Al Franken

Larouche: The Only Candidate Al Franken is So Afraid Of…


Fighting funnyman Al Franken "body-slammed a demonstrator to the ground after the man tried to shout down Gov. Howard Dean," reports the New York Post. The victim of Franken's bear hug and body slam was a supporter of perennial Democratic candidate Lyndon Larouche.

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  1. What, did the guy have a 5000 watt PA with him? That’s what it would take to shout Scream Dean down.

  2. From the NY Post article, Al Franken offers his motive:

    Franken said he’s not backing Dean but merely wanted to protect the right of people to speak freely. “I would have done it if he was a Dean supporter at a Kerry rally,” he said.

    So how does Al Franken ?protect the right of people to speak freely.? when it is speech he disagrees with?

    Franken emerged from the crowd and charged one male protester, grabbing him with a bear hug from behind and slamming him onto the floor.

    “I was a wrestler so I used a wrestling move,” Franken said.

    Real gutsy to attack a guy from behind. Any chance Franken will be charged with assault and battery or perhaps face a civil suit?

  3. i’ll have a round of whatever he’s drinking!


  4. nice to know that unfunny al believes violence is perfectly appropriate to even casually further his political views.

  5. Looks like we’ve gone from “I may disagree with what you say but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it” to sanctioning assault and battery on people who voice opinions you dislike.

  6. I might not try to avoid that jury duty.

  7. Hey, Al had to do what he had to do. The man who allegedly was shouting down Dean was outside the anti-Dean free speech zone. Al was simply taking cues from the secret service on how to enforce the free speech zone, nothing more.

  8. I only hope that Al Franken gets caught or framed or whatever with a drug problem or something like Rush did. They are the same thing, loud asses who do nothing but make political discourse more shrill.

    Al Franken strikes me as the type that could be cast as a pederast. Thats just the first thing that pops into my head if these “talking heads” are kinda open for framing.

  9. He must be on the Queen of England’s payroll.

  10. The best story ever would be where Franken gets jacked up trying this kind of maneuver on someone who knows what they are doing.

    One can dream …

  11. Al…Al…Al…

    Just call up O’Reiley and challenge him to fisticuffs and get that pent up agression out. Please. Fox will produce.

  12. At this point the LaRouchies are just sad … C-Span broadcast a Kerry event on Tuesday, and when the LaRouchie (why are so many of them red-headed, bearded guys?) got up to rant about how “LaRouche is the most PRESIDENTIAL candidate,” you could see the people around him sort of wincing, as if they’d bitten into a hunk of mold.

    I thought it was interesting that this LaRouchie, according to one report, yelled that “LaRouche and Kerry” were “the only real Democrats.” Was he a Deanite plant?

  13. Out of curiosity, who are Franken, LaRouche, etc.?

  14. The whole story sounds phony to me.

    Al Franken is a little wimpy punk. I don’t believe he could “body slam” anybody.

  15. Anyone think that Franken will actually be charged with battery?

  16. Franken misprounced “roman ? clef” and “Jude” on Imus too, back in ’98.

  17. So it seems that Al Franken is sometimes in favor of unilateral violence after all….

  18. I suggest we lock Al and Ann Coulter in a room with crack, whiskey and a couple of tire irons. Televise the event! I’m there, baby!

  19. Thorley,

    The “right of people to speak freely” makes no sense without the right to control the (justly acquired) resources with which one is speaking.

    If some hooligan paints graffiti over a billboard, he’s not exercising his right to speak freely; he’s interfering with the billboard owner (or renter) to speak freely. Similarly, when a heckler shouts down a speaker, he is not exercising a right to free speech; he is interfering with the speaker’s right to free speech (assume the speaker has made some sort of agreement with the owner of the hall, as Dean presumably did).

    If one has a right to speak freely with one’s own (or legally acquired) property, then one has a right to use some degree of force to eject people who would interfere with that right. So Franken’s actions aren’t completely out of line.

    Of course, Franken wasn’t the one speaking, so he wasn’t protecting his own right to speak. He was protecting Dean’s right to speak, so we may regard him as a good samaritan. It’s possible he used excessive force. (Normally these sorts of things are dealt with by security guards, who usually need do little more than put a hand on the heckler’s arm.) But as someone who’s seen hecklers shut down speakers that I wanted to hear, I’m not going to get too bent out of shape about it.

  20. Well said, Mr. Hanneken. And I like you beer, to.

  21. LaRouche, for those who do not know, is a Roosevelt democrat who ran for president several times while in prison for tax charges. He claims to have a complete unified theory of politics, economics, and history, which he uses to attract people who believe such a thing ought to exist.

    At first I was appalled by the Franken story, but when I saw LaRouche’s name all was clear. His people are particularly obnoxious in person.

  22. I agree with Thorley at 04:17 PM, Franken shouldn’t be allowed to get away with physical assault. I always thought that Franken had a malicious side…

  23. Be tolerant of Franken. He may be suffering from hanging with Garrison Keilor of Prairie Home Companion. Isn’t that sort of skid row after Saturday Nite Live?

    And how ’bout that Lyndon Larouche?
    If he had had the good sense to run on the Libertarian ticket, he would have been President long ago… alliteration don’t you know. Instead he chose to be a man of principles.

    Don’t you hate those?

    I’m waiting for a tag-team event with Franken and John Irving wearing the white trunks.

  24. John Hensley, don’t be too quick to assume you know who LaRouche “is.” In the ’70s he was an ultra-leftist so extreme that many thought he was an agent provocateur working for the cops. In the ’80s he was pro-fusion power and anti-environmentalist. And now he’s a “Democrat” who believes the Queen of England is a high-level coke dealer. Doesn’t sound very much like FDR to me!

  25. Franken was tossed off the wrestling team for bear hugging one of his team mates from behind. They were in the shower at the time.

  26. After 9-11, we can no longer wait for the heckling to become imminent…

  27. I wonder if Franken has yet given any thought to how lucky he was not to have tackled a guy who was carrying a gun or knife? NH has concealed carry and that kind of unprovoked attack could very easily have earned him a bullet.

  28. Franken said he’s not backing Dean but merely wanted to protect the right of people to speak freely. “I would have done it if he was a Dean supporter at a Kerry rally,” he said.

    Would he have done the same to a Dean supporter at a Bush rally?

  29. Al Franken would NEVER attend a Bush rally…

  30. Ann Coulter’s next book, “Al Franken is a Jackbooted Thug

  31. “Libertarian Lyndon LaRouche” does have a nice alliterative ring to it, which probably explains why the Ass. Press has repeatedly identified him as one in the past.

  32. JB-

    Al Franken was a comedy writer on “Saturday Night Live” from its inception to about the early 90’s. He started appearing as performer on the show in the late 80’s. Now he writes “funny” political books. Oh – he made a movie called “Stuart Smalley Saves the World.” It was terribly unfunny.

    On a side note, can someone please help explain LaRouche? I looked at his website and just didn’t get it. It’s either WAY over my head…or he is just completely insane. The screed on the website in almost unreadable. People support this guy? Either way, the phrase “Beastmaster Cheney” is inspired.


  33. Hanneken said:
    “If one has a right to speak freely with one’s own (or legally acquired) property, then one has a right to use some degree of force to eject people who would interfere with that right. So Franken’s actions aren’t completely out of line.”

    If he has any legal right here, it would be to call someone with appropriate authority to enforce wahtever law is supposedly being broken.
    I doubt he had any right to anyway. Maybe in a case of self-defense i.e. physical threat.
    His actions here amount to nothing more than knuckle-dragging vigilanteism followed by an attempted prostitution of the Constitution. Ah..maybe it was supposed to be funny.
    How about Franken..stein. Now that’s funny.

  34. Did he have UN approval before hitting this guy from the rear (what a chicken) or did he act unilaterally?
    And Hanniken, you’re flat out wrong. Someone defacing a billboard isn’t a violation of free speech, it’s vandalism, bad analogy.

    Franken was way out of line, he didn’t have the right to assault someone because he didn’t like what they were doing. If the man became violent when being escorted from the hall, well then violence may be neccessary to subdue him. Think of this, what if the police or security had jumped and bodyslammed the man in that fasion. Wouldn’t it be wrong, considering the guy wasn’t a threat? If they can’t do it, then some pee-wee bozo like Franken sure doesn’t have the right to. What he did was commit assault, he’s going to have a tough time in court trying to prove he was defending himself or someone else. That’s the only time assault is justified. And please, fellow commentors, don’t compare this to the war, there’s no comparison. Law enforcement is not war, and vice-versa.

  35. Yup, Lyndon LaRouche is completely insane. He basically appeals to those people who feel that Howard Dean and Wesley Clark (and to be fair, Pat Buccannan) are too mainstream.

    Though I’d say he’s closer to Dean, in that he’s almost a cult leader.

  36. “Libertarian Lyndon LaRouche” does have a nice alliterative ring to it, …”

    Don’t overlook the great man’s scientific side:

    Mars Colonies


    by Lyndon H. LaRouche

    “What I am about to present to you are the highlights of present U.S. plans for establishing a permanent colony on Mars by approximately the year 2027 A.D.

  37. How frankin’ stupid can he be?

    Hecklers Beware!

  38. Franken has been verbally abusive, on more occasions than I can count, publicly towards those he disagrees with, quite often personally. He’s challenged Rich Lowry many times to a fight. He’s “joked” about punching Katherine Harris. This should come as no surprise.

  39. debunkeroftheleft,

    Yes, defacing a billboard is vandalism. It is also a violation of freedom of speech, insofar as the billboard’s original message is obscured.

    Rich Reilly,

    I am not a lawyer, but I would be surprised if private citizens had no right to use ANY force to eject people who are making nuisances of themselves. If bouncers are allowed to do it, why not Franken?

    Legal issues aside: as a libertarian with anarchist tendencies, I’m not impressed by the argument that citizens should never take the initiative in defending their rights, and should always wait for the proper authorities to take care of things. (Have you read Jeffrey Snyder’s essay “A Nation of Cowards?” If not, I recommend it. Writes Snyder: “Crime is rampant because the law-abiding, each of us, condone it, excuse it, permit it, submit to it. We permit and encourage it because we do not fight back, immediately, then and there, where it happens.”)

  40. Whenever the news media incorrectly identifies LaRouche as a Libertarian, it annoys the heck out of both sides. LaRouche positively HATES Libertarians, who he claims are stooges for “Dope, Inc.” which in turn is run by British Intelligence and the Queen of England.

    Go to to view a very amusing flyer (“Look Who’s Coming to the Sodomy Party!”) that LaRouche acolytes from the U.S. Labor Party (his political vehicle prior to his re-emergence as a Democrat so he could obtain federal matching funds) were handing out in front of the 1979 Libertarian Party national convention in Los Angeles.

  41. Hey Russ!
    I am a lawyer and what Franken did is misdemeanor assault and battery in every jurisdiction I’m familiar with… and if he really did go in low for the guy’s legs, as he claims, then it could be felony assault and battery, depending on how high Frankenstein lifted his victim and the force with which he “body slammed” him… and what he b-sed him onto… if concrete, one thing, if nice cushy grass, another…
    BTW, I would have thought that libertarians would be especially sensitive to violence used to silence another’s speech… but I guess not…

  42. Um…if you look at the CNN story, it’s not nearly as hyperbolic as the righty NY Post story. The Post story makes him sound like he just emerged from the audience and starting beating the guy up. The CNN story says that LaRouchies had been disrupting events all day, and that Franken helped escort the guy out. Two wildly different versions.

  43. Love how Franken, who has been exclusively to Dean rallies, says he is neutral and he would have done it to a Deanie baby at a Kerry rally. Never mind that he would never be at a Kerry rally (at least until he wins the nomination so he can suck up to him like Dean and Gore).

  44. jagacap,

    Thanks for the legal info, but it doesn’t exactly address what I said. Some people here seem to think ANY amount of force used to eject a nuisance is illegal. I questioned that claim. I didn’t say I thought the amount of force Franken used was legally okay. In fact, I said it’s possible he used excessive force.

    As for your last sentence: no, I’m not “especially sensitive to violence used to silence another’s speech” when that speech is on someone else’s property, against the property owner’s wishes, and disrupting another person’s speech.

    Aren’t there any circumstances in which you would contemplate using “violence” to silence someone else’s speech? How sensitive would you be if someone barged into your home and started ranting and raving in front of your family?

  45. I expect all of those defending Franklin’s right to assault will be equally passionate in defending the coming wave of body slams of liberal protesters across the country. This seems to solve the flag burning debate as the people that tend to do that will probably snap in half with each slam.

    Will these slamming rights be extended to football games. I’ve felt the urge to protect our cheering section’s right to free speech from rival team boosters and I see a loophole.

  46. Except that Tim Russert confirmed the NY Post account this morning on Imus:

    The press guy for Dean tried to grab onto him and remove him and he couldn’t do it. All of a sudden, Al Franken jumped out of the media gallery, ran down and grabbed this guy on the leg and started wrestling him to the ground…. It was unbelievable. He was really into it.

  47. Hannekan: “I am not a lawyer”
    No..but if you follow your train of thought, you may need one…or a coroner.

    Helping escort someone out sounds a little different than going low and taking their legs out. I guess we need an eye witness here.

    If the person Frankenstein rolled was injured, whatever level of force used, how would the law look at that? Time for F’en stein to call Hannekan’s lawyer.

  48. bbridges,

    As far as I know, no one is defending Al Franken’s “right” to commit assault. I am defending the right to use whatever force is appropriate in defense of your rights or the rights of others–even if someone is infringing on someone’s rights by an act of speech.

    As for body-slamming people who root for the opposing team: I think you’ll have a problem doing that, unless the stadium owner has posted a sign saying cheering for the opposing team is prohibited. (By convention, all cheering is understood to be permissible at a football game, so a sign would be required to override the presumption in favor of free cheering. At a golf game, on the other hand…) Even then, body-slamming might be an excessive response to violators.

  49. Hannekan: “As far as I know, no one is defending Al Franken’s “right” to commit assault.”

    Well..earlier you said “I’m not going to get too bent out of shape about it.”’re not defending his actions but not judging them either. At least you’re upfront in telling us you are “a libertarian with anarchist tendencies”.

  50. Ummm.

    1. CNN isn’t the most neutral news organization in the world. Particularly when it comes to Al. I’d suggest that there’s a whole lot of something not mentioned. But we should probably wait for something in the NH newspapers.

    2. What this tells me is that there’s one sure fire way to have fun!
    I think I’ve got to start attending Democrat speeches and pretend I’m a LaRouchie. Wow! Perhaps I could get body-slammed by Al too. I know that I’ll definitely have something to say about it. Hmmm. Perhaps I could do that to the Republicans too. It is a thought.

    If nothing else, it’ll annoy people. Which is always good.


  51. I’ll judge Franken’s actions if and when I get more information about them, and the context in which he acted. But I expect that, even if I conclude Franken used excessive force, even if I conclude Franken acted wrongly and should be punished/sued, I’m not going to feel too sorry for the victim.

    That’s not a contradiction. How did you feel when you heard Jeffrey Dahmer was killed in prison? My reaction was that we don’t want a system in which prisoners kill other prisoners–but in this case, I couldn’t summon any tears for the victim. I don’t think my reaction was terribly odd, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you had the same reaction.

    Hecklers may not be serial killers, but they are awfully rude and annoying. That’s not just because they interfere with the exercise of another person’s right to free speech. It’s because they’re so full of themselves. They think it’s okay to make an audience listen to them, rather than the person they came to hear. Rather than earning their own audience, they insert themselves in front of someone else’s. In that way, they’re like spammers. I’m not ashamed to take some satisfaction out of seeing one of them roughed up a little, even if ultimately I can’t condone Franken’s behavior.

  52. I thought LaRouche wasn’t even eligible for candidacy (convicted felon)?

  53. The funniest part of the “Sodomy Party” flyer has to be the alleged link between the libertarian party and Noam Chomsky. I have occasionally wondered whether Chomsky and LaRouche made a bar bet on who could develop a nuttier political Theory of Everything, akin to Hubbard and Heinlein’s legendary bet on Scientology.

  54. I thought LaRouche wasn’t even eligible for candidacy (convicted felon)?

    Maybe, but I doubt that anyone cares enough about him to take the time to kick him out. Besides, the camp value that he brings to the table is incalculable.

  55. Stand up against free speech zones! Vote Dean!


    Dean, truly the WWE candidate!

  56. I think everyone needs to get some perspective here. The Larouchies were acting like dicks – that’s not up for debate. Franken got pissed, and did something about it – and it was certainly much less violent than most of you think. The quips about “going for the legs”, “body slamming”, ect. were probably just him making a joke…sounds like the kind of shit he’d say…and while he’s not terribly funny, it IS funny to think of Franken “body slamming” a red-haired Larouchie at a Dean rally. Lighten up.

  57. Union Leader quotes the not-exactly-unbiased theater manager as calling it a “hefty Patriots block.” So it’s pretty clear now that Franken had a physical altercation with the protester.

  58. If someone comes trespassing on my property and starts shouting at me while I’m trying to talk to my friends, well, I’m from the old school of Southern gentlemen, the one that says that that a few rounds of double-ought will teach’em a few manners (and give the undertaker some business too). See, we believe in property rights where I come from, and there ain’t nobody got the right to come in there and take away from my enjoyment of my land.

    Al Franken is a bit politer than me.

    Howard Dean had rented that stage. This was his event. Nobody had the right to crash it and take away from his enjoyment of his event. If the Larouchies wanted to exercise free speech, they’re perfectly within their rights to stand OUTSIDE his event and wave their signs and stuff all they want.

    I’m ashamed that there’s so-called “Republicans” who don’t believe in property rights. But then, the Republican Party of my youth, the party of Goldwater and Reagan, doesn’t exist any more. All the real Republicans, folks like McCain and Buchanon, have been marginalized for not properly bowing before the Bushevik’s Great Leader. Damned shame, we need a political party that stands for property rights, limited government, and sound financial management. The current bunch of thieves in office, who are stealing money out of my pockets to liberate Iraqis (why the hell do I give a **** about Iraqis?! I pay my taxes to my government so that it can serve *AMERICANS*, not *IRAQIS*!), aren’t fit to wear the title “Republican”.

  59. claims that the conservative press is taking Franken’s actions out of context. Read the Jan. 27 entry here. They way tells it, the heckler was acting crazy and violent, and Franken was just trying to protect himself and others.

  60. The only physical altercation I can imagine Franken(furter) being involved in is if someone ties to cut into the buffet line ahead of him. What a pantload.

  61. Make that ‘tries’. My bad. But he’s still a crapulent pantload.

  62. If Dennis Miller had roughed up a protester at a Bush rally, we’d have Atrios, et al. tearing their hair out all but calling for an investigation and you know it.

  63. In other news, says George Bush never did anything wrong and the media has it all wrong about him.

  64. “Indeed, while the Post used loaded language – “body-slammed'”

    “I was a wrestler so I used a wrestling move.” – Al Franken

    Frankenweb really needs to work harder on its apologia…

  65. Anyone find a statement from the victim or the local law enforcement agency on the web?

  66. Not all wrestling moves are body-slams.

    I agree that a web site called is probably predisposed to view Al Franken in a favorable light. But it’s also true that the conservative press (NewsMax, New York Post) is probably inclined to portray Franken in a bad light.

    In any case, I don’t see how anyone can just dismiss their side of the story. How do you know is wrong? On the face of it, their version of events sounds more plausible than “Al Franken just got mad and jumped the guy.”

  67. No one’s claiming Franken got mad and jumped the guy. Tim Russert seems to be the most unbiased source in all this and his account (which Frankenweb totally ignores) coincides with the Post’s.

  68. The point of my post was not to say Franken said he body-slammed him, it was to debunk the Frankenweb notion that the eeeevil conservative media somehow invented this outlandish over-the-top wrestling comparison with what Franken did.

  69. seems to be relying on the account of “theater mangager Peter Ramsey,” quoted in the Union Leader of New Hampshire.

    The only account I’ve seen from Tim Russert is quoted in the NewsMax story. He doesn’t contradict Ramsey’s version of events, except that he omits details that put Franken in a better light. Maybe he didn’t see everything that happened, or maybe NewsMax is only quoting part of his account? I can’t tell. Does anyone have a link to a transcript of Russert’s interview with Don Imus?

  70. Even the CNN story is a little weird. “the LaRouche supporters…were removed from the room.
    Franken…helped carry out one of the disrupters.” (Nice use of the passive voice there, CNN. Not “removed” by anybody in particular, huh?) He then made a quip about being deputized. My question is, why Al Franken? Russert’s description made it sound like he didn’t exactly get an invitation. I rather suspect the answer is “because he’s a self-important blowhard who thinks he should be at the center of everything, and that everything he says and does is ipso facto justified”, but that’s just me. Real life is getting weirder and weirder…I pity the writers of the Onion. How do you parody the race when it already looks like this?

  71. O’Reilly’s seems like a pretty big wuss. I think Al could take him.

    Did the New York Post do an interview with Al, or are they just making up his comments as is their tendancy. For some reason, they don’t make their source very clear.

  72. An owner or lessee of property is entitled to do things, like evict people, that volunteers like Franken are not entitled to do. Security guards are the agents of owner/lessee, and so they are entitled to do things that volunteers are not allowed to do. Further, there are limits on what security guards, as the appointed agents of the property owner/lessee, can do.

    Franken had exactly no legal basis for laying hands on the heckler. I doubt a security guard would be allowed to use violence on someone who was not themselves threatening violence or otherwise breaking the law. Exactly what would be considered a reasonable use of force by the owner/lessee/agent in this situation would be an interesting question, but it isn’t one that comes into play because Franken was not an owner/lessee/agent.

    Imagine you are attending a backyard barbecue in Marin county, and you get liquored up and start spouting libertarian ideology that your fellow guests deem obnoxious or offensive. Do you think anyone should be entitled to lay hands on you, throw you to the ground, etc.? I doubt it. If so, I don’t want you coming to any of my parties, because I don’t want you slapping around any of my guests that you happen to disagree with. I will decide who needs to be evicted from my party, not you.

  73. Clearly there’s some bad juju surrounding Dean & his followers. I’d say we’d better hope that Kerry can somehow bore the rest of the Dems into nominating him — I don’t want to see that crazy Deaniac mob of true believers anywhere near the White House.

  74. The “theater manager” (agent of the owner, I assume) was there and was trying to get rid of the heckler before Franken stepped in to help. So it’s not like Franken decided for himself who was and was not welcome at the event.

    In any case, do you actually think that, before the owner/lessee expressed their wishes, it was an open question whether they wanted a heckler there, in the same way that it might be an open question whether a host wants an obnoxious dinner guest to remain? Come on.

    The theater manager, by the way, endorsed Franken’s actions. I believe Franken was quoted as saying he’d been “deputized.”

  75. A body slam is NOT a wrestling move. WWF is not wrestling, it’s acting.

  76. According to one part of the Union Leader article (as posted at, “Ramsey said a news photographer later told him Franken reacted to being elbowed by the protester, who knocked his glasses off. ”

    If the heckler was the one who started the violence, I see nothing wrong with using violence to subdue him, esp. if Franken was himself attacked.

    Anyway, another court case against Franken will only sell more copies of his book. Go Al!

    And I just love how so many people here take the NY Post’s version of events as gospel truth.

  77. What?! Are you trying to say that wrestlings fake? Come on . . . Where’s your proof?

  78. Oh, and it’s WWE, now. God only knows why.

  79. I’m taking Russert’s version because Russert is the only one really without a “dog in the fight” and he says he couldn’t believe what Franken did. What he says confirms the Post’s account more than anything else. If the Post misquoted Franken, I’m shocked we haven’t heard about it yet. Until further unbiased witnesses come forward or something, I’m going with Russert.

  80. I thought the Russert quote, as reported on Newsmax, confirms the Union Leader article. Both agree that the heckler was resisting being escorted out, although in Russert’s version it was a “press guy for Dean”, whereas in the article it was the theater manager. Not that that’s an important distinction.

    Russert does not say if the heckler was resisting violently, but that’s implied if he said the other guy was “trying to escort him out and couldn’t do it”.

  81. Exactly what did Russert find “unbelievable?” Was it that Franken behaved badly, or was it that Al Franken, a nerdy-looking leftist comic, was exhibiting surprising skills as a wrestler? Or something else? The quote I read leaves it ambiguous.

  82. Charge AL???
    He got Lyndon LaRouche his first coverage!
    Not the heckler, but ir-Revend Al.
    LL has been running a long, long time.
    They let him debate one time.
    He may be an android. Weird is the word.
    And he was called a Libertarian!
    …not that there’s anything wrong with that.

    Seriously, Al has some deep pockets,
    and a visit to the doc by the tacklee
    might produce John Edwards’ next case, in December.

  83. > How sensitive would you be if someone barged into your home and started ranting and raving in front of your family?

  84. > defacing a billboard is vandalism.
    It is also a violation of freedom of speech,
    insofar as the billboard’s original message is obscured. I would be surprised if private citizens had no right to use ANY force to eject people who are making nuisances of themselves. If bouncers are allowed to do it, why not Franken?

  85. Allie al Franken was on TV and he was laughing
    and having a good time over his aggressive act.

    He is one of these people whose gobble-up-verbiage
    galvanizes others, winning over the already won,
    turning away those who don’t want to be like him,
    and energizing the already fixed opposition.

    Candidates should avoid his judas kiss like the plague.
    Michael Moore is another that candidates should avoid.
    Mt. Rushbaugh, M&Moore and Fightin’ al Franken
    are anti-beacons, MOUTHS, that broadcast, not receive,
    just like their medium, just like their personalities.

    I could throw in Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, etc.
    and the most reverend Jesse Jackson, who was
    moral spiritual con-seller to Clinton.
    (remember the confessions of found-guilty Bill
    to about to be found guilty Jesse Jackson?)

    Does Rush ever have picture opps with candidates?
    I know Clinton let him fumigate the Lincoln bedroom.

    A local politician just had Jesse Helms endorse him on TV.
    Helms, like Clinton, is another double edged sword.
    Helms sat down on a desk while the candidate stood over him.
    Helms is tall, I’m 6’3″ and Helms towers over me,
    so it was a visual message of handing over a baton,
    the Senate seat of John Edwards to this YOUNG man.

    Well, Franken is a liability politically
    but who will tell him to bug off!
    They fear having his wraith turned against them?

    He reminds me of the grade school,
    big mouth bully, we all knew one,
    the one who liked to pick and jab
    while attention seeking for themselves.
    The irony of clintonites coming up
    with a title with 3 words,
    Lies and the Lying Liars,
    that bring Bill Clinton to mind.
    “I did not have sex with that woman”
    or that one, or that one…

    Democrats have to lose presidential elections,
    while Republicans have to win them.
    My theory is that al Franken is a net vote loser.
    Put Barbara Streisand, all M*A*S*H stars,
    Charlton Heston, & ________ on that minus list.
    I’m don’t know about Dennis Miller? Do you?

    I’ve been iced in at home since Friday,
    and the above is ally Franken influenced.

  86. It doesn’t speak well of Dean’s abilities to be President that he can’t take hecklers. The last guy who was like that was… hmmmm… that lunatic Nixon.

    The common law legal doctrine governing self defense is “moliter manus imposuit” – the laying on of hands. The maxim permits someone who is defending themselves to use the minimum amount of force necessary to avert the danger. In most Northeastern states, the use of force is permitted to protect persons only when there are no other options. The use of force by non-law enforcement personnel in the protection of property is frowned upon. Bouncers are permitted to eject drunks and brawlers on a defense of persons theory. The test for whether Franken has a defense against assault charges is whether a reasonable person would believe that the La Rouchie posed a threat to anyone.

  87. larouche and his supporters present a clear and present danger whenever you’re eating small foods around them. anything that could lodge in your windpipe, obviously.

    fwiw, the wee tots for larouche that hang around brooklyn during elections are pleasant and polite, if in a lonely, sci-fi convention sort of way.

  88. I was amazed at the difference between the NY Post story – based largely on Franken’s own words and CNN’s account.

    Excerpted from my post at Hold The Mayo:

    A couple of questions spring to mind. First if the NY Post/Al Franken version of the story is true, what the hell is CNN reporting and why? Second, if the CNN story is accurate is the the sort of self-aggrandizing lying BS we can expect when Franken hits the radio waves? Third, if the NY Post story is closest to the truth, why isn’t Franken in jail for assault?

  89. I view this as positive for the coverage of politics. Full contact rallies. I like the idea.
    If Al takes on Bill, bet on the short wimp. I can’t imagine Bill getting dirty. Al, on the other hand learned the scrotal twist when he wrestled. This is a beyond funny. arlo

  90. “moliter manus imposuit”
    Be careful what you say there..the Southern gentleman might deem them fightin’ words.
    Good thing F. N. Stein didn’t have “a few rounds of double-ought” at his disposal. If he was hunter instead of a wrestler…
    I’d like to hear the protester’s side.

  91. Having read the three accounts of the incident, and all the stuff written here, I’ve come to the conclusion that Frankin probably did nothing wrong… in fact, he deserves praise for what he did. Frankin’s account just sounds more credible.

    I don’t like the guy’s politics, but at least he’s not a sissy:) Good work Al!

  92. Gah. The LaRouchie was told to scram. The security guard was having problems ejecting him. Franken helped the security guard win a contest that the security guard had every right to win.

    The only single problem I can see is that Franken was supposed to be there as a reporter, and the role of ejecting people who have been asked to leave should have fallen to Dean staffers, not media.

  93. > Would he have done the same
    to a Dean supporter at a Bush rally? > Al Franken would NEVER attend a Bush rally…

  94. bbridges

    Of course, nothing will happen to Al “Freakin” Franken regarding his assault on the heckler. After all, he is a liberal and we all know that different standards apply to them. They may use racist slurs (Sen. Byrd, Jesse Jackson), be sexual predators (Billy C.), or even kill someone while driving impaired (Teddy K.) with impunity. Should a conservative commit this acts and the liberal community becomes a veritable lynch mob. Just ask Trent Lott, Bob Packwood, and Bill Janklow. Personally, I think Lott, Packwood, and Janklow got what they deserved (although Janklow got off light), but liberals like Franken always seem to skate and the media and fellow liberals let them skate. Pathethic.

  95. I would like to hear Al Franken come out in defense of Bush’s free speech zones now, unless of course he believes thuggery is the answer to dissenting opinion.

  96. C’mon Jimbo, don’t you feel safer with self-deputized F’en stein out there to literally fight for our right to free speech?
    ANd when the next Dahmer is found I suggest we dispatch Frankenstein to unleash his wrath on our behalf. I’ve got dibs on front row.

  97. Why don’t we take up a collection so we can send Al Franken a supply of Brown Shirts? That way he can look the part the next time he silences his opposition.

  98. Thorley … Thorley?? he (or she?) should body-slam his parents for the curse of a stupid nerdname.

    note to all: if I attend a political rally to hear a candidate’s views in order to make an informed opinion to be a good voting american, and a Laroucheite or bushite or whatever begins to overshout the speaker, they better hope Franken gets to them first.
    I’ve used ‘accidental’ hot coffee spills, long hatpins, ‘accidental’ steelboot toes scraped down the back of the achilles heels, and scary chemicals on infiltrating, disruptive right-wingers very effectively in the past, and will continue.

    Bush/Cheney don’t have a lock on being evil.

  99. gopliars,
    You’ve managed to elicit a complimentary statement from me on F’enstein:
    At least he has the…nerve to do it outright. Your biggest risk is losing a hatpin.
    And you chastise Thorley for his “nerdname” when you hide behind an alias?

  100. Is that guy related to Guy Ladouche from SpikeTV’s Most Extreme Elimination?

  101. i wish.

    MXC is the best fucking show on television. ever.

    the o’reilly factor is a close second.

    i wonder if there’s a market for taxing fox news broadcasts and having the japanese do voice-overs?

  102. After reading more of the accounts, I am less inclined to see “F’enstein” worthy of prosecution. If he was , indeed struck first, he had every right. Although..I don’t see a public statement (even on his his linked site)by him describing what exactly went on. Of course, his reported statements make a little more sense as someone who was in the right(NPI). This is a case where I wish there was video. I’m surprised the photog quoted didn’t snap a pic…maybe it happened too fast.
    So..I am willing to retract my judgement on Al.
    But I doubt others here are willing to rethink their justification of violence(overt/covert) in defense of free speech. I hope they don’t put their ideas into actio(unlikely) and I hope they don’t find themselves on the other end of that logic…or do I?

  103. What a knee jerk reaction by those of you calling for criminal charges against Franken without having anything resembling a full picture of what actually happened. Now I know how lynchings happened. Kudos to you for making history come alive.

    As for the screams for prosecution of Franken, keep dreaming. Jagacap, who claims to be a lawyer, makes some amazing leaps of logic and fact to convict Franken of even felony assault and battery. “Jagacap,” For your clients’ sake, I hope you practice law more responsibly than you hand out your legal opinions. Otherwise, I expect you suffer more than your share of Rule 11 sanctions and keep your state’s board of professional responsibility very busy indeed.

    Well, I am an attorney and a prosecutor, and the apparent events of what happened could be in no way construed to be an assault or battery by Franken against this heckler. Case closed. Read the Union leader article with your eyes open.


  104. JT, I’m not sure why we need to sully the memories of those who have had family members killed in lynchings by bringing them up here. Not every event needs references to gulags or lynchings. Not every public reaction, right or wrong, needs such hyperbole.

    If Al had indeed been the instigator of violence here, it would have been in keeping with his erratic behavior of late. If Pete Rose or Mike Tyson do something stupid, I will not be surprised. It’s in keeping with their past history. And gee, I’m not even stringing anyone up in a tree.

    Al Franken is an annoying little turd, the kind of guy who I am embarrased on the rare occasion when I agree with him, and yes I will take delight if and when he does something so stupid as to land himself in serious hot water. I have never, for the record, hung someone, burned a cross, or put a swastika on anyone’s home.

  105. Brian, You have never burned a cross or put a swastika on your home. Well that’s terrific to know. You probably only object to the practices because they’re out of fashion in the South. The analogy, which was not made by me is accurate if you want to condemn a Jewish liberal based on what the New York Post wrote. Others have done the same and even used the name Judas to describe him. If burning crosses becomes fashionable again, maybe you and the guy who called Franken “Judas” can burn some at the premier of Mel Gibson’s new movie.

  106. Gotcha, condemnation of a Jewish liberal makes me a cross burner. I’m glad we have such rational thought from visitors to Reason’s web site.

  107. By the way Jeff, I wasn’t going to bring this up, but it’s been gnawing at me. I’m not sure what type of hatred is in vogue down south right now, maybe you can enlighten me. See, I’m a New York Jew myself, just like Al. So what does that make me?

  108. Bryan,

    I wrote “What a knee jerk reaction by those of you calling for criminal charges against Franken without having anything resembling a full picture of what actually happened. Now I know how lynchings happened. Kudos to you for making history come alive.”

    And you responded by saying “I’m not sure why we need to sully the memories of those who have had family members killed in lynchings by bringing them up here. Not every event needs references to gulags or lynchings. Not every public reaction, right or wrong, needs such hyperbole.”

    Now, in defending my indiscretion of stating “now I know how lynchings happened,” I must note, for the record, the “lynch” word use was first mentioned on this thread by your cohort “jimbo” when he wrote “Should a conservative commit this (sic) acts and the liberal community becomes a veritable lynch mob.(sic)”

    I didn’t hear you complain then. Please explain why not.

    Virge also wrote “Why don’t we take up a collection so we can send Al Franken a supply of Brown Shirts?” This was an obvious reference to the Nazi brown shirts.

    Again, I heard no objection from you, and no plea not to sully the memories of the victims of kristalnacht and other atrocities of the third reich. Please explain why not.

    But when I said that all of the piling on top of Mr. Franken, name calling and calling for his prosecution and punishment helped me to understand the mentality that gives rise to lynching, you chime in to suggest that I am sullying the memories of lynching victims? Who’s engaging in hyperbole now?

    Pray tell, why would you attack me by accusing me of some politically incorrect insensitivity to lynching victims’ families, while you would at the same time ignore more flagrant references by those with whom you agree? Some might say it is because you are a shameless partisan and a hypocrite. But I will leave that judgment for others.

    As for my statement itself, I stand by it in spite of your self-righteous and selective indignation. Others on this thread groundlessly accused Mr. Franken of any number of crimes of violence and called for punishment to be meted out. In reaction, I said “now I know how lynchings happened.” American Heritage Dictionary (2000) defines “lynch” as “The punishment of persons suspected of crime without due process of law.” Enough said.

    I would argue that civil society devolves when bigotry (whether based on race, religion, political persuasion, etc…) determines who we prosecute and when. I would argue that it is hatred of this kind put into action which fueled lynchings. Furthermore, the notion of guilty until proven innocent is what led to many a lynching in which the victim/supposed perpetrator happened to belong to a disfavored group. The vigilantes often found the combination of a person’s identity and some bald accusation enough to lynch him.

    My point in my previous post and now is the same. This thread has been filled with invective against Mr. Franken (e.g. your calling Franken an”annoying little turd”). Civil discourse in your posts and in those of others before you is abandoned and replaced by petty name calling. And from that obvious hatred came calls to prosecute Mr. Franken based on nothing more than patchy news accounts of what happened.

    Like I said, now I know how lynchings happened.

  109. very true Jtnephew

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