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Hardcover Big Lies: The Right-Wing Propaganda Machine and How It Distorts the Truth Book

ISBN: 0312315600

ISBN13: 9780312315603

Big Lies: The Right-Wing Propaganda Machine and How It Distorts the Truth

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InBig Lies, Joe Conason rips through the ten most damaging lies perpetrated by the right wing propaganda machine. This scathing, fact-filled analysis debunks it all: - The myth that Republicans are... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Great book! (and note to "Malcontent")

First, a note to "Malcontent" (1-star review): Ooooh, someone got a thesaurus! Conason's insights, regardless of your opinion of his position, are at least verifiable and rise to a significantly higher level of scrutiny than the trash peddled by Limbaugh et al. Further recommended is Conason's regular Friday appearance on Air America's "Al Franken Show" ( Again, even if you feel Franken is too extreme in his position, Conason's considered voice of fact rings clear. Conason was reportedly a candidate to square off against Sean Hannity (who now bullies Alan Colmes on a regular basis); it's a shame the extremist right commentators are so fearful of formidable and intelligent opposition. Bottom line? Great writer, great book. Also check out "The Hunting Of The President" (now in movie form, and available on DVD).


...NOT just for those who consider themselves to be `liberals' or on the `left'. The `big lies' to which Conason refers in the title of his newest book are a double-edged sword. Not only has the right-wing conservative press perpetrated horrific and dangerous mistruths about the events leading up to and following the tragedies perpetrated on 11 September 2001 - they have convinced many otherwise sharp-thinking Americans that most of their countrymen adhere to the same mangled logic spewed out on a daily basis by such `authorities' as Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, ad nauseum.Conason's book is meticulously researched and annotated - and unlike his counterparts screaming like crazed harpies on the right, he actually uses reliable sources. One of the methods practiced by the conservative media is to allow one of their individual mouthpieces to put out a lie or half-truth, then everybody else in their camp begins to quote it as a source (usually well-aware of its initial inaccuracy), over and over, until its repeated enough that people actually begin to believe it. Another neat little trick is to answer the question they WISHED they had been asked rather than the one that was actually posed. Our President has become very adept at this - as his recent `press conference' will attest. Those members of the press who notice the shell game eventually give up, and the miscreant story makes its way into the `fact' column. There are notable exceptions in the press - thank heavens - such as Mr. Conason, who are determined to get the truth out there for people to read.Those of you who might believe the line about the `liberal media' should ask yourselves a couple of probing questions. If the media is so liberally biased, you would expect that the coverage of a small story like, say, the 2000 US Presidential elections, would have been slanted so that there were more stories concerning Gore that were positive, and more stories about Bush that were negative. The facts show just the opposite. Conservatives hammer the oft-quoted statistics that show that `most reporters say they vote Democratic' - well guess what: the reporters don't control the content of the papers for which they write, the editors and publishers do - and the editors and publishers are mostly `conservatives' (a word that they actually misapply to themselves, as Conason so clearly illustrates), and the endorsements of the top newspapers in the US have become increasingly conservative over the past few elections. Why is this? It's certainly not a reflection of public opinion - endorsing and electing right-wing candidates is more in the interest of the ultra-wealthy who actually CONTROL the press. They're perfectly happy to get the tax cuts that benefit the top 1% of Americans and pay little more than lip service to those who actually WORK for a living.It's desperately important, of course, for liberals to read this book - the information contained here is inva

This is a great book, and I don't say that lightly

I'm a very liberal person, and agreeing with what Joe Conason has to say is a good start. However, I don't give out five starts lightly, and I'll admit that the left has its fair share of sloppy political commentators who don't check their facts often. I'm glad to say that Conason here delivers a book that is as involving and well-researched as Al Franken's "Lies", and is a must read for anyone who doesn't like the way things are going in America right now.Like Franken, Conason spends a good deal of time attacking the right-wing media, but it's not the focus of the book. Rather, he concentrates on the hypocrisy of the "family values" Republicans, and the terrible things that George Bush has done to this country in the name of "restoring moral values" and "fighting the war on terrorism".I think it's about time that the left fought back against the right's charges with everything we've got. It always infuriates me when the right-wingers call Democrats un-American (I love what this country's supposed to stand for) and anti-family (I love my family dearly, and want one of my own once I graduate college) simply because we believe in equal rights for all and the continuing separation of church and state. Conason hits exactly the right note here, and I highly recommend "Big Lies".However, a disclaimer- by the time you finish this book, you will likely be very angry, as there's not as much comic relief as there was in Franken's "Lies".

a great book, if you actually read it!

This book is well worth reading and easily rises above the comments of the 'reader from San Francisco' (who seemed to think that CNN is a leftist television station because it is to the left of Bush on a few more issues than Fox is). It seems unfair to let such a lengthy attack on the book go unanswered, so here goes:1)If the commentator truly wishes to see the extent of the falsity in Bernard Goldberg's _Bias_, then he ought to read Eric Alterman's _What Liberal Media?_. Presumably, with this excellent refutation of Goldberg's canards already on the market, Conanson deemed it unnecessary to devote much space to this issue. But I'd be surprised if any open-minded person could give any credit to Goldberg after reading both his book and Alterman's.2)Conanson's claims about Clinton's more aggressive stance regarding Bin Laden are correct and well-documented. If the commentator doubts those claims, the burden is on him to show where Conanson's arguments break down. Clearly, the commentator has failed to do this: saying it's "just silly" only shows that he doesn't believe the claims made. But to doubt the conclusion to be sound without being able to find any flaws in the argument or its premises, or even to produce any counterargument, is just pigheadedness.3)In his next paragraph, the commentator asks "how the heck can you claim that the media are owned by the corporations?", the implication being that this claim of Conanson's (which is, again, backed up very well) is ridiculous and false. But this is hardly a matter of opinion! The media outlets described _are_ all owned by corporations. That is a matter of public record that nobody -- not even the media outlets and the corporations who own them -- attempts to deny!4)The fact that the corporate-owned media (like any other media) hand-pick their anchors, hosts, etc., and that the freedom of choice we have in deciding whom we will watch is limited to options among the choices the media giants have made, is clearly lost on the commentator. But it surely is even more foolish than this to refer to centrist stations like PBS and NPR as 'anti-government' when it is the members of the Bush administration who have made no secret about their wish to limit and dismantle the government, while those _against_ Bush almost invariably argue against his _removal_ of regulations, services, etc. on the part of the government. A government cannot be run without tax revenue, and those opposed to tax cuts are more frequently heard on NPR than on any of the other mainstream stations. Does the commentator not understand this?5)Finally, the commentator assumes that the only 'liberal' values worth mentioning are "atheism, gay marriage, abortion on demand, and as of late, driver licenses to illegal immigrants", and seems to assume that at bottom Conanson chiefly wishes to promote these things. But that clearly shows his unfamiliarity with Conanson's book, and the fact that the commentator's idea of 'liberalism' i

a book for patriot Democrats and Republicans

He writes a book exposing lies told to all of us by mostly extreme right-wing conservatives. He is not attacking the Republican party as a whole, or the Democrat, for that matter, but certain individuals and groups. He isn't trying to say that all conservatives or liberals are bad, but there are several out there that have taken their lies so far out that they have hurt the country to the very depths of its soul. All of us have a little liberal and a little conservative in us, some a little more of one than the other. It is this small right wing group he talks of, compared to the entire country, that has turned this country upside down with their lies. He is trying to clear some of them up.Ann Coulter is one that he exposes. Why anyone would want to believe her lies is beyond me. Her ideas are so unamerican and unchristian that it is mind boggling that they even published her book, but then you see the people who support it and her and then you get a little better idea of the brain-washing that the people are getting. He exposes the news media for its bias and shows the relations of various owners and their blatant use of distorting the truth.He tells about how Bush distorts the truth about taxes. How he tries to convince the average person how good a deal they are getting when the rich elite are the ones that are getting the deals. Most corporations and such do not pay the taxes that they should in the first place and then they get the big refunds. An example would be that under the Jobs Growth Tax Relief and Recconciliation act of 2003 under Section 179 expense Deduction: expense deduction was increased from 25,000 to 100,000 for 2003, 2004, 2005. That is 75,000 dollars that will not be taxed. If 100,000 take advantage of it, 7,500,000,000 dollars that will not be taxed in one year (multiply that times the actual number and it is mind boggling). How many average people can afford to spend 100,000 dollars? This is okay if your economy is in good shape which ours isn't.Then he deals with the very people who made such a big deal about Clinton's moral misdeeds and exposes those same people who committed the same or worse moral offenses and yet had the temerity to act like avenging angels. He shows us what a lot our politicians, etc. really believe in not just their public image. I wonder how they will explain their actions when, or if, they meet God when Judgement Day comes for them. He is fighting back as we all should, against those that lie to the people who elect them.Then he tackles the Bushes and it is not a pleasant scene. Money has been the driving force behind these people, with no regard for the average citizen. The influence of money and moneyed people have paved the way of their transgressions. He details their involvement with Ken Lay and the Enron Corporation, the one they tried to back off of when the scandal broke, but they were extremely involved with them for years. He tells of George W. stating that Ann Richa
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