9/11, George W. Bush squandered a unique moment of national unity. That instead of rallying the country around a program of mutual purpose and sacrifice, Bush cynically used the tragedy to solidify his political power and pursue an agenda that panders to his base and serves the interests of his corporate backers.

    God told me that Bush squandered a $4.6 trillion surplus and is plunging us into deficits as far as God can see. And that Bush squandered another surplus. The surplus of goodwill from the rest of the world that he had inherited from Bill Clinton.

    And this was pi**ing God off.

    He/She/It was right. But it sounded like a lot of work.

    "Look, God, Iím flattered, but I think you got the wrong guy. The kind of book youíre talking about would require months of research."

    And God said, "LET THERE BE GOOGLE. AND LET THERE BE LEXISNEXIS."

    "Very funny, God. I use Google all the time."

    "YES, I KNOW," God said. "FOR HOT ASIAN TEENS."

    "You must be thinking of my son, Joe."

    "AL? I'M OMNISCIENT."

    "Okay, okay." I changed the subject. "Itís just that I canít do this book myself."

    "LEAVE THAT TO ME," God boomed.

    And thatís when Harvard called.

    ***

    Harvardís Kennedy School of Government asked me to serve as a fellow at its Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy. After my varied and celebrated career in television, movies, publishing, and the lucrative world of corporate speaking, being a fellow at Harvard seemed, frankly, like a step down.

    I couldnít think of anything less appealing than molding the minds of tomorrowís leaders, unless it was spending fireside evenings sipping sherry with great minds at the Faculty Club. Yawn.

    To my surprise and delight, though, all Harvard wanted me to do was show up every once in a while and write something about something. That gave me an idea.

    "Would it be okay if I wrote a scathingly partisan attack on the rightwing media and the Bush administration?"

    "No problem," Harvard said absentmindedly.

    "Count me in," I replied. "From now on call me ĎProfessor Franken.í"

    "No," Harvard said, "youíre not a professor. But you can run a study group on the topic of your choosing."

    "Great," I said. "Iíve got the perfect topic: Write My Sonís Harvard College Application Essay."

    "No," they said. "Harvard students already know how to write successful Harvard applications, Al. We want you to teach them something new."

    Harvard was right where I wanted it. "How about if the topic is: How to Research My Book?"

    "Sure," Harvard said. "Most of our professors teach that course. Why, in the Biochemistry department, most of the graduate level courses are- "

    Harvard was boring me. "I gotta run, Harvard. Thanks."

    ***

    I had my Nexis, I had my Google, I had my Harvard fellowship, and I had my fourteen research assistants. I sat down to write. Nothing.

    So I got on my knees and prayed for guidance. "How, God, can I best do Your work through this book? Who, dear Lord, is the audience for a book like this? And whatís a good title?"

    God answered, "YOU KNOW THOSE SHI**Y BOOKS BY ANN COULTER AND BERNIE GOLDBERG?"

    "The best-sellers that claim thereís a liberal bias in the media?" I asked.

    "TOTAL BULLS**T," God said. "START BY ATTACKING THEM. HE'S CLEARLY A DISGRUNTLED FORMER EMPLOYEE, AND SHE JUST LIES. BY THE WAY, THERE'S SOMETHING SERIOUSLY WRONG WITH HER."

    "Thatís pretty obvious."

    "SO GO AFTER THEM, THE WHOLE LIBERAL BIAS MYTH, AND THEN GO AFTER THE RIGHT-WING MEDIA. ESPECIALLY FOX."

    "Okay, God, Iím writing this down."

    "THEN USE THEM AS A JUMPING-OFF POINT TO GO AFTER BUSH. YOU KNOW, BIG TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH, SURGING UNEMPLOYMENT, IGNORING EVERYONE BUT HIS CORPORATE BUDDIES, SCREWING THE ENVIRONMENT, PI**ING OFF THE REST OF THE WORLD. THAT STUFF. AND THAT'S YOUR BOOK."

    "Got it. One last thing. Title."

    "HOW ABOUT BEARERS OF FALSE WITNESS AND THE FALSE WITNESS THAT THEY BEAR?"

    "Hmm. I, uh, Iíll work with that."

    Reprinted from Lies: And the Lying Liars Who Tell Them-A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right by Al Franken by permission of Dutton, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. Copyright © Al Franken, Inc., 2003. All rights reserved. This excerpt, or any parts thereof, may not be reproduced without permission.
    "Education: That which discloses to the wise and disguises from the
    foolish their lack of understanding."
    Ambrose Bierce

  2. #22
    Si vis pacem, para bellum daveleau's Avatar
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    I've seen him interviewed about his book. He picks some pretty small flaws to write about. While they are not totally undeniable, they are very small flaws especially compared to his counterparts who have written books of opposing views. Fro instance, he chooses to pick on Bill O'Reilly. While you would think he could find something big, he centers around the fact that O'Reilly misspoke about his old TV show getting an award that it did not get. BIG DEAL!

    I would not try to steer you completely away from this book. I am merely saying that you should read both sides to get a more objective view. Otherwise, you are relying on only one set of viewpoints and following them without knowing anything about the opposition. I am not calling you this (disclaimer), but many who practice idea gathering in this way can be called lemmings.

    Thanks for the input above though. I know to stay away from this book because of his sacrilege. That is one topic that I do not read about. I'll read about other religious and atheistic ideas, but not sacrilege.

  3. #23
    Ultimate Member Pexster's Avatar
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    Thanks -- I'll read it. After all, "fair and balanced" is a good thing, right? I've read Limbaugh, Huffington, and Franken. Better check this one out, too. (The Goldberg one, I mean.)
    Last edited by Pexster; January 10th, 2004 at 02:57 PM.

  4. #24
    Light to Counter the Dim MTAtech's Avatar
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    Actually, Franken did mention that the O'Liely lied about receiving a Peabody and called an honest reporter a liar for reporting it. Yet, that was just a few of the lies Franken reports. I spoke of some in another post. http://www.techimo.com/forum/showthr...lly#post904640
    Last edited by MTAtech; January 11th, 2004 at 09:13 AM.
    Conservatives: "If the facts disagree with our opinion, ignore the facts -- or at least misrepresent them."

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