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Bestseller list dominated by liberals


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Bestseller list dominated by liberals

NEW YORK (Reuters) -- Bookstore display tables give the distinct impression there is a lot of lying going on in America these days, with President George W. Bush and his top advisers portrayed as the main culprits.

Bristling with indignation at the conservative Republican president and his policies, the books by liberal commentators include: "The Lies of George W. Bush: Mastering the Politics of Deception" by David Corn, "Big Lies: The Right-Wing Propaganda Machine and How It Distorts the Truth" by Joe Conason and "Bushwhacked" by Molly Ivins and Lou Dubose.

Michael Moore's new book, "Dude, Where's My Country?", is due Tuesday. The filmmaker and gadfly's last work, "Stupid White Men," was the bestselling nonfiction book of 2002.

And if readers can't figure out who is lying about whom and about what in these books, they can turn to "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right" by acerbic political humorist Al Franken.

In various ways, these authors and others accuse Bush and his right-wing backers of telling big whoppers since winning the White House for the Republican Party almost three years ago by virtue of the razor-thin Florida vote.

Washington literary agent Jeff Kleinman, who said he receives one anti-Bush book "pitch" a week, said that in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, hijacked plane attacks on America, publishers tended to turn them down.

"Anything that was seen as anti-American was almost impossible to sell and I think the publishers' feelings were reflecting the marketplace, that people were not going to buy," Kleinman said.

But that has changed. Industry publications and best-seller lists show that some anti-Bush books are now selling well as the former Texas governor prepares to run for a second term in November 2004 and 10 Democrats vie for the challenger's mantle.

'Most presidents lie'

Controversy about a Fox lawsuit against Al Franken's book helped drive it to the top of the bestseller list.

Liberal writers have unsheathed their sharpest pencils to accuse Bush of lying about the effects of his tax cuts, the impact of his policies on the environment and the justification for his declared war on terrorism. They also contend he distorted intelligence about Iraq's purported weapons of mass destruction to wage war on Saddam Hussein.

"George W. Bush is a liar," Corn, Washington editor of the left-wing newsweekly The Nation, writes in his introduction. "He has lied large and small, directly and by omission. He has mugged the truth -- not merely in honest error, but deliberately, consistently, and repeatedly."

Corn, whose weekly's October 13 cover depicts Bush's with a long Pinocchio nose, concedes in his book that "a liar in the White House is not a remarkable development. Most presidents lie, many brazenly and with impunity."

Books hammering Bush mirror best-seller lists of the 1990s that were crammed with books bashing President Bill Clinton, the Democrat who was impeached for perjury before a grand jury and obstruction of justice in the Monica Lewinsky affair.

New York Times columnist David Brooks said the partisan books on Clinton and Bush marked a shift in America to the "presidency wars" from "culture wars" of preceding decades.

"To the warrior, politics is no longer a clash of value systems, each of which is in some way valid. It's not a competition between basically well-intentioned people who see the world differently," Brooks said in a September 30 column. "It's not even a conflict of interests. Instead, it's the Florida post-election fight over and over, a brutal struggle for office in which each side believes the other is behaving despicably."

'It is particularly contentious'

John Baker, editorial director of industry newspaper Publishers Weekly, said Franken's book and one by Princeton University economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman were selling "extraordinarily well."

In "The Great Unraveling," Krugman said Bush lied during his 2000 presidential campaign, lied once he took office, turned a record budget surplus into the biggest deficit to line the pockets of the rich and abused the public's patriotism after the September 11 attacks.

It's the Florida post-election fight over and over, a brutal struggle for office in which each side believes the other is behaving despicably.

-- New York Times columnist David Brooks on the culture wars

"There is always a flurry of books leading up to the election time, but this time it is particularly contentious because the parties are further apart than they usually are," Baker said.

One Publishers Weekly reviewer remarked that "liberals are fighting back" against liberal-bashing from right-wing commentators on TV, radio, online and in print.

For some background on the media wars, book readers can also consider buying conservative commentator Ann Coulter's "Slander: Liberal Lies About the American Right" -- her take on liberal lies -- or liberal Eric Alterman's "What Liberal Media? The Truth About Bias and the News."

In the latest slew of books to hit the market, Coulter is one target of liberal authors, but most reserve their strongest statements for Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.


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Yesterday on his show I saw Bill O'Reilly begging people to buy conservative books (and particularly his new fear-mongering little novella titled Who's Looking Out For You?!!!!!!!!!!) because there is a "war going on in the bestseller list" So all you good little lieutenants better help big bad Bill or else you might lose the war, and who knows what would happen then, dogs and cats sleeping together no doubt.

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hmmmmmmm........well......time will come to expose the lies and viciousness of the left.....molly ivins is a classic scumbaggette....maureen dowd is bringing up the rear (so to speak).....and everyone can't wait for hillary.......this is the norm! it'll be great sport.......the knife can be wielded by many hands!!!!

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