I just started reading Al Franken's book, Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them. As a media professional Franken suggests that there are biases in the media that are much more important than the "liberal bias" often ballyhooed by the conservative media.Most of these biases stem from something called "the profit motive." That is why we often see a bias toward the Sensational, involving Scandal, and, hopefully Sex or Violence, or please, please, pleeeze, both."And there's the Easy-and-Cheap-to-Cover bias, which is why almost all political coverage is about process and horse race and not about policy. Why have an in-depth report on school vouchers when two pundits who've spent five minutes in the green room looking over a couple of articles Xerosed by an intern can just scream at each other about the issues on the air?There's the Get-It-First bias ... Pack Mentality. Negativity. Soft News. The Don't-Offend-the-Conglomerates-that-Own-Us bias. And, of course, the ever-present bias of Hoping There's a War to Cover.With the help of fourteen Harvard students and grad students Franken has presented a credible rebuttal to the part of the media and political world he so frankly characterizes as liars. So far I've read devestating critiques of Ann Coulter, Bernard Goldberg (With whom I worked for many years), Fox News, Bill O'Reilly and Hannity and Colmes. Franken is direct and very funny. So far I haven't found an instance where he could be accused of misrepresenting the facts -- and probably for good reason. As he, himself, writes,Thanks to TeamFranken (Fourteen Harvard Helpers), you can rest assurred that almost every fact in this book is correct.
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