Fair And Balanced

So all of you in the UK have probably not heard of Al Franken. He’s an American satirist/comedian who gained national fame in the US by appearing on the early (good) Saturday Night Live programmes. He is currently being sued by Fox News for using the phrase ‘fair and balanced’ in the title of his upcoming book. It turns out Fox News registered the expression ‘fair and balanced’ and claim Franken is using the phrase to boost his sales. (yea, right)

Neil Pollack (singer, writer, blogger) has called for today, the 15th, to be an emergency protest, a Fair and Balanced protest. He’s asking all bloggers to put Fair and Balanced into their blogs and tags as much as possible.

Bizarrely, Fox News seems to use their suit against Franken to critique and review him as a political comedian. Saying that Franken “achieved some renown as a comedy writer in the 1970s when he worked for the television program ‘Saturday Night Live’ ” but add he since “has attempted to remake himself into a political commentator” and “is neither a journalist nor a television news personality.”

For British readers – this is like Sky News taking Robert Newman (former comedian, now political comedian) to court for using three words they regularly use on air.

It’s mental.

Anyway, as you can see I’m using fair and balanced in the title of my blog now. So should you. Technically publishing laws ‘govern’ the ‘net as well as print. Just try writing something libellous about someone and see if I’m right… And if, like me, your blog is actually hosted within the US then technically you are governed by the laws of the US… and so there’s a little something called the First Amendment that your blog is protected by. Even if your blog is hosted elsewhere, shouldn’t we all be able to use the phrase ‘fair and balanced’? Hell, if there’s anyone here who is broadcasting in any way use the phrase ‘fair and balanced’ as much as you can…

It’s like McDonald’s registering phrases like : “Did Somebody Say”; “Hey, It Could Happen!”; “We Love to See You Smile”; “Have You Had Your Break Today?”… How can a big corporation REGISTER phrases that people use on a daily basis???

It just doesn’t seem fair and balanced to me…

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