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OPINION

Al Franken Is 'Sick,' All Right

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

Sen. Al Franken has a new book out humbly titled "Al Franken: Giant of the Senate." On that same level of attempted humor, his biography states he received "his doctorate in right-wing megalomania studies from Trump University." Stay classy, Sen. Franken.

Sycophantic press profiles of Franken express admiration for the "former comedian" as if the satire stopped. Just two months ago, the Washington Post gushed: "the former comedian and satirist may be having a breakout moment as a political star. ... The Minnesota senator spent the last eight years proving that he's good enough, smart enough, and doggone it, people like him."

The Democrats who support the Post swoon at Franken's feet, but if you're conservative, you can see he's a serious jerk. On May 24, the Post puffed him again in the style section gossip column under the headline "Al Franken is back to writing jokes with this sick burn on Ted Cruz."

So what was this "sick burn," this masterful insult? Franken wrote about how before the Gridiron comedy dinner in Washington, D.C., Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., asked Sen. Ted Cruz to listen to her Cruz-bashing joke that played off the 2013 Carnival "poop cruise" story about the ship with sewage seeping into the halls. Klobuchar joked: "When most people think of a difficult cruise, they think of Carnival. But we Democrats in the Senate think of Ted." Franken burst in on this conversation with his own rewrite. He said: "When most people think of a cruise that's full of s***, they think of Carnival. But we think of Ted." Cruz didn't smile.

The Post wrote: "Now that's a burn." This is the same newspaper that cartooned Cruz's young children as organ grinder monkeys, so we guess it can relate to Franken.

Franken devotes a whole chapter of his book to running down Cruz, who told Politico: "Al is trying to sell books, and apparently he's decided that being obnoxious and insulting me is good for causing liberals to buy his books. I wish him all the best." By contrast, Franken reportedly wrote in the chapter that he considers Cruz "singularly dishonest" and "exceptionally smarmy." The gentleman from Minnesota told USA Today's Susan Page, "You have to understand that I like Ted Cruz probably more than my colleagues like Ted Cruz, and I hate Ted Cruz."

Why be Franken's friend? Page relayed that he became pals with then-Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Jeff Sessions and their wives became friends. But when Sessions was nominated for attorney general, Franken told Page, "When my job meant doing everything in my power to deny my friend this important position, I was relieved there was so much to demonize him for."

Cruz and Sessions are demonized by the "objective" national press for pressing their constitutional conservative agenda. But Franken can be as vicious as he wants and supplicants like Page write sentences like this: "His relish for debate and his full-throated liberalism is a good fit with the rising anti-Trump energy among Democrats on the left."

This is why conservatives roll their eyes when liberal journalists lecture about the need for civility. They adore Franken's bilious nastiness as "full-throated liberalism" but freak out when someone uses Barack Obama's middle name. Their judgment of civility is as well-honed as their judgment of "news." It's all about whose ox is being gored.

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