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Al Franken on Drugs

DFL Jr Senator (MN)


Admitted drug use during days as TV comedian

In June 2007, Franken was punched by a story in the Minneapolis Star Tribune about his drug use during his time on Saturday Night Live. The article was triggered by a 5-paragraph item on a Star Tribune political gossip blog called "The Big Question."

The next day, that Star Tribune blog post developed into a full-blown story in the newspaper bearing the headline, "Candidates' Past Use of Illegal Substances Surfaces." It devoted more words to Franken's admitted drug use during his Saturday Night Live years than to Coleman's inhaling, [including] rehashed information to which Franken had years ago admitted, including cocaine and LSD use. How did that happen?

Star Tribune editors gulped, felt pressured to re-craft the web post into a "balanced" 15-paragraph story that incorporated historical information about Franken, with bows to Coleman's smoking past and Mike Ciresi's pot dabbling.

Source: This Is Not Florida, by Jay Weiner, p. 69 , Sep 16, 2010

Wrote two movies about drug addiction and its horrors

The Minneapolis Star Tribune [wrote a 2007 article series about Franken's] drug use during his time on Saturday Night Live, [including] rehashed information to which Franken had years ago admitted, including cocaine and LSD use. How did that happen?

Star Tribune editors re-crafted the web post into a "balanced" 15-paragraph story that incorporated historical information about Franken, with bows to Coleman's smoking past and Mike Ciresi's pot dabbling.

No mention was made that since his SNL days, where drug use was rampant among cast and crew, Franken had written two movies about addiction and its horrors. His wife, Franni, had struggled with alcoholism. Drugs were no longer a laughing matter to Franken.

Source: This Is Not Florida, by Jay Weiner, p. 69-70 , Sep 16, 2010

Drug abuse isn’t immoral; hypocrisy about it is

Q: [On Rush Limbaugh’s admission of prescription drug abuse]: Since when is having a prescription drug problem a moral failing?

A: Well, first of all, I am on opposite Rush, and we are pledging to do drug-free radio.

Q: If you or someone in your family had a substance abuse problem, would you be offended if other people mocked it?

A: Yes, unless they were such a public hypocrite about it. When my friend Jerry Garcia died, Rush Limbaugh called him, “Just another dead doper. And a dirt bag.”

Source: CNN Crossfire interview , Apr 1, 2004

Other candidates on Drugs: Al Franken on other issues:
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Page last updated: Aug 03, 2014