Al Franken has been tiptoeing back into public life recently, after a couple of years in the wilderness. He resigned from the U.S. Senate in January 2018 after a number of women accused him of sexual harassment, and apparently there are some hardcore Franken admirers who missed him. Jane Mayer at the New Yorker helped him with some image rehab a few months ago. And then he gave a very awkward and subdued interview on Conan O’Brien’s show last week:
Now he’s trying to paint himself as the aggrieved party. According to him, that whole mess was something that was done to him, not something he did.
Unfortunately for Al and his fans who want us to think of him as a victim, yet another woman is now accusing him of groping her. Irin Carmon, The Cut:
The cover story New York published this week centers on the stories of women and men who came forward about sexual abuse and harassment — and one who has not yet done so. In the issue, a woman who says former U.S. senator Al Franken groped her buttocks at an event in 2006 explains why she’s kept silent until now, and why she still fears using her name.
Here’s part of this anonymous woman’s account:
I was just out of college in my first job, working for U.S. senator Patty Murray. Al Franken was the guest speaker at an event in 2006. I was working the photo line, and he pulled me in. Murray said, “Let’s take the picture.” And he puts his hand on my ass. He’s telling the photographer, “Take another one. I think I blinked. Take another one.” And I’m just frozen. It’s so violating. And then he gives me a little squeeze on my buttock, and I am bright red. I don’t say anything at the time, but I felt deeply, deeply uncomfortable. It was such a confusing experience. At first, I didn’t take it all that seriously…
There is something that tells men that they, particularly those who have a lot of power, that they have access to my body in some way that is based on the hierarchy of the organization that we’re working in or society or whatever it is.
You can read the rest here.
This woman, described as a “military veteran who is now a senior staffer at a major progressive organization,” is choosing to remain anonymous. So there’s a lifeline to cling to if you really want to believe Al Franken did nothing wrong. Maybe this woman is just making this up. Maybe all the women who’ve told similar stories of Franken groping them are lying. Maybe that photo of Franken groping Leeann Tweeden really was just innocent fun like he claims. Maybe #MeToo stops when the threat to the Democratic Party’s power begins.
Whatever you need to tell yourself, libs.
This weekend Franken debuted a weekly show on SiriusXM. I’m sure it’s… gripping. Well, now he’s got plenty to talk about, if he ever airs another episode.