The story has riled readers at MNspeak, including one who wonders if Franken's opponent, Sen. Norm Coleman, will get such unflattering treatment in an upcoming issue. City Pages editor Kevin Hoffman commented at the site, stating that the piece is "a lighthearted story not meant to be a huge expose." Reached by email later, he said, "I thought the story was newsworthy because Al Franken is running for a major public office. If George W. Bush liked to gnaw on a sweaty towel and growl like a dog while running on the treadmill, don't you think it would be worth publishing?"
Al Franken in gym shorts: That's the image City Pages treats us to today. In a story by Brooklyn-based writer Ben Westhoff, we hear from neighbors at Franken's downtown Minneapolis condo about his antics in the building's gym. Among the stunning revelations: Franken has been spotted shouting at the TV during a Twins game, singing aloud with his iPod, putting his own campaign sticker on his car, and, worst of all, having a public persona -- a comedic one -- even when in the relative privacy of the exercise room. The key story, illustrated by Jay Bevenour (above), is relayed by resident Lauren Zeller, a 28-year-old Republican who "swears her politics haven't affected her perception of Franken." She's irked that Franken does a routine, clearly meant to "get a rise out of" fellow residents, in which "He yells, 'Go Al!' and then puts his sweaty towel in his mouth, shakes his head back and forth, and growls like a dog."
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