“I guess there are no good people left, so let’s just get it over with. Just tell us whatever you did, Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama, Tom HanksMalala.” — Stephen Colbert during last night’s monologue.

I too was crestfallen yesterday. A blot on a good man’s reputation, and now people who aren’t paying close attention have lumped Sen. Al Franken in with all the real baddies. Franken is included, in fact, in a new N.Y. Times rogues’ gallery chart. But with every well-thought-of person presumably guilty of having behaved, however briefly or ill-advisedly, in a way that could be described as demeaning, thoughtless, clumsy, indiscrete, hurtful or ill-mannered, what is there to say? Obviously you have to differentiate. You have to qualify. The focus has to be on serial abusers, and not so much the one-timers.

Franken quickly apologized yesterday, and then apologized again in a longer form. In response to which Leann Tweeden said, “The apology? Sure, I accept it, yes. People make mistakes and of course, he knew he made a mistake. So yes, I do accept that apology. There’s no reason why I shouldn’t accept his apology.”