Favorite

Franken puts Arkansas front and center 

Live broadcast of radio show a big hit.

Al Franken’s latest visit to Little Rock was a smashing success. Hosted by the Rumba Room, Franken broadcast his three-hour radio show last Friday with local guests Congressman Vic Snyder, author Gene Lyons, Dean of the Clinton School of Public Policy Skip Rutherford, and the editor of the Arkansas Times, Max Brantley. “The Al Franken Show” (formerly “The O’Franken Factor”) is the flagship show of Air America, a counterpart and answer to Rush Limbaugh’s show on the network Excellence in Broadcasting.

Franken’s resume is fascinating, full of milestone successes, and it is hardly a surprise that he has ended up working hard for the left, pushing for what he believes in, doing it well, and doing it funny. Winner of five Emmys, a Grammy, and months and months on the New York Times bestseller list for his many books, Franken also served as anchor for “Indecision ’92,” on Comedy Central, for which he garnered rave reviews.

So it is no surprise that Franken is the star and leader of Air America Radio. Air America is expanding affiliate stations under the name Nova M, the first in Phoenix and the second here, with other markets targeted.

Franken’s show here was a big hit — there was a line that extended out the door and the house was packed with both locals and Franken’s Dallas Fan Club, a large group who made the lengthy trip to show their support. Franken has lost none of his irreverent humor while maintaining a clearly deep respect for President Clinton, his various guests, Little Rock and left-wing politics.

Before turning to his guests, Franken gave a fine rundown of the history of Little Rock. Then he performed several hilarious pieces, starting with United Nations Ambassador John Bolton, whom he considers an ineffective schoolyard bully who avoids trips to Darfur and other dangerous places.

Next Franken was joined by two players from the Rep — Matt Walker as Roger Clinton and Illana Newton as Hillary Clinton — in a send-up of Richard Mellon Scaife’s ridiculous accusations that Clinton murdered teen-agers and engaged in extensive drug use in order to win the presidency.

Snyder was unable to attend in person, but he spoke eloquently on the danger we face as the United States is widely hated around the world.

Gene Lyons, local freelance writer and co-author of “The Hunting of the President,” discussed the ludicrous rumors that Hillary Clinton murdered Vince Foster while President Clinton was murdering those teen-agers. He talked at length, and with some disgust, about the failure of the Wall Street Journal to do any real investigation, choosing to print those silly rumors instead, just as a tabloid would, functioning as entertainers rather than journalists.

Franken gave Skip Rutherford a hard time for the heavy rain that fell during the opening of the Clinton Presidential Center. In good form, Rutherford explained that he’d been told that, according to Air Force One, which has a top-of-the-line weather system, there was a two-hour break from the rain and so the cover was removed. Unfortunately, there was a two-hour shower instead. Rutherford also discussed the reasons that regard for Clinton has increased in recent years, suggesting that his intellectual curiosity, ability to deal with complex matters, and willingness to surround himself with people who don’t necessarily agree with him cause people to give him a newfound respect, especially compared to President Bush.

Brantley was the final guest and, sad to say, Franken was short on time. Franken, clearly familiar with recent issues of the Arkansas Times, asked Brantley about the recent article on The Lord’s Ranch and discussed the upcoming gubernatorial race.

Franken is heard on Nova M Radio, 1380 KDXE-AM in Little Rock weekdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and his shows can be heard on the Internet at http://www.airamerica.com/alfrankenshow.


 

Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Joy Ritchey

  • 'Yesterday' holds up

    The classic at the Rep asks: “Are the people gonna run the country or is the country gonna run the people?”
    • Mar 22, 2007
  • Near perfect 'King'; 'Daughter' hard to raise

    Lush and lavish, the Rep’s “The King and I” is a fantastic holiday play. "American Daughter," however, has aged a bit and the Weekend Theater crew may not have been completely prepared to take it on just yet.
    • Dec 7, 2006
  • George Wittenberg: downtown visionary

    When George Wittenberg sent me his address I didn’t look at it closely. It wasn’t until the morning of our interview that I read it and thought, “Huh? This isn’t near the River Market.” I was so certain that was where he lived. I plugged the address into
    • Nov 16, 2006
  • More »

More by Jim Harris

Most Shared

  • UPDATE: Retired Arkansas Arts Center director Townsend Wolfe dies at 81

    Townsend Durant Wolfe, III, retired director and chief curator of the Arkansas Arts Center, has died at 81.
  • Subpoenas identify names of federal interest in kickback probe

    The Northwest Arkansas Economic Development District today provided me with the subpoena it received from federal investigators in a probe that led to former Republican Rep. Micah Neal's guilty plea to taking kickbacks from money he guided to a nonprofit agency and a private college in Springdale, apparently Ecclesia College.
  • Human Services says it's eliminated Medicaid application backlog

    The state Human Services Department has informed Gov. Asa Hutchinson that it has all but eliminated a backlog in applications for Medicaid coverage.
  • Praising Asa

    Let us now praise the governor for a starkly moderate record, at least in comparison with other red-state executives.
  • Glass houses

    Having gotten a deep security briefing and probably a confidential glimpse of our own vast cyberspying operation, Donald Trump is no longer pretty sure that the Kremlin didn't hack Democratic computers or employ other tactics to help his election.

Latest in Best Bets

Visit Arkansas

Indian Rock House at Fairfield Bay

Indian Rock House at Fairfield Bay

Winter is the perfect time to explore the natural stone shelters where native Arkansans once lived

Event Calendar

« »

January

S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31  

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Changes needed

    • Building a lead so rapidly and holding it in games, even professional football, is difficult…

    • on January 15, 2017
  • Re: Road to recovery

    • Thanks for sharing this article. Asphalt is the most common material used for paving. Asphalt…

    • on January 13, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation