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Monday, February 05, 2007

Al Franken And Cocaine Hypocrisy

Minneapolis Star Tribune notes that Andy Barr, the political director of Franken's Midwest Values PAC says:

    "It's deeply unfortunate, kind of pathetic, and completely unsurprising that Senator Norm Coleman and his Republican allies are already dragging out decades-old quotes and taking them out of context to suggest that Al is a homophobe and a crack addict."

Well, let's examine Al Franken's exact words from "Live From New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live", by Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller, Hardcover; First Edition (bolded words mine, italicized verbatim from book) :

Franken's own words/direct quote from pages 108-109:

    "There was not as much cocaine as you would think on the premises. Yeah, a number of people got in trouble. But cocaine was used mainly just to stay up. There was a very undisciplined way of writing the show, which was staying up all night on Tuesday. We didn't have the kind of hours that normal people have. And so there was a lot of waiting 'til Tuesday night, and then going all night, and at two or three or four in the morning, doing some coke to stay up, as opposed to doing a whole bunch, and doing nitrous oxide, and laughing at stuff.

    "People used to ask me about this and I'd always say, 'No, there was no coke. It's impossible to do the kind of show we were doing and do drugs.' And so that was just a funny lie that I liked to tell. Kind of the opposite was true, unfortunately - for some people, it was impossible to do the show without the drugs. Comedians and comedy writers and people in show business in general aren't the most disciplined people, so the idea of putting the writing off until you had to, and then staying up all night, was an attractive one. And then having this drug that kept you awake in an enjoyable way was kind of tempting too. But I only did cocaine to stay awake to make sure nobody else did too much cocaine. That was the only reason I ever did it. Heh-heh."

His claim of using cocaine only to make sure others didn't do too much doesn't seem to hold any degree of authenticity according to the words of Dick Ebersol, who was a Producer at SNL.

From page 82 of the same hardcover edition, Ebersol says:

    "My office was on the fourth floor. The writers basically never got there before one o'clock in the afternoon - ever. We had so little space. Herb Sargent was back in a corner. In the hallway to Herb's office were like (Al) Franken and (Tom) Davis and Alan Zweibel, the three apprentice writers. Al and Tom had bought their first-ever cocaine, and they had it all out on the desk. First time they were ever able to buy any. As apprentice writers, their pay was, I think, $325 a week. So they have the cocaine on the desk, they're like literally staring at it. I'm off in the distance. I'm in a tough place because I'm supposedly the executive, but I decided it wasn't my jobs to play the policeman."

And, from the same hardcover book, pages 350-351, Franken's former comedy team partner, Tom Davis says:

    "My breakup with Al was hardly a matter of shaking hands and going separate ways. It was a really ugly divorce. It was just hideous. It was precipitated by someone he knew having to enter a twelve-step program. And they really had to. They had a serious problem. And then Al wanted me to go into a twelve-step program. And I didn't want to go. And then I got married in '89 and we were already drifting apart significantly. Because Al was into Al-Anon at that time. And the show kind of became twelve-step comedy. I just wasn't going to join the program. That was one of the issues.

    "He thought I was an alcoholic and a drug addict. He called me a garden-variety alcoholic and drug addict. He did his share of my drugs. He did plenty of experiments. I don't want to embarrass him now, because I don't think he needs that for his current career of whatever, but it was common knowledge."

Would you please point out what parts of the above are taken out of context, Mr. Barr, because the above quotes are taken verbatim from the book? It certainly appears Al snorted coke with the best of coke-snorters. Franken would like us to believe he never said what he said. Franken would like to pretend he shouldn't be held accountable for his own actions and his own words.

Well, he's on record about his past, no doubt about it. Franken is being held to the same standard that he applies to others. Now, he doesn't want the same applied to him? That's too bad for the Sad Man from Liberal Talk Radio.

As Franken presses on with his desire for political office more and more skeletons from his closet will come up for examination and questioning This is exactly how it should be, considering Franken does the very same thing to those he chooses to smear.


©2007

Additional Reading on Franken's Many Hypocrisies:
Al Franken Jokes About The Murder of a Gay Man
Al Franken's Anti-Gay Past
A Shrill Al Franken Takes To Violence and Assault
Al Franken: Draft Dodger And Former Pro-Lifer
Al Franken Pretends The Dangers of Cocaine Were Unknown
Al Franken: Cocaine, LSD and More
Al Franken: Cokehead Senator?

Comments:
If you think Al Franken isn't homophobic, check out this article in the Harvard Crimson:

http://www.thecrimson.com/article.aspx?ref=112149

"He recalled writing a skit called "Seamen on Broadway" that was rejected from the Hasty Pudding show "by some preppie so they could take some other preppie's skit." Franken started to smile again, but his tone was serious, too serious. "It's not preppies, cause I'm a preppie myself. I just don't like homosexuals. If you ask me, they're all homosexuals in the Pudding. Hey, I was glad when that Pudding homosexual got killed in Philadelphia." The smile became so broad it pushed his eyes shut. He couldn't stand it any longer. "Put that in, put that in," Franken laughed, leaning over the desk. "I'd love to see that in The Crimson."

Al Franken is homophobic, I am afraid. The idea that his comments "have to be taken in context" is nonsense. This isn't "edgy humor" it is gay-bashing, plain and simple.

He jokes about a gay-bashing murder - a real murder that happened in Philadelphia to one of his classmates. The poor guy was stabbed to death. Funny stuff, right? I don't "get" the joke.

And this one quote is not an isolated incident with him.

I remember one of his "Fraken & Davis" skits back in the late 1970's, when I was an impressionable youth.

The duo appear onstage in south seas outfits (complete with grass skirts and coconut bras) to do their "sketch". The "joke" was that Davis picks this time to "come out" on the air and express his love for Al, who spurns his advances.

The overall impression of the act was one of mockery of homosexual impulses, which in 1978, was considered an acceptable form of humor (Johnny Carson loved this form of joke, often at other's expense, such as his long runnin inneunedos about Wayne Newton).

Hey, it was the 1970's, and gay-bashing was all the rage, right?

That's all the "context" you need.

There is a pattern to Franken's behavior. His homophobia is now nicely masked, but still present.

Al Franken is a dangerous man, because he thinks he is always right about everything, all the time, and he never needs to apologize or change his mind.

We don't need more like him in government. Left-wing facists!

It should be noted also that "SNL" has been unapologically homophobic over the years. Lorne Michaels never heard a gay joke he didn't like. Sketches and cartoons like:
"The Ambiguously Gay Duo"
"Bisexual Minute"
"Gays in Space"
"It's Pat"
"Lyle, the Effiminent Heterosexual"
"She's the Girl wtih No Gaydar!"
"Sprockets"
etc. etc. etc.
are all pretty typical of the genre.

If you work on a show like that, and you don't say anything or try to change it, then you are part of it. Franken was not only a writer on the show, but later a producer as well.

Let's face it, the show sucked after the original cast left. But watching the gay jokes always made me cringe - and they still do them even today. And they are stil cringe-producing. They pander to every gay stereotype there is. Gays are protrayed as mincing and promiscuious, or as some sort of refugees from the village people.

Apparently fat people and gays are the only folks left to laugh at in the US today.

When you demonize a group it is easier to marginalize them. For someone on the LEFT like Franken to engage in this is doubly bad, because of the hypocricy factor...

By the way, the air date of the offensive (to me) Franken & Davis sketch was May 20th, 1978. I am trying to find a video of it. The SNL transcript website conveniently does not have transcripts for most Franken & Davis sketches.

Another example of a gay (or sexually ambigious) character that is held up for mockery on SNL is "Mango" See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mango_%28Saturday_Night_Live%29

Like I said, SNL never saw a gay joke they didn't like...

Add to this the fact that he fails to pay his taxes or pay for workamn's comp insurance (only the little people have to do these things - shades of Hillary here!) and I think he has a hard case to make for Senator.

And he doesn't even live in the State - another Hillary parallel. He moves back after 20 years to run. I guess he didn't want to run in NY where he'd be laughed off the stage.
 
Thanks for the info, Anony.

I am familiar with Franken's Hasty Pudding remark and agree it is gay bashing.

I think Franken is a very bitter and angry little man who suffers from an inferiority complex. Most liberals do, which explains why they are so bitter and so bent on socialism thinking it will "make all thingsd equal."

Thanks for the links to the other items as well, some of which I'm not familiar. I'll check them out.

Thanks for visiting and commenting,
 
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