Friday, November 17, 2017

No Excuses

Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) didn’t weasel out in his lengthy — and second — apology to Leeann Tweeden for the assault in 2006.  Via Politico:

“The first thing I want to do is apologize: to Leeann, to everyone else who was part of that tour, to everyone who has worked for me, to everyone I represent, and to everyone who counts on me to be an ally and supporter and champion of women. There’s more I want to say, but the first and most important thing—and if it’s the only thing you care to hear, that’s fine—is: I’m sorry.

“I respect women. I don’t respect men who don’t. And the fact that my own actions have given people a good reason to doubt that makes me feel ashamed.

“For instance, that picture. I don’t know what was in my head when I took that picture, and it doesn’t matter. There’s no excuse. I look at it now and I feel disgusted with myself. It isn’t funny. It’s completely inappropriate. It’s obvious how Leeann would feel violated by that picture. And, what’s more, I can see how millions of other women would feel violated by it—women who have had similar experiences in their own lives, women who fear having those experiences, women who look up to me, women who have counted on me.

“Coming from the world of comedy, I’ve told and written a lot of jokes that I once thought were funny but later came to realize were just plain offensive. But the intentions behind my actions aren’t the point at all. It’s the impact these jokes had on others that matters. And I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to come to terms with that.

“While I don’t remember the rehearsal for the skit as Leeann does, I understand why we need to listen to and believe women’s experiences.

“I am asking that an ethics investigation be undertaken, and I will gladly cooperate.

“And the truth is, what people think of me in light of this is far less important than what people think of women who continue to come forward to tell their stories. They deserve to be heard, and believed. And they deserve to know that I am their ally and supporter. I have let them down and am committed to making it up to them.”

I hope the Senate ethics committee investigates the hell out of him so we can see if this is a one-time thing or a pattern.

But this is how this kind of thing should be handled: own up, fess up, no excuses, and try to make amends.  His job is on the line.  If he resigns, then so be it.

Compare that to the expected — and totally unself-aware — response from Trump who chortles to the world via Twitter about Sen. Franken.  It didn’t take long for the Twitterverse to remind him of the Access Hollywood tape and the fifteen or so women who came forward last year to say he’d assaulted them.  But don’t expect an apology from him.