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Franken's book bravely presents the truth (DOUBLE-MEGA-BARF ALERT!!)
St. Paul Pioneer Press ^ | 9/21/03 | Deborah Locke

Posted on 09/21/2003 10:00:19 AM PDT by Lucretia Borgia

Franken's book bravely presents the truth

by Deborah Locke, Editorial Writer, St. Paul Pioneer Press

At least two sections of Al Franken's book ought to grab the attention of people from Minnesota. In "Lies: And the Lying Liars Who Tell Them -- A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right," Franken recounts the Paul Wellstone memorial. The chapter is a good example of the way right-wing pundits aided by their media outlets will distort the facts to the American people. A more chilling theme throughout the book is the way mainstream media organizations buy into the lies and report them as fact. In short, while Democrats grieved in October, Republicans handled. You know the outcome.

The other section -- and I call them sections because the book is strangely organized -- contains Franken's shrewd analysis of the Clinton administration's anti-terror program and the Bush administration's indifference to it once Bush took office. Franken does what no journalist or political analyst that I'm aware of has done -- connected the pieces into a troubling whole.

So far I may have given the impression that the book is a ponderous policy analysis. But come on. Most of you out there know Al Franken -- Minnesota-raised and a former Saturday Night Live writer and performer. Consequently the ample data in the book is balanced with biting, laugh-out-loud humor.

The book got its start when Franken became disenchanted with what he viewed as gross distortions from right-wing pundits whose comments fed right-wing news outlets, like the Fox network and the Washington Times. He began to see patterns of sheer nonsense reported as fact, such as stories that Al Gore "invented" the Internet.

Meanwhile, an intimidated and terrified mainstream press bought and still buys into the lies. For example, newspapers and broadcasters throughout the country merrily swallowed press secretary Ari Fleischer's reports of "vandalism" by departing Clinton White House staffers. (Guess what. It never happened.)

The lies take on a life of their own to a point where a largely innocent and moving event, like the Sen. Wellstone memorial, become tinged with disrepute. The Wellstone chapter describes "a story of pure cynicism in the pursuit of power," Franken wrote. "It is the story of how the lying liars took the death of my friends and invented a myth that changed the 2002 elections."

Franken, who knew Wellstone well, attended the memorial organized by the family members of those who died. He repeats parts of the three hours of moving tributes, including those of Mark Wellstone and David McLaughlin. Franken described Rick Kahn's eulogy for Wellstone as "dead-on" at the start. However, Kahn's emotional plea to Republicans to support Walter Mondale was "bizarre," wrote Franken.

Republicans pounced. Former Republican Congressman Vin Weber told the Star Tribune that the "memorial" was instead a "political event," and an "absolute sham." Republican policy analyst Sarah Janacek told reporters that the audience was prompted by screen messages on when to laugh and clap. (The screens provided closed captioning for the hearing impaired.)

The next day 20 million listeners heard Rush Limbaugh describe the memorial as a "sham" and "disgusting," with a "planted audience." On CNN's Crossfire, Tucker Carlson called the memorial "nauseating" and "hijacked by partisan zealots," even though he didn't watch it. Christopher Caldwell with the Weekly Standard called the memorial "twisted, pagan, childish, inhumane and even totalitarian."

Pagan? Totalitarian?

Franken wrote, "Once the right wing had created its myth about what had happened, it became a lot easier to report the distortion than to report the truth." He concluded that the right, not the left, tried to cheapen Wellstone's life by dishonoring his death.

"The right-wing media ... seized on an opportunity to use tragedy for political gain. It was Rush, and the Republican Party, and the Weekly Standard, and the Wall Street Journal, and Fox -- then it was CNN and MSNBC and all the newspapers that wrote hundreds of articles -- that got it wrong."

Through a great deal of investigative reporting by Franken's research assistants, "Lying Liars" gets it right. Yes, the "Operation Chickenhawk" chapter read like a bad SNL skit and I skipped the "Supply Side Jesus" comic. However, the book is like the Wellstone memorial in one sense. A small portion is bizarre, but doesn't reflect the whole. Franken does what many in my profession haven't done -- present the truth and expose the lying liars.

Contact Locke at dlocke@pioneerpress.com


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Minnesota
KEYWORDS: barf; barfalert; bizarroworld; bookreview; delusional; deniaaintariver; denydenydeny; dnctalkingpoints; doofus; franken; hurl; idiot; kneepadbrigade; koolaiddrinkers; liberal; lies; lyingliar; mediabias; moron; newspeak; partisanwonk; propaganda; puke; shill; spew; technicoloryawn; unfunnyman; usefulidiot; wellstone; wellstonefuneral; wellstonememorial
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I darn near lost my breakfast reading this one.
1 posted on 09/21/2003 10:00:19 AM PDT by Lucretia Borgia
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To: Lucretia Borgia
If Locke believes Franken as a news source, she's probably mentally ill.
2 posted on 09/21/2003 10:04:21 AM PDT by Chi-townChief
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To: Lucretia Borgia
How could you even read this? I passed. For All: Here in Minnesota we have no balance in the media, This is what we deal with day in day out. If we did not control the Gov and House it would look like California.
3 posted on 09/21/2003 10:05:32 AM PDT by Brimack34 (Liberals are dummer then they look!!!)
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To: Lucretia Borgia
I wonder if there is any reference to the dubbed cheers at the NYFD - NYPD(?) rally where Hillary was actually boooed and MTV presented it with only cheers.
4 posted on 09/21/2003 10:09:46 AM PDT by Bringbackthedraft (CLARK/HILLARY 04 = JUAN/EVITA 04)
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To: Brimack34
Opposition research. It's always good to know what the enemy is "thinking".
5 posted on 09/21/2003 10:09:56 AM PDT by Lucretia Borgia
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To: Lucretia Borgia
Blatent lies by Franken. He ignores all of what actually happens. Then presents a minority of what happoened then uses the minority occurences to try and discredit reporting of the majority of the event. Not unlike what the left does when it shills for violent rallies and activism.
6 posted on 09/21/2003 10:09:58 AM PDT by Bogey78O (The Clinton's have pardoned more terrorists than they ever captured/killed -Peach)
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To: Chi-townChief
If Locke believes Franken as a news source, she's probably mentally ill.

As an editorialist for a liberal newspaper, isn't that part of the job description?

7 posted on 09/21/2003 10:13:29 AM PDT by Spiritus Gladius
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To: Lucretia Borgia
The problem, Ms. Locke, is that the Democrats made the mistake of televising the Wellstone memorial as a cynical propoganda device that backfired. The nation watched your beloved Democrats defile the casket with blatant anti-Bush campaigning.

We know what we saw, and the left cannot take back that day.

They cannot take back Elian's capture, Waco, Impeachment, the stained dress, complicity in treason and a hundred other embarrassments. Sorry.

Consequences. They're a bitch.
8 posted on 09/21/2003 10:15:11 AM PDT by moodyskeptic
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To: Lucretia Borgia
This is getting irritating.

I wonder if Jim R. can start a new category called "NEWSPEAK"?

We can visit it randomly when in need of comic relief.

9 posted on 09/21/2003 10:15:32 AM PDT by Publius6961 (californians are as dumb as a sack of rocks.)
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To: Lucretia Borgia
Only in the author's mind does this present the truth.
10 posted on 09/21/2003 10:17:54 AM PDT by freekitty
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To: Lucretia Borgia
Hey Al, I didn't form my impression of the Welstone memorial based on what I saw on "right-wing media."

I happened to watch 10 minutes of the Wellstone memorial live, and was appalled. I saw a mob cheering a speaker screaming (approximately, I'm doing this from memory): "We're going to win! We're going to win!... we're going to take back the house, we're going to take back the senate... in 2004 we're going to take back the white house!" The crowd went wild.

It didn't take any right wing cabal in the press to spin this and distort it to create some powerful election-winning myth. The "memorial" was purely and simply a naked, partisan political rally masquerading as a memorial.

I wonder how Franken explains independent governor Ventura walking out in disgust.

11 posted on 09/21/2003 10:18:31 AM PDT by ChuxsterS
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To: Lucretia Borgia
In short, while Democrats grieved in October...,

Depends on your definition of "grieve".

12 posted on 09/21/2003 10:22:01 AM PDT by martin_fierro (Great Googlymoogly!)
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To: Lucretia Borgia
Democrats mourning Paul Wellstone:


13 posted on 09/21/2003 10:24:51 AM PDT by brbethke
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To: martin_fierro
Dang. You beat me to it.
14 posted on 09/21/2003 10:25:52 AM PDT by brbethke
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To: Lucretia Borgia
Hmmm... someone needs to write a book called "Al is propagandist: A Fair and Balanced look at the lying liar and the lies he tells"
15 posted on 09/21/2003 10:35:21 AM PDT by Chad Fairbanks ("People never grow up, they just learn how to act in public." - Bryan White)
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To: Lucretia Borgia
Locke is proof that Pravda has reporters and editors embedded with US newspapers.
16 posted on 09/21/2003 10:36:44 AM PDT by Drango (McClintock is my first choice, but given the numbers I'm voting for Arnold.)
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To: Chi-townChief
If she believes Franken is a NEWS source, maybe she was in the home-ec or nude basket weaving classrooms when the difference was being taught.
17 posted on 09/21/2003 10:40:15 AM PDT by Wondervixen (Ask for her by name--Accept no substitutes!)
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To: Lucretia Borgia
Dear Ms. Locke:
 
You wrote:
1. The next day 20 million listeners heard Rush Limbaugh describe the memorial as a "sham" and "disgusting," with a "planted audience."
 
Actually, Limbaugh played numerous lengthy (3 to 5 minute) clips from the "memorial" and it was easy for listeners to decide for the themselves that the whole thing was a sham. And, if it was all really a right-wing plot to discredit the "memorial," then why does this Associated Press article say that "Mr. Wellstone's campaign manager, Jeff Blodgett, apologized for the event the next morning?" Note that he apologized before Limbaugh's show or any other conservative radio or TV show.
 
Further, why does the article describe members of Wellstone's team realizing that it was a public relations disaster immediately after the event? Do you think that Limbaugh and Fox News called them and told them of their secret plans to undermine the lovely memorial?
 
And why did Governor Jesse Ventura walking out of the "memorial?" He isn't exactly a mind-numbed robot of the religious right, you know.
 
Looks like your research here was about as good as Mr. Franken's -- non-existent. Get a copy of the "memorial" and watch it.
 
Don't you just hate the internet -- informed citizens can give instant feedback with citations to lazy, biased reporters. Should we expect a retraction of your column?
 
Best regards,
 
-Michael McCullough
 Dallas, Texas

18 posted on 09/21/2003 10:44:16 AM PDT by DallasMike
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To: Lucretia Borgia
Let's refute the lies in this book so that we can answer the left's claims.

Start with the vandalism to the Whitehouse. We all know it happened, but can we prove it?
19 posted on 09/21/2003 10:50:54 AM PDT by Eva
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To: DallasMike
Should we expect a retraction of your column?

Now we don't expect anything like integrity from these reporters, do we?


20 posted on 09/21/2003 10:54:58 AM PDT by rdb3 (Which is more powerful: The story or the warrior?)
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To: Lucretia Borgia
I sent the author an email. I love it when liberal stooges get freeped with a few thousand emails. Personally, I can believe that the libs will stoop so low as to use a washed up SNL writer from the 1970's as a vehicle for their hatred of the President. Franken is both a liar, and a total joke.

21 posted on 09/21/2003 10:58:05 AM PDT by Astronaut
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To: Bogey78O
Franken is a bilge peddler.
22 posted on 09/21/2003 10:58:06 AM PDT by pankot
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To: Chi-townChief
If Locke believes Franken as a news source, she's probably mentally ill.

From what their own left-wing media, which is 95% of the American media, showed, the Wellstone tribute looked like a nazi party rally in Nuremberg. If there were tender and quiet moments of respect, they chose not to show it to me, or the rest of the nation.

The leftists are now so sick, they have to wait for a book by a party hack to learn what it was they saw with their own eyes. The klintons have completed the Stalinization of the democRAT party and its auxilliaries.

23 posted on 09/21/2003 11:05:41 AM PDT by 300winmag (All that is gold does not glitter.)
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To: Lucretia Borgia
For example, newspapers and broadcasters throughout the country merrily swallowed press secretary Ari Fleischer's reports of "vandalism" by departing Clinton White House staffers. (Guess what. It never happened.)

My sister-in-law worked on the Bush transition team. She was among the first allowed into the West Wing aftet the election. THERE WAS VANDALISM, pornography, keys missing. Clinton staffers were all dressed casually, cursing up a storm, totally disrespectful of the office.

In other words nearly all that was reported is true. On what "evidence" does this reporter base the conclusion that "guess what, It never happened"?

24 posted on 09/21/2003 11:10:20 AM PDT by montag813
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To: montag813
http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d02360.pdf
25 posted on 09/21/2003 11:14:52 AM PDT by FreedomCalls (It's the "Statue of Liberty," not the "Statue of Security.")
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To: FreedomCalls
Well. I would call *that* pretty darned convinving. "Didn't happen," huh, Ms Locke? Here's hoping she does a somewhat better job of researching her other screeds and scribblings.
26 posted on 09/21/2003 11:25:25 AM PDT by brbethke
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To: Lucretia Borgia
Interesting that her three 'lies' are demonstrably true.

Can she deny that millions of Americans saw and heard the clip of algore tell Blitzer, 'I took the iniative in creating the internet'?

The current White House continues to pay the price for not showing the damage done by the departing Clintonoids. I have no doubt the WH was trashed, and that the current administration decided to let it ride for the sake of a harmonious speedy transition.

Finally, anyone who saw any part of the Wellstone memorial knows the cold hard truth of a morbid political pep rally.
27 posted on 09/21/2003 11:27:34 AM PDT by TC Rider (The United States Constitution 1791. All Rights Reserved.)
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To: Lucretia Borgia
"The right-wing media ... seized on an opportunity to use tragedy for political gain. It was Rush, and the Republican Party, and the Weekly Standard, and the Wall Street Journal, and Fox -- then it was CNN and MSNBC and all the newspapers that wrote hundreds of articles -- that got it wrong."

The article never explains why the right-wing analysis was off base.

28 posted on 09/21/2003 11:28:37 AM PDT by Sir Gawain
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To: Brimack34
Too true. Between the Star-Tribune, the Pioneer Press, and all of the "indy" newspapers that you can pick up at any resturant or coffee shop, the closest you can get to a local conservative voice is the University of Minnesota's student newspaper.
29 posted on 09/21/2003 11:35:24 AM PDT by RightWingAtheist
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To: All
The newspaper employee typed in her feeeeeeeeeeeeeelings. No big deal.
30 posted on 09/21/2003 11:37:26 AM PDT by WilliamofCarmichael
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To: Publius6961
We should also have a "hold muh barf bag" alert for editiorials and news items which display-literally and figuratively- gross stupidity on the part of the author.
31 posted on 09/21/2003 11:40:34 AM PDT by RightWingAtheist
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To: Lucretia Borgia
Deborah Locke

Astounding that no talent two-bit cretins like this one actually get paid in American funds to "write" this bullsh*t.

Of course, to be a leftist, self delusion is the major prerequisite.

32 posted on 09/21/2003 11:42:46 AM PDT by Rome2000 (Vote McNader and Bustamante wins)
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To: 300winmag
From what their own left-wing media, which is 95% of the American media, showed, the Wellstone tribute looked like a nazi party rally in Nuremberg. If there were tender and quiet moments of respect, they chose not to show it to me, or the rest of the nation.

Keep in mind that the only channel outside of Minnesota that aired the Wellstone memorial in its entirety, live, was C-SPAN. (IIRC, the news channels aired a bit of it and then pulled out for most of it because it was so embarrassing. If anything, they were trying to COVER UP what was obviously an orgy of hate.) There was no spin, no analysis. They turned their cameras on, aired the whole event without a word, then turned off their cameras and went home. That is where the outrage started: With regular people watching on TV the exact same thing, and ONLY the exact same thing, that people in the arena itself were seeing. The public outcry began instantly, long before any news media, left or right, had a chance to even begin to "interpret" it for us.

Go back and look at the original FR live thread, Mr. Franken, and then tell us we were all duped by "the right-wing media" (a concept which is laughable in itself) when we were already outraged before any news organization had said a word about it.

33 posted on 09/21/2003 11:46:23 AM PDT by Timesink
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To: Lucretia Borgia
I've still got the clips from that 'memorial' saved on my computer. There is absolutely no semblance of honesty in this article. Ms. Locke's column (and Franken's book) typifies the liberal tactic of accusing your opponents of what you yourself are doing. The Right was exploiting a tragedy? Give me a break. What shameless liars these people on the left are.
34 posted on 09/21/2003 11:46:47 AM PDT by Republican Wildcat (Help us elect Republicans in Kentucky! Click on my name for links to all the 2003 candidates!)
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To: Lucretia Borgia
Locke is a typical two bong hit William BLake. This woman's deracination suggests that she disported heavily while writing this inane drivel.
35 posted on 09/21/2003 11:48:42 AM PDT by .cnI redruM (There are two certainties. Death and Texas.)
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To: Lucretia Borgia
If you're a Minnesotan, you'd expect this type of crap from the Minneapolis Red Star, not the St. Paul paper. Can't believe this come from the Paper of Garage Logic.
36 posted on 09/21/2003 11:56:06 AM PDT by GreatOne (You will bow down before me, Son of Jor-el!)
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To: Lucretia Borgia
Al Franken will also be in St.Paul to hawk his book sometime in early October, around the same time Paul Krugman will be visiting to promote his own liberal tome.

I'll be staying indoors.

37 posted on 09/21/2003 11:58:30 AM PDT by RightWingAtheist
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To: Lucretia Borgia
I can't finish reading this...she and the rest of the left are trying WAAAAY too hard to make us believe a political rally and concert complete with concession stands and partying Dems making campaign speeches was a memorial to Wellstone.

Wellstone was a decent man. He didn't pretend to be anything he was not. The left has been campaigning for a year to make that "memorial" into something it was not : a memorial.

Thie article about the Franken's "bravely truthful" book AND the book itself simply shows further disrespect of the dead.

38 posted on 09/21/2003 12:02:30 PM PDT by cake_crumb (UN Resolutions = Very Expensive, Very SCRATCHY Toilet Paper)
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To: martin_fierro

39 posted on 09/21/2003 12:07:00 PM PDT by Timesink
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To: DallasMike
Outstanding reply-expect her to completely ignore it.
40 posted on 09/21/2003 12:10:33 PM PDT by 91B (Golly it's hot.)
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To: DallasMike; Alberta's Child
I like what Alberta's Child wrote in that thread you linked to:
The Democratic Party has become nothing more than a series of industrial accidents just waiting to happen.
Almost a year later, and that statement is more true than ever.
41 posted on 09/21/2003 12:21:56 PM PDT by Timesink
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To: Chi-townChief
If Locke believes Franken as a news source, she's probably mentally ill.

Why not? The FCC believes Howard Stern is a news show.

42 posted on 09/21/2003 12:26:52 PM PDT by Archangelsk ("Toss in a buck ya cheap bastard, I paid for your g**damn breakfast." Joe)
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To: moodyskeptic
Indeed. I watched the Wellstone memorial service - it was disgusting! And no spinning from Franken can change what I saw, or thought as I was seeing it.

The truth hurts - so Franken should be pain free.
43 posted on 09/21/2003 12:38:52 PM PDT by Mr Rogers
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To: Lucretia Borgia
This book would be in the remainder bin by now were it not for all the free publicity generated by Fox's ill-advised and boneheaded lawsuit. You'd think they could afford real lawyers.
44 posted on 09/21/2003 12:43:48 PM PDT by clintonh8r (A gentleman knows something about everything and everything about something.)
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To: GreatOne
You have to remember that Joe Soucheray is the token voice of reason and sanity for the Pioneer Press. If it doesn't make sense in the garage, it will not make sense any where else.
45 posted on 09/21/2003 12:55:28 PM PDT by Lucretia Borgia
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To: ChuxsterS
Hey Al, I didn't form my impression of the Welstone memorial based on what I saw on "right-wing media."

Exactly. I watched the whole thing live on Cspan and didn't need Rush Limbaugh to tell me how disgusting it was.

46 posted on 09/21/2003 1:04:45 PM PDT by Roscoe Karns
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To: Lucretia Borgia
Franken recounts the Paul Wellstone memorial. The chapter is a good example of the way right-wing pundits aided by their media outlets will distort the facts to the American people.

The unedited broadcast of the political rally that way the Wellstone funeral did more damage than Rush Limbaugh or Fox News could ever have done. The public saw with their own eyes unrestrained hate and pontificating at a funeral.

Wellstone Memorial on C-SPAN2 NOW!

***RALLY ON A CORPSE: DEMOCRATS TURN WELLSTONE MEMORIAL IN TO FIERY CAMPAIGN CALL!***

Here's a blog entry I found where a Rat defended the booing of Trent Lott at the Wellstone funeral. Dick Cheney was told not to attend. These are the facts that people on the left "forget" or try to spin.

Bubba (and Fritz) got some laughs in:

Of course he always does at funeral:


47 posted on 09/21/2003 1:18:03 PM PDT by weegee
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To: Eva
The retreating Clinton staff vandalized the White House complex. The report is at http://www.gao.gov, Report Number GAO-02-360.
48 posted on 09/21/2003 1:23:45 PM PDT by optimistically_conservative (assonance and consonance have nothing on alliteration)
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To: Bringbackthedraft
I wonder if there is any reference to the dubbed cheers at the NYFD - NYPD(?) rally where Hillary was actually boooed and MTV presented it with only cheers.

Now now, SeeBS-MTV-VH1 are owned by Viacommie and had to protect their investment as Viacom's publishing arm, Simon and Schuester, paid Mrs. Bill Clinton $8million for her book.

That edited version of the concert is all that is available on DVD too. Rather than cut the offending speech altogether or letting it stay, warts and all, they have lied about the way that event happened that night and left in the overdubbed cheers.

I pointed this out on some DVD review sites and a few critics thought that this was bad, but not bad enough to avoid buying the disc. Of course, these are the same geeks who will throw a hissy fit if a song on the soundtrack has been changed on the DVD version, a director like David Lynch optically darkens a scene so that an actress' pubic hair will not be visible in the home video version of Mulholand Drive, etc.

Yeah. I know all about lying liars, Al.

49 posted on 09/21/2003 1:25:38 PM PDT by weegee
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To: Lucretia Borgia
"The other section -- and I call them sections because the book is strangely organized -- contains..."

Is "strangely organized" a kind euphamism for "poorly organized"?

50 posted on 09/21/2003 1:27:56 PM PDT by weegee
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