AAR Scandal Update: Progressive Interview
Franken: 'I'm Not That Left-wing'
When it comes to fighting for "social justice", liberals sure can be selective.
Take this interview with Al Franken in the new issue of The Progressive, "a leading voice for peace and social justice since 1909".
Air America scandal, what's that? Every question is served Larry King-softball style.
Maybe Franken really is a funny guy after all, claiming here he's actually not especially liberal!
With unpleasant realities like $875,000 in taxpayer funds intended for an inner-city community center allegedly diverted to Air America Radio, The Progressive casts aside social justice for friendly, partisan cover.
For the Radio Equalizer, it brings to mind a similar incident that occurred over a decade ago in Santa Cruz, California.
There, Resource Center For Nonviolence head Doug Rand pleaded no contest to charges of throwing a brick through his neighbor's window.
The justification? Loud rock music next door.
Local lefties swept it under the rug, while conservatives began to call it the "Resource Center For Selective Nonviolence", a more apt description.
After Rand's passing, "peace" activists pushed for a public statue in his honor.
Perhaps one for Franken should go right next to Rand's, with others added later dedicated to intellectual dishonesty, in the name of the Greater Good.
In the "progressive" mindset, it's okay to dismiss sleazy, dishonest behavior for a comrade, if it supports the cause.
A softball interview sampling:
Q: How is Air America doing? In the beginning, the press was all about how it had gotten off to a rough start, but now it seems to be doing better.
Franken: Yeah, we shot ourselves in the foot right out of the gate. The guy who ran it at first misled pretty much everybody about how much capital we had.
He said we had enough to go three years without making money, and we had enough to go three weeks.
So in week four, we learned that we bounced a check or two, and that we’d lose our stations in Los Angeles and Chicago, which were our second and third largest markets.
It was horrible, and everybody was counting us out, and you can imagine how attractive our network would be to radio stations when it looked like we were going under.
So there was really no growth for quite a bit after that, and what we had to do was prove that we were viable. And we did that by getting good ratings and showing that we’re fulfilling a need in a business sense—that we’re bringing in an audience.
Yes, Franken apparently believes one city's good ratings translates to national success. Note he sticks to blaming it all on Evan Cohen.
Q: Did you have a difficult time attracting talent in the beginning?
Franken: Well, we didn’t really have a problem attracting talent, because there is no talent to some degree. [Laughs.]
The right wing has had a radio apparatus for years and years, so they’ve had minor leagues—they’ve had local rightwing guys who’ve become national rightwing guys, and who build slowly, and that’s how it goes. We haven’t had that. It isn’t like we have a farm team.
Al, there are a few local liberal hosts out there and frankly, they do a better job.
You won out because of your marquee value. If there isn't much of a farm team, it's because so many lefty hosts have tried and failed to build an audience.
Q: You do have some experienced radio veterans.
Franken: Yeah, but you need an experienced radio veteran who is a liberal advocate. And there just hadn’t been any radio that did that. And so they weren’t trained—they had developed all these bad habits of being objective and balanced and stuff like that. [Laughs.]
It’s hard to get that out of a person. I mean, obviously, I value objectivity and actually caring about facts, and we do that on the show.
Objective hosts on the left? Has Franken ever heard Bernie Ward or Ray Taliafero on KGO/San Francisco? There are a number of other examples.
Q: Do you see Air America as looking to attract more mainstream Democrats, or moving more toward the left? Obviously, further to the left, you’ve got many people working in community radio.
Franken: Yeah, I’m not that leftwing, which is the odd thing about this: My views on most things would jibe with most Americans’. On most issues, most Americans are certainly left of this Administration.
Not necessarily left, but more common-sensical. Given a chance, they’d spend less on the military, they wouldn’t make more nuclear weapons, they would want to increase environmental regulation rather than reduce it, they would want to spend more on education and health care, they would enforce corporate-responsibility laws and make corporations pay their taxes, all those kinds of things. Crazy talk. [Laughs.]
Franken must be hoping to inspire the next "Day by Day" cartoon.
In addition: another softball interview on C-SPAN this morning: this time it's our friend Sheldon Drobny! Full analysis here, later.
AAR/Scandal by Darleen Click, others by Pete at IHillary.
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