After a news anchor accused Sen. Al Franken (D-Minnesota) of sexually assaulting her in 2006, some of those in the press have reacted rather bizarrely. Here’s a list of the most insane responses yet.
MSNBC’s coverage of the photo of Franken leaning in to grab Leeann Tweeden’s breasts without her consent as she sleeps was, shall we say, interesting. Kasie Hunt described the incident as Franken “mock groping” Tweeden. Watch.
MSNBC's Kasie Hunt claims Franken was "mock-groping," not "groping" — not how Leeann Tweeden described it. pic.twitter.com/Si9evlh6QR
— Rich Noyes (@RichNoyes) November 16, 2017
Apparently that’s because, in MSNBC’s mind, the intention behind the unwanted grope matters.
Can someone please explain to me what "mock groping" is? Do people get "mock assaulted?" "Mock harassed"? Have you all truly lost your minds?
— Brielle Ann (@brielleann) November 16, 2017
He’s Good At Saying Sorry
MSNBC’s Joy Reid gave Franken a pass because his apology seemed sincere.
This is, I have to say, a welcome and very different response to these kinds of allegations. Men rethinking what they have for so long presumed they could get away with is a start. https://t.co/obiCgB28bb
— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) November 16, 2017
An apology doesn’t change what he chose to do.
If Al Franken Gets Expelled, A Lot Of Other Creepy Democrats Will Have To Go, Too
Kate Harding, a feminist who studies rape culture, wrote over at The Washington Post that expelling Franken from his Senate seat over these allegations would be a bad idea because he’s not the only pervert in the Democratic Party. Giving Franken the boot for his misdeeds would likely mean losing a lot of other Democrats too. And in Harding’s mind, it’s better to have men in office who grope women so long as they vote in favor of abortion than to have office-holders who do not sexually harass or assault those nearby. I kid you not. Here’s what Harding had to say in her own words:
It would feel good, momentarily, to see Franken resign and the Democratic governor of Minnesota, Mark Dayton, appoint a senator who has not (as far as we know) harmed women. If I believed for one second that Franken is the only Democrat in the Senate who has done something like this, with or without photographic evidence, I would see that as the best and most appropriate option. But in the world we actually live in, I’m betting that there will be more. And more after that. And they won’t all come from states with Democratic governors and a deep bench of progressive replacements. Some will, if ousted, have their successors chosen by Republicans.
Yeesh. Watching a lot of people pretzel themselves into defending Franken is so odd. And it appears much of it comes down to partisanship over what he actually did or did not do.
Mediate’s John Zeigler decided to go full-on thumbtack board and insist that Franken is getting “totally railroaded.” Here’s his take on that forced kiss.
Part of why her story of the ‘kiss’ lacks the credibility that it should have is that, not long after it happened, Franken decided to run for the U.S. Senate. This was a development of which Tweeden was obviously aware and, despite having a platform to get her story out, she apparently made no effort at all to do so. It is now politically incorrect to say so, but this must matter.
So her story lacks credibility because Franken rose to political prominence after the incident allegedly occurred? Here’s what he had to say about that photo, too.
There is another important element of the photo that has not yet been explained. How did Tweeden obtain it and why did she save it? Was it because she was told when she woke up that Franken had ‘assaulted’ her and she wanted evidence of this for future use (and then failed to do so, even when Franken ran for the Senate), or, perhaps more likely, did someone send it to her because it was a funny keepsake from their trip which is now being used to create a completely different impression of what happened?
Uhh okay. So because she didn’t come forward right away, her experience is invalid? If anything, her decision not to come forward as soon as he was elected into office shows that she did not come forward for political gain. And the way Ziegler describes Tweeden’s actions — holding onto the photo, waiting for just the right moment — is a pretty twisted accusation.