's Forum Archives - Non-Cycling Discussions

Archive Home >> Non-Cycling Discussions(1 2 3 4 )

Fox News = Cry-babies.(21 posts)

Fox News = Cry-babies.czardonic
Aug 12, 2003 1:23 PM
At this year's Book Expo American, a panel discussion involving comedian Al Franken and (unintentional comedian) Bill O'Reilly devolved into a shouting match -- if you can call an apoplectic O'Reilly repeatedly shouting at Franken to shut up a "match."

Now, Fox "News" Network is suing the publisher of Franken's upcoming book, "Lies, and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right". (Can't wait.) In addition to asserting its ownership of the phrase "fair and balanced", Fox wants to make sure that everyone knows that Franken, "is not a well-respected voice in American politics; rather, he appears to be shrill and unstable. His views lack any serious depth or insight." (If so, then who better to comment on Fox News?). Fox also injected some "seriousness" into its complaint by refering to Franken as a "parasite".
Aug 12, 2003 1:24 PM
Article I read said they had copywrited the term "fair and balanced" Whether one likes the concept of copywriting terms and words, it is legal in this country.
Prior art.czardonic
Aug 12, 2003 1:54 PM
You can't claim copyright on just anything. It must be an original work of authorship. Then again, I suppose that NewsCorp's use of the term is fairly novel.

Let me guess: you read that on
registered as a trademark, actuallyPdxMark
Aug 12, 2003 2:04 PM

The trademark relates to "entertainment services in the nature of production and distribution of television news programs." The words are in the title of a book. So Fox is really stretching the scope of its trademark registration.... but stretching is what they do best.
Aug 13, 2003 6:20 AM
Pat Riley copyrighted Three-peat and collects when someone sells T-Shirts using that. Michel Buffer the ring anouncer owns the copyright to "Lets get ready to Ruimble" and supposedly if a ring anouncer uses it he is supposed to get paid.

I think using the words in the book is one thing, but he is taking a jab at Fox when he puts it on the Title. Fox is entitled to sue Franken, but in doing so, they will probably sell a lot more books for him.

Mike Y.
Al Frankenmoneyman
Aug 12, 2003 2:13 PM
Has as much credibility as ... well, he has none, come to think of it. A successful(?) comedy writer who makes a foray into serious political commentary with a book titled "Rush Limabaugh is a Big Fat Idiot" certainly carries a lot of weight.

Why would you buy his book? He only reaffirms the false beliefs which you so doggedly cling to. Read something that challenges your mind and espouses something that is contrary to your beliefs. That's where learning begins - with the questions.

An interesting sidenote - a search on for Franken's new book shows customers who bought this book also bought books authored by Paul Krugman, Molly Ivins and Sydney Blumenthal. Not much diversity there, either.

Once again, you are uninformed.czardonic
Aug 12, 2003 2:37 PM
Al Franken has been commenting on politics for years (a previous critique of the right, "Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot: And Other Observations", was published in 1996). Given that you were unaware of it, I guess it is obvious that you have not read it and are completely ignorant of its contents. Yet, I am sure you are ready to comment on it with weighty credibility.

It sounds like your own mind could use a challenge.

(BTW, the Amazon's intention is to provide links to similar titles. It is not to nudge its customers towards diversity.)
Now it makes sensemoneyman
Aug 12, 2003 2:50 PM
You don't read my posts. Thanks for telling me that Franken published a book which I specifically cited in my original post. I did read it, by the way.

As for Amazon, it never told me its intentions. When you search for a specific title, they put a section on the page called "Customers who bought this book also bought". Similar titles? No. Same thinking? Yes. Not much learning going on there.

My mistake.czardonic
Aug 12, 2003 2:58 PM
I did mis-read your post. Sorry for being a jerk about it.

I think Amazon's intentions are fairly obvious -- to point you took books that you might also like based on the fact simliarly inclined shoppers also bought them. Perhaps NewsCorp enjoined them from offering "fair and balanced" recommendations. Anyway, it is a retail sight, not a correspondence school, or a news organization.
Apology acceptedmoneyman
Aug 12, 2003 3:03 PM

I mentioned Amazon not because it was a scientific study, but just an interesting anecdote. Make of it what you will.

Thank you. Getting back to Franken. . .czardonic
Aug 12, 2003 3:13 PM
. . .I think that his opinions are at least as credible as many "serious" political commentators (O'Reilly, Chris Mathews etc.) If anything, his intentionally impish style suggests to me that he knows that punditry is not to be taken as seriously as "serious" commentators take themselves -- as demostrated by O'Reilly and NewsCorps current lawsuit.
FWIW. . .moneyman
Aug 12, 2003 3:23 PM
I don't agree about the credibility comparison. O'Reilly and Mathews are obnoxious, loud and self-righteous, but they have specialized - Mathews especially - in politics. Mathews, as a Tip O'Neill staffer, cut his teeth on some pretty tough political ropes. Franken is just a comsdy writer who got bored with his fame and fortune from SNL. Just my opinion, of course.

Further, FWIW, I don't like listening to any of them. I actually like NPR for my political news.

Let's talk about success. Rush or Al Franken? You decide.94Nole
Aug 12, 2003 4:02 PM
How oft is Franken quoted in the press/media? I'll bet if you asked 20 random people who Al Franken is, that more than half wouldn't know. Bet you 75-80+% would know who Rush is.

And why doesn't the left have a voice like the right has in Rush?
Well, if it is a popularity contest. . .czardonic
Aug 12, 2003 4:29 PM
. . .Rush wins. But you could draw a lot of conclusions from that, some of which speak to your second question.

I've heard many people say that the Left does not generate Rush-esque celebrities because their views are far to diverse to be represented by one "voice". That could mean that they are more thoughtful and independant, or it could mean that they are just flighty and contrarian. I report, you decide.
I will mark this day on my calendar.94Nole
Aug 12, 2003 4:36 PM
I have little to say to that, Czar. I agree. I do think that the problem with those on the left is that they sway to the direction of the breeze, where those on the right don't really change their beliefs according to the flavor of the day.
"Democrats never agree on anything, . . .czardonic
Aug 12, 2003 4:49 PM
. . .that's why they're Democrats. If they agreed with each other, they would be Republicans." - Will Rogers
I don't know if you arebboc
Aug 12, 2003 2:43 PM
a right winger or not (I'll assume you are since you allude towards defending Rush), but any call for diversity of beliefs from the right wing is utterly laughable.
Aug 12, 2003 2:55 PM
defending Rush? Not sure how you got that unless your mind was made up before you read the post. I was commenting on Franken's credibility, of which he has none. He is accepting of other's ideas as long as they agree with him. As to the right wing's call for diversity of beliefs being laughable, I think you should do a little more research. But if you want to go on believing ignorant stereotypes proffered by bigoted, closed minded liberal commentators like Al Franken, go for it.

Aug 12, 2003 5:43 PM
Depends how you define it. Franken has never postured himself as a "serious political commentator" so I suppose that makes it convenient to knock your straw man off that podium.

He is a satirist and a humorist, and although I personally thought that the "Big Fat Idiot" language was juvenile, the book I found very amusing. Yes, he skewers with a political agenda, but he has never pretended to be the kind of commentator you compare him to.

For that matter, he doesn't cloak himself in the trappings of truth like, say, Michael Moore trying to send his message through documentaries. Whether each of them is merely a leftist gadfly is in the eye of the beholder. I think both of them need to be appreciated in context.
Fox News = Free Advertising for Frankendr hoo
Aug 12, 2003 5:20 PM
Why do people do this, are they THAT stupid? There are now literally millions of people that know about this book that would never have heard of it had Fox just ignored it.

Actually, iirc, tradmarks must be actively defended or they lapse (unlike copyright). So Fox might have thought this a prudent move, even if they let it fade away shortly hereafter.

Still, gotta love the language. You so rarely see legal complaints with such poetic turns of phrase.
fyi, Franken's response:dr hoo
Aug 12, 2003 5:28 PM
"From everything I know about law regarding satire, I'm not worried," liberal satirist Franken said in a statement issued by publishers Penguin Group.

Franken questioned the way he was described by the network, part of the News Corp group, in the 17-page suit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court on Friday and made public on Monday.

"As far as the personal attacks go, when I read 'intoxicated or deranged' and 'shrill and unstable' in their complaint, I thought for a moment I was a Fox commentator.

"And by the way, a few months ago, I trademarked the word 'funny.' So when Fox calls me 'unfunny,' they're violating my trademark. I am seriously considering a countersuit," he said.