As if he didn't have enough problems, former comedian and radio talk host Al Franken, U.S. Senate candidate in Minnesota is playing defense again for a satirical piece he wrote in Playboy magazine in 2000.
The one-time Saturday Night Live writer and performer wrote "Porn-O-Rama!" about visiting a made-up sex institute with a voluptuous futurist where he has sex with humans and machines. Franken wrote in the tongue-in- er, cheek narrative explaining: "[s]ince I've been married 23 years, I naturally chose" the virtual blowjob. He then describes the experience in explicit detail.
Minnesota Republicans, miraculously born-again as "feminists," are all
puffed up about Franken's "objectifying," "demeaning and degrading"
women," and are scolding him for a fundraiser hosted recently by
Playboy CEO Christie Hefner at her Chicago home.
Meanwhile, Franken is demanding that Republican incumbent Norm Coleman divest his campaign of nearly $10,000 received from the PAC and employees of a lobbying firm that represented Myanmar's military junta, and once furnished the McCain campaign with ethical counseling.
(photo: the happy junta)
"Al had a long career as a satirist," said Jess McIntosh of the Franken campaign. "But he understands the difference between what you say as a satirist and what you do as a senator. And as a senator, Norm Coleman has disrespected the people of Minnesota by putting the Exxons and Halliburtons ahead of working families. And there's nothing funny about that."
The creepy George Allen in his unsuccessful bid for the Senate in 2006, released a list of explicit passages from opponent Jim Webb's novels to smear with the realistic passages such as in Webb's novel "Something to Die For," in which Webb describes a female stripper performing sexual acts with a banana. The attempt had no effect on voters.
At least we know Franken's work was well-written; Webb's novels sell, and are critically acceptable -- unlike his smut-writing GOP counterparts.
But dirty right-wing novels are almost a genre -- and would be if anyone read them but political commentators, they weren't quickly remaindered. They seem to get published with no apparent harm to their authors' reputations and eliciting little more than a few laughs by critics.
Bill O’Reilly’s novel, Those Who Trespass was
noted for its "wooden," writing ("His intense sexual hunger was
apparent to anyone who bothered to notice," or the sensual: “Okay,
Shannon Michaels, off with those pants”).
Lynn Cheney's 1981 novel Sisters has been repressed, but contained stilted Lesbian scenes that might not play that well at the National Prayer Breakfast ("The women who embraced in the wagon were Adam and Eve on a dark cathedral stage--no, Eve and Eve, loving one another as they would not be able to once they ate of the fruit and knew themselves as they truly were.") In another Cheney book, a Republican vice president died of a heart attack while having sex with his illicit lover.
Star felon Scooter Libby's 1996 The Apprentice is simply bizarre in a way that makes us understand why some Republicans go for sex in public restrooms. ("At age ten the madam put the child in a cage with a bear trained to couple with young girls so the girls would be frigid and not fall in love with their patrons. They fed her through the bars and aroused the bear with a stick when it seemed to lose interest").
Franken has other problems: he's behind in the polls, and he's had trouble focusing the attention on incumbent Norm Coleman who's been a rather ineffectual Bush apparatchik.
(photo: Jesse the body)
Franken can pray that Jesse Ventura will get into the race as he has been threatening.