Will Democrats give Al Franken a pass to preserve the double standard that is otherwise applied in their favor or cut him loose in search of bigger game? At the moment it is not clear. They are not of one mind.
Hillary Clinton herself has spoken up on Franken’s behalf: “Look at the contrast between Al Franken, accepting responsibility, apologizing, and Roy Moore and Donald Trump who have done neither. [That] is the kind of accountability I’m talking about.”
Thus spoke the author of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy concoction to defend Bill Clinton in the matter of Monica Lewinksy. Bill Clinton also “accepted responsibility” and “apologized,” but not until Monica’s blue dress gave him no alternative. Then the Democrats and their media friends stepped up to save him because, well, he served their interests in office. Like Bill Clinton, Franken “apologized” because he couldn’t contradict definitive proof of his misconduct. Indeed, as Byron York points out, Franken has accepted no responsibility beyond what the photograph depicts.
Howard Fineman shows that it’s not just Hillary Clinton speaking up for Franken as in the olden days. Now Fineman is global editorial director of the AOL Huffington Post and analyst for NBC/MSNBC vouching for his good friend Al Franken; then he was a bigwig at Newsweek — here I am writing from memory — faithfully defending Bill Clinton. Fineman is quoted to weird effect in a 1999 Washington Post column by Howard Kurtz: “The whole Clinton story is going to turn into the Alger Hiss case. Partisans will be arguing over the years who was really guilty, did Ken Starr overstep his bounds, who among the Republicans screwed up getting Clinton.” Fineman did not mean that both Clinton and Hiss were left-wing liars.
In the tweet below Fineman reverts to classic form. According to Fineman, Franken is a good guy and “lifelong champion of women’s rights.” He is not to be confused with unnamed others. Franken is certainly a left-wing politician after Fineman’s heart. Fineman to the contrary notwithstanding, however, Franken is a jerk who showed his true colors for all to see in the case of Leeann Tweeden.
I've watched @alfranken unfairly bracketed w/ accused serial sexual predators. He & I've been family friends for decades. As a comic, he could be crude. He went too far (& apologized). BUT: he's NOT predatory, adores his wife & family & is a lifelong champion of women's rights.
— Howard Fineman (@howardfineman) November 18, 2017