Al Franken learns ‘comedy’ ain’t always pretty

The white lab coats here at the Policy Werkes are examining the photograph of Al Franken giving a sleeping young lady’s boobs a good working over while grinning at the camera like a college freshman at a wapatoolie party. Or did he even make contact? Hard to tell from the photo. We need video evidence for the upcoming U.S. Senate hearings into the matter and tax reform be damned!

This career-threatening incident occurred in 2006 “when Franken was a comedian,” the New York Times helpfully reminds. Comedians! Steve Martin warned us in 1979: Comedy Isn’t Pretty.

Look, the Squire is as partisan as the next right-wing Republican and admits to a certain amount of schadenfreude but a U.S. Senate ethics investigation? Doesn’t that sound like overkill? Will it be televised? Investigate what? Is there Zapruder video? Film canisters in a pumpkin? The guy admits he done it and expresses contrition: “It was clearly intended to be funny but wasn’t. I shouldn’t have done it.”

No, whatever fallout will be political, not legislative or judicial. Because Franken’s escapade Trumps (so to speak) our current president’s bragging (before HE was President) about grabbing you-know-what, which is when Your Squire jumped off the Trump train. (Not that he is a blue nose, by any means.) Trump’s boasting well may have been only boys-on-the-bus braggadocio. Moreover, his claim purports consent. “They let you do it” when you are rich and famous.

Al Franken, by contrast, felt up an unconscious, sleeping woman. That’s what Losers do. And there are pictures — unlike in Trump’s case — to prove it. Even so, the Policy Werkes is not certain Al Franken’s offense rises to the level of, say, Roy Moore in Alabama. Even accounting for tongue in the mouth. Nor does it seem that his conduct was more piggish than Harvey Weinstein in Hollywood. Or more ruinous than Bill O’Reilly. Or, more constant than Ted Kennedy. For that matter, all the Kennedy men.

And no one dehumanized women quite as thoroughly as Hugh Hefner, who some feminists continue to admire — although nothing has surfaced to contradict the probability that his countless “conquests” (as they were known) “let him.” He was rich and famous.

Where are we now? The female backup singers for Ray Charles explained that their designation as “The Raylets” meant “we let Ray.” In The Best Years of Our Lives, what did Dana Andrews do to Teresa Wright in the parking lot? He grabbed and kissed her, unbidden. (We don’t know about any tongue.) Who put more fingers on the ladies than Harpo Marx? On film!


Bubba was in a league of his own

But for the level of predation, entitlement, and mendacity, has anyone topped Bill Clinton or his enabler, Hillary? Yet, icons of feminism like Gloria Steinem hemmed and hawed for special consideration. Bubba may be a hound dog, but he’s a liberal hound dog.

“The Democratic Party needs to make its own reckoning of the way it protected Bill Clinton,” the always readable Caitlin Flanagan writes in The Atlantic.

Flanagan scores “The notorious 1998 New York Times op-ed by Gloria Steinem” that “slut-shamed” and blamed the victims. The Steinem piece “urged compassion for and gratitude to the man the women accused.” Think of that! Flanagan continues:

Let us not forget the sex crimes of which the younger, stronger Bill Clinton was very credibly accused in the 1990s. Juanita Broaddrick … said that she fought against Clinton throughout a rape that left her bloodied. … Paula Jones … Kathleen Willey …

The [Democrat(ic)] party was on the wrong side of history and there are consequences for that. Yet expedience is not the only reason to make this public accounting. … If Weinstein and Mark Halperin and Louis C.K. and all the rest can be held accountable, so can our former president and so can his party.

In a way, Al Franken is paying the penance for offenses for which Bill Clinton and the Kennedys were granted liberal indulgence. If comedy ain’t pretty, politics ain’t always fair. Politics is also timing and perception. If Franken committed a crime, it would be (in Wisconsin) fourth-degree sexual assault, a misdemeanor. His jury, however, is the public’s perception. He is a non-person in Washington, a late-night TV punch line, persona non grata at party fundraisers, another crushing disappointment to the Never Trumpers.

“Oh no, not Al Franken, too!” Michelle Goldberg laments in the New York Times today.

Before Thursday, I’d hoped Franken would run for president in 2020. A hugely gifted communicator with entertainment chops, he seemed well suited to take on Donald Trump … [Now] I think he should go, and the governor should appoint a woman to fill his seat.

We hear Hillary is looking for work.

About David Blaska

Madison WI
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19 Responses to Al Franken learns ‘comedy’ ain’t always pretty

  1. Batman says:

    Here is what Ben Shapiro wrote today in The DailyWire about the Senate Ethics Committee.

    Here’s what you need to know about ethics investigations: they never go anywhere. Don’t believe me? Between 2007 and 2016, the Senate Ethics Committee imposed zero sanctions against anyone. Zero. Nada. Zip. Zilch. That despite 613 allegations, and 75 preliminary investigations.

    The House Ethics Committee is far more active:
    By comparison, from January 2013 through December 2014, the House Ethics Committee launched 53 investigations, created four subcommittees to probe specific matters and issued 19 “publicly disclosed resolutions” as well as 43 resolutions that were confidential, according to an activities report it issued a year ago.

    So a Senate ethics investigation is where allegations go to die.
    Which is why Franken himself has called for an ethics investigation . . . against himself. Yes, seriously. “I am asking that an ethics investigation be undertaken, and I will gladly cooperate,” Franken stated.

    Of course.

    This is a far cry from Republican calls for Roy Moore to step away from his campaign, or their threats to refuse him a Senate seat altogether. This is a way for Democrats to kick the can down the road, to pretend that they’re standing foursquare against harassment while actually winking and nodding at their friends.


  2. AnonyBob says:

    You almost got this one right, Dave. The staged-for-the-camera photo is offensive, no doubt. But it doesn’t show he touched her, and if he had he’d get a handful of…flak vest. This was not a sexual assault, it was a sophomoric assault on dignity (mostly his). Some sources are even claiming she was not asleep and was in on the (tasteless) joke. Regardless, I don’t blame her for being pissed the photo was included in the commemorative CD of the tour. More serious, however, is the forcible kiss. That’s gross and boorish, but as you point out it’s a common cinema convention and there’s this weird myth that Hey! Sometimes the ravishing babe melts in the hero’s strong arms! Or something like that. The woman has even said Franken apologized to her, that she accepted his apology, and said everyone makes a mistake and that he shouldn’t lose his job over it. It’ll be interesting to see if anyone else comes forward. All the women that’ve worked for him sing his praises. After Trump’s deafening silence on Roy Moore he should’ve kept his twittering thumbs silent on Franken. A dozen women haven’t filed lawsuits against The Groper-in-Chief just for locker room banter. As for Bill Clinton: you’re right, the party does need to come to a reckoning on his behavior and Franken is paying a price for that.


  3. coolkevs says:

    Roy Moore – 40 years of being in office and this just comes up now??? I find it very hard to believe that people weren’t looking for dirt on him when the Ten Commandments brouhaha came out. Look at the Twitter handle ThomasWichtor and see if you come away with the feeling that this possibly could be a massive political hit job. I definitely have my doubts and ultimately it will be the people of Alabama who decide that know him best. 40 years in the public eye and no accusations since 1991 – you just don’t stop being a predator.


    • Patrick M O'Loughlin says:

      Sorry, but multiple women, who don’t even know each other and have no apparent axe to grind, do not randomly get together and plot a “massive political hit job.” Have you seen his “denials?” When asked point blank if he dated underage girls he replied, “Not generally, but if I did, I always asked their mother’s permission.” And then they float the idea that the yearbook signature is a forgery!!? Really? Defending Roy Moore is a fool’s errand. Please don’t cast aspersions on Moore’s accusers, they are just as believable as any of these others and it makes one sound like a hypocrite.


      • madisonexpat says:

        Oh yes, random women come together to make a political hit. Witness Gloria (no my daughter is no longer Harvey Weensteen’s attorney) Allred and her line up of alleged victims of Donald Trump. When he said put up or see me in court they suddenly disappeared. Whoopsie.


  4. coolkevs says:

    P.S. If Menendez and Franken are still in the Senate and there is evidence of them showing wrongdoing, then what’s the problem with Moore who there is no evidence other than what looks like a forged yearbook signature that Gloria Allred refuses to turn over to a 3rd party for examination.


  5. madisonexpat says:

    Ha ha ha ABob! You are one paragraph away from seeing Ms. Tweeden’s boobs harrassing Senator Fishlips Franken’s hands.
    More popcorn please.


    • Gary L. Kriewald says:

      Expat, You are clearly unable to detect the subtle nuances in that photo the way ABoob–sorry, Abob–can. And if there’s one thing liberals are good at, it’s seeing nuance–especially when other liberals find themselves in hot water. All traces of nuance disappear, of course, if the accused is a Republican.


  6. madisonexpat says:

    GLK, its more interesting to see ABob detecting nuances and interpreting dog whistles while claiming there is no elephant in the room.


  7. AnonyBob says:

    You guys and your elephants. At least Tweeden wasn’t 14.


  8. madisonexpat says:

    Oh, well then, nothing to see here. Boys will be boys huh ABob.
    If it weren’t for double standards you’ have none at all.
    Tweeden has proof Allred has nothing.


  9. AnonyBob says:

    My guy may be guilty of an awkward pass and is guilty of an unfunny photo. I’ll take that over a self-righteous child molester.


  10. AnonyBob says:

    Hey, let’s also consider motives here. The multiple Moore accusers, self-professed Republicans and Trump voters, have nothing to gain and much to lose from their newfound notoriety. Meanwhile, the conservative broadcaster who has appeared on Hannity’s show, who is the sole Franken “he said-she said” accuser, has much to gain from a higher profile in the conservative media world. As your Groper-in-Chief likes to say, “I don’t know if this is true, but a lot of people are saying…”


  11. madisonexpat says:

    Yeah Bob, they’re saints when they accuse a Republican but only “nuts and and sluts” accuse Weiner, Clinton, Weensteen, Franken, another Clinton, every Kennedy…. well, you know.
    Because power. Period.


    • AnonyBob says:

      Now, now, I never implied Tweeden was a nut or a slut, just that she’s an opportunist because she’s going to gain from this with the Hannity set. None of Moore’s accusers will.
      Clinton: see my original comment.
      The problem is men and power, clearly, regardless of Party (and you know plenty of conservatives have been accused of abuse and harassment – just Google it). But in this case, Moore vs. Franken, it’s way obvious who’s the molester and who’s the failed comedian.


  12. madisonexpat says:

    Hey boys and girls, who wants to see ABob keep dancing?


  13. Gary L. Kriewald says:

    If there’s such a thing as karma, I’m waiting to see it operate on James Carville, Bill Clinton’s campaign manager in 1992, who coined the term “bimbo eruptions” to describe the women who accused Bill of sexual harassment and rape. One look at those reptilian features should be enough to convince anyone of something sleazy (or worse) in Carville’s past.


  14. madisonexpat says:

    The Left was so close to winning the culture wars but now with President Trump in Washington, the Snowflake universities consume their most cowardly faculty members and administrators (no tenure, no more), Hollywood and Congress cower while waiting for the next victims to shame them and we Tea Partiers enjoy the Schadenfreuda palooza.
    Because popcorn.


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