Of course, you can’t see his hand or posture in the photo, and they are both smiling like there’s nothing wrong. It could be that she’s trying to ignore it and smile anyway (it’s obviously not the first time a woman has had to pretend to not be upset while a man has done something awful to her), but she doesn’t look remotely upset in the picture. Menz and her husband are also coincidentally politically conservatives. She claims no affiliation, but voted for Trump in the 2016 election. She is also an evangelical Christian and appears to have deleted a lot of her Instagram pictures (I know, because I looked).
Here’s where things are going to get a little conspiratorial, but hear me out. Al Franken is guilty of the inappropriate photo on the airplane. Guilty of an unfunny joke that makes him look a little bit of a boor. That’s it. I believe that this is a classic Republican dirty trick that is meant to discredit not only Franken but the #metoo movement and to draw blame away from Roy Moore and others. It’s far from the first time they’ve employed tactics like this. Look at James O’Keefe– he’s the guy who makes misleading videos about liberal organizations to discredit them. He succeeded in destroying ACORN, first in the sphere of public opinion and then the non-profit itself, which dissolved in 2010. The video was shown to be heavily edited to mislead viewers. While ACORN was eventually exonerated, it didn’t matter, because it had already fallen apart. ACORN was among other things responsible for helping low income communities register to vote. O’Keefe also made the also discredited Planned Parenthood video that claimed they sold aborted fetuses to laboratories. Oh yeah, he was later arrested, tried and found guilty of breaking in to Sen. Mary Landrieu’s (D-La.) office and tampering with her phones. Roger Ailes, the disgraced former CEO and Chairman of Fox News had a long history of this type of thing going back to his days working for the Nixon White House. The fact that Fox News is a biased organization is very well known, but did you know he had been planning it since the 70’s. Here is an actual passage in a memo that he wrote in 1970:
Today television news is watched more often than people read newspapers, than people listen to the radio, than people read or gather any other form of communication. The reason: People are lazy. With television you just sit—watch—listen. The thinking is done for you.
In the autumn election season of 1970, a cherubic, bespectacled teenager turned up at the Chicago campaign headquarters of Alan Dixon, a Democrat running for state treasurer in Illinois. No one paid the newcomer much attention when he arrived, or when he left soon afterwards. Nor did anyone in the office make the connection between the mystery volunteer and 1,000 invitations on campaign stationery that began circulating in Chicago’s red-light district and soup kitchens, promising “free beer, free food, girls and a good time for nothing” for all-comers at Dixon’s headquarters.
As political dirty tricks go, it was minor league. Hundreds of the city’s heavy drinkers and homeless turned up at a smart Dixon reception looking for free booze. Dixon was embarrassed but the plot failed to stop his momentum: he was elected state treasurer and went on to become a senator. But the teenager who stole his letterheads, Karl Rove, has gone even further. I have to admit, this is kind of hilarious, but it shows the lengths that Rove would go to. And that was when he was only a teenager. And do we even need to talk about Steve Bannon and Breitbart? Guess who published James O’Keefe’s bullshit “exposés”? (I’m not posting a link to that garbage) So we have two photogenic politically conservative women, both with photos that don’t show anything. Menz and Tweeden are using the #metoo hashtag on her posts. Tweeden has graciously accepted Franken’s apology for something he doesn’t remember having done.
In August 2010, @alfranken grabbed me while taking a photo together at the Minnesota State Fair. I felt violated & embarassed. I 100% believe your account of him & his actions, @LeeannTweeden. Thank you for sharing your story. #metoo
— Lindsay Menz (@LindsayMenz) November 16, 2017
It’s a masterful stroke: If you doubt the women’s stories, you are siding with an abuser. It doesn’t leave any grounds for criticism, and if you do, you’re just like the people who doubt Roy Moore’s accusers. Isn’t it weird that both women are conservatives? That one definitely voted for Tump and that the other more than likely did? That the photographer taking pictures of Franken and Tweeden didn’t either stop Franken from “groping” her or tell her about it afterwards, took a picture of it and gave it to her with no warning or heads up? And finally, if he is guilty, why did Franken call for an ethics investigation on himself? If he is guilty, it doesn’t make any sense that he would subject himself to that. Is it possible he wants to get these women under oath to testify? Why does Al Franken get the benefit of the doubt, while someone like Roy Moore doesn’t? Because Al Franken has credibility. He is a champion of women’s rights, he has been vouched for by dozens of women he has worked with, both at SNL and in the Senate. There is no real evidence of anything occurring. Moore keeps denying things while saying things like he was first attracted to his wife when he was 30 and she was 15. There is copious evidence and many witnesses to his offenses. I could be wrong. Al Franken could be the type of man that forcibly kisses and gropes women without their consent. I don’t believe he is though.