Senator Al Franken (D-MN) appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” with Jake Tapper on Sunday. The former comedy writing says he wasn’t kidding when he questioned President Trump’s mental state.
I can tell you that I was one of many witnesses to an Al Franken meltdown that had hundreds of people questioning his mental state.
In June of 2005, Air America talk host Al Franken was being presented with the Freedom of Speech Award at a Friday night cocktail party presented by Talkers Magazine, the bible of the Talk Radio industry. The cocktail party was the kick-off of a weekend of seminar presentations and it was a sponsored event.
Other recipients of the award have included Rush Limbaugh, G. Gordon Liddy, Thom Hartmann, Michael Savage, Mark Levine, Joe Madison and others.
Al Franken was asked to give an acceptance speech and to keep it under 10 minutes. The speech was supposed to be about gratitude. That is, how grateful and appreciative he was to be the recipient of such a prestigious recognition. Instead he launched into a tirade against conservative talk show hosts and began naming them one at a time. Part of his rant focused on the Iraq War.
When he passed the 15-minute point, Talkers Magazine founder and host of the annual event Michael Harrison asked Franken to “wrap it up.” Harrison and Franken went back and forth. Franken maintained it was his award and his time to say what he wanted to say and he planned to take all the time needed to express himself. He proclaimed, “It’s freedom of speech.” As the room began to empty, Harrison told Franken, “It’s not the freedom to kill everybody’s evening.”
The room continued to empty. Harrison took to the microphone and asked Franken to end his speech. At that point, Al Franken began to cry. He continued his tirade through his crocodile tears and concluded only when half the room had vacated.
While there were a few who defended Franken, most people were using the words “obnoxious,” “arrogant,” “cry-baby,” and “ugly outburst” to describe his meltdown. There were some who actually questioned his mental state saying they had never seen anything quite like this.
Whether in person or via videotape, all other recipients of the Freedom of Speech award spoke words of gratitude and appreciation. Only Al Franken gave us reason to wonder whether or not he had a mental issue. Questioning President Trump’s mental state, one might say was like the pot calling the kettle black.