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Al Franken says right capitalized on Wellstone tragedy

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dflprincess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-21-03 09:18 PM
Original message
Al Franken says right capitalized on Wellstone tragedy
http://www.startribune.com/stories/384/4053227.html

<snip>
In one chapter liberal satirist Franken takes conservative politicians and pundits to task for remarks made following Paul Wellstone's death and the televised Wellstone memorial at Williams Arena at the University of Minnesota. The event had been widely criticized for turning into what some saw as a political rally.

"It was the right, not the left, that tried to cheapen Paul Wellstone's life by dishonoring his death," Franken counters in his book. "It was the right-wing media . . . that seized on an opportunity to use a tragedy for political gain."

Franken recounts public comments made by conservatives, including Vin Weber, Republican strategist and former Minnesota congressman, and Tucker Carlson of CNN's "Crossfire."

Franken also had strong words for Sarah Janecek, coeditor of the newsletter Politics in Minnesota and a frequent talk-show commentator on GOP issues. She said on a radio program on the day following the memorial that television monitors at Williams Arena had prompted audience members to applaud, revealing a scripted event. In fact, the words on the monitors were closed-captioning for the hearing-impaired. Janecek's statements showed she was "thinking impaired. Or, more likely, honesty impaired," Franken writes.
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ewagner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-21-03 09:22 PM
Response to Original message
1. ooooooohhhhhhh!
Gotta get that book!
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ibegurpard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-21-03 09:24 PM
Response to Original message
2. The thing that pisses me off most about that incident
was the lack of outrage from Democrats about the attempt to politicize it. Instead they apologized and gave the criticism legitimacy.
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cosmicaug Donating Member (676 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-21-03 10:23 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. I'm sorry
Edited on Thu Aug-21-03 10:25 PM by cosmicaug
I'm sorry, but they screwed up. Was what the Republicans did with it good? Probably not (the Republicans could have taken the high road and ignored it --but it's in their nature to do otherwise-- instead of seizing on the incident as an opportunity ), but that doesn't take away the fact that some of the folk at that memorial service got carried away in a way that was not proper or appropriate.

On edit: spelling
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gully Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-21-03 10:26 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. But, you can't regulate emotion.
If I died, I imagine my friends would bumble a bit speaking about me? It was a private affair that the TV stations decided to cover. It was not the Dems asking for coverage KWIM? They didn't plan it.

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cosmicaug Donating Member (676 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-21-03 10:36 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. All I know
All I know is that I tuned into it for a bit in the middle of it and it struck me as a political rally rather than a memorial. And I think it is nave to call it a private affair.
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Lugnut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-21-03 11:10 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. I respectfully disagree.
I thought it was a rousing, wonderful celebration of a good man's life.
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prolesunited Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-22-03 01:01 AM
Response to Reply #6
12. Based on the life that he led
a political rally was a much more fitting tribute to he and his wife than a somber memorial.
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ibegurpard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-21-03 10:37 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. And how many people decided that it was not proper or appropriate
because of the huge spin the republicans put on it and the failure of the democrats to step up to the plate and criticize republicans for shamelessly trying to score political points off of someone's eulogy?
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-21-03 10:57 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. Who says?
People memorialize in their own way. It's for the friends and family to make that decision, not a bunch of political pundits. I can't think of a better way to memorialize someone like Paul Wellstone than to encourage the people he represented to go out and work in his memory. It's kind of like that wonderful lady in Wisconsin whose children decided all memorials should go to any group working to remove Bush from office. I wouldn't be surprised or offended if somebody at her service said to be sure and help get the whistle ass out of office, just like she'd want you to do.

What's shocking to me is that Ventura got up and walked out and nobody criticized that, no he was the man of morals. I was raised to respect those different from myself and whether it's a celebratory event or people throwing peanuts at the rafters, you do not be so disrespectful as to walk out of someone's memorial service.

It's a pretty sad day when we've got television dictating appropriate behavior for a memorial and people actually buy it.
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gully Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-21-03 10:24 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. I totally agree...
And Jesse Ventura and his big mouth didn't help either grrrr!
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waggawagga Donating Member (128 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-22-03 12:48 AM
Response to Reply #4
10. Franken Is Wrong Here
The political rally aspects of the memorial service would have been fine if it hadn't been shown on free tv. Independents felt manipulated. our guy died. Vote for us.
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GAspnes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-22-03 01:20 AM
Response to Reply #10
13. you don't know what you're talking about
I was there. We were devastated. Ever lost a parent? A child? A friend? That's how it felt.

If you expect rational behavior at a time like that, you're an idiot.
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jafap Donating Member (654 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-22-03 02:21 AM
Response to Reply #10
14. I think the media sure ran with the story
Edited on Fri Aug-22-03 02:23 AM by jafap
The pundits were sure telling you to feel manipulated. Why shouldn't you instead feel manipulated when the TV news tells you "they politicized a Senator's funeral, so don't vote for them" or they find shills to express their outrage - "I used to be a Democrat, but they have gone so far to the left that now I vote fascist." Gee, you should be so outraged at the politicization of Wellstone's funeral that you elect a repubo-fascist who later says "I think I am better than Wellstone". Now that's a proper way to honor his memory.
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PurityOfEssence Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-22-03 12:58 AM
Response to Original message
11. Hell, I'll bet they capitalized it too.
Sure, there are plenty of monarchists out there who'd have loved to pop him for free, but I'll bet there was money changing hands.

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bluestateguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-22-03 02:31 AM
Response to Original message
15. What burns me up about that
is that I know the Right is not sorry Wellstone is dead. I can't prove it, other than directing people to the archives of Freerepublic, but I am sure this is the case. I am quite certain that Karl Rove popped a big bottle of champaign when the news of Wellstone's death came out. Hence, I refuse to take seriously any of the Right's phony Puritan "moral outrage" over a memorial service that frankly, was none of their fucking business in the first place. People should be allowed to memorialize their heroes the way they want to without outside interference from people who spent their whole lives trying to destroy what they fought for. I would not favor liberals telling Ronald Reagan's memorial planners how to stage their event. When that day comes I plan to stay out of the way. Maybe play a round of golf or catch a movie. I will let the conservatives have their day without sanctimonious lecturing from me.
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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-22-03 02:32 AM
Response to Original message
16. I'm a Minnesota resident & Wellstonian Democrat.
I didn't attend the memorial, but watched it on TV. I felt that the comments of one speaker were over the line when he called by name a few of the conservatives who were attending and pleaded with them to vote Democratic as a tribute to Paul. The rest of the memorial was an outstanding tribute to the man who was the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

The NeoCon slime masters were shameless (naturally) in propagandizing the memorial.
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