The Franken factor

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Would-be senatorial hopeful loses out to a pill-popping blowhard

If Arbitron ratings are any indication of Minnesota's changing colors, it would seem that our once-blue state is turning the hue of an ugly and painful recent bruise: bright purple in the center with edges of swelling red. According to a press release from Premiere Radio Networks, which syndicates The Rush Limbaugh Show, Al Franken's Air America show has half the listeners as Rush Limbaugh's, and that's in the blue-blooded city of Minneapolis, about five minutes away from Franken's birthplace of St. Louis Park.

29,200 Minneapolitans are listening to the dull sound of Limbaugh repeatedly beating his chest and blasting "activists" on a daily basis, while only an average of 13,700 are tuning in to Franken's show. What's most perplexing about these numbers, however, is that when broken down by Minneapolitans age 25-54, Limbaugh brings in 14,100 local listeners, meaning that a huge chunk of his Minneapolis audience supposedly is either over 54 or under 25. Maybe it's Limbaugh's Club G'itmo gear that kids and young adults find so amusing: "Hey, kids! Let's reduce an unforgivable and shameful atrocity to a product for profit! It's the American way!"

Yet it's the awful, sex-infested video games, movies, television shows, and popular music that are turning our nation's coddled kids into a bunch of violent, detached drones who are so programmed by this evil they're capable of, say, finding things like abuse by American soldiers not only justified, but utterly hilarious--or even worse--having (gasp!) sex before marriage.

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