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And even sadder, but certainly not funny, that there are those who think that said news from comedians is factual.

Which facts did Franken misrepresent? Was he mistaken when he points out in Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them that Ann Coulter gets her facts wrong on page 206 of Slander? Coulter writes,

"The day after seven time NASCAR Winston Cup Champion Dale Earnhardt died in a race at the Daytona 500, almost every newspaper in America carried the story on the front page. Stock-Car racing has been the nation's fastest-growing sport for a decade, and NASCAR the second-most-watched sport behind the NFL ... It took the New York Times two days to mention it on the first page. Demonstrating the left's renowned populist touch, the article began, "His death brought a silence to the Wal-Mart."

Franken notes that her statement has two factual errors. The most glaring, her statement that the NYT didn't pay timely homage to the national hero, is contradicted by a reprint of the NYT front page the day after the crash. The most amusing, that the reference to Wal-Mart wasn't from the same article. It came from a different article written "by Rick Bragg, a Pulitzer-Prize winner who grew up in Piedmont, Alabama. Boy, I hate those Piedmont snobs! It's always Piedmont has the best this and Piedmont has the best that." Yeah, well, !#%! you, Piedmont!"

Or did he misrepresent the facts when he notes a mistake on page 68 of Coulter's book where she states that Newsweek Washington bureau chief Evan Thomas "is the son of Norman Thomas, the four-time Socialist candidate for president." Franken called Evan Thomas. The following begins on page 10 of Franken's book.

"Me: Evan, thank you for taking my call.

Evan Thomas: No problem, Al. What's up?

Me: Was Norman Thomas your father?

Evan: No.

That sounds simple enough. But to protect my reputation for thoroughness, I didn't let Evan off the hook quite so fast.

Me: Are you sure?

Evan: Yes.

Me: And your father? What was his name?

Evan: Evan Thomas, Sr. I'm a junior.

Me: Uh-huh? And your father, Evan Thomas, Sr., did he ever run for president?

Evan: No. He was in publishing.

Me: And you're sure?

Evan: Yes. Al, is this about that Ann Coulter thing?

Me: Yeah.

Evan: I heard about that. Is there something wrong with her?"

Franken is no less critical of a number of other well known journalists and political figures. He uses specific citations. His rebuttals are clearly referenced. I find, for myself, it's difficult to point to any one of them and say, for example, Al, you fool, that image of the New York Times front page is a fake! or, How would Evan Thomas know who his father is? He was a love child -- product of a torrid, secret affair with that scoundrel Norman Thomas...!

When the "Thomas Love Child" story pops up on FOX News in the near future, remember, you heard it here first...

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