Al Franken’s outreach to the Asian community

posted at 3:00 pm on March 17, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

My NARN colleague Michael Brodkorb discovered this nugget of Al Franken’s comedy genius last week, and today the Minnesota GOP has demanded an apology from the Senate hopeful for his sexist and racist routine. Franken reads a chapter from his book Rush Limbaugh Is A Big, Fat Idiot, And Other Observations called “Chickenhawk” and supposedly recounts a sexual fantasy of Newt Gingrich. It goes without saying that this is Not Safe For Work:

The GOP sent out its review of the comedy stylings of Al Franken in a press release today:

“The outrageous and offensive ‘comedy’ of Al Franken has reached another vile low. We all know Franken feels compelled to attack his political opponents with venom and hate but to use stereotypes of a culture, and to mock them in voice and character, is appalling and disgusting.

“There’s no excuse for this type of hate-filled and degrading language. The idea that Minnesotans should ignore Franken’s career as a comedian where he spews such intolerant humor is incomprehensible. Al Franken needs to apologize for this mean-spirited and demeaning ‘comedy’ routine.”

Well, this isn’t exactly a comedy routine. He wrote the passage in his book, and the performance of it seems a little lackluster. He didn’t even reach Rosie O’Donnel’s “ching-chong” passion levels, demonstrating yet again those talents that led Air America to bargain-basement ratings.

How offended should we get about this passage? Have we had enough outrage for this cycle? Unlike Jeremiah Wright, this involves the actual candidate — but it also only involves a bad joke based on a Subic Bay/Vietnam stereotype that passed its sell-by date years ago. Rather than being offended, perhaps we should laugh at Franken’s inability to be creative and his need to rip off Full Metal Jacket and every other Vietnam movie ever made by Hollywood.

Still, this comes courtesy of the political party that loves to accuse Republicans of latent racism. This certainly provides a little evidence that the identity politics that has tripped Democrats this year may hide some ugly truths underneath.


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Anyone else having problems with this page?

amerpundit on March 17, 2008 at 3:02 PM

Anyone else having problems with this page?

YeAh, iT’S hOTaiR teH L0sT l3Velz.!.

ninjapirate on March 17, 2008 at 3:05 PM

Other than Al Franken being on it?

I can handle the formatting issues. Franken? Not so much.

ej_pez on March 17, 2008 at 3:05 PM

How bout just plain IDIOT!

dmann on March 17, 2008 at 3:05 PM

No, but I’m having problems with Franken

Alden Pyle on March 17, 2008 at 3:06 PM

Yep.

For the record, Franken is a talentless hack. I have never found him to be funny. Stewart Smalley can suck it.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on March 17, 2008 at 3:07 PM

I am…looks like the video escaped from the box.

ScoopPC11 on March 17, 2008 at 3:07 PM

Well what do you expect? The left wing is very tolerant and compassionate. (as long as you vote for their brand of hate.)

kirkill on March 17, 2008 at 3:07 PM

Ed, did you break Hotair?

doubleplusundead on March 17, 2008 at 3:11 PM

Y’all do understand that because this comes from Franken, its inciteful and cutting-edge humor. Now, if any of us were to do it, it would be racist hate speech. Don’t you just love the double standard?

Kalifornia Kafir on March 17, 2008 at 3:13 PM

Ed, did you break Hotair?

You mean, did he break Hotair, again :P

lorien1973 on March 17, 2008 at 3:13 PM

If he’d just do the same with Norwegian bachelor farmers he’d be toast.

snaggletoothie on March 17, 2008 at 3:16 PM

Franken “It was a botched joke”

Me “Thats your entire career there Stuart”

William Amos on March 17, 2008 at 3:20 PM

What bothers me about Franken is that people will actually vote for this guy. That is far more offensive than this silly clip.

bopbottle on March 17, 2008 at 3:20 PM

Anyone else having problems with this page?

Other than Al Franken being on it?

haha…

Al Franken ruined the page. I don’t get it…Norm Coleman has really worked hard ever since he got elected. What’s with people out there?

JetBoy on March 17, 2008 at 3:20 PM

This tape no longer available ?

SIJ6141 on March 17, 2008 at 3:23 PM

Don’t you Rethuglicans understand irony? This is about Newt Gingrich, not Al Frankin! Newt’s the racist. Jeez, didn’t you people go to college?

eeyore on March 17, 2008 at 3:25 PM

Franken has only ever had one funny joke:

Q: Why didn’t the rabbi charge for circumcisions? A: He only took tips.

Now that I think of it, from a guy who was supposed to be a Harvard-educated stand-up genius, it’s just a mediocre joke. So screw him. Norm Coleman, you better grind him into a fine powder come November.

Pope Linus on March 17, 2008 at 3:26 PM

Libs will just go back to the standard mantra of the 90s:

When a Democratic gets caught: all politicians do that.
When a Republican gets caught: those evil f’ing b’tards.

pedestrian on March 17, 2008 at 3:30 PM

This tummler is bad acid.

mymanpotsandpans on March 17, 2008 at 3:33 PM

as the lefty kids who don’t know what satire is say:

“It’s satire!”

tlynch001 on March 17, 2008 at 3:33 PM

Clueless racist.

saved on March 17, 2008 at 3:35 PM

Why should anyone let Franken off the hook for anything? Would the Dems ever give a break to a conservative for similar indiscretions?

Republicans are way too good at “being reasonable.” This is war.

Cicero43 on March 17, 2008 at 3:35 PM

Anyone else having problems with this page?

amerpundit on March 17, 2008 at 3:02 PM

Yep!

formatting be danged!

Gosh Dang ED! Gosh Dang ED! What up with the Formatting!!?

Chakra Hammer on March 17, 2008 at 3:36 PM

Ahhh.. it looks like you fixed it.. >:D

Chakra Hammer on March 17, 2008 at 3:37 PM

Please God elect this man. Minnesota is going to elect a Democratic Senator anyway so we might as well fill the slot with the dumbest lefty they’ve got. Can you imagine what a pinyata this guy could be for conservatives? I WANT a Democratic Senator who thinks he can make things happen by being a dopey wiseass. I want a Democratic Senator whose knowledge of issues is bumper sticker thin and can not stop himself from taking center stage. I want Democrats who are dumb as dirt and easy to beat. VOTE FOR AL FRANKEN!

Tantor on March 17, 2008 at 3:40 PM

Racist idiot or clueless idiot?

Do I only get to pick one?

BacaDog on March 17, 2008 at 3:41 PM

My dog is funnier than Stuart Smalley.

cat-scratch on March 17, 2008 at 3:41 PM

Why does this remind me of the Simpson’s episode where Krusty the Klown does the exact same thing?

Al Franken is officially a cartoon character. And not a very funny one.

NoDonkey on March 17, 2008 at 3:44 PM

Why in the Minnesota Republicans going after Franken on this stuff now? It’s way to early – all of this will be forgotten by Nov, and bringing it up later will be “trotting out old stories.”

Clark1 on March 17, 2008 at 3:48 PM

Racist idiot or clueless idiot? You decide!

Both.

Dude needs to stick to comedy.

WayWard Fundamentalist Christian on March 17, 2008 at 3:49 PM

The lies and falsehoods in Al Franken’s books are chronicled here:

FRANKENLIES.COM: The truth about the lies of Al Franken

DPierre on March 17, 2008 at 3:52 PM

More and more I’m seeing that Democrat’s have a sense of ownership of minorities.

29Victor on March 17, 2008 at 4:00 PM

Stuart Smalley (sp?) is a comedian? Well, knock me over with a feather! I’d have never guessed it.

Wildcatter1980 on March 17, 2008 at 4:03 PM

I pick ‘bigot diarrhea of an adolescent marxist twit’ for 2008, Alex.

locomotivebreath1901 on March 17, 2008 at 4:06 PM

Get Stewart back to SNL reruns, pronto.

NeoconNews.com on March 17, 2008 at 4:07 PM

Good lord! These brain dead Democrats were all hatched from the same rotten Dodo bird egg.

rplat on March 17, 2008 at 4:10 PM

I would say that this guy is a tool – but I think I made that comment already about someone else this morning. At the rate the Dims are going, the country’s tool box is getting overly full!

HawaiiLwyr on March 17, 2008 at 4:23 PM

Like most Liberals, Al Franken is mentally disturbed.

I feel sorry for him and his likes.

But on the other hand, there must be somebody on the opposite side to balance the equation.

I guess it is not normal, or not part of Creation to have all people with sane minds.

Even at the time of Jesus, there were crazy people. He cured as much as he could, as much as he wanted, considering his short period of life on Earth.

Let’s just treat those lunatics on the Left with compassion and mercy.

Remember, we don’t have enough Mental Institutions. And in some Blue states, there closed long time ago.

Indy Conservative on March 17, 2008 at 4:28 PM

Remember, we don’t have enough Mental Institutions. And in some Blue states, there closed long time ago.

…They closed long time ago.

Where is the “edit” button.

Hot Air has to keep in mind that most of commentators here eat, drink, play with their toes, and pick their noses while typing.

Typos are common and an “edit” button can solve messy problems.

Indy Conservative on March 17, 2008 at 4:32 PM

Franker may believe he’s a comedic hotshot, but this nugget is lead.

He’s a real slug you see (just look at him), so he fires through his butt.

Mojamaiko on March 17, 2008 at 4:43 PM

uninteresting derivative drivel

I get more worked up over preposterous turncoats like McCain. I’m still trying to decide if he could earn my vote by taking Jindal as his veep nominee. I’m leaning probably not, because Bobby has some work to do in La. and that would take him away from it way too early–Maybe that McCain’s intent/plan!

urbancenturion on March 17, 2008 at 5:00 PM

I get more worked up over preposterous turncoats like McCain. I’m still trying to decide if he could earn my vote by taking Jindal as his veep nominee.

It’s tax season. You’re as deductible as they come.

mymanpotsandpans on March 17, 2008 at 5:13 PM

Tantor on March 17, 2008 at 3:40 PM

Tantor, I have to live with this pig if he is voted in. The looney liberals in this state would eat his garbage up by the truck load. This pig is the lowest of the lows and would have instant legend status here. Minnesota loves Senators like Dayton that, last I heard, was still in hiding because of a terror report during his term years ago. Now we have Klobuchar who is a walking, talking bumpersticker for MoveOn. She hasn’t given an answer that wasn’t a bumpersticker since she started running. A local tv station (KSTP) has Norm up by 10 percent. As far as I’m concerned, that figure should have another zero behind it so we can send this pig packing out of here again. Don’t forget, Minnesota voted in the Ventura debacle for Gov.

oakpack on March 17, 2008 at 5:41 PM

Oh ya, the question….definately racist and definately clueless. Have I ever mentioned that that doesn’t matter here?

oakpack on March 17, 2008 at 5:45 PM

Cliches that Mad magazine would have nixed.

Al Flunken.

profitsbeard on March 17, 2008 at 6:06 PM

The lies and falsehoods in Al Franken’s books are chronicled here:

FRANKENLIES.COM: The truth about the lies of Al Franken

DPierre on March 17, 2008 at 3:52 PM

Yep and as a Minnesota blogger, I have had that site bookmarked since the day old Al announced he was running. Once he gets the nomination it will be time to dust it off and run with all of the good ammon that lies within its myriad pages.

LL

Lady Logician on March 17, 2008 at 6:46 PM

I stopped it at the title “Al Franken imitates Asian woman,” because I figured right where he was going, and I’m beyond sick of that particular stereotype.

He didn’t do the beaten-to-death bit from Full Metal Jacket, I hope.

Alex_SF on March 17, 2008 at 6:53 PM

Who here was offended by the clip?

Typhonsentra on March 17, 2008 at 8:24 PM

How offended should we get about this passage?

Not at all, it’s MAAN.

If you’re going to get upset, do so over the fact that this sort of nothing would sink anyone with an R after his name. This will not be Franken’s macacca moment.

Tzetzes on March 17, 2008 at 9:10 PM

Rosie O’Donnell needs to be a senator, too.

jgapinoy on March 17, 2008 at 9:43 PM

Well, my Asian-American wife isn’t terribly offended, but still thinks Franken’s an a**hole. If that’s any kind of barometer.

Malpaso on March 17, 2008 at 10:20 PM

How to understand Al Franken?

Put him in a threadbare suit from a shelter, with shoes that don’t fit and no socks and a ratty watchcap. Make it five days after his last shave and a month since his last bath, and let him rant like that in a park somewhere.

What he says won’t make any more sense, but his presence in the scene will.

njcommuter on March 17, 2008 at 11:44 PM

This guy is either not very bright or still thirteen.

Johan Klaus on March 18, 2008 at 12:07 AM

Al,

You’re not good enough
You’re not smart enough,
And dog gone it people don’t like you.

Buford on March 18, 2008 at 12:11 AM

oakpack on March 17, 2008 at 5:45 PM

Most of the people that call the posters that are here racist are themselves only concerned with race.

Johan Klaus on March 18, 2008 at 12:13 AM

clueless racist idiot.

homesickamerican on March 18, 2008 at 12:16 AM

and once again we have Ed Morrissey making excuses for those that stoop to the gutter….

Please Michelle, you can do better than this guy!!

Fuzzball on March 18, 2008 at 12:27 AM

“The outrageous and offensive ‘comedy’ of Al Franken has reached another vile low.”

Well I’ve always thought of Al Frankens routines as being outrageous and offensive. I never thought of them as being “comedy”. It has to actually be “funny” to be considered comedy doesn’t it?

gboy63 on March 18, 2008 at 1:41 AM

and once again we have Ed Morrissey making excuses for those that stoop to the gutter….
Please Michelle, you can do better than this guy!!

Fuzzball on March 18, 2008 at 12:27 AM

I don’t see this post that way at all. Actually, he is drawing attention to something that the aforementioned gutter-stooper would just as soon have stay buried.

joewm315 on March 18, 2008 at 3:45 AM

Al Franken’s funniest joke on TV was

“I’m Al Franken!”

…said as though someone should care.

Unfortunately, Al still doesn’t get the joke.

landlines on March 18, 2008 at 12:23 PM

And I thought the Frankenstein stories were purely fiction? This guy is truly a one of a kind creation. A true mental monster. And when did he get rid of the bolts on his neck?

soulsirkus on March 18, 2008 at 2:11 PM