The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

09 January 2006

Al Franken In Raunchy Playboy Interview


Franken Shows Playboy Sensitive, Considerate Side

Whether it's something in New York City's tap water or the moon's current phase, the Radio Equalizer isn't sure, but some kind of foot-in-mouth disease is afflicting its radio hosts.

First, it was Don Imus over the weekend, who complained of cocaine dealers who were too slow to supply more drugs, back when he was an addict.

What a grave injustice.

Now, Al Franken sinks to his own fresh low in a new Playboy interview, according to the New York Daily News. Will feminists be able to remain silent this time?

Rachel Maddow, are you paying attention?

Get a load of this:

Leave it to shockworthy "Saturday Night Live" alum Al Franken - the Air America radio host who might run for Senate in his home state of Minnesota - to push the taste envelope in a Playboy interview.

"I've read the Playboy interview for years, and I never realized that the interviewee got to sleep with that month's Playmate. … It's great," Franken jokes, referring to February Playmate Cassandra Lynn (Turnoffs: "Men who are insecure, controlling," while the five people she'd like to meet include former "SNL" star Adam Sandler, but not Al).

Yes, Al, we know: you read Playboy for the articles.

Does this interview reveal The Truth (Without Jokes) about Franken? We wonder what Al's wife Franni thinks about the public unveiling of the alleged comedian's true nature.

Could it be that Franken's looking to take over some of the stations recently vacated by Howard Stern's move to SIRIUS Radio?

After watching conservatives such as Bill Bennett and Bill O'Reilly get raked over the coals for controversial statements (twisted by the media, we might add), it will surprise few when the mainstream media mostly ignores Franken's sewer-mouth episode.

Just imagine anyone on the right making "jokes" of this nature. Careers would be on the line. For Franken, however, fawning media elitists just continue to look the other way.

And he certainly didn't stop with thoughts of sleeping with Playboy centerfolds, either. Also from the Daily News report by Lloyd Grove:

* Fox News television hosts: "Bill O'Reilly talks about traditional values versus what he calls left-wing secular values. He has traditional values? He's a married man engaging in phone sex with a female employee who doesn't want it and has asked him to stop. … Sean Hannity is the worst. He's completely humorless, a total hack."

* Visiting Iraq with the USO: "We were told we were going to do a show at Abu Ghraib. This was well after the prison abuse scandal. … The sergeant major of the Army, its highest-ranking noncommissioned officer, was with us. So the commander of the base said, 'Let's give a warm Abu Ghraib welcome to the sergeant major of the Army.' He said it with no irony, which just struck me as hilarious."

* "SNL": "I like Weekend Update, and I like Tina Fey. I'm disappointed in some of their political stuff. It's more superficial."

Meanwhile, Franken calls Sen. Hillary Clinton and state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer "great leaders" and predicts that Clinton will campaign for him in Minnesota. "She totally gets it. She's got a great, goofy sense of humor."

Hey, maybe she even likes that Playmate joke.

With a straight face, in the same interview, Franken blasts O'Reilly over sexual issues. How do you keep from laughing at them, Al?

And yes, one could imagine Hillary Clinton would like his Playboy "joke", given her bizarre Indian gas station attendant crack in January 2004:

(CNN) The New York Democrat made the remark at a fund-raiser Saturday. During an event here for Senate candidate Nancy Farmer, Clinton introduced a quote from Gandhi by saying, "He ran a gas station down in St. Louis."

After laughter from many in the crowd of at least 200 subsided, the former first lady continued, "No, Mahatma Gandhi was a great leader of the 20th century."

Yep, Hillary campaigning for Franken, these two are perfect for each other.

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Images: Franken by David A Lunde, Lloyd Grove from the NY Daily News, Clinton/Farmer from CNN


  • To compare Franken and O'Reilly's comments is apples and oranges Brian. Franken made an admittedly crude joke, but did so in a men's magazine. O'Reilly made unwanted sexual comments -- not attempted jokes --(repeatedly) to a subordinate. For this, O'Reilly paid over $1 million to keep the tapes from becoming public.

    By Blogger Justin, at 09 January, 2006 15:23  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger wise_n_texas, at 09 January, 2006 17:59  

  • Franken is a bore. He peeked loooonnnnnggggg ago but hasn't been wise enough to leave the stage.

    O'Reilly, though bombastic, at least fights for rights and ideals with a very important weapon, FACTS.

    Franken on the other hand constantly relies on the uninformed to listen to his lousy clutching of lies and insults.

    Both men have their dirty laundry, BOTH. It is just desperately hard to get past all the lies and nonsense that Franken puts out on a daily basis just to self-promote. Yea, yea O'Reilly self-promotes ad nauseam, but at least you can hold on to some of the issues he addresses; with Franken it's all smoke and mirrors.

    By Blogger wise_n_texas, at 09 January, 2006 18:01  

  • I never took you to be the "church lady" type, Brian.

    "With a straight face, in the same interview, Franken blasts O'Reilly over sexual issues."

    Is there a difference between making unwanted obscene phone calls to an underling, and making a joke? You be the judge.

    BTW, Franken never made a claim of being a moralizer. O'Lielly does.

    By Blogger Dick Tuck, at 10 January, 2006 01:42  

  • Speaking as a liberal and as a woman, I take offence at both comments. Not only that, Franken's comment sounds like something Don Rickles would have said... in 1968! We need true progressives on Air America. Al Franken can go tour the Catskills.

    By Blogger Mandy Fujimori, at 10 January, 2006 02:21  

  • We need true progressives on Air America. Al Franken can go tour the Catskills.

    I completely agree!

    By Blogger FYIFYI, at 10 January, 2006 11:19  

  • Is it possible the readers of this blog do not quite understand the difference between satire that Franken uses and a crude joke. "Satire is a literary technique which exposes the follies of its subject (for example, individuals, organizations, or states) to ridicule, often as an intended means of provoking or preventing change. Juvenalian satire is biting, bitter invective. Satire is a mode of challenging accepted notions by making them seem ridiculous. It usually occurs only in an age of crisis, when there exists no absolute uniformity but rather two sets of beliefs. Of the two sets of beliefs, one holds sufficient power to suppress open attacks on the established order, but not enough to suppress a veiled attack." If you thought Franken was making a sexual joke then you missed that he was poking fun at Playboy and it's readers "who only read the interviews." As for comparing O'Reilly and Franken, Bill actually has written pornography and actually distorts and misquotes surveys and legitimate reporting if you go back and look, whereas Al exposes the same through research and primary source analysis. It unfortunate for our democracy that that most of us can't seem to be able to tell the difference.

    By Blogger The Underlying Truth, at 10 January, 2006 15:06  

  • Satire is fine UnderLy, but not when it is someone’s total act....after a while it becomes stale and boring.

    Can't imagine that you’re serious in stating that Franken is more credible through his analysis and research.... HUH????? He is clueless and plays to an extreme audience who, apparently, can be counted on not to check out his 'research and analysis' too closely or they would see the obvious flaws and devious distortions. Franken has political satire down, and some even still fall for the act, what he does not have on his side are facts.

    By Blogger wise_n_texas, at 11 January, 2006 05:46  

  • I've listened to O'reilly's show extensively, and I've read all of Franken's books (probably one of the few commenting here who have given both individuals a fair hearing).

    Having said that, I can easily say that the one thing that separates Franken - he doesn't lie. His facts and research are impeccable. I've never read him to have ever quoted someone out of context or twist the truth (exceptions being only in obvious sarcasm or jokes of course). He speaks the truth with jokes. On the other hand O'reilly almost constantly lies, distorts, and (yes) spins. In all O'reilly's complaining about Franken's book on him, he never actually mentions Franken's examples of his lies and discounts them. One deals with facts, the other with sleight of hand - and the former is funnier to boot.

    By the way, what in the *world* is the deal with this article?? Franken made an extremely tame joke in a Playboy interview - so what?

    By Blogger DT Strain, at 29 October, 2006 22:43  

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