Matthew Yglesias has an amusing suggestion:

If you’ve got a blog, please consider adding a “fair and balanced” tag somewhere in recognition of Rupert Murdoch’s out of control litigiousness (tort reform, anyone?). You also should consider buying the book.

Well, buying the book is out of the question (I vaguely recall a time when Al Franken was funny, however). But the tagline business is intriguing.

(Hat tip: Brad DeLong, who has added “Fair and Balanced Almost Every Day” to his journal’s title)

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Bryan says:
  2. O. F. Jay says:

    Scott Ott beat me to the punch with somethng funny. Well, he beats almost everyone to the punch. I wonder how white gymnasts can be described now that Rupert has the deal on Fair and Balanced?

  3. Paul says:

    But that is unfair…

    Under trademark law if Rupert Murdoch does not sue now, (even if he does not want to) can can lose the right to in a future case.

    If you do not defend your trademark, the courts will take it away.

    Don’t blame Rupert.


  4. James Joyner says:


    I’d understand if another news organization were using it. But it’s clearly permissible for a satirist to use it.

  5. Jim Hawkins says:

    How strange … I can never remember a time when Al Franken was funny.

  6. Paul says:

    Well, I’m no lawyer but I spend quite a bit of money paying an intellectual property rights attorney. Here is what I am pretty sure he would say:

    I think Franklin is in trouble for 2 reasons.

    1) As I said, BY LAW Rupert is REQUIRED to sue him. It is not up to Repert to decied if it is OK. The law says you have to go thru the motions. (Look up the case of the 11 year old kid that owned sluggo.com.)

    2) The use and placement will be a hot topic in this trial. Fox puts it in red at the bottom of the screen. Franken did that with it on his book cover.

    The courts have in the past been much more protective of logo type stuff. If I take a picture of a person on public property I don’t need a model release to sell that picture. BUT If I put that picture (think “Girl’s Gone Wild.”) on the front of a video cassette box and people associate a product with that image NOW I turned that person into a logo and they get money.

    **Logo’s don’t fall under “fair use.”

    Again, I’m no lawyer but I think they have a fairly strong case.

    But my point is, it is unfair to blast Rupert for protecting his trademark when not doing so can cause him to give up rights to it in the future.