Right-wing Kagan coverage: Franken blinked


In the latest example of their frenzy to attack progressive officials for, well, basically anything, the right-wing media is in a tizzy over video, which they claim shows Sen. Al Franken sleeping during Elena Kagan's Supreme Court confirmation hearing. First, it isn't even remotely clear from the video that Franken is napping, and secondly, the right's attack seems particularly odd, given that they're attacking Franken for actually being at the hearing. During most of the hearings, only about half of the Senators were even present at any given time.

For example, Fox & Friends this morning showed a short clip of Franken, and accused him of falling asleep during the hearing. Brian Kilmeade took offense to this, sarcastically noting he's "the newest guy on the Judiciary Committee and he's working his way right in there, making an impact. Congratulations. He's made a seamless transition." From the video, all that can be determined was that Franken's eyes were moving. You can watch the video and judge for yourself whether or not Franken was sleeping:

Nonetheless, Fox Nation claimed Franken was "caught dozing off"; Hot Air said he was "resting his eyes"; and Drudge also attacked him for "doodling."

Fox News' attacks on Franken were particularly ironic. Given that they're suggesting he found the hearings to be so dull that he fell asleep, one would think the network went to great lengths to cover something as important as a Supreme Court nomination hearing. Nope.The network devoted scant coverage to it, only managing to air a few questions from Republican Senators, and completely skipping over the two highest ranking Democrats on the Judiciary Committee, Sens. Leahy (D-VT) and Kohl (D-WI). Hot Air's Allahpundit found the hearings dull too. In a post today he noted with surprise that "something interesting did get said at today's interminably boring hearing," while O'Reilly called the hearings "boring as burnt toast."

This is just the latest in a long line of right-wing attacks that use short or cropped videos to smear Democrats, and this is surely one of the dumbest. Doocy compounded the stupidity of the smear by asking "Why is he on the Judiciary Committee? He is not a lawyer!" Doocy didn't ask why Sens. Kohl, Feinstein, Grassley, Coburn, or Kaufman, who are also not lawyers, were on the committee.

I also don't recall any equivalent outrage from Fox when Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) reportedly fell fast asleep during a Senate Finance Committee meeting on health care reform. After all, that would be "fair and balanced."

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