Al Franken's heckler smackdown


Geraldine Sealey
January 28, 2004 1:37AM (UTC)

Tired of several ranting detractors trying to shout down Howard Dean at a New Hampshire rally on Monday, Al Franken cleared the air by knocking them down. Not rhetorically, mind you. He aimed himself at one of the cacophonous critics and charged. "I was a wrestler so I used a wrestling move," Franken said.

The New York Post details the brawl, which makes Howard Dean's "I Have a Scream Speech" look like a Dennis Kucinich peace-in. "The tussle left Franken's trademark thick-rim glasses broken, but he said he was not injured. Franken -- who seemed in a state of shock and out of breath after the incident -- was helped back to his feet by several people who watched the tussle. Police arrived soon after. 'I got down low and took his legs out,' said Franken afterwards."

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Franken says he body-slammed the heckler -- a Lyndon Larouche supporter -- in the name of freedom of speech. "People should be able to assemble and speak without being shouted down," he said.


Geraldine Sealey

Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at Salon.com.

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