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Thu Apr 25, 2019, 12:31 PM

Al Franken would have been perfect for this shit

A few years old, but still relevant:

https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2015/02/why-theres-no-conservative-jon-stewart/385480/

So if conservatives have yet to produce their own Jon Stewart, it could be the relatively small number of working conservative comedians, or their lack of power in the entertainment industry. Or it could be that shows like The Flipside are failing at least, in part, because they’re just not that funny. But what is it about political satire that makes it so hard for conservatives to get it right?

Political humor, in particular, might have an inherently liberal bias. Alison Dagnes spent years looking into this question for her 2012 book A Conservative Walks Into a Bar. She spoke to dozens of working comedians who self-identified as liberals, and as many who identified as conservatives as she could find. One of the reasons she posits for a lack of conservative satire is that the genre has always been aimed at taking down the powerful, from the Revolutionary War through Vietnam and 9/11. “Conservatism supports institutions and satire aims to knock these institutions down a peg,” she wrote.


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Gillibrand and that decision by others to follow her lead in refusing to grant Franken an ethics review, did so much damage. More than they even understood or appreciated at the time. The exchange for Roy Moore's seat was just not a fair exchange at all. One more racist pedo d-bag in the GOP arsenal yes, but the Democratic party lost so much more. They took a very powerful weapon out of our holster, opened the chamber and dropped all the bullets out, and threw the gun under a street paving drum roller.

Without even the chance to clear his name, he is all but done as a candidate. The Democratic leadership would lose too much face if they were to do the right thing and admit they over reacted. Especially with Gillibrand running as a candidate now. Also, I think Al is too nice a guy to even try, simply because of the friction and controversy he would cause for the party.

This is the important point: There are a limited number of top skilled comedians in the country. The number is probably in the hundreds. Similar to pro sports leagues. Only in the hundreds of that particular level of skill in the whole country. Furthermore, you could say that as with music, athletic skills are universal around the globe. Comedians, particularly those clever and bold enough to take on the political arena are even more localized and rare because the subject of their humor applies exclusively to a North American audience. Political comedians of that level could be counted in the 10's not the 100's.

The Democratic party was so blessed when Franken decided to forgo a successful career continuing in comedy, probably forgoing also more income, and do right by his country and serve in the Senate. There was no one else like him there with that kind of skill, and might never be. The power of a very good comedic mind and them using it, is like Kryptonite to any Republican. They do not have a comedic grain in their body. They have no counter weapon. Crying "Fake News!" won't work. Whining about being picked on won't work.

And no, Franken was not there to do a comedy act. He skirted the line very adeptly at being dead serious when he had to, but he had this ability to know just when to use a quip at the expense of some dufus Republican which exposed their duplicity, in a way that they could never defend themselves back from. Because of this skill, Al was, and would have been, able to cut through a lot of bullshit going on right now, and be the best kind of communicator to the rest of the American people about the reality of the situation, and just how corrupt this administration is.

I really hope we, the grassroots, can find a way to get Al back in the game. Its not going to come from the party leadership.
So it will take a degree of defiance and perseverance. Even if he comes back as an Independent. We need him.

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Arrow 15 replies Author Time Post
Reply Al Franken would have been perfect for this shit (Original post)
LiberalLovinLug Apr 2019 OP
unblock Apr 2019 #1
LiberalLovinLug Apr 2019 #2
Wounded Bear Apr 2019 #3
LiberalLovinLug Apr 2019 #4
yonder Apr 2019 #7
IndyOp Apr 2019 #5
Trumpocalypse Apr 2019 #11
IndyOp Apr 2019 #14
Trumpocalypse Apr 2019 #15
yonder Apr 2019 #6
LiberalLovinLug Apr 2019 #9
Paladin Apr 2019 #8
LiberalLovinLug Apr 2019 #10
Paladin Apr 2019 #12
brooklynite Apr 2019 #13

Response to LiberalLovinLug (Original post)

Thu Apr 25, 2019, 12:46 PM

1. Conservative comedy is insults, name-calling, put-downs and cruelty

It's basically donald fraud. Give him a mike and a comedy club stage, and try to imagine him smiling and chuckling a bit, and you've got a conservative comedian.

For authoritarians, there's great humor at the expense of those below you in the social pecking order.

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Response to unblock (Reply #1)

Thu Apr 25, 2019, 01:17 PM

2. Yes, look at the examples this article has

And that author is being kind in calling them "comedians"

Dennis Miller: “I think liberalism is like a nude beach,” Miller said. “It’s better off in your mind than actually going there.”


Michael Loftus: “What’s the deal with Harry Reid?” he asked in a recent episode. “You either hate him or you hate him, am I right? The man is in the business of telling people how greedy they are, and how they don’t pay their fair share, and he lives in the Ritz Carlton … This guy is literally Mr. Burns from The Simpsons.”


Greg Gutfeld: “You know you’re getting close to the truth when someone is calling you a racist,”




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Response to unblock (Reply #1)

Thu Apr 25, 2019, 01:17 PM

3. In simple terms, liberals punch up, cons punch down...

Last edited Thu Apr 25, 2019, 02:11 PM - Edit history (1)

Cons use bully humor, where one attacks someone's weakness, then laughs at their pain.

Libs point out the absurdity of cons claims to being superior by pointing out that they're basically the same as the rest of us.

A line from an NCIS episode reminds me of why humor doesn't work among cons: "Nobody laughs at the boss." If you absolutely can't laugh at the boss, you're in an authoritarian situation.

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Response to Wounded Bear (Reply #3)

Thu Apr 25, 2019, 01:30 PM

4. Good points

Conservatives are proven to exhibit more authoritarian tendencies. Deathly afraid of being called into the office (or lambasted on Twitter)

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Response to Wounded Bear (Reply #3)

Thu Apr 25, 2019, 01:50 PM

7. +1. nailed it.

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Response to LiberalLovinLug (Original post)

Thu Apr 25, 2019, 01:33 PM

5. The fact that Al was doing exceptionally good work in the Senate -

asking hard questions during testimony and speaking truth to power and more - that made him a target for Republicans.

It is shameful that Senate Democrats did not stand by him. I think the investigation would have cleared his name.

If he ever crossed over the sexual harassment line it was way back in time - in his 20's or 30's - maybe?

Franken is now a dignified statesperson - very smart, very strong, very ethical, and very caring.

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Response to IndyOp (Reply #5)

Thu Apr 25, 2019, 02:14 PM

11. What investigation?

 

There would have been a ethics committee hearing, which is not a finding of guilt or innocence, but a determination of congressional ethics rules had been violated. Do you really think the Republicans on the ethics committee would have Franken a fair hearing?

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Response to Trumpocalypse (Reply #11)

Thu Apr 25, 2019, 03:20 PM

14. No, I don't think the Republicans would have been fair. My expectation is that

the details - especially Al's side - would have been summarized for all of the Dems to read.

I know that Al asked for an ethics hearing so he must've thought it could be useful.

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Response to IndyOp (Reply #14)

Thu Apr 25, 2019, 03:27 PM

15. Yes he did

 

after the first accusation. And I can’t imagine the republicans on the ethics committee giving Franken a fair hearing.

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Response to LiberalLovinLug (Original post)

Thu Apr 25, 2019, 01:48 PM

6. This is an excellent post with some great comments! Thank you LLL

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Response to yonder (Reply #6)

Thu Apr 25, 2019, 02:03 PM

9. ....

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Response to LiberalLovinLug (Original post)

Thu Apr 25, 2019, 02:03 PM

8. There's only one political comic I miss as much as Franken.

Lord, lord, lord---wouldn't it be glorious to have the late Molly Ivins taking a bite out of the trump regime, each and every day?

That bit of wishful thinking out of the way, I believe we need Al Franken back in the political trenches, in some active form or fashion. Because above all things, trump hates being laughed at by somebody infinitely smarter than he is.

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Response to Paladin (Reply #8)

Thu Apr 25, 2019, 02:06 PM

10. Special mention to Jon Stewart

He is sorely missed as well. I'd love it if he even did a more limited series. Much like Letterman's interview series. Even once a month would be terrific.

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Response to LiberalLovinLug (Reply #10)

Thu Apr 25, 2019, 02:50 PM

12. Another fine commentator who is sorely missed. (nt)

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Response to LiberalLovinLug (Original post)

Thu Apr 25, 2019, 03:19 PM

13. The flaw in this argument is...

that when Democrats were in power, conservatives were happy to tear down political institutions; they just weren't funny about it.

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