The New York Times uber-left and ultra-feminist columnist Michelle Goldberg is calling for Democratic Senator Al Franken to resign over his actions toward a female radio host and former model.
Back in 2006 while Franken was still doing comedy and had not entered politics, he joined a USO tour of Iraq to perform for the troops. On the tour with him was Leeann Tweeden, who this week revealed that Franken forced a kiss on her and had a photo taken of her as she slept on a plane ride while he groped her breasts.
Those accusations were enough for Goldberg to go from wishing Franken would run for president in 2020 to calling for his removal from the Senate:
Sure, Franken made plenty of sexist jokes when he was with “Saturday Night Live,” but I thought he was one of the good guys. (I thought there were good guys.)
Then I saw the photo. On Thursday morning, Leeann Tweeden, a former model and radio news anchor in Los Angeles, accused Franken of harassing her during a 2006 U.S.O. tour to entertain American troops abroad. She wrote that he talked her into doing a sketch in which he kissed her, and that he insisted on a rehearsal, during which he “mashed his lips against mine and aggressively stuck his tongue in my mouth.”
But the ill feelings didn't last long. After expressing her shock, Goldberg devotes plenty of space in her column explaining why Franken could stay on, such as he was just a comedian:
When that photo was taken, Franken was a comedian, and at the time comedians enjoyed wide cultural license to behave offensively.
We're still trying to figure how that explains away his behavior, but at this point, Goldberg is back to the same old NYT bias and trots out a very partisan reason for calling for Franken's ouster: to leave him in place would let Republicans have an excuse for bad behavior:
It’s not worth it. The question isn’t about what’s fair to Franken, but what’s fair to the rest of us. I would mourn Franken’s departure from the Senate, but I think he should go, and the governor should appoint a woman to fill his seat. The message to men in power about sexual degradation has to be clear: We will replace you.
Franken is staying in place and calling for an ethics investigation of his own behavior.
In the wake of Tweeden's revelation another woman has come forward to describe harassing and threatening behavior by Franken, albeit of a non-sexual nature.