Al Franken Insults Intersex Community

Thu. June 3, 2004 12:00 AM

Philadelphia, PA - Al Franken and his co-host on the O'Franken Factor which airs on Air America made a mistake in thinking the people with intersex conditions make for good fun when he and Katherine Lanpher characterized both intersex people and conjoined twins as freaks. A copy of the transcript containing the exchange from the June 2, 2004 show is below.

The Intersex group Bodies Like Ours have already sent emails reacting to Mr. Franken's poor judgment he exercised in the skit. According to a Bodies Like Ours representative, Intersex and conjoined twins are not "freaks", nor "creatures" as Mr. Franken would like to believe. His comments further stigmatize a birth condition that is already surrounded by enough trauma and shame. Calling someone with an intersex condition as a "he-she", even if fictional or as a joke is insulting and incorrect.

Bodies Like Ours is demanding that Mr. Franken and Air America issue an immediate apology to people born with an intersex condition, to conjoined twins, and to our families for his insensitive comments about a medical condition that affects approximately one out of 2000 people worldwide. We would also request that Mr. Franken take some time in his show to speak with an intersex advocate about his comments.


The O'Franken Factor

Aired about 12:10pm on June 2, 2004 Air Amerida Radio

Host Al Franken: We caught [FOX News and talk radio host Sean] Hannity in another lie. The guy just will not stop... Let's play this, this is from May 26th. This is comparing... This is talking about which is a group that I've done some stuff with, and... well here:

SH: Now Al Gore, this is PAC that he is now aligned himself with because of number of times he's associated with them. This is a group that had a website that featured ads that compared our President George Bush with Hitler. One of their big supporters, George Soros, also compared George Bush to the Nazis. This is the group that says we ought to have a non-military response to 9/11. Do you think it's appropriate for a former vice president to associate with a group that has ads on their website that compare the President of the United States to Hitler?

AF: Okay, now. As Hannity knows, had a contest in which people submitted 30 second ads on the Bush administration. They posted over 1,200 submissions on their website and two of them compared Bush to Hitler. As soon as this was pointed out to MoveOn people, they immediately took the ads off from the website, they never featured these ads nor do they as Hannity says have these ads on their website that compare president to Hitler. This is something Republicans made huge deal out of. In fact the place you could find these was on GOP websites. They took them down.

And Hannity knows this, and it's just tiresome. We continuously debunk Hannity's lies but it doesn't make any difference. He keeps on repeating lies we debunk and then he tells other lies that he knows are lies. And he forces us to resort to the only weapon... welcome to today's edition of Fighting Hannity's Lies With Lies About Hannity.

AF: Okay, today's lies about Hannity. Remember this isn't true. That's important--this is a lie. Not true.

AF: Hannity was born a hermaphrodite.

Co-host Katherine Lanpher: What?

AF: It's not true. Not just a hermaphrodite, but a conjoined twin who is also hermaphrodite. They were conjoined at both sets of genitals. Remember this isn't true, it's a lie. The doctor in delivery room said he'd never seen a more hideously freakish creature in his life, Sean and Shawn, S-H-A-W-N.

They were separated at age 14 by drunk carnival barker using a [inaudible] stolen from bearded lady, who was Sean's mother and father. Remember, none of this is even remotely true, it's a lie. Anyway, Sean nearly bled to death but survived and now has a quarter of a vagina and three-quarters of a penis. Remember this isn't true.

But in a sense it is far less [inaudible] lie than the lies this three-quarter man tells everyday. And we here at The O'Franken Factor, we feel that it's our duty to keep lying about Hannity as long as he insists on lying to America. That was today's Fighting Hannity's Lies With Lies About Hannity.

KL: Al? What happened to Shawn, S-H-A-W-N, Shawn?

AF: Katherine, it's a lie, there were no twins. But your asking demonstrates how insidious these lies could be. He-she bled to death.

KL: Oh, that's terrible.

AF: But Sean didn't seem to care, he's never even mentioned her on the show as his sister.

KL: That's terrible.