CPAC: Medved-Franken-O’Neill Kurfuffle

Over at radio row, there was a row between Michael Medved and Al Franken. Swift Boat leader John O’Neill was scheduled to be on Medved’s show as was Franken. Apparently, Franken was not expecting Oneil to be there and was apoplectic over having been set up to debate him without preparation, and refused to do so. Franken said he considers O’Neill to be “a disgrace” and that just being that close to him (maybe seven feet) was enough to make him angry. Medved explained that it was not his intention to set Franken up but that the situation in such a forum was “fluid” and, one gathers, having the opportunity to have O’Neill on was one too good to pass up.

Michael Medved and Al Franken

Amusingly, Oneil seemed oblivious to the whole thing, working on his notes the entire time:

John O’Neill

See also: Sean Hackbarth and Radley Balko

Update (2-19): Robert Cox has more photographs and is hosting a video of the exchange.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Ugh says:

    That looks like a crossword.

  2. Kathy K says:

    I think Ugh is right. That does look like a crossword.

  3. DANEgerus says:

    Franken may be willing to assault a Lyndon LaRouche(D) supporter, or attack a staff member of a talk radio show… but faced with matching wits with Swift Boat leader John O’Neill he runs faster then John Kerry(D) under fire from the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia on a gun running mission to deliver weapons to the… Khmer Rouge.

  4. Beldar says:

    Dr. Joyner: Neat to see you post a photo of John O’Neill. I know that’s not an endorsement, but I recall your skepticism when the SwiftVets first big splash appeared last August.

  5. zetetic says:

    Later, a more-composed Franken unsheathed his trademark razor-sharp wit, calling O’Neill a “big fat lying liar doodyhead.”

  6. Pat Curley says:

    The sad thing is that as far as Franken knows, the Swiftees are a disgrace, because that’s how the MSM has treated them. As somebody who spent more hours checking Kerry’s story against the Swiftees than any other blogger (at Kerry Haters) I can tell you that I can tell you that they caught him lying many, many times, and he caught them not at all.

  7. I met John O’Neill for the second time at CPAC, and he is truly a super-nice guy with a good sense of humor. Gary Aldrich (his Patrick Henry Foundation for Individual Freedom sponsored my appearance at CPAC in 2000 and this year) and John become good friends after John’s publisher though it would be a good idea to ask Aldrich for advice before “Unfit for Command” was released. Gary had gone through a firestorm when “Unlimited Access” was published, and John and his publisher got some good advice on handling the negative reaction from the usual suspects.

    Altough my visit to CPAC was regrettably time-limited, I had a great time meeting folks like Ace (My wife, SarahW had clued him to be on the lookout for a “town crier”, Senator Norm Coleman (gracious, very friendly guy, and he ripped ol’ Koffi Annan a new one on Thursday night), John O’Neill of course and Admiral Hoffman and wives, and I got to be on Bob Barr’s radio show, and had a nice chat with Bob and Mrs. Barr. The highlight for me, of course, was getting 10 minutes at the lectern Friday morning to present Patrick Henry. I was getting a cup of coffee in the “green room” for the speakers and I turn around and there next to me is Patrick Buchanan! I don’t know what he made of me, but I bowed and said, “your servant, sir”. Everyone was so nice and complimentary to me after the speech. I hope to go again next year and be able to spend more time and meet more people.

    Michael AKA “Patrick Henry, Esquire”

  8. Cassandra says:

    What O’Neill is thinking:


    I’ve had the pleasure of watching Mr. O’Neill react to shabby and rude treatment on several occasions. He is unfailingly polite, calm, and rational.

    Pure class, all the way.

  9. Franken seems to get angry a lot lately. He got angry with Medved the last time he was on Medved’s show, and I forget the reason why.

  10. JD says:

    John O’Neill is a proven liar, his lies are documented. Franken handed Medved his backside when he was on the Al Franken show. The lies that Medved was tring to spout off is unbelievable.

  11. Cassandra says:

    Convincing, that last comment. JD, last time I watched Mr. O’Neill speak, his ‘calm and rational’ opponents relied on trying to drown him out by shouting rude insults (kind of like what you just offered) instead of debating him in the public arena.

    It’s almost as if… gee, I don’t know… they didn’t have any FACTS to bring to the table and consequently were reduced to petty namecalling.

  12. Sandy says:

    I keep reading about John O’Neill being a “proven” liar, but I have yet to see one morsel of what proves this. It is important to remember that liberals and democrats and others without much brainpower to back up their mouths will constantly repeat a charge like “O’Neill is a proven liar” until they think their own lie has become the truth.