Tim Graham writes in NRO’s Corner: Al Franken’s boast in his book that he challenged Rich Lowry to a fistfight gains a little bit of perspective in today’s Washington Post magazine. Humor columnist Gene Weingarten wanted to parody a moment of right-left civility, but guess who was too “busy” to even get in an e-mail sandbox with one of his hate objects, the Ann Coulter doll:
“I decided to invite an arch-liberal and an arch-conservative to meet in this column and constructively discuss their differences, with me as moderator. I wanted the liberal to be Al Franken, the author of the best-selling Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, and the conservative to be Ann Coulter, author of the best-selling Traitor: Liberal Treachery From the Cold War to the War on Terrorism. Ann agreed right away. But Al begged off, saying he was too ‘busy,’ even for a worthy cause like helping combat the plague of name-calling. What a milksoppy, pantywaist, jellyfish, weasel-out wuss he turned out to be.” Weingarten reports that Michael Kinsley and Molly Ivins also rejected the challenge. So Gene and Ann have a typically Weingartenesque exchange on toilet paper and the merits of dogs vs. cats.
I still haven’t heard back from Al about my challenge. So, obviously he’s just as much of a coward as he claims Rich Lowry to be. I have to admit, I’d never considered making the same offer to Mr. Kinsley or Ms Ivins – I imagine Molly probably packs an okay punch, but she’s surely about as quick as molasses. I am, of course, far too much of a elite university-neutered, gender bias-free, sensitive New Age 90’s male to harbor any compunction about beating down a woman, even one who is old, fat and slow. We’re all equal, right?