Left-wing "comedian" Al Franken got tripped up by some big fat lies this week. He's sorry he got caught, but smugly silent about making fun of countless American kids who have taken abstinence vows.
Thanks to Court TV's Smoking Gun Web site (www.thesmokinggun.com), we now know that the Saturday Night Live leftover abused his position as an "academic fellow" (now that's funny) at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government's Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy in a puerile attempt to trick Attorney General John Ashcroft into publicly sharing his personal experience with abstinence.
Franken urged Ashcroft to share his abstinence story for "a book about abstinence programs in our public schools entitled, 'Savin' It!'" (lie). He assured Ashcroft that the book would document how the Bush administration is "setting the right example for America's youth" (lie). And he breezily informed Ashcroft that he had already "received wonderful testimonies from HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson, William J. Bennett, White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, Senator Rick Santorum, and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice" (lie, lie, lie, lie, lie).
Franken sent the bogus solicitation to Ashcroft on Harvard's letterhead earlier this summer, without the Shorenstein Center's knowledge or approval. A few weeks later, Franken sent an apology to Ashcroft. In truth, Franken confessed, he deliberately deceived Ashcroft while trying to gather material for his "satirical" anti-conservative book being rushed to print this week, "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right". Franken sheepishly informed Ashcroft that the book will contain "only one or two chapters dealing with abstinence-only education."
"My biggest regret is sending the letter on Shorenstein Center stationery," Franken sniveled. "I am very embarrassed to have put them in this awkward and difficult position, and I ask you not to hold it against the Center, the Kennedy School, or Harvard in general."
So Franken is remorseful about offending his high-minded liberal benefactors at Harvard, who supported his book "research" under the guise of "bridging the gap between journalists and scholars" and "helping the press improve its role in democracy." But he has nothing to say about thoughtlessly ridiculing a growing movement that promotes self-restraint, strong morals, fidelity and good health.