The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

11 February 2006

Liberals Put Franken On Pedestal

AT ANY COST

Franken's Defenders Push Credibility Limits




With their unending devotion
to Al Franken, why have so-called "progressives" chosen to paint themselves into a corner? For their followers, why must he be portrayed as eternally perfect?

While also not free of flaws, one sustaining quality in the conservative movement has been a willingness to cut loose damaging characters (even if sometimes a bit late). Though the right cherishes individualism above nearly all else, only occasionally does it get caught up in the cult of personality.

For any political faction, why is that a mistake? Because it must successfully advance values and ideas, rather than promote imperfect people whose mistakes can greatly damage a cause.

One consistent leftist quirk has been an odd habit of portraying its leaders and activists as saints. For starters, think Che, Mao, Hillary Clinton, Robert F Kennedy Jr, Barbara Boxer, Angela Davis and yes, Al Franken.


Why Al Franken? As he just doesn't fit their typical mold, it's baffling. Could it be they've simply run out of "leaders" and now must resort to cartoon imitations?

Consider this:

--- Even liberals know he isn't writing his own material, it's a team of "researchers" he picked up at Harvard. How often is he really thinking for himself?

--- After years as a Saturday Night Live writer and with an uncertain future in comedy, Franken joined the lefty scene relatively late. Isn't it obvious he jumped in for career enrichment purposes? At the time of his first political book, attacking Rush Limbaugh as fat was done for promotional shock value, not to advance liberalism.

--- In studying him closely, the Radio Equalizer has found his positions uneven, as we've documented here over many months. On issues such as America's Iraq strategy, he can come across as fairly moderate in one interview, then hard-left shortly thereafter. He's just not very consistent. And would a real "progressive" make jokes about sleeping with Playboy centerfolds?

--- Whether leftists want to keep looking the other way or not, the truth is Air America's corporate actions have been every bit as sleazy as Enron's, if not worse. Of the firm's antics that led to bad publicity and governmental investigations, Franken has never honestly explained his knowledge or role.

Here, we documented how Franken stepped up outrageous compensation demands at the very time the company struggled to figure out how, or if, it would repay grant money taken from the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club. Even after we took it to the O'Reilly Factor, Air America has yet to refute even a single detail in our report.


Given these unpleasant realities, why do liberals cling to Franken? What does he have to offer? To uncover the near-daily leftist fawning, it doesn't take much digging.

From the "progressive" Alternet, get a load of this (excerpted) valentine:


A refreshingly normal guy in the savage world of political spin and smear, Franken is progressive, but not radical enough to alienate moderate, middle of the road folks. He's intelligent and well-informed, but without a whiff of his fellow Al (Gore)'s overeducated snoot.

Approachable and friendly, but moody enough to seem, well, human, Al F. emanates a likeable everyman quality. Like his archnemesis, President G.W. Bush, who snared the last two elections partly based on his "good old boy" affability, it's easy to imagine hanging out with Franken: grabbing a pint, yelling at network news, smoking a cigar.

Fortunately for progressives, Franken plans to use his everyman appeal to his political advantage. He recently moved from New York City back to his hometown of Minneapolis, and he is weighing a run for Minnesota senator (as a Dem, of course) in 2008.

Laura Barcella: A lot has happened since "The Truth" was published in October.

Al Franken: A lot has happened since I wrote the book, certainly. Katrina happened since I wrote the book. Everything that I write about in terms of Iraq is about cronyism and incompetence, and that's what the whole story of Katrina is.

LB: Your last book, "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them," got a lot of press from both right- and left-wing pundits. Have you gotten any particularly ridiculous attacks on this book, any crazy press?

AF: No one ever actually challenges an actual, real fact. They just make these general broadsides about my book: "Oh, The Truth … it really should be called Lies. Oh, I guess that was the other book. I don't really know what to say …"

So I'm getting attacked right and left; mainly right. It's fine.

LB: Are they mainly personal or politically leveraged attacks?

AF: Well, they're both. They're personal attacks based on the fact that they don't like me politically. There are things like … there was some guy on "Bill O'Reilly" the other night saying that I go on USO tours as a publicity stunt. This guy doesn't know anything about me. I mean, it was weird to watch O'Reilly defending me. It was such an indefensible thing that O'Reilly had to say, "Well, how do you know?"

And the thing is that I've been going on USO tours since the Clinton administration. This guy was saying, "He's just going there because he's sensitive about the accusations that liberals don't love America. You know, liberals hate America -- that's why he goes." But I was going during Kosovo -- a war that if anyone objected to, it was Republicans.

LB: What about on the opposite end, on the left? Is there anyone whom you're particularly fond of?

AF: Tom Oliphant. I like the guests I have on my Air America show, and I pick them as my guests for a reason. Tom Oliphant is on our show for an hour every week, and that's an hour I love.

LB: OK, what about Air America? How's it doing, what direction do you hope it takes as it continues to expand?

AF: Up. Expanding, bigger, reaching more people, that's what I'm hoping for. And I hope that as we grow, we also get an increased talent pool. I hope that we develop local talent and also attract more people.

Oliphant is someone that I'm flirting with the idea -- if I do run for Senate in 2008 -- of having him take over my show, because he's so brilliant. He's sort of [aligned with] my politics, which are very reasonable, rational, liberal, fact-based politics. I'm championing values that I grew up with, like equal opportunity, expanding opportunity, justice and science, all that good stuff.

LB: How has life changed since you started considering running?

AF: I've been working all the time, but I enjoy it and am learning a lot. Ever since I decided that I was going to do a radio show three hours a day -- that was a huge decision. I did that while I was researching "Lies and Lying Liars," and I ran across this Gallup poll that said that 21 percent of Americans get the majority of their news from talk radio.

That's why I did it. I said, "I am going to take this and use it as a learning experience." What I've learned is the need for people to be responsive; and how big an issue the military is. The more I've done this, the more I feel like we need good people in government. We need Democrats.

LB: What do you think President Bush's biggest priority should be right now?

AF: Probably finding a way out of Iraq -- not allowing it to descend into chaos.

LB: Seems like it's already there.

AF: It started to descend a while ago, even before they admitted it, which is a big problem.


Even though the evidence strongly points to Harvard-style elitism, note the way he's introduced here as a "regular guy". And with no attempt to find out what exactly Franken's Iraq plan might entail, a series of softball questions follow.

Did he really enter talk radio because of a Gallup poll? That seems questionable.

As for the USO allegation against Franken, I don't blame O'Reilly for challenging that, as the guest brought no evidence to support it. Notice, however, how Franken admits to following O'Reilly's show, but says nothing about the charges levelled there by Michelle Malkin and yours truly? He only picks on the easy target.

Alternet isn't alone, David Brock's Media Matters For America also blew a kiss to Franken on Friday:

Franken grills Dickerson on Time-Rove scandal: "Why can't you just say they're big liars?"

Summary: Former Time magazine correspondent John Dickerson answered questions raised by a Media Matters item during an appearance on The Al Franken Show. His answers indicated that he is familiar with the Media Matters item, yet Dickerson did not deny the central point of the item -- that he and his colleagues participated in the publication of misleading articles that contained statements they knew to be false.

Former Time magazine White House correspondent John Dickerson appeared on the February 8 broadcast of Air America Radio's The Al Franken Show, where host Al Franken asked him about a February 7 Media Matters for America item. The February 7 item demonstrated that Dickerson and at least two Time colleagues, White House correspondent Matthew Cooper and Washington bureau chief Michael Duffy, helped to write an October 2003 article that contained statements they knew to be false.


Come on, guys, who is Franken to grill anyone on anything? Beyond that, he hasn't established himself as a particularly tough interviewer. Do you really expect to gain traction with this non-story?

Why do "progressives" want to go right over the cliff's edge with Al Franken? What's in it for them?

We may never know.

Thanks for your continued Radio Equalizer support, via Amazon orders that begin with clicks here, regardless of what you ultimately purchase. In the spotlight: Robert Ferrigno's timely new novel Prayers For The Assassin.

Franken images: David A Lunde, The Truth (With Jokes): Sydney Morning Herald


9 Comments:

  • "While also not free of flaws, one sustaining quality in the conservative movement has been a willingness to cut loose damaging characters (even if sometimes a bit late)."

    Like making someone who's an indicted money launderer a member of the House Appropriations Committee, and then putting him on a subcommittee that controls the purse strings of a Federal Agency who's investigating him for bribery?

    "One consistent leftist quirk has been an odd habit of portraying its leaders and activists as saints."

    Like the American right worshiped Hitler, prior to the outbreak of war?

    "--- Even liberals know he isn't writing his own material, it's a team of "researchers" he picked up at Harvard. How often is he really thinking for himself?"

    I don't know that. Neither do you. Yes, he has researchers who work with him writting material for his show. So does O'Lielly, Hannity, and Rush. So what?

    "After years as a Saturday Night Live writer and with an uncertain future in comedy, Franken joined the lefty scene relatively late. Isn't it obvious he jumped in for career enrichment purposes?"

    No, it's not obvious. Franken was still active on SNL when he wrote the first book. His Stuart Smalley character was a big hit, as was his Toonces skits.

    "At the time of his first political book, attacking Rush Limbaugh as fat was done for promotional shock value, not to advance liberalism."

    He didn't attack Limbaugh for being fat. Fat was an adjective. He attacked Limbaugh for being an idiot. The book's premise has withstood the test of time.

    "Notice, however, how Franken admits to following O'Reilly's show, but says nothing about the charges levelled there by Michelle Malkin and yours truly? He only picks on the easy target."

    Get yourself a radio show with a significant audience, and he'll play with you. As it stands, he probably sees you as insignificant.

    By Blogger Dick Tuck, at 11 February, 2006 05:15  

  • Maloney, you are pathetic. You just keep saying the samething over and over again. Give it up! Do you have a radio show, does Michelle Malkin have a radio show? NO. How does it feel being Malkin's bitch? You know this women has almost no creditablity, what does it say for you. I repeat, Your pathetic.

    By Blogger Iraq War Veteran, at 11 February, 2006 12:55  

  • Franken: "No one ever actually challenges an actual, real fact [in my books] ..."

    Franken is simply wrong here.

    Frankenlies.com chronicles over two dozen errors, fallacies, and misleading passages from Franken's latest book, The Truth. The site also finds another two dozen or so issues with the Lies and the Lying Liars book.

    In fact, Franken lied when he made that statement above. He made a veiled reference to frankenlies.com in the paperback edition of Lies!

    "No one ever actually challenges an actual, real fact"? Franken knows that's not true!

    By Blogger frankenlies, at 11 February, 2006 13:14  

  • Brian - I know that you present your facts in a way that is sure to tease, upset, aggravate, annoy, ..... that humorless crew at Air America...thanks for the chuckles! Keep up the great work, please!; it is always nice to be able to check in and see how easily they go into melt-down mode - really almost too easy in some instances, but still a fun side show none the less!

    By Blogger wise_n_texas, at 11 February, 2006 14:16  

  • This blog is funny. Why do you feel so threatened by Franken? If he has no listeners, as you claim, why would you care about what he says? You seem obsessed with him. That's so sweet.

    By Blogger Bill Ball, at 11 February, 2006 15:21  

  • Bill, because Al Franken is as much a threat to this nation as ANY liberal out there!

    By Blogger The Real Bob Anthony, at 11 February, 2006 21:05  

  • Brian - I was a great admirer of Al Franken's comedy. One skit of his I remember so clearly, I can quote it almost verbatim sixteen years later. And I think it provides a genuine insight into Al Franken.

    It was New Year's, 1990. Al appeared on the Weekly Update, smiled for the camera and said, "Now that the eighties are over, everybody is wondering what kind of decade this will be. The eighties were The Me Decade - so what will the Nineties be?

    I am here to anser that for you - the Nineties will be..the Al Franken Decade.

    That's right...just as all through the Eigties, you wondered how things could be better for you, NOW it is time to wonder about how you can make things better for me - Al Franken."

    It was a terrific skit - who knew he thought it was true?

    By Blogger Peter Porcupine, at 12 February, 2006 01:04  

  • Breaking....

    Ever wonder why Brian Maloney, unemployed former local radio host has such a hard on for Al Franken?

    Ever wonder how he can afford to not work for a living?

    A story is breaking which may conclusively report that Maloney is being paid by financiers with ties to Min. Sen. Norm Coleman....

    developing....

    By Blogger Truthteller 1, at 12 February, 2006 08:57  

  • Mr. Maloney - To characterize the (late) conservative movement as 'also not free of flaws' is, in my judgment, akin to describing the Atlantic Ocean as 'also not free of water' or the moon as 'not crater deficient'. Are you paying attention? I think that the least secure job in the nation right now is as a campaign staffer for either Obama or Clinton. For you to label Hillary Clinton (or Bill, for that matter)as liberal is laughable, as both of their ideologies fall to the right of Nixon. And as far as the beatification of leaders, I have two words for you. Ronald Reagan. You may now rise from your knee.

    By Anonymous Max B., at 08 April, 2008 11:25  

Post a Comment

<< Home



 
Page Rank Checker

Powered by Blogger