Alan Stuart "Al" Franken (born May 21, 1951) is the junior United States Senator from Minnesota. He is a member of the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party, which affiliates with the national Democratic Party. Franken achieved note as a writer and performer for the television show Saturday Night Live from its conception in 1975 before moving to writing and acting in films and television shows. He then became a political commentator, author of five books and host of a nationally syndicated radio show on the Air America Radio network.
- Mistakes are a part of being human. Appreciate your mistakes for what they are: precious life lessons that can only be learned the hard way. Unless it's a fatal mistake, which, at least, others can learn from.
- Oh, the Things I Know (2002)
- When you encounter seemingly good advice that contradicts other seemingly good advice, ignore them both.
- Oh, the Things I Know (2002)
- The biases the media has are much bigger than conservative or liberal. They're about getting ratings, about making money, about doing stories that are easy to cover.
- Lies and the Lying Liars who Tell Them (2003)
- If you listen to a lot of conservatives, they'll tell you that the difference between them and us is that conservatives love America and liberals hate America. ... They don't get it. We love America just as much as they do. But in a different way. You see, they love America like a 4-year-old loves his mommy. Liberals love America like grown-ups. To a 4-year-old, everything Mommy does is wonderful and anyone who criticizes Mommy is bad. Grown-up love means actually understanding what you love, taking the good with the bad and helping your loved one grow. Love takes attention and work and is the best thing in the world.
That's why we liberals want America to do the right thing. We know America is the hope of the world, and we love it and want it to do well.
- Lies: And the Lying Liars Who Tell Them (2003)
- What I do is taking what they say and using it against them. What I do is jujitsu.
- Al Franken: God Spoke (2006)
- Some of the same people who were instrumental in the Federalist Society’s effort to change our legal system are now working to help corporations increase their control over the flow of information.
If you control the flow of information, you can control the conversation around important issues. If you can control the conversation, you can change this country. … But we can’t be satisfied with stopping conservatives and their corporate clients from controlling the narrative when it comes to our legal system.
We have to fight back with our own.
In our narrative, the legal system doesn’t exist to help the powerful grow more powerful – it exists to guarantee that every American is entitled to justice
In our narrative, we defend our individual rights and liberties against corporate encroachment just as fiercely as we defend them against government overreach.
- Net neutrality is the First Amendment issue of our time. Today, a blog can load as fast as the Wall Street Journal — and, if the blog is good, it can get more traffic than any media conglomerate. But if bigger companies can pay for faster, priority Internet access, that blogger no longer has a shot. And these big companies know that when they pay for access, they win. They want preferred treatment on the Internet like the preferred treatment they get in the rest of their lives.
- I've said that net neutrality is the most important free speech issue of our time. It's true. If Republicans have their way, large corporations won't just have the loudest voices in the room. They'll be able to effectively silence everyone else. Every small business they'd prefer not to compete with. Every blogger who publishes something they don't like. We have to stop them.
- The crash of 2008 was driven in no small part by unfair practices in the mortgage industry, which led to many consumers becoming trapped in loans they didn’t understand and couldn’t afford.
- Our laws need to reflect the evolution of technology and the changing expectations of American society. This is why the Constitution is often called a “living” document. But we have a long way to go to get our modern privacy laws in line with modern technology.
- In the United States of America, satire is protected speech, even if the object of the satire doesn’t get it.
Quotes about Franken
- The election process and recount in Minnesota have lived up to the state's reputation for organization, transparency, and bipartisanship. The officials have been meticulous and every ruling has been unanimous. While Senator Amy Klobuchar is one of the hardest working members of the United States Senate, Minnesotans deserve their full representation. Once the Minnesota Supreme Court has issued its final ruling in this case, the President and I look forward to working with Mr. Franken on building an economy for the 21st century.
- U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, in Vice President Biden Issues Statement Following Meeting with Al Franken, The White House, Office of the Vice President (6 May 2009)
- I look forward to working with Senator-elect Franken to build a new foundation for growth and prosperity by lowering health care costs and investing in the kind of clean energy jobs and industries that will help America lead in the 21st century.
- U.S. President Barack Obama (30 June 2009). Statement on Senator-Elect Al Franken's Certification as Winner of the 2008 Minnesota Senatorial Race. The White House.
- Al Franken is ready for this job. It is time to get to work, and, Al Franken, there is a desk waiting for you in the Senate.
- They spent so much money in his first campaign making him look like a buffoon ... You're with him for five minutes and you see that's not true.
- The most hypocritical thing I've ever seen done to a human being, and then they have enough guts to sit on the floor, watch him give his speech, and go over and hug him? That's hypocrisy at the highest level I've ever seen in my life.
- U.S. Senator Joe Manchin on Senate Democrats who called for Franken's resignation, in "What if Al Franken unresigns?" in The Week (20 December 2017)