|"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
|"The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
Their real problem is that they can't stand that they have been bested. That the Harvard Cum Laude Math major they dismiss as a clown has bested them. The one man who will call Rush Limbaugh a big, fat idiot and do the research to back up his assertion with empirical data and never dream of apologizing for it - the man who wrote a best seller about the right wing titled Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them - now has the bully pulpit of a Senate seat. And that is an achievement that not one of those braying jackasses could ever hope to achieve. And the bile it causes them to choke on makes my heart sing. I wonder of it is possible to overdose on schaddenfreud, cuz I think I am about to lose consciousness...
Joe Conason spent some time in the fever swamps documenting the deranged attacks of the right-wing noise machine against his friend. I thank him for doing so because it means I didn't have to.
Sadly, the most notorious Franken antagonist, Bill O'Reilly, was absent from the airwaves on the evening of Franken's victory. Demure guest host Monica Crowley seemed bemused by the Minnesota outcome. But Glenn Beck, in his semiliterate way, heaped on enough abuse to keep Billo's fans satisfied for the moment. "It shows how crazy our country has gone," he began. "It shows that we've lost our minds. It's like we've slipped through a wormhole. It's like, this look likes the country I grew up in, but no -- Al Franken would never be a senator ... We have entered a place to where there isn't statesmanship anymore."
The tenor of the Fox attacks grew more feverish with the ranting of Brian Kilmeade, who judged Franken "barely sane if you read his books, and quite angry in every facet of his life." Kilmeade went on to describe the new senator as "hateful," "evil," bitter," and "maniacal," and again as "angry." Sean Hannity echoed Fox's other amateur shrinks, saying, "This guy, Franken, he's not all there."
So did R. Emmett Tyrell, the Human Events columnist and former editor of the American Spectator, who appeared to confuse Franken's portrayal of a fictional character with the former comedian's own personality, and went on to predict that he will need "anger management counseling" during his Senate term. "He was weird on 'Saturday Night Live' in the 1970s, on which he popularized a goofball character named Stuart Smalley, a self-help guru who repeated over and again, 'I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!' ... My guess is that the Stuart Smalley character is the essential Al Franken, a weirdo."
Speaking for Pajamas Media, Rick Moran called Franken "a bat guano crazy liberal" and gloated over the "rabid, unbridled, hateful partisanship" that will bring both the senator and his party to grief. "It is a pathological, almost clinical condition that will explode from time to time in bitter denunciation of the opposition, supplying bloggers and commentators with a cornucopia of material," wrote Moran with grim satisfaction, adding that "Franken's psychosis" includes a pathological hatred of Christians and particularly Catholics (which may come as a shock to his Catholic wife, Franni).
Then there was Limbaugh, the capo di tutti right-wing capi, who warned with pithy brevity that the 60th Democratic vote in the Senate is "a genuine lunatic."
Calmer but no less nasty was the assessment of the Wall Street Journal editorial page, which insisted that the Democrat had somehow hijacked the Senate seat from the rightful Republican victor. "Mr. Franken now goes to the Senate having effectively stolen an election," said the editorial, without deigning to mention that Republicans in Minnesota, including the governor, had effectively vetted the recount and canvassing from Election Day forward, up to the final Supreme Court decision.
The WSJ is simply spouting bullshit - par for the course for an organ of the Murdoch noise machine. No one in Minnesota thinks the election was stolen. Sara Janacek, a leading conservative voice in Minnesota told the Washington Post that those accusations are false. "The state media -- and a majority of the public -- do think Franken's election was legitimate," she said. "We had an open and very public recount process."
Let the critics sneer and underestimate him. He will, in the meantime, study issues from every angle and be diligent about the job that has been entrusted to him. He is there in large part to honor his friend Paul Wellstone, whose seat he now occupies. He is not mean, crazy or frivolous and his election was legitimate, and those who want you to think otherwise are neither as stable nor as smart as he is, and I base that on the public behavior of both Franken and those who hate him.
Fox, of course, has a vendetta against the guy. Have you forgotten this?
Aug 23, 2003 | His voice full of amused contempt, U.S. District Judge Denny Chin refused Fox News' request for an injunction against author and comedian Al Franken's new book on Friday. "There are hard cases and there are easy cases," said Chin. "This is an easy case. The case is wholly without merit both factually and legally ... It is ironic that a media company that should seek to protect the First Amendment is instead seeking to undermine it."
The hearing couldn't have gone better for Franken, who is being sued by Fox because the network claims his new book, "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right," violates Fox's trademark of the phrase "Fair and Balanced." Fox had sought to block Franken's use of the phrase pending a trial for trademark infringement, in which it hoped to win compensation for damages.
But Chin's ruling suggested there might not be a trial. Besides rejecting Fox's petition for an injunction, Chin practically invited Franken's lawyers to file for dismissal. And he hinted that if it pursues its lawsuit, Fox may lose the very trademark it's trying to defend -- a trademark that, according to the suit, Fox has spent $61 million promoting.
It is always important to consider the source when someone is attacking someone else, and in the case of Senator Franken that admonishment has never been more true or more important.
c/p @ They Gave Us a Republic