The longer coverage continues of the Al Franken-Leeann Tweeden sex abuse claims, the worse it looks (for Leeann). I was just looking at a tweet which purported to show scores of images of her in scantily-clad, come-hither poses. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Could that the same woman dressed in studious-looking glasses interviewed on CNN?
So I Googled her name and found literally thousands of pictures of her stark naked (warning). Apparently, she’s worked at Hooters, done photo shoots for Frederick’s of Hollywood and posed for Playboy as well.
There was one reason alone why she was hired to perform on that USO tour with Franken: skin, hers. She’s essentially a nude model, or at least she was at the time of the USO show. Clearly, now she is a broadcaster. But Franken didn’t misbehave with a radio announcer. He did what he did with a Playboy model. And one who herself was grabbing the asses and grinding against any male she could find on stage.
I want to make something extremely clear: I am not saying that Playboy models can’t be sexually harassed or abused. Clearly, they can and have been. In fact, at least one was murdered by a mentally troubled boyfriend.
What I am saying is that Tweeden was hired for one purpose on that tour and she was fulfilling a role when she appeared in it. Actors and performers are not acting in a stage act the way they would in real life. On stage, they sometimes kiss and do things they’d never do with, or to a stranger. If Leeann Tweeden had a problem with that she shouldn’t have been on the tour. Clearly she didn’t. And if she now wants to say that Al Franken sexually abused her she should start explaining why she was sexually abusing the male performers.
Tweeden’s Los Angeles radio news station admits it promoted this story heavily before it aired. That promotion appears to have involved a number of far-right news outlets and personalities. Prominent among them was Roger Stone who tweeted the story before it aired. Remember that Stone did the same thing after Guccifer alerted him to the fact that Wikileaks was about to dump the Clinton-DNC emails. This too, impeaches the motives of Tweeden and her promoter-handlers.
Tweeden’s work history shows a number of appearances and long-term gigs on FoxNews shows, including Sean Hannity’s. I have heard a rumor that Tweeden has signed a book contract with a right-wing publisher, which would make perfect sense. However, I haven’t heard the rumor confirmed so it’s just that (so far).
Leeann Tweeden is an opportunist and Al Franken is her gravy train. Women who do what she is doing are not just an embarrassment, they betray women who are real victims. They allow men to disrespect and doubt women who are real victims of rape and abuse. Tweeden is a circus and it’s in everyone’s interest to shut this circus down and get to leave town as soon as possible.
Clearly, male elected officials who abuse women may be, and are both Democrats and Republicans. This post doesn’t argue that Democratic male politicians are pure as driven snow. I’m certain there are a few Democrats in Congress who are abusers (here’s one for sure). But I am saying that if we make this into a partisan smear campaign in which every Republican sleaze has to be matched with a Democratic sleaze (clearly Stone’s intent) we’ll be dishonoring the seriousness of the issue of sex abuse.
I have read the new charge against Franken that he grabbed a female constituent’s ass during a picture-taking session. If true, yes it’s ugly. And he should know better.
But so far we haven’t taken George H.W. Bush out behind a barn to shoot him for the same offense. Nor has Jenny Listman’s charge that Elie Wiesel grabbed her ass during a photo session when she was a teenager, driven him from the pedestal he’s occupied for American Jews for decades. So Franken should do some serious soul-searching and make it up to American women by future his actions in the U.S. Senate, where he (still) belongs.