As a Minnesotan and a Harvard grad, I was glad to see a feature on Al Franken (class of ’73) on the cover of the March-April issue of Harvard Magazine, the university’s official alumni magazine. Other alumni, it seems, didn’t share my feelings.
“With Al Franken on the cover,” writes Betsy Jensvold (M.B.A. ’86) in a letter to the editor published in the current issue, “the Harvard Magazine went straight into the trash. Condescending humor is not clever. A man so rude, profane, and partisan should never be elected to public office.”
Daniel Taft ’57 was slightly more measured in his criticism. “I am mystified by your sense of priorities in selecting this person, who has not demonstrated any real accomplishments in his brief public service, as the subject of the cover article.”
1976 Harvard Law grad Richard Sybert takes issue with Franken’s politics, which “rest on taking money from those of us who produce and add value, and giving it to those who consume,” but also aims a pot shot at the entire Gopher State. “Franken, whose ideas and value system are comprehensively wrong, is an embarrassment to everyone, but in particular to the Minnesota voters who must have thought they were playing a joke on the rest of the country. (They have done so before; remember Jesse Ventura?)”
If the editors received any positive correspondence about the profile, they declined to publish it; the three disappointed letters appear under the headline, “Fie on Al Franken.”