Video: When Jason Met Al

posted at 8:48 am on March 31, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

If Jason Mattera’s meeting with Tom Harkin made one feel momentarily sorry for the outfoxed Senator, one has to have some grudging admiration for Al Franken in this hilarious sequence. Unlike Harkin and most other members of Congress who mutter platitudes when challenged by a constituent with a camera, Franken gets angry — and lets Jason know it.  Alyssa Cordova of the Claire Boothe Luce Institute must have had a tough time keeping up with Jason, Franken, and the two Franken aides that kept throwing themselves between the two until Franken got annoyed with them as well.  Franken wanted to play, and Jason was happy to let him do so:

Franken spent enough time in New York to learn how to deal with Brooklyn speed-talkers, so the “You won’t let me finish” complaint, while accurate in the beginning of this exchange, hardly amounts to a defense. When Jason finally does slow his delivery, all Franken can do is complain about the question rather than answer it. Heck, Jason forgot to ask Franken whether he would buy a copy of his new book, Obama Zombies: How the Liberal Machine Brainwashed My Generation. Franken’s a big fan of political polemics, after all, having written a few himself.

At least Franken provides some fireworks for Mattera. The last match screamed for a referee to call a TKO.


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Just like looney Code Pink the other night when they would not allow Karl Rove to speak.

AprilOrit on March 31, 2010 at 11:28 AM

Yeah…because attempting to overtake a book signing that you have no business being at is the same as approaching a Congressman…in Congress…about the business of Congress.

I see your point now.

uknowmorethanme on March 31, 2010 at 11:39 AM

TheBlueSite on March 31, 2010 at 11:30 AM

Franken was in retreat during the whole exchange. His lame staffer tried to abruptly end the exchange as well. It is clear Franken had no answers. It is clear Franken was freaking out, not having an answer, so he punted and said, “Will you please let me answer”, repeatedly, a fall-back position known too well to the rest of us out here paying attention.

If he really wanted to answer the question he would have stood his ground and made his point. He didn’t have a clue. So he high-tailed it up the staircase, desperately seeking the safety of his senate office.

fogw on March 31, 2010 at 11:40 AM

They send in one troll, and then have 2 or 3 more come in and respond to the first.

It gives the appearance of concensus I suppose.

Nevermind the fact that Senator Smalley is cancer to this Great Country along with all these other moron Congressmen who don’t read the f*cking sh*t that will affect 100% of Americans.

Let’s make fun of the New Yorker’s voice, since that’s obviously the important thing and will lead to peace and prosperity and a more unified nation.

uknowmorethanme on March 31, 2010 at 11:33 AM

Yeah, you think whatever you want about whomever they are.

I’ve been here a hell of lot longer than you – where were you back in 2007 and during the midterms?

AprilOrit on March 31, 2010 at 11:41 AM

It’s the difference between Cavier and Mississippi paddle fish….

AprilOrit on March 31, 2010 at 11:37 AM

Yes, but unfortunately some here think that you kind find both at the buffet bar.

shick on March 31, 2010 at 11:43 AM

uknowmorethanme on March 31, 2010 at 11:33 AM

PS – I am a New York Jew – Manhattan born and raised – I can talk about a New Yorker’s voice with authority.

AprilOrit on March 31, 2010 at 11:43 AM

I’ve been here a hell of lot longer than you – where were you back in 2007 and during the midterms?

AprilOrit on March 31, 2010 at 11:41 AM

Shut up everyone. AprilOrit has been here longer than you.

LOL.

fogw on March 31, 2010 at 11:46 AM

His lame staffer…

If he really wanted to answer the question he would have stood his ground and made his point. He didn’t have a clue. So he high-tailed it up the staircase, desperately seeking the safety of his senate office.

fogw on March 31, 2010 at 11:40 AM

His “lame” staffer actually was doing his job well. He realized that Materra just wanted to pester and decided we have to move on.

He didn’t actually high-tail up the staircase. His aides wanted him to keep going and he wanted to stop. Why? Because Materra’s tactic was easy to defuse.

shick on March 31, 2010 at 11:46 AM

TheBlueSite on March 31, 2010 at 11:37 AM

OK, you are right, to a certain degree. In a perfect world, we could be civil and insist that people be given the chance to answer without interruption. I don’t think that you can blame it totally on ideology though.

The Leftists do not play by our rules, they have made up their own and demand that we not use their rules but adhere to ours. That is why we are in mess we are in now, quite frankly. They can lie, commit violent acts against the country, change rules and ignore the Constitution. We are expected to play fair, tell the truth and be passive.

Sorry if I agree with someone who gets in their face for a change and uses their tactics against them. The time for playing strictly by our rules are over. If we are going to defeat them, and defeat them we must for the survival of our country, then we need more people utilizing some of the tactics to do so.

Sporty1946 on March 31, 2010 at 11:48 AM

shick on March 31, 2010 at 11:46 AM

So, you agree that it is OK to assault someone?

Sporty1946 on March 31, 2010 at 11:49 AM

I think Jason screwed up on this one. He should have asked the question and wait for Franken to screw the pooch by opening his moouth.

Big John on March 31, 2010 at 11:51 AM

Once you come up to someone and immediately establish yourself as the enemy, you’re declaring you don’t want an honest debate, and Mattera doesn’t. His sole goal is to get a good youtube clip of him accosting a member of Congress.

That is made obvious when he says “Senator Smalley” a mere 30 secs into the video!

Come on, folks, think for yourselves.

TheBlueSite on March 31, 2010 at 11:20 AM
Just like looney Code Pink the other night when they would not allow Karl Rove to speak.

AprilOrit on March 31, 2010 at 11:28 AM

Exactly. Mattera doesn’t descend nearly to Code Pink’s thuggish level, but that’s a direction to be avoided, not joined.

We win when ideas are seriously debated, and arguments listened to. To the extent that the environment fosters harrassment, interruption, ad hominem jabs and shouting people down, we’re on the other team’s turf. (Mattera is innocent of much of that, but this interview doesn’t go in the right direction either).

This was a wasted opportunity. Senator Franken could have been asked some truly tough and relevant questions here, instead of being taunted, interrupted and called a childish name.

Chuckles3 on March 31, 2010 at 11:52 AM

Mattera is an A-Hole, but he’s our A-hole! I LOL at “Sen. Smalley”

coondawg on March 31, 2010 at 11:54 AM

His “lame” staffer actually was doing his job well. He realized that Materra just wanted to pester and decided we have to move on.

He didn’t actually high-tail up the staircase. His aides wanted him to keep going and he wanted to stop. Why? Because Materra’s tactic was easy to defuse.

shick on March 31, 2010 at 11:46 AM

BS pal. People who are capable of defending their position, who are aware of the ideosyncracies of the bills they pass, have the courage to stand their ground and debate the issues. Epic fail for Smalley.

What are you guys, the Three Musketeers? Trying to watch each other’s back, responding to comments not directed at you.

Tag Team Trolls. How utterly boring.

fogw on March 31, 2010 at 11:55 AM

You folks are blind if you really think he allowed Franken any opportunity to speak.

TheBlueSite on March 31, 2010 at 11:30 AM

..then hand me my white cane, buttercup. One grows less and less patient with the members of this congress who have wholly ignored the will of the American people and rammed this sh*t through using every ounce of political chicanery at their disposal.

They don’t listen to us so why should we listen to them. And spare me your sanctimonious “two wrongs..” sermon.

VoyskaPVO on March 31, 2010 at 11:58 AM

Jason Mattera — the “Jerky Boy” of the right.

Not my style of entertainment, but, hey, I’m a big tent sort of guy.

notropis on March 31, 2010 at 11:58 AM

PS – I am a New York Jew – Manhattan born and raised – I can talk about a New Yorker’s voice with authority.

AprilOrit on March 31, 2010 at 11:43 AM

Are you a liberal Jew or conservative?

Sporty1946 on March 31, 2010 at 11:58 AM

Don’t bother with AprilOrit, she’s a well knwon concern troll, and BlueSite is a petulant little “let’s all be civil” agitator.

Good Solid B-Plus on March 31, 2010 at 12:28 PM

Don’t bother with AprilOrit, she’s a well knwon concern troll, and BlueSite is a petulant little “let’s all be civil” agitator.

Good Solid B-Plus on March 31, 2010 at 12:28 PM

..G.S. B+, you’re my hero! Civil discourse died during these past 16 months, a victim of multiple stab wounds by The Chief Pantload (and crew), Reid, and Pelousy, plus the horde of slavering leftists miscreants.

VoyskaPVO on March 31, 2010 at 12:36 PM

Oh Jason you’re a better man than I. The second Frankin’s little snot aide put a hand on me there would have been an international incident (being I’m from Jersey that does make it international right?)

Its kinda funny how they are so eager to shield Frankin from questioning and he tells his own aides to backoff.

Rbastid on March 31, 2010 at 12:49 PM

I have very little respect for Franken, but in this case he was in the right.

Mattera is being a prick here, and Franken seems to be genuinely trying to address his question even though the question is obviously a rhetorical ploy. Mattera interrupts him at every opportunity.

Kudos to Franken.

Gaunilon on March 31, 2010 at 12:51 PM

I have very little respect for Franken but he’s in the right here.

Mattera is being obnoxious and Franken seems to be making an honest attempt to address his question even though it’s obviously a ploy. Mattera cuts him off repeatedly.

Kudos to Franken.

Gaunilon on March 31, 2010 at 12:52 PM

Wow that DNC fax mach8ine is whirring away.

Meme of the day…Mattera has no credibility….

daesleeper on March 31, 2010 at 12:55 PM

There is a time to be civil, and a time to be uncivil. Now is the time for incivility.

Dems, in general, and liberals, specifically, do not deserve to be treated civilly because they do not return the favor. Remember the Golden Rule – Do unto others as you would have done to yourself. Well, they have shown us how they want to be treated and it is our duty to oblige them.

Sporty1946 on March 31, 2010 at 1:09 PM

People can get all wound up about “civility” if they want… but let’s not lose the larger picture. And that’s the fact that there are provisions in this Obamacare pile of dung which allow for federal dollars to be spent on goofy things like jungle gyms. It’s not like we’re growing money trees. Every dime of that money has to be borrowed and paid back with interest… long after the jungle gyms we’ve bought at taxpayer expense have gone to rust.

Bottom line, Franken had no coherent answer when asked about it. Certainly, nothing Jason did would have stopped him from defending the expenditure if he had some kind of defense to mount for it.

Oh… and btw, I’m really enjoying Obama Zombies. It’s a pretty quick little read, chock full of factoids, and a good rundown of how the left pulled out all the stops to get at our kids. All three of mine want to read it when I’m done so they can bust on their friends. Good stuff!

Nobody likes to be manipulated, and when these youngsters finally see the puppetmaster behind the curtain and when they find out exactly how high the tab’s gonna be for the bill of goods they’ve been sold… Obama’s likely to find himself very quickly out of fashion.

Murf76 on March 31, 2010 at 1:13 PM

You are terribly wrong. We asked for debate and never got it. Responding to “Rules for radicals” with “Rules for radicals” will set us back further.

shick on March 31, 2010 at 10:34 AM

You’re delusional. When we respond, we’re called hateful, inciteful, and racists. It’s time to kick these people and the folks who want to play footsie with them, into the past and leave them there.

AubieJon on March 31, 2010 at 1:22 PM

It’s the difference between Cavier and Mississippi paddle fish….

AprilOrit on March 31, 2010 at 11:37 AM
Yes, but unfortunately some here think that you kind find both at the buffet bar.

shick on March 31, 2010 at 11:43 AM

And neither of you pantywaists know how to spell “caviar”. Now go back to the daycare and stop wasting waveband.

AubieJon on March 31, 2010 at 1:24 PM

It’s the difference between Cavier and Mississippi paddle fish….

AprilOrit on March 31, 2010 at 11:37 AM
Yes, but unfortunately some here think that you kind find both at the buffet bar.

shick on March 31, 2010 at 11:43 AM

What I said above without the strike through.

AubieJon on March 31, 2010 at 1:25 PM

Are you a liberal Jew or conservative?

Sporty1946 on March 31, 2010 at 11:58 AM

I am a Refornmed Jew, Moderate Republican, always vote R down the line.

AprilOrit on March 31, 2010 at 1:34 PM

AubieJon on March 31, 2010 at 1:25 PM

Ohhhh – I don’t eat it.

AprilOrit on March 31, 2010 at 1:36 PM

Ohhhh – I don’t eat it.

AprilOrit on March 31, 2010 at 1:36 PM

What’s more important: the ability to either spell it correctly – or at least look up the spelling, or to eat it?

When you decide to use an unfamiliar word to try to make a point, as ill-begotten as your point is, at least get that word right so it’s more of a challenge for us to determine you’re a poser.

AubieJon on March 31, 2010 at 1:45 PM

AprilOrit,

I haven’t seen you post lately, so I couldn’t remember your stance on issues. This is a major bone I have to pick with the Moderates and the RINOs. You always want our side to play nice and you just cannot do that when the other side is nothing more than vermin, liars and thieves.

Maybe you think Materra should have behved more like someone interviewing on TV and just let Smalley get away with changing the subject. Maybe. But whether he was there to get an honest question answered or there to do a gotcha, that is up to Materra. You don’t like it but a lot of other people do.

I hope he is able to reach every single Dem/RINO sleazebag who is selling this country’s future down the socialist river.

Sporty1946 on March 31, 2010 at 1:52 PM

Bishop on March 31, 2010 at 9:26 AM

Whoah, Bishop!
OK, here in
ND, Minnesotans are a constant irritant to us.
They come here to hunt & stuff & act like jerks a lot of the time.
But it’s not all bad.
The farm towns aren’t bad.
I think many rural states have this problem: big city votes Dem & they screw up the rest of the state who vote cons.
It happened in WA & OR & CO.
We rural folks need to take back the cities.

Badger40 on March 31, 2010 at 2:06 PM

What’s more important: the ability to either spell it correctly – or at least look up the spelling, or to eat it?

When you decide to use an unfamiliar word to try to make a point, as ill-begotten as your point is, at least get that word right so it’s more of a challenge for us to determine you’re a poser.

AubieJon on March 31, 2010 at 1:45 PM

Sorry if I misplaced a vowel…a poser?

How long have you been here?

I don’t remember you either – back during the mid-terms or the election.

AprilOrit on March 31, 2010 at 2:27 PM

AprilOrit,

I haven’t seen you post lately, so I couldn’t remember your stance on issues. This is a major bone I have to pick with the Moderates and the RINOs. You always want our side to play nice and you just cannot do that when the other side is nothing more than vermin, liars and thieves.

Maybe you think Materra should have behved more like someone interviewing on TV and just let Smalley get away with changing the subject. Maybe. But whether he was there to get an honest question answered or there to do a gotcha, that is up to Materra. You don’t like it but a lot of other people do.

I hope he is able to reach every single Dem/RINO sleazebag who is selling this country’s future down the socialist river.

Sporty1946 on March 31, 2010 at 1:52 PM

No – the Far Right and the Far Left are nothing more than vermin, lairs and theives.

If you haven’t figured that out – well, I am not going to call you names, or criticize you or take your inventory. That’s what they would do and I aspire to be a better human being than that.

I will tell you I feel sorry for you and I’ll include you in my prayer chain.

AprilOrit on March 31, 2010 at 2:30 PM

I really don’t like Franken, but that aside, Mattera didn’t do himself any service here. He really should have let Franken not answer the question and then gone after him, instead of persistently interrupting.

MzeeTamu on March 31, 2010 at 8:57 AM

This.

windbag on March 31, 2010 at 2:33 PM

I have absolute authority to express my deep concern with this Mattera character. As a black, american indian, pygmie jew woman veteran, I can assure you that his methods discredit everything the right and republicans say and do.

Thank you.

daesleeper on March 31, 2010 at 2:56 PM

So, you agree that it is OK to assault someone?

Sporty1946 on March 31, 2010 at 11:49 AM

What? You must have been reading A LOT into what I typed.

shick on March 31, 2010 at 4:24 PM

I have absolute authority to express my deep concern with this Mattera character. As a black, american indian, pygmie jew woman veteran, I can assure you that his methods discredit everything the right and republicans say and do.

Thank you.

daesleeper on March 31, 2010 at 2:56 PM

Keep up with the strawmen if it makes you feel good. I never suggested anything that Materra discredits everything the right and republicans say and do. I only suggest that this video and others do nothing to help. Neither did I ever mentioned my racial, cultural or political background on this subject because IT’S NOT RELEVANT.

If AprilOrit was your target of ridicule, he only revealed that information AFTER he was accused of being a lefty.

I use sarcasm and snarkiness a lot when I comment here. Your attempt fails miserably because it cant hit the broad side of a barn with its characterization.

Here’s a lesson on sarcasm:

Materra handled himself perfectly in this video and Franken was a screaming lunatic. Clearly, all you have to do is watch the video and clearly see it for yourself. Franken just rambled on and on while Materra tried to have an indepth discussion. It’s obvious Franken is a little chicken when he bolted up the stairs. I hope Materra continues with these awesome “in your face” encounters. I hope that someday he encounters someone who uses “Rule for Radicals” and exposes them of their folly.

shick on March 31, 2010 at 4:52 PM

You’re delusional. When we respond, we’re called hateful, inciteful, and racists. It’s time to kick these people and the folks who want to play footsie with them, into the past and leave them there.

AubieJon on March 31, 2010 at 1:22 PM

The reason why the left is so far where it is now, is precisely because they let one end justify the means. Then they let another and then another. Now they no longer have an end at all. Their methods now consist purely to sustain their means.

shick on March 31, 2010 at 5:01 PM

No – the Far Right and the Far Left are nothing more than vermin, lairs and theives.

AprilOrit on March 31, 2010 at 2:30 PM

Lairs and theives? One more misspelled word and they’ll push for having you banned from posting…. you….liberal….TROLL!

shick on March 31, 2010 at 5:13 PM

Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Hoyer, Franken, et al. are daily reminders for me of what the prophet Daniel meant when he said “…that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.”

labrat on March 31, 2010 at 6:06 PM

Hmmm. There do seem to be some people here who’s intent above all else is to defend Franken.

Take another look at the video. Mattera asks his question and Franken demands that Mattera “show it to me”, so Mattera does. When Mattera gets to the page and I’m sure what is a highlighted portion, and begins to read, Franken interrupts Mattera and begins his, “that’s not what it said” defense.

Problem is, it IS what Mattera said, but it was Franken who is using the “cut ‘em off” tactic by declaring “that’s not what it said”. It does say it, just a bit further into the passage, which I’m pretty sure Mattera was going to read fully.

Mattera is responding in kind, but make no mistake, it was Franken who started playing the game first by cutting off Mattera before he got to the exact words “jungle gym”.

Franken knew that this all was on camera and felt he would win the exchange as long as he could portray it as a “that’s not what it says moment” rather than having to defend why it exactly does say that, just a bit further down the page and into the definition of playground infrastructure.

I think if anything, Mattera wasn’t prepared for Franken to immediately realize what was happening and engaged Mattera rather than try to duck him. I’m sure Mattera won’t make the same mistake twice.

Jason Coleman on March 31, 2010 at 6:13 PM

“Senator Smalley”
.
Heh!

ronsfi on March 31, 2010 at 7:22 PM

Not in defense of Franken – I can’t stand the guy, never did. BUT, Mattera comes off the jerk and the amateur in this one. All he had to do is to was to let Franken finish just one answer and he would have had all the red meat he could handle.

Clearly Franken didn’t know what was in the bill and just 10 more seconds would have proven it. Mattera jumped the gun.

dkeppner on March 31, 2010 at 7:28 PM

Now this Materra is on arguing with Bill O’Reilly – and he will not allow Bill to give him constructive criticism.

He needs to shut up and listen to the voice of experience.

Bill is right, he is disrespectful and he should take some advice from someone who has more experience.

AprilOrit on March 31, 2010 at 8:27 PM

Not in defense of Franken – I can’t stand the guy, never did. BUT, Mattera comes off the jerk and the amateur in this one. All he had to do is to was to let Franken finish just one answer and he would have had all the red meat he could handle.

Clearly Franken didn’t know what was in the bill and just 10 more seconds would have proven it. Mattera jumped the gun.

dkeppner on March 31, 2010 at 7:28 PM

Bill O’Reilly just alluded to the same – about the Smalley remark.

AprilOrit on March 31, 2010 at 8:29 PM

I am really surprised Bill O’Reilly tolerated Materra’s gutterial hip hop way way of jive taliing.

Bill normally doesn’t go for that kind of creepy low class behavior.

AprilOrit on March 31, 2010 at 8:42 PM

Shick, wtfe. You write some rules for how I should comment so that I can knowingly break them. The mission poster has established her meme like a good axleturd turfer.

daesleeper on March 31, 2010 at 9:07 PM

AprilOrit on March 31, 2010 at 8:27 PM

Not surprised. It would benefit Materra to hear the same from someone he respects. I suspect that will happen soon.

Shick, wtfe. You write some rules for how I should comment so that I can knowingly break them. The mission poster has established her meme like a good axleturd turfer.

daesleeper on March 31, 2010 at 9:07 PM

Keep your head in the sand.

shick on March 31, 2010 at 10:07 PM

Anyone who knows me would say I’m the model of a don’t-make-waves, get-along, find-middle-ground, hyphenated, conservative/libertarian/moderate as you’re ever gonna meet. Do I ever fantasize what it what it would be like to not be me? Damn right I do. And going by Matera, it would probably kick-ass! I want a guy like him to spend not one nanosecond worrying whether his approach might misrepresent someone else “in the Party”. He has found a audience and not second-guessed his own personality. To me, that takes genius. If there’s something fake about what he’s doing, that would be a whole different matter, but that would take quite some convincing.

HarneyPeak on February 11, 2013 at 2:37 PM

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