"Al, hurry up," said Michael Harrison, publisher of TALKERS mag, the convention sponsor.Sounds like he was drunk. Just the kind of good 'ol boy for Garrison Keillor's vote.
"It’s freedom of speech," said Franken, referring to the Freedom of Speech Award he’d just been given by the magazine.
"It’s not freedom to kill everybody’s evening, so why don’t you wrap it up," Harrison argued.
"I’m talking about the war in Iraq and I have about two pages left, and I think the people in Walter Reed [Army Medical Center] who’ve been injured deserve the last two pages of my speech," Franken countered.
"There are people walking out," said Harrison. "We gave you the award and it’s time to leave."
"Everyone who wants to leave can leave," said Franken, addressing hundreds of talk-show hosts and radio execs at a cocktail reception in a downtown hotel.
"Now don’t leave!" Harrison urged the attendees. "We honored you. Now honor us. Don’t kill our party."
With that -- while some shouted "keep going, keep going" and "let him finish" -- the Air America star wound down his rant by talking about his visits with Iraq-war vets.
"The soldiers were so magnificent," Franken said, appearing to suppress sobs.
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