Too Serious About Satire

Monday, June 23, 2008

While accusing U.S. Senate candidate Al Franken of Minnesota of being vulgar, Michael Gerson referred to "Porn-O-Rama!" -- an article written by Mr. Franken eight years ago for Playboy magazine ["Vulgarian at the Gate," op-ed, June 18].

Surprisingly, while calling for more civility, Mr. Gerson wrote: " 'Porn-O-Rama!' is a modern campaign document every voter should read . . . ."

I can't help but wonder how asking the electorate to peruse an old Playboy will elevate the political dialogue.

Regardless, Mr. Gerson appears to be looking for his version of civility in all the wrong places.

The columnist may not think that Mr. Franken is a funny man, but millions of Americans disagree. And, unlike Mr. Gerson, millions of Americans understand the difference between satire and gratuitous vulgarity.

They also understand that Mr. Franken, of "Saturday Night Live" fame, is embarking on a new career. They realize that his views on current issues, not a satire that appeared in Playboy eight years ago, are the most apt barometers of what kind of senator he'd be.

Perhaps Mr. Gerson should look for civility in the National Review, not Playboy.


Lewes, Del.

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