To show that I am a bigger man than Rich I accepted
his challenge even though he continues to be a pantywaist.
I still contend that you can’t call Democrats “sissified”
and then refuse to fight.
I knew that Rich would try to milk this to get publicity
for his sorry Regnery book that has fallen off the
bestseller list despite the customary bulk buys by
Richard Mellon Scaife. Right now there are tens of
thousands of copies of Legacy being
fed through a wood chipper on the Scaife estate to
provide mulch for its prize-winning rose gardens.
Fortunately, since Rich is so desperate to use my
mega-book to help his faltering sales, I am in position
to call the shots. Hence, my contribution here.
link to my chapter in Lies
which tells the real story of my original challenge
Now a link to Rich’s shamelessly dishonest
column about my book, entitled, at least in the
New York Post, “Al Franken’s
You’ll notice that in his column, Rich accuses me
of a grand total of two lies. First, that I described
him as “terrified” during our initial phone
call. Believe me, he was. Rich says that’s impossible
because we were being “jocular.” Thing is,
it’s actually possible to joke while you’re terrified.
In fact, that was the entire basis for centuries of
The second lie is that I claimed that Rich had stopped
talking about Democrats feminizing politics after
our encounter on the phone. But, in fact, I wrote
that I just thought he had, and
even held out the possibility that Rich had indeed
continued that nonsense. Still I could have assigned
one of my research assistants to Nexis all of Rich’s
articles, and for that I apologize. We were busy trying
to confirm that Iraq had attempted to buy uranium
(Note: If Rich does find any factual errors in my
book, they are the fault of British Intelligence.
For example, on page 253 of Lies
I claim that Sean Hannity lived up Newt Gingrich’s
ass from 1994 to 1998. I got that from British Intelligence.
It turns out that Sean didn’t take residence up Newt’s
ass until early ‘95.)
Nevertheless Rich accuses me of lying in the above
case because I “preferred to rely on incomplete
information in order to create an untrue impression.
This is a deception, a kind of a lie.”
Yet when Rich calls my book “a loosely knit
collection of anecdotes padded out with cartoons,”
one would assume he had read the entire book that
he had actually held in his hands. Only now he admits
he did not. Instead, he only read the chapter on himself.
Talk about relying “on incomplete information
to create an untrue impression.”
Of the forty-three chapters, two contain illustrations.
One, “The Gospel of Supply Side Jesus,”
is a parody of a Christian tract illustrated, with
my words, by renowned comic-book artist Don Simpson.
It has been reprinted on BeliefNet.com,
the largest website on religious and spiritual issues
in this country, and has sparked debate in newspapers
like the Chicago Tribune on the
proper role of religion in creating tax policy.
The only other chapter containing illustrations is
“Operation Chickenhawk” about “masculine”
Republican Chickenhawks such as George W. Bush, Dick
Cheney, John Ashcroft, Clarence Thomas, and Bill O’Reilly
serving on John Kerry’s swift boat on the Mekong.
They go up river to extract a renegade squad that
won’t fight: guys named Gingrich, Limbaugh, George
“Stone” Will, Pat Buchanan, and Phil Gramm.
This chapter, more than any other, shows the fallacy
of the masculine Republican versus the feminized Democrat.
Then Rich criticizes John Kerry, a guy one hundred
times the man of either of us, for “his recent
resort to easy tears.”
There are anecdotes. But often
they are a way of talking about real policy questions:
crime, national defense, corruption, the insanity
of O’Reilly and Coulter and Hannity.
Most of the chapters, however, are anecdote-free.
So, who’s the lying liar, my friends? We’ll find
out soon. Rich hopes before Christmas, so he can be
sucked into my tailwind and ride the holiday buying
spree. Me, I’ll see when I finish Legacy.
I’ve started and it’s a little slow-going. Maybe January
3 or 4.