Al Franken, Barack Obama and White House Wednesday 28th October 2009 The President, Barack Obama, signed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 with its attached anti gay landmark hate crime component East Room The White House, Washington DC, USA
The film covers a lot of ground in its modest runtime. It starts with the promotional run of Franken's best-seller Lies and The Lying Liars Who Tell Them and moves to the launch of Air America and its subsequent slide downward, ending a little after the 2004 elections. In addition to all this, you're spending most of the time with a somewhat bull-headed, no-less charming entertainer with a nasally voice that's a few pitches below Chief Wiggum.
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Now legendary, the film has been referenced and homaged to an extent matched by few other recent films. It's a classic story: Greedy Phildadelphia commodity brokers Randolph and Mortimer Duke (the inimatable Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche) bet the sum of $1 on a "scientific experiment," namely that they can depose their successful managing director Louis (Aykroyd) and replace him with a common street bum named Valentine (Murphy).
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The three stories start strong and quickly peter out. The first, and by far the most interesting, follows Al Franken's experience as the butt of a lawsuit from Fox News, after Franken put a photo of Fox star Bill O'Reilly on his book and used Fox catchphrase "fair and balanced" on the cover. O'Reilly and Franken got into a screaming match, and Fox went to court. Fox lost, dismally, and Franken earned national notoriety with a bestseller. The lessons -- about what is protected speech and what is not -- are interesting and important.
Continue reading: The First Amendment Project Review
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