.@AnnCoulter was right, @alfranken did make BABY RAPE JOKES on Comedy Central in 2000.— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) June 10, 2017
Absolutely horrifying that this man is a Senator. pic.twitter.com/YluSlsc5FI
After joking about Carl Reiner having inappropriate boundaries with his baby son Rob, Franken goes on to joke about Carl inviting "his famous friends" in Hollywood to rape his child-aged son.
Rob Reiner looks nervous, frazzled, and fidgety throughout the whole thing. Not because he's shocked by the transgressive humor -- he's heard plenty worse in the entertainment business. I wasn't the only one who noticed such a bizarre reaction:
check out rob reiner— Roseanne Barr (@therealroseanne) June 11, 2017
Now, the culture warriors on the Right are taking aim here at Franken for his taboo-breaking jokes. But in this case, truth may be stranger than fiction.
Here is an article from Radar Online, re-posted with comments at Blind Gossip, which both have a proven track record of accurate sources in the entertainment industry. It is about former child star Corey Haim naming one of his sexual abusers from when Haim was underage in the 1980s. Haim named his abuser to close friends before dying in 2010, and his friends so far have not revealed the name for fear of libel charges.
In the detective work of the many pages of comments, the only guess that makes any sense, and who has a known link to Haim during the mid-1980s, is Rob Reiner. (Charlie Sheen was a popular guess, but the article clearly says someone with a "family-man" facade -- obviously not Sheen, and perhaps a play on words, with Reiner staring in All in the Family.)
How is Reiner linked to Haim at the time of his abuse? From Wikipedia:
Haim had read for River Phoenix's role in Stand By Me while eating lunch in director Rob Reiner's backyard, and got the part the same day that he was offered Lucas. He later said he would not have changed his decision [to go instead with Lucas].
And of course Stand By Me stared another former child actor who keeps threatening to call out specific gay pedophiles who control Hollywood -- Corey Feldman, a close friend of Haim's. So there's the early link between Reiner and Feldman.
Was Al Franken joking that this kind of behavior started with Carl setting up his son Rob for abuse by Hollywood pedos, or was he thinly disguising a revelation that Rob himself was the kingpin of a pedo ring in Hollywood? (Or both -- that the practice ran in their Hollywood family?)
Franken is a liberal Jew who became famous in show business, so it's possible he doesn't disapprove of such behavior, and is enjoying the transgression on two levels -- violating the taboo against incest, pedophilia, and homosexuality, and sharing an earth-shattering secret in public, but one that only the in-group realize is truthful.
Then again, he is a do-gooder Minnesota type, so it's possible he disapproves of gay pedo rings in Hollywood, and is trying to shame Reiner as openly as possible while maintaining as much plausible deniability as possible (by switching Reiner's role from adult kingpin to child victim). Franken's tone sounds more dour than titillated, so I favor this explanation. Not all Jewish liberals from show-biz are so far out-there that they delight in thoughts about pedo rings.
This roast from 2000 was before the torrent of coverage in 2002 of Catholic Church abuse of underage boys. So Franken and Reiner might have felt safe to awkwardly take part in a joke about such things.
If you're on Twitter, post that Blind Gossip link whose comments repeatedly bring up Reiner's name as a strong lead for Corey Haim's abuser, and point out the link between Haim and Reiner (and Feldman) from Stand By Me. That is the far bigger story than Al Franken joking about a gay pedo ring (especially if he was only doing that bit in order to publicly hint at Reiner's dirty laundry).
Related post, "Prosecute pedophile rings to delegitimize Hollywood: Winning the culture war without warring over culture"