Goodbye to this flawed product

Our Long National Nightmare is almost over.  Al Franken is retiring from radio.

Actually my thought on Al Franken’s radio show is that if you were to hand me one of his programs, I would edit out about an hour and hand it back as a find and exemplorary and stellar program.  It drags on a bit at times, that’s all.  Al Franken did as fine a job at it as a person who is clearly not a radio professional could, and, with an hour’s grace period, developed a style — perhaps anti-style? — which worked well.

There were a few, perhaps too few as it seemed like it was meant to be a bigger part of the program when originally conceived but the effort involved made it prohibitive enough — legitimately hilarious bits, sometimes with the help of Hollywood elites such as the voice of TV’s Brain of Pinky and the Brain fame and/or Meg Ryan.  I refer to “Senator Wolfman”, an Abstinence Education parody, and — well, The Brain.

It was generally a panoply of earnest expert guests having written earnest books, and a stable of regular liberal guests.

Understand, Al Franken was an accidental Liberal Hero anyway.  Bill O’Reilly successfully inflated him to the logical poster boy for the fledgling (and bankrupt) Air America Network, to the degree that I once talked to this person who can best be described as a Kennedy fetishist of sorts who referred to the local Air America as the “Al Franken Channel”.  This also meant that in the ongoing Republican talk shows’ desire to bury the network as means of political statement, Al Franken has been the chief figure of what has largely been projection: to refer to the most centrist and obnoxiously Establishmentarian Democrat on a liberal radio line-up as “angry and “extremist” is to suggest over-reach.

This was always clearly a temporary endevor for Franken, and the purchasing of Thom Hartmann struck me as preparation for Franken moving out of this.  He will now pursue his Senate race against Norm Coleman, which I guess is a go unless the Minnesota Democratic Party Apparatus has a good say in the matter with the obvious question coming to mind: “Really?  Senator Franken?  Do the people want that?”

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