Maybe Al Franken wasn’t toppled by a right-wing Twitter bot conspiracy after all

For a moment, Franken's remaining supporters could blame his downfall on an ingenious right-wing conspiracy. It wouldn't last.

For a moment, Franken's remaining supporters could blame his downfall on an ingenious right-wing conspiracy. It wouldn't last. Wikimedia

Earlier this week, the outer banks of the lefty media were aflutter over a plot to take down former U.S. Sen. Al Franken. If you weren’t scoring at home, the caper went something like this:

Roger Stone – GOP consultant, lobbyist, and symbol of everything you hate about politics – announced on Twitter in November that Franken’s “time in the barrel is about to come.”

Shortly after this ominous warning, L.A. radio host, Hooters poster girl, and Fox News contributor Leeann Tweeden said that, in 2006, Franken forcibly stuck his tongue down her throat during a USO tour. Then a photo went public, showing the senator pretending to grab her breasts as she slept.

This led to a throng of women coming forth, each accusing Franken of similar tongue assaults and/or assorted butt grabbing. Calls for Franken’s resignation began cascading across Twitter, enflamed by a battery of fake accounts tied to two suspicious Japanese websites.

Franken, in other words, was assassinated by cyberplot. He would resign within a month.

That’s the gist of the tale, as reported by Newsweek on Monday. And since it seemed to be the work of a respectable news magazine, it was soon rocketing through the more leftward corners of internet. For those willing to look past Franken’s history as a creeper, it offered proof that he was the victim of right-wing sabotage and general nefariousness.

Only he wasn’t.

As City Pages reported earlier this week, the conspiracy had drivable holes from the start. Snopes, the noted internet bullshit detector, also seem unmoved by the thesis. And neither Roger Stone nor Japanese websites were behind the varied, independent tales of women accusing Franken of being a degenerate.

Yesterday, Newsweek retracted its saga, admitting that it couldn’t be verified.

Though it’s tempting to castigate the magazine, forgiveness might be of higher order. Its editors are bit distracted. They’re in the midst of their own conspiracy involving their parent company, corruption, a small Bible college, and the firing of writers who sought to expose it all.

Not only is it more interesting than the Franken conspiracy. It’s probably real. The Manhattan DA is investigating.

Still, if you prefer intrigue of the half-baked variety, we have you covered:

It seems the victims of last week’s carnage at a Florida high school weren’t students after all. They’re actually “crisis actors,” a battalion of teen thespians who materialize after every school shooting, pretending to be normal kids when their real aim is to take away your Second Amendment…