Fox News: Will the Franken Debacle Hurt them?

By now you’ve probably heard of the frivolous lawsuit filed by “fair and balanced” Fox News against Al Franken (why do I wanna type "against .me , Al Franken). Franken himself would have had a better lawsuit if he’d wanted to sue VH1 for calling the series “I Love the 80s” when he clearly claimed it as his own- “the Al Franken Decade”.

In addition to the “what in the hell were they thinking?” when any first year law student understands parody and satire protection, I was appalled with with the almost insane accusations and labelling of Franken as a “shrill and unstable” “parasite” * who was “intoxicated or deranged” at a particular dinner, etc., in a suit on copyright infringement for which it wouldn’t have been relevant if Franken had danced naked covered in chocolate syrup at a Shriner’s benefit for burn victims. The only real thing accomplished by the suit is that Franken, a second rate talent, is now a #1 bestseller at Amazon thanks to the millions in free publicity.

So, do you think that this will have any lasting ramifications on the integrity and validity of Bill O’Reilly and or Fox News, and why not?

I doubt it very much. Most people who are fans of Fox News aren’t fans of Franken, and vice versa.

It was driven bt Bill O’Reilly so he could get more media attention.

It works well for Bill AND Al. Al’s book sells. Bill’s ratings increase (and they are already gaudy).

I don’t think this is planned (like for example Andy Kaufman and Jerry Lawler), but I feel this is an unspoken conspiracy/fued that they have had for quite a while that is mutually beneficial.

Since when has any fan of Fox News turned off the network when anyone on there called any liberal “shrill and unstable?”

“I don’t care what you say about me, just spell my name right.”

Applies to both parties.

Plus, the people who are likely to be appalled at this silly “lawsuit” are not the sort of people who watch Fox News anyway. I mean, really, the kind of people I know who watch Fox News are more interested in news-as-entertainment than in news-as-information… Maybe I’m overgeneralizing, but I don’t know…

I think Fox knew they would be laughed out of court. For $500K? in legal fees they have pulled in +$million in publicity. I am fairly sure this was about: a. calling attention to thier slogan b. generating free press c. sticking a finger in Franken’s eye.

No negative effect on Fox.

I think the Al fans watch Fox for entertainment value.

I read the book last week and it is damn near funny as hell. :smiley: Franken is pretty hard on everyone on the other side of the political spectrum, but he is downright brutal on O’Reilly. He repeatedly quotes a somewhat graphic sex scene from Those Who Trespass, a novel written by ol’ Bill a few years ago.

I almost fell out of my chair when I read the new “Operation Chickenhawk,” when

Clarence Thomas was freaking out and only porn could calm him. O’Reilly offers to tell him a dirty story, and proceeds to dictate the same part of his book that Franken had quoted at least twice before already, complete with a comic-style illustration of Bill pulling his clothes off while descending on an eager topless woman. :eek:

I don’t think I’ve ever laughed harder in my life. :smiley:

As for the Fox News debacle, I agree it was probably good for all sides. Everyone who hates Fox will assuredly pick up Franken’s book now. Everyone who is angered by what they read in the book (or who thinks Franken is an asshole), will flock to Fox and O’Reilly. Incidentally, I think Lies would have hit number one without the lawsuit - there’s been an enormous amount of buzz about this book for months.

Does Franken mention Ann Coulter in the book? I’ll buy anything that slams her and backs it up.

Whatever they want their news for, isn’t Fox News pitched at the right wing end of the political spectrum. The same right-wingers that are always bitching about frivolous lawsuits and the desperately needed court reform required to prevent them?

He slams her with such force it almost registers on the Richter scale. He tears holes in a lot of points in her book, and just for grins takes a few entertaining personal shots at her as well. He makes a big deal on how she had mentioned that they were “friendly” in some interview based on a meeting at a SNL party. He says she thinks they’re friendly because when they met, Franken was cordial. He says in retrospect to prevent any confusion he should have said “You’re horrible! I hate you!”

This is the part that makes me laugh. You would think the lawsuit would test the credulity of even the stupidest portion of their audience but they seem confident that their audience is just the right amount of stupid for the Al Franken feud to be beneficial. What do they get out of helping Al Franken? Really I guess it’s just that Al Franken will play with them and it makes them look like they’re out there in the world instead of just sitting around yapping to themselves. To stupid people, Al Franken and Bill O’Reily are not just a comedian and an adult male model, they are “political pundits” and their bickering has intellectual weight. It makes Fox News look like they’re in there promoting “political debate” when they have some opposition. Without any opposition, it’s as if nobody takes Fox seriously, or it’s as if they threw a party and nobody came. “Debate” adds to Fox’s credibility in a way. It’s funny that the person who has the time and motive to bicker with them is someone like Al Franken who is doing it because it’s absurd and funny and it’s his openly stated JOB to point out Fox’s absurdity and humour. But there are people who believe Al Franken represents a meaningfully “opposing view” and that helps Fox’s viewers feel like they are watching “news” and are involved in an intellectual exercise by following the “debate” and choosing sides.

So I don’t think it’s just a question of all publicity is good publicity. It’s that keeping the feud in the air and promoting the feud has a specific benefit to Fox. I think Fox has a deep faith in the stupidity of its audience. Which is kind of cynical and sad. But funny.

You won’t be hearing much from the Fox crew for awhile about the dam’ liberal lawyers clogging up the courts with bullcrap lawsuits. That has to count as a good thing for us.

No, simply because they don’t have any to begin with.