Thursday, November 16, 2017



Al Franken Hit With Sexual Assault Accusations

Willa Frej,HuffPost 
Anchorwoman and sportscaster Leeann Tweeden said Thursday that comedian Al Franken kissed and groped her without her consent during a USO tour in December 2006.

Franken, who is now the junior Democratic senator from Minnesota, was headlining the event. Tweeden was emceeing.

Tweeden said Thursday that she knew ahead of time that Franken had written a skit where his character tries to kiss her.

“On the day of the show Franken and I were alone backstage going over our lines one last time,” Tweeden wrote in a post for 790 KABC, the radio station she works for in Los Angeles. “He said to me, ‘We need to rehearse the kiss.’ I laughed and ignored him. Then he said it again. I said something like, ‘Relax Al, this isn’t SNL... we don’t need to rehearse the kiss.’ He continued to insist, and I was beginning to get uncomfortable.”
She finally relented, she said:
We did the line leading up to the kiss and then he came at me, put his hand on the back of my head, mashed his lips against mine and aggressively stuck his tongue in my mouth.
I immediately pushed him away with both of my hands against his chest and told him if he ever did that to me again I wouldn’t be so nice about it the next time.
I walked away. All I could think about was getting to a bathroom as fast as possible to rinse the taste of him out of my mouth.
I felt disgusted and violated.
She did end up performing the skit as written, she continued, turning her head away while on stage so Franken couldn’t kiss her.

When she was on her way home to Los Angeles, she said, she fell asleep on the plane. While she slept, Franken grabbed her breasts and had a photo taken.

“I couldn’t believe it. He groped me, without my consent, while I was asleep,” she wrote. “I felt violated all over again. Embarrassed. Belittled. Humiliated. How dare anyone grab my breasts like this and think it’s funny?”

Franken responded in a press statement Thursday.

“I certainly don’t remember the rehearsal for the skit in the same way, but I send my sincerest apologies to Leeann,” he said. “As to the photo, it was clearly intended to be funny but wasn’t. I shouldn’t have done it.”

USO did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Franken and Tweeden performing a USO skit in Mosul, Iraq, Dec. 16, 2006. (Spc Creighton Holub)
Last month, following a whirlwind of accusations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, Franken wrote in a Facebook post about the “disappointing responses” women often receive after sharing their stories. He also said he was working to pass the Arbitration Fairness Act, which would allow people who have faced workplace harassment to go to court.

Esquire’s Mike Sacks noted on Twitter that in Franken’s book Giant of the Senate, he says he decided to run for public office after the USO tour in question. Franken was elected to the Senate in 2008.


TJM said...

Morality only applies to Republicans, silly. Remember when Ted Kennedy drowned that woman? Not only did the Dems allow him to stay in the Senate, he was a presidential candidate after that.Jerry Studds, a Democratic Congressman, had anal sex with a senate page boy (age 17) and his district re-elected him. In contrast to the Abortion Party's approach, Senator Bob Packwood of Colorado (Republican) resigned from the senate on far,far less serious allegations. He actually would not proceed with his kissing and groping when the woman said no.

Anonymous said...

Impeach him!

Anonymous 2 said...

The apply it, TJM, apply it.

TJM said...

Anonymous 2, what are you even saying?

Anonymous 2 said...


There was a typo. I left the “n” off. The “The” should have been “Then” as in: Then apply it to Republicans, especially those who fall in the Trump/Bannon camp (like Roy Moore and indeed Trump himself) instead of making excuses or engaging in diversionary tactics. I have made it quite clear that the moral standards should be applied in a non-partisan fashion. Thus, I am just as prepared to apply these standards to Democrats as I am to Republicans? Are you prepared to do the converse?

Anonymous said...

Bee here:

On another website someone asked a good question, "Why is it that the only ones who are hounded out of office or a candidacy over a sex scandal are Republicans?"

Been that way for a long time. (Teddy Kennedy comes to mind.)

God bless.

Anonymous said...

Why is it...?

An Ohio Republican state legislator who consistently touts his faith and his anti-LGBT stances resigned this week after being caught having sex with a man in his office.

Representative Wes Goodman, who is married, was reportedly seen by someone who is not a staffer having sex with a man inside his Riffe Center office. The witness told Ohio House Chief of Staff Mike Dittoe of the situation early Tuesday afternoon, according to the Columbus Dispatch.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Original sin which leads to actual sin and also sexual disorders and concupiscence is the problem and no one is immune in one way or the other. Thus we need our Savior Jesus Christ to save us from our sin and the fires of hell.

Secular society has its judgments and punishments for these kinds of crimes and the Church has her judgments and suggests what God's punishments are for these kinds of repentant sin, be they hypocrisy or acting out in disordered sexual ways outside or inside of marriage.

Secular tribunals dish out punishment on those who are guilty and after the penalty is served they are set free. The same with the Church, when a repentant sinner goes to confession, does the penalty (penance) they are set free from the eternal punishment of sin, but not necessarily from the punishment due forgiven sin in purgatory, although that too the Church can indulge her children with the gift of an indulgence to reduce purgatory or wipe is out altogether.

But even a hypocrite can teach the truth, we listen to them but don't follow their example as Jesus Himself has taught.

TJM said...

Anonymous 2,

Thanks for the laughs. Roy Moore (strange fellow that he is) has been accused by non-credible witnesses, one who worked for the Hillary campaign. In stark contrast, Frankenstein has admitted it (and there is photographic evidence), Clintoon had the stained dress and Teddy "The Liberal Lion" did waitresses in sandwich jobs and killed a young woman in the infamous Senator Oldsmobile caper. Seem like my examples are far more egregious than the Moore kerfuffle (I believe this might be a bi-partisan smear effort). Dems have ZERO credibility in this regard. They conduct a war on women while claiming to be their champions. Fortunately more and more Americans are waking up to the utter moral bankruptcy of the intrinsically evil party, The Abortion Party, formerly known as the Democratic Party.

Anonymous 2 said...


Your tribalism is unbelievable. Several of Moore’s accusers are Republicans and at least one voted for Trump. You should have the honesty and the courage to face these inconvenient facts. But will you?

And Franken has apologized. Roy Moore continues to double down in true Trumpian fashion. Perhaps he is innocent after all, but if so it is not for the reasons you intimate.

TJM said...

Anonynous 2,

I have seen your tribalism on display for the intrinsically evil party, so spare me.

Moore has the presumption of innocence, Franken does not, because by his own admission he did it. By the way, did you know that Franken said he hated homosexuals and was glad when one died? How did our intrepid media miss that when he was being "vetted" for the Minnesota seat. My larger problem, is the corrupt, evil, national media which serves as the publicity arm of the Democratic Party. ABC, cBS, and NBC, have YET to cover the Senator Menendez corruption trial. So none of them qualify as a news organization. Maybe they're vying for the Joseph Goebbels Propaganda Award!

Gene said...

No proof has been offered that Moore is guilty of any of the accusations. Are we to just accept them because a bunch of angry or paid off women say so? You are a lawyer, for Christ's sake, Anon 2. Is this how you would advise your clients?

Anonymous 2 said...


“I have seen your tribalism on display for the intrinsically evil party.”

Please provide the evidence justifying the above statement.

While you may be correct about the under-coverage of the Menendez trial, you are hardly correct that it has not been covered at all by the media outlets you mention:

And here is the coverage by CNN and MSNBC:

Perhaps the reason you do not know this is because you are so tribal that you restrict your media exposure to the media sanctioned by your tribe, in contrast to those of us who are non-tribal and therefore sample media across the tribes because we are interested in getting differing perspectives in our search for the truth, not in spin and fake news generated in our little tribal bubble. Thus, I regularly watch CNN, MSNBC, and FOX including Sean Hannity, for example. How about you?

It seems to me that it is you who deserve the Joseph Goebbels Propaganda Award.

Anonymous 2 said...


We are not in a court of law; we are in the court of public opinion. As such we, the public, are the judge and jury, and we have to evaluate the evidence and reach a verdict about the charge or allegation in question according to our best judgment. But let us assume for the sake of argument that we should apply your court of law standard in the court of public opinion. Then we should distinguish several questions:

(1) There is first the question of who bears the burden of persuasion. In a court, those making the allegations bear the burden of persuasion.

(2) Then there is the question of standard of proof—what needs to be shown to discharge the burden of persuasion? In a criminal case, the prosecution must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. In a civil case the plaintiff must prove its case by a preponderance of the evidence. In certain other contexts, another standard such as clear and convincing may apply. Which of these standards should apply in the court of public opinion? And does it depend on the issue in question?

(3) Third, there is a question of evaluation of the evidence. This requires consideration of all admissible evidence. This includes both direct evidence, such as statements by a party or witness, or circumstantial evidence in which various inferences are drawn from facts and circumstances. For example, the direct evidence of Trump’s Hollywood Access tape was very damning, and the Trump camp was forced to try and explain it away as “locker room talk.” Some in the court of public opinion believed that interpretation; others did not (including me). And many, including Sean Hannity, found the circumstantial evidence of the inscription in the Yearbook of one of Moore’s accusers to be very damning, and the Moore camp has been forced to try and dismiss it as a forgery. When it comes to evaluating the testimony of parties and witnesses, their credibility is very important. All sorts of factors are relevant in evaluating credibility.

The questions one has to ask oneself about all this are: Am I applying an appropriate standard of proof, and have I considered all of the evidence as fairly and impartially as possible? And related to this is the further question of integrity versus hypocrisy: Would I apply, indeed have I applied, the same standards if the person accused is someone I oppose politically rather than someone I support?

For myself I have not yet reached a verdict about the accusations against Moore. I hope they are unfounded but suspect they are not. I do not require proof beyond a reasonable doubt because otherwise we would be paralyzed in the court of public opinion. On the other hand, the preponderance standard seems too low when what is at stake includes a man’s reputation. Therefore, in this sort of case I incline towards the clear and convincing standard. So far there seems to be a lot of evidence supporting the allegations made against Moore, including contemporaneous corroborative statements made by his accusers.

My challenge to you is this: Is it really your considered judgment that his accusers are just “a bunch of angry or paid off women”? I have also challenged TJM for distorting the evidence by emphasizing that one of Moore’s accusers worked for the Clinton campaign but omitting the highly telling fact that at least one of them voted for Trump (or at least credibly claims that she did).

But at the end of the day none of this matters, perhaps, as many people are prepared to vote for Moore even if the allegations are true. Of course, were the allegations made against someone they oppose politically, can we doubt that they would be demanding that the candidate withdraw? Ergo, tribal double standards!

James J. said...

I have to say that I was initially leaning toward believing the Duke Lacrosse story as well as the rape incident at he University of Virginia fraternity. I was somewhat skeptical in the Tawana Brawley case. These all proved to be scurrilous and false
allegations. I think it is good to keep this in mind if there is no admission of guilt or something like photographic evidence.
Even if true, with the allegations against Judge Moore, there doesn't seem to be a continuing pattern throughout his life of this kind of behavior, unlike with Bill Clinton,although it is always possible that something further could come out.

Are those who did something wrong early in their life now to be treated like Hester Prynne? Can't we accept that like David, they did somethings which were seriously wrong but have since amended their life?

Anonymous 2 said...


Of course we should acknowledge that people can do something seriously wrong and then amend their lives. Which of us has not messed up at one time or another?

Assuming the allegations, or even some of them, are true, there is a dilemma. On the one hand, continual denials inflict a further injustice and humiliation upon the women who were already unjustly treated and humiliated in the original wrongdoing. From this perspective, one could argue that it would be so much better for Judge Moore to admit the wrongdoing and express genuine contrition for it. On the other hand, admitting the wrongdoing might cause others real harm. For example, perhaps his wife knew nothing about his former behavior. What would be the effect upon her (and other loved ones) if he were to admit the wrongdoing now?

I don’t have an answer to this dilemma except to suggest that those who seek public office at the national level, especially those who present themselves as moral crusaders, should be aware that investigations will be made and any sordid ugliness unearthed, and therefore they should either not seek such office in the first place or, if feasible, they should make their peace with loved ones before they do.

Of course, if the allegations are not true, then the situation is quite different.

Gene said...

James, Hester Prynne was a piker compared to these guys...LOL!

Gene said...

Oh, and that big "A" on these guys' chest doesn't stand for adulterer, either...LOL!