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New York Awards 2003

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Al Franken
If Al Gore ever gets that liberal cable network going, Al Franken is one of the few people we’d actually want to watch. He has the rare talent of taking the political outrage that stems from disbelief (Bush said what?) and making it funny rather than screechy. Plus, he’s proved deliciously successful at bullying bullies. This year, of course, the former Saturday Night Live comic worked Bill O’Reilly and Fox into a fine lather over his best-seller Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right. (When O’Reilly brags about growing up in working-class Levittown, Franken points out that he actually hails from well-off Westbury.) The network sued, citing its trademarked phrase and calling Franken “shrill and unstable” and “increasingly unfunny.” Regrettably, the legal farce didn’t last long. “There are hard cases and easy cases,” said the judge. “This is an easy case.” Which is precisely how we feel about giving Franken an award. —JARED HOHLT


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