Al Franken is one lucky dog.
Somehow his #MeToo era exile has vanished and SiriusXM has agreed to let the comedian turned politician to do a radio show. The media gods have shown him incredibly mercy. Mark Halperin must be salivating. Franken, who served in the U.S. Senate until 2018, survived eight women coming forward and detailing an array of alleged sexual harassment involving groping and kissing.
“The Al Franken Show” will launch on SiriusXM’s ironically named “Progress Channel” beginning Sept. 28. The show will broadcast every Saturday at 10 a.m.
He has already landed some pretty phenomenal gets such as Chris Rock, former Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Patton Oswalt.
And get this. He’ll also be providing “special coverage” during the 2020 election cycle.
One accusation against Franken was definitive: It was a picture of him being photographed while jokingly covering the breasts of a radio host, Leeann Tweeden, who was sleeping at the time.
In late 2017, a slew of senators, many of the female persuasion, called for his resignation. Franken resigned on Jan. 2, 2018.
He apologized for some of the allegations, but didn’t even recall others.
Understandably, he’s so excited for his new gig.
“I’m excited to be back on SiriusXM, which carried my Air America show back in the day” said Franken in a release. “Listeners can expect a mix of guests from my comedian friends like Chris Rock, to my political pals like former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, to policy experts on the issues in play in 2020. When I’m interviewing Harry or former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, I’ll be the funny one. When I interview Rock or Patton Oswalt, I’ll be the one who served eight-and-a-half years in the Senate.”
SiriusXM says he has been missed.
“Al Franken is an important and influential progressive voice, whom many have missed. SiriusXM is the perfect platform for him to re-enter the public conversation,” said Megan Liberman, SiriusXM’s Senior Vice President of News, Talk, and Entertainment Programming.
Someone who isn’t thrilled about this development — a female commenter — remarked to The Mirror, “SXM’s progressive channel has an all white male lineup and now it has hired a disgraced former senator to flesh out their white male lineup. Very progressive. Motherfuckers.”
Some high-profile pals have been especially vocal about Franken being in a gray area of sexual harassment. HBO’s Bill Maher comes to mind. He has continuously given Franken a pass. In November, 2017, Maher gave a monologue telling viewers not to lump him in with the really skeevy guys like Harvey Weinstein or Kevin Spacey. (RELATED: Democrats Now Regret Forcing Al Franken Out Of The Senate)
“He did a bad thing and the condemnation has been universal, which he deserves,” Maher said. “What he doesn’t deserve is to be lumped in with Roy Moore. Or Kevin Spacey. Or Harvey Weinstein. Or Donald Trump, who calls his accusers liars, threatens to sue them, did long riffs at his rallies where he said they were too ugly for him to assault.
“Plus, with Al Franken we’re talking about one incident. Trump has 16 accusers. Roy Moore has nine. Roy Moore spent more time chatting up young girls at the mall than Santa Claus.” (RELATED: Gillibrand: We All Miss Franken But He Had To Go)
But even more recently, Maher has been vocal that Franken doesn’t deserve to be banished for life.
So has South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg. In June he said he would not have applied “the same pressure” as Democratic leadership did to give Franken the boot. (RELATED: Franken Has A Defender In Pete Buttigieg)
Lucky for Franken, this is his new lease on media life.
Now if only Halperin could find a way to beat his alleged rap sheet.