November 12, 2003,
EDITOR'S NOTE: This article appears in the Nov. 24, 2003, issue of National Review.
Al Franken was becoming agitated. The comedian and conservative-basher was at a Washington party for the new liberal think tank, the Center for American Progress, when he was asked to say a few words to the crowd. As he often does, Franken began riffing on the subject of the Fox News Channel, and in no time at all had worked himself into a fit of anger.
"Basically, what there is, is there's a right-wing media in this country," Franken told the group. He recounted the story of Fox's lawsuit against him "a f***ing complaint against me, thank you very F***ING much," he said, as the audience roared with laughter and then moved on to the network's coverage of the war in Iraq, which he said showed "how shameless, how shameless, how SHAMELESS these people on the right can be."
The crowd, made up mostly of left-leaning activist, political, and media types, loved it. "We have to fight back," Franken exhorted them. Looking at John Podesta, the former Clinton White House chief of staff who is heading the new think tank, Franken said, "Thank God you're doing this. We have to fight back."
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