Al Franken, author of “Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them,” is getting a bit of his own medicine via a new website created to challenge the liberal humorist’s claims in the book.
Frankenlies.com points out several factual missteps in Franken’s book, complete with footnoted rebuttals.
Written in a comical tone, the site points out the irony of Franken’s claim that 14 researchers helped him fact-check his book, while frankenlies.com employs exactly “zero Harvard researchers.”
One of Franken’s “lies” cited is his contention President Bill Clinton thwarted “plots to kill the pope and blow up 12 U.S. jetliners simultaneously.”
Frankenlies.com corrects the author, noting it was Philippine officials who prevented the attack on the pope in Manila in 1995.
“The truth is that Bill Clinton had as much to do with thwarting these plots as, well, as much as Al Franken did,” the site states.
Another Franken claim the site takes on is that former Bush foreign policy adviser Richard Armitage “bolted” from a Senate hearing and “[knocked] over veteran reporter Helen Thomas, breaking her hip and jaw.”
The person behind frankenlies.com, who remains nameless on the site, shares a brief e-mail dialogue he had with Thomas in which the longtime White House correspondent says the claim is “not true,” and then thanks him “for your concern.”
The site further takes issue with Franken’s sourcing of Net blogs as evidence to back up his claims:
“If Franken’s presentation weren’t shameful enough, he reaches one of the lowest rungs of journalistic integrity when he cites Internet ‘blogs’ as evidence of ‘voter suppression’ during elections of 2002. (And he doesn’t even cite a single specific blog address for someone to investigate for himself!) (“Lies,” page 363). Blogs, like the graffiti one sees on the walls of a public restroom, are not subject to any editing, fact checking, or rules whatsoever. To level such serious implications of racism and then cite Internet blogs as a source of information is hardly up to the standards of any credible author. …”
The site’s creator posts some comments from readers:
“Can someone please tell me why Mr. Franken’s book is not relegated to the FICTION section of the book stores? Keep up the good work,” says one reader.
Said another: “Thanks for helping to right the many wrongs. … When did comedians become foreign policy experts, and when did the American people start taking these comedians seriously?”
Frankenlies.com invites readers to contact the creator if they know of any inaccuracies in the site’s analyses. No word yet on whether or not Franken himself has challenged any of the postings.
Says the site’s creator: “This site is not intended as a personal attack toward any individual. It is intended as an honest challenge/critique to a published work.”