Tag Archives: Stuart Smalley

Al Franken for VP? Let’s think about this


Al Franken for vice president?

Oh boy. It’s almost too hilarious to consider. Then again, so was Donald J. Trump’s presidential candidacy once thought of as a side-splitting joke.

Bill Scher, writing for Politico, thinks the political dynamics have been thrown into the drink with Trump’s frontrunning GOP presidential campaign.

So, according to Scher, Hillary Clinton needs to think seriously about appointing the man who gained fame as Stuart Smalley, the “Saturday Night Live” character who turned melodramatic modesty into an art form.

Franken now has a serious job, as a U.S. senator from Minnesota.

His committee hearing questioning of witnesses can be hilarious. He also makes serious points.

Franken is an unapologetic populist. He’s also backing Clinton, rather than Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Scher’s point in pushing Franken out front as a potential VP nominee is that Trump has changed the political calculus at every level. Franken would be seen as every bit as serious as Trump … which isn’t saying much, given that Trump’s circus act has turned the GOP campaign into a markedly unserious endeavor.

I am not in favor of promoting candidates for high public office for the sake of doing something brash and unthinkable. I like Sen. Franken. He’s a solid family man and a damn funny comedian. He writes great jokes, which he did for many years before becoming an on-camera sensation with “SNL.”

The question keeps popping into my head: Is Al “Stuart Smalley” Franken ready to become president if he is forced to assume that office?

My heart wants to say “yes.” My head says “no.”

As for Donald J. Trump, every fiber of my being tells me he is unsuited at every level imaginable for the office he is seeking.


More ‘lies’ from O’Reilly

Bill O’Reilly is a serial liar, according to one of his former colleagues at Fox News Channel.

OK, that doesn’t surprise a lot of folks. What’s a bit surprising to me is that the allegation of lying comes from Eric Burns, who was a host of “Fox News Watch” for a decade until 2008, when the network let him go.

I’m not sure if Burns is spitting out some sour grapes here, but he did tell CNN’s Brian Stelter that O’Reilly long has been known to embellish his credentials, if not lie outright about what he reported on.

The clip attached to this link is about 8 minutes long. It’s a highly interesting critique on O’Reilly’s time at Fox and whether his bosses and colleagues at the network expect much from him. Burns said no, they don’t.


Why is this such a big deal? Well, maybe it’s not huge. But in the media world, O’Reilly has become cable the biggest star on cable “news,” although I use the term “news” guardedly where it involves O’Reilly or, for that matter, Fox News in general.

About the time Brian Williams got suspended by NBC for fibbing, er, lying, about being shot down in Iraq, O’Reilly came under criticism for his reporting from the Falklands War “front” in 1982 when, in reality, he never set foot on the island territory when British forces landed to take it back from Argentine forces.

Williams got suspended — and likely won’t get his news anchor job back — while O’Reilly’s ratings have soared, as Burns told Stelter on CNN’s “Reliable Sources.”

That seems to be the aim at Fox: ratings. Burns said the network is giving O’Reilly a pass because the more he comes under fire, the more his rating soar. Burns suggested to Stelter that’s a likely consequence of the audience that tunes in to Fox. He calls Fox News watchers “cultish.” Watch the clip and listen for yourself to what he says.

It’s interesting that in all the discussion, I didn’t hear a mention of what now-Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., has called O’Reilly over the years. Back when he was a mere political humorist, Franken would refer the Fox News host as “O’Lie-ly,” which enraged O’Reilly so much that to this day he refers to Franken by his former “Saturday Night Live” character, Stuart Smalley.

Whatever the case, the interview with Eric Burns is worth your time.

Well, at least was worth my time.