Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Electronic Lynching of Al Franken

A friendly coincidence? 

I sometimes joke
that the Burns family motto is Quaedam postulo occidere; "Some things need killing."

And yet, while our family recognizes that there is a place for hanging, there is never a time for lynching.

What's the difference between a hanging and a lynching? It's a few days or weeks of time, and a reasonable examination of the facts within a logical process and structure. It doesn't have to take long, but it should take at least a few days.

Which brings me to the Lunatic Left which, today, was so quick to toss Senator Al Franklin on the pyre.

It seems a woman has accused Senator Franken of being both a bad comic (he took a mugging forced-perspective picture that was in very poor taste) and of forcefully kissing her in an unwanted manner during a comedy skit rehearsal.

A comedy skit rehearsal?

Well, let's back it up for a bit of context.

LeeAnn Tweeden is a young woman who wanted fame and fortune (who doesn't?) and her good looks were a possible ticket to that end.

All good, and nothing bad is implied.
She wanted to be an actress.  Excellent. Here's her bio on IMDb:

Born to parents of Spanish, Filipino, and Norwegian ancestry, Miss Tweeden grew up in Virginia as a self-proclaimed "tomboy". After graduating from Osbourn Park Senior High in 1991, she pursued a career in modeling. Upon moving to Colorado Springs, Colorado, she worked briefly as a Hooters waitress before winning her modeling job, gaining first place in the Venus International Model Search in 1992. From there, she traveled the United States doing promotional appearances and hosted the 1993 Venus Model Search competition, which she returned to host in 1994, 1995, 1996 and 1997. During this time, she relocated to Los Angeles, modeling for Fredericks of Hollywood, Hooters (appearing in their 1993 & 1994 calendars), Playboy magazine (as a cover girl), and Playboy's Book of Lingerie, in the November/December 1994 issue. She also appeared in the video Edenquest: Pamela Anderson (1995). In 1996, she landed a spot on the ESPN2 show Fitness Beach (1998), as well as a layout in the August 1996 issue of Playboy magazine. In 1997, she was chosen as the model for the lead character in a No Mercy comic book, titled "Coven 13". She continued modeling for various magazines, including Playboy, and put out her first calendar in 1998, featuring the photographs of Mario Barberio.

Returning to the small screen, she became a regular on the half-hour Fox Sports Net/Speed Channel motor-cross show High Octane (2002) and also hosted Fox Sports Net's Bluetorch TV (2000), an extreme sports show. In addition, Leeann was a correspondent for an installment of E!'s Wild On... (1997) series. She can currently be seen on The Best Damn Sports Show Period (2001) also on Fox Sports Net, and her pictorials can be found all over the Internet.

Here's her web site where she sells para-cord bracelets, posters, magazines, and post cards of herself.

I am not judging her choices, but I can say I am glad my daughter made different ones.

To Ms. Tweeden's credit, she has done a number of USO tours, which is a way for grade B, C, and D celebrities, comics, show girls, and Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders to get a little more exposure.

It was on one of these USO tours that, she alleges, Al Franken kissed her in an unwanted way during a skit rehearsal in which kissing was to be part of the sight-gag.

What she describes is gross and wrong, but so far no one has come forward to vouch for a contemporaneous accounting of it, nor has anyone come forward to say Al Franken has a habit of doing this kind of thing. Maybe they will tomorrow, or the next day, or five days from now. Can we wait and see?

This last part is important.

Grabbers, fondlers, mashers, and perverts are not "one and done" kind of people.

Whether it is Bill Clinton or Roy Moore, Jim Bakker or Kevin Spacey, Bill Cosby or Dan Crane, Donald Trump or Elliot Spitzer, Bob Packwood or Anthony Weiner, Harvey Weinstein or Jimmy Savile, there tends to be a pattern and practice when it comes to sex.

Is there a pattern and practice with Al Franken? Time will tell. If there is, the metaphorical hanging tree will be ready. But let's give it a week and see, eh?

A rush to judgement is called a lynching, and there's no place for that when there is (as of this writing at 9:50 pm) so little corroborating evidence, or other examples voiced by other women, outside of this one comedy skit routine.

If all it takes is one person to make a claim in order to destroy a career without evidence, then all of civilization is well and truly dead.

To be clear, I am not saying I do not believe LeeAnn Tweeden.

What I am saying is that there is no reason to voice belief or disbelief this early in the game. Al Franken has a pretty long and exemplary history in the public eye. LeeAnn Tweeden's exposure has been a bit... different.

Which is not to say LeeAnn Tweeden is lying.

It is to say that it does not take much research to wonder if politics might be involved in this particular instance.

This case is not parallel to the Roy Moore case no matter how convenient the timing.

The Roy Moore story had 30 sources at the start, with half a dozen women (all of them Republicans) who did not know each other, and who were each independently discovered and interviewed by The Washington Post.

None of these women volunteered themselves, and all told more-or-less the same story.

Since then, we have learned that Roy Moore was such a raging pedophile and reprobate that the local mall had banned him from admission. The Alabama papers are now on the story like a terrier on a rat.

Ms. Tweeden's story is of a lesser quality. She thrust herself out there, she is highly partisan and, as of now, we have no other contemporaneous corroboration, nor has there (yet) been any surge of people telling similar stories.

This is not to say that Franken is in the clear, but "one swallow does not a season make."

One 11-year old allegation of an unwanted style of a scripted kiss during a comedy skit rehearsal is interesting, but not very determinate. If two more credible people show up with similar stories, then Senator Franken is in trouble.

We shall see.

As for Ms. Tweeden's story, one does not have to believe her, or disbelieve her, to wonder at how many times she has appeared on Fox TV's Sean Hannity show, and what her relationship with him really is.

Hannity is a notorious liar and a Putin Puppet of the first order. Ms. Tweeden is herself a "birther" who claims Barack Obama was born in Kenya.

Are we to ignore this chummy and highly partisan association entirely?

It sure is a... coincidence.  Statistically it's about as likely as finding out that every other person entering and leaving the White House is a Russian.

Finally, I am reminded of the reason we do not rush to judgment in matters of importance.

I write from Virginia, where the University of Virginia was tarred and feathered based on an incredibly reckless and never-fact-checked piece in Rolling Stone magazine that alleged a young woman was gang-raped at a fraternity.

In fact, the young woman did not even exist, but the rush to judgement by the Loony Left was so quick that this reality was washed-over by the self-righteous who were hell-bent on outrage that anyone would even question this woman (who did not even exist) or say "hold on, let's check this reporter out a bit more."

Rushing for the rope without slowing down to consider the quality of the evidence or the likelihood of the transgression is the very definition of a lynching.

But don't take my word for it; ask Emmett Till.

Emmett Till was the young black man who was hung based on the testimony of a white woman who said he raped her. That woman has now said that she lied. But you know what? Emmett Till is still very dead. And you know why? Because folks were a little too quick to rush to judgment.

So, to get back to it, there IS a place for hanging, but there is no place for a lynching.

The testimony of anyone should be listened to and not ignored.

But neither guilt nor innocence requires action without evidence or process.

The rope and the tree can wait for a few days. 

In fact it must, or else this nation is well and truly lost.


Post script: 

It's four days later and this video and still picture have come out.  Is that Ms. Tweeded engaged in unwanted groping, sexual shaming, and assault? And does she look like she is being assaulted by Al Franken in the still picture, below?  Oh sure, Al Franken's jacket is an assault on fashion, but beyond that? 

Both photos from the same stage on the same USO tour. 

Bottom line: The preponderance of the evidence is more fake news and contrived controversy from Sean Hannity who is desperate to turn America away from the Trump treason investigation and the Roy Moore fiasco playing out in Alabama

Also, a woman has come forward to say Al Franken was at the midway of the Minnesota State Fair some 10 or 11 years ago, and she stood in line to have her husband take of picture of her with him, and when Franken motioned her to come closer in order to make a better picture he "grabbed her by the butt" to get her in the shot. Right. Because Al Franken goes to the midway of the Minnesota State Fair to do his sexual harassing on camera right in front of the husband. Gee-zeus, are there no REPORTERS any more?  Are people really this goofy, gullible, and stupid?  Is no one reading beyond the headline?

The good news is that dozens of female cast and crew members of “Saturday Night Live” from the past four decades have released a joint statement calling Al Franken “a devoted and dedicated family man, a wonderful comedic performer, and an honorable public servant” who “treated each of us with the utmost respect and regard." 


PBurns said...

And now it comes out that this is an orchestrated political campaign to deflect from Roy Moore. This Russian “What Aboutism”. Did a Russian plan it? Genuine question.

PBurns said...

This is Whataboutusm:

“Whataboutism (also known as whataboutery) is a variant of the tu quoque logical fallacy that attempts to discredit an opponent's position by charging them with hypocrisy without directly refuting or disproving their argument,[1][2][3] which is particularly associated with Soviet and Russian propaganda. When criticisms were leveled at the Soviet Union, the Soviet response would be "What about..." followed by an event in the Western world.”

PBurns said...

The photo at the top comes from this article which says Ms. Tweeden is a regular on Hannity’s Fox news show. Do you think that’s random ?

Geo said...

Your thoughts echo mine. The groping charge seems especially absurd since there were obviously others in that plane, maybe dozens, and at least the person who took the photo was awake. Why hasn't any news source interviwed him/her?