Friday, August 26, 2005

The Al Franken Show

This morning I woke up with the Sundance Channel on, and today's Al Franken Show was just starting. (Yeah, pretty sure it's the same one that that "borrowed" $875,000 from some charities) I have never seen this show, so I thought I should watch it all the way through, and so I did. It is one of those radio shows that they put on TV for some reason. So the show is just watching Al and his co-host and their guest talk with headphones on.

(By the way, the show's site for today has people who wern't there and doesn't have people who are. They need to get their act together.)

The first thing that one notices about the show is that it is not funny. One would think that Al Franken fancies himself a comedian and that his job is to keep coming up with clever witty and funny retorts and jokes. But no, there was nothing at all funny about the show. It was all done in the serious tone reserved for most of the NPR programming.

Franken's co-host was also pretty much superfluous. Like Robin, on the Howard Stern Show, her function is to interject a stupid sounding laugh every now and then when Al Franken says something.

Turns out too that Al Franken is a real prick. I'll explain in a moment. I wouldn't ever want to work with him.

He had a few guests on the show. Now, honestly, the guests carried the show. I was very-very-impressed with the quality of the guests. It is not that the Al Franken show can't attract good guests, but these people were all judiciously chosen, and they are probably the only people in the world that give left-wingers whatever good name they still have amongst the same people in the country.

Perhaps I caught an anomalous episode, because it was so strange, but here is what happened.

First there was Al Franken blabbing uselessly about Pat Robertson on Hugo Chavez. It was Rush Limbaugh quality blathering. It was worthless.

Then he had the mayor of Salt Lake City, Rocky Anderson. He is a liberal mayor of a pretty strongly Republican state. It is obvious why when he speaks. He was an extremely reasonable man, it seems. He is probably what I like to think I would sound like if I was anti-war. Frankly, I think he an I would actually agree about most things about the war except the fact that I think it should have happened and he doesn't. He wanted support for troops and veterans, and more honesty and forthrightness from the White House. All very reasonable stuff. He wanted to reconcile with the White House, but only after receiving a bit more candor. Who can blame him?

Then this dude Michael O'Hanlon from the Brookings Institution, who spoke nicely about what he sees as some of the problems with the new Iraqi constitution. Again, quite a reasonable guy. He spoke about the problem with the possibility of the Sunni becomiming more and more dissatisfies as they will eventually become de facto disenfranchised because of the inpending division of the future oil revenue.

Malcom Gladwell, author of Blink and The Tipping Point spoke about a piece he wrote for the New Yorker on health care. He was OK. I think he missed a bit in his analysis, but it was a fine enough discussion anyway.

Finally, and this is what screwed up the whole episode, they booked this political psychic, Accuro: The Radio Psychic. First of all this guy was so psychic he came two hours late to the studio because he couldn't find it. The entire show, by the way was full of Al Franken getting annoyed that the guy wasn't there. He also got really snappish at his staff and repeatedly blamed Gabby. I think she is the producer. It was awful. Turns out he just was on the wrong side of Manhattan, and couldn't read the address he scribbled down on his paper, and turned his cell phone off.

When he finally got there Al Franken couldn't not stop drilling him about why he was late. He did not get to talk about anything else. At some point he predicted the 2036 election, as if anyone cares, and he was magnanimous enough to secretly write down the electoral college results of the upcoming election, which he didn't know the date for. It was the dumbest thing I ever saw. Why a show that purports to be s serious political show books a psychic, I don't know, and why Franken couldn't get past the fact that he got lost, I also don't know. Moreover, he actually didn't tell us anything. So I am not even sure what he was doing there in the first place. It was ridiculous.

That is my take on today's Al Franken show. I am not sure what more to say. They had some good guests, but I pretty sure I learned absolutely nothing new from it. I did not get to hear anything worth hearing, and it wasted my time. Perhaps O'Hanlon was informative. That's about it.


Joclyn said...

Robin is the best thing on the Howard Stern show! She does much, much more than laugh.

She does the entire news segment, which starts around 9 am, for instance.

That sounds like a criticism by someone who has never listened to the show.

By the way, I have not listened to Howard Stern in years because the ads run 20 minutes long... Like most people, I only have a limited time to listen to the radio in the morning.

bec said...

look, as for the al franken show, i have to admit, I HATE CINDY SHEEHAN. and what i mean when i say that is I REALLY REALLY HATE CINDY SHEEHAN, and no, this is not misdirected anger. i also hate haman, hamas, fatah, the PA, the plo,the left, the liberals, the nytimes, haaretz,arafat, hilary clinton, hilary clinton, hilary clinton, hilary clinton, hilary clinton, and cindy sheehan. of course, there are many, many more, but for now, let me just end by saying i hate cindy sheehan.