Wednesday, August 13, 2003


What the heck. Bandwagons are fun. At least for now, I've added the "Fair and Balanced" subhead to the blog title.

Seems that Leftie humorist Al Franken is coming out with a book called Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right. Problem is, Fox News claims a trademark on the phrase "Fair & Balanced", so they're suing Franken and his publisher. This is, of course, ridiculous. So somebody in the Blogosphere (Neil Pollack?) decided that August 15 should be "Fair and Balanced Day". Political blogs of all stripes are sprouting the phrase in question. So I'm jumping on too, in my inimitable day-late-and-dollar-short fashion.

Fox News should really know better. Lies promptly went to number 1 on's bestseller list, even though the book won't be out for a month. General consensus is that Franken is going to hand Fox News their arse on a plate. Reasons:

  • Fox News's trademark is "Fair & Balanced". Franken's title uses "Fair and Balanced". Little things like this matter with trademarks.
  • You can't copyright book titles. I dunno about trademarks here.
  • It's a parody. There's lots of latitude for parody.

The Blogosphere's resident law professors Balkin, Reynolds, and Volokh all say that this is a crock. Should tell ya something -- they're not exactly left wingers, but law and sense trump politics for honest people.

I'm sure we can look forward to Franken's book being every bit as "fair and balanced" as Fox News.

What's with it with Franken and titles, anyway? The only title I've seen that's worse than Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them is Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot, also by Franken. Al, playground taunts like these went out in the sixth grade. Titles like this aren't funny and just make you look like a jerk.

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