The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

07 September 2007

Al Franken Campaign, WSJ Coverage, Republican Response

THE ALLEGED COMEDIAN

Mainstream Media Sees Angry Franken As Humorist







When covering Al Franken, whether as a talk show host or US Senate candidate, the mainstream media has had a bizarre habit of wildly overstating his so- called comedic "talent". Why do they make such a point of trying to convince readers that he's funny?

In fact, a trip down memory lane reminds us that the truth is quite different: our friend Stuart is an angry, unstable, even violent schemer who generally thinks only of himself.


Now, in a new Wall Street Journal piece on Franken's candidacy, we are not just beaten over the head again with the idea that Franken is hilarious, we also learn that Republican opponents are planning to use some of his past dirty "comedy" material against him. As a result, Franken says he has withheld some of the "jokes" he would normally use during campaign stops:


But in a 30-year comedy career, much of Mr. Franken's humor has been bawdy and crude -- not the tight-lipped chuckles that Minnesotans tend to favor, says University of Minnesota political scientist Lawrence Jacobs.

Mr. Franken is known for "the kind of trash talk and potty mouth that people find offensive," he adds. "I can imagine a whole line of attack ads," Mr. Jacobs says, and "all of a sudden, the challenger is on the defensive."


Mr. Franken has a ready response. "People should give Minnesotans credit for knowing what a joke is and what it isn't," he says before launching into examples of what a joke isn't, including the Iraq war, veterans' care and congressional earmarks.

Lorne Michaels, the producer of "Saturday Night Live," adds that Mr. Franken's humor isn't out of step with a generation that grew up watching the show and its irreverent take on authority. "Nothing in his résumé seems that unusual if you're in the baby boom," he says.

Still, the Republican party isn't wasting time. Minutes after Mr. Franken declared his candidacy in February, the party released four pages of what it called Mr. Franken's "mean-spirited and divisive partisan" remarks. Among them: Mr. Franken's statement, in a New Statesman magazine interview last fall, that Mr. Coleman is "one of the administration's leading b- boys."

Mr. Coleman calls the slur "out-of-control vitriol." Mr. Franken says, "It was meant as a joke. I should have used 'lap dog' and I've said I will use 'lap dog' from now on."

Among the Republicans' other examples: a proposal to raise money by raffling off former Attorney General Janet Reno as a lap dancer or blasting oldsters into space on pay-per-view TV. "It was hyperbole," Mr. Franken says now.
A Republican Party "tracker" also has been following Mr. Franken, videotaping his speeches and casual banter with voters. "Every once in a while, I don't do a joke I might have," Mr. Franken says, because of the tracker, a 21-year-old Duluth college student. Mark Drake, a Minnesota Republican spokesman, says the party is "gathering footage" on Mr. Franken.

That intense focus on his humor presents a problem for Mr. Franken, whose campaign crowds seem to expect a laugh or two. In a Franken appearance on "The Late Show With David Letterman" last year, Mr. Letterman raised what he called "the potential conflict between your comedic instinct versus political instinct," as he urged Mr. Franken to tell a particularly bawdy joke.

"If you were going to ever run for the Senate, you wouldn't tell it," Mr. Franken said of the joke, which he persuaded Mr. Letterman to tell instead.

Mr. Franken says his humor was political but nonpartisan during the 15 years he wrote for "Saturday Night Live." That changed in 1995, he says, when the Republicans began to pare funding for social programs while also portraying themselves as the party of family values.

His response was to write a string of books -- starting with "Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot" -- that relentlessly needled Republican Party luminaries and conservative talk-radio. He signed on as a talk-show host on the liberal Air America radio network, where he honed his outrage. He left that gig in February.


While your Radio Equalizer is not surprised the state GOP believes they can fend off Franken's candidacy by pointing to his past dirty "jokes", given how off- track the party has recently been, it's hard to understand why they wouldn't want to campaign against Angry Franken as opposed to Smutty Franken.

That's because voters may be inclined to forgive him for edgy "comedy" routines, but might have a tougher time electing Franken knowing that he's really an unhinged, hot- tempered maniac. There's a lot of great oppo material on Stuart out there and much of it comes from his behind- the- scenes hijinks at Air America Radio.


In the end, what's really most outrageous is the insistence that Franken is funny. When was the last time he said something you found worth yukking it up over?


FOR Boston- area talk radio updates, see our other site. New: our web traffic now rivals that of local talk stations


Your Amazon orders that begin with clicks here, regardless of what you ultimately purchase, help to further this site's efforts.

Or, if you would prefer,
please contribute at the Honor System box in the upper right corner. Thanks again!


Technorati tags:

16 Comments:

  • The only person who sounds angry and unstable in this post is you Brian.

    By Blogger Justin, at 07 September, 2007 15:38  

  • Not to mention the fact that, this constant persecution of Al Franken borders on antisemitic.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 07 September, 2007 18:08  

  • Brian,

    Keep up the great work! Your web site becoming a super reference site to view the real stuff on Franken. It will be very useful if Franken ever decides to show his face in Minnesota for the Senate race. Ever since his announcement, he has been hiding from the local Minnesotan voters.

    Of course, the lib mass media is beholding to Franken's Hollywood donors and continues to sweep the growing list of Franken's sanity issues and highly questionable financial antics under the rug.

    By Blogger The Benson Report, at 07 September, 2007 20:38  

  • I scanned a few of the jokes - which the MN GOP has been stupid enough to only provide in PDF form - and it was clear they were jokes. I'm sure most people will realize that they were jokes (or attempts at same). In addition to the violence, the other essence of Franken is that he's intensely boring.

    By Blogger LonewackoDotCom, at 07 September, 2007 23:09  

  • "In addition to the violence, the other essence of Franken is that he's intensely boring."

    There, I have to agree with you.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 07 September, 2007 23:24  

  • hashhead commented: Not to mention the fact that, this constant persecution of Al Franken borders on antisemitic.

    Half the time I would never know a politician was Jewish unless a liberal pointed it out.

    Until hashhead brought it up, I had no idea Frankenfluff is Jewish.

    By Blogger John, at 08 September, 2007 07:50  

  • Look up the word "creep" you will no doubt find a photo of Al Franken!

    By Blogger MadgeOwnes, at 08 September, 2007 12:32  

  • Benson: lib mass media is beholding to Franken's Hollywood donors


    comming from a men's room con that loves Fred Thompson, the GOP are the Hollywood Elitists, now shut the fu*k up and go tap your foot.

    By Blogger Jared, at 08 September, 2007 13:52  

  • Brian is simply obsessed with Franken, obvious jealousy. Franken has done it all, Brian, writes a blog, that one Gay old Pedophile named Benson worships.


    please keep talking about Franken, notice FRanken never gave your blog the time of day when he was on the air, which of corse wass Brian's goal, NOBODY cares Brian, just Benson.

    By Blogger Jared, at 08 September, 2007 13:55  

  • So, we can see that Jared is up to speed on all the latest homosexual greeting techniques. Anyone wonder if Jared's reputation as the "toe-tapping expert" came from his frequent personal encounters in men's public bathhouses in San Francisco?

    By Blogger The Benson Report, at 08 September, 2007 18:18  

  • Take a look at the September 7, 2007 issue of The Wall Street Journal Online. It has a lengthy article about the problem Franken is facing with his trash talk.

    Mr. Franken is known for "the kind of trash talk and potty mouth that people, especially adult voters, find offensive.

    I can imagine a whole line of attack ads," says Minnesota political scientist Mr. Jacobs, and "all of a sudden, Franken is on the defensive."

    Franken has been backtracking on many of his "jokes". Recently Franken said "It was meant as a joke. I should have used a different word. I've said I will use the different word from now on."

    Other examples: a proposal to raise money by raffling off former Attorney General Janet Reno as a lap dancer or blasting oldsters into space on pay-per-view TV. "It was hyperbole," Mr. Franken said as he tried to backtrack once again.

    The focus on his humor presents a problem for Mr. Franken, whose campaign crowds seem to expect a laugh or two. In a Franken appearance on "The Late Show With David Letterman" last year, Mr. Letterman raised what he called "the potential conflict between your comedic instinct versus political instinct," as he urged Mr. Franken to tell a particularly bawdy joke.

    "If you were going to ever run for the Senate, you wouldn't tell it," Mr. Franken said of the joke, which he refused to repeat on the Letterman show.

    Mr. Franken isn't in for an easy race. His chief rival for the Democratic nomination, Michael Ciresi, did just as well in a two-way SurveyUSA match-up with Mr. Coleman. And Mr. Coleman already is attacking Mr. Franken for his support among "Hollywood ultra-liberals."

    But mostly, there's Mr. Franken's long comic career -- all of it written or recorded and much of it directed at the Republicans he will have to ask for their votes.

    In a Minnesota Public Radio survey in May, 40% of the people said they had an unfavorable opinion of him.

    By Blogger The Benson Report, at 08 September, 2007 18:32  

  • I had no idea Franken was Jewish. Why should it matter? To me he's just some wannabe celebrity desperate to get a laugh.

    I remember the old SNL shows when - for reasons unknown - they'd let Franken and his dimwit partner Tom something come out and perform the unfunniest three minutes of the week.

    You almost felt bad for the guy because he was obviously trying to be funny but he just didn't have it. His bits were always accompanied by polite laughter from the audience - which is worse,even, than total silence.

    Some people think he's a new Wellstone? Goes to show you how off the beam some folks on the Left can get. I had no love for Wellstone, but after his tragic death I felt sad at the torture the Democratic Party inflicted on his family at that so-called "memorial."

    Franken's Senate run will end up like his Air America schtick - on the rocks.

    By Blogger laeva65, at 09 September, 2007 16:35  

  • If Al Franken is such a bad guy, then explain why Darryl Worley (the country singer who released the song "Have you Forgotten?") speaks so highly of him, despite their apparent political differences.

    By Blogger Ben, at 10 September, 2007 04:03  

  • Horowitz is a mentally unstable hack, who went from Pol Pot sympthizer to radial "kill the muzzie" far right wing psycho, who really cares what a mental patient thinks, anything that is opposite to his omit the facts version of history is "leftist"


    you guys are so irrelevant, pathetic

    as this administration allowed 8 nuclear war heads to fly over this nation, putting us all at risk, we are worried about what a former Anti-American communist now Anti-american fascist has to think. In all of his years of being alive Horowitz has been a traitor the entire time.

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 10 September, 2007 09:36  

  • MoPoop commented: you guys are so irrelevant, pathetic


    MoPoop is so irrelevant he can't even post his comment on the correct thread.

    I suppose that is easy to do when one can't see because they are in a constant state of blind rage.

    As to your rant about nukes flying over the United States. Do you believe that is the first time nuclear weapons were flown over the United States? Or, do you think those bombers in the Cold War got loaded and armed someplace over the Atlantic on their way to Russia?

    But not to worry MoPoop, the practice run on your shack was successful, and no one will ever suspect now the we got everyone to bite on the accidental ferry of nukes.

    By Blogger John, at 11 September, 2007 04:30  

  • The latest Rasmussen Reports poll of Minnesota voters finds that Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) currently leads comedian Al Franken (D), 46% to 41%.

    Coleman also leads Minneapolis attorney Mike Ciresi (D), 46% to 42%.

    By Blogger The Benson Report, at 11 September, 2007 14:27  

Post a Comment

<< Home



 
Page Rank Checker

Powered by Blogger