What do you get when you cross Hollywood with politics? Perhaps Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.), the Saturday Night Live alumnus who won a 2008 Senate seat by 312 votes and, it appears likely, by way of voter fraud. But currently in the news is that his stance as a defender of women appears a fraud.
Franken was first accused of forcibly kissing a radio anchor; then was seen in a photo sexually degrading her while she was asleep; and, just yesterday, a second woman said the senator touched her inappropriately. Yet is Franken, with credit to Gilbert and Sullivan, merely the very model of a modern über-liberal?
The first accuser, radio host Leeann Tweeden, says that Franken stuck his tongue in her mouth while forcibly kissing her on a 2006 USO tour; she later produced the aforementioned picture, shown in the video below. The second woman, 33-year-old Lindsay Menz, stated Monday that Franken grabbed her buttocks while she posed with him for a picture at the 2010 Minnesota State Fair (he was already a senator at the time). This latest allegation renewed calls — even among some liberal groups — for Franken’s resignation.
In addition, Media Equalizer Co-Founder Melanie Morgan recently accused Franken of non-sexual harassment occurring after, and sparked by, a political dispute on a 2000 edition of the show Politically Incorrect. Morgan found the harassment so frightening that she ultimately reported it to the police.
Yet none of this is surprising, as Franken long ago telegraphed his character. Just consider how he once told the following joke about raping 60 Minutes co-host Lesley Stahl: “I give the pills to Lesley Stahl. Then when Lesley's passed out, I take her to the closet and rape her,” reported Washington Citypaper in 2009.
Franken also penned a Playboy magazine article titled “Porn-O-Rama!” about which the Star Tribune wrote in 2008, “Al Franken doesn’t condemn Hugh Hefner's pornographic world — he embraces it. His 2000 article is a celebration of the Playboy philosophy, laced with effusions about the glories of Internet porn.”
Providing some detail, the Star also wrote, “In his Playboy romp, Franken fantasized about oral sex delivered by a machine, as well as sex with combinations of females who fit the Playboy view of women as big-breasted automatons, panting at the prospect of servicing the likes of Franken. That's why they call it fantasy, I guess.”
Then, the Washington Post’s Michael Gerson informed in 2008 that in “2006, after a long monologue about a dog and its vomit, Franken impersonated the deceased Sen. Strom Thurmond as saying: ‘Yeah, I s[*****]d a woman who was vomiting once.’ …He has [also] suggested that his next book title might be ‘I F -- -- -- Hate Those Right-Wing Motherf -- -- -- !’”
So the sexual-misconduct accusations against Franken are just a reflection of his words. Note that there are many types of misconduct, only a small portion of which are illegal. And he, in typical Hollywood style, had been molesting Americans’ minds for ages.
This is part and parcel of leftism, though. It’s leftists who gave us the Sexual Devolution; continually attacking traditional morality and defining deviancy downwards, they’ve legitimized homosexuality, given us same-sex “marriage,” and have mainstreamed so-called transgenderism as they’ve tried to put boys in girls’ locker rooms.
So it’s no wonder that Gerson called Franken’s “Porn-O-Rama!” article “the Federalist Papers of lifestyle liberalism.” And it’s no wonder that most of those accused of sexual misconduct are leftists. Oh, many try to paint an equivalence and say “It happens on both sides” (in reality, there are more than two sides). Well, not exactly.
On the liberal side we have Harvey Weinstein, Bill Clinton, Kevin Spacey, Anthony Weiner, Ben Affleck, directors James Toback and Oliver Stone, journalist Mark Halperin, NPR editor Michael Oreskes, Congressman John Conyers, Vox Media editorial director Lockhart Steele, New York Times correspondent Glenn Thrush, CBS’s Charlie Rose, and Al Franken — and the list goes on. This, not to mention the Hollywood pederast cartel.
And what of the recently accused on the “other side”? Leftists can find little more than GOP Senate hopeful Roy Moore, and some of the allegations against him have begun to unravel.
This private leftist behavior does correspond to public leftist behavior. In 2008, Peter Schweizer explained liberals’ lesser charitable giving and greater greed thus: “Many on the Left apparently believe that espousing liberal ideals is a ‘get out of jail free’ card that inoculates them from the evils of the money culture.” A similar phenomenon is apparent here, but I’d explain it a bit differently.
It’s unsurprising that men who advocate feminism publicly would abuse the feminine sex privately. First, leftists are defined by style over substance: What you say and how people regard you is more important than what you do and what you are.
Second, leftists are more vice-ridden because vice-ridden people gravitate toward the Left. This is partially because leftism’s inherent relativism justifies any and every behavior (“Who’s to say what’s right or wrong?”) and also because being politically correct means being in fashion, so it influences how people regard you.
In addition, the public feminist face assuages any guilt that might exist and is part of a certain rationalization: “I may ‘have my fun,’ but this is offset by the ‘good’ I do.” On some level, the political posturing is meant to counterbalance the prurience.
Harvey Weinstein tried a version of this after his scandal broke, vowing to channel his anger at himself into bringing down the NRA and President Trump. Just expiate those sins with public shows of leftist piety.
Unfortunately for him and, perhaps, for Franken, this works — but only until you’re no longer useful to your comrades. Just ask Bill Clinton about that.
Photo: AP Images