The book's title incorporated the Fox News slogan "Fair and Balanced", and had a cover photo of Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly; that August, Fox News sued, claiming infringement of its registered trademark phrase.
Franken signed a one-year contract in early 2004 to host a talk show for Air America Radio's flagship program with co-host Katherine Lanpher, who remained with the show until October 2005. Originally named The O'Franken Factor but renamed The Al Franken Show on July 12, 2004, the show aired three hours a day, five days a week for three years.
Its stated goal was to put more progressive views on the public airwaves to counter what Franken perceived as the dominance of conservative syndicated commentary on the radio: "I'm doing this because I want to use my energies to get Bush unelected," he told a New York Times reporter in 2004.
Franken also co-wrote the film When a Man Loves a Woman, co-created and starred in the NBC sitcom Late Line, and appeared in the 2004 remake of The Manchurian Candidate.
As a result of this sketch, Silverman declined Lorne Michaels's recommendation that Franken succeed him as producer, and Franken left the show when Michaels did, at the end of the 1979–80 season.
Franken returned to the show in 1985 as a writer and occasional performer.
Franken paid a ,000 fine to the state of New York upon being advised his corporation was out of compliance with the state's workers compensation laws.
After decades as a comedic actor and writer, he became a prominent liberal political activist, hosting The Al Franken Show on Air America Radio.
Franken was first elected to the United States Senate in 2008 as the nominee of the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party (DFL, an affiliate of the Democratic Party), defeating incumbent Republican Senator Norm Coleman by 312 votes out of nearly three million cast.
, detailing his hypothetical campaign for president in 2000.
He had been a strong supporter of Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone and was deeply affected by Wellstone's death in a plane crash shortly before the 2002 election.