November 16, 2017

"Senator Al Franken Kissed and Groped Me Without My Consent, And There’s Nothing Funny About It."

"In December of 2006, I embarked on my ninth USO Tour to entertain our troops, my eighth to the Middle East since the 9/11 attacks," writes Leeann Tweeden, a morning news anchor on TalkRadio 790 KABC in Los Angeles, writing on the TalkRadio 790 KABC website.
When I saw the script, Franken had written a moment when his character comes at me for a ‘kiss’... On the day of the show Franken... said to me, “We need to rehearse the kiss.” I laughed and ignored him... He continued to insist, and I was beginning to get uncomfortable....  I said ‘OK’ so he would stop badgering me. We did the line leading up to the kiss and then he came at me, put his hand on the back of my head, mashed his lips against mine and aggressively stuck his tongue in my mouth. I immediately pushed him away with both of my hands against his chest and told him if he ever did that to me again I wouldn’t be so nice about it the next time....

Not long after, I performed the skit as written, carefully turning my head so he couldn’t kiss me on the lips. No one saw what happened backstage. I didn’t tell the Sergeant Major of the Army, who was the sponsor of the tour. I didn’t tell our USO rep what happened. At the time I didn’t want to cause trouble.... Other than our dialogue on stage, I never had a voluntary conversation with Al Franken again....

It wasn’t until I was back in the US and looking through the CD of photos we were given by the photographer that I saw this one:



I couldn’t believe it. He groped me, without my consent, while I was asleep....

A few weeks ago, we had California Congresswoman Jackie Speier on the show and she told us her story of being sexually assaulted when she was a young Congressional aide. She described how a powerful man in the office where she worked ‘held her face, kissed her and stuck his tongue in her mouth.’

At that moment, I thought to myself, Al Franken did that exact same thing to me....
ADDED: "In the New York Magazine article, dated March 13, 1995, entitled 'Comedy Isn't Funny: Saturday Night Live At Twenty--How The Show That Transformed TV Became A Grim Joke'...."
Franken: And, "I give the pills to Lesley Stahl. Then, when Lesley's passed out, I take her to the closet and rape her." Or, "That's why you never see Lesley until February." Or, "When she passes out, I put her in various positions and take pictures of her."
AND: Here's how Franken talked about Trump's "Access Hollywood" tape:


480 comments:

1 – 200 of 480   Newer›   Newest»
Jim Gust said...

Franken deserves what Roy Moore is getting.

donald said...

Awesome.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Mike Pence looks like a fucking genius right about now with his stance on not being alone with women other than his wife.

Everyone made fun of his ridiculous religiosity and puritanical morality.

Ha. Who has the last laugh now?

Mike Sylwester said...

It's fun to watch Democrats get hit by this ricochet shrapnel.

DKWalser said...

Franken came from the entertainment community where a libertine lifestyle is considered not just normal, but desirable. He looked down on the squares who tried to live by traditional moral standards. He assumed that someone who had posed for Playboy shared his views on sexual morality. That was an understandable assumption. His error was not accepting 'no' as an answer.

eric said...

He will be gone by the end of the day.

Democrats don't want anything to distract from Roy Moore.

Then again, the Menendez trial is wrapping up too. If he is guilty, another distraction.

Matthew Sablan said...

The consequences. They were... actually completely expected.

Who took this picture and thought it was a good idea?

sean said...

It is funny to see this hit the Democrats (finally!). OTOH, she did say, "OK."

Freeman Hunt said...

Geeze. It never ends.

Matthew Sablan said...

Also, evidence like this? It is a shame every abuser isn't as much of an idiot as Franken.

Known Unknown said...

Moral. Panic.

Ann Althouse said...

The big difference here is the photograph. It's not one person's story capable of denial by another.

But there could be other explanations for the photo. We'll see what he says.

But if he has an exculpating explanation, it will cut against the current pressure to believe what women are saying, and he needs to be on that side politically, so it seems that he is ruined. What can he do?

Nonapod said...

Norm MacDonald said that before he got the Weekend Update slot on SNL, Franken used to pester Lorne Michaels for the position. Norm pretty much stole it from Franken with his whole not-giving-a-f#%@ attitude. Franken always seemed like a weenie to me.

Richard Dolan said...

Similar to the photo of the Obama speechwriters (Faveau et al.) groping a full size poster of Hillary! in the 2008 campaign. Just boys having their fun, right? Nothing to see here. Move on.

tcrosse said...

When you're a star they let you grab them by the boobs.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Buh-bye.

CJinPA said...

Wow. This cultural correction is going to take longer than I thought. There must be a lot of entertainment/political types out there scanning their memories for such stuff. Many who are just waiting, waiting for the inevitable.

Instead of a knock at the door, it will be the sound of text : "Did you see that story about you??"

Matthew Sablan said...

If Roy Moore would be expelled for what he did, then adios Franken.

n.n said...

Franken not only thought that groping an unconscious woman was a good idea, but that posing for posterity while groping an unconscious woman was a thrilling achievement. His gaiety can been seen on his face, with wide-open eyes, and a grin that stretches from cheek to cheek.

Bay Area Guy said...

Franken was a high school wrestler, so he's kinda got that gropey gene or something.

He looks creepy in the photo.

While it is rude and offensive, and sufficient for a 3rd degree battery, to be fair, it's not as bad as Weinstein.

I'll trade you one Roy Moore for one Al Franken.

jwl said...

There have been a few articles written about Bill Clinton recently about how he was never punished for decades of sexual predator behaviour and the time for reckoning is now. It will be interesting to see how Democratic Party and its media wing will react to Franken allegations.

traditionalguy said...

But did Weird Al sign her yearbook? Tongue assaults and breast feels are just standard Senate peccadilloes. Practice makes perfect, and Weird Al needed some one to practice on.

Dad29 said...

When they handed out Stupid Pills, Franken OD'd. Not even Moore has a third party take PICTURES of his assaults.

Unknown said...

we need to expel franken from senate

n.n said...

Moore would be expelled for what he [allegedly] did.

If only he had captured the gaiety of the moment on camera for posterity.

CJinPA said...

I actually think the alleged forced kiss is worse for him than the photo, in which it appears he is not actually touching her.

eric said...

Blogger Matthew Sablan said...
If Roy Moore would be expelled for what he did, then adios Franken


I disagree with this whole expulsion thing.

It's one thing if there are criminal acts. It's another thing if the voters know about something and elect you anyway. It's a third thing if you're elected and then information comes out that the voters didn't know about.

Excluding criminal acts.

If the voters know and elect you anyway, the Senate shouldn't expel them.

RAH said...

Well they wanted names There is one I agree if Roy Moore in unacceptable so is Franklin Besides he got his eat through voter fraud

Kevin said...

Who is this Al Franken? I have never heard of him.

Do you know what Trump is doing right now? RIGHT NOW? No, because Ann is posting about someone insignificant who did something no one cares about. That lets Trump get away with his sleazy, slimy, Tweety, orangy, illegalistic, supremely-collusive acts.

Oh what an alternate universe you Trumpy Trumpit Trump-spicable people create for yourselves! It's so much work and yet you do it again and again so you don't have to live in the miserable world you've all created for the rest of us.

You people make me want to vomit!

/Inga

Rick said...

When I saw the script, Franken had written a moment when his character comes at me for a ‘kiss’

So he used his writing to further his sexual interest counting on the pressure of entertaining the troops to get her to agree.

... On the day of the show Franken... said to me, “We need to rehearse the kiss.”

Then when that worked he doubled down calling for more. What a scumbag.

Bay Area Guy said...

"I was drunk, I don't remember it, and I'm finally coming out Gay."

That should solve the problem, Al.

CJinPA said...

Political calculation: Minnesota has a Dem governor, so the seat would remain D regardless. The Alabama seat will likely switch from R to D because of the Moore claims.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Excluding criminal acts."

-- Groping sleeping women without their consent is a crime.

CStanley said...

Instead of a knock at the door, it will be the sound of text : "Did you see that story about you??"

I find that I'm having the guilty pleasure of imagining all of the perpetrators who haven't yet been exposed, waiting for the shoe to drop.

We'll see what he says.

He's saying it was a joke. Clown nose on, clown nose off!

That Lesley Stahl joke was actually creepier than this stolen kiss and fake grope. What the hell? And it was public knowledge but he got elected anyway?

Colonel Mustard said...

What's Mitch gonna say? tick. tock. tick. tock...

Curious George said...

"Matthew Sablan said...
If Roy Moore would be expelled for what he did, then adios Franken."

Roy Moore has only been accused, and those accusations are swirling in the bowl.

Matthew Sablan said...

Yeah; I was sloppy about Moore. Either or, I'm all aboard the good-bye Franken train. The petard: It is for self-hoisting.

Ann Althouse said...

He could say: The hands aren't really touching her. I was just making a gesture of being able to touch her.

Not completely exculpatory, but enough to get it out of the realm of a criminal assault and into the realm of freedom of expression (which is the same realm as Trump's "Access Hollywood" recording).

Ken B said...

We have photographic proof. Maybe we even have the skit script.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Franken repaid me with petty insults, including drawing devil horns on at least one of the headshots I was autographing for the troops."

-- I wonder if any of the troops have one of these photos still. Looking at the picture, it looks like contact, but maybe he's going to say he was touching the armored vest not the breast.

Original Mike said...

Nothing happens to him.

Rick said...

When you're a star they let you grab them by the boobs.

And we've come full circle.

JPS said...

I really really really don’t want to defend Franken here, but -

Isn’t she wearing Individual Body Armor? Maybe I’m seeing the picture wrong, but I think there’s a good thick Kevlar plate between his fingers and her breasts.

Miming groping a sleeping woman isn’t funny. Forcing a kiss isn’t funny. And Franken would still not be funny even if he’d been a perfect gentleman toward women. I just think her outrage over the picture is odd. Hey, did he give you a noogie through that helmet too?

Fabi said...

Disgraceful and vulgar behavior by Franken. He has to be expelled from the Senate today.

n.n said...

Trump remarked on an observed behavior. Franken demonstrated the behavior on camera.

Etienne said...

Stick a fork in him, il est mort.

(il is masculine as in prick, and more noble than feminine as in cunt)

tim in vermont said...

Yeah, moral panic,when can we get back to normal?

Curious George said...

"Ann Althouse said...
He could say: The hands aren't really touching her. I was just making a gesture of being able to touch her.

Not completely exculpatory, but enough to get it out of the realm of a criminal assault and into the realm of freedom of expression (which is the same realm as Trump's "Access Hollywood" recording)."

It happened 11 years ago. It's already out of the realm of criminal assault.

eric said...

JPS at 1109am

I hate standing up for a Democrat but I totally agree.

Ken B said...

"/Inga"

Nice

traditionalguy said...

OK, so it's "locker room pretended touching." But we need Al Franken as our hostage Senator to trade for the release of Senator Moore when McConnell tries to pull a Conduct Un-becoming the Senate charge for expulsion.

Rick said...

The Alabama seat will likely switch from R to D because of the Moore claims.

If he drops out Reps can replace him on the ballot with anyone they want since the government has a compelling interest in viable candidates in elections.

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/10/03/nyregion/new-jersey-senate-race-overview-new-jersey-court-lets-lautenberg-into-senate.html

Kevin said...

He could say: The hands aren't really touching her. I was just making a gesture of being able to touch her.

So, clearly no consent, but he's going to go with "not actually touching"?

I'm sure that's the first thought. The next logical question is: "Is that allowed?" Can he go out on the street right now and start doing that to people who haven't consented?

No? Then it's really not much of a defense.

AllenS said...

These are interesting times, so Franken might, might be in trouble. Are there now 2 women alleging that Franken is a grouping freak? What if more women step forward, then it will be all over for him if he is expelled from the Senate. He won't quit on his own.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Maybe I’m seeing the picture wrong, but I think there’s a good thick Kevlar plate between his fingers and her breasts."

-- Try arguing with a woman that grabbing her through a thick jacket or something isn't grabbing her.

I want to see how that ends.

Fabi said...

If that's my daughter in the photo -- individual body armor or not -- then Franken is getting his little dick ripped off and shoved down his fat ugly throat. Expel him from the Senate today.

Pinandpuller said...

Pics or it didn't happen.

Check.

tim in vermont said...

Elect Moore, expelled him, have another election with a new candidate. Next problem.

gspencer said...

Mere accusations are all too easy. For this one, the lady makes the accusation but backs it up with visual proof.

"Yes, sire, tis true. The hypocrisy in Democrats is strong."

Curious George said...

"JPS said...
I really really really don’t want to defend Franken here, but I'm a dumfuck-

Isn’t she wearing Individual Body Armor? Maybe I’m seeing the picture wrong, but I think there’s a good thick Kevlar plate between his fingers and her breasts."

FIFY So that's your standard? How about a heavy wool sweater? OK?

tim in vermont said...

But gosh darn it, people like him!

Matthew Sablan said...

Also, in this case, I think the woman feeling violated is perfectly acceptable judgment as opposed to an actual rough come on. She's sleeping; he's pretending to or actually assaulting her -- and the other people on the plane are laughing it up.

This is *actual rape culture.*

buwaya said...

This was on a USO tour.
Would Bob Hope have done this?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Franken deserves every big of crap he catches from this, and more.

That said, I'm not sure the picture shows assault. It's hard to tell, from the camera angle, if he is actually physically touching her.

Fabi said...

His fingers are touching her in that photo. Sexual assault on a sleeping female soldier. There is no defense. Expel him from the Senate today.

Bad Lieutenant said...


Mike Sylwester said...
It's fun to watch Democrats get hit by this ricochet shrapnel.
11/16/17, 10:50 AM

Not done with popcorn, winning, or petard-hoisting. Moar mob, pleez, with apologies to RH.

traditionalguy said...

Maybe Franken can take Jerry Jones ownership of the Dallas Cowboys when Jerry is tossed for Conduct Un-becoming the NFL. Soros would write the check, and then the Cowboys can wear swastika logos and replace the American Flag with a UN Flag.

AllenS said...

It's ok because of the body armor? What if he would have been posing with his crotch close to her face? Would it be ok, because you couldn't see if his dick was out?

Kevin said...

When you're a star they let you grab them by the boobs.

And we've come full circle.


Except she's not letting Franken touch her. Trump's defense was that the women he was talking about consented to his acts. It's the equivalent of "and then she took off her clothes and was standing in front of me, completely naked!"

Not something you discuss in polite company, but not something which is abnormal or illegal in any way.

Thus, "locker room talk".

Ken B said...

I think the not even touching her gear defense is very exculpatory. The joke is then not, look what I can do to her, but look what a horndog I am. The latter is self directed and not about how she is humiliated.

So this is small beer. What makes it interesting is the hypocrisy of his posturing.

CStanley said...

When they're asleep, they let you grab 'em by the boobs.

As much as I'm happy to have Al Frankenstein in the hot seat, I do think this episode falls under the more trivial category and the best way to handle it is to ridicule the men involved. There have been some allegations that are more serious cases of predation (and violence) but a lot of this stuff is men acting in a pathetic manner. They should be shamed, either privately or if that fails, then publicly.

John said...

Top of Drudge just now with photo

Franken must go!

His right hand certainly seems to be touching her breast.

Can be use the Goldberg-Polanski defense? She has a FLAK jacket on so he didn't actually feel anything. It was not a grope-grope.

Yeah, that's just the ticket!

John Henry

Matthew Sablan said...

Ken: No. If he was shown leering at her or you know, pulling a Weinstein or Louis, then the joke is "I have no self control!" This is "Hey guys, let's grab those boobs!" And the photographer joined in.

MikeR said...

:O He posted a picture? If it isn't past the statute of limitations, he should be charged criminally. In any case a civil suit. He needs to resign, now. I want any SOB like this (where the charges are true) out of Congress immediately, from whichever party. I want every member of Congress to stand up and say so, again now.
These industries that have the problem (Hollywood, other media, sports, politics) need to stamp it out. This is the moment.

CStanley said...

Haha, oops, my iPad autocorrected to Al Frankenstein.

Char Char Binks said...

The photo shows Franken's hands are close to her boobies, but apparently not actually touching her clothing. I'm not saying that makes it right, I'm just saying.

Etienne said...

The picture of him groping is an obvious joke. I've seen this same shot, or one like it, taken at Hooter's a million times.

Hooter's girls don't let you molest them, but yet millions of Hooter's pictures of men groping their "hooter's" exist.

The Hooter's girls think it is funny, and the men tip them extra. Free money, no molestation, they're good with it.

Matthew Sablan said...

"There have been some allegations that are more serious cases of predation (and violence) but a lot of this stuff is men acting in a pathetic manner. "

-- Eh. If everything the anchor said is true, he isolated her, forced her to kiss him, then continued a pattern of harassment during the whole trip, culminating in groping her sleeping body.

That's... that's literally a description of a stalker. He should be gone.

rhhardin said...

It is too funny. Just not around that woman.

Pinandpuller said...

Curious George

It was a USO Tour. Does Iraq have the same statute of limitations? Let's turn him over and find out.

Matthew Sablan said...

"The Hooter's girls think it is funny, and the men tip them extra."

-- And they're awake and agreeing to the photo. So... uh... not the same. At all.

tcrosse said...

This puts Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) in an awkward position. She has to say Something, but what ?

Bay Area Guy said...

It took Matthew Yglesias at Vox nearly 19 years to condemn Bill Clinton, so, by my calendar, in 2037, during the administration of President Baron Trump, we might hear some condemnation of Al Franken.

Mike said...

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2008/12/obama-favreau.html

Photo of Favreau and other Obama idiot molesting a Hillary cardboard cutout for laughs, pulling her "hair" and forcing a beer into her "mouth." So funny!

Pinandpuller said...

If a woman has a double mastectomy can they still charge a groper with sexual assault?

Clyde said...

Not good enough, not smart enough, and doggone it, people don't like him!

Matthew Sablan said...

I bet Norm Coleman is kicking himself for not finding this in 2008.

Fabi said...

How could a person ever dream of doing such a thing to a female soldier in a war zone, or anywhere, anytime at all? People are trying to defend this shit and call it "small beer"? Good luck with that and keep hope alive!

rhhardin said...

She could have been wearing a Mae West.

Matthew Sablan said...

Not that it makes it any better, but I don't believe she was a Soldier. She was there as part of a USO tour.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Being forced to kiss Al Franken is, I believe, one of the punishments suffered by the damned in Dante's "Divine Comedy." It's either the 5th or 6th Circle of Hell.

rhhardin said...

It's Kleist's Marquise of O all over again.

Bay Area Guy said...

My vague recollection is the snapping bra straps and grabbing boobs started in 6th Grade, and ended by 8th Grade.

Amexpat said...

The SNL skit that should be done: Somewhere in a sex rehabilitation center in Arizona a group of well known men are sitting in a therapy session. While an earnest counselor speaks, A. Weiner is surreptitiously photographing his crotch, HW, looking bored out of his skull, is sloppily sprawled over his chair with a mound of discarded food and coke cans around him and Al Franken walks in and joins the group.

Can't think of the rest except for the closing line. Weiner says to Franken, "Bill's here as well" and Franken asks "which one?".

traditionalguy said...

Apparently Bill Cosby method is Franken's preferred method. Once the women are drugged or sleeping, then he can have his way with their bodies. But having a photographer record it is arrogant. I say we kick him out for that. Which will help the vote gridlock. And everyone knows he stole the Senate election with ballot stuffing vote fraud.

Mike said...

The photo shows Franken's hands are close to her boobies, but apparently not actually touching her clothing. I'm not saying that makes it right, I'm just saying.

He took this after two months of petty retaliation for her rejecting his tongue kiss at "rehearsal." After he'd acted like a douche because she rejected him. This is a photo he took and used to humiliate her. So you're OK with a molester taking a photo (of the sleeping victim) to later post and humiliate his victims?

That's a pretty shitty standard.

Ken B said...

Matt,
But he is not grabbing any boobs. He is like the roadrunner goggling and reaching for the bird just before falling. The joke is about him.

Daniel Jackson said...

While there appears to be shadow under the fingers of the right hand, hence, not touching, this is not the case with the left hand. Opening the picture in PS (for investigative purposes), there is no shadow UNDER the third finger of the left hand suggesting that at the moment the image was exposed, the right hand appeared not to be touching; but, the left was.

Moreover, we do not know if this was the ONLY image exposed in this sequence; whether this was taken BEFORE contact or maybe AFTER contact.

Either way, it seems like a shitting eating grin of a prick who copped a feel, despite her protests, and knew he would get away with it.

tcrosse said...

I bet Norm Coleman is kicking himself for not finding this in 2008

The word on the street is that Norm had his own Issues which did not bear scrutiny.

LYNNDH said...

I have been reading some of the comments. Way off base. There is NO defense or excuse for his behavior. "Not touching" - so what, there was intent and an intent to violate her. As for her wearing "combat" gear, that is a flak jacket and helmet to protect them from ground fire. It was a was zone you know.
Al needs to be gone now, not wait like they have done for Good Old Bill.

Matthew Sablan said...

This seems like just a point people see it differently. I'm clearly seeing his hands on her in that picture.

Curious George said...

"Matthew Sablan said...
Who took this picture and thought it was a good idea?"

I don't know who took it, but I think FRANKEN thought it was a good idea. He as much as admitted it:

"As to the photo, it was clearly intended to be funny but wasn't."

Not the action, the photo. Intended. He staged this and had the photo taken. What a fucking moron.

CStanley said...

@Matthew Sablan, I could be persuaded to see it your way. I think it depends on how much he really harassed her the rest of the trip. Otherwise it's very borderline to me, whether it should be left in the realm of what women and men should work out between themselves. I think if I'd been put in her position I might have said something to try to shame him right after the kiss (like, "Dude, are you that hard up that you have to script your sex life in order to get any action?") And then made it clear that I would refuse to do the skit and would inform USO officials of the reason if he didn't back off.

rhhardin said...

The solution to all the hypocrisy is that this sexual stuff isn't actually important. It's a women's issue, and they're an audience.

Actual sexual details in real life are worked out individually and always have been.

It can't be rule based. This and that and that are crimes and the rest is mutual negotiation.

Matthew Sablan said...

Also: I'm pretty sure that the "I'm not touching you!" defense will not hold up.

Bay Area Guy said...

I didn't catch this from the end of Althouse's post:

Franken: And, "I give the pills to Lesley Stahl. Then, when Lesley's passed out, I take her to the closet and rape her." Or, "That's why you never see Lesley until February." Or, "When she passes out, I put her in various positions and take pictures of her."

This is unfunny and creepy. If I were Lesley's Stahl's husband or brother, I would smack Franken for this.

Fabi said...

It's okay to sexually assault a female if she's not a soldier. If you're a comedian you can do anything you want. Any pictures of him grabbing her pussy?

Ray said...

I doubt anything is going to happen, he's a Democrat. Mea Culpa and move on.

Ken B said...

Etienne
Exactly. If he weren't a senator this would be a no story, but everyone is playing gotcha.
Btw I thin Franken a turd who stole an election.

rehajm said...

His life will be saved by the Kevlar vest.

Fabi said...

KittyM will be along shortly to tell us how this is the kind of inequality that hurts women so much in the workplace!

Ken B said...

Matt,
Right, if everyone just plays gotcha for political reasons it won't hold up. If people are honest it should. In Canada men have been put on trial for "leering" as part of the culture war. Be careful what you endorse.

William Chadwick said...

And it wasn't even the Al Franken Decade!*

*remember that?

rhhardin said...

Franken actually was amusing and self-deprecating in person, at least hawking his book on the 2004 election on Imus.

Fabi said...

Making light of sexual abuse is a real winner for Franken!

Matthew Sablan said...

I'm fine with endorsing the idea that men should not grope sleeping women after forcing them to kiss them and continuing to pursue them after being told no, including finding little ways to make her life miserable with constant put downs and minor indignities.

rhhardin said...

Other fun plane pranks: soak a sleeper's hand in a bowl of warm water. It's supposed to make them pee.

tcrosse said...

Al Franken gets thrown under the Moral High Horse.

Ken B said...

Matthew, did you zoom in? There is a visible gap.

rhhardin said...

What happened to the groping Hillary's cut-out guys. Same joke.

JPS said...

Matthew Sablan, 11:13:

"Try arguing with a woman that grabbing her through a thick jacket or something isn't grabbing her."

I'm not saying that. Grabbing someone through a thick jacket, or the heavy wool sweater Curious George suggests, is actual assault. Franken in the picture is being a disrespectful asshole, which I already thought he was. Pace AllenS I don't think it's OK, and I agree with your 11:15 comment. Pretending to assault her while others laugh is disgusting, so I regret implying she's wrong to be outraged.

I just think to qualify as actual groping you have to be able to feel (at all) what you're groping, as opposed to an unyielding hard surface that doesn't change shape at all to fit the wearer. He'd have felt the same thing if he'd groped a vest with no person inside it.

(Curious George, no need to get insulting, son. Why don't you go put a flak plate on your lap and try jerking off through it?)

David Docetad said...

The particular details, or Franken's execuses, are meaningless here.

This about the fact that there are no doubt dozens of senators and congressmen, mostly Democrats, who are in fact significantly more guilty of acts that make Roy Moore supposed transgressions look very tame.

And McConnell and others are on record saying Moore is unfit for the senate.

Pass the popcorn.

Matthew Sablan said...

I see no gap. She said he did, and thus far, he hasn't said, "I didn't touch her!" he said "It was a joke!"

I see no reason to believe he didn't touch her.

Browndog said...

Every time the liberals march they get bit in the ass. Frothing hysteria built on lies, deception, and hypocrisy tends to do that. No worries. The media always covers for them. Always. Very empowering if you're a frothing. lying hysterical liberal.

wwww said...



I can't be surprised at this -- he came out of the SNL circuit. McConnell will want to have hearings to distract from the Roy Moore shit show.

My prediction: he won't be tossed out of the Senate unless more stories come out. He's not up for election for several more years, at which point he might resign if his polling doesn't look good. If any state wants a boring Senator, and not a jokester, I figure it's MN.

Then again, they elected Jesse Ventura, so MN might be ok with this. MN, you pretend you're all about respectability & hot dish, but you've made interesting electoral choices.

Reporters say they are hearing things about other legislators. Imagine we will be hearing more news in the next couple of weeks.

Curious George said...

"Ken B said...
Matt,
But he is not grabbing any boobs."

By this logic it would be okay if Franken pulled his cock out, stuck it near her mouth, and took a picture. I mean he didn't touch her, and she didn't see it. SO just a joke. About him.


Ken B said...

You can see a gap on the left hand and shadows on the right.

DanTheMan said...

>>Nothing happens to him.

Mike nails it. Nothing will happen to him. He makes a heartfelt and sincere fake apology for a "joke".

You think the photo is damning.
It's exculpatory and proof of no ill intent. Otherwise he would never have allowed it.

Now, let's all focus on the first lady's shoes again, please...

John said...

Now Drudge, who is gay himself, is just being mean. Imagine linking to this:

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."

Thanks Matt. I do appreciate your help in taking Franken, or, really, any senator of either party down.

Today's talking points: "Franken is so ugly that he can't get a woman to go out with him. He has to grope them while sleeping. He also fantasizes about drugging and raping celebrities." Yeah, just the kind of guy we need in the senate.

John Henry

rhhardin said...

Franken might be trying to grow her breasts by attraction-at-a-distance methods.

Start close until you perfect the technique. Then you can use it even across the room.

Browndog said...

And, no. Franken should not be expelled. Why is everyone suddenly forced to live by the insane rules liberals invent during one of their emotional outbursts?

Sebastian said...

My God! Progs holding progs to their own standards! Doing the auto-Alinsky! What's the world coming to?

Shows they've been uncharacteristically miscalculating. Even escalation to all men doesn't protect prog men.

Yancey Ward said...

Matthew Sablan wrote:

"The consequences. They were... actually completely expected.

Who took this picture and thought it was a good idea?
"

Franken thought it was a good idea, clearly. If you believe Ms. Tweeden's story about the forced kiss, it definitely puts the photograph into a different light- what would otherwise be seen as edgy humor and a prank becomes meaner if you think Franken was holding a grudge against her by the time of the return flight.

John said...

JPS:

Whoopi smiles.

John Henry

Ken B said...

Well Curious there are a lot things he didn't do that would make him look bad. If he dressed in a SS uniform and bit the head off a chicken while she slept for instance. But that wouldn't be a common comedy trope.

Curious George said...

"DanTheMan said...
You think the photo is damning.
It's exculpatory and proof of no ill intent. Otherwise he would never have allowed it."

SO I guess all those "knock out" vids...showing teens knocking out old bums, no ill intent.

Qwinn said...

On msn.com, the link to an article about this is titled "Franken groping claim ".

So even with photographic evidence, if it's about a Dem, it's just a "claim". When it's a conservative like Moore, and a completely implausible story, it's "Another Moore victim steps forward".

Burn it ALL down.

Deb said...

It's really beyond disgusting behavior, and really very sad that these are the people who have so much control over our lives, who sit where much better men sat. Cultural rot.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Browndog said...
And, no. Franken should not be expelled. Why is everyone suddenly forced to live by the insane rules liberals invent during one of their emotional outbursts?

11/16/17, 11:51 AM

Because if Republicans are forced to do it, Democrats should also.

Alinsky rule: Hold them to their own standards of behavior, which they will not be able to live up to.

That sound is the noise of tables being turned.

William said...

It is imperative that Lorne Michaels come out and condemn the disreputable behavior of his most distinguished alumnus in the strongest possible terms. If not, decent Americans must boycott SNL's sponsors. All other SNL personnel must be polled and asked to comment on Franken's misconduct. If their response is not sufficiently disparaging, they too must be boycotted........What the over/under that some other woman doesn't come out with another Al Franken story before the end of the week. The old let's rehearse the love scene trick doesn't look like a one off. Still, he's a liberal so for the greater good of humanity, the women may choose to remain mute......It's an enjoyable scandal as is, but I hope it gets better.

John said...

Forgot the link

http://www.thecrimson.com/article/1976/4/16/live-from-new-york-its-al/

John Henry

Curious George said...

"Ken B said...
Well Curious there are a lot things he didn't do that would make him look bad. If he dressed in a SS uniform and bit the head off a chicken while she slept for instance. But that wouldn't be a common comedy trope."

Wow.

glenn said...

See, because it was a joke. Except in the case of David Packwood who deserved a firing squad. And not the figurative one he got.

dreams said...

The Dems have opened a big old can of worms, they're so destructive.

Todd said...

Was he the "Democrat" refereed to yesterday in that the Congressman said he knew of "one Democrat and one Republican" involved in sexual harassment, or does Al make it three?

Qwinn said...

Browndog:

Because the only apparent alternative to "everyone lives by the liberals' rulws" is "only conservatives live by tbe liberals' rules".

If you have a way to actually enforce "no one lives by the liberals' rules" with our media as it is, do share.

wwww said...

And then made it clear that I would refuse to do the skit and would inform USO officials of the reason if he didn't back off.


Well, yeah, she could have told him she wouldn't do the skit. She had the option to reject the skit or tell him to remove the kiss from the skit. But she decided against that idea. She writes in her statement that she wanted to turn away at the last minute, reject him in front of an audience, and get some laughs at his expense.

btw- This is just my take on the psychology of their interaction & why she didn't reject the skit upfront. Not excusing any of his behaviour.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Deb said...
It's really beyond disgusting behavior, and really very sad that these are the people who have so much control over our lives, who sit where much better men sat"

That's my problem with the "elites." It's not that I am a huge populist - it's that our current "elites" are mediocre, ignorant, credentialed without being educated, arrogant and decadent. These cretins rule over us and want to hold onto and expand their power. They can go to hell.

Yancey Ward said...

How bad the photographed behavior is depends greatly on Ms. Tweeden's story of what happened beforehand, in my opinion. And those who claim a "gap" between the hands and Ms. Tweeden's jacket are missing that point in one respect and forgetting something else- that is a still, not a video.

John said...

And of course the non-apology apology.

He is also calling for an ethics committee of himself. Sorry, Al, McConnell already beat you to that. Too late but a nice try.

“The first thing I want to do is apologize: to Leeann, to everyone else who was part of that tour, to everyone who has worked for me, to everyone I represent, and to everyone who counts on me to be an ally and supporter and champion of women. There's more I want to say, but the first and most important thing—and if it's the only thing you care to hear, that's fine—is: I'm sorry.

“I respect women. I don't respect men who don't. And the fact that my own actions have given people a good reason to doubt that makes me feel ashamed.

“But I want to say something else, too. Over the last few months, all of us—including and especially men who respect women—have been forced to take a good, hard look at our own actions and think (perhaps, shamefully, for the first time) about how those actions have affected women.

“For instance, that picture. I don't know what was in my head when I took that picture, and it doesn't matter. There's no excuse. I look at it now and I feel disgusted with myself. It isn't funny. It's completely inappropriate. It's obvious how Leeann would feel violated by that picture. And, what's more, I can see how millions of other women would feel violated by it—women who have had similar experiences in their own lives, women who fear having those experiences, women who look up to me, women who have counted on me.

“Coming from the world of comedy, I've told and written a lot of jokes that I once thought were funny but later came to realize were just plain offensive. But the intentions behind my actions aren't the point at all. It's the impact these jokes had on others that matters. And I'm sorry it's taken me so long to come to terms with that.

“While I don't remember the rehearsal for the skit as Leeann does, I understand why we need to listen to and believe women’s experiences.

“I am asking that an ethics investigation be undertaken, and I will gladly cooperate.

“And the truth is, what people think of me in light of this is far less important than what people think of women who continue to come forward to tell their stories. They deserve to be heard, and believed. And they deserve to know that I am their ally and supporter. I have let them down and am committed to making it up to them.”


Next, we will hear how, now that he has realized what an asshole he is, he must stay in the senate to protect other women from other assholes like himself.

John Henry

Todd said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Todd said...

Kevin said...

You people make me want to vomit!

/Inga

11/16/17, 11:03 AM


How much more winning can one person stand?!?!? Quick, where are my nitro pills!

#MAGA

Annie C said...

If I found a picture like this of me sleeping, the only thing running through my mind would be "what else did he do that's not on film?"

buwaya said...

For the sake of ethnic clarification, Leean Tweeden has about as much Filipino ancestry as I do.

James K said...

It's exculpatory and proof of no ill intent

No, at best it allows him the Costanza excuse, which is no excuse at all: "Was that wrong? Should I not have done that? I tell you, I gotta plead ignorance on this thing because if anyone had said anything to me at all when I first started here that that sort of thing is frowned upon."

dreams said...

"If I found a picture like this of me sleeping, the only thing running through my mind would be "what else did he do that's not on film?""

Yeah, and when you're sleeping, you're totally defenseless.

Yancey Ward said...

What was interesting about Franken's statement is this- he didn't dispute the rest of the story Ms. Tweeden told. That definitely puts the photograph itself into a much worse light- especially since it was apparent that Franken seems to have wanted her to see it 11 years ago. I don't see this as humor- I see this as Franken deliberately insulting her because he was angry.

Matthew Sablan said...

"btw- This is just my take on the psychology of their interaction & why she didn't reject the skit upfront. Not excusing any of his behaviour. "

-- Or you could read her actual input on why she did what she did (namely, that at first, she didn't think he'd be a dick about it, then, he was powerful, she wasn't.)

glenn said...

And sadly the real losers are the people of Minnesota who traded Norm Coleman and his moderate politics for a baggy pants comedian. Took a lot of phony post election ballot box stuffing but the Dems got it done.

Chuck said...

Professor Althouse; surely you realize what a false comparison it is, comparing the alleged assault by Franken, to Trump's "Access Hollywood" tapes.

The fair comparison would be Franken's alleged assaults, to Trump's alleged assaults. Or else you could compare Franken's crude statements to Trump's crude statements.

I just don't see how an increasing number of alleged celebrity/politician offenses exculpates Trump. Franken is a scumbag. As is Bill O'Reilly, as is Harvey Weinstein, as is Bill Cosby as is Donald Trump.

rhhardin said...

Imus long ago to woman caller who claimed to be a virgin

"How do you know? Did you ever fall asleep on a bus?"

cutting edge of the 70s.

Yancey Ward said...

wwww wrote:

"This is just my take on the psychology of their interaction & why she didn't reject the skit upfront."

We don't need your take- Ms. Tweeden described her reasons in good detail in the article, which I have to assume you actually didn't read completely.

holdfast said...

Since she was a former pinup model, Franken believed that she was "fair game" for whatever. Because Hollywood Privilege (i.e. actors > models).

He didn't care that she was also the wife of a servicing officer.

rehajm said...

My prediction: he won't be tossed out of the Senate unless more stories come out.

He's released the non apology statement. My prediction: MSM kills the story before dinnertime.

rhhardin said...

Kroger offers one free grape.

Curious George said...

"wwww said...
btw- This is just my take on the psychology of their interaction & why she didn't reject the skit upfront. Not excusing any of his behaviour."

All evidence to the contrary.

Mike said...

I just don't see how an increasing number of alleged celebrity/politician offenses exculpates Trump.

I've seen no credible accusations against Trump. All you have is his 100% truthful words to Billy Bush, saying, "When you're a star they let you" do these kind of things. It wasn't an admission. It was a statement of fact. The fact that Bill and Harvey and Al and other scum lived out his words is further proof he was correct.

Who is accusing Trump of molesting them?

Curious George said...

"rhhardin said...
Kroger offers one free grape."

That made me laugh.

Darrell said...

Anyone get a picture of Franken jacking off on her?

M Jordan said...

Franken just yesterday excoriated Texas Supreme Court Justice Willet for hiding a poorly-received Twitter comment behind the “joke” defense.

“It was clearly intended to be funny but wasn’t.” Said Willet. Franken’s rejoinder: "Sometimes when you don’t get a joke, it’s because it wasn’t a joke.”

Just yesterday. Heh heh.

Ken B said...

No Yancey ward we are not. You are arguing that even if the photo doesn't show contact we can still infer contact. That is transparently dishonest. Maybe a video would show her suggesting the grope. Maybe it would show Franken napping and her with a bayonet at his heart. Maybe it would show where Elvis is hiding.

When she says he groped her the only evidence is this photo. Right? Is that right? This is the only evidence. It does not prove what you assert. So suddenly you speculate about non existent evidence.

Curious George said...

"Chuck said...
Professor Althouse; surely you realize what a false comparison it is, comparing the alleged assault by Franken, to Trump's "Access Hollywood" tapes.

The fair comparison would be Franken's alleged assaults, to Trump's alleged assaults. Or else you could compare Franken's crude statements to Trump's crude statements."

How many of Trump's "alleged assaults" have photo evidence? Surely you realize what an asshole you are.

mccullough said...

Chuck,

You forgot HW Bush in your scumbag taxonomy. Grabbing teenage ass is not acceptable.

eric said...

Regardless of how you feel about Franken and what he did, you have to admit this move is brilliant.

They've just given the media the excuse they need to "move on". As Franken has agreed to fully comply with an ethics investigation. Which I'm sure will get started a few months from now.

Excellent way to knock this off the radar. I'd ask why the Republicans aren't this good, but you need a complicit media to make strategies like this work.

Curious George said...

Ken B said...
No Yancey ward we are not. You are arguing that even if the photo doesn't show contact we can still infer contact. That is transparently dishonest. Maybe a video would show her suggesting the grope. Maybe it would show Franken napping and her with a bayonet at his heart. Maybe it would show where Elvis is hiding.

When she says he groped her the only evidence is this photo. Right? Is that right? This is the only evidence. It does not prove what you assert. So suddenly you speculate about non existent evidence."

Did you buy strawman stock today?

wwww said...

I've seen no credible accusations against Trump. All you have is his 100% truthful words to Billy Bush,

There was that story in People magazine, with the woman reporter who was interviewing Melania & Trump when she was pregnant with Baron. He cornered her in a room and there was that strange stuff with the massage. She told people at her magazine at the time it happened.

Why does it matter for the next election? Men don't read People Magazine. But suburban women read People Magazine. & I'd be surprised if the story doesn't get brought up again before 2020.

Matthew Sablan said...

"When she says he groped her the only evidence is this photo. Right? Is that right? This is the only evidence. It does not prove what you assert. So suddenly you speculate about non existent evidence."

-- Well, and she accused him of it, and he admitted to groping her as a joke.

Ken B said...

Mike,
I have lost track of people, including althouse, who just ignore the "they let you". What part of "they let you" suggests lack of consent? I let my wife squeeze my butt, I don't let anyone else. Is she doing it against my will? That's what these idiots argue.

Yancey Ward said...

KenB,

You are asserting above that there is a gap- I don't see a gap in the photograph- indeed, it seems the fingertips are clearly on jacket. I saw several comments here and elsewhere that used the claimed gap as a defense against the groping charge- it doesn't mean much since it is a still in any case. Now, if you qualified your statement with my point, you would have been correct.

wwww said...

Who is accusing Trump of molesting them?


http://people.com/politics/people-writer-attack-by-donald-trump-corroborated-six-named-sources/

Natasha Stoynoff. 2005. She told 6 people at the time. Called people that night crying. She told her editor. There's video of someone she told on the link.

Bruce Hayden said...

This humorous. The more that the Dems and their MSM enablers push the meme that maybe he didn’t actually touch her, the more that people are going to want to see for themselves. And it isn’t really clear that the one hand isn’t touching her. So we have a debate going on - did he actually touch her breast area while she was sleeping or just joke about it? Not sure if we will ever know. But, I don’t see him running for a third term - because I expect that running that photo would be just too obvious by the Republicans asking “Do you really want this sick pervert representing you?” They apparently don’t care about this level of degeneracy in places like MA, that gave Ted Kennedy life tenure in the Senate, but MN is different. I don’t think that this sort of thing will fly there. We shall see.

Yancey Ward said...

And it appears Franken has admitted he groped her in his statement by inference, but maybe he will later clarify it.

Ken B said...

Wow Saban have you ever dropped in my estimation. She said it was unaware before the photo. It is her evidence. The rest is her conclusion. And Franken did not admit he groped her. You have not quote of him saying so. That is your conclusion. Deliberately conflating evidence and conclusions? Wow.

wwww said...



I don't think many men heard of the Natasha Stoynoff story that ran in People magazine. Meanwhile, a lot of women did. That's part of the cultural background to what's going on right now with all of this stuff.

DanTheMan said...

>>He's released the non apology statement. My prediction: MSM kills the story before dinnertime.

Didn't Trump tweet something outrageous today? Didn't we get a picture of Don Jr. picking his nose? After all, he's a "D" so it's all perfectly innocent and excusable.

Why wait until dinnertime to kill the story?

And, for the sarcasm impaired, I yield to no one in my disgust for the election thief in question...

Ken B said...

Deliberately presenting inferences as if they were uncontested evidence is dishonest. It is what people complain about CNN doing. Now they are doing it.

Unknown said...

"Mike Pence looks like a fucking genius right about now with his stance on not being alone with women other than his wife"

That has certainly become my guiding principle, thank you democrats. I recently received a recommendation for a chiropractor, when I found out she was female I politely declined.

BDNYC said...

Franken couldn't deny the photographic evidence. It would have been interesting if he'd denied it and THEN the photo came out. Anyway, I don't see how he really recovers from this.

Mark said...

Based on my social media feed, Franken is done. Whether or not he made contact that photo is a joke about groping her.

Never mind the rest of the story.

I haven't seen a lot of media enablers here

Michael said...

Contact is unimportant. The luring and hideous grin, the certainty that the "comic" believes that what he is doing is hilarious and that his viewers will think so as well is important. Here is a man who believes it is funny to feel up women who are asleep, unconscious. Whether he touched her or not is not relevant. He didn't say, I could feel up anyone because I am rich and important. Instead he acted out what he was willing to do because he thought it a yuk . And he thought you might as well. That is why he is vile. And always has been.

Owen said...

This is great. It has generated a whole new defense: she was wearing so much stuff I couldn't tell what I was touching, so in frustration I went off to express myself to an unwary ficus.

The Kevlar Defense.

dreams said...

The sorry-ass Dems thought they could get their virginity back so as to continue their attacks on the Republicans.

https://donsurber.blogspot.com/2017/11/no-democrats-you-dont-get-your.html

Darrell said...

We can move on when Franken is on the bus headed home for good.

Michael McNeil said...

Elect Moore, expelled him, have another election with a new candidate. Next problem.

It strongly appears — from the Supreme Court decision Powell v. McCormack and its logical sequelae in the courts — that the Senate can neither refuse to seat nor expel members for offenses committed long before they take their seat. The people who elected them must be allowed their representative of choice.

Eric Segall in this LA Times op-ed defends this point.

Nonapod said...

Rush is having an absolute field day with this. The radio is radiating sardonic glee.

Mike said...

Looked at the People story. Interesting. This is probably what they will say. Very similar to Franken up until the part where Franken actually grabs her and takes a "funny" photo of it. That distinction may protect Trump.

I don't see this rising to the level of "assault" based on her story though.

johns said...

When I turned on "McIntyre in the Morning" as I was driving to work, I caught the full description of Leeann's experience on the USO trip with Franken. She is on the show with McIntyre daily as well as doing the news. During all of the Weinstein and related talk over the last few months, she never hinted on the show that she had her own story. She says that after Franken assaulted her (allegedly), she had to go on stage with him throughout the tour and play nice, as well as having to sit next to him to sign autographs. She says he made her the bad guy, including drawing horns on her picture while they sat next to each other. How senatorial! I think the full interview is available on KABC's website.

Charlie said...

Wow, that Joe Biden groping picture is the worst...

Al Franken: Hold my beer.

JPS said...

Michael, 12:29:

That is so well put, you're making me regret the distinction I drew.

Should he go to prison?

Bay Area Guy said...

Have you seen pictures of Leanne Tweeden?

Yowza! I can see why creepy Al Franken wanted to grab titty. However, most males above the age of 13, recognize the need for self-discipline and respect for others. Not every urge needs to be acted on.

Sorry, Al, time for you to resign. Can't have gropers in the Senate.

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