RSN Fundraising Banner
FB Share
Email This Page
add comment
Print

Boardman writes: "Franken a predator? Tweeden an opportunist? Who pulled better hit job?"

Model and radio host Leeann Tweeden. (photo: ABC)
Model and radio host Leeann Tweeden. (photo: ABC)


Al Franken French-Kissed Leeann Tweeden in 2006. Who Benefits Now?

By William Boardman, Reader Supported News

17 November 17


Franken a predator? Tweeden an opportunist? Who pulled better hit job?

hose aren’t the only questions raised by the surprise assault accusation by radio performer Leeann Tweeden against comedian-turned-US Senator Al Franken, but they might be enough to offend everyone. And everyone probably should be offended by one or another aspect of this story – a dicey opinion to have so early in a story, but let’s look closely at what we know now (late on November 16).

Start with the accusations: There are two, and they are quite different in important respects. The two alleged incidents occurred during a two-week USO tour to Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan in December 2006. The accusations of 2017 first appeared on a KABC website. She works for KABC, which ran the story under Leeann Tweeden’s byline and with the fundamentally problematical headline:

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

The first accusation took place early in that USO tour, during a rehearsal of a skit written by Al Franken in which he was supposed to kiss Leeann Tweeden. Tweeden describes a backstage scene in which Franken insists on rehearsing the kiss until she reluctantly agrees:

He repeated that actors really need to rehearse everything and that we must practice the kiss. 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.

I walked away. All I could think about was getting to a bathroom as fast as possible to rinse the taste of him out of my mouth. I felt disgusted and violated.

Here is where we’re supposed to say, “I believe Leeann,” and there’s no reason not to at this point. It’s an allegation of a single event. It’s typical stupid male behavior. She checked it immediately. It didn’t happen again. They performed the skit several times afterwards and Tweeden avoided ever being kissed again. Franken says he doesn’t remember the rehearsal the same way, but so what? He also hasn’t given a different version and he has apologized and Tweeden has accepted his apology, although not without some bitter comments. The incident as described certainly illustrates unacceptable behavior, though hardly on the scale of Weinstein, Trump, Roy Moore and the gang. Franken has agreed with calls to have the Senate Ethics Committee consider the matter, even though he was not a senator at the time. In the current climate, that’s probably as fair a way to proceed as any, and if Franken gets a censure tantamount to a tongue-lashing, that might be disproportionate but not unjust.

But then there’s the second accusation in that problematical headline:

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

The impression that the kissing and groping were part of a single assault is false. It is deliberately (or incompetently) misleading. The kissing offense is relatively clear-cut. The groping offense probably never happened. The evidence is a posed photograph showing Al Franken grinning at the camera while his hands are poised over the flak jacket covering Tweeden’s chest. Franken left hand is clearly NOT touching her and the right hand may or may not be in contact with the flak jacket. Tweeden did not wake up during the event. The gag is sophomoric at best and Franken apologized for that immediately: “As to the photo, it was clearly intended to be funny but wasn't. I shouldn't have done it." Tweeden might never have known about the photo except that the USO provided it to her as part of the tour collection:

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. I felt violated all over again. Embarrassed. Belittled. Humiliated. How dare anyone grab my breasts like this and think it’s funny?

What we have here is a fact not in evidence. There is reasonable doubt that any groping occurred. We have the image of mock groping, clearly. Based on that image, it is more likely than not that no groping, and perhaps no touching took place.

Intentionally or not, the damage is done and the dishonest story – “kissed and groped” – is the story mindless media and mindless public figures are running with and running from. That public figures are so quick to panic and so incapable of serious, critical analysis is a chronic scandal of our post-factual culture.

This story didn’t start as a smear. A few weeks earlier, Leeann Tweeden signed on to #metoo, indicating that she, like millions of other women, had suffered unwanted sexual attention. She did not give details until November 16 when she was in a twenty-minute segment on her employer’s McIntyre in the Morning program. It started with the host hyping her appearance as the first time she was publicly telling this story and then asking: “Who is your abuser?” “Uh, Senator Al Franken,” was her answer. In her telling of the story, Franken showed her the kissing-skit well in advance and asked her if she would be OK with it. She says she agreed, assuming she would never actually kiss him, but rather turn her head or cover his mouth. That’s not what happened, as she credibly goes on to describe. In fact, she scrupulously separated the kissing incident from the groping incident. The corrupt “Kissed and Groped Me” framing started with the printed version of the story with her byline. OK, so what?

For one, the exaggerated story, amplified by uncritical media coverage gives Republicans a twofer. First it distracts from the far worse and more numerous sexual predator allegations of their president, as well as Senate nominee Moore. Perhaps more importantly to them, it threatens one of the more humane members of the Senate. And by reducing judgment to a single, narrow, unforgiving test, the current culture continues to hurtle toward savage insincerity. Al Franken did something bad, but incredibly petty on the scale of threatening nuclear war (most members of Congress and the president) or starving people we’re not even at war with (most members of Congress and the president). And Al Franken’s response has been honorable:

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….

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.

This is so much more decent and credible than anything we’ve ever heard from the Clintons. Clearly, we can only wait and see before we can know anything with certainty. If it develops that this is a pattern with Franken, not a one stupid episode, then all bets are off and the Senate loses a voice for decency if not a man of decency.

But for now there’s a balance to be weighed between two flawed players. Do we as a society want to let someone like Franken be destroyed by someone like Leann Tweeden? Yes, this is an ad hominem choice. The case against Al Franken has been made. But who is Leeann Tweeden, other than someone being used in a political vendetta? She is a “long time friend” and frequent guest of Sean Hannity, who is calling for Al Franken to resign (in part because he recalls Franken yelling at him once). Tweeden was spinning her tale on his radio show November 16, but she said she was NOT calling for Franken to resign. She may have thought the publicity she’d get from this story would help her career as a sexy sportscaster, but she’s getting severe pushback for being someone who has long used her sexuality for self-promotion (such as cover of Playboy, “nude on the inside”), making her protestations of outrage seem hollow – “methinks the lady doth protest too much,” as Hamlet said of his guilty mother.

Tweeden is the daughter of a military man, married to a military man, and has gone on a reported 16 USO shows. As we all well know, the US military has spent decades going around the world constantly doing things more offensive than sticking their tongues down people’s throats. It’s hard to find anything on record showing that Leeann Tweeden objects to napalm, depleted uranium, killing civilians, or torturing anyone (not that Franken’s all that good on military predation either).

Perhaps the worst part of this whole mess is the stampede of craven Democrats to unprincipled safety, cloaked in a mantle of self-righteous pre-judgment. No wonder the Democratic Party is in the shape it’s in, divided and standing for nothing coherent, not even due process for one of its own or countering an apparent political hit job. Whatever turns out to be the full truth about Franken, we have yet another confirmation of Democratic spinelessness.



William M. Boardman has over 40 years experience in theatre, radio, TV, print journalism, and non-fiction, including 20 years in the Vermont judiciary. He has received honors from Writers Guild of America, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Vermont Life magazine, and an Emmy Award nomination from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.


e-max.it: your social media marketing partner
 

Comments   

A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

 
+73 # farbie 2017-11-17 14:17
Boardman does a terrific job dissecting this the Franken-Tweeden sexual harrassment - I first heard about this this morning on ABC's GMA, where Robin Roberts was interviewing Tweeden this morning. Franken's behavior doesn't even begin to approach the behavior of either Roy Moore or the groper-in-chief , President* Donald Trump.
 
 
+17 # susanlno 2017-11-17 14:56
The fact that Leeann Tweeden has "used her sexuality for self-promotion" does NOT, by itself, make her accusations less credible. What she did of her own free will is not the same as what was done to her against her will.
 
 
+46 # Magginkat 2017-11-18 09:46
Explain to me how he "stuck his tongue in her mouth if she did not voluntarily open her mouth. I am a 76 yr old grandmother, Air Force Veteran & had plenty of guys try crap similar to this. Not one of them ever "mashed his lips against mine and aggressively stuck his tongue in my mouth." If one had succeeded in doing that he would have been missing a large portion of his tongue.... or at the very least have some stitches. As for the groping part where she claims to be asleep, I have read several places where the photographer said that the whole thing was just them joking around. She was not asleep. Who the hell would go to sleep with one of those military flak vests on? Do a google search on those things. HA! I don't know much about Al Franken but I would bet my last dollar that the Leeann Tweeden is being paid big bucks for her lies. After all she is friends with the Hannity thing on Fox...a network known for the massives pile of lies and BS they produce.
 
 
0 # WBoardman 2017-11-19 22:36
susanino is quite right,
BY ITSELF her choices do not invalidate her accusations,
but they contribute to the context.
 
 
-67 # LionMousePudding 2017-11-17 14:57
This has NOTHING to do with who Tweeden is! This piece is a disgusting character assassination of Tweeden. I don't know anything about her and I don't care. Facts are what they are; the merits of the case do not at all depend on who she is.

So now I know she is a sexy sportscaster who uses her sexuality for self expression. What exactly does that have to do with Franken?

This is disgusting. Once again, it matters who the woman is, what else she does, what her goals may be.

Even without the claim that his behavior was "typical stupid male behavior" which "didn't recur" (due to HER yelling at him, not some restraint on his part), it is very clear that Boardman is wearing his

Proud to Be Part of the Problem

T shirt on today.
 
 
-21 # Darthvadersmom 2017-11-18 03:00
Agree completely.
 
 
+29 # RMF 2017-11-18 13:44
But is the alleged conduct unacceptable or inappropriate? As explained below it appears not. Read on to understand why.

This much should be obvious -- when a person has an Actor's Guild card, and takes a professional acting job, it then falls within that actor's scope of duty to perform the script -- to play-act if you will.

For example, in a theatrical presentation, when two people kiss and get married in a scene, they are not therefore actually married.

And when two actors rehearse a scene WITHIN THE BOUNDS AND LINES OF THE SCRIPT it is not therefore sex harassment when one actor kisses another.

This works both ways -- so that neither is it sex harassment when the Fox broadcaster (the accuser in the Franken episode) is shown by photos to have grabbed and groped the butt of a guitar player during a performance on the same USO tour.

As a veteran myself I can affirm that USO tours often rely on bawdy slapstick humor. And given frequent broadcast of recorded USO tours this should come as no surprise, even for those who never served.

But ultimately it comes down to the underlying facts, and how they relate in a legal context.

Because of one underlying fact -- being a Fox broadcaster -- the accuser here cannot at the outset avoid some degree of credibility deficit.

The entire episode resembles a GOP-engineered hit job, but also demeans and dilutes the seriousness, and the consequences, of sex-based harassment that women face everyday in the workplace.
 
 
-21 # librarian1984 2017-11-19 10:11
Gawd! you're pompous -- and WRONG!

Not unacceptable or inappropriate?! Pull the other one!

So according to you and others, it's open season on actors and conservative women, it's okay for the press to lie as long as it's in service to Hillary or against Trump and we needn't fix the corruption in our party. We may as well initiate the Purge!

Put your mother in that picture. Put yourself at the receiving end of the kiss. Tweeden stated Franken wrote the kiss into the skit and kept pestering her about it, and about 'practicing'. His approach is not unfamiliar and let me tell you .. IT STINKS.

No one, and I mean NO ONE, should be touched without their permission. She was humiliated -- they took a freaking picture?! -- are there more? -- and assaulted, and just because he didn't rape her doesn't make it okay.

All people should do for the moment is be quiet and wait. See if more accusations come out. So far he and the Democrats are handling it well .. unlike you. Your feeble attempts to excuse it necessitate a number of questionable assumptions.

One thing that makes this a special moment is that victims feel safe coming out, and MOST men are being great. That's a huge leap forward. I worry the left's rush to excuse Franken shuts that window AND doubles down on our bad behavior after the election.

Liberals badly mishandled Trump's victory. Let's not do the same now. Hypocrisy only fashions a cudgel that will be used against us.
 
 
+11 # Brice 2017-11-20 00:37
You always pretend to be Progressive, when you're backed down you're libertarian, and when you're tweaked you full-blooded FOX News conservative.

Tweeden's Fox News moment was a pure political ploy, just as the attacks on Bill Clinton were when Lewinsky had nothing to do with the case being tried, but Republicans kept pushing. I didn't vote for Clinton in the primaries, and I would have preferred a better candidate, but Clinton is a very smart guy, too smart actually since he was working for the Conservative agenda. The issue is though that he was popular, the economy was good, and this was an unfair and hypocritical prosecution. At this time the whole top tier of Republicans including Newt Gingrich were forced to resign because of this. The American people do not like this political hacking at people for no reason. Lewinsky has nothing to do with Clinton's performance or competence in office.

The tower of hypocrity, real hypocrisy is the Trump Administration and Republicans. FOX News is working hard to attack Democrats, so I don't give a damn if Franken did nothing. It was nothing illegal. The thing that made it sound like something was Tweeden's histrionics when she told about the kiss, that she consented to by the way. Trump is all over the map with dishonesty, and the Republicans are just trying to pass bills with no review, in secret and tagging on other things to it. Hypocrisy? Lies? They name is Conservative & Libertarian
 
 
-4 # librarian1984 2017-11-20 21:13
I'm complicated, aren't you? :-D

And here I thought we'd achieved rapprochement a while back :-(

Don't you think it's rather presumptuous to tell me what my beliefs are? And what exactly do you mean, when I'm 'backed down' or 'tweaked'. How dare you tweak me?! You monster!

You have no way of knowing this is a political ploy. If it is we'll find out and THEN we can attack her!!

Franken's not denying it. He's not attacking her. Why are you?

And, pray tell, are you trying, currently, to 'back me down' -- or is this an attempted 'tweak'?

Brice, buddy, your justifications are questionable. Your post reminds me of a movie I saw once. One guy hurts another guy and the victim goes after the perp's wife. It kind of sounds like your anger at Tweeden is at least partially motivated by your disgust with Trump.

Hey, since you know me so well, how many fingers am I holding up?
 
 
+2 # Brice 2017-11-21 20:11
I'm going to ignore this stuff:

- Don't you think it's rather presumptuous to tell me what my beliefs are?
- Brice, buddy, your justifications are questionable.
- Hey, since you know me so well, how many fingers am I holding up?

Wha .... oh, there is nothing else there to respond to.

But I will just say, I never said I know you well, but I know your comments, and that is what I was commenting on, a disconnect. It is like the people in Hollywood often pretend to be Liberal, and we get this huge meme about Liberal Hollywood when mostly this is PR stuff because if stars began to look like the money-gruber newest members of the fascist class that many of them are, no one would pay to see their movies.

This is a complain I have of you since day one of reading your posts. Inconsistency.

You are attacking me, not criticizing me.

On Franken, Leann Twerden works for FOX News, she is a conservative, a person who is paid to be conservative, and who voiced her BS concern on a conservative network against a Liberal senatory, and there was nothing there.

Further, Melanie Morgan, was allowed to go on FOX News and say Franken was abusive, NOT SEXUALLY ABUSIVE, because he argued passionately with her on the Bill Maher show. There is another lady, also from FOX that claims with no evidence that Franken grabbed her butt. Well, on FOX to grab or grope something does not imply actually touching it, so not I don't buy it, and if it was true I don't care.
 
 
-1 # librarian1984 2017-11-21 22:46
And yet I feel consistent, waking each day in the same situation and not, as far as I know, of unsound mind. But choose to ignore criticism you don't want to respond to, that's fine. Your justifications ARE questionable: 1) Tweeden didn't display histrionics, at least not in the statement I saw, and 2) illegality is a ridiculously low bar for a senator's behavior. Also, 3) you're conflating Trump's and the GOP's hypocrisy with this situation, when they're not connected.

I am not attacking you. I am criticizing your argument.

So is your contention that 4) all conservatives lie? That's ridiculous. You go on to say 'there is nothing there' -- 5) no, we do not know what is there yet. Franken has not said she is lying, and he apologized; mustn't one then assume he is apologizing for SOMETHING?

'I don't buy it, and if it was true I don't care'

With this you confirm my suspicion that the sentiments expressed here (I won't call them 'thoughts') are driven by bias more than principle. Maybe one day you'll realize how shameful that statement is.
 
 
+9 # RMF 2017-11-20 14:02
librarian -- I presented some facts about the episode, along with a brief review of the legal implications thereof.

So in your rebuttal why not try joining the factual issues, rather than drawing bare conclusions.

1. the "kiss" -- Tweeden acknowledges she consented to rehearsing the kiss -- as well she should as that was a contractual duty as a professional performer in a comedy troupe on a USO tour.

But now, apparently, she is saying something like "Yes, I consented to a kiss, but not to the tongue."

Within the context of a comedy troupe on a USO tour her objection to "the tongue" appears so weak, so insubstantial, that it is reasonable to question the motive of someone who agreed to perform in a theatrical performance, agreed to rehearse that performance, but now, all these years later, articulates an objection to "the tongue."

Indeed, given the fact that Tweeden is a FOX broadcaster it would be foolish NOT to consider and examine her underlying motive.

2. Her claims about the photo also appear suspect. For one Franken is not touching her -- and moreover, anyone seeking to assault another usually doesn't insist on the presence of a photographer to memorialize that "act" for posterity.

And "act" is the right word here -- Tweeden's dress in a flak jacket and helmet would not ordinarily be worn on a USO flight. Thus, the photo appears to be some kind of gag or horseplay, or perhaps part of work on an "improv" skit for use on the USO tour.
 
 
+3 # Brice 2017-11-20 18:03
The danger here is the Right-Wing Monopolistic control
over the media, made worse because of the extreme spin
put on the fake news they call it.

Here is now the right-wing works. When they are fake
news, the first thing they do is to call the other side fake
news. Whatever they do, the try to even be first in claiming
the Democrats do ... or whatever group they are seeking to
screw over.

The other thing about this in the media, is that it is a
completely nothing story without Tweeden's histrionic
acting making faces and says "eeeewwwww" about
Franken kissing her - and the host joining in and
pretending to have to support her emotionally 20 years
after such a fake traumatic experience.

The did the same thing with other women that they
could find. One Conservative women said Franken
argued with her and tried to get get her to look at facts,
which Franken should have known better than to do.

I think we've all been in heated political arguments
that somehow we get caught up in, and Republicans
try specifically to drive Liberals crazy with their complete
irreverence for facts and contempt for the truth.

So now they are throwing even non-sexual things at
Franken because they are scared to death of him. That
to me means Franken is doing a good job, so he should
get more and stronger support for his candidacy.

Meanwhile all of this is coming out of FOX News that
has been a hotbed of BS on this issue for as long as
it has existed.
 
 
-6 # librarian1984 2017-11-20 21:25
We have very few facts, right? What I am saying, and I'll type extra slow just for you, RMF, is that we should wait until we have facts.

It's inexcusable to attack this woman, or any accuser. They should all, initially, get the benefit of the doubt .. and then we look for the facts.

And you are being entirely too generous to yourself by saying you're dealing in 'facts'. Just saying so doesn't make it true. You're relating hearsay, you're making unfounded assumptions about her motives, you're distorting the story, at least as far as I can tell, and then you stake your credibility on presuming to know what a person wears on a USO flight?

You've not presented one rational thought that necessitates my reassessing your initial statement. It's still inaccurate and illiberal.

I realize your understanding of jurisprudence is minimal, so might I suggest you think of this as an opportunity to express liberal values .. like NOT ATTACKING THE VICTIM.

Just a thought, o pompous one!
 
 
0 # Brice 2017-11-21 20:14
>> I'll type extra slow just for you, RMF

You might want to thing about waiting to reply until you
don't have an emotional need to insult people?

RSN is supposed to be editing these comments, but they let stuff like this through all the time. Just chill Libertarian
 
 
-1 # librarian1984 2017-11-23 09:16
How nice for RMF to have a champion! And yet you're never around to defend me against RMF's insults?

#Sad
 
 
0 # RMF 2017-11-25 01:30
librarian:

FYI -- it's not hearsay when it's a declaration against the interest of the speaker (which is one of many exceptions to the hearsay rule -- the reason for these hearsay exceptions is that without them there would be a dearth of evidence in many trials.)

And not exactly sure what you think is hearsay but Tweeden's political partisan conduct is not open to question -- it's proven on the record.

Stated more generally, the hearsay exclusion is because of latent unreliability of recalled statements -- that is definitely not a problem with Tweeden's partisan political conduct -- it's all there on the record, in living color as they used to say in the earlier days of TV.
 
 
+1 # librarian1984 2017-11-25 10:50
What about Hooters and Playboy, the implication that any woman who's held those jobs can be abused without consequence? How is this not EXACTLY what liberals said was wrong in the 'bad old days'?

WE DO NOT KNOW what happened. We DO know this particular kind of case tends to unfold more slowly than others. There is every reason NOT to rush to judgment. To see 'liberals' saying these vile things is painful. How do you NOT see it's wrong? Let there be an investigation. Let's find out.

OR, as many seem to have chosen, tie yourself in knots to defend it. Have your daughter pose for a picture with him.

Two more women have said Franken grabbed them. That's four. Is there a number when we start to care? 10? 101? Or is there NO limit because Franken is a 'good' guy (albeit narrowly defined)?

Franken was in his 50s when he groped a 21-year old. Apparently that's okay now. But do we REALLY think he cares about women when this is what he does? He's not the ONLY Dem in MN -- replace him!

It's always amazed me that people would rather confirm their biases than find the truth yet it happens all the time. We want to think only the other guy is deluded, refusing to see our own faults without the perspective of time, often not even then.

I saw how we treated Bill's victims. Right now that is being spoken of -- WHILE WE DO THE EXACT SAME THING to Franken's victims.

We're being hypocrites and it will come back to bite us. Of course it will.
 
 
0 # WBoardman 2017-11-27 15:06
Four accusers? Source?

Melanie Morgan is a special case and
shouldn't be counted as a sexual accuser.
 
 
+1 # librarian1984 2017-11-28 08:29
Agreed. Not counting Morgan.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/al-franken-two-more-women-groping_us_5a15a455e4b09650540ec295

The most recent two seem to be Democrats who want to remain anonymous. One was 21 years old at the time.
 
 
0 # librarian1984 2017-11-30 19:29
And now there are six.
 
 
0 # RMF 2017-11-30 01:49
librarian

Hooters isn't a politically partisan arm of the GOP, at least not to my knowledge, but if it were ever shown to be so, it would as an institution be deserving of much criticism.

You also say "WE DO NOT KNOW what happened...[and ] [t]here is every reason NOT to rush to judgment.

But then in the same post you opine that "He's not the ONLY Dem in MN -- replace him!"

Those two admonitions reflect wildly different conclusions, making it hard to know which view is posited for criticism, so which is it -- should he stay or should he go?
 
 
0 # librarian1984 2017-11-30 11:33
Until his press conference I did not call for Franken to be replaced. I called for respect while we waited for more information. (My second statement was not meant as a call for him to resign, but just as a response to others excusing his behavior because we want 'a good guy' in office.)

After his press conference, and the recent coming forth of a FIFTH accuser, I am changing my mind. I think he should go.

The latest accuse was a 27-year old soldier and he allegedly groped her breast during a photo op. If true, that is not a colleague in a bawdy skit.
 
 
0 # librarian1984 2017-11-30 19:31
And now there's a politician who says she tried to shake his hand and he went in for a wet, open mouth kiss. Sound familiar? Sound like a pattern?

He should go.
 
 
-2 # LionMousePudding 2017-11-21 20:50
Thank you. I am disheartened to find 65 dislikes on my comment. In the past I have dealt with sexism in this forum; anti-feminsm; with dismay. But 65 people (probably more, as I am sure at least Librarian up-voted me!) are freaked out that I would be against character assassination of women.

I am sickened.
 
 
-2 # librarian1984 2017-11-21 22:55
I find it really astonishing, and very disheartening too -- and yes I *did* up-vote you :-)

It's not only 100% hypocritical, it's totally unnecessary. Liberals perpetrating and defending attacks on the victim!?

Take care, and have a happy Thanksgiving, LMP.
 
 
+3 # WBoardman 2017-11-19 22:44
LionMousePuddin g – which is it?

"This has NOTHING to do with who Tweeden is!... "

"Once again, it matters who the woman is, what else she does, what her goals may be."

Seems to be a contradiction here.

Yes, her yelling stopped him.
Does that ALWAYS work?
Or was his subsequent restraint also a factor?

All we really have right now is a she said/he demurs kiss
and an ambiguous photo

And that's if you believe what Leeann has presented.
 
 
+2 # Brice 2017-11-20 18:05
There is enough ambiguity that one cannot call her a liar based on the facts, but circumstantiall y, this looks like a politically motivated attack that she will be compensated for in her career by Conservative media.
 
 
+2 # LionMousePudding 2017-11-21 20:52
"Once again, it matters who the woman is, what else she does, what her goals may be."

Was a reflection of what the author was stating. Apologies for the misunderstandin g.

It does not matter if I believe her or not, to have a problem with a character assassination.
 
 
+2 # Lisa Simeone 2017-11-20 11:18
Quoting LionMousePudding:
This has NOTHING to do with who Tweeden is! This piece is a disgusting character assassination of Tweeden. I don't know anything about her and I don't care. Facts are what they are; the merits of the case do not at all depend on who she is.

So now I know she is a sexy sportscaster who uses her sexuality for self expression. What exactly does that have to do with Franken?

This is disgusting. Once again, it matters who the woman is, what else she does, what her goals may be.

Even without the claim that his behavior was "typical stupid male behavior" which "didn't recur" (due to HER yelling at him, not some restraint on his part), it is very clear that Boardman is wearing his

Proud to Be Part of the Problem

T shirt on today.

I would like to know what you think of these photographs of Tweeden grabbing men's asses, kissing, and climbing all over them during USO Tours:

1. https://imgur.com/P6VAJ69

2. https://imgur.com/gallery/FWPtO
 
 
+54 # Interested 2017-11-17 15:12
It was a comedy troupe and all the photos were probably thought to to be funny back then. She obviously thinks otherwise eleven years later. Too bad for us taxpayers.
 
 
0 # Brice 2017-11-20 18:14
What's funny now is that Tweeden is so holier than thou.

I don't mean to be a jerk, but look at her, a high-school drop
out who got a modeling job, worked at Hooters, and now Fox News. I know it might seem insulting to say this, but I would
bet ( could be wrong ) that she has performed or had to
bear behavior like this, and mostly much, much more.

The key is in the description of the event, specificially,
- Al supposedly FORCED her to do the skit.
- She did consent.
- Al did something that she did not like, and she
did something about it.
- Al supposedly grabbed the back of her head.
- Al supposedly mashed his fact to hers.
- Al supposedly thrust his tongue down her throat.
- Al was so awful she has to make faces and noises about it even today to express how terrible it was.

This whole thing is stupid, but it shows us how corrupt
and powerful Republicans are, and that one and for all
the media is certainly not Liberal.

So, if we are to be concerned about Leann Tweeden's story
from a non-partisan and really human point of view, would
it not be better to know what to compare with this with.
Where does this incident fall in the events of Tweeden's
life, and why did she not report other incidents.

What else happened to Tweeden at Fox News? Who
was she working for at Fox.
 
 
+1 # librarian1984 2017-11-28 08:35
"I don't mean to be a jerk BUT ... "

Your comments here are absolutely disgusting, and show that sexism does indeed transcend politics.

And if she HAS had to endure worse behavior than Franken's, how is that relevant except for being incredibly sad and infuriating?

"This whole thing is stupid"

How nice for you, to be able to dismiss the pain and abuse of millions of people.

Your argument is really that Franken was the least-worst abuser so it's okay?!

You should be embarrassed to say such things. Show it to your mom. See what she thinks of it.
 
 
+35 # Caliban 2017-11-17 15:20
Excellent breakdown of the charges against Franken and the people who made them.

However, I'd say it is a bit premature (at the very least) to trash the whole Democratic Party before the story has had more time to play out.

A skilled writer like Boardman has the time and freedom to tease out nuance to see where it takes us -- as he demonstrates in this article. But elected officials are rarely given this luxury. Judgment comes quickly and harshly, and so the Democratic party responses seem like plain old common sense -- i.e., let's wait and learn more before rushing to judge.
 
 
+1 # WBoardman 2017-11-19 22:50
Caliban is right, of course, and I believe
I made it clear I was talking about what we know now,
subject to change with further evidence

The media irresponsibilit y in replicating the false framing
isn't going to change and IS a serious problem for
anyone seeking cogency.

Even if Democrats rally and actually begin thinking
coherently, their initial impulse to hide under the chairs
is reprehensible.

Do you know of anyone who defended Franken even
half as seriously as the women who know him?
 
 
+1 # librarian1984 2017-11-21 18:22
"Caliban is right"

Three words rarely uttered!
 
 
+80 # Lisa Simeone 2017-11-17 16:33
WBoardman, my girlfriends and I (well, except for one) have all been saying the same thing as you. This morning I sent an email to Korva Coleman at NPR, where I used to work long ago, objecting to their incessant yammering that Franken "groped" Tweeden. No, he didn't! It's a flat-out lie, evident in that photograph for all to see.

As for the kiss, yeah, he was an asshole. But I'd wager that 90% of all actors have done the same thing. They certainly did it to me in high school when we were acting in plays. Somehow I've managed to live my life unscathed. So this guy is supposed to self-flagellate for months and resign over this??

The whole notion of degree has gone out the window. All actions are the same, all actions are crimes, and all must be punished the same way. Oh, except for those of the Predator-in-Chi ef, of course.

And no way in hell do I believe Tweeden's announcement wasn't calculated to distract attention from Roy Moore. Even that piece of slime Roger Stone knew about it ahead of time. This was indeed a hit job. And so far, it appears to be working.
 
 
+36 # Henry 2017-11-18 09:24
I'd just like to remind people that Al Franken said he didn't remember the "rehearsal" that way. He's not necessarily lying. Maybe she lied. We don't really have proof ... it's just her story. Like a gentleman he didn't say "she's a liar," and he apologized just in case. What the HELL.
 
 
+13 # Lisa Simeone 2017-11-19 11:26
Quoting Henry:
I'd just like to remind people that Al Franken said he didn't remember the "rehearsal" that way. He's not necessarily lying. Maybe she lied. We don't really have proof ... it's just her story. Like a gentleman he didn't say "she's a liar," and he apologized just in case. What the HELL.


Well, she certainly lied about the groping. That, frankly, makes me question anything she says.
 
 
+2 # lfeuille 2017-11-19 18:51
Yes, I would have liked to hear how he remembered it, but i suppose it would be hard for him to do that without seeming to call her a liar. But that is not necessarily true either. People often remember things differently without one of them being a liar. My instinct in THIS case is that if see isn't outright lying about the kiss, she is exaggerating ALOT.
 
 
+1 # Brice 2017-11-20 18:20
Even if what she says was true ... it is a nothing, trying to be puffed up by Fox News and the conservative media, and then
programmed into our brains by monotonous repetition.

Franken did not grope or grab Tweeden. Both verbs require actual contact with whatever is being grabbed or groped.

I'd bet the skit depended on Franken's skit being a bit
risque or even letcherous, and Tweeden got it too much
overacting on Franken's part and said cut it out. I can believe
that and even agree with Tweeden, but it doesn't make
it something of national note ... hardly, in the least.
 
 
+16 # intheEPZ 2017-11-18 21:23
Agreed. I am a radio listener, do not have TV. But I saw the photo on the internet. It is incomprehensibl e to me that no news announcer (except Rachel Maddow) even bothers to mention that she was wearing a flak vest, or that he "fake-groped her." This is the truth. It is misleading to talk about groping, what he did was mumming. Stupid and sophomoric, yes. But it was not a sexual assault, as done by Trump, Moore, and the Hollywood jerks. It was a stupid practical joke. Please let's have some perspective. I would say the same if the perp were a GOP (Groping Old Perv).
 
 
+2 # WBoardman 2017-11-19 22:51
Lisa Simeone and her girlfriends are the smartest people
on the planet (even the "except one" who at least has the good
sense to hang out with the smartest people on the planet) ;-)))
 
 
+2 # Brice 2017-11-20 18:16
> The whole notion of degree has gone out the window.

If it has it is because of FOX News, and Fox news should
recuse itself from ever reporting on women's issues again
because of what they are and have done.
 
 
-1 # Lisa Simeone 2017-11-22 10:56
Quoting Brice:
> The whole notion of degree has gone out the window.

If it has it is because of FOX News, and Fox news should
recuse itself from ever reporting on women's issues again
because of what they are and have done.

Well, the so-called liberal media are piling on, too.

By the way, here's a good article that came out the other day:

"Al Franken: The Obvious Setup and Liberals Took the Bait"
https://democracyguardian.com/al-franken-the-obvious-setup-and-liberals-took-the-bait-5f3515d379a0
 
 
0 # Brice 2017-11-22 22:53
Thanks. I am not sure I am going to have time to read that. What is the gist of it? It sounds as if Liberals are being
scolded for always taking what is under their nose too seriously while ignoring the forest for the trees? That is true. Even myself I wanted to be mad and critical of Al Franken, but I had to think about the big picture, and the little picture too though. Tweeden's story contradicts itself, and she is very biased.
 
 
0 # librarian1984 2017-11-25 10:52
"If it's true I don't care"

Don't have time to read but always enough to badmouth victims, eh?

Two more have come forth. Time to sharpen the knives again.
 
 
0 # WBoardman 2017-11-27 15:47
"Al Franken: The Obvious Setup and Liberals Took the Bait"
https://democracyguardian.com/al-franken-the-obvious-setup-and-liberals-took-the-bait-5f3515d379a0

This is an EXCELLENT piece linked to by Lisa Simeone

The author, S. Novi is a feminist with a strong presence
on Medium https://medium.com/@SNovi/

She rightly rips into Liberals for their reflexive cowardice
as their go-to first reaction. Another choice: read the accusation, assess it, then say something sensible about it
and proportionality . S. Novi shows how to do this.

She also rightly rips the media for over-hyping what is,
in the vast landscape os sexual predation, even as the victim
describes it, a next-to-nothing -burger. [Do I hear screams?
Tell me how it's not almost de minimus except symbollically.]

What S. Novi fails to make much of is the intital framing
(and the pun may be apt here) of Franken of being guilty of
"kissing and groping," a yellow journalism framing that promises much wore than it can deliver without being a total lie.

Whoever wrote that headline – presumably someone at KABC –
set the tone adapted across a media landscape where
the application of editorial judgment is somewhat random.

S. Novi's piece is not too long to read, and reads well.
Anyone seriously commenting on the Franken story should
read and consider its multiple facets carefully.

She offers nuance, dimensionality, analysis, not name-calling.
 
 
+1 # librarian1984 2017-11-28 09:20
I do enjoy Novi's work but have problems with this article.

1) The author begins with the premise that "liberals will climb all over each other to rip (a liberal accusee) apart; and that's exactly what happened"

I haven't seen that .. the defense of Franken has been almost unanimous.

2) "The fact is that Franken doesn't have a history of demeaning women"

This is a weak argument. Many accused seem normal or pro-X right up until they don't. Look at the coaches and child advocates who turn out to be molesters. I'm not saying this is true of Franken, only that it is not an argument with much merit.

3) USO shows are just bawdy. Again, not an excuse. However, Franken has been championed by many women who have worked with/for him in the past -- a much stronger defense.

4) "Believing all accusers is just as bad as not believing them. There is no justice."

Agreed. Belief or disbelief is inappropriate before evidence is gained. What IS requisite is respect and benefit of the doubt, and Tweeden did not get that. Some attacks have been worse than others (see Brice above) but they are still attacks. Maybe this IS a hoax, but three more women have come forward, so maybe it's not. Still don't KNOW.

5) Why is there a huge insert mid-article asking if women who make false accusations of rape should go to jail?

6) "Each case requires critical thinking"

Yes, but the author seems to claim that only Franken supporters are being so. No.
 
 
0 # Brice 2017-11-30 08:09
Librarian ... read yourself ...

>> Some attacks have been worse than others (see Brice above) but they are still attacks.

If you say attacks == attacks it is meaningless.

Since I really do not understand what you are getting at
here, I have to reiterate that nothing so far that I have
heard about Al Franken resembled any kind of "attack",
that is a

attack != non-attack

An consensual over the top kiss is not an attack. Hovering one's hands over someone's breasts covered by a flak jacket is not an attack. Getting riled up in a political conversation is not an attack, and dubious reports of one-time "butt-cupping", whatever the fuck that is supposed to be, in the open in front of her husband, not an attack either. I don't know what to call those things, but you cannot call them an attack.

Now, given that they are something else, why were they whipped up from whatever they are, into something claimed to be an attack by FOX News, who does have the history of using and abusing women that Al Franken does not?

What part of my logic is flawed here?
 
 
-1 # librarian1984 2017-11-30 11:37
The attacks are rsn posters against Tweeden. I am not saying Franken's groping is an 'attack'. It is an assault.

'Dubious reports' by four other women (the fifth, a soldier whose breast he grabbed, came forward today) -- THAT is an attack.
 
 
0 # librarian1984 2017-11-28 09:43
7) "A vast number of liberals, in a 'holier-than-th ou' attitude, refuse to use critical thinking"

Ah, here it is -- the old 'holier-than-th ou' argument that criticizes moral consistency when it becomes inconvenient. I think we'll find that Sanders' Dems are the ones wanting consistency, wanting all women accusers to be treated with respect unless and until they are proven to be lying.

This argument, also known as 'purity', has also been used against Sanders supporters for demanding moral behavior from Hillary Clinton. It's used as an insult and followed by an inappropriate dismissal. Moral consistency is not the opposite of critical thought.

There is a better argument that those who treat SOME accusers differently than others are not consistent. They have politicized the #MeToo movement.

The author concludes by saying that Franken's behavior is excusable because he's a good guy and these were 'youthful' indiscretions.

At that point the author's motives (and critical thinking) must be questioned. Youth is not much of an excuse at the best of times, but by what measure is Franken -- IN HIS FIFTIES -- considered youthful?

Similarly, Franken's press conference yesterday, far from easing my doubts, exacerbated them. He never really apologized, said he doesn't remember, the situations were too chaotic? That is lame and a red flag.

MN has a Dem governor. Let him appoint a Dem replacement. MN can do better than a serial groper.
 
 
0 # Brice 2017-11-30 08:13
Now your right-wing activism is showing ... you are such the expert on attacks, can't your recognize your own attack on truth?

I searched the page and the only use of the word "youthful" was yours.

I say leave it up to MInnesotans, not your biased fairy tales.
 
 
0 # librarian1984 2017-11-30 11:42
There have been a number of inane defenses of Franken, including characterizing them as 'youthful' indiscretions. I will look for the ones I saw but it is all kind of a blur at this point. I'm glad we agree that is a false defense.

If Franken was up for re-election in 2018 I'd agree we should let his constituents decide, but he's not, and another woman has come forth.

I'd say we need to have an investigation asap.
 
 
+77 # suzyskier 2017-11-17 16:48
Well if Sean Hannity is involved then I know it’s being stretched way out of proportion. I guess it’s alright for Trump and friends to rape 13 year olds but god forbid Al Franken kisses you. Obviously she’s a right winger looking to smear him. Sean Hannity is a pathetic version of a tv host. I still like Al he made a stupid mistake years ago, he’s not a predator.
 
 
+37 # economagic 2017-11-17 16:48
A woman's past indiscretions, no matter how indiscreet, are not relevant to a charge of assault of any kind--ever, period.

As for the groping, the wording (used by the Guardian and possibly other outlets) is misleading, even though the Guardian says "and later groped . . ." in a subhead. But the right hand certainly looks like a grope to me, and it is clearly meant to appear as such.

Tweeden's association with Hannity, however, especially since she made her claim on his show, highly partisan and not noted for Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting, does unfortunately raise questions in the present environment. It is interesting that none of the accounts I have seen has mentioned any of this.

If other women come forth with accusations against Franken, things will get really sticky. Among other things, they will likely be questioned about their political affiliations, ordinarily not relevant but unavoidable in the current atmosphere, with Republicans desperate to knock down a popular Democrat and reluctant to sanction there own serial molesters.
 
 
+3 # LionMousePudding 2017-11-21 21:12
Note: This pretty much agrees with what I stated, but with stuff that Progressive men like. Note the top sentence.

And I totally agree with it all.

The fact that I did not even address the other things is apparently proof that I disagree with the rest of what economagic states.

It is prof that I was addressing an issue that I felt was important. That is all.

Is that so hard for people to understand?
 
 
+26 # dotlady 2017-11-17 17:06
"Someone like Leeann Tweeden?" Eh? Daughter of the military. Posed in the nude for Playboy. Was that before or after the Franken incident? We don't know how she feels about the pervasive swept-under-the -rug harassment and rape of women in the military, either, but she must be aware of it. She may feel justified in "me-tooing" even about the small-time Franken infractions. Many if not most women have had such things happen and it should stop - at all levels. It's unfortunate that her charges fit in with Hannity's desire to politically stain Franken's reputation. Even good guys like Franken partake when they think they can get away with it. Her stories are tiny compared with so many others we are hearing about that are violent and mentally debilitating to the victim. Societal permission must be withdrawn for such behavior - it must at least be pointed out and punished.
 
 
-47 # librarian1984 2017-11-17 17:22
Wow.

A second woman has come out about Franken. She says after they disagreed on Politically Incorrect in 2000 he kept harassing her, even getting her number and calling her multiple times at home, until she threatened to call the police.

So .. how many and what type of offenses before we think it's a problem? Should we have a point system -- and are the men going to decide how it works and what the consequences are?

One suggestion: knowing how these kind of cases unfold, it might be smarter to let a little time pass before the Franken as Victim tributes begin.
 
 
+53 # Lisa Simeone 2017-11-17 21:43
Responding to librarian1984: That second woman is Melanie Morgan, a crackpot conspiracy theorist and birther. To say she has no credibility is an understatement.
 
 
-10 # librarian1984 2017-11-19 10:18
Thank you. I am unfamiliar with her. But even opportunists should be heard and assessed. Isn't that what this safe space is about, or is it only safe for liberal women? Let her be heard. Maybe it's an opportunity to show her the left's better values and behavior.

If she's not credible we'll find out -- if, and it's a big IF -- the msm reports on it. One of the worst degradations of our 'free' press is their tendency to ignore inconvenient stories. The problem with that is they are less credible. I don't know if they don't mention this person because her story is disproven or it targets a Democrat.
 
 
+4 # WBoardman 2017-11-19 23:02
can't disagree with librarian1984's generous spirit, but Melanie Morgan's complaint was never relevant to sexual issues.

Morgan's story is that Franken was arguning with her and just wouldn't let it go after the show was over.

Well, people do that, and sometimes it's reprehensible, but here we don't have any detailed allegation or any actually actionable accusation, so far as I can tell. She says the police warned him and he didn't call again.
 
 
+1 # librarian1984 2017-11-20 06:34
Ah! Perhaps I should have said the 'mythical' better values and behavior! lol
 
 
0 # LionMousePudding 2017-11-21 20:57
I don't feel the least bit safe here, as a Progressive woman. I am horrified that I have 65 negative when object to character assassination of a woman.
 
 
0 # librarian1984 2017-11-21 23:01
But there is also the troll factor. Regardless of the motive or sponsor, their goal is to foment discord. Maybe there's an element of that here? You're right that one must question the demographics present. It does not feel very progressive, does it, and many of the progressive voices we knew are gone.

Fight the good fight.
 
 
0 # Lisa Simeone 2017-11-22 10:57
Quoting LionMousePudding:
I don't feel the least bit safe here, as a Progressive woman. I am horrified that I have 65 negative when object to character assassination of a woman.


Completely disagree. There is no character assassination of a woman going on here. There is a cold, hard look at facts. That's what's needed everywhere, not just here.
 
 
0 # lfeuille 2017-11-19 18:53
There was not sexual indiscretion involved in that incident. They got into an argument.
 
 
+24 # lfeuille 2017-11-17 18:08
I didn't know she was a friend of Hannity, but I'm not surprised. There somehow seemed to be something less than implied in the story.

Franken is not my favorite Democrat. He is too close to the establishment wing, but he is not the worst either. He probably doesn't deserve to be forced out over this.

I got an email from Justice Democrats today calling for his resignation and the appointment of Ellison in his place, but I don't even know who the governor is and if that would be a realistic political possibility.
 
 
+40 # lfeuille 2017-11-17 18:15
I was the picture in question at a newstand today. It looked like an bad joke, not an actual attempt to grope. It illustrates what I have often found objectionable about SNL. It veers for political brilliance to this kind of infantile humor that just isn't funny, but is not a capital offense either. I just find it boring. This incident happened before Franken became a senator. He was probably still in SNL mode.
 
 
+16 # pappajohn 2017-11-17 19:21
Two points:

1. Franken is a good guy. What he did was bad behavior, but in this relative world really more “High School” than predatory.

2. So, is he all there is? There aren’t any other possibilities than somebody with all the showbiz baggage? Bill Clinton was good, but there were others, just as good without the certainty that there would be shenanigans. Franken did his part, now move aside, let go of the ego, and let the next good one take a crack at it!
 
 
+1 # dquandle 2017-11-20 02:52
nothing whatsoever "good" about slick willy...
 
 
-38 # anhinga 2017-11-17 19:23
This rush-to-judgmen t, straw-grasping, slut-shaming piece is the best you can do? It tells us FAR more about you and your mentality than it does about Leeann Tweeden, the events in question, or indeed Al Franken. What can you find about his voting record on, say, war, or his support for Israel attacking Gaza?
 
 
+17 # Henry 2017-11-18 09:27
Quoting anhinga:
This rush-to-judgment, straw-grasping, slut-shaming piece is the best you can do? It tells us FAR more about you and your mentality than it does about Leeann Tweeden, the events in question, or indeed Al Franken. What can you find about his voting record on, say, war, or his support for Israel attacking Gaza?


Gimme a break.
 
 
-9 # librarian1984 2017-11-19 11:10
Give the victim a break.
 
 
+2 # lfeuille 2017-11-19 18:55
If she really is a victim. it is not clear in this case.
 
 
0 # librarian1984 2017-11-20 21:31
Yes, it is not clear. Therefore she deserves the benefit of the doubt. There is time to be accurate, so why attack her so early in the process? Attacking her is not necessary to defend Franken. It makes us look like hypocrites. It is wrong. It might destroy this moment of safety for victims speaking out.

Maybe she is lying but we do not yet know.

Be generous and look for the truth.
 
 
+4 # Lisa Simeone 2017-11-20 06:01
if the Leeann Tweeden had been victimized, we would. But she lied. She's lying. She's diminishing every woman who has actually been assaulted with her lying.
 
 
0 # librarian1984 2017-11-20 21:33
We do not know she is lying. That is my point. Franken has not said she is lying.
 
 
-1 # Lisa Simeone 2017-11-22 11:00
Quoting librarian1984:
We do not know she is lying. That is my point. Franken has not said she is lying.

The photograph shows that she's lying. She claims he groped her and that the photograph demonstrates that, when, in fact, it demonstrates the opposite. If she's willing to lie about that, what else is she willing to lie about? Sorry, but she has shot down her own credibility all by herself.
 
 
0 # WBoardman 2017-11-19 23:09
"rush-to-judgme nt" – specifically refused to do that,
pending further evidence

"straw-grasping " – for example?

"slut-shaming" – anticipated that criticism and tried to limit
my description of Leeann to factors that seemed relevant
to the nature of her complaint, both the facts of it and the
claim of a decade of damage

"war" – not really relevant to the issue at hand, but they
were both on a USO tour to Iraq and Afghanistan, so
that hardly speaks well of either of them

"Israel" – same relevance problem, and I have no idea yet
 
 
+35 # Anonymot 2017-11-17 19:31
Thanks for the clarity. I think there's a lot of overkill going on. Excess kills good causes.
 
 
+51 # AldoJay69 2017-11-17 19:47
Am I permitted the male privilege of disbelieving this particular female?
I hitch the Hannity aspect of her, to the flimsy act she's accusing with no witness, and a picture of her in an umpire's chest protector that she felt "groped" through, and I'm left with a pathetic career move by a wannabe starlet.
Next!
 
 
+2 # LionMousePudding 2017-11-21 21:02
You do not need believe her to object the intimation here that she deserved it.
 
 
-8 # Wise woman 2017-11-17 23:08
I'm wondering about all these comments. What about? Let's pretend for a minute that its not Leeann but it's your daughter or wife or even your mother? What would be your response? Just asking.
 
 
+34 # Lisa Simeone 2017-11-18 09:50
Quoting Wise woman:
I'm wondering about all these comments. What about? Let's pretend for a minute that its not Leeann but it's your daughter or wife or even your mother? What would be your response? Just asking.


I'd say to her:

1) You weren't groped, as the photograph clearly demonstrates, so quit lying.

2) As for the kiss, yeah, it was stupid and juvenile. Every male actor I had to kiss in high school plays did the same thing to me. Miraculously, I wasn't scarred for life. And no way would I call it sexual assault. You handled it well by telling him to back off and not try that crap again.

3) Quit conflating. There is such a thing as degree. As proportion. Not every icky experience you have in life is the same as rape. Get a sense of perspective, about all things. Otherwise, life is going to be very hard for you.

4) Oh, and did I mention quit lying?
 
 
-3 # librarian1984 2017-11-19 10:34
I'm so glad you weren't my mother.

When I was a teenager I was assaulted by one of my dad's friends -- and she believed me. That helped me get through the experience relatively unscathed.

I am deeply disappointed by the knee jerk absolution by so many here -- without knowing the facts. Franken himself called for an investigation -- an honorable move -- far more so than the statements I've seen here -- at a liberal forum! That disheartens me as much, or more, than Trump.

To paraphrase Churchill, The farther one sees behind, the farther one can look forward. We have seen this panic, this abandonment of core values, before. Now it is coming from the left. How refreshing it would be were we to stop our abuses now, put the drink down before the hangover so to speak, before the requisite apologies and retribution, before the madness takes hold of us.

It's when the liberals buckle that we go down the toilet. The GOP wants to eviscerate any trace of Obama, Clinton and FDR, not knowing how different those people are. They just want to dismantle and destroy. They've proven, time and again, they cannot govern.

What stands between them and the destruction of our democracy is US. We cannot succumb to fear and unreason.

And a little kindness never hurt either. Please do not trivialize this woman's experience. Franken was in his fifties, I believe, and supposedly a professional. It is pitiful to see self-declared liberals act so ignobly.
 
 
+5 # Lisa Simeone 2017-11-20 06:10
Act so ignobly? So you think we should give credence and comfort to a woman who is lying (she wasn't groped)? And who implies that a stage kiss is on a par with rape? And you think we should grovel in apology as Franken has done?

Those aren't liberal values in my book. Or even plain old common decency.
 
 
0 # librarian1984 2017-11-20 21:49
"Act so ignobly"

Oh yeah. This has 'We're going to have to apologize for this' written all over it.

Even if it turns out Tweeden is lying, how does it benefit us to behave like this, doing all the things we once criticized conservatives for -- prejudging, attacking the victim, questioning her history, etc.

There is no way we come out of this holding our heads high. It is shameful, the same way liberals treated Bill Clinton's accusers was shameful -- and has come back to bite us -- which is what will happen here as well, if we don't follow reason and kindness.

I have not seen anyone equate Franken's behavior with rape, including Tweeden, nor have I suggested groveling -- and you go on to say Franken is groveling because he apologized?

I'm not sure we're debating the same thing, LS. I hope you find peace.
 
 
0 # LionMousePudding 2017-11-21 21:05
Don't you get it? Two wrongs don't make a right. Lying, if it is true, would be bad. But if it is true or not, the way she is being smeared here is sickening. It is wrong. It is misogynist.
 
 
0 # WBoardman 2017-11-19 23:14
Well if my daughter, wife, or mother were on a USO tour
I would be amazed.

If they were supporting illegal wars I would be appalled.

If they had an encounter such as Leeann had I would
(1) sympathize, (2) urge them to demand an immediate apology,
(3) urge them to make an appropriate report for the record,
(4) make sure they weren't blaming themselves....
 
 
+1 # Theatre Metropole 2017-11-18 04:04
Franken says, I don't know what was in my head when I took that picture (of his hands and Tweeden). Franken could have had jet lag. Tweeden was sleeping, he was wide awake - the picture seems to show. Jet lag swells your brain. It certainly screws up my thought patterns and circadian rhythms for weeks after flying long distances. I'm not excusing Franken. Not at all. Just adding another biological dimension. The Mayo Clinic says: "Jet lag symptoms may include: disturbed sleep — such as insomnia, early waking or excessive sleepiness; daytime fatigue; difficulty concentrating or functioning at your usual level." I'm saying conditions were far from normal. The performers had been doing their show in a places sometimes 12 time zones away from America's Midwest.
 
 
-7 # librarian1984 2017-11-18 17:16
We can put this alongside the Twinkie defense.
 
 
0 # Lisa Simeone 2017-11-20 06:14
Quoting Theatre Metropole:
Franken says, I don't know what was in my head when I took that picture (of his hands and Tweeden). Franken could have had jet lag. Tweeden was sleeping, he was wide awake - the picture seems to show. Jet lag swells your brain. It certainly screws up my thought patterns and circadian rhythms for weeks after flying long distances. I'm not excusing Franken. Not at all. Just adding another biological dimension. The Mayo Clinic says: "Jet lag symptoms may include: disturbed sleep — such as insomnia, early waking or excessive sleepiness; daytime fatigue; difficulty concentrating or functioning at your usual level." I'm saying conditions were far from normal. The performers had been doing their show in a places sometimes 12 time zones away from America's Midwest.


Uh, you're really reaching here. For once I agree with librarian1984. Let's just admit what the picture shows us: He was mugging for the camera. He didn't grope her. He was making a joke. Silly and juvenile? Yeah. But so? He was a comedian mugging for the camera.

(By the way, what about the photographer? What about anyone else who was awake and watching? Should we hunt them down and hound them, too? I guess that's what some people want. Maybe that's what we'll be treated to in the "ethics" investigation, god help us.)
 
 
+1 # Nancy Jakeman 2017-11-18 07:02
This comment could baffle some but the difficulties in connection with "sexual behaviour" in general can be lifted. We just need to live in our higher chakras.
 
 
-24 # librarian1984 2017-11-18 07:35
I am with LMP and anhinga. So this is okay because Franken is a 'good guy' and Tweeden is a conservative? Let's alert the press! Liberal-on-cons ervative crime is a-okay!

Seems like the 'rush to judgment' is mainly against the victim here which, a year ago, would have surprised me, but not anymore..

To me, it's difficult to come to a conclusion yet because in these cases the accusers either multiply or they don't, so I'd say we need to wait a while before saying Franken has to resign -- although I think it would be better for the party if he did.

I'm really very disappointed at this article, the 'liberal' response and the downvoting of reasonable comments. Part of me wants to find an island with a cave and just crawl in for three years -- but you people aren't that lucky.
 
 
+11 # economagic 2017-11-18 09:18
"Seems like the 'rush to judgment' is mainly against the victim here which, a year ago, would have surprised me, but not anymore."

I have to disagree with you here, for once. The Democratic misleadership had already a day ago demanded Franken's resignation, and while I don't seek out all the gory details of news stories I haven't seen any attack on Ms. Tweeden except that implicit in Boardman's article. It is not an endorsement of the behavior Franken in which is alleged to have engaged (assuming no other serious allegations arise) to distinguish it from that or Weinstein, Moore, Trump, and countless other men who are genuine predators. The world is not bipolar, even though a lot of people are.
 
 
-11 # librarian1984 2017-11-18 14:13
I think the Democratic leadership, and Franken, have handled this well -- but I'm appalled at this article and the commenters who are vilifying this woman. THAT is specifically who I'm criticizing -- Boardman and some commenters.

No one should be touching anyone without their permission.

Franken's behavior was certainly not as bad as Moore's but to see people attacking Tweeden is hypocritical bullsh!te -- and risky as well. We should wait a couple of weeks before we start blaming the victim. See if more emerge. I am surprised no one has yet asked what she was wearing.

We don't disagree on much, e, but I'm finding THIS, supposedly a progressive haven is, by far, the most willing I've seen to attack the victim. I find that shameful.

To those people: if Tweeden were your sister, or Franken was a Republican, would you be saying the same things? I doubt it.
 
 
+1 # Lisa Simeone 2017-11-19 08:27
Quoting librarian1984:
I think the Democratic leadership, and Franken, have handled this well -- but I'm appalled at this article and the commenters who are vilifying this woman. THAT is specifically who I'm criticizing -- Boardman and some commenters.

No one should be touching anyone without their permission.

Franken's behavior was certainly not as bad as Moore's but to see people attacking Tweeden is hypocritical bullsh!te -- and risky as well. We should wait a couple of weeks before we start blaming the victim. See if more emerge. I am surprised no one has yet asked what she was wearing.

We don't disagree on much, e, but I'm finding THIS, supposedly a progressive haven is, by far, the most willing I've seen to attack the victim. I find that shameful.

To those people: if Tweeden were your sister, or Franken was a Republican, would you be saying the same things? I doubt it.


I, for one, already answered the question of what I would say if Tweeden were my daughter/sister /mother/etc. in my reply yesterday to commenter 'Wise woman'.
 
 
-6 # librarian1984 2017-11-20 07:49
Sister, I hope it is not really what you would say in such a situation.

I, too, have made my thoughts known elsewhere.

This is an opportunity for liberals to walk the walk. Aren't we the ones who say we shouldn't dredge up an accuser's past or attack the victim?

imo there are numerous reasons to act with kindness, and none to attack Tweeden; when reason and kindness coincide, why not listen? Why not show our values, maybe win hearts?

Millions of voters flipped from Obama to Trump. That is how much they despise the DP. Why? How can they hate us THAT much, that HE seemed like a better choice?

Raised by Republicans and having heard endless hours of criticism, I can say with some confidence that one of their main complaints is our hypocrisy and sanctimony. So let's defy their expectations. That is always fun.

At the same time young people, who favor Sen. Sanders, watch the GOP debate the merits of having a paedophile in the Senate, deny climate change, etc. The moment is ripe to bring them to the light, but we won't do that by being judgmental hypocrites. We need to offer a genuine alternative.

We are not in an emergency situation where we need to decide the truth in 15 minutes. The truth will come out; while we wait we should be civil and follow our own principles which, to my understanding, does not include justifying others' bad behavior nor attacking victims, and I can find no other descriptor for what is happening here.
 
 
+3 # Lisa Simeone 2017-11-20 12:11
“Politeness is wasted on the dishonest, who will always take advantage of any well-intended concession.”

-American journalist Barrett Brown, persecuted, prosecuted, and jailed for speech
 
 
-1 # librarian1984 2017-11-25 10:55
So we needn't be polite. We needn't be honest. We needn't be accurate. Or kind. Or reasonable or morally consistent.

Remember the saying, Be the change you want to see?

You should really consider the world you seek to create.
 
 
+1 # LionMousePudding 2017-11-21 21:15
This is what I have been saying, to all the negative 65 votes:

"This is an opportunity for liberals to walk the walk. Aren't we the ones who say we shouldn't dredge up an accuser's past or attack the victim?"

With details.
 
 
0 # WBoardman 2017-11-27 17:37
librarian1984's call for kindness is a good starting point,
but logically leads to self-defenseles sness.

Arguably, Tweeden's Playboy stuff is not relevant (here
I disagree, given the context), but when it turns out she's
part of a Roger Stone/Sean Hannity nexus, that absolutely
needs to be known.

Maybe she was used by them. If so, she could say as much.
Perhaps at a prohibitive cost.

As to whether we are/were in "an emergency situation,"
I think that is what was intended and that was one reason
I wrote a piece based on limited preliminary knowledge.
The "kissed and groped" meme seemes designed to
evoke an immediate, negative response barring any rational
analysis. To some extent the stampede effect has worked.

To resort to a rhetorical flourish here: have we arrived at
a point where being a man means you have no right to due process of any sort?
 
 
0 # librarian1984 2017-11-28 10:02
I agree the Roger Stone tweet indicates this was a coordinated effort, but the motivation is irrelevant; it's part of what's happening but it doesn't change what Franken did.

Actually, it's just as much an indication Franken acted stupidly -- to do things that would leave him vulnerable to just this kind of attack. Any illegal or immoral behavior others know about leaves you open to attack AT ANY TIME convenient to the accuser.

There seems to be little doubt this is a Stone-Hannity maneuver -- but that doesn't mean it didn't happen. Maybe Tweeden was used. Maybe she was paid. Maybe she wants revenge. Maybe she's mentally unstable. None of that matters.

And what about the other three accusers, who are not so easily dismissed. At least two are Democrats who supported Franken. One says she went on to vote for him.

I disagree that there was any need to rush to judgment. There was a need to wait for information. Franken hasn't denied any of the accusations, and I would like to know why Franken's defenders feel that, if the multiple accusations are true, he is STILL such a great advocate for women? Do you really think, especially with a Dem governor to put forth a replacement, that MN-ans don't deserve, and can't find, a representative who will work for women without having to grope any of them?

By 'being a man' do you mean groping?!

'Due process' is investigation, not noncritical defense or attack of the accused OR the accuser.
 
 
+1 # librarian1984 2017-11-28 10:10
Disagree civility leads to defenselessness . Just as rude people may be substantively correct. Demeanor is separate from content. Many successful grifters are charming, and I know of a wonderful democratic socialists who is not popular on the Hill because he doesn't schmooze.

Demeanor may not strengthen one's case but it does influence how it is received, perceived and perhaps responded to.
 
 
+2 # economagic 2017-11-19 11:56
"No one should be touching anyone without their permission.

Franken's behavior was certainly not as bad as Moore's but to see people attacking Tweeden is hypocritical bullsh!te -- and risky as well. We should wait a couple of weeks before we start blaming the victim."

No disagreement there. My ONLY disagreements were that I hadn't seen any attacks on Tweeden aside from Boardman's, and I HAD seen what I consider over-eagerness on the part of the Democratic misleadership to condemn Franken in terms as strong or stronger than those they had used against Moore.

The first is now moot, as there has now been skepticism toward Tweeden on this page alone sufficient to support the charge of blaming the victim, and selectively at that given the politics. The second is a matter of judgment and opinion on which differences are expected and valuable except when they are claimed to be "right" or "wrong."

Unfortunately sex is considered by many men and some women to be a fair weapon to use to establish dominance (politics), in which case there is seldom a blameless party. Such actions can also have serious consequences for people and societies far beyond the direct participants. Yes, I am thinking of Bill and Monica and Newt and his gang.

Life is messy, and we are doing well to avoid making messes for others close to us, let alone making or breaking empires. I seem to recall some of that in the Mediterranean more than two thousand years ago.
 
 
-1 # librarian1984 2017-11-19 18:59
Thank you for your reasoned response. I wish the pace of censorship was quicker, as we can't carry on much longer.

I agree with you that gender seems to be a, perhaps THE, primal tribe, doesn't it? Yet oddly, it might be the ONLY time Reductio Ad Absurdum has publicly agreed with me. Perhaps that, more than the numerous down votes, tells me I might be wrong :-D

I was thinking that too, that our failure to deal honestly with Bill Clinton at the time sure had far-reaching repurcussions, didn't it? It, as much as anything, may have cost Hillary the presidency.

Ha, slipping in a classical reference, are ye? Did you ever take Latin? I can still parse agricola.
 
 
+3 # economagic 2017-11-21 20:04
Interesting that my reply noting that your comment on "the pace of censorship" (along with lingua Latina, the Clintons, and ancient Troy) was not censored . . . was censored!
 
 
+1 # librarian1984 2017-11-21 23:05
Oh I would gave liked to have read it. Consistency and reason be damned!
 
 
0 # WBoardman 2017-11-27 17:27
librarian1984 seems to accuse me of "vilifying" Leeann Tweeden.

I don't believe I did, but would be happy to consider
whatever I've written in a vilification context.

This was my harshest criticism, I'd say:
"Tweeden is the daughter of a military man, married to a military man, and has gone on a reported 16 USO shows. As we all well know, the US military has spent decades going around the world constantly doing things more offensive than sticking their tongues down people’s throats. It’s hard to find anything on record showing that Leeann Tweeden objects to napalm, depleted uranium, killing civilians, or torturing anyone (not that Franken’s all that good on military predation either)."

Perhaps I've missed it, bot no one here seems to have
picked up on the military predation aspect of this story
and of this predatory culture.

The rest of librarian1984's comments (touching, Moore's behavior, waiting to reach final judgment) are all points I make in the piece.

If Tweeden were my sister? Seriously?

And if Franken were a Republican? He's already too close.

But raising hypotheticals is more of a distraction than an argument, and not very close to relevant.
 
 
0 # librarian1984 2017-11-28 10:22
Yes, the military aspect was totally ignored, yet in itself might merit discussion. However it was difficult to figure out what point you wished to make when you say Franken isn't that good either. Also you say it's 'hard to find anything on record' about Tweeden's position on military matters. Does that mean it's not there? Do we know what her opinions are? Also, how is it relevant to the issue of sexual assault?

Why is it ridiculous to ask if you'd feel the same if Tweeden were your sister? It gets to liberals being respectful and benefit-of-the- doubting to Moore's accusers but not Franken's. We know the GOP can make much of the fact that many liberals defended Moore's accusers but immediately attacked Tweeden. So how is politicization NOT what's happening? Shouldn't EVERY accuser be respected until proven to be lying? Why are we treating Tweeden differently?

This whole thread is full of hypotheticals, most used to Tweeden's detriment.
 
 
0 # WBoardman 2017-11-28 21:32
librarian 1984 does not repeat her "vilification" charge,
so I'll take it as withdrawn.
 
 
0 # WBoardman 2017-11-28 21:53
What happened? The comment I was writing disappeared!

I was saying that librarian1984 dropped her "vilification"
charge, so I guess I answered it reasonable.

As for hypotheticals, I agree with librarian1984's comment, and some of my last comment was responding to some of those
hypothetica;ls (perhaps too playfully).

Tweeden as my sister was actually asked and answered previously.

In my piece I tried hard to be both fair and comprehensive, knowing I might ruffle all sorts of feathers
(as I said in my lead).

For my trouble, I've been more vilified by ad hominem
speculation way more extreme than anything I said about Tweeden. Not complaining, that goes with the territory. ;-)))

As for politicization, of course that's what's happening,
that's what I was noting (among other things) in my piece.

librarian1984 asks: "Shouldn't EVERY accuser be respected until proven to be lying? Why are we treating Tweeden differently?"

As to the first question, the answer is NO – each accuser should be respected on the merits of the accusation she (or he) presents. There are relevant criteria other than lying, as I tried to parse in my piece, where I didn't come close to saying Tweeden was lying, but I did question the reality of her portrayal of the photograph. Why is that not fair?

I don't know anything about what "we" are doing with Tweeden. I was trying to assess her accusation, distinguishing its clear and fuzzy aspects on their merits.
 
 
0 # librarian1984 2017-11-30 11:49
I think I said your piece, while upsetting, was milder than subsequent posts,

I disagree. EVERY accuser should be respected initially while we look for the truth. I guess we won't come to an agreement on that, and that's okay.

A fifth accuser has come out against Franken, a soldier whose breast he grabbed.

Is there a number that will convince you Franken is not the victim?

I would like to see an ethics investigation begin quickly. A years-long dragged out investigation, which is the norm, is a mistake.

I do not want to condemn Franken if these charges are bogus -- nor do I want him in the senate if he's a sleazebag.
 
 
+20 # Lisa Simeone 2017-11-18 09:46
Replying to librarian1984:

Then I'll try to explain it via a quote by harrybsun, one of the most prolific commenters at the Baltimore Sun (I live in Baltimore):

"I think it's interesting that as you crank up sensitivity to 11 and begin to classify every affront to women as psychically scarring, you start to infantilize women, to characterize them as weak and fragile. The reality, sadly, is that women go through this kind of crap all the time, and while it's about time people are starting to bitch-slap the men who do it, it's demeaning to women to pretend that they lack the strength to survive run-of-the-mill male jerks. This is another aspect of the kind of elimination of severity that accompanies sensitivity, that we lump all victims together as if they survived the same experience, when there's a big difference between a date rape and having your bum squeezed by George HW Bush as he says his favorite magician is 'David Coppafeel'."

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/nation-world/ct-franken-sex-assault-bill-20171117-story.html
 
 
-8 # librarian1984 2017-11-18 14:35
That comment would make more sense if others were speaking on Tweeden's behalf; she is speaking for herself and she says it was upsetting to her -- and I take her at her word.

To me, THAT is what's remarkable about this time -- that women (and men) actually feel safe talking about their experiences. So I guess harrybsun can argue this is infantilizing -- but there is a plausible counterargument that the Zeitgeist is actually empowering.

I've been so pleased to see that, except for Moore's kooks, people have been giving the accusers the benefit of the doubt -- right up until a conservative accused a Democrat.

Yes, women go through this crap all the time -- but it's not for you or me or harrybsun to decide what this woman's experience means to her -- how is it NOT infantilizing for harrybsun, presumably a male, to be deciding how things get lumped and who gets to be upset?

Further, a culture that says bum-squeezing and forced kisses are nothing to worry about is exactly a culture that makes date rape and more serious offences possible.

Maybe this is a political maneuver. Maybe it's a smokescreen for Moore. Maybe it's opportunistic. I don't know. Maybe it's all of those things. But I think it's certainly too early to absolve Franken, too early to demonize this woman, and I'm bummed by supposedly liberal posters taking the low road -- and geez, Boardman's always been one of my favorite writers -- yet I am nonplussed by him too.
 
 
+6 # Lisa Simeone 2017-11-19 07:23
If women are ever to be treated as equal to men, then we also have to acknowledge that women can do all the things men do -- such as lie, such as be venal, such as conflate. Women have agency. We're not pieces of putty.

As someone who has put her ass on the line for feminism all my life, I'm not stupid enough to believe that all women must be believed all the time no matter what they say, which is the mantra now. We're all human beings, and human beings are capable of the full spectrum of behaviors, from the best to the worst. So yes, it IS infantilizing to pretend that women aren't.
 
 
0 # librarian1984 2017-11-19 19:25
Ok let's not generalize, let's be specific. imo Tweeden seems credible, Franken hasn't disputed her charge, he's apologized and she's accepted and there is going to be an ethics investigation. Good.

So why are WE attacking this woman? Why do we believe Moore's accusers but LIBERALS here are saying Franken's behavior was excusable because 1) boys will be boys, 2) she was an actress, 3) she was in Playboy and 4) USO shows are bawdy, all of which I've seen here?

Franken's not doing it. The DP's not doing it. But people HERE are.

Of course women can lie, though statistics show false rape accusations are about the same as other false reporting, ~ 2%.

Is it not infantilizing to interpret her motives and experience instead of just letting her speak, and let HER decide what it meant and how she needs to deal with it?

YES, this is exactly the time to believe accusers and give them the benefit of the doubt, which has not been given them for decades. That is what is remarkable about this moment. We'll find out if she's lying. What is the rush to slam her, to prove what hypocrites we are, believing every accuser until Tweeden. Believing accusers is not a 'mantra', which you seem to sneer at. It is precisely what we need to do.

All I am going to hear from my conservative relatives this holiday is what hypocrites we are, and I'll have to agree.

btw, I don't believe women need to prove we're equal by behaving badly. What an odd notion.
 
 
+1 # Lisa Simeone 2017-11-20 10:51
Quote: "btw, I don't believe women need to prove we're equal by behaving badly. What an odd notion."

Neither do I. That's not what I said, not remotely.
 
 
-1 # RMF 2017-11-25 01:14
librarian says:

"So why are WE attacking this woman? Why do we believe Moore's accusers but LIBERALS here are saying Franken's behavior was excusable because 1) boys will be boys, 2) she was an actress, 3) she was in Playboy and 4) USO shows are bawdy, all of which I've seen here?"

BUT librarian conveniently avoids and leaves out the most critical element bearing on Tweeden's motivation -- her partisan political conduct.

Why some here think that evidence of partisan political conduct should be out of bounds is beyond me, and illogical in the extreme. To exclude that evidence can only lead to an absurd result.
 
 
-1 # librarian1984 2017-11-25 11:08
Well Franken is brilliant -- all these guys need to do is grope women from the other party so nobody believes them!

We're conflating. There is 1) the behavior and there is 2) what she does with the information and 3) why. To me WHY is the least important. If Franken did this, and that's what an investigation will find out one hopes, it doesn't matter why she revealed it. If she had no evidence you could easily dismiss her (and there seems little question you would) but she has evidence. All four of his accusers seem credible, and now that there are three others it tends to support Tweeden's story, right?

She hasn't come forward with this in years, so what's changed? The Zeitgeist. And maybe the fact he's a Democrat and it would step on the Moore story appealed to her. So what?

FRANKEN LEFT HIMSELF VULNERABLE BY HIS BEHAVIOR. Sure, men should not do such things because it's wrong -- but a more mercenary reason not to do such things is that you can be exposed at any time, at the discretion of your victims.

Those who are saying Franken is a friend to women may want to change their tune. Those saying he's intelligent might reconsider as well.

The two latest victims were Democrats. Better start working on some new bs reason we shouldn't take them seriously. Get to work!
 
 
+1 # opinionaire 2017-11-19 07:41
"Moore's kooks" ? These women were children at the time of his offenses, and you excoriate the people who are questioning the validity of the charges and timing of the Tweeden accusations against Franken as being too harsh for Tweeden?
 
 
+1 # lfeuille 2017-11-19 19:07
Yes, with children, the circumstances don't matter. It is always absolutely wrong. But with adult women, it is valid is examine all the circumstances and decide if what she says squares with your own experience of how people who have truly been victimized actually comport themselves. It is not necessary to apply a one size fits all rule that ignores all ambiguity.
 
 
+2 # librarian1984 2017-11-19 19:28
By kooks I mean the pastors who are defending him and attacking his accusers.

One even said that women are sexual predators more often than men, all part of the 'war on men'.

THOSE are the kooks. I think you could have given me the benefit of the doubt on that one.
 
 
0 # Lisa Simeone 2017-11-20 07:03
Quoting opinionaire:
"Moore's kooks" ? These women were children at the time of his offenses, and you excoriate the people who are questioning the validity of the charges and timing of the Tweeden accusations against Franken as being too harsh for Tweeden?


I think she meant the people who are defending Roy Moore, not his victims.
 
 
+1 # WBoardman 2017-11-19 23:27
Boardman appreciates librarian1984's past favors,
but he also thinks she hasn't read his piece as carefully
as he thinks he wrote it.

He explicitly acknowledged that the assessment was early and
that further evidence could change it.

As it turns out (so far) forther evidence HAS changed it, but
unfavorably for Tweeden. For example, evidence of Tweeden's
own apparent bum-squeezing and forced kissing.

Boardman thinks maybe his noting of uncomfortable facts
are sometimes misconstrued as judgments.

The judgments he thinks ha actually made was that the
Franken French kiss was an actionable offense and that
an ethics committee investigation with possible censure
would be a fair enough outcome.

Based on what we know NOW.

Which isn't very much.

So, yes, to that extent I HAVE rushed to judgment on
the facts in evidence, with the disclaimer that other facts could
lead to some other judgment.

What's wrong with that?
 
 
0 # librarian1984 2017-11-20 17:11
Thanks for the reply. What's wrong with a rush to judgment? It's unnecessary and it's precisely what should not be happening because a) these kind of cases unfold over time as more victims (may) appear, and b) we might destroy the 'safe space' that is unique to this moment.

I am old but do not remember ever seeing this before, giving accusers the benefit of the doubt.

Franken and Tweeden seem to be dealing with this maturely and civilly, so why are WE blaming the victim -- against everything we say we believe in -- before we have more information?

Finally, there's the optics -- we believe everyone until they accuse someone we like.

Mr. Boardman, I admire your writing and the values you have so often shown. That's why this article from you really disappointed me. I think people's gender identity and experiences must trump other considerations, because I think you're better than this article would suggest.
 
 
0 # WBoardman 2017-11-27 18:00
Thank you, librarian1984, for the kind words.

But I still believe you've misread my article, where I've tried
to be as fair and comprehensive as I could be on Day 2 of a
developing story.

My "rush to judgment" was more a rush to assessment or
evaluation, a preliminary review tantamount to determining
probable cause. I did NOT rush to any final judgment,
and said so in the piece.

My text is the final test, so feel free to cite my actual flaws.

Perhaps the difference in our perspectives derives more from
the angle of vision. You seem concerned primarily with
the defense of women from predation. And I agree.

But the "believe the victim" mantra can be abused by the
unscrupulous. That is quite possibly part of what is happening
with the Franken case. So MY primary concern in this story
is to resist the destruction of a culture and politics that
has been under relentless assault for decades. Surely no one thinks the people of the Stone/Hannuty nexus will bring
about a country that is a better place for women, do they?
 
 
+1 # librarian1984 2017-11-28 10:52
I agree 'believe the victim' can be abused but we can: believe them, disbelieve them, believe them depending on who they accuse, or treat them with respect until we have proof.

I, too, feel misunderstood. You're correct my default goes to the accuser, but I've stated not that I believe her but that we should respect her, and look for the truth before assigning guilt or innocence to the accuser or the accused.

I was offended by your article but have to admit that, relative to subsequent comments, it was more measured.

Of course Hannity is worse for women, but can we say unequivocally that Franken is GOOD? Can't we find someone who talks the talk AND walks the walk?

Anti-gay legislators have proven to be gay, pro-child advocates have been proved to be molestors, and feminist men have turned out to be abusers. IF Franken is groping women, how is that okay, and how can we continue to say he is PRO women? Or do we just mean he's pro certain women, even most women, and we're willing to let the others suffer? That is unacceptable.

His defense by women colleagues is powerful and persuasive but his press conference was lame.

At what point would Franken's defenders drop that support? He benefits from comparison to Moore because what he did was not as bad -- but it's still NOT GOOD, hardly worthy of a senator and, with three more accusers, suspect.

This became a distraction because we let it. Divide and conquer never seems to fail.
 
 
0 # WBoardman 2017-11-28 22:05
thank you librarian1984 for your temperance.

As I said in my piece, things could change with further developments. Now those developments are upon us and
my position is now that same as what I understand yours to be: let's wait and see.

The funny thing in all this (to me anyway) is that I've never been a big Franken fan. His politics seemed wishy-washy to me in his Air America days and he hasn't backboned up since. Lame press conference, indeed! On the other hand, probably a lameness required for any hope of political survival.

My hope (desperate, perhaps) is that this trial by fire might give Franken clearer focus on important values (women, war and peace) and maybe some courage to stand up for them. I said it was a HOPE!

Meanwhile, we wait and see. So far we know that at least some of what he did was wrong. We also know (at the moment) that what he's done – believing all of it – does not rise to the level of more serious sex offenders holding higher office.

Another hope if that, if you haven't already re-read my piece, when you do your reaction will be less offended. ;-)))
 
 
0 # librarian1984 2017-11-30 11:59
lol, I agree. I have never been a big fan of Franken, both for his whimpy responses to W's abuses while at Air America and for his role as a superdelegate, voting against the wishes of MNans.

I tried to be more skeptical because I knew I didn't care for him much -- but that battled with his behavior confirming my bias.

I think there is a chance he COULD become a better senator, a better advocate for women, because of this but, like you, I didn't find his press conference reassuring. Politically expedient, perhaps, but not reassuring. Unlike Hillary I don't think people are irredeemable -- but honesty is required for redemption, and so far .. well, ultimately we are in agreement .... let's give it time.

I did reread your piece. That's when I realized your comments were more reasonable than the responses to it -- but Tweeden, to my mind, did not deserve to be attacked by liberals and, as more accusers (may) emerge, do we give her accusation more credence?

Regards.
 
 
+2 # LionMousePudding 2017-11-21 21:22
It is not the "rush to judgment" that I have a problem with.

It is the WAY you decided to attack her.

Her political story IS cause to question her honesty!!

Her SEXUALITY and ANYTHING before or after this, in her life, are NOT!!!

That is a nasty, misogynist character attack, that scares women like me.

Because it means you will find it fine to take something from me without permission once you see some photo of me doing something even vaguely sexual.

Please use this time to think about your own character and the way you see women. Please (there is a second) rethink your method of attack in your third article.

Or take the time to read some feminist descriptions the rape culture and how you are supporting it.
 
 
+2 # lfeuille 2017-11-19 19:01
Yes, thanks for bringing up the point of infantilizing women. It's just so paternalistic.
 
 
+1 # RMF 2017-11-20 16:29
librarian -- you say those defending Franken affirm that "Liberal-on-con servative crime is a-okay!"

Please explain what, in your view, the underlying "crime" may be?

1. Is the (unnamed) crime simply a consequence of "the tongue," or is there more? But also explain how Tweeden's theatrical obligations relate to her later allegations of being wronged, while rehearsing and performing a kiss included in a theatrical performance.

Extrapolating, it's as if you are saying that an actor may accept the role of Desdemona, but then object when it comes to kissing someone of another race.

This is no trivial distinction, and your interpretation appears contrary to a more conventional reading of legal norms governing theatrical performance contracts.

2. Or is it the photo that gives rise to "the crime?" But taking Tweeden at her word it's hard to see how that is "criminal" in nature. Given that Tweeden claims to have been asleep how could she have been conscious to the photo-shoot, or felt any fear over any unwanted touching (which in any event did not occur, as the photo clearly shows.)

It seems all that is left is post-photo embarrassment, or perhaps that she objects to creation of an unflattering photographic image without her permission. A claim which seems unwarranted, since she was on a USO tour, a tour that would be documented photographically.

In any event, no matter your theory on the photograph, it seems a far cry from sexual assault or harassment.
 
 
-2 # librarian1984 2017-11-21 18:19
You're right .. I should have said 'liberal-on-con servative bad behavior'. I don't think what he did was a crime, though I do find it troubling. It creeps me out if he acts that way and I wouldn't leave him alone with my daughters.

Really, quit making excuses for this. It makes you look bad. Just let it unfold, as these cases do. You're making assumptions and guesses but the facts will come out. I don't how to say that more clearly. What is the rush to judgment?

Your 'extrapolation' , ie your continued habit of putting words in my mouth, makes discussion with you difficult; debate requires all parties to act in good faith.

She says he kept bugging her to ADD the kiss and when she finally agreed he started pestering her to practice. That is a different story. More importantly, right now it is guesswork.

I believe Tweeden is mis-stating that the picture is proof of groping but I've only seen her original statement. I don't know if she still says so, or has more pictures.

She said the photographer gave everyone a disc of pictures from the trip and it's not clear when she first saw it. I don't know, and neither do you. I'm willing to wait for information. I can't believe that's controversial.

If, eventually, it is only post-photo embarrassment, then that is that. She and Franken are both behaving well. But what if ten more women come out?

All I'm saying is we should wait, not condemn either one. What could be wrong with that?
 
 
0 # WBoardman 2017-11-27 18:14
librarian1984 gets some facts wrong:

"She says he kept bugging her to ADD the kiss and when she finally agreed he started pestering her to practice."

This is NOT accurate. Look at her own words quoted at length
neat the top of my article.

The kiss was in the script from the beginning. She does not say she asked him to take it out. She does not say they discussed how to perform it. What she describes is a pretty unprofessional approach to the skit, and that's more on Franken than her. Competent professionals decide what they're going to do before they start doing it.

As to the photograp, librarian1984 says: "it's not clear when she first saw it. I don't know, and neither do you."

Well, it IS clear when Leeann SAYS she first saw it. That's in the article in her own words. She saw it well after the fact, when the trip was over and she looked at the CD.

Leeann Tweeden says NOTHING about there being any other offending pictures.

That piece of disinformation came from Donald Trump.
 
 
+1 # librarian1984 2017-11-28 11:08
And this is why I think we should have waited for information, because there are inconsistencies that need to be resolved.

Further reading shows that Tweeden did say she saw the pictures shortly after getting home, so that is clearer.

In the first interview I saw, not a written statement, Tweeden said Franken pestered her to ADD the kiss. She went on about it and it would change the story of Franken's behavior, so there is an inconsistency that an investigation would clarify.

I know Trump hinted at more pictures but that doesn't make it false. What kind of position do liberals put themselves in if we go all in supporting Franken and then Tweeden releases WORSE pictures, that show actual touching? The Novi article says liberals walked right in to a trap. How do we know the trap is fully sprung?

WaPo was handed a story by a woman saying Moore drove her to get an abortion after he impregnated her. They didn't fall for it. Many conservative operatives are willing to lie and cheat, but they're not stupid. Our acting with respect to ALL accusers until they're proved or disproved HELPS US.

It helps us not get taken in by a trap. It helps us keep the #MeToo Zeitgeist alive. It helps us not be hypocritical.
 
 
0 # WBoardman 2017-11-28 22:16
librarian1984 makes reasonable points,
but doesn't give enough weight to the actual context:
the right was off and running with the Tweeden story
even before it was out.

Waiting for information when you're under attack tends
to be a little suicidal.

My piece was an effort at proportional pushback.
So far it is factually unchallenged,
albeit the perception of its tone varies. ;-)))

As for WaPo – that's no miracle, that just good journalism.

And now that you mention WaPo, what of good journalism
techniques had been applied to the Tweeden story? We
can only speculate as to the outcome. WaPo did not settle
for the "believe the accuser" meme. WQaPo treated the accuser with respect AND tried to corroborate her story.

Tweeden faced no such professionalism .

So we can know with absolute certainty that WaPo would
not have done as KABC did – run a story from the single
point of view of an aggrieved party.

Due diligence matters.
 
 
0 # librarian1984 2017-11-30 12:02
WaPo, from the film snippet I saw, checked her story but treated her respectfully. I think they handled it beautifully.

Part of our agenda should be to end abuse, but we could also win hearts and minds if we handle it well. Of course I say that but Moore supporters are blaming WaPo even though they did a good job.
 
 
+1 # LionMousePudding 2017-11-21 21:24
The crime is the use of a woman's past behavior to discredit her claim of harassment.
 
 
-1 # RMF 2017-11-25 01:03
LMP -- you have it completely wrong!

Her past behavior was not being attacked in any way whatsoever (as for example in the hypothetical case of a woman with checkered past, or of a particular social or economic class, being unfairly attacked, with the purpose of impeaching her credibility, on the basis of that very same background.)

This is not the case with Tweeden -- she joined a partisan effort to politically weaken Obama and the Dems (birtherism) along with other partisan FOX projects, involving Hannity etc.

To object to a claim of abuse by reference to partisan political conduct of the accuser is in no way attacking the claimant on the basis of social background, lifestyle, or personal behavior, pre-dating the claim of abuse.

This is a partisan dispute, in which one side (FOX/GOP/Tweede n) is using Tweeden's claim as a partisan political weapon.

Moreover, Tweeden joined a USO tour as a professional member of the troupe -- thus, the conduct of those performances as they WERE ORIGINALLY INTENDED AND SCRIPTED cannot post-hoc be seen to constitute abuse.

It may be that the long-standing comedic blueprint for USO tours (e.g., dating back to the Bob Hope tours) is outdated, obsolete, for reasons including but not limited to a military that more-broadly relies on both genders. But that question is OUSIDE THE SCOPE of the present Tweeden controversy.
 
 
-2 # librarian1984 2017-11-25 11:20
It's being used all over the place, including here! Read the posts. What do you think we're upset about?

Franken joined the USO as a professional too. How is HIS behavior professional?

This is a groping incident. It transcends politics. Or should. If he did this it doesn't matter what her politics are or when or why she decided to reveal it, whether it's the Zeitgeist sweetened by politics or someting else. He left himself open to this because he couldn't control himself. Because he WOULDN'T control himself.

Franken insisted repeatedly that they ADD the kiss, according to Tweeden.

Lots of things are outside the scope of the controversy and you seem to, rather arbitrarily (and conveniently, allow some but not others.
 
 
0 # WBoardman 2017-11-28 22:21
librarian1984 is still wrong about ADDING THE KISS

read Tweeden's piece linked to in my piece.
The kiss was always in the skit, Franken wrote it in,
Tweeden doesn't say she asked him to take it oout,
she says she assumed she could turn her head or cover
her mouth, which she apparently did after that nasty rehearsal.

Compare what I wrote and what Tweeden wrote and
show where I misrepresented her.
 
 
0 # librarian1984 2017-11-30 12:12
I see your point about ADDing the kiss. I saw a live interview where I thought she said he added the kiss. Rereading the linked article, perhaps she was saying he had added the skit, which included a kiss?

In the article she says she had expected to emcee, and did not expect to be in a skit, so he DID add the skit with the kiss.

I would really like this to be cleared up so we can focus on this horrible tax bill.
 
 
+2 # LionMousePudding 2017-11-21 21:08
I feel exactly the same way. Kind of scared. This makes me wonder how safe I am at any political event with Progressives, where I feel I have a right to be safe.
 
 
+1 # librarian1984 2017-11-22 20:39
I have been looking around. This same thing is happening in other places. Let me put it this way: I think you'd be safe at a Sanders rally.
 
 
+25 # swissms 2017-11-18 07:39
What I worry about is 1) republicans running with this, to deflect from the heinous deeds of other republicans, with the willing participation of a public simply out for blood and sensation, and 2) the mistake of lumping bad boy behavior with predation and coercion. If we equalize these behaviors, it will take the wind out of the sail of this important new movement to uncover a truly nasty situation.
 
 
-5 # librarian1984 2017-11-18 14:40
That is my worry too, that the GOP will use this to absolve their own people or distract from Moore, etc -- but Franken and the Democrats have handled this a million times better than the Republicans.

As to your second point yes, behaviors may not be equal, but that does not mean the LOTE is perfectly okay, which some here seem to be saying.
 
 
+1 # Lisa Simeone 2017-11-19 07:28
What is "LOTE"?
 
 
+2 # Lisa Simeone 2017-11-19 07:26
Quoting swissms:
What I worry about is 1) republicans running with this, to deflect from the heinous deeds of other republicans, with the willing participation of a public simply out for blood and sensation, and 2) the mistake of lumping bad boy behavior with predation and coercion. If we equalize these behaviors, it will take the wind out of the sail of this important new movement to uncover a truly nasty situation.


They're already doing it. They've been doing it from the get-go, from the first reports out of Tweeden. And Franken's cringe-inducing , groveling apology -- which in this current atmosphere he had to do -- is feeding into the frenzy. Now we'll be faced with weeks if not months of further groveling and self-flagellati on, especially when this so-called "ethics" investigation gets underway.
 
 
+5 # DongiC 2017-11-18 14:21
Franken was foolish, for sure. He made a mistake for which he apologized and which Tweeden accepted. But, the former SNL starlet is not without blemishes especially the visit to Hannity and her posing in the nude in "Playboy" if in fact she did. Comparing Franken to Moore or Trump is simply far fetched.

Another example of what passes for reason in the twisted GOP mindset. There is moral reativity there where the Republicans stand for everything good and the Democrats represent everything evil and where when the former does something wrong it is not so bad and cannot match what the latter does. Once again words as weapons.
 
 
+10 # Jazzbo 2017-11-18 14:23
Lisa Simeone has it absolutely right.
1)Tweeden was not "groped," the photo does not show that: it shows Franken getting an infantile kick from pretending to grope her.
2) Although the kiss was also juvenile and stupid, it is small peanuts compared to Roy Moore's repeated sexual harassment of teenagers, not to mention to the serial "pussy" grabbing that Trump has bragged about on tape.
 
 
-6 # librarian1984 2017-11-19 10:38
LOTE sexual assault. Fascinating.
 
 
+2 # Lisa Simeone 2017-11-20 07:38
Again, what is "LOTE"?
 
 
+2 # LionMousePudding 2017-11-21 21:26
Lesser Of Two Evils. How we have to vote these days. We vote against the one who is worse. There is not one who is better.
 
 
+8 # fflintstone 2017-11-18 16:36
I see a likelihood that this whole thing is a fabrication. Am I fooling myself because I like Al Franken?
1. The photo may be in bad taste but does not show someone wielding their power over someone less powerful. Can you grope someone through a Kevlar flak jacket?
2. Roger Stone, D. Trump's buddy and alleged conduit between Trump campaign and Wikileaks new of Ms. Tweeden's accusations a day and a half before they were made public.
 
 
+1 # Jaax88 2017-11-19 14:28
#fflintston wrote "does not show someone wielding their power over someone less powerful." Of course not, the "lady" was asleep. Given Hannity was in the foreground of the Leeeann claims or maybe background there is no reason not to think there was GOP and/or FoxLies (Hannity) dirty tricks at play in blowing up Franken's singular failure to respect Leeman's person into a major nothingburger.
 
 
+1 # librarian1984 2017-11-18 17:20
May I say this had all the hallmarks of a great discussion brewing, but of course it is moving off the page before replies to replies appear.

Imagine, new commenters, what it was like when you wrote a comment and it appeared immediately. It was awesome .. and there were some epic discussions .. sometimes in real time. now THAT was fun!

#Sad
 
 
+5 # chapdrum 2017-11-19 02:15
Tweeden has a right-wing radio talk show. Speaks for itself.
 
 
+5 # DocMary 2017-11-19 17:53
What we need to talk about is different situations, and differences in repercussions.

I’ve been listening to (mostly) young women on TV saying Franken should leave the Senate. Because everything is sexual assault.

You have to be able to distinguish between what Moore did to a 14-year-old, what he did to a woman in her 20s, and what Franken did.

And you have to differentiate between sexual misconduct, sexual assault, exposure (I had no idea it was that common!) and rape.

Because if you do not - if what Al Franken did means having to leave the Senate, then nobody is going to come out and what we really need is for people to come out and TALK about sexual harassment.

My late husband was a college sports referee. He said that if you instituted too draconian a penalty, nobody will ever call the foul. The same is true here.

There is no simple solution. If we want this moment to last (trust me - w’ve had this conversation before) you have to be clear about what conduct gets what penalty.

And the best way to reduce the amount of sexual misconduct in offices is for more diversification at the top, including the Senate. It has helped greatly in universities that students have female professors they can go to with these issues.

PS - Moore’s dallying with underage and teenage women, especially against their wishes, and his refusal to admit, show remorse, or apologize, should get him dumped from the Senate. Don’t get me started on Trump.
 
 
0 # WBoardman 2017-11-27 18:21
Thank you, Doc Mary, for a good diagnosis and prescription. ;-)))
 
 
+3 # economagic 2017-11-19 20:02
Big takeaway on this thread: The concept of moral ambiguity--or of ambiguity, paradox, and uncertainty in general--is still lost on most Americans. Aristotle taught more than 2300 years ago that none of those exist, only yes or no, true or false, black or white, either this or that--even though people not that far to the east of him had recognized all of those relations and more hundreds of years before. Most of us in the West are still stuck in that incomplete mode of thought.
 
 
+1 # Lisa Simeone 2017-11-20 10:53
Quoting economagic:
Big takeaway on this thread: The concept of moral ambiguity--or of ambiguity, paradox, and uncertainty in general--is still lost on most Americans. Aristotle taught more than 2300 years ago that none of those exist, only yes or no, true or false, black or white, either this or that--even though people not that far to the east of him had recognized all of those relations and more hundreds of years before. Most of us in the West are still stuck in that incomplete mode of thought.

BRAVO!!
 
 
0 # economagic 2017-11-23 22:15
Thanks! Perhaps there is some life in "critical" thinking even now.
 
 
+6 # Sir Morien 2017-11-20 22:43
No time to read ALL of the comments; sorry. Reading WMB's piece, however, struck me in several dimensions. First, Franken's evolving apologies were--ultimatel y--admirable acceptance of his impropriety. Secondly, remove the politics and ideology and there's something vital about how we've all lost qualitative degrees of our humanity by sexual oppression in much the same way that racism diminishes us all. Next, there's a need for clean language and clear analysis in making the most meaning of it all.

It's no accident that powerful, privileged, famous men are being "outed" for their inappropriate & often violent violations of women on the basis of physical characteristics . Women using their sexuality to achieve social ends (whether prostitution or political fame) exist within a broad context of less social status and power. Men need not behave in ways about our bodies because of the privileges & power of simply being men!

There are differences between sexual predators, emotionally immature jerks, & totally sexist buttholes. For women, however, the impact is violent in varying dimensions, but all are violations! To introduce polemics prior to acknowledging this is to make the madness more murky &, possibly, only adding to a sense of violation being expressed in many comments.

It would be interesting to know the genders of posters who are defending the behaviors already affirmed as appropriate for apology.
Self-hatred is an epiphenomenon of sexism as well as racism.
 
 
+2 # DongiC 2017-11-21 14:07
What a comment. Kind of magnificent. Your analysis of the sexual revolution presently going on is perspicacious, indeed. Sir, with all due respect, what is your profession? Are you, perhaps, a psychiatrist or a quantum physicist? Whatever it is you are most welcome here at RSN.
 
 
+1 # LionMousePudding 2017-11-21 21:45
So let's see if I can get fewer than 65 negatives.

I believe that Tweeden's political affiliations including connection to O'Reilly casts some doubt on Tweeden. She does have the potential for another motive.

I think it is exceedingly likely that it was due to political influence that she stated he was "groping" rather than "pretending to touch." That was inflammatory and false. There is no reason to suspect anything untoward followed that photo at all. Why would he photograph an indiscretion?

I believe that this is a tragedy as he is a Progressive who has often been a very good Senator. And that he may be replaced with a Republican. These are terrible things. If the accusation is true, I am saddened, disappointed not only in him as the man I have seen him as, but that it is our Senator.

.. what else did commenters assume I meant the worst of because I disagreed with how Boardman made his argument?

Oh, also that it is a crying shame that Democrats jumped up to throw him under the bus, but we know why. He is a Progressive, often voting against the corporate way.


I do believe that Franken should give a better apology and then go on. His apology "I don't remember it that way" should have included "I am horrified if I did that." For optics and to show that he is serious. Not guilty; but feels the actions would have been poor if they were true.

Now is it ok for me to be against the misogynist way Boardman chooses to approach this?
 
 
+1 # librarian1984 2017-11-28 11:17
Mr. Boardman, I was going to take a quick look at this article to see if there were any new comments -- and now I've been here much of the morning!

Now it's time to call my senators about this obscene wealth redistribution the GOP calls a tax plan!

Appreciate the discussion -- and all the fine articles you write.
 
 
+1 # librarian1984 2017-11-28 11:36
Here is another good article, from the Baltimore Sun, about media and Democrats and honesty in the face of this story:

http://www.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/tv/z-on-tv-blog/bs-fe-zontv-harassment-media-role-20171121-story.html
 
 
+2 # WBoardman 2017-11-28 22:36
Good piece, librarian1984

the heart of it:
"But we in the media must not only keep up, we need to stay strong, focused and intellectually honest even as we report from within the eye of this cultural storm and revolutionary moment. This is history in the making, and we need to help create a climate in which victims feel their testimony will be heard and they will not be punished for speaking truth about powerful men."

That last sentence needs to be carefully read for its nuance, that "speaking the truth" is important.

Franken is the only harasser I've written about in detail, not to defend him – I make that clear in the piece – but because the current climate, god as it is for women in general, also offers a terrible opportunity for opportunists and liars.

The piece librarian1984 links to has a complex, somewhat troubling (to me) section where Mika Brzenski takes on Hillary Clinton for attacking Donald Trump. Brzenski essentially says Hillary has no right to speak up until Bill Clinton apologizes. The sentiment is understandable and appealing – but is it really fair? Still pondering that....

Lord knows the Clintons contributed more tan their fair share to the oppression of women.

Maybe Hillary and Franken could go on a mea culpa
dog and pony show together. ;-)))
 

THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.

RSNRSN