August 14, 2003

Findlaw has the Complaint in Fox v. Franken

lies2.jpg I'll leave the actual application of trademark law to actual experts, but let's examine the complaint, shall we?

11. Since 1995, after Franken left a second stint with "Saturday Night LIve," he has attempted to remake himself into a political commentator. In 1998, Franken wrote and hosted a political television program called "Lateline," which appeared on the NBC television network. Upon information and belief, Franken's guests on "lateline" included well-known political figures Richard Gephardt, jerry Falwell and Robert Reich. "Lateline" was cancelled after only 19 episodes. since then, Franken has made dozens of apperances on television news programs, including FNC.

Lateline was a political television programs where Franken attempted to "remake himself into a political commentator"? The All-Movie Guide describes Lateline as: "Nightline meets The Mary Tyler Moore Show in Lateline, an ensemble TV sitcom about a late-night news-and-issues series with a show-within-a-show format, incorporating real-life guests and using digital time updates and video to contrast "on-air" scenes with the filmed footage of the main story." TV Tome says: "Lateline" was a well-written, wonderfully-acted sitcom that assumed the audience had a brain" (emphasis added.)

14. From the time of its launch, until the present, FNC has been dedicated to presenting news in what it believes to be an unbiased fashion, eschewing ideological or political affiliation and allowing the viewer to reach his own conclusions about to news.
They're kidding, right? An "unbiased fashion" without ideological affiliation compared to what? Pravda?
18. [Bill] O'Reilly has become a national celebrity and one of America's most trusted sources of news and information.
O'Reilly is a trusted source of news? "Shut up. Shut up."
29. Franken is wearing a conservative business suit, a conservative, patriotic, red and blue striped tie
Look at that crazy liberal trying to look like a respectable conservative. He's trying to steal a conservative image! No liberal would dress like that on his own accord!
77. Franken has recently been described as a "C-level political commentator" who is "increasingly unfunny." Franken has physically accosted Fox News personalities, and was reported to have appeared either intoxicated or deranged as he flew into a rage near a table of Fox News personalities at a press correspondents' dinner in April 2003. Franken is neither a journalist nor a television news personality. He is not a well-respected voice in American poilitics; rather, he appears to be shrill and unstable. His views lack any serious depth or insight. Franken is commonly perceived as having to trade off of the name recognition of others in order to make money. One commentator has referred to Franken as a "parasite " for attempting to trade off of Fox News' brand and O'Relly's fame in the Preliminary Cover of his Book.
Look at how awkardly the drafters of the complaint use the passive voice in order to attempt to make their accusations against Franken's character appear almost factual. Otherwise, I think this paragraph speaks well enough for itself.
79. Defendants' use of the Trademark also tarnishes the mark by associated the mark with Franken's sophomoric approach to political commentary. Such a use lessens the reputation of FNC for having a team of first-rate journalists and news personalities who gather, report, and analyze the news.
If Franken's approach to political commentary is sophomoric, on what level is Fox News' approach?

And more:
Jack Balkin: A Fair and Balanced Attempt at Censorship

Kelly Talcott: From the "What WERE they thinking?" Department . . .

Joe Conason: O'Reilly's folly?

NYT: Windfall Publicity for Al Franken's Book

WNYC/Washington Post: Franken on Suit: What, Me Worry?

Neil Pollack: Fair and Balanced Friday

Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right

Posted by Andrew Raff at August 14, 2003 01:41 PM
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Tracked: August 15, 2003 04:32 AM