The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

28 March 2006

Al Franken, San Francisco, Los Angeles


Between Several Events, A Curious Franken Pattern Develops

Is Al Franken now avoiding potentially embarrassing debate circumstances?

Between three events which began last night and extend through early April, only in media-free surroundings has the Air America host agreed to debate a conservative.

Where reporters are allowed, the other panelists are either "progressive", or Franken's sitting it out entirely.

When he is willing to take on a right-leaning opponent, targets are carefully chosen, such as last night's match-up against Ann Coulter in Los Angeles. There, of course, the media was barred.

Just look what happened when gutsy blogger LoneWacko at BoreAmerica tried to get a press pass:

If Ann Coulter debates Al Franken and kicks his arse back to Minnesota and there are no reporters or blogger-reporters around to hear it, does Al Franken make a sound as he contemplates throwing a chair or something?

On Monday, March 27, Al and Ann will be debating in Los Angeles. However, it appears to be part of a series and the series costs $225. And, my request for a press pass - accompanied with the URL to this site - was met with this terse reply:

Sorry we do not have press at our events.

In San Francisco, it's even more clear Franken fears circumstances he can't control.

Not only is he sitting out tonight's left-right debate put together by sister Clear Channel talk stations KNEW and KQKE, but the audience for his live San Francisco City Hall broadcast this morning has been carefully screened.

For KQKE, his Bay Area affiliate, that leaves a strange forum lineup: syndicated weekender Stephanie Miller, Fargo's Ed Schultz and the station's two morning show co-hosts, Will Durst and Willie Brown.

From conservative KNEW-AM, it's an equally odd assortment, consisting of two Sacramento-based morning show personalities, as well as political strategist Karen Hanretty and a syndicated host.

With a lineup like that, it's amazing Franken couldn't find a way to stick around town for a few extra hours, especially with moonbat San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom serving as "moderator".

Where the media is welcome, however, is at an April 5 event in Washington.

In a overt pairing of lefty interests, David Brock's anti-O'Reilly Media Matters site will team up with Air America, for an all-liberal discussion:

Can progressives find their media voice? Is news coverage skewed to either side? What can consumers of news do to ensure accurate and reliable reporting? These and other questions will be explored on April 5 at George Washington University by a range of media practitioners and critics. They'll identify both problems and potential solutions.


-- David Brock, president and CEO, Media Matters for America

-- Eleanor Clift, contributing editor, Newsweek

-- Al Franken, Host, The Al Franken Show

-- Danny Goldberg, CEO, Air America Radio

-- Helen Thomas, syndicated columnist, Hearst News Service

REGISTRATION: Free and open to the public. Doors open at 3:30 p.m. Early registration is highly recommended. Seating is limited, to register please visit

Editor's Note: The event is "open press." Camera crews are encouraged to arrive at 2 p.m. for early set-up.

For both Media Matters and Air America, no doubt the best "potential solution" is more money from George Soros.

Why is Franken afraid of events with both conservative opponents and the media?

Only he can answer that question.

UPDATE: Looks like Franken will remain in California through Wednesday, so why skip the SF debate?

Air America's Al Franken, who broadcast a show in May from the sold-out Crest Theatre, will return to that venue at 9 a.m. Wednesday. The show, as always, can be heard on KCTC (1320 AM). One of his guests will be Enid Goldstein, KCTC's afternoon talk-radio host. Free tickets are available at

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Images provided by David A Lunde and Pete at IHillary for the Radio Equalizer.


  • Keep it up Brian, looks like AAR has two dedicated interns posting on your blog! You must have gotten under their skin, which means your doing something righ!

    By Blogger Lidsville, at 28 March, 2006 21:34  

  • They used to have more than two before the last round of budget cuts....

    By Blogger Lokki, at 29 March, 2006 14:40  

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