Ann Coulter v. Al Franken

Who is more dishonest Ann Coulter or Al Franken?

I will cast my vote for Coulter (lying, that is)

What has Ann Coulter said that was ever a lie?

Read her latest column if you want to hear her response to specific claims of some people who charge her with “lying”.

Al Franken, but only because he admits that what he says isn’t true, or at the very least, only parody.

He was sued by Fox over the “Fair and Balanced” thing and defended himself with “Its parody. I’m just making a joke.”

Fine. Make a joke. But don’t expect that your “joke” should be taken seriouly by anyone but a fool.

The fact that Al is hiding behind his “joke” makes him not only a liar, but a coward. At least Coulter says “This is me and what I believe.”

No joke.

Ann discusses this very thing today:

Can anyone cite an example from Franken’s new book that is a deliberate lie on his part. I’m not talking about situations that are clearly satirical, but something that is just flat false. Ann Coulter (R-She-Bitch) wouldn’t know the truth if it tried to pick her up in a dyke bar.

The difference is very simple. Coulter lies, Franken doesn’t.

What has Franken said that was a lie? When has Franken said that he didn’t really mean something. Just because he’s funny doesn’t mean he he doesn’t mean it. If he’s kidding about something he;s “kidding on the square.”

JamesCarroll: Parody is afforded special 1st amendment protections. Parody is not an excuse, it’s a legal defense against a trademark infringement suit. Fox said people would see Franken’s book and really believe it was an official Fox News product because of the words “fair and balanced.” Aside from the fact that “fair and balanced” is most likely not trademark-able in the first place (the Patent and Trademark office will take your money and give you a patent or trademark on anything you desire; whether it will stand up in court in a challenge is a completely different matter), the first amendment does not allow trademark to be a limit on free speech when one parodies a trademarked product. To censor Franken (whether you agree with him or not) due to “fair and balanced” would be anathema to the first amendment.

And, for the record, I hate all these people, but Coulter is a lying psychopath, while Franken is nothing worse than unfunny. Coulter lies again and again, while Franken does not. Lies are not subjective, by the way. Whether something is true or not is not a matter of opinion. Coulter is a liar, and so is Hannity, and so is O’Reilly.

What does Coulter say that is a lie? I can see how people on the other side of the spectrum disagree with her, but that doesn’t make what she says “lies”.

Coulter’s lies and half-truths are well documented on the web (some links below). However, I’m not aware that anything in Franken’s book has been proven to be false.

Of Franken, Spinsanity says:

Just my .02

(Following information taken from Al Franken’s book Lies.)

Ann Coulter made the following claim as part of a larger claim that the New York Times is out of touch with what Americans really care about: “It took The New York Times two days to deem Earnhardt’s death sufficiently important to mention it on the first page. Demonstrating the left’s renowned populist touch, the article began, ‘His death brought a silence fo the Wal-Mart.’” In fact, the NYT ran a front-page story the day after he died (2/19/01), which began, “Stock car racing’s greatest star, Dale Earnhardt, was killed today as he tried to block a car from catching the two front-runners…”

There’s more where that came from. Franken devotes two chapters to easily verified examples of Coulter’s dishonesty.

“silence fo the Wal-Mart” should read “silence to the Wal-Mart”.

So, it’s only a lie if the person saying it admits it’s not true? Wow… what an interesting standard! :rolleyes:

Coulter wins this contest, hands down. Take a look at them thar Spinsanity links cmason posted and see what you think. She makes me think of Robert Browning:

And the link I showed you earlier is Coulter’s response.

As Scylla dutifully points out, the link he posted in the fifth post to this thread rebuts most of these charges (everything but the Florida media recount issue). To sum her response up:

– The only flat-out wrong thing is the bit about Earnhardt not making the front page, which was corrected shortly after the book’s publication.

– Norm Thomas was Evan Thomas’ grandfather, not his father, which is indeed an error on Coulter’s part, but it’s even more dishonest of Franken to suggest there is no family connection.

– The Jesse Jackson speech included the following line: “In South Africa, the status quo was called racism. We rebelled against it. In Germany, it was called fascism. Now in Britain and the U.S. it is called conservatism.” The New York Times did not run anything about that aspect of his speech, which is what Coulter was highlighting – a simple report that “Jesse Jackson gave a speech” doesn’t convey the controversial content of that speech. Coulter could admittedly have been clearer on this point, but context makes what she’s saying reasonably clear.

To be clear, I’m no fan of Ann Coulter. The Spinsanity articles, dealing as they do with her use of inflammatory rhetoric, the absurdist spin she places on many of her facts, and the gigantic leaps of logic she must make to reach her conclusions, are far more damning. Franken would be better off making those kinds of criticisms. But then he’d have to be a serious critic, and not just a snarky satirist.

But let’s face it: Franken is in the Bush leagues (pun intended) of dishonesty. A better OP: Who’s more dishonest, Coulter or Michael Moore?

Dewey said it.

The Spinsanity articles focus on the real problems in Coulter’s presentations - the lack of intellectual honesty, of using misleading facts to draw misleading inferences. That’s the reason Coulter is a problem.

Mr2001’s repost of the Franken charges suffer the same flaw I just ascribed to Coulter. Norman Thomas is Evan Thomas’ grandfather, a point Franken doesn’t share. Franken doesn’t lie, and, technically, he points out that what Coulter said isn’t true. But as far as intellectual honesty goes, Coulter’s misstatement is a small one and Franken’s omission is huge.

So, too, with regard to the Jackson speech. The Times reported a speech, so, technically, Coulter’s claim that they didn’t report the speech is false. But her point was obvious: the Times did not report Jackson’s analogy of conservatism to Nazism. Franken doesn’t clarify this.

An intellectually honest person strives to both say the correct fact and leave you with the correct impression. Neither Franken nor Coulter win any points for this.

  • Rick

…If Norman Thomas had been Evan Thomas’s father. Which he was not.
As for the “Evan Thomas” thing. She admits this week that she lied.

Evan Thomas’ father wasn’t the socialist. It was his GRANDfather. That makes all the difference. Yes, that’s quite a lie. Why didn’t Franken mention that it was his grandfather? He makes it seem she made it up out of whole cloth? I think his is more of a lie in that situation, by implying there was no factual basis whatsoever to her claim.

This was, I think, particularly brilliant on Al Franken’s part. He criticizes Ann Coulter for using endnotes because it makes it easy to hide things. He goes on for several pages on how Ann Coulter hides misleading statements and poor research by using endnotes. Anyhow, Al Franken writes “Evan Thomas is the grandson of Norman Thomas.” Why did Ann Coulter not see this? Because Al Franken put this in and endnote.


Bingo. Al nailed Ann’s lying ass to the wall with that endnote, precisely because it shows the inherent dishonesty of her rhetorical methods–harp endlessly on the technical truth, bury or ignore what to anybody else would be the important truth.