"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
-Oscar Wilde
Brilliant at Breakfast title banner "The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
"...you have a choice: be a fighting liberal or sit quietly. I know what I am, what are you?" -- Steve Gilliard, 1964 - 2007

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"I came here to chew bubblegum and kick ass. And I'm all out of bubblegum." -- "Rowdy" Roddy Piper (1954-2015), They Live
Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Thank you, Al Franken
Posted by Jill | 7:26 AM
Today is Al Franken's last day on Air America Radio. From here, he heads off to a likely run to reclaim Paul Wellstone's Senate seat from the set of clacky teeth in a suit that is Norm Coleman, and we wish him well. Franken knew Paul Wellstone. Paul Wellstone was a friend of his. And God knows that despite his recent mewlings about opposing an Iraq troop surge, Norm Coleman is no Paul Wellstone. I think it's an exciting prospect, not just because of the goofy factor of psychobabble guru Stuart Smalley and the guy who did the "Pete Tagliani" political sketch with Tom Davis actually running for office, but because I think Franken could be a very good Senator.

I wish I could say that I'll miss Franken on the air, but I won't. And while I wish that Air America had decided to finally do the right thing and return Marc Maron to the air, the populist Thom Hartmann is an improvement over an Al Franken who has mostly foundered since Katherine Lanpher left. When you compare the way some of the other hosts new to radio at the time of AAR's inception have matured, most notably the aforementioned Marc Maron and the increasingly entertaining Sam Seder, Franken's lack of improvement seems a mystery -- unless his heart just wasn't in it anymore.

Still, with all the management fuckups perpetrated on the AAR on- and off-air staff and the listening audience over the past nearly three years, it's impossible to even calculate the contribution of Al Franken to the growth not just of Air America, but of progressive talk radio in general. As the most famous face of the nascent network, Franken held the operation together back in the spit-and-glue-and-Evan-Cohen days.

And so tomorrow Al Franken moves on, a man with still enough hope for the future and conviction that he might possibly be able to create real change. And so, for his past contributions to progressive talk radio and his future contributions to repairing the damage that six years of George W. Bush has wrought, we owe him our thanks.

And we owe him thanks too for leaving mid-week, thus giving Marc Maron an opportunity to keep his skills sharp by fill-in hosting the noon to three PM slot tomorrow and Friday.

Melina has more.

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