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Jitters plague Franken during show's debut
TwinCities.com/Pioneer Press ^ | Pioneer Press | BRIAN LAMBERT

Posted on 03/31/2004 2:13:57 PM PST by veronica

History will record that it was the celebrated author, comedian and Hollywood hobnobber Al Franken who sounded most ill at ease in the early going of his new radio adventure, while the kid from the provinces, former Minnesota Public Radio host Katherine Lanpher shined.

“The O’Franken Factor”, the marquee program of the new liberal network, Air America Radio, staring Minnesotans Franken and Lanpher debuted this morning. (It is heard locally, and temporarily, on WMNN 1330-AM from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays.) The first hour provided dollops of palpable, opening night jitters, satirical swagger and old-fashioned partisan invective in pretty much equal measure.

Franken, the “Saturday Night Live” alumus and conservative-bashing best-selling author of “Rush Limbaugh is a Big, Fat Idiot” and “Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them,” was clearly feeling the pressure of being the tent-pole of the much-publicized new network. His first few minutes, reading a script promising, “A battle for truth, justice and indeed America itself … not to be too grandiose,” was funny enough, but was read with enough tension in his voice you’d have looked away in embarrassment were he performing stand-up in front of you.

Fortunately, Franken acknowledged his unfamiliarity with the tricks of the talk radio trade and the value he places on Lanpher, who sounded reassuringly poised. At least for the time being, Lanpher is cast in a kind of Mother Hen/Voice of Reason role. She kept Franken on his cues, introduced and re-ID’d guests and cut to commercials. Happily, her trademark laugh, so problematic for MPR, appears to have been unfettered here.

By the second hour, when former 9/11 Commission member Bob Kerrey came on, Franken found a comfort level, although the interview itself was a slightly more informal version of what you’d get on public radio.

The show flashed more of the comic colors and tone the network has been promising when filmmaker-provocateur Michael Moore arrived. The sound of Franken and Lanpher trying to embarrass Moore into publicly apologizing to former Vice President Al Gore, stifling a laugh on the phone, hit the kind of mischievous-insiders tone the network’s listeners are probably eager to hear.

Sen. Hillary Clinton is scheduled for Thursday’s show. Former Bush administration counter terrorism expert Richard Clarke will be a guest on Friday


TOPICS: Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: airamerica; liberaltalkradio; turass
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1 posted on 03/31/2004 2:13:57 PM PST by veronica
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To: veronica
Air America = Excrement In Broadcasting, the liberal EIB network.
2 posted on 03/31/2004 2:16:29 PM PST by N. Theknow (John Kerry is nothing more than Ted Kennedy without a dead girl in the car.)
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To: veronica
A veritable whos who of losers...I give the network 6 months. You can get only so much mileage out of Bush bashing.
3 posted on 03/31/2004 2:17:28 PM PST by cardinal4 (Terrence Maculiffe-Ariolimax columbianus (hint- its a gastropod.....)
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To: veronica
Getting all the heavy hitters out in a hurry. By next week, they will have run the gambit on their guest list.
4 posted on 03/31/2004 2:18:13 PM PST by BigSkyFreeper (Liberalism is Communism one drink at a time. - P.J. O'Rourke)
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To: veronica
Former Bush administration counter terrorism expert Richard Clarke will be a guest on Friday

Gee, wasn't it this guy who said just this morning

"I just don't want to be used," Clarke told The Associated Press. "I don't want to be part of what looks like a political TV ad. I'm trying hard to make this not a partisan thing but a discussion of how we stop terrorism from happening in the future, keep this on a policy issue. I don't want this to become any more emotional or personal than it has already."

Clarke Asks Anti-Bush Group to Pull TV Ads (MOVEON.argghhh says NO!)

5 posted on 03/31/2004 2:18:43 PM PST by Howlin
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To: veronica
Jitters plague Franken during show's debut

Making excuses already?

Al, me boy...if you ain't ready to party down with the big dogs, you're better off just stayin' on the porch.

6 posted on 03/31/2004 2:19:17 PM PST by Poohbah ("Would you mind not shooting at the thermonuclear weapons?" -- Maj. Vic Deakins, USAF)
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To: veronica
Not so easy huh Al? Seems he sounded like a 'big fat idiot'.
7 posted on 03/31/2004 2:19:56 PM PST by cricket (The Democrats and the terrorists have a common enemy. . .)
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To: veronica
Hillary wants to get on early so after it folds in a few weeks, she won't be able 'to recall' being on the show. I wish I could get this station somehow, just once to see how horribly awful it must be. I'm dying to hear it, but can't get it here.
8 posted on 03/31/2004 2:20:53 PM PST by ysoitanly
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To: N. Theknow
Wouldn't it be more accurate to call Richard Clarke the former Clinton administration counter terrorism expert, since he was there for 8 years and with the Bush administration about a year before his demotion.
9 posted on 03/31/2004 2:21:14 PM PST by MCRD
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To: Howlin
(It is heard locally, and temporarily, on WMNN 1330-AM from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays.)

LOL! You can say the same thing about all the station this crapola is on.

10 posted on 03/31/2004 2:21:23 PM PST by San Jacinto (Now is the right time for another campaign contribution to Bush/Cheney '04)
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To: veronica
Oh my, Shrillary tomorrow?
11 posted on 03/31/2004 2:21:36 PM PST by threat matrix
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To: veronica
Man.. That is dedication. Suffering through all three hours of that program just to write a story. I actually feel for the writer.
12 posted on 03/31/2004 2:21:50 PM PST by kingu (Which would you bet on? Iraq and Afghanistan? Or Haiti and Kosovo?)
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To: cardinal4
My guess is that when the show dies, some management person will complain how difficult it is to compete against the subsidized shows on NPR.

And none of their listeners will recognize the irony.

13 posted on 03/31/2004 2:21:50 PM PST by TravisBickle (Are you talking to me?)
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To: Howlin
ROFL! You are so quick! And Clarke is SOOOOOO transparent!
14 posted on 03/31/2004 2:21:53 PM PST by anniegetyourgun
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To: Poohbah
When I first saw the headline, I thought maybe Ted Kennedy was holding the mike after a long night.....
15 posted on 03/31/2004 2:21:56 PM PST by ysoitanly
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To: BigSkyFreeper
Well, he can have that little guy from North Korea as a guest. That will extend his radio show for about a minute.
16 posted on 03/31/2004 2:22:13 PM PST by Gatn(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer) (``)
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To: TravisBickle
And none of their listeners will recognize the irony.

Of course they won't. Limousine liberals send their shirts out to a service.

17 posted on 03/31/2004 2:22:54 PM PST by Poohbah ("Would you mind not shooting at the thermonuclear weapons?" -- Maj. Vic Deakins, USAF)
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To: veronica
"Franken, the “Saturday Night Live” alumus"

Now we find out he is an alumus.

Sounds like a nickname for an aluminum oxide compound.

Or perhaps an aluminum oxide based laxative, since that's what he amounted to on Saturday Night Live. He brought out the excrement in other liberals on the show.

18 posted on 03/31/2004 2:23:32 PM PST by capt. norm (If two wrongs don't make a right, try three.)
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To: veronica
...Hollywood hobnobber Al Franken...

Typographical error. It should read 'Hollywood knobgobbler'.

19 posted on 03/31/2004 2:23:54 PM PST by Bloody Sam Roberts (`,,`,,Election '04...It's going to be a bumpy ride,,`,,`)
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To: ysoitanly

Bet it warms the heart of you who subscribe to XM satellite radio to know that your dollars are helping Al Franken's new show. I was thinking of subscribing myself until this happened.
20 posted on 03/31/2004 2:24:56 PM PST by kittymyrib
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