In 2006, Leeann Tweeden was a performer alongside Al Franken on a U.S.O tour abroad. During transportation from one location to another, Ms. Tweeden fell asleep, Mr. Franken took advantage of her sleeping state and took a picture with his hands placed over her breasts. She was not made aware of the pictures existence until she was back in America for quite some time. According to Tweeden, Franken also forced himself on her while they were rehearsing. Tweeden came forward after discussing her experience with Democrat Representative Jackie Speier, a leading voice in ending sexual harassment on Capitol Hill. Sexual misconduct among political leaders in our nation “has long been a part of work life on Capitol Hill” (Fandos), especially in light of the prior conduct of our President, the conversation surrounding this topic has never been more pressing. After examining the rhetoric used by Al Franken and respective media groups in response to the Tweeden Scandal, it can clearly be observed that the differing motivations of the rhetors drastically shape the rhetoric produced even though the exigence and audiences are the same.
Firstly, for rhetoric to be established, there must be something to which rhetors respond. The event must be significant and present (for both the rhetor and audience), so that the response envisioned by the rhetor can occur. The sexual misconduct of Al Franken is both significant and present because it enters into the dialogue surrounding the “post Harvey