Op-ed: Of sleaze and gifts

  • By Bob Franken
  • Monday, November 20, 2017 11:30am
  • Opinion

I’m actually disappointed. I thought that I had settled on this year’s seasonal gift to everyone. Yes, “seasonal” — I’m one of those people who wishes everyone a “happy holiday.” This, as we know, infuriates Christian extremists.

Speaking of Roy Moore, he now seems to have moved on, but if all the credible accusations are true, for a while at least he was the perv-in-the-mall when the 30-something district attorney in Alabama was creeping out teeny-bopper girls in the shopping center by hitting on them. Come to think of it, large numbers of evangelicals exhibit admirable faith, tolerance and intellect, but just about any group has its charlatans, so Christian extremists and pervs are not necessarily mutually exclusive groups. But I have seriously digressed.

I was talking about how I had chosen a single present that I’d be giving to all those on my list. I had decided that everyone would receive a Keurig coffee maker from me. That was driven by my spirit of defiance (hey, you have your Yuletide spirit; I have mine) of the far-rightist thugs destroying their Keurigs after the company announced that it was pulling sponsorship ads from Sean Hannity’s program on Fox News.

Hannity, for those who don’t know or care, is the ultraconservative host of the most watched program on Fox, and many think — including me, by the way — that he’s actually a shill for President Donald Trump and anybody else from that part of the political spectrum. Naturally he landed the only interview with Alabama senatorial candidate Roy Moore after The Washington Post reported on accusations from teenage girls back in the day that Moore had sexually assaulted one of them and been otherwise inappropriate with the others. Hannity asked Moore what might be described as “gentle” questions. Others would describe it as Sean rolling over for a belly rub. It caused such an uproar that Keurig executives announced that they’d be yanking their commercial from his show. The alt-right loonies went bonkers. Social media exploded with videos of them burning their coffee makers or hitting them with sledgehammers. So naturally, that ended my annual uncertainty over what to get everyone. And, if anyone already had one, he or she could regift it to the alt-right somebody who was not alt-there and needed one to demolish.

Alas, it is not to be. Hannity has toughened his tone with Moore, as has every other Republican outside Alabama, who just wish he would go away. Not only that, but he made nice about Keurig, saying that his viewers shouldn’t smash their coffee makers. Now Keurig also has wimped out, saying in effect that its announcement that it pulling its spots was hasty and didn’t follow protocol.

So now what do I do? (Yes, I work in in TV; it’s always about me.) Moore is hanging tough. He accuses The Washington Post, along with all the other scumbag media (pardon the redundancy) and the various establishments — liberal, GOP, all of them — of spreading lies about him. Other women have emerged to tell their own stories of their encounters with a handsy Roy Moore back then.

At this point, I need to mention that Sen. Al Franken has recently admitted to imposing himself on a female model, who is now a Los Angeles broadcaster, while they were on a 2006 USO tour. I need to mention it because we are related. Plus, it’s another example of totally smarmy behavior that Franken had no choice to admit to after a damning photo showed him joking about groping her while she was asleep. Of course, it was just a matter of time before President Trump reacted: In the case of Moore, Trump basically didn’t react, saying it was up to Alabama’s voters. Meanwhile, he ridiculed “Al Frankenstein.” That’s original.

That’s bad enough, but what’s worse, I’m still wondering what gifts to get.

Bob Franken is a longtime broadcast journalist, including 20 years at CNN.

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