My decision to write a column recommending “Do As I Say (Not As I Do): Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy,” by Peter Schweizer was easy. I haven’t had so much fun reading a political book in ages. But my decision to focus on my favorite chapter – the one lambasting Al Franken – was a bit risky. Despite my extensive firearms collection, I’m really afraid of Al Franken.
The reason for my fear of Al Franken – which my team of psychiatrists dubbed Franken-phobia – began when Franken challenged Rich Lowry to a fistfight in 2003. Those who consider this to be Franken’s most tasteless moment have forgotten the time he made a joke about the menstrual cycle of one of Newt Gingrich’s daughters.
These instances, along with many others in Schweizer’s book, demonstrate the moral authority and credibility Franken has earned when he admonishes conservatives for being “extremely mean and nasty” and when he says we must “be civil to each other.”
But there is a rational explanation for the apparent hypocrisy of Al Franken. In order to understand it, you have to listen to Al Franken’s “nuanced” explanation of the difference between “unfair mean” and “fair mean” jokes. Here’s an example of a “fair mean” joke made by Franken himself:
“I just don’t like homosexuals. If you ask me, they’re all homosexuals in the Pudding. Hey, I was glad when that Pudding homosexual got killed in Philadelphia.”
For those who don’t get this “fair mean” joke, Franken is attacking Harvard’s Hasty Pudding Club, which is a humorous dramatic society – one that never invited Franken to join while he was at Harvard. So, naturally, when you are snubbed by an organization, it is “fair” to rejoice when one of its members is murdered. This is especially true if the person murdered is gay and the person snubbed is liberal.
Of course, Franken has to be careful after the publication of this new book showing his hypocrisy and mean-spiritedness. After calling Rush Limbaugh “fat” 37 times on a single page of the book "Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot", he said he was justified because Rush himself was so “mean” – presumably “unfair mean.” Now that we see this “meaner” side of Franken, there may be attacks on him that focus on physical appearance rather than ideas.