August 11, 2003

Al Franken-Fracas?

Ooookay, here's a headline -- courtesy of Drudge -- for ya: "Fox News sues humorist Al Franken over 'fair and balanced' slogan ... "

Is there anything we can waste our time on more?
FoxNews claims:
"Franken is neither a journalist nor a television news personality," according to the complaint. "He 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."

So, we've established that he's a fringe personality, a comedian of sorts.. a tick in the wrist of fair and balanced discourse; Fine. But then we have this:

Lawyers for Fox who filed the complaint also take issue with Franken's book cover because it "mimics the look and style" of two books written by Bill O'Reilly.

First they dismiss Al Franken as a loony, unserious, fringe curiosity. Then they claim that he's libel for usurping the familiar colors of his target.

Umm, hello! Has anyone heard of "fair use" for the purpose of parody and satirical?
Isn't the very reason they are dismissing Al the same reason he gets to use the "fair and balanced" mark?

I mean, disagree with him all we want; but let's not turn the debate into a slimematch of biblical distortions.

Posted by Tuning Spork at August 11, 2003 11:57 PM

I guess if you keep a bunch of lawyers on retainer, you feel the need to use them now and matter how stupid the reason.

Posted by: Jennifer at August 12, 2003 01:39 AM

! :)

Posted by: Susie at August 12, 2003 10:04 PM

I agree, Spork. I hate Al Franken's guts, but this is just stupid. It makes Fox look idiotic. Also, I'm no intellectual property lawyer, but I didn't think you could copyright (or trademark or whatever) phrases that were "descriptive" - like McDonald's couldn't protect the phrase "Greasy and Salty!" But what do I know?

Posted by: Freedom's Slave at August 21, 2003 06:29 PM

Al franken is hilarious. YOu guys have no idea what you're talking about. Fox sucks, and so do republicans and george bush is a monkey!

Posted by: josh at September 9, 2003 07:46 PM

Al's son is a big fat idiot have you ever seen him?...He is a loser gypsy born asshole...what comes around goes around.....AL!

Posted by: mike kelly at September 23, 2003 09:03 PM

Al has exposed the commentators of the right wing media machine (Fox, Clearchannel, etc.) for the liars they are. No one tries to challenge his arguments. Fans of these bs masters just take shots at his personality and children. They know it would do no good to argue the points he makes.

Posted by: nego at October 3, 2003 09:20 AM

Here are the facts;

President Bush is right, he will be re elected, Al Franken is a 3rd rate comedian who know one will remember, Bill O'Reilly is a true American hero for exposing the communist left wing and Islam is a false religion.

Posted by: BOB at October 25, 2003 06:37 PM

As someone who grew up as a SNL fanatic - it is so sad to see that Al Frankin makes his living off of hate. When I was young I grew up believing all the far left hate BS - now I realize that it is all scare tactics. I'm no Republican either - I agree with some of the right and some of the left - Either way we need SMALLER GOVERNMENT and Personal Responsibility. Dennis Miller talks issues and is LIGHT YEARS more intelligent then those Losers who make all their living off of hate - Like Al Frankin and the biggest fattest idiot of al times: Michael Moore - - AL FRANKEN IS A BIG TIME HACK - I often don't agree with Bill Maher but he at least can think for himself - AL sounds like the 9 morons running for the Democratic Nomintation. MEMO TO ALL: Learn to THINK for yourself

Fox comes along and looks at both sides of the issue - the NEW DEMOCRATS hate issues... They'd rather criticize everything the OTHER GUY does.

Posted by: Sean at October 31, 2003 04:29 AM

I think those of you who are disagreeing with Al Franken are solidifying the exact points he makes in his book. You don't have to like Franken, and you don't have to like the truth, but you cannot deny either's validity. To think Franken is a 3rd rate comedian who will be forgotten is ignorant, and you prove the point he makes in the final chapter of his book: "My hope is that, if we keep calling them on their calculated dishonesty, their dishonesty will lose its effectiveness. Then O'Reilly and company will have to resort to Plan B: name-calling. Which, I think, will expose them for what they are. Stupid bastards."

Posted by: Nick at November 10, 2003 02:53 PM

Here's my problem with the Al Franken and Michale Moore types. These people anre not interested in meaningful debate. They are interested in destroying and hurting people sometimes with little regard to truth or fact. I borrowed Mr. Frankens latest book from a friend and checked, personally checked up, on some of his comments. Some of his most hyped issues were not correct. Additionally, these type of people generally hide, they never confront thoses that they accuse to make their point. When they do comment, it is "always" within a safe media where they are likly not to be challenged.

Being passionate on an idea or issue is fine, even if I may not agree with it, I believe others are intitled to their view. But when one bashes someone, for example calling someone a Nazi, be ready to support it or don't call them such a filthy name. Mr. Franken, and many other liberal
people simply do not operate that way. They like to bash someone and run away. That's cowardly. While have, politically speaking, little in common with Mr. Franken it is not his idealology but rather his unwillingness to debate that disturbes me. He is captive to his idealology and has no vision beyon it.

Respectfully submitted,

Posted by: james at December 2, 2003 02:23 PM

First off: Having grown up with SNL I've always liked Al Franken; even when I thought he was being less than intellectually honest.
But, the thing is: he has a political bent and he uses Facts to promote it.

His endnotes are plentiful and meticulous; it's hard to find a factual error. He works overtime to make sure that a factual error will never be cited.
But, the Agenda shows up in the schtick that's beyond the Facts. (From the Right, Ann Coulter is the same way.)

Al or Ann can write "Fact A meets fact B and we cross that with Fact C and can, therefore, conclude that the [insert opposing political party here] Party is a corrupt den of manipulative liars who want to destroy the world that we know and love. [insert funny name-calling observation here.]"
The blather and the jokes can't be proven or disproven; they're the product of a certain worldview and appeal to those who share that view, and are offensive to those that don't.

I'm not gonna pull my hair out over anything Al Franken or Ann Coulter write; I consider them both guilty pleasures.

Posted by: Tuning Spork at December 3, 2003 09:43 PM

Hey James...if you borrowed Franken's book, you should have read it, and you should have read the parts where Franken writes about the times when he did engage in political debate in a public forum with the likes of Bill O'Reilly, Bernie Goldberg, Sean Hannity, Karl Rove, Richard Perle, and Paul Wolfowitz. In addition, when Franken showed up on Bill Maher's HBO show "Real Time" after his latest book came out, Ann Coulter was on the program, and did not say one word while Franken was televised via satellite. Not ONE WORD. And why? Because she'd get shot down. She knew Franken nailed her in his book, and she knew that she'd get nailed if she said anything. You should really read the book. In all fairness, however, I did find one mistake in Franken's book, and it is on page 86 when he writes, "After a couple of trips around the barn, I accused Sean of intellectually dishonesty." As you can see, the mistake is a grammatical one, which I suppose is lying about the way that the English language is supposed to be spoken or written. Nah. Not a lie, just a bad mistake on the editor's part. Read the damn book.


Posted by: Nick at December 15, 2003 04:59 PM

The problem is that the nut-cases like Frankin and Coulter get all the press because they shout the loudest. Both believe that their meanness and vicious name calling are justified because of their truly heartfelt (but clearly extremist) ideology. This absurd beleif that one holds the exclusive rights to "the truth" (which, by the way, is also completely nuts when you think about the fact that we are really discussing political OPINIONS) provides utter justification for the hate and slander that is eveident in the terms "big, fat idiot", and "stupid bastards"

Moreover, by masquerading as satire, Frankin dupes the liberal press (yes, there is liberal press, just as there is some conservative press) into the folly of not challenging him on issues. Note to NPR: he's an extemist political commentator, just like, and sometimes worse than, Rush LImbaugh!

To be fair, he rarely puts himself into a position where he would be challenged.

Anyway, my point is that extremists on both sides are damaging to America because they spew hate and try to divide by attacking - and the attacks are bad. Are there any moderates out there? Am I the only one that feels this way?

Posted by: winston at January 2, 2004 09:17 AM

The reason that I see for Frankin's obnoxious actions, are three-fold; He has had to always look down. His lenses are too thick to attempt sunlight at and level, so there goes any chance of happiness; his stature is so, that his ass is too close to his face! This has got to effect your attitude greatly!; and after Saturday Night Live, he has no one writing for him. He's on his own. So goes the man!

Posted by: william at January 29, 2004 08:06 PM

I think that comparing Ann Coulter and Al Franken is ridiculous. Franken undoubtedly uses hyperbole and ad hominem attacks in order to bolster his political stance however, unlike many "conservative" pundits (O'riley, Savage, Coulter) he does not use thes comedic devices in place of an actual argument. He is also noteably different in that he is funny. Coulter is far from funny; she is shrill, hateful and most importantly, generally wrong. It's one thing to take an opposing stance on an issue or an event in history, but it is quite another to simply deny all facts pertaining to it and just create a new story that supports your side. I'm not going to point out all of the examples where Ann Coulter comes across as dishonest, paranoid or just impossibly ignorant; if you're interested in seeing all of that simply go to her website. Notice the way that she responds to Al Franken's allegation that she erroneously printed in her book Slander that the New York Times did not cover the speech made by Rev. Jesse Jackson in England on Christmas day 1994. She Pretends that he didn't make the allegation at all, that he simply critiqued her search method. She continues to state that he clearly couldn't make the allegation because in her own words, "THE NEW YORK TIMES DID NOT COVER THE SPEECH". Now go to the New York Times website, which Coulter claims to have searched in order to support her claim, and search the archive

Posted by: Citizen at May 14, 2004 02:16 PM

Did you find the article about the speech? See how easy that was? That's why Ann Coulter is different from Al Franken. Al Franken may be insanley partisan, but at least he is sane.

Posted by: Citizen at May 14, 2004 02:18 PM

Also, I don't know if anyone follows this thread anymore, but I think it would be funny to bring a case against FOX news for using the slogan "Fair and Balanced". Be honest, do you really think FOX is balanced? I understand that this is a predominantly "conservative" post and you all like FOX because it lines up with your beliefs but do you really consider it fair and balanced? By the way, if there's anyone who follows the teachings of Savage and wants to DEBATE his stance (not just call me an Islamo-Facsist red diaper doper baby and tell me to get AIDS and die) I'd be ecstatic. I don't want to make fun of you or anything I just figure that you might be able to articulate the whole "Borders, Language, Culture" stance on politics because I've listened to his show for years and he still hasn't done too great a job. Speaking of Savage, "Conservatives" always claim that it's wrong and immature to compare people to Nazis (although I still am not certain when Franken actually did this) yet Savage seems to make Nazi references and nicknames for anyone who disagrees with his "views" in the slightest. He of course is the closest thing to an openly facsist syndicated radio personality since Father Coughlin.

Posted by: Citizen at May 14, 2004 02:57 PM

I think most conservatives are in denial about what this administration has done to us...people like Franken and Moore have the guts to speak their minds and in this country all of us have the right to do just that. It's just hard for people who are conservative to admit when they are wrong!

Posted by: Shar at September 8, 2004 09:47 AM

I find it humorous that self proclaimed liberals can't stomach to be called a " liberal". These progressives (lol) such as the boring Mr. Smally and the fat idiot from Flint, bring nothing factual to debate with mainstream America. Their only purpose is to heard the sheep of this nation and lead them nowhere but south. Thank God for our psycotic loony liberals that continue to help keep conservative thought and policy mainstream. Thank you Liberals, oh, I mean progressives. Good Day

Posted by: Cuyler Costanzo at September 29, 2004 11:44 AM

Al Franken- Another Minnesota left wing gem !!

Posted by: go george at October 26, 2004 01:14 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Site Meter